Sakura Amidst Chaos

sakura amidst chaos.png

Company: Voltage

Cost: Pay per route

Synopsis: One day in the war-torn countryside, the MC is separated from her mother while fleeing from an attack. She is rescued and reunited with her mother thanks to a red-eyed warrior. Later the MC and her mother live with the MC’s aunt side her father and brother in the attack. After her cousin the MC is saved by another warrior and throughout the day she sees and even meets many of the famous warriors, including: Yukimura Sanada, Masamune Date, Uesugi Kenshi, and Ieyasu Tokugawa. This coalescence in the MC being imprisoned for halting the procession of the warlord Nobunaga Oda. When she is secretly allowed to escape and is almost executed, she is saved by the same warrior who first saved her long ago, Nobunaga Oda. The MC returns home and the next morning it seems like the previous day was just a dream. Then when the day’s messages come in she has received letters from the various warriors she had just met. But what could they want with a simple village girl?

MC: The MC of Sakura Amidst Chaos is a rice farmer. Since her father and brother died in battle, she and her mother have had to move in with her aunt and her aunt’s son, both of whom work the MC and her mother like slaves. The MC has withstood this terrible treatment mostly through her mother’s kindness and encouragement, and all the physical labor has made her very hearty and hard working. The MC’s love for her mother is probably her most defining trait in the early part of the all the routes. The MC is very aware of her social position. Knowing the tragedy of war she is against war and sees very little honor in it. The MC is a person who can be very brave, but more so for other people other people than herself, and she hates to witness injustice. The qualities that have attracted her suitors are both her bravery and also the beauty of her eyes

Guys: 

  • Hanzo Hattori: Ieyasu’s ninja. A talented ninja, Hanzo is extremely loyal to Ieyasu and is very guarded against others
  • Ieyasu Tokugawa: The young leader of the Tokugawa Clan. He is kind and skilled, yet very humble
  • Kanetsugu Naoe: Kenshin’s retainer. He skillfully and calmly supports Kenshin’s demands
  • Kiyomasa Kato: A brash and fierce warrior who serves Hideyoshi. He’s quiet, (ungracious,) stubborn, but very caring of those close to him
  • Kenshin Uesugi: The leader of the Uesugi Clan who is widely know for his kindness, good looks, and god-like skills on the battlefield
  • Kojuro Katakura: Masamune’s right-hand man and a man of many talents. He thinks for himself and does things his own way, but has the full trust of his lord
  • Masamune Date: The head of the Date Clan. A refined man who tends to stay quiet, unless he has a strong opinion. He is a skilled strategist and horseman
  • Mitsuhide Akechi: One of Nobunaga’s retainers. A serious and intelligent man. He is strict about his ideals and is generally seen as stuffy and not fun
  • Mitsunari Ishida: One of Hideyoshi’s most trusted vassals. He is quiet and intelligent, but because he is an advocate of peace and because of his careful managing of the Toyotomi Clan finances, he is very unpopular in the clan
  • Nobunaga Oda: The leader of the Oda Clan. An arrogant and brash man, he is widely regarded as a fool, but the desire to unite the country burn hot within him
  • Saizo Kirigakure: One of Yukimura’s companions and a skilled ninja. He is serious, rational, and very loyal to Yukimura
  • Shigen Takeda: The leader of the Shingen Clan. He is loud, manipulative, and has a bad reputation, but is loved by his people
  • Yukimura Sanada: The second son of Sanada Clan’s leader. He’s quiet and a little uncivilized but he never fails to give help where help is needed.

Impressions: I love the Sengoku Jidai (to the extent that several years ago I bought and read a textbook about it on my own initiative) and this game scratches that itch for me. This game has pretty much everything you would want from a game set in the Warring States Era: famous warriors, political maneuvering, battles, and drama. Voltage does a good job of keeping all the various elements balanced and there aren’t many times when one thing or another drags the story along. Voltage also plays fast and loose with many of the historical details, which is not only to be expected but is also very appropriate. Sometimes the history alterations are weird (like Nobunaga giving up his conquest in order to pursue his interest in foreign wine), and none of the major figures die in this game (which is more understandable in this case)

The main five guys (Nobunaga, Ieyasu, Masamune, Yukimura, and Kenshin) for this game have extremely long main routes, to the point that their story lines can be broken into story arcs. This is nice in that it really makes you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth for these routes, but sometimes the routes feel like they take forever, especially if you are play all the character’s routes at once. Appropriately a lot of time passes in the route as well, and occasionally there are even time skips; so it feels like the MC and the chosen love interest have time to know each other and fall in love. While the other love interests have shorter routes, they still have a sense of time passing for the most part, and I think this is one of the strongest aspects of the stories in this game. Another great aspect of this game, character wise, is the side character Umekazu, who is a ninja/messenger and is also the MC’s friend. Not only is Umekazu a great friend to the MC, but he is also funny and useful in terms of the plot. It always brightened my experience when he popped up.

This is pretty much what one might expect when you consider that this game is the intersection of Voltage and the Sengoku Jidai. Sakura Amidst Chaos plays to certain interests and it will definitely be a meh game if you don’t have those interests since there is nothing extremely innovated about this game (and to be fair this is an older Voltage game) and even the art is just okay for a Voltage game (which is pretty good when you consider some other mobile games). Last thing to consider: no matter how lukewarm I sound about this game, I still play eleven out of thirteen route, and that is pretty darn near completion for a game that is pay-per-route

Favorite Guy: Shingen and Masamune

Favorite Route: Yukimura

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Hanzo Hattori (Sakura Amidst Chaos)

hanzo

Plot Summary: The MC works for Ieyasu, and as her first winter in the Shogun’s service approaches, she begins to take more notice of the one of Ieyasu’s loyal vassals, a tall man who wears blue named Hanzo. Then one day after visiting a temple, Ieyasu asks the MC to take Hanzo as her guard and leave Edo on an important, long-term mission. The MC worries that she won’t be able to get along with Hanzo since he is so unapproachable, but as she experiences his quiet kindness, she begins to get attached to the skilled ninja

What I think of him: Hanzo is calm, capable, and businesslike. He carries out his duties to the letter as swiftly as possible and always seriously. He is very loyal to Ieyasu and would do anything Ieyasu ordered, although sometimes Ieyasu’s protection outranks his desires in Hanzo’s mind. Hanzo is a very skilled ninja, some even consider him too skilled. He tends to keep his emotions to himself, even going so far to believe that he doesn’t deserve to have feelings since he is a ninja. Hanzo does have a quiet kindness, but frequently a person needs to be blunt about their needs to have him address them. He is very aware of his position as a ninja and that he might very well be killed at any given moment and so he lives without forming many attachments

Nickname: None

Charm point: A rare smile

Quote: “I want you to trust me with your life. In return, I’ll trust you with my heart… if you die, my heart dies with you.”

Cuddle, kiss, or push down: Just let him take care of you

Would have eloped with: No one, because Goemon isn’t an option

Favorite moments:

  • All the ninja gathering
  • Hanzo being affected by one of the MC’s near-death experience and the MC telling him to stay alive and remain by her side
  • Hanzo letting the MC sleep on his lap
  • Hanzo warming the MC after escaping from the water trap
  • The first kiss

Worst moments:

  • It’s short. I feel like I know Hanzo far less than any of the other guys
  • Since it seems like the MC has been working for Ieyasu for a while, I don’t know why she doesn’t know who Hanzo is, and since she doesn’t know who he is, why is Ieyasu sending them off on a long term mission together?

Worth the price of admission?: Hanzo was someone who I was excited to play since I saw him in one of the other routes (although I was worried when he threatened to whip the MC in one of Saizo’s routes). I enjoyed Hanzo’s route, since I thought the first part about Iga was interesting and the second part with the impostor was full of action (and provided the only instance of a certain character finding even a little redemption). I was perhaps a little disappointed since I don’t think the route was long enough to get to know Hanzo well, especially considering how thick his walls are. Somethings that I’m glad was different from most of the other routes in this game is that Hanzo doesn’t resolve to quit his work to become a farmer. I don’t think I can imagine Hanzo not being a ninja and I’m sort of glad that the MC just has to accept it, even though I don’t think Ieyasu will be giving Hanzo much more in the way of dangerous work. Overall, a good read for ninja lovers but a pretty meh route all-in-all

After the main route (POSSIBLE SPOILERS): None

Notable substories: None

Recommended routes:

Ieyasu Tokugawa

ieyasu

Plot Summary: Ieyasu’s letter requests that the MC come to work for at Nobunaga’s castle. Doing so gives her the chance to get to know the kind Ieyasu, even though he lives in his own castle. Nobunaga notes that Ieyasu has because a little more reliable since the MC’s arrival and he sends her off to work for him, charging her with the duty of turning Ieyasu into a “strong, reliable man”

What I think of him: Ieyasu is kind, earnest, and humble. He grew up as a hostage which caused him to become very sensitive to others’ feelings. Because he wants everyone else to be happy, he finds it hard to make choices and state his own opinions. Ieyasu is devoted to Nobunaga since the latter saved him, and Ieyasu studied hard in order to be of use to Nobunaga. Although many people, including Nobunaga and Hideyoshi, say that Ieyasu is a talented commander, but Ieyasu sees himself as useless on the battlefield. Still his kindness has saved many a person and gained him many loyal followers

Nickname: Takechiyo, Yasu

Charm point: His kind and gentle smile

Quote: “If we both come back alive, will you marry me?”

Cuddle, kiss, or push down: Tackle him

Would have eloped with:

  • Masamune Date, because even though he was present briefly, he made a bug impact

Favorite moments:

  • Hideyoshi and Nobunaga teasing the MC about Ieyasu, and Hideyoshi teasing Nobunaga
  • The relationship between Ieyasu, Nobunaga, and Hideyoshi is great and touching at times
  • The MC’s “what is a strong man” pep talk
  • Hiding in Ieyasu’s futon
  • Love letters
  • Ieyasu showing his stuff at Sekigahara
  • The “And Then” chapter is super cute

Worst moments:

  • How easily the servants in the castle change moods to suit Ieyasu’s mood
  • Ieyasu just letting things go and wasting away after Honnoji
  • At times the relationship between the MC and Ieyasu felt more like a mother and child than like lovers

Worth the price of admission?: While Nobunaga might be the poster boy for Sakura Amidst Chaos, Ieyasu floats through almost all the routes being really kind and awesome. With the exception of Shingen’s route, the Ieyasu in this route seems to be the youngest and doesn’t have the confidence of the the Ieyasus of the other routes. Like with Mitsunari’s route, the guy is the character who does the most growing throughout the route, which is fine and well, except for the MC feeling more like his mother than his love interest at times. If you can overlook those parts and like playing the younger man routes (I don’t think he actually is younger, but he definitely feels it), this is a great route for you

After the main route (POSSIBLE SPOILERS):

  • Love Blooms: Ieyasu has assumed control over the government and has moved with the MC to Edo Castle. Things seem to be going well when, after a stormy night, Ieyasu receives word that a mysterious foreign ship has washed ashore, crew missing. Ieyasu, the MC, and Hanzo set out to investigate, but what they discover may very well mean the end of their peaceful days. This is really Ieyasu’s story, the MC pretty much just follows him around and gives him energy; and he sure does shine. Ieyasu’s good points – those being his people skills – really come out to great effect this time around. This is a pretty good route, although it does feel like there is less romance (perhaps because this is the only route where the MC is publicly acknowledged and refereed to as her man’s wife before the end of the final route)
  • In Full Blossom: Peace has returned to Japan, but one night an assassin sneaks into Ieyasu and the MC’s room. The near disaster causes Hanzo to suggest a drastic measure in order to insure Ieyasu’s safety as he takes his next big step towards realizing his dream for Japan. This route is… odd. In the first couple of chapters, the MC spends most of her time with a man who is not Ieyasu. There are some really good parts, but this is definitely an odd one

Notable substories:

  • Pillow Book: As Ieyasu and the MC are down after Sekigahara, she helps him clean out his room and discovers four letters from important points in their association. This substory covers Ieyasu’s point-of-view for almost the entirety of the main route. The most interesting parts to read were Ieyasu’s thoughts during his engagement and also what happened to him right after Sekigahara, and the cutest parts are the wedding ceremonies of course. Another aspect I enjoyed was seeing Hanzo, since the MC doesn’t mention him in the main route, but apparently he was there the whole time. So, automatic props for the point-of-view and double props for filling in holes left in the main route

Recommended routes:

Kiyomasa Kato

kiyomasa

Plot Summary: The MC is working as a maid and fretfully awaits the return of her childhood friend, Hideyoshi, after the Honnoji Incident. Among the warriors who return with Hideyoshi is the strong warrior, Kiyomasa. Apparently Kiyomasa spent a year among Hideyoshi, the MC, and their friends as children, but the MC doesn’t remember him. As he handling things during Nobunaga’s absence, Hideyoshi asks the MC to help Kiyomasa out, but Kiyomasa seems unwilling to allow the MC help him

What I think of him: Kiyomasa is a warrior through and through. He is the strongest spear man and always has the back of his childhood friend, Hideyoshi. He can be gruff, but he’s just doing the best to treasure those who are closest to him. He’s not a quick thinker but he is firm in his convictions. Kiyomasa is a man for whom actions speak loudest

Nickname: None

Charm point: He’s always there when you nee him

Quote: “I’ve always… wanted to touch you, I’ve always wanted to hug you with these arms… Would you accept the feelings I’ve had since I was young?”

Cuddle, kiss, or push down: Recall the past with a piece of glass

Would have eloped with: No one

Favorite moments:

  • The childhood memories
  • How Kiyomasa always has Hideyoshi’s back in a battle
  • Kiyomasa being sweet and watching out for the MC
  • Kiyomasa finally admitting that he loves the MC

Worst moments:

  • Using the MC as a prize
  • I really wanted the MC to just leave, or Voltage could have drawn out her agony over her decisions more
  • How did the MC forget Kiyomasa in the first place since her memories of him seemed so precious to her

Worth the price of admission?: Kiyomasa’s route was what I was expecting considering Hideyoshi’s feelings for the MC in a couple of the other routes and how Kiyomasa is also their childhood friend. On one hand I enjoyed the suffering, but on the other hand – it wasn’t enough. I either wanted to see more of the MC agonizing things as she gave into pressure, or I wanted her to decide that everything was her fault and run away. Overal, this route wasn’t bad but would have benefited from an extra couple of chapters

After the main route (POSSIBLE SPOILERS): None

Notable substories: None

Recommended routes:

Mitsunari Ishida

mitsunari

Plot Summary: When Nobunaga announces that he is retiring and leaving things to Hideyoshi, Hideyoshi brings the MC to the castle in order to cooks a farewell feast. The MC quickly becomes attached to the quiet but kind Mitsunari, who is largely ostracized within the Toyotomi Clan even though he is one of Hideyoshi’s most trusted vassals. After the feast, the MC continues to stay on in order to help Mitsunari. However, despite the pair’s best efforts, it may prove impossible to keep the Toyotomi Clan from war

What I think of him: Mitsunari is kind, gentle, and a little meek. He tends to be keep to himself and has an air of loneliness and fragility about him. He manages the fiances of the Toyotomi Clan and tries to keep expenditure down for the sake of the people who are taxes, but the warriors of the clan do not appreciate his efforts. He is the son of a common fisherman, but after rising in rank, he devotes most of his time to studying and learning; Hideyoshi calls him the smartest man of the (then) Oda Army, aside from Mitsuhide. Mitsunari is talented with his hands and is able to fix things quickly, but he is not a very skilled warrior and he is bad at holding his liqour. He always seeks to talk things out in order to avoid war, but is often disregarded

Nickname: None

Charm point: His appreciation of the MC’s support

Quote: “I wanted to say one loving thing to you, yet I can’t articulate it.”

Cuddle, kiss, or push down: Be together, drinking tea and blushing awkwardly

Would have eloped with:

  • Kanetsugu, because he’s such a great friend and he clearly ships Mitsunari and the MC

Favorite moments:

  • Mitsunari and Kanetsugu’s friendship
  • Hotsprings incident
  • Mitsunari telling the MC how important she is to him when she feels like she isn’t of any help to him
  • How vital the MC’s support is to Mitsunari
  • Mitsunari’s development in terms of inner strength

Worst moments:

  • Kiyomasa and the rest of the clan being a jerk
  • What was Hideyoshi thinking?
  • What were the pro-war faction even hoping to accomplish at Sekigahara?
  • Short

Worth the price of admission?: Mitsunari is a nice change of pace from most of the confident and brash guys in this game. And it’s not just that his personality is quieter; he is a meeker person and it is nice to be able to see him become more sure of himself, in part thanks to the MC remaining at his side. His relationship with the MC, for all that it sparks quickly, is very pure and full of blushes. It is a very sweet route, and I personally enjoyed it, but it might bother you if you prefer more aggressive guys

After the main route (POSSIBLE SPOILERS): None

Notable substories: None

Recommended routes: