Akai Katana (2010) is a Bullet HellShoot 'em Up by Cave. It is Cave's third Horizontal Scrolling Shooter and revisits the concept of the pilot and gunner being different characters, such as in Progear and Ketsui. Programming was done by S. Yagawa of 8ing/Raizing fame. Music was composed by the late Ryu Umemoto. There is an Xbox 360 port, titled Akai Katana Shin. Those with a Japanese X-box 360 can download a free trial of the first two stages. It has been localized for Europe and the US by Rising Star Games as simply Akai Katana (although having the same content as Akai Katana Shin).Set in a parallel world resembling Japan's Taisho period, the people have discovered the powerful Blood Swords, the titular Akai Katana. Requiring human sacrifices to unleash their immense destructive power, these swords have been used by the empire to crush neighbouring countries. However, all the bloodshed and power gained through sacrificing close family members has made some of the swordsmen reconsider. With new fighter planes and the powered up swords at their disposal, this small band of rebels now fight back against the tyrannical empire.
Type 1 (Marigold, strong straight-forward shot)
Phantom: Sumire Asaka
Guide: Tsubaki Shinjo
Type 2 (Orchid, fast homing shot)
Phantom: Kikyou Saionji
Guide: Botan Saionji
Type 3 (Sakura, weak spread shot)
Phantom: Suzuran Sanada
Guide: Shion Kobayakawa
Akai Katana contains examples of:
Absolute Cleavage — Nazuna, the boss of stage 5 (Akai Katana Shin only), wears an outfit with this.
All There in the Manual — The majority of the storyline or even how to play the game (properly) isn't shown in game. Rather, you have to look at the 29-page instruction manual, the tutorial videos, the official websites, and/or the artbook for information. In fact, most of the information regarding the characters on this page is taken from websites or manuals.
Bigger Is Better — In an interview with director Hiroyuki Kimura, he states that “Having a giant ninja do battle against a giant battleship that has been summoned by another giant ninja looks normal and natural in this game though!"
BFG — The spirit ninjas carry big guns, even relative to the size of their bodies.
BFS — Part of some of the new game modes in Shin. Killing things while being in Ninja mode summons giant blades around your character that are unleashed when the player switches back to the plane (but not when the green bar runs out).
Blind Weaponmaster — Botan Saionji is this for not just katana, but also piloting a fighter plane.
Kikyou is mortally wounded, telling Botan to live on in his place, and kills himself with the Blood Katana. He gives her the ability to see, and she says that she can feel him next to her.
Tsubaki kills herself with the Blood Katana in order to bring Sumire back to life, but then Sumire decides to kill herself because she doesn't want to live without Tsubaki.
Suzuran crushes Shion to death so that she can have the Blood Katana all to herself, but she ends up losing her youth to it just like Shion had.
In the True Ending, all six of them destroy the Blood Katana together, and they all die for a better world.
Drunk on the Dark Side — For starters Emperor Basho killed his own wife just to get his own Blood Katana. Shakunage also counts; his bloodlust causes him to try and kill his sister, Suzuran, for even more power. Suzuran kills Shion in their route in order to use the blood katana.
Dual Wielding — The final boss does it - one Blood Katana made from his wife, and one made from himself.
Dying as Yourself — Shakunage apologizes to Suzuran and Shion before dying, suggesting that he recovered his memories of them, which he lost after his soul was consumed by a blood katana.
Flower Motifs — The three planes are named after flowers. Marigold, Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) and Orchid. The members of the Ten Suns, as well as the Gekka Battalion (as they were former Ten Suns members), have flower names as well.
Might Makes Right — Hiiragi believes in this. "Power IS justice! I will use any means in order to acquire it!" Leads to a My God, What Have I Done? moment. Also doesn't stop him from being defeated both times he's the boss.
You Rebel Scum! — Most of the Ten Suns call the Gekka Battalion members this.
Ran: I wonder what your faith is at all ...
Younger Than They Look — Shion Kobayakawa, who is only 17 years old but looks like she is in her 70's as a result of her bond with the blood katana. This also happens to Suzuran when she ends up with the same curse that Shion had.
Zettai Ryouiki — Sumire, Botan, Suzuran, Shumeigiku, and Nazuna all wear this.