Sakura Wars Paris Floral Assault Group Live 2009

sakurataisenlive Album Title:
Sakura Wars Paris Floral Assault Group Live 2009
Record Label:
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
April 28, 2010
Buy at CDJapan


The Sakura Taisen (Sakura Wars) series became a sensation in Japan early on, from the days of the first game on the Sega Saturn, and it continued even in the five years after the last game was released in Japan. The franchise as a whole encompasses anime, manga, stage shows, and even a (now-closed) cafe  in addition to the games themselves. This album is a recording of one of the stage shows, featuring the cast of Sakura Taisen 3. All of the songs are by Kohei Tanaka (albeit arranged by others) and all of the lyrics by series creator Ohji Hiroi.


The games have always had a significant connection to music, so in addition to the songs being collected on CD, both for each game and in massive compilation sets, they have found additional life performed on-stage at these events. But the majority of shows featuring the Sakura Taisen characters have focused on the original group (from games 1, 2, and 4). So this show, which features an entirely different cast (with the exception of Commander Ogami, who as usual stays mostly on the sidelines), stands out from the rest of the pack. Additionally, several songs featured on here were being performed for the first time (in 2009), alongside the series themes and songs from Sakura Taisen 3.

The cast, always in character, act both as MCs of a show which they, as characters, are hosting, and as performers in the show. The music is all pre-recorded, mostly synth and samples. However, the singing is not, judging from the occasional mic feedback and the moments where the ensemble doesn’t quite keep in tune. So it’s a real live show done in the same way as some Broadway shows. There is some mostly perfunctory dialogue, and the performers feed off of the crowd, which laughs and cheers in turn. They clap along with the famous songs, and sound generally like they’re having a great time.

The songs themselves are diverse, from the French trappings of “Paris, Awaken” or “My Paris, My Paris,” to the pseudo-dramatic “King of Darkness” with synth orchestration by Hayato Matsuo. “Arabian Cafe” features some Middle-Eastern elements, while “Prayer” sounds like 80s pop with its synth backing. There are also five new songs, one for each cast member. “My Boy” gets away from the modern styles for a throwback to the style of 70s J-Pop and “Like Magic” gets away from themes of love to the theme of… cooking. It all ends with the group singing “Under the Imperial Flag,” Sakura Taisen 3‘s version of the series main theme, and the audience applauds and cheers wildly.

But so much of this is lost. The recording quality is quite good, aside from the occasional microphone noise. However, the group can’t keep everything together during the tougher portions of the songs, especially when singing harmonies. Furthermore, for the non-Japanese speaker, sections of the disc focusing on dialogue can be easily skipped. But the main problem is that the overwhelming impression one gets is that it would have been a lot better to be there. The crowd can get involved in the energy of the performance and the atmosphere, and not be irritated by the mostly dull arrangements and cliched lyrics of the songs themselves. The experience that the crowd reacts to doesn’t translate into CD form very well.


Tanaka tells us in the liner notes about how he wanted for people to hear the live voices of the Paris team, to capture that experience. But that experience remains elusive, as this CD set merely presents a song collection with interstitials. For the majority of people, the regular song collections themselves will suffice, especially if one does not know Japanese.

Sakura Wars Paris Floral Assault Group Live 2009 Ben Schweitzer

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!


Posted on July 10, 2015 by Ben Schweitzer. Last modified on January 19, 2016.

Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Recommended Sites

  • Join Our Community

    Like on FacebookFollow on TwitterSubscribe on RSS

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By :