Time Paladin Sakura

Nanoha meets Da Capo (not as good as it sounds).

Time Paladin Sakura is a 2011 Da Capo spin-off from Circus, consisting of a two parts game and the accompanying two parts OVA.

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Da Capo heroine Yoshino Sakura is here a 3rd grade school girl, along with loli Kotori, osananajimi shota Jun’ichi, and for some reason shota Wataru (I guess they exhausted the DCI males). But she also has a secret: her family is one of Time Paladins, magical girls who protect the historical integrity. Basically, that means stopping the Time Thief Suginami (probably not related to Suginami, president of the school Central Committee, along with Miharu and Nemu onee-san) from stealing historical treasures. Sakura’s grandmother is the current Director of the Agency of Protection of Historical Matters, which also has vice-director Alice and operators Mako and Moe, and Aishia as current Time Paladin, from a Western European branch (and later, the Time Paladin from the East European branch, Erika Murasaki). Supporting the Time Paladins from the field is Archimedes (the Suika character).

Mizukoshi sisters, miko version

The story starts when Aishia gets hurt in a battle against Suginami when a Time Eating Bug suddenly appeared, and Sakura, who had great potential but hadn’t yet performed as a Time Paladin, starts replacing her, her conviction fired up by seeing Jun’ichi getting hurt.

Aishia in a pinch

Does this mean an exciting adventure story starts? Guess again!


Time Paladin Sakura fails at several levels. Like, all of them. The OVAs tell a singular and somewhat decent story, with some battles and a big bad, but the game gets satisfied with slice-of-life scenes of Sakura & friends (including the daily life of a Time Paladin), with only the occasional battle. Not very good, by the way; although there are some effects, for the most part they consist on the participants throwing around random magic you never get to see using a system never explained and causing effects and damage not shown.

Now is Sakura who chases Suginami

But hey, slice of life can be fun also, right? Why, indeed it can. That’s not the case here, though. While scenes where nothing happen can be fun to read, they must be fun in the first place, which is not usually the case in TPS.

And even in the one place they try to be dramatic they completely fail, the pacing being awful and the whole scene feeling forced. The drama comes and goes before you can even begin to feel anything.

Furthermore, it’s not even a full story, posing questions and hints about some of the characters backgrounds, but leaving the answers completely out, like there would be more installments where those answers would be.

So the plot is nonexistent and the writing is not very good. Is there something else? Why yes. The seiyuu cast doesn’t quite fit, and the whole game is extremely short, every part under the two hours (though given the overall quality, that may be a good thing).

Pajama party time (not an actual CG)

The characters are another weak point (with the exception of Suginami, who is the same as always). Sakura was my favorite heroine from the Da Capo series, and one of her points was how she mixed her childishness with a weird matureness in some places. Well, here her design remains as loli as ever, but she loses all of the adult places she had. The rest of the 3rd grade cast doesn’t fare much better.

TPS also includes a horizontal shooting game, similar to the ones from White Season and Summer Vacation. Not as deep as those, though, having less stages and less attacks. Overall it’s pretty simple, and you can master it in maybe twenty minutes, if not much less.

So looking back, I’d be hard pressed to find a single decent (let’s not talk of good) point (maybe Suginami and company). I know it wouldn’t be a masterpiece, but it needn’t be this bad. I’d recommend to stay away from this, even if you are a huge Da Capo fan. Especially if you are a huge Da Capo fan, since otherwise you wouldn’t think in playing this in the first place.


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