Senran Kagura x Neptunia is a match made in heaven

As part of the Game Live Japan live stream, Compile Heart announced that there’s another new Neptunia game on the way — and this time with a bit of a twist. It’s a crossover title with Kenichiro Takaki’s legendary — and oft-thought dead — ninja-themed series Senran Kagura.

The new game, which it looks like we’ll find out a bit more about in April in a special Famitsu feature, is known as Senran Nin-Nin-Ninja Taisen Neptunia: Shoujo-tachi no Kyoen. It actually appears to be a reboot of a previously announced game known simply as Game e-Ninja Neptune, and features artistic contributions from both Senran Kagura and Neptunia’s key character designers Nan Yaegashi and Tsunako respectively; in fact, the preview video for the new game features collaborative work from both artists.

So far, the gameplay looks similar to the previous “action Neptunia” games that Tamsoft has previously worked on. This should be no surprise, given that Tamsoft also worked on the Senran Kagura series. Thus far, we’ve only seen Purple Heart and Asuka from Neptunia and Senran Kagura respectively, so it remains to be seen what other characters will put in an appearance — the other three goddesses from Neptunia are probably a safe bet, but Senran Kagura has an enormous extended cast at this point, so who knows who will show up?

This isn’t the first time the Neptunia and Senran Kagura universes have crossed over — Neptune previously appeared as a DLC character for Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash. But this is the first time the two franchises have actually had a whole game devoted to their crossover — and that’s an enormously exciting prospect.

Senran Kagura x Neptunia

The reason for this is that the two series have, over the course of the last ten years, firmly established themselves as the homes of wonderful ensemble casts more than anything else. While some have found themselves a little frustrated at the fact Senran Kagura’s overarching “ninja versus youma” storyline seems doomed to never be concluded satisfactorily, few can deny that the cast of the series is one of the most memorable in gaming — and the same is true for Neptunia.

This makes them ideally suited for a crossover title like this, because both series’ core casts have long since transcended their original context, and are now just well-known characters in their own right. Both the developers and the players of both series have proven receptive to seeing these casts in all sorts of weird and wonderful situations over the years — everyone simply enjoys hanging out with these characters, whether we’re hacking and slashing enemies, trapped in a video game, saving the world or playing pinball.

Both Senran Kagura and Neptunia are also great “gateway series” for people to start exploring the more “anime” side of Japanese interactive entertainment, too. Both series have plenty of installments available across a wide variety of platforms at this point, and both have been designed in such a way that you can jump in pretty much anywhere, but have a greater appreciation of their respective narrative universes as a whole if you explore them fully.

To put it another way, both Senran Kagura and Neptunia are series that are immediately familiar to even people outside of their core “otaku” fandom — Neptunia characters often appear in western Internet memes, even — and thus it makes a whole lot of sense for them to come together like this.

Senran Kagura x Neptunia

While there’s not a lot we can say about the new game as yet — aside from dear lord, that’s a long title — it does seem that the hack-and-slash formula is an ideal fit for an ambitious crossover game like this. This type of game lends itself well to a large cast of playable characters who can distinguish themselves through their specific moves and animations — plus both the Neptunia and Senran Kagura casts have already appeared in games like this independently of one another, meaning it’s not a big jump for either of them.

No, it’s not Senran Kagura 7even — and with every passing month, it feels less likely we’ll ever see that — but this may well be something of an attempt to revitalise interest in the series after a bit of a break. The last new Senran Kagura game was back in 2018, after all — so who knows, if this does well, perhaps we’ll see more of our favourite busty ninjas in the future?

In the meantime, this looks like fun. Keep an eye on Famitsu in April for more details on the new game — they’ll be running a cover feature on it.

What do you want to see from a Neptunia x Senran Kagura crossover? Let us know in the comments below, or via the usual social channels!

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Pete Davison
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