Today, Sega released new information on their upcoming PlayStation 2 title, Sakura Wars 5. This is the first information on the game since it was announced over two years ago.
Sakura Wars 5 is set in Manhattan in the year 1928. Naval ensign Oogami Ichirou, the hero of the first four titles in the series, has been replaced by naval lieutenant Shinjirou Taiga. As in the earlier games, Taiga will find himself in charge of a Kagekidan--an undercover defense force whose members masquerade as a company of actors. ("Kagekidan" is a Japanese pun. Two different sets of kanji can be read with this pronunciation; one translates as "Floral Assault Unit," while the other means "Opera Troupe.") The New York Kagekidan Hoshi-gumi ("Star Branch") includes five women, all new to the series:
- Gemini Sunrise, the 17-year-old heroine of Sakura Wars V: Episode 0, is a Texas native. She dreams of becoming a music star.
- Sajita Weinberg is a 21-year-old lawyer. In addition to her duties as a Hoshi-gumi member, she works at a law office based in her native Harlem.
- Mexico-born Riquetta Aries is the child of the group. This 11-year-old is impulsive and has a tremendous sweet tooth.
- Dianna Caprice, age 19, comes from Massachusetts. She is a medical student at Boston College who has come to New York for research.
- Subaru Kujo, age unknown, hails from Kyoto. She was originally a member of the European Hoshi-gumi, but was given a repost in the New York branch.
Sakura Wars 5 will play out over eight chapters. The chapter count was originally in double digits; however, the staff ended up summarizing some sections. The game will be longer than Sakura Wars 3.
A playable demo of Sakura Wars 5 will be on display at the Tokyo Game Show, and a trailer of the game will be included with Sakura Wars V: Episode 0. Sakura Wars 5 is scheduled for a Summer 2005 release in Japan; as of yet, there is no word on a North American release.