A review copy was provided by FUNimation Entertainment
I’m a sucker for 90s mecha anime–I think it comes with the territory of just being a 90s kid with Gundam and Voltron and such running rampant on TV. So when I first heard the dramatic, rock-opera riffs of Sakura Wars‘s famous, Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan theme I was hooked. It had everything little me could want: cool girls with the fate of the world on their shoulders and steam-punk mechas. Plus the series has an awesome soundtrack with one of the best ear-worm anime OPs in existence. Suffice to say, I fell in love with Sakura Wars and really, haven’t turned back.
Still, Sakura Wars lives in relative obscurity state-side–besides the latest game on Wii/PS2 a few years back, not much else has been released. But it’s been a long-running franchise with plenty of video games, manga, weird doujinshi, OVAs, and even live stage shows as a special nod to the series’ Takarazuka inspiration. Yet, despite its many accolades and long-standing franchise force, there’s something to be said about the franchise’s movie and its conflicting strengths and weaknesses.
“Evil never gets an encore” may be the DVD/Blu-ray combo’s clever tagline, but sadly, lackluster story-telling combined with flat voice acting may close the curtains on this film.
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