Sakura in her kimono, her most recognizable appearance.
Sakura in her Imperial Floral Combat Troop Uniform
Who is Sakura Shinguji?
Sakura Shinguji is the daughter of the Shinguji family, in whose blood runs the Haja force, allowing her to dispel all evil. She's a master of the Hokushin Itto Ryu sword technique allowing her to use her katana with ease. She has an intense dedication to her training and can even slice single water droplets with ease. She fights evil with her deceased father's "Reiken-Arataka" demon-defeating blade. She's the newest member of the Imperial Floral Assault Division, a military group dedicated to protecting the Imperial Capital from all manor of demons, while also being undercover in the Imperial Theater, where they perform many stage plays. She's somewhat naive and clumsy as well as gentle, polite, and kind. Nevertheless, her dedication allows her to be one of the most powerful sword-wielders you'll ever see.
Why should Sakura be in Crusade? Sakura Wars is an incredibly unique franchise being a combat/dating sim title, a type of game never before seen in Smash. Furthermore, Sakura Wars is one of the most popular gaming series in Japan, even beating out fellow SEGA character and mascot Sonic the Hedgehog in sales. She has potential for a unique gimmick, and she's a very cool character.
Moveset: As a master of the Hokushin Itto Ryu, Sakura's moves mostly rely on her sword to dish out the pain. Sakura is known to cut a droplet of water in half with her blade, and her moveset reflects this by rewarding properly timed strikes. When after a dodge, Sakura will do more damage (up to 3% more depending on the move) and knockback for a total of 5 seconds, though if she is hit she will lose the bonus damage/knockback. Sakura, being a stage performer, also receives this buff if the crowd is chanting her name.
Jab: A standard series of slashes from her katana. 3 hit maximum. Dash attack: Sakura brings out her katana directly in front of her, similarly to Ike's dash attack. However, this does minimal knockback and set up for a combo.
Forward Tilt: Sakura stabs forward with her katana. Does extra damage on the tip. Down Tilt: Sakura performs a sweeping kick below her opponent's legs. Up Tilt: Sakura will swipe her katana above her, similar to Cloud's up tilt.
Forward Smash: Using her signature Hyakka Ryoran, Sakura steps forward unsheathing her blade alight with flame as she finishes with her signature pose. Upward Smash: Using the mystic powers of the demon defeating blade, she swipes upward twice in rapid succession. Downward Smash: Sakura pulls out a mop and cleans the ground around her. Someone has to clean after a performance!
Standard Special: Ouka Hoshin - Her signature move from Project X Zone 2. Sakura swings her blade unleashing a large projectile along the ground similar to Cloud's Blade Beam. Forward Special: Hyakka Ryoran - Sakura dashes forward a short distance, surrounded in flame. Up Special: Kuchu Sanrengiri/Rising Sakura - Sakura slices forward as she jumps upward and forward a small distance. Poor recovery. Down Special: Ogami's Bombs - Sakura borrows a move from her boyfriend Ichiro Ogami and throws a small bomb forward. Not much damage or knockback. (Origin: Project X Zone)
Grab: Sakura extends her hand to grab the foe. Pummel: Sakura knees the opponent.
Final Smash: Koubu Strike - Sakura calls in her Koubu (her steam-powered mech) to unleash some chaos for a short period of time.
Home Stage Idea: Grand Imperial Theater
The stage where the Imperial Floral Assault Troop performs when not battling foes. A flat stage with little going on aside from the audience watching the "performance". The blast lines are concealed behind the curtains of the stage.
Stage Music Track: Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan! (Sakura Wars Main Series Theme)