Sakura Taisen 4
In response to the support and requests from fans that followed the release of Sakura Taisen 3 ~ Pari wa Moeteiruka ~ back on March 22nd this year, with sales well over 400,000 copies at last count in July, Sega Enterprises announced that a new project to produce the final chapter of the Sakura Wars saga is currently underway. Little is known at this point about the game since it's still in it's designing / planning stage. Entitled Sakura Taisen 4 ~ Koiseyo Otome ~ (ST4), the fourth installment (last chapter of the series) is currently scheduled for release in Spring of 2002 on the Sega Dreamcast system.
On June 25, a media conference was held at the Imperial Hotel's Sakura Conference Hall in Japan, with refreshing news for otakus world-wide - the official release of the Sakura Taisen (Motion Picture) will be in Japanese theatres come this December. All original voice actors/actresses and staff members from the game and TV series are expected to participate in the making of the movie version.
According to Hiroi Ohji (Excecutive Producer), fans of the series will be able to take a first look at the progress of ST4 before the showing of the ST movie, and there will also be chances to see a two hour special on the progress of the game in Spring of 2002 before the release. During the conference, several other issues and announcements were also addressed, including the upcoming live ST musical show performed by the voice actresses from the series and a self introduction / interview with the music director from ST4.
The storyline of the ST movie will be a counterpart story about the members of the Teigoku Kagekidan in the Imperial Capital during the period when Oogami Ichiro was away in Paris (ST3). To keep the team in check, a new captain was assigned to the Hanagumi after Oogami's departure. As the new captain Racchat Altau (name translated from Japanese pronounciation, offical English version to be announced) tries to get the group back on track after Oogami's departure, a new mysterious enemy group begins to make their moves in the shadows. Will the members of Hanagumi be able to defend the Imperial Captial without Oogami around? Watch the movie and find out! =)
For more information on the movie and ST4, visit Sakura Taisen's official Japanese website at: http://sakura-taisen.com/sakura_movie/ (There is one picture taken from the movie posten on the story briefing page under the website listed above) More info from Toei's movie page at: http://www.toei.co.jp/kadokawa-anime/
Here are also some interesting statistics released by the ST offical site (all numbers came from Japan alone):
Game sales - ST1 ~ ST3 = 2,500,000 Copies sold
Novel - 1,400,000 Copies sold
OVA - 400,000 Copies sold
Music CDs (all combined) - 1,000,000 Copies sold
Official Sakura Taisen Fan Club - 10,000 Members