A spin-off to Sakura Wars, and set seventy years later on from the parent series; based on a mobile game of the same name, like First Order and Fate/Grand Order, so maybe like Fate/Grand Order, we might see more Sakura Revolution anime in the future, especially given all those characters that we are teased in the end credits, but didn't feature in the special itself... on the other hand, the special could just be a one-off.
The age of steam ended for Japan fifteen years ago when a disaster occurred rendering steam powered devices inert; fortunately a new power source was developed, but it appears it's not to be without its side effects.
Demons have risen up, threatening the public, so to combat this threat, the government has created the Great Imperial Combat Revue B.L.A.C.K., which like the combat revues of old keeps the country safe, by soothing the hearts of the public through musical performances, and battling demons.
Nadeshiko Sakura of the original Imperial Combat Revue asks Yoshitaka Oishi to retrieve her daughter, Shino Sakura from Aogashima; they are interrupted by Prana Tosei of B.L.A.C.K., but Yoshitaka escapes in a Kobu, and en route for Aogashima.
The special sets the scene by introducing the (male) protagonist, Yoshitaka, his task, and teaming up with this title's poster girl, Shino, along with Fuka Aoshima, who will possibly become the revue's mechanic, given she's tinkering away with a mech on an event card in the end credits, though it appears unlike a previous revue member and mechanic, Kohran Li, she will not be doing any fighting, as she does not have a "dress" form (mecha-musume) on the official website, just a civilian outfit, and revue uniform.
The special does however leave unanswered questions, some stemming from the fact that we're seventy years on from what we have known, and others from the special itself, based on what happened or is said, but also based on knowledge of its inspiring game... well, some knowledge; information is a bit scarce, it does not have its own wikia page (yet).
Due to the fact that it is seventy years on, there is the matter of what happened between then and now; other than the fact that there was a disaster fifteen years ago, which rendered steam powered devices inert, what I want to know is, why have the Imperial Combat Revue gone back to using Kobu?
In Sakura Wars VI, they upgraded to Mugen, though that said, the Kobu in Sakura Revolution are a bit different to those we've seen in the main series, so it could technically be an upgrade; actually, upgrades in Sakura Wars might not be that easy to quantify, as in Sakura Wars V, the STARs had the ability to fly, whereas the Mugen could only manage short "hops", with rocket boosters.
Due to what happens in the special, or what's said, I have to wonder if there's a reason why Nadeshiko Sakura looks similar to Sakura Shinguji, and if Yoshitaka was a member of B.L.A.C.K., as he says "-kun" honorific when referring to Prana; might have to wait a while for the answer on the former, but regarding the latter, it shouldn't be too difficult to look into.
Spoiler for game coming up (jump to next paragraph to avoid); I decided to watch part of a playthrough for the game, where the uploader used a translate program whilst playing (found it when I was trying to find a translation for the special), and I now know that Yoshitaka was part of B.L.A.C.K., though very briefly, well, the game protagonist that Yoshitaka in the special is based on, but I would think it still applies to the special as well.
Actually found out that Prana and I have the same birthday, 08 April, however, there's almost a ten year difference; crazy to think how I'm older than most of the characters in this special/game, as the main series is set in the early part of the 20th Century, so it's usually the opposite way around, and by a lot more than a difference of ten years.
Have to wonder how old the protagonist is supposed to be, as in the game, when Yuu advises that she's a bit older than Shino, Fuka, Asebi and Mamiya -the latter being seventeen, whilst the others are sixteeen-, one of the LIPS options that come up is "There'll be an age difference, if it is love."... well, that's the translation on the playthrough of the game, where the uploader used a translate program whilst playing, which going forward will be referred to as "that playthrough"; I might see if I can find a better translation at some point.
So it's possible that Yuu is older than the protagonist, which looking back at previous protagonists, is a possibility, after all, Ichiro was ninteen in the first game, so was Shinjiro in his debut, and Kamiyama was only one year older in his, so it's possible that this game's protagonist is also around ninteen or twenty years old.
Speaking of age difference and Sakura Wars VI, I was surprised to find out Hiromi was older than Kamiyama, though I guess it's not improbable, after all, she does have her own shop... though in the world of Sakura Wars, age doesn't really mean anything, after all, in all playable combat revues of the main game, you can have a girl around the age of thirteen as your second in command, plus you've got Margarethe of Berlin Combat Revue, and someone I won't name, as it's a spoiler for Sakura Wars VI.
With my (limited) knowledge of the game, I was wondering why Asebi Mikohama does not feature in the special, as apparently she, Shino and Fuka are like sisters from other mothers (not be confused with "the Other Mother" from Coraline), in that they did everything together, and yet she didn't appear in the special.
Well, "that playthrough" has come to the rescue; Asebi left Aogashima to chase stardom, but is re-united with Shino and Fuka when the latter two reach the mainland in their quest to liberate Japan.
However, Asebi isn't the only character that appears to be missing in the special, as B.L.A.C.K.'s musical performance only features Prana Tosei, Saimei Kurumi, Claire Sekisho, Tenka Kebura and Madge Kazuyuki (latter three in image below; right to left); Meisa Akashi and Miyabi Hanami are absent, though an unnamed member of B.L.A.C.K. does feature in a battle against a member of the original Imperial Combat Revue, unless I'm just being blind.
I could be failing to identify the unnamed girl as one of the members of B.L.A.C.K. that we already know about, though, the members that we know of are apparently part of the "Noble Twelve", so there are five we haven't seen in that rank, plus who knows how many there are outside that rank.
Another rescue from "that playthrough"; the special has the same musical line up of Prana, Saimei, Claire, Tenka and Madge as the game, however the performance runs for longer in the special, although, it uses the same or similar animation; Miyabi turns up to help out in the battle that follows not long after the performance (in the game), though Meisa is nowhere to be seen.
Score 9/10 - should the special lose points for an unanswered question? I think I'm going to have to say "yes", as I had to know if there was more to when Yoshitaka said "Prana-kun".
The special features good quality animation; the characters are great, the scenery is great, both types of the mech stuff (regular Kobu and "dress" form) are great, and the demons are great... there's nothing to fault the special on here!
It even features some nicely drawn event cards from the game during the end credits.
Score 10/10 - short and sweet, but there's nothing else I can say.
Like with animation, everything is good here too, the soundtrack is great; Kohei Tanaka, who appears have scored everything Sakura Wars since the beginning, is helming the music here too, though he has some help from Kenta Higashioji this time around.
In places, I felt the music sounded familiar, but not in a Sakura Wars way, nor in a bad way, so wondered what else Kenta Higashioji has contributed to; unless the list was incomplete, it was nothing I've previously watched, Princess Connect - Re:Dive, and Sakura Wars VI the Animation, which I need to get round to watching at some point.
In one part of the special, Shino actually sounds like another of the Sakura Wars poster girls, Sakura Amamiya from Sakura Wars VI, and I think she might have had a similar or same pose and dialogue; I actually found a gif of the corresponding scene from Sakura Revolution, but tumblr didn't want to play ball regarding downloading the image, so I decided it was too much hassle... have a still image of Sakura Wars VI (the Animation) instead.
Score 10/10 - short and sweet again, as there's nothing to fault here either.
The special pretty much does its job, we get a sense of what the character are about here:
The special follows the game quite faithfully, so whilst you could say we're in the dark about some characters, like Nadeshiko Sakura, or the various characters that feature on the event cards in the end credits, the members of B.L.A.C.K. are the only characters to get more development in the game, over their equivalent scenes in the special; B.L.A.C.K. gets a short introduction in the game, which doesn't happen in the special, due to how some of the events are re-structured.
Score 9/10 - due to B.L.A.C.K.'s reduced development.
So, before a translation of the special came out, we could only theorise as to what was going on; from information about the game, we knew that seventy years had passed between the main series and Sakura Revolution, but other than that, we were flying blind, which brought up all sorts of questions.
An alternate-alternate universe - the special features someone who looks similar to Sakura Shinguji, but Chisa Yokoyama isn't the seiyuu for the character, plus it's seventy years on.
With Pokemon, even if a character features in both the main series and The Origin, Generations, The Animated Trailer, Twilight Wings and/or Masters, the seiyuu from the main series would not voice the character in those other series as well, as whilst it is the same character, it is supposed to be a different version of that character; CLAMP did the same with Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, a series all about alternate universes.
If it was supposed to be the same character, the seventy years thing could be explained as something to do with Shadow Tokyo, but saying anymore than that would lead to Sakura Wars VI spoilers, though part of it is also just fan theory.
Wanted to upload a gif of Garmadon from LEGO Ninjago saying "The Omelette-Omelette Weapon", given the section is called "An alternate-alternate universe", but it just didn't want to upload to Cubeupload.
Are you a boy? Or are you girl? - I found an image on Zerochan of two characters, one male, and one female with the names Yoshitaka Oishi and Yura Oishi respectively, which made me wonder who these siblings were.
Turns out they weren't siblings at all; this was cleared up when the website extended its characters section, adding a hero/heroine page.
Watching the untranslated special, my ears failed to pick out the name "Yoshitaka Oishi", and as he was wearing a different outfit, I did not put two and two together, but with the translation of the special, I was able to tell that the character in the special, and the one in the image, were the same character, well sort of, one's based on the other.
Regarding "Yura Oishi", with Sakura Revolution, you can be a female protagonist if you wish, which is a first for the series; well, there has been a female protagonist before (not counting Sakura, Erica and Gemini, who I guess have had protagonist situations), but it was in a manga, Sakura Wars: Kanadegumi, which also got a music video.
This does bring up the question of how the romance elements will work, as after all, the main series is known for this feature; it could be that you're locked out of romance with certain characters if you're the same gender (they could even be progressive, and lock you out of romance with some characters because you're not the same gender), which I know happens in some other games with romance elements, where you also choose the protagonist's gender.
Thinking about it, the most likely way romance will be handled in this game is with Valentine's Day (which was confirmed recently; above image of Mutsuha, Yura and Tsutsuji, named from left to right), Christmas and possibly Birthday Events, which I believe is how Fate/Grand Order operates; actually in "that playthrough" the game asks you to enter in a birthday for the protagonist/your birthday, and the Birthday "Event" happened - basically the player was just wished Happy Birthday.
Other events I've found out about whilst watching "that playthrough" are an onsen event, and New Year Event(s)...
The Onsen Event follows in the footsteps of the main series, though unlike those games, you don't see anything here, as it doesn't change to a new risque image as the event progresses; I have to wonder if there will be more of these events, as this one was for most of the Kyushu Imperial Combat Revue only, plus I know there's a bath event card for Mitsu Dogo, which is on the website, both on her "manga" page and in the news section.
As for the New Year Event(s), I initially thought there was only just one, featuring Shino and Fuka, which I thought makes sense, as the game can guarantee you have them in your party, regardless to how far you've got -well, I don't know if you can save before getting to Aogashima, and then leave the game until New Year, and what would happen then-, but on a later video of "that playthrough", there were two more New Year Events:
It would seem the game doesn't really care for guarantees, as at that point, "that playthrough" hadn't encountered Kusuno yet -well, according to her introduction sequence, it had-, and had definitely not gotten up to encountering the Chugoku Combat Revue... actually, unless there are other videos I haven't found, it appears "that playthrough" stops with Kyushu.
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised about how the game operates, after all, you can recruit characters before they appear in the story, either through the gacha system, where a base version is permanently added to your party, or you can temporarily recruit a powered up version of a character; in addition, these versions of the character are different to each other, and the version of the character that joins in the story mode.
Watching "that playthrough", I feel that the game could be adapted into a console version, especially given how many times I see that data download prompt pop up, though I feel certain things would need to change, such as just having one version of a character, and only recruiting characters through the story... though I will admit that recruiting them through the gacha system does mean there could be more character development for a character you only encounter later in the game.
Speaking of lack of character development due to appearing late in the game, Okumura Haru from Persona 5 springs to mind, well... I personally didn't feel that this was the case, though many other people did; maybe I was more invested in her than other people, given that I spent time with her, as soon as she was available as a confidant.
Who's that Poke-maiden? - the end credits featured event cards from the game of various characters that did not feature in the special, though are likely part of this game's Imperial Combat Revue.
The special is more of a hook for the game than anything else, so this is understandable; after an update to the website, some of the characters featured in the end credits now feature on the website in the character section.
However, they don't display as easily as below for me (image of Himeka, Moemi and Sana); for some reason, I cannot access the characters like this, I have to click on either Fuka or Asebi, and go forwards/backwards.
Others are hidden in news, or found by adding a bit at the end of the web address, "/manga/" followed by a character's name, forename then surname, I think, with an underscore between, such as "mitsu_dogo" (the image below).
Looking into the game more, it appears the characters featuring on the event cards are from the Kyushu Imperial Combat Revue, so this means there are regional combat revues in this game, rather than just one for the whole country as with the main series?
Up until now, a combat revue is found in a country's busiest city, as the bustle seems to attract the demons, but in this game, we have multiple combat revues in Japan, so does this mean that the demon threat is higher now?
Anyway, characters teased in the special (going left to right):
I've been trying to compile data on the various characters that appear in the game, and found another revue image, on the official website, the Chugoku Imperial Combat Revue.
New characters, going from left to right are:
The above quartet are part of the Shikoku Imperial Combat Revue, who will assumably assist you in that region, when you attempt to liberate the prefectures of Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, and Kochi (going left to right):
From four, to three, the above is another image of the official website's character section (like the one earlier in this section), and going left to right are:
A further image of the official website's character section, and going left to right are:
Another three, but this time an event advertisement, and only two are new characters (centre and right are):
Though there are more characters in the following images, there are same number of new characters, and now my data compilation starts to enter "scrap" territory; combat revues... unknown.
I only know which combat revues three of these characters belong to, and one the three is Shino (going from left to right, new characters are):
Another party screen, and again, as before, in this one, I only know which revues some characters belong to, and that number is same as before (going from left to right, new characters are):
This one I've nearly got the information full house, as I know which revues all but one of the characters belong to (going from left to right, new characters are):
Even VTubers (left to right: Fubuki Shirakami and Houshou Marine) will fit in somewhere in the game, maybe being re-created in game, or just voicing characters created for the game; before it was announced that Project B.L.A.C.K. and Nippon Dakkan were the same game, the VTubers were announced as each supporting one of the two games.
Now we're at the bottom of the barrel, though that's not a comment on image quality, just that I'm now on images with one character; imagine how many images I would have posted if I did the same for the other characters!
The image above features:
Final character is a "last minute" one... I say last minute, as I don't recall her featuring in the game opening, which did show more revues than the end credits of the special.
The image above features:
Kogane Toyada - born in Tsushima, she dreams of finding an unknown energy, and her "dress" form has a drill that can pierce the heavens ground, and demons, probably.
With watching "that playthrough", I feel I must talk about some of the revelations from the game, as damn some of it is heavy; some game spoilers below, along with spoilers to Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and Bleach.
After saying that things get heavy, I'm starting with something that isn't actually heavy; it's possible that B.L.A.C.K. are the villains only through ignorance, in that they are unaware that their commander is behind the demons, and the disaster fifteen years ago... that is if the translation from "that playthrough" is accurate.
Well, maybe not all of B.L.A.C.K. is innocent, as the unnamed member from the special is fighting alongside demons; in the game, the commander also appears to be able to directly control Prana at least, and in that instance, I believe she was fighting alongside demons.
I wonder if we will see the members of B.L.A.C.K. fighting on the side of good at some point; being convinced to change their thinking, after being defeated.
Similar to how Takamachi Nanoha befriends her enemies in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, with a massive magical attack; I think the image below is her making a door rather than befriending, to be honest - the image I wanted was on Imgur, which doesn't seem to work for me anymore, so I had to settle for what I could get, but I'd say the power level is the same as if it was befriending.
Again, another non-heavy; just like in the special, Shino refers to Yoshitaka as her stalker when she sees that he has a photograph of her, however in the game this leads to a LIPS event where you can select "Yes, I'm your stalker."; unfortunately the uploader of "that playthrough" does not go for this hilarious option, but it's nice to know that the game has similar amusing options to those found in the main series.
So, now the heavy stuff, we learn that people are turning into demons, I believe due to the new power source, and that there's a difference between when the Imperial Combat Revue defeats a demon, and when B.L.A.C.K. does.
I've been trying to wrack my brain as to a series where people turn into monsters, but nothing is coming to mind... sure there's vampire series, and kind of Persona and Bleach, but these are not really what I was thinking of, though Bleach does put me onto the next part of the heavy stuff.
So, after Shino defeats the demons in the game, they find a person where the vanquished demon was; it is explained that when Shino defeated the demon, she exorcised its presence from the person, allowing them to return to normal, however Yoshitaka then mentions that nothing like this happened when B.L.A.C.K. defeated the demons earlier in the game.
This difference makes me think of Bleach, where after a Shinigami defeats a Hollow -and they weren't bad before they died-, they are cleansed and enter the Soul Society, whereas if a Quincy defeats a Hollow, they're just destroyed, regardless to whether they were bad or good.
I know the image above is Burn the Witch, not Bleach, but same universe, just different section, just didn't want to take any images away from my Bleach review... when I find where I've put it, though might hold off until after Thousand Year War Arc is animated, maybe.
Anyway, that's everything from me for this revue review... that wasn't intentional.
Images have been linked from my cubeupload account, but originally likely came from the official website, the Combat Revue, Sakura Wars wikia, jeux mangas, rpgsite, kakuchopurei, minitokyo, iparchive, This Is Game Thailand, deus ex magical girl, tumblr, IGN, ricedigital, and aniSearch if the watermarking is to be believed on the image above.
v1.11 will be on its way if the website puts up some information on Kyoko, Fuuki or Shizuru.