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Sakura Wars 3: Is Paris Burning? is the third installment in Sega's Sakura Wars series and the first of two video games developed by Overworks for the Sega Dreamcast. Originally released in 2001, the game has since been ported to Windows computers in 2004 and the PlayStation 2 in 2005. This was also the first of two games to feature in-game 2D sequences from Daume.
Picking up one month after the events of Sakura Wars 2: Thou Shalt Not Die, our hero Ichiro Ogami (voiced by Akio Suyama) arrives in Paris to lead the Paris Combat Revue, a new combat unit based on the Imperial Combat Revue. Headquartered at the cabaret club Les Chattes Noires, the group consists of clumsy nun-in-training Erica Fontaine (Noriko Hidaka), temperamental noblewoman Glycine Bleumer (Saeko Shimazu), Vietnamese circus magician Coquelicot (Etsuko Kozakura), Italian-Romanian criminal Lobelia Carlini (Kikuko Inoue), and French-Japanese widow Hanabi Kitaoji (Yoshino Takamori). With the assistance of their leader Isabel "Grand-Mère" Lilac (Keiko Aizawa), they must stop the Paris Phantoms, as well as the jester Salu (Minami Takayama) from terrorizing Paris.
Two OVA series were also made, both produced by Radix. The first, École de Paris, was released in 2003 and focuses on the combat revue's exploits before and during the early events of Is Paris Burning?. The second, Le Nouveau Paris, was released from 2004 to 2005, and picks up shortly after the events of the game.
Is Paris Burning? contains examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The unfinished prequel novel reveals that a British weapon experiment accidentally destroyed the boat Hanabi and Philippe were on.
- And the Adventure Continues: Towards the end, Ogami receives an order to return to Tokyo soon. Once the Paris Combat Revue finally defeats Salu, Ogami leaves Paris for Tokyo to reunite with his friends from the Flower Division, as established in Sakura Wars: The Movie and Sakura Wars 4: Fall in Love, Maidens.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- Things are looking bleak for the Paris Combat Revue in Chapter 7, when out of nowhere comes Sakura, Sumire and Iris in their kohbus, and starts to wipe the floor with the baddies, despite being underpowered (compared to the Kohbu F models)!
- The Paris revue gets to pull this one off after Soletta and Leni are captured by the enemy; only, Kayama ends up being the one to actually save both of them.
- Bittersweet Ending: At the end of the game, Salu and the Paris Phantoms are no more and Paris is restored to its former glory. However, Ogami and the Paris Combat Revue must go their separate ways. As he leaves for Tokyo to help the Flower Division fight Brent Furlong in Tokyo, Ogami promises to meet his friends again, and they do so six months later.
- Book Ends: The game features trains at the start and end of the game. In the opening, Ogami arrives in Paris via train. By the end, Ogami leaves on a train for Tokyo while reading the note from one of the girls he romanced throughout the game.
- Call-Back: The game's opening sequence depicting Ogami's arrival in Paris by train mirrors the Action Prologue to Sakura Wars in which Sakura arrives in Tokyo by train.
- Casting Gag: Shinsho Nakamaru plays Norimichi Sakomizu, the Japanese ambassador to France. This is not the first time he's played a person living in France before, as he previously voiced LeFou in the Japanese dub of Beauty and the Beast.
- Catastrophic Countdown: In the battle with Calmar, the Paris Combat Revue has to stop him before Notre Dame's bell tolls five times. Delay for too long and you will be destroyed along with Paris.
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Justified in ST3. The French military and police weren't trained to fight off demon invasions and it was their defeat that forced the French government to allow the Paris Combat Revue to take the lead in raiding Salu's hideout.
- Death Seeker: Because Hanabi has lost her beloved Philippe, she practically decides to drown herself so she can be with him.
- Fire-Forged Friends: When they meet in Episode 7, both the Paris Combat Revue and the Imperial Flower Combat Troop spend quite a bit of time butting heads, even getting into a dance competition in an attempt to prove which is better. However, after they work together to stop Ciseaux and his flunkies from destroying the Eiffel Tower, they become good allies and friends (though the fact that the judges of the aforementioned dance competition decided that both groups of girls won probably also factored into it).
- First Girl Wins: Erica in her ending scene. Like Sakura from the previous games, she's the only member of the Paris Combat Revue shown in the game's cover art and discs, as well as the first member to meet Ichiro Ogami.
- Heroic BSoD:
- Hanabi has been stuck in a major one since a shipwreck on her wedding day caused her husband, Philippe de Maleblanche, to drown. Fortunately, Ogami comes into the picture and helps her snap out it in her chapter.
- Erica gets one in the eighth episode after she overhears Leno asking Ogami to tell her to leave the convent, causing her to run off. Fortunately, her friends help her snap out of it.
- The Host: Both Mell and Ci serve as the hosts for the Chattes Noires cabaret shows.
- The Man Behind the Man: As it turns out, Salu is the one responsible for manipulating the Paris Phantoms so he can resurrect the Gauls, who were killed by the Roman Empire years ago, through the use of the Great Oak Tree.
- Meaningful Name:
- Musical Theme Naming: Salu and the Phantoms' mechas are named after various forms of musical compositions.
- Never Trust a Trailer: Unlike the game itself, the teaser has Masque de Corbeau watching the destruction of Paris from atop the Eiffel Tower and it is implied that Ogami has been killed.
- Rearrange the Song: Once again, the opening theme to the first game, "Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan", features a new reorchestration.
- Right Behind Me: Father Leno tells Ogami to tell Erica not to come back to the convent because her constant clumsiness keeps causing them trouble. Unfortunately, Erica has just re-entered the room and runs off completely heartbroken.
- Saw a Woman in Half: Coquelicot performs this trick, which she calls the "frightening human bisecting magic," using Erica. Rather than a handsaw, Coquelicot uses an electric buzzsaw to do so; Erica is unsurprisingly freaked.
- Say My Name: At the end of the teaser, Sakura yells Ogami's name after Paris gets frozen over.
- Sequel Goes Foreign: As opposed to the first two Sakura Wars games, Is Paris Burning? takes place in Paris this time around.
- Sequel Hook: The game ends with Grand-Mère having Ōgami return to Tokyo because of a situation going on there. As it turns out, that situation takes place during the events of Sakura Wars: The Movie, which came out nine months after the game's release.
- The Stinger: The mid-credits stinger features Ogami saying farewell to the Paris Combat Revue before he gets on the train for Tokyo.
- Time Skip: The game begins one month after the events of Thou Shalt Not Die.
- Train-Station Goodbye: In the mid-credits stinger, Ogami bids farewell to the Paris Combat Revue as he leaves on a train.