A celebration of Hidenori Matsubara's Sakura Wars art opens in Japan this month


In Bloom

For decades, Sega’s cult JRPG franchise Sakura Wars has been typified by its beautiful character design, excellent music, silly sense of humor, and charming artwork. This latter element in particular will be celebrated in Japan this month, via a traveling art exhibit.

The Sakura Wars Art Festival 2021 consists of a trio of installations which will stop in Tokyo (April 29-May 1), Osaka (May 14-16), and Nagoya (May 28-30). The exhibition spotlights the portfolio of Hidenori Matsubara, who worked as a character designer and artist on the Sakura Wars video games, as well as their anime and TV adaptations.

The festival will showcase Matsubara’s work with the franchise, and will include Q&A and signing sessions with the artist himself. Attendees will also get the opportunity to bag exclusive merchandise from the events. Matsubara has been an industry veteran for decades, having also worked on popular anime such as Ah! My Goddess and Evangelion.

I can’t help but get a little jealous of Japan’s close relationship with the Sakura Wars franchise, with the legendary series often adapted into anime, manga, merchandise, and even live-action stage shows. 2020’s Sakura Wars made a brave effort to finally break the west, and delivered a charming and very funny adventure that was unfortunately a little lacking in the action department. Here’s hoping that one of the many trademarks filed by Sega last year will pay off in the form of a localized Sakura Wars collection or similar.

Sakura Wars Art Exhibit to be held in Japan [Siliconera / Famitsu]