Approval of God: The franchise's founding father and other developers who worked on previous Sakura Wars entries praised this game even before its release:
Oji Hiroi, the series creator and lyricist for the games, and Satoru Akahori, the scenario writer for the first four games, were very impressed with Sega's work on the game.
Naoki Morita, who designed the world settings for the first four games, commented on Twitter that he was excited about the game.
Awesome, Dear Boy: Tite Kubo jumped at the chance to be a part of the game after discussing with Sega.
B-Team Sequel: This is the first game in the main series not to involve Red Entertainment; instead, it was developed by Sega in their first solo outing. Furthermore it's the first entry not to be written by Satoru Akahori with Jiro Ishii taking up that role and the character design has passed from Kosuke Fujishima to Tite Kubo.
Toshihiro Nagoshi, the game's executive producer as well as the director for the first announcement trailer, revealed on the April 2019 Sega Nama stream that because of his initial unfamiliarity with the Sakura Wars series, he was the one who accidentally revealed that Sumire Kanzaki would be featured in the game. Sure enough, it was confirmed in Sega's first Sakura Wars livestream in June 2019.
When Koch Media released the French trailer for the game, it was actually an earlier prototype which included a Christmas storyline as well as Kamiyama, Sakura and Claris discussing about the Flower Division's potential dissolution. They removed it not long after it was posted.
The Danza: Sakura Amamiya is voiced by Ayane Sakura. Granted, they're homophonous first and last names, but still.
Deleted Scene: An animated version of the "Miracle Bells" scene was originally included in Chapter 6. However, parts of that scene can be viewed in the end credits.
Demand Overload: The music video of the opening theme's instrumental version caused the YouTube link to crash for a few minutes because too many people were accessing the link.
Doing It for the Art: On composer Kohei Tanaka's official blog, he confirmed that the in-game music would be completely performed by a live orchestra as opposed to the synth elements in the first five games. He also confirmed that he wrote up to 100 songs. During a livestream he even showed the sheet music he wrote the score on!
A few people guessed that the game would be released on the PlayStation 4 the moment Sega's job listings for the game were posted in June 2018.
Many fans predicted that Sumire Kanzaki was going to return as the Flower Division's commander. They were right.
When Yohei Azakami commented that Kamiyama was one of his biggest voice-over roles, many predicted that he would be a fully-voiced character, which was later confirmed in a Famitsu article containing the extended interview with the developers at Sega Fes 2019.
Given the nature of the international Combat Revues in the story, many were speculating that the Berlin Combat Revue was to appear the game. Sega officially confirmed their appearance at the 2019 Tokyo Game Show.
Some fans correctly guessed that Noizi Ito would design some characters in the game, namely Itsuki Saijo and Hiromi Hongo.
When the game was rated 18+ by the Game Rating and Administration Committee in South Korea on September 26, 2019, some fans suspected that the Koi-Koi card game featured in previous Sakura Wars titles would make an appearance in the game itself. Sure enough, they were proven right.
A few players also guessed that Sakura Wars would have a Christmas storyline when Koch Media released the first French trailer.
After the Australian Classification Board posted the game's rating on their website in January 2020, many accurately predicted that the official international title was going to be Sakura Wars.
Quite a few people thought that Sonic Team would be developing the game. However, Sam Mullen, Sega of America's director of production since April 2019, confirmed in an August 2019 tweet that while Sonic Team is housed within the Sega CS Research and Development No. 2 division, it was developed by members from the original CS2/Overworks team who also worked on Valkyria Chronicles and the first five Sakura Wars games. Sonic Team's only involvement was through the game's use of the Hedgehog Engine.
Before the game's release, a lot of fans guessed that Yaksha's true form would be Sakura Shinguji. This turns out not to be the case, as the real Sakura Shinguji was alive and well in this game, along with the rest of the original Combat Revues.
The third chapter of the manga was published on September 26, 2019, one day before the entire Sakura Wars franchise's 23rd anniversary.
The game was simultaneously released in Asia the year of the 65th birthdays of franchise creator Oji Hiroi and composer Kohei Tanaka, the 30th birthdays of Yui Ishikawa and Maaya Uchida, the 40th birthday of Rie Kugimiya, the 25th birthday of Ayane Sakura, and the 50th birthday of Sakura Shinguji's voice actress Chisa Yokoyama.
The international release of the game took place in 2020, the year that marks Sega's 60th anniversary, the 20th anniversary of the first Sakura Wars TV series, the 15th and 10th anniversaries of the respective Japanese and international releases of Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, the 40th birthday of Tomokazu Sugita, as well as the 45th birthday of original scenario writer Satoru Akahori.
In addition to the old guard of composer Kohei Tanaka, scenario part director Takeharu Terada, co-lyricist Oji Hiroi and mechanical designer Mika Akitaka, main character designer Tite Kubo brought along Masashi Kudo who translated his style to the Bleach anime in order to work on the 3D models for the characters.
This was Shoko Fujibayashi's first assignment as a lyricist for the Sakura Wars series, but she performed similar duties on One Piece, including "We Are!", as well as the Super Sentai and Kamen Rider franchises.
Takayuki Negishi, Yasuhisa Murase and Akifumi Tada served as Tanaka's arrangers for the Sakura Wars stage plays and the video games. Negishi and Tada also worked on the arrangements for One Piece.
Yukiko Horiguchi, Bun-Bun and Fumikane Shimada respectively designed the characters for the Shanghai, London and Berlin Combat Revues.
Ken Sugimori, who designed the Grand Imperial Peanut, was also responsible for some of the character designs in the Pokémon series.
Noizi Ito, who designed Hiromi and Itsuki, was responsible for the original illustrations in the Haruhi Suzumiya light novels.
Hakushu Murasame's character designer, Shigenori Soejima, designed the characters for the Shin Megami Tensei franchise as well as the Persona sub-series. Fittingly enough, the SMT series was produced by Sega's subsidiary, Atlus.
The game also features several Sonic Team regulars who have worked on the Sonic the Hedgehog series (including producer Tetsu Katano, chief producer Eigo Kasahara, scenario writer Eitaro Toyoda, battle system director Shun Nakamura, development supporter Yuji Uekawa and battle designer Takayuki Okada).
Adventure part director Kazuhiro Matsuta was a programmer for the first two Sakura Wars games and the first two Valkyria Chronicles games. He would later go on to serve as technical director for Valkyria Chronicles 4.
Quite a few staff members from Sanzigen Animation Studio previously worked on Fire Emblem: Three Houses, including key animation directors Takuya Chanohara and Yuka Hachimori, 3D animator Ryosuke Ishida, rigging director Tatsuji Nishijima, lead compositor Daisuke Okumura, color designer Junko Kitagawa, key animator and in-between checker Yusuke Yoda and animation executive producer Hiroaki Matsuura.
Hiroaki Matsuura also worked on In Hot Blood as a CGI manager for Gonzo Digimation.
Both Maaya Uchida (Hatsuho) and Hibiku Yamamura (Azami) are huge fans of the Sakura Wars series to the point where they even got to sing the series' first opening theme. Fittingly enough, they sang an updated version of said theme for the game.
Noizi Ito, the character designer for Hiromi and Itsuki, frequently played the original Sakura Wars games during her early life.
Zachary Reese, Sega of America's public relations specialist, is a longtime fan of the series.
Sakura Amamiya being a huge fan of Sakura Shinguji is a commentary on how the latter character was received in real life.
Komachi Oba originates from Osaka and her actress, Ryoko Shiraishi, was born in Nara. Both are located in the Kansai region of Japan.
Michie Tomizawa retired from voice acting in the early 2000s following her marriage: coinciding with this, her character, Sumire Kanzaki, retired from active duty in the Imperial Combat Revue, as depicted in her titular OVA. Tomizawa would come out of retirement to reprise her role as Sumire for the game, with her character now the commander of the Revue, as well as the Grand Imperial Theater's general manager.
From Bleach: Tomokazu Sugita (Reiji Shiba) is both Kensei Muguruma and Noba, Rie Kugimiya (Margarethe) is Karin Kurosaki, Lily and Nemu Kurotsuchi, Masaharu Sato (Yattansai Mochizuki) is Gyokaku Kumoi, Daisuke Kishio (Oboro) is both Luppi and Hinagiku, Ryotaro Okiayu (President G) is both Byakuya Kuchiki and Rusaburo "Enryu" Enkogawa, and Show Hayami (Tekkan Amamiya and the narrator) is Sosuke Aizen.
The game was originally planned to be released sometime before March 2019 and Sega wanted to release the announcement trailer towards the end of 2018. However, the release was delayed to December 12, 2019 because Toshihiro Nagoshi wanted to revise the trailer in time for Sega Fes 2019.
A stage play based on the game was originally scheduled to run from March 5 to March 9, 2020. Unfortunately, the then-current COVID-19 Pandemic delayed the performances to November 19 to 23, 2020.
Michie Tomizawa returns to voice Sumire Kanzaki, 11 years after her last video game appearance in Dramatic Dungeon: Sakura Wars Because You Were There.
In addition to voicing Yaksha, Chisa Yokoyama once again reprises her role as Sakura Shinguji.
Yohei Azakami reprised his voice-over role as Seijuro Kamiyama for the stage adaptation.
Same Content, Different Rating: The game has a C rating (15+) in Japan, an 18+ rating in South Korea, an M rating in Australia, a PEGI 16 rating in Europe, a USK 12 rating in Germany, and a T rating in North America.
Saved from Development Hell: A Sakura Wars game was on and off in development since composer Kohei Tanaka proposed the idea in 2008. Takaharu Terada, the scenario director for the adventure part, offered yearly proposals for a new game but Sega repeatedly declined them and the project went into Development Hell. It wasn't until 2016 that development of the game finally began.
Sequel Gap: There was a 14-year gap between the original release of So Long, My Love, the last official main series Sakura Wars title, and this game. Even if you count the Nintendo DS game, that's still nearly 11 years. Also, the main and supporting cast members, with the exception of Nana Mizuki and Rie Kugimiya, were in their early-to-late teens when the last game was released.
The first main Sakura Wars game to be developed by Sega's reorganized CS2 R&D team, after the first four games were developed by Sega's original CS2 R&D/Overworks team and So Long, My Love was developed by the GE2 R&D team.
Jiro Ishii's first draft revealed that Yaksha was conceptualized as a possessed Sakura Shinguji. When Chisa Yokoyama caught wind of this, however, she shot that idea down and successfully had Ishii rewrite the draft to make Yaksha an Evil Doppelgänger of Sakura.
Concept art for Claris depicts her frequently carrying a purse by the handles.
Sakura would have held the Amamiya Kunisada in a piece of cloth as depicted in concept art.
Sega briefly considered the addition of a destroyable generator that could summon demons, but it was scrapped during development.
Chisa Yokoyama and Michie Tomizawa almost made the decision not to be part of the game, due to how long it was since the games have passed and given that most of the characters from the first four games were not included. Chisa did mention that she met with the game production team and made suggestions (partly as a condition for her to consider the role of Yasha) such as making Yasha talk similarly to Sakura in order to preserve the mysery that Yasha could be Sakura. Michie mentioned that she was worried about not being able to join with the original game's seiyu cast when she got the offer that Sumire was coming back.
Working Title: Project Sakura Wars was the codename for the official international release of the game.
You Sound Familiar: Masaharu Sato voiced Yoichi in The Radiant Gorgeous Blooming Cherry Blossoms and Yattansai Mochizuki in the 2019 game.
Alternative Title(s):Shin Sakura Wars, Shin Sakura Taisen, New Sakura Wars