Sakura Taisen (サクラ大戦) is a video game developed by Red and Sega CS R&D 2 and published by Sega for the Sega Saturn in 1996. It is the first release in the long-running Sakura Taisen franchise.
Sakura Taisen is a visual novel crossed with tactical RPG elements set in an alternate 1920s Tokyo. It comprises of a largely female cast which pilot steam-powered robots called "Koubus", defending Tokyo from demons and dark magic while working undercover as musical theater performers.
From a Japanese perspective, Sakura Taisen is one of Sega's premiere titles, being of the defining titles for the Sega Saturn. Oji Hiroi , president of co-developer Red Company, manga artist Kousuke Fujishima and lastly anime writer Satoru Akahori were responsible for the overall project. The game is largely a dating sim, however with SPRG elements and more meaningful interactions between characters brought it into a mass-market Japanese audience. Overall coding and much of the gameplay was done by then new Sega division Sega CS2, which had many accomplished Sega creators including Noriyoshi Ohba, Akira Nishino and Toru Yoshida.
Sakura Taisen (or Sakura Wars), was reasonably known within western anime circles, due to the accompanied TV show and OVA's.