Sakura Wars Imperial Floral Assault Group Live 2010

sakurataisenlive Album Title:
Sakura Wars Imperial Floral Assault Group Live 2010
Record Label:
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
June 23, 2010
Buy at CDJapan


The Sakura Taisen phenomenon, created by Ohji Hiroi, originated as a Sega Saturn game which combined mecha with anime-style storytelling and date sim elements. Encompassing five primary games, a slew of sub-games, live shows, and countless songs (which have been themselves collected into two massive sets), it has been one of Sega’s most successful franchises in Japan. This album is a live recording from 2010 of a show bringing together the original cast, the “Imperial” team. All of the songs have music by series composer Kohei Tanaka (arrangement by others) and lyrics by series creator Hiroi.


The show opens and closes with the series main theme, “Gekitei,” an upbeat song in the vein of heroic anime themes. The arrangement, from the version in the original game, features koto in addition to orchestra, providing a bit of Japanese flavor. The audience cheers and claps along. The music is pre-recorded, but the singing is live, and although the group sometimes has trouble with harmonizing, they generally do a good job.

As this is the original Hanagumi, the selection of songs focuses on the older games and the anime spin-offs. There are cameos from the Paris team and the commander from Sakura Taisen V, and everyone comes together to sing the songs from Sakura Taisen 4 at the end (“You, Flower” is still far, far too long).

There are segments of dialogue, but they are not all that numerous, so the majority of the time is spent on the songs. They are varied enough, but the arrangements are generally dull, usually adhering to the same general formulae with only a few elements added for specific coloration. The lyrics range from cliched to insipid, and the tunes from catchy to cloying.

The recording quality is generally good, but there are moments when the balance between the vocal and the backing track is poor. The songs from Sakura Taisen 4 sound a good deal better here in terms of recording, but poorer in terms of ensemble performance. In the end, the energy of being at a live performance such as this does not translate well into a CD. In only hearing the sound, one not only misses out on the visual experience, but also the experience of being in a room with fans; the shared enthusiasm accounts for as much of the enjoyment of the songs in such a setting as the songs themselves.


Tanaka is a talented composer, but he has composed dozens upon dozens of these songs. They have all appeared in many other places, and there is little reason to prefer this presentation in particular. The energy of a live performance is not captured well, and for a non-Japanese speaker, the bits of dialogue (which are not too prominent) add little to the experience. Seek for these songs on the song albums instead.

Sakura Wars Imperial Floral Assault Group Live 2010 Ben Schweitzer

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Posted on July 11, 2015 by Ben Schweitzer. Last modified on January 19, 2016.

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