Sakurai Diaries is a hosted comic created by Azure.
Sakurai Diaries was originally created as a spinoff project from the author's simplistic, humor-driven series of single panel comics titled 'One Panel Wonders'; the first three of which used battle sprites from the Rockman.EXE/MegaMan Battle Network series of games. The beginnings of the comic would come from a suggestion from a forum member that he try using overworld sprites instead, which resulted in "Darkchips Annonymous", the fourth One Panel Wonder which recieved positive replies. Following this, Azureman (Who has since changed his Author alias to "Azure") decided to try and create a lasting, story-driven comic centered around his favorite characters from the EXE franchise, and thus, Sakurai Diaries was born.
The comic originally used a slightly larger layout and simplistic, messy textboxes; but following the 54th comic, the author decided to go back and remake the previous comics using cleaner textboxes and the universally accepted 800x200 panel format. He also took the opportunity to fix several continuity errors and some previous spelling and grammitcal mistakes.
The comic was originally unhosted and only a simple archive existed on Angelfire. Following the remake project, Azure submitted his comic to the Bob and George fansite, stating that he was "Doing it just because he could". Much to his surprise, the comic was accepted, apparently because Dave liked the storyline.
According to the author, the story will be split into several "Arcs", following an anime-style fashion
- Introduction/Ghost Fireman Arc (AKA: "Entry 1: Install Your Heart!" according to a since deleted forum post): Introduces the main character and establishes relationships, Fireman returns from the dead to seek revenge on his former World Three allies, and Roll is forced to come along as part of Alia's attempt to calm the enraged spirit.
- Dark Flashman Arc (AKA: "Entry 2: Heart Flash!"): Beginning with a recap of the first scenario of the Third Rockman.EXE game, this arc focuses on Rei Saiko and a revived Flashman, who are being manipulated by a sinister force to seek revenge on Netto Hikari and Rockman by holding a TV station and Meiru hostage.
Many of the characters are taken straight from the Rockman.EXE/MegaMan Battle Network video games, while some others are running cameos (Such as Alia and MSP)
- Origin: Battle Network: Rockman.EXE / MegaMan Battle Network
- First Appearance (Seen/Heard): #002: Roll Likes CLAMP
- Character: Meiru is often considered the "Straight man" in the main cast of characters, balancing out Roll's quirky, fangirlish behavior, Alia's somewhat silly disposition, and MSP's stark cynicism. However, she has demonstrated several character quirks of her own; most notably a reliance on Netto Hikari, the main protagonist of the EXE video games. No matter the situation, she seems to hold a staunch belief that Netto will come and bail her out of it, although this hasn't been the case in the instances observed in the comic. A running gag in the series is that when trouble starts up, Meiru will suggest waiting for Netto to show up before being dragged along to solve things herself. She also seems to have little patience when others around her do something she finds unacceptable, such as when she was angered at Higure's cursing (Which, at the time, she thought was directed at a customer of his store).
- Known Battlechips:
- Triple Lance (SD Lectures filler)
- Recovery 300 (SD Lectures filler)
- Aqua Tower (Strip #025)
- Bubble Spread (Strip #033)
- Origin: Battle Network: Rockman.EXE / MegaMan Battle Network
- First Appearance (Seen/Heard): #001: Navi Dreams
- Character: The other half of the series' main Human/Navi team, Roll is characterized as spunky, outgoing, and cheerful. However, she doesn't seem to deal with stress well, and is prone to whining and complaining when the going gets rough. Unlike her partner, Roll is fully aware of her dependence on Rockman to come and save her from major trouble, often relishing the chance to see his heroics in person. She is also rather objected to any advances made on her by any male navi other than Rockman. One of Roll's most identifying tradmarks in the comic is her references to various anime, in particular those by all-female manga production team CLAMP. Roll is often the last navi to get involved in any battling seen thus far, often only getting in after being forced to by Alia or Meiru. The author has stated that a major focus of the series is Roll slowly overcoming her attitude and relying on herself more than waiting to be saved all the time, akin to the character of Usagi Tsukino in Sailor Moon.
- Roll Flash: Roll's default attacking ability that allows her to strike enemies rapidly with her antennae.
- Roll Arrow: Roll's special attack transforms her arm into a bow and launches a heart-tipped arrow at high speed. This attack was used to finish off Ghost Fireman at the end of the first arc.
- Origin: Original character created by BnG forumer and Fancomics moderator Metal Shark Player. Presumably based on the character by the same name in the Mega Man X Series of video games.
- First Appearace
(Mentioned): #003: Bad News (Seen/Heard): #004: GLOMP!
- Character: Unlike the majority of the other characters, Alia is from "Amerouppe", the EXE world's version of the United States, although she apparently speaks Japanese fluently. She has a distinctive trait of addressing other characters with prefixes (Mister, Missus, Miss), instead of using the "-san" suffix. Alia is characterized as intelligent and decidedly polite, although she tends to have moments of "Airheadedness", such as when she arrived at Beach Street (A seaside marketplace), in a swimsuit, apparently believing it to literally be a street alongside a beach. Alia also has ample knowledge of programming and analysis procedures.
- Although introduced as a college student and Meiru's caretaker, it was revealed (To the audience), that she is a probationary member of her country's "Net Police" taskforce, apparently on a surveilance mission of some kind that involves keeping watch over Meiru due to her connection to Netto Hikari.
- Alia is notably taller than a good number of the other human characters. This is a trademark of Metal Shark Player's spriting style.
- Known Battlechips:
- Dash Attack (Strip #061)
- Yukashita (Strip #067)
Metal Shark Player.EXEEdit
- Origin: Original character created by BnG forumer and Fancomics moderator Metal Shark Player.
- First Appearance
- Mentioned: #022: Plug-in!
- Seen/Heard: #024: Pretty Voman
- Character: Arguably the most developed of the main characters thus far, Metal Shark Player (Often abbrieviated "MSP", but also called "Emesuppi" by Roll), was originally a male navi wanted by the Amerouppean Net Police for a number of moderate crimes, but went berserk during attempts to capture him and was gunned down by members of the in-training squad sent to capture him. However, his core individuality program, his "Soul", survived and inhabited the closest body available; that of Natasha.EXE, Alia's navi. A combination of MSP's attempts to possess the body, a data surge, and the recalling of the navi back to Alia's PET caused a kind of data mutation that reformatted the former Generic Navi into a rather attractive humanoid with glasses and some remnants of MSP's armor. This new MSP possesses the original MSP's mindset and memories, but also appears to have adopted some of Natasha's qualities, such as her unusual accent. Furthermore, while the original appeared to show no remorse for anything he did, operating purely on a selfish desire to cause as much trouble as possible, the new MSP has at times shown compassion and caring for the well being of those around her, however slight this may be. MSP is mischievous and somewhat self-centered, following orders only because she absolutely has to; but she also seems to have developed some kind of bond with Alia, and is currently forming one with Roll, who she refers to as "Pinkie".
- MSP's accent is a brainchild of her real-life creator and namesake, who created her with references to the GI Joe villainess the Baroness.
- MSP's accent started out rather slight; but has since developed into a much heavier one with many drawn out syllables and sound replacements.
- Zapper Gun: Thus far, this has been seen as the current MSP's only default attack. She pulls out a handgun modeled after the Zapper light gun used with the Nintendo Entertainment System and fires with it.
- Metal Anchor Drop: The former MSP used this ability to deal with a trio of Net Police Recruits. It literally drops Metal Anchors onto unsuspecting targets. It is unknown whether or not the current MSP has this ability.
- Commander Beef
- Yamitaro Higure
- Miyuki Kuroi
- Madoi Iroaya
- Enzan Ijuuin
- Meijin Eguchi (AKA: Meijin-San, Mister Famous)
- Netto Hikari
- George Armstrong.EXE
- 1337m@n/Leetman Armstrong.EXE
- Captain of Alia's Net Police squad
- Junko Enpishi
- Flame Demon Kuwagamaya
- Ice Demon Kuriburando
- Sand Demon Piitaru
- Grass Demon Jou
- Kenichi Hino (AKA: Hinoken)
- Rei Saiko
- Wily (AKA: Wily-Hakase/Professor Wily, Wily-sama)
Comments and CriticismEdit
The comic has both been praised and criticized for its use of screen captures from the Rockman.EXE anime, and other such images alongside the sprite panels. Another constant criticism is the useage(Stated as "Overuse" by some readers) of Japanese terminology in the comic. Although willing to improve upon the quality of his writing, Azure has stated in forum posts that his comic is "Based on a Japanese Anime and game series, where the majority of characters speak Japanese and in fact, live in Japan". Although as with anything translated from Japanese to English, the translations or descriptions given for some of the Japanese phrases and words in captions in the comic are not always 100% accurate, several fluent fans have affirmed that they are used in the proper context, and thus the literal translation is just a matter of personal view.