Sakura Taisen, or "Sakura Wars" is the series for the Sakura Taisen games by Red Company and Oji Horii. The first game was for Sega Saturn. The setting for Sakura Taisen is in a steam-punk fictional 1920s, where evil forces use demons to threaten the peace of the lands.
The player takes the role of Oogami, a young lieutentant in the army. He is ordered to be the group leader for the Bloom Attack group in the imperial capital. To his extreme disappointment, this group turns out to be a theater troupe of five young women, and Oogami is set to check the tickets of customers. But before long, strange alien-demons attack the capital, and the Bloom Attack Group gear up in their steam-powered robots "Kobu", to defeat evil. In this part, the player plays a turn-based tactical minis game with the steam robots, over a square-gridded combat map.
The non-combat story-game was largely based on Tokimeki Memorial's "choice of dialogue" style, where the only gaming aspect was that depending on what the player chose that Oogami would say, the girls would like Oogami more or less. One of the main characteristics of Sakura Taisen, was that there was a timer ticking when the player was to choose what to say. Not responding in time was considered as a "ehm…………". Also, in Sakura Taisen, a little jingle was played each time the girls' opinion of Oogami changed, a happy jingle for a good impression and a disappointing jingle for making a bad impression. This was quickly made into a joke among fans, about "hearing the jingle" in real life.
The second game, also for Sega Saturn, added two extra characters but was mainly the same thing all over again. The third game, for Sega Dreamcast, set the stage in Paris, with 6 all-new characters. The fourth game returned the setting to the Imperial Capital, but the cast from France came with Oogami, making a chaos of 13 girls to court. Overlapping characters and too much chaos made Sakura Taisen 4 be generally regarded as a failure.
After the Dreamcast was discontinued, an all-new remake of the first game was released for the Playstation 2, and Sakura Taisen 5, set in America, was also released for the PS2.
Sakura Taisen was a smash-hit and was made into musicals, video animations, TV animations and an animated feature film. There were also a lot of spinoff-games, the most famous being Sakura Taisen Columns, a Puyo Puyo/Tetris game using coloured blocks.