Akemi's Anime World

The Real Villain in Sakura Wars Humor

What happened to the plot of the Sakura Wars OVAs? Logic-mugging Ninja Stagehands, that's what.

I'd like to take a moment to rant about the four-episode Sakura Wars OAV series. AD Vision made sure that we know it's based on a video game. A video game that most of us lacking either the ability to speak Japanese and/or a really serious desire to play a combination RPG/dating simulator full of many singing, dancing, demon-fighting, turn-of-the-century women have never played. And true, playing this game (or watching the later anime incarnations) might render the rest of this little rant moot, but you enlightened folks can just keep quiet, OK?

Hoo-kay, so let's get started. What we're looking at today is the plot of the Sakura Wars anime, and the question it provokes: "What!?" We've got a plot that, through the course of the four OAVs, goes from A to B to G to that funny Greek letter that nobody's quite sure how to pronounce and looks like someone printed an O and and I on top of each other. "Why?", the bewildered viewer asks. It's all the fault of the logic-mugging ninja stagehands.

No, really; if you look closely, it's obvious. Notice the new characters in the fourth episode. No, not the hero and his flashy new makeover. I'm talking about those stagehands with the bags on their heads who keep showing up and prancing around enigmatically do-gooding. They do all that cool ninja leaping and disappearing, but are just around to build sets and benevolently encourage the plot... or so the forces of evil would have us believe.

These ninja stagehands have a more sinister goal in mind. Notice that as soon as they show up, all sense of story continuity and logic get riddled with holes and tossed out the window like so much rancid Swiss cheese. In this light, the truth becomes clear. Obviously, these sinister stagehands were sent by the forces of evil to so confuse the plot of the series that the whole thing would have to be ended immediately lest future installments go down in ignominious commercial failure as fans flee to series that make more sense, hence preventing the inevitable defeat of the villain at the hands of the forces of good. What better way to achieve victory than preventing your own denouement from ever coming to pass?

So, the villain clearly decided to forego the industry-standard demons and robot samurai in favor of his troupe of logic-mugging ninja stagehands. Lulled into a false sense of security by their petty good works of setbuilding and encouragement of the characters, we've been blinded to their true goal. After all, who would suspect a stagehand dressed as an innocent puppeteer of being an evil ninja intent on cornering the plot in some dark attic, beating it, taking every last scrap of continuity and logic it had in its pockets, and leaving its bruised carcass to crawl off and finish the story. Seldom has a more devious stratagem been employed. But oh, how effective it was.

And there you have it. Thanks to his machinations, the villain (nobody ever did mention his name) has escaped defeat entirely, all the while leading us to believe that those ninja puppeteers were just a random plot device. Be ever wary, viewers, lest the forces of evil again escape defeat through such underhanded tactics!