1-2 - Between an O and a U
Ey boss, it’s me!
Hey, come on in!
Reporting for duty!
Look at this man, drunk off his ass on a Wednesday morning.
Remember, dis is the Great Imperial Theater, hic. Cut da military talk!
(What the…Who is the drunkard? Don’t tell me this is…)
How 'bout a drink?
This guy’s a general, right?
…Are…are you really Lieutenant General Yoneda?
What the…! What do you mean, “really?” Can’t you recognize people without a badge of rank? Hic! I’m Army Lieutenant General Ikki Yoneda! Idiot!
Good! Glad we cleared that up. So, let me give you ya’ first assignment.
Change into this and go to the reception! You’ll raise eyebrows in that military uniform. Remember, this is a secret unit.
I still don’t fully understand the point of a secret military unit needing to operate under a front like a theater and not in a secret base, but hey I’m not the President of the secret military.
I see…So we operate in disguise! Par for the course for a secret unit! Yes sir! Ichiro Ogami reporting for duty!
Sakura and…Iris, was it? What are you doing here?
The game kinda doesn’t convey it that well, but as you can probably tell by the portrait, Ogami did in fact change clothes.
Hey, weren’t you the one saying we should ‘check things out’ in the first place?
Yes, and you said it was a great idea!
Ah, I see now.
(These two…looks like they were eavesdropping.)
I don’t nearly have the time to worry about that right now, girls.
Anyways…Could you two tell me where the reception is? It’s my first assignment here. I’d like to go there immediately.
No! He’s going with me! Let’s go, Mon Frère!
GIRLS NO TIME LET’S GO
Hey, stop fighting, you two. How about we all go together, hm?
I’m sorry, Iris. I guess I was a bit childish, too.
This gets us points with the both of them.
It’s OK. Let’s all go together. I like that!
All the way back to the lobby.
I see. Thank you for showing me the way.
Mon Frère, the clipper is inside the desk! Come on, Sakura, let’s go!
You’re right, Iris. Ogami, we have to practice, so…please excuse us.
H-Hey you two, wait a second…
Clippers? Am I doing people’s nails?!
Clipper…? What am I supposed to do with those?
What?! You don’t know how to use a clipper? Hahaha, that’s funny. You hold it in your hand and go snippety snip like this, and it’ll cut holes.
That explains everything.
Hey, Iris. If we’re not off to practice soon…
Oh, right. Bye-bye!
…but I really wanted to know what I’m supposed to use the clipper for.
Excuse me, young man. How long do you expect us to wait? Punch our tickets!
Today Sumire is starring in “The Eve of Lady Camellia”. I can’t wait!
What do you mean? I’m not responsible for tickets.
But…that’s the ticket puncher’s uniform you’re wearing. And don’t you have a clipper as well?
Whaaa…!? Does that mean my secret mission is just…punching tickets!? You gotta be kidding me!
YONEDA! I was just joking last time!
Y-yes. Uh…where do I punch the hole?
Huh? Are you new here? Jeez…don’t dilly-dally.
Y-yes! Just a moment, please.
(…Wasn’t my assignment to be captain of a secret squad?)
No, Ogami. Keep up the cover for some reason.
(No way! The Imperial Assault Troop is a secret unit. I can’t just blow their cover like this!)
…At the moment I’m punching tickets here, but in reality…Just kidding, I really am just a ticket puncher.
Ogami please you are spending an uncomfortable amount of time talking to the damn customers.
Everything alright with you? Oh! Look at the time. The Flower Division’s show is about to start!
(Did she just say Flower Division…? How does a civilian know the name of this secret unit…?)
Yeah, a running thing with this series seems to be a confusion on just how secret the unit actually is. People seem to know enough about them to be able to connect the dots, but…they don’t?
Ah, sorry. Where is that clipper…? Ah! Here it is! There you go.
Um…Do you happen to like Sumire Kanzaki?
Really don’t know enough about her to say, but you seem to like her, so I’m not gonna ruin your day.
Yeah, I haven’t talked to her all that much, but she sure is my type.
Whaaa…! You’ve talked to Sumire?! Man, I’m so jealous…Oh, right…Ahem…would you mind giving this letter to her? Please tell her it is from her most passionate fan.
Hey! Ticket puncher guy, here’s my ticket!
Y-yes! Ahem…Where do I punch a children’s ticket?
This guy’s new here! He doesn’t even know how to punch tickets!
Every fiber of my being is telling me to do it but I can’t, because if you just do what they want, they’ll go away and leave you alone.
Here you go, boy. Here’s your ticket back.
Keep up the “good” work.
Fuck you too.
(Wh-what’s the matter with that obnoxious child?!)
…No matter how I look at it, this is weird. How is ticket punching connected to my secret mission!? …OK! I’m gonna have a talk with the squad. Maybe then I’ll get some sort of explanation. If I’m still not convinced, I’ll have to ask Lieutenant General Yoneda!
Hello? Excuuuuse me!
You arrived today, didn’t you? Nice to meet you. I heard about you. I’m Tsubaki Takamura. I’m always working at the gift shop here.
Miss Tsubaki, is it?
I’ve got photos of all the group members here, so please stop by to visit anytime!
We can get cool pics of all the sweeties and honeys here at Tsubaki’s.
Hmm…She works here at the gift shop. Seems full of energy.
…OK. Where to next?
Now we have free rein of the theater. This is gonna be the majority of our time in the game, goin’ to places and havin’ scenes.
But before we can go anywhere…
It’s Chisa Yokoyama!
That voice…is that you, Sakura?
Hehe…you got me.
Even you have a mischievous side then, huh?
Hehe…sorry about that. But…it makes me so happy that you remembered my voice.
Uh…s-sorry. I guess that was a strange thing to say. W-Well, I should get going…
Ah-Sakura, hold on! There’s something I wanted to ask you.
What is it?
Wheeeere are you going?
Where are you headed, Sakura?
The performance is due to begin soon, so I’m looking for Sumire. I’m willing to bet she’s somewhere on the second floor…well, I’ll be going.
…Shoot, I forgot to ask her about the Imperial Assault Troop. …Oh well, I’d better go too.
Let’s head backstage, see what’s happening.
why are you on the floor
Yeah, thanks for before, Iris. By the way…there’s something I wanted to ask you.
Gimme the scoop on the troop, Betty Boop.
I was wondering if you could tell me about the Imperial Assault Troop…
Why is the troop headquartered in a theater?
We’re in a theater because that’s where the “troop” performs. Isn’t that obvious? You’re pretty strange, Mon Frère.
(I don’t get it. There’s nothing obvious about it!)
We’re not gonna look over Iris too much, but let’s see her bear.
Mon Frère, do you remember my bear’s name?
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Jean-Paul.
I remember. It’s Jean-Paul, isn’t it?
Yaaay! Mon Frère, you really remembered!
Of course. He’s your very best friend.
Thank you, Mon Frère…I’m so happy you remembered.
Let’s just…find out where the others are.
Do you know where everyone else is?
Sumire is upstairs. Sakura went to go get her. Maria said she was going to the stage. I think Mr. Yoneda is in his room?
I see. Thanks.
Well, the stage is right here, so let’s see what Maria is up to.
I could ask the same of you. What business do you have here?
We get another lookyloo, but we had one before and we won’t learn anything new, so let’s just continue the conversation.
…Did you need something from me?
I don’t think Ogami’s gonna really understand what’s going on with the Troop no matter how much we tell him, so we might as well get a sense of who these girls are.
Maria, would you tell me a little about yourself?
As captain of the Imperial Assault Troop, I’d like to know how a woman such as yourself came to be here.
…I don’t believe there’s any need for me to answer that. In any case, I hardly acknowledge you to be the captain as it is.
Harsh but fair.
Ensign, you’re interfering with my duties. Please refrain from speaking with me.
The play is about to begin, so this area is off-limits. Please keep your distance, Ensign.
Oh well. Guess I’ll head somewhere else.
And over to the salon. It’s not the hair type! It’s an old kinda room where people would, like, sit.
Oh, pardon me. I know-I’ll call you “Ensign” from now on, just to simplify things.
Whatever works, I guess.
We get a chance to look over Sumire and all we find out is she has hair and boobs. Not a whole lot goin’ on with these right now as we introduce the girls.
Drinking tea before a performance is the perfect way to dissolve tension. By the way, Ensign…what was it you needed?
I feel like I’m forgetting something.
I hope it’s not too forward of me to say, but I’d love to know more about you…
Wait I didn’t mean it like that.
As I mentioned before, I am the daughter of the Kanzaki family, which controls the Kanzaki Group. Originally, the only stage I stood upon was the stage of high society. But then Kanzaki Inc. became linked with this theater due to their efforts, and so I came to live here.
Kanzaki Heavy Industries? Why would a theater collaborate with an industrial manufacturing company?
The secret military unit, you dingus!!!
Ah, w-well now…
Sumireee! …Oh, you’re here too, Ogami?
How good of you to come for me. I must drop by my room for a moment, then I’ll be right there. By the way…may I pose a question to you, Ensign?
Eh, to me?
Yes. Between myself and Sakura, what sort of woman do you prefer?
Won’t you tell me, Ensign?
What sort of woman I prefer…well…
Sumire, don’t be like that. You’re putting him in an awkward position.
I would hardly think there is any room for debate on the matter…I will let it slide for now, I suppose. Well, I must be off.
I should go too. See you lare, Ogami.
Ogami…I’m kind of relieved, but also a bit disappointed…what a complicated feeling this is.
Girl, it’s been like two hours since we met, pump the brakes.
…Well, I should get going.
I’m not making any progress here. Maybe I should go to the director’s office and talk to General Yoneda.
Yeah, we probably oughta just talk to the bos–SUMIRE’S LETTER.
Yes? Who’s there?
Um…it’s Ogami. Do you have a minute?
I’m right in the middle of changing. Could you wait just one moment, please?
Hand on God, it makes you wait a whole 10 seconds and it’s kind of a good joke to pull on the player.
Such impeccable patience is nothing less than I’d expect from a military officer.
It was nothing, hahaha…
By the way…did you have some need of me?
While I was taking tickets earlier, I was entrusted this letter by someone calling himself a devoted fan. I figured I should pass it along to you. Here you are.
Goodness! You went to such trouble for my sake?
You have my deepest thanks, Ensign.
Still, why would a member of a secret troop like this receive fan mail?
Why, beauty such as mine can hardly be hidden away from the rest of the world. Wherever I go, I have fans. It’s not especially surprising.
I’ve still some matters of my own to attend to, so I will take my leave. Thank you ever so, Ensign.
…I guess that patron ought to be satisfied now.
The more I wander around this place, the more it seems like an ordinary theater…
Let’s see what Yoneda has to say about all this.
Nice to meet you. You’re Ogami, right? I’m Kasumi Fujii, the theater’s office manager. I’m sorry to impose, but would you mind coming with me to the secretary’s office to fill out some new-hire forms?
I’m a little busy at the momoent…could it wait until later?
I’m afraid it’s regulation, but it shouldn’t take too long. I hope you understand.
You gotta do the onboarding, Ogami. I know it’s boring, but you get paid to watch videos.
Then I’ll guide you there. This way, please.
I do the theater’s office work. I’m looking forward to working with you!
The pleasure’s all mine.
No problem. Let’s see…will this do?
Yes, that’s fine. Thanks very much. Director Yoneda is in his office, right next door.
All right, time to head for the director’s office.
Ah, hello?..Yes, yes, hello.
He’s on the phone…
Yes, he’s here…just a littke while ago. Well, I’m going to wait a bit longer, see how things shake out…But you know, Hanakoji…the matter of this secret corps is a tough pill to swallow.
We force girls onto the battlefield, while all we go is sit back and watch. Frankly…it’s humiliating. And yet, right now they are the only ones who can operate the Koubu. That’s why I’m making it a point to protect these girls, while giving them as much freedom as possible.
If only we could make use of that young one…Oho, looks as though he’s come by to complain. Well, goodbye for now…
Sounds like he finished the call. Please excuse me! Ogami, reporting in!
How’s your work going? Have you gotten the hang of punching tickets all right?
Who was on the phone?
Commander, who were you speaking to just now?
Count Hanakouji, as it happens. The man who recommended you for this position. He wanted to make sure you weren’t shirking any of your new duties.
I see. Actually, I have a question for you regarding that, Commander.
I’m supposed to be captain of this Imperial Assault Troop, right? What are my duties? Actually, before you answer that…This IS the Imperial Assault Troop, right? It looks like a regular theater!
Hm? Ogami, I think you’re misunderstanding something here…Take a good long look at the plaque above my head.
Imperial…Assault TROUPE…?! Whaaat?! Like a troupe of actors? This isn’t a misprint or something, is it?
We’ve been done in by a kanji pun!
So the kanji on the plaque read “Teikoku Kagekidan.” Both of them. But until now, Ogami was reading the name with kanji meaning, well, a battle troop. But aha, actually it is a theater troupe! The name of the Teikoku Kagekidan is based on the Takarazuka Kagekidan, more commonly known as the Takarazuka Revue. It’s also a theater troupe of all women! The fan translation uses Imperial Assault Troop/Troupe to retain this joke, but current official translations use Imperial Combat Revue, not having to worry about this one pun that matters for the first half hour of the game, tying more of a direct reference to the Takarazuka Revue, and also personally, I think Combat Revue is a bit catchier. For the most part, I’ll be using Troupe for parity with the fan translation text, but I may use Revue on habit, and it’s interchangeable.
Sorry m’boy, this is the real deal.
I could have sword the documents said I’d been assigned to secret assault force. Did I read it wrong?
Well, the performances we put on here sure are an assault on the senses. Bah ha ha ha! And as for secret…Well, you didn’t know a government-run theater like this existed before, did you?
Gaaaah! I can’t believe this!
Bamboozled! The wool over our eyes!
Ha ha ha! Take some time, let it all sink in.
The top-secret squad is just a bunch of actors? This is all way too bizarre. Am I dreaming?
You look so pale…I think you should take a break. Do you remember the way to your room. If you like…I could accompany you.
Yeah, that’d be nice.
That would be great. I’m so confused right now I barely know what I’m doing.
Are you sure you’re going to be all right? Maybe you’ll feel better if you rest up a little. Let’s get you back to your room.
Thanks for the help. Sorry to make you worry about me.
Oh, it’d nothing, really. I-if you’ll excuse me, I have a performance to prepare for…
I didn’t really get to ask Sakura about the Troo–Troupe, so…
If you have some time, would you like to come in? There’s something I’d like to discuss with you.
…I’m very sorry. The performance is due to start any minute now. I really would like to spend some more time with you, but duty calls.
Oh, I see. That’s fine, I understand. Break a leg out there. And thanks again for coming this far with me.
You’'re welcome! I’d better get going.
…Yeah, I guess I should rest up a little.
Huh? Oh, Sakura. Did you need something?
I…Well…Cheer up, Ogami! That gloomy expression you’re wearing doesn’t suit you at all. When I think back to the way you were when we first met back at Ueno Park, that’s the way I…
Again, that was like…this morning.
Sorry, I’ve said too much. I should get going.
No, I’m the one who should apologize. It’s just…You have your roles to play here, parts only you can perform. But what about me? I don’t feel like I’m doing anything to safeguard the capital.
Man, entry level jobs were a lot easier in the 20s. The 1920s, not the 20s we’re in now.
It didn’t even matter what my assignment was. I’d be satisfied with any post if it meant protecting the capital. I thought I was taking control of a crack assault force, so when I found an exclusively female theater troupe, well… Does my being here help protect our nation’s peace at all?
And that brings us to our first intermission, where we get a chance to drop a save.
We can also check on the status of how the girls like us. Right now they’re all pretty neutral. As the game goes on, we’ll also be able to see which girl we have the most affinity with.
Next time, we gotta figure out what we’re doing here.
A Fun Fact To Leave You On
Did you know that in the conceptual phases, the project that would become this game was just called Sakura (桜)? When proper development began, the name Sakura Wars (サクラ大戦) was chosen due to difficulties trademarking the generic word Sakura, which is also why Sakura is spelled out in katakana in the final name.