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Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls

Alternate title : Basilisk: Kouga Ninpou Chou

Studio : GONZO

Also involved:

Licenced by : FUNimation

Length : 24 Episodes

Year : 2005

Genre : Mature - Fantasy - Drama - Romance - Action - Historical

Synopsis :
For years, the Tokugawa Shogunate has prospered in peace and now the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu is finally finding the years of death coming closer to him. Listening to the voice of his adviser, he summons the heads of the Kouga and Iga Ninja clans to him.

For four centuries, the two clans have been at each other's throats, their common goal being to eradicate each other. Then the previous Hattori Hanzo had called for them to stop their feud and seal a pact to serve the Shogun for the peace of the country, which the clans reluctantly agreed to. Things are however about to change...

Each clan is to be the Champion to each of his two grandsons. The pact has been revoked! Ten selected ninja champions of a clan must be killed for the other to claim victory. The patron of the victorius clan is hence proclaimed to be the successor to the position of the Shogun.

The battle unfolds in intrigue befitting these ninjas of intrigue. Ninpous fly as their mysterious powers are unleashed in the gathering storm.

In the center of this storm, stands Gennosuke of the Kouga and Oboro from the Iga, the two heirs of the clans who are deeply in love and possessors of powers deadly to the ninjas. What will happen to them when they learn of the revocation of the pact?

Ten ninjas of a clan must fall!!! However who shall fall along with them?

Added : 2005-10-30
Synopsis by : Yebyosh
Last update : 2009-02-02
Last update details : Seiyuu modified
Score : 8.9 Ranked #40 by users
Number of reviews : 31

Link(s) :

Official #1 : FUNimation's Basilisk Website (English)
Official #2 : Official Basilisk Website (Japanese)

Song(s) :

OP1 : Onmyouza - Kouga Ninpouchou

ED1 : Nana Mizuki - Wild Eyes
ED2 : Nana Mizuki - Hime Murasaki

Release(s) :

2012-05-02 -- Episode(s) 1-24 by A-Subs. BT Link
2006-05-25 -- Episode(s) 23 by No Name Winners. BT Link
2006-02-19 -- Episode(s) 24 by Kinoko-Subs. BT Link

Found 47 releases. Click here to [ Find them! ]

Hits : 185979

Seiyuu [View Complete Seiyuu Data]

Togawa, Seishi

 Kouga, Gennosuke Iga, Oboro Yakushiji, Tenzen Kagero Akeginu Kisaragi, Saemon Chikuma, Koshiro Muroga, Hyoma
 Amayo, Jingoro Kasumi, Gyobu Hotarubi Okoi Mino, Nenki Udono, Josuke Azuki, Rosai Jimushi, Jubei
 Yashamaru Kazamachi, Shogen Kouga, Danjo Iga, Ogen

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Currently displaying last 15 reviews.
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Posted by : illu
Posted on : 2009-04-29        

Hhhmmmm... okay let me start off with saying this, if you are looking for a heavy action series "DON'T WATCH THIS". I would have to say that the first episode is probably the most action you will get out of it and it is the only action in the series worth watching. With that being said, this series is alright to me but im giving it an 8/10 because the animation is wondeful. On top of wonderful, lol. I got attached to Gennosuke and Oboro at the end of the series. There is no character development at all except for Gennosuke and Oboro. The techniques that these ninjas have are, like, super hero abilites lol... and that's crap to me. The few guys with abilities worth paying attention to are Gennosuke's eye manipulation technique and Koshiro's hair/wire control if you wanna call it that lol. The down fall of the techniques, One guy has limbs that stretch out like rubberman, another dies like 4 times through out the series who is immortal by the way lol, then you got a guy that can just turn into a pile of slime and creep around. One guy can stretch his hair for miles lol just writing that down makes me laugh... well you get the idea. Just lame super hero abilities. There abilities should've been a lot more technical and more developed but as I told you "DON'T WATCH THIS" if your looking for an action series. If you just like the nature and the style of the ninja era if you wanna call it that and you would want a breathe of fresh air in an anime series on top of wonderful animation, lol. Then this is for you... peace out

Posted by : leoxjm
Posted on : 2009-02-01        

Basilisk is truly a series that stands out in all the anime in recent memory. It combines the tragic love story of Oboro and Gennosuke with a brutal ninja war and plenty of colorful, if bizarre, side characters standing on both sides. The combination of empathic characters, high production values and a powerful story is as rare as always, and yet Basilisk delivers in all aspects.

At its core, Basilisk is a love story set in the backdrop of a senseless, yet brutal, ninja war decided for a reason that is quite distant to those involved. Even so, amid the carnage of the Kouga-Iga feud, the characters try to keep on with their lives and their love. Not only are the leads Gennosuke and Oboro multifaceted in this aspect, almost everyone is. The brotherly love of Saemon and Okoi, the longing between Hotarubi and Yashamaru, Hyoma's concern for his pupil, Akeginu's crush on Koshiro... Basilisk's character's aren't only fierce shinobis, they successfully make a case for being human, which heightens the tragedy of their hatred and its consequences all the more.

Admittedly, however, the ones that take the cake on the character development side are Oboro and Gennosuke, the peaceful and loving leaders of their respective clans, dragged into a war that they don't want and are supposed to spearhead. Naturally when faced with the dilemma of the war, they also question their feelings and those of their beloved. They have to remain steadfast in their decisions, yet they hesitate before moving forward in whatever course of action. Such humanity is rarely seen in action-oriented shows.

Gonzo's technical prowess truly shines in Basilisk. The character designs are detailed and very well-animated, odd as some of they may be. There are occasional drops in its quality, as there always are, but they are few and far in between, making Basilisk's animation rate well higher than the average production. The background music is also worth particular notice with beautiful tunes accompanying the appropriate scene. Overall, Basilisk's aesthetic presentation is a real winner. As eveything however there are downsides: the opening and ending themes left a lot to be desired (especially the OP). The ED was unimpressive at best, but the OP is always skippable.

Another of the series downsides comes in the way it lays out its contents. The first half in particular focuses very much on the ninja battles, leaving the more emotionally charged and character-oriented developments for the later part. As a result, the beginning of Basilisk presents itself (misleadingly so) as a bunch of freakshow battles with some "oh, it's all so senseless" commentary in the background. While it will successfully hook those looking for neat battle sequences, it takes a while before getting to its real strength in terms of character development, something that can potentially alienate some viewers who find more value in that aspect. It's true that everything falls in place by the end, but one as to wonder if the real hook of the story, character development, shouldn't have played more of a role at the beginning.

Even so, Basilisk as whole package leaves very little to be desired. It is true that it is a violent, bloody and brutal presentation of an atrocious feud between two equally powerful clans, yet it retains that tinge of humanity that screams against the senselessness of it all. In terms of story, characters and production values, Basilisk is among the precious few who stand at the peak of quality. Oboro and Gennosuke's story is truly one that should be watched by all of those who claim to enjoy anime. Hard to handle as it may be, Basilisk is a true jewel of the anime realm.

Posted by : ErwinRommel
Posted on : 2008-02-01        

Great action scenes with a cast of characters that are wonderfully developed is the experience I have with Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls. I can't say much of the ending but the story is well written and the depth of the tragedy is felt. Highly recommended for those who enjoy a good action anime.

This anime is ruthless. The characters always err on the violent side but they aren't monolithic. They do have a good side, and we see that often, but it's usually after they die that it appears. In terms of their looks some are beautifully drawn like Hotarubi and Muroga Hyoma but others are almost freakishly different. What makes them better is that many of the fights are questioned and there is always a dissenting voice inside the cast of characters that questions their reason for fighting.

The story of basilisk is wonderfully written. The episodes focusing on the main plot were never slow and gets straight to the action scenes. There is a filler but not in the usual sense. It is focused on the idea of what life would've been if the peace treaty between the two tribes were not broken. It definitely drives the point home when you understand what time the filler is set in. I mention it because it is my favorite episode alongside the hunt for Shogen.

Opening and Closing songs left much to be desired. It just doesn't seem to fit this anime. The one notable thing about music is the background music. It is far FAR superior to a majority of animes that I have seen.

To sum it all up this anime makes Naruto look like a cheap knock-off sold to Tourists. 10/10.

Posted by : Terco
Posted on : 2007-11-06        

An anime about ninjas,hidden villages ninjutsu you might think of "Naruto" when I say this but it's totally different.
I just loved the story of this anime it's very original the beggining of it was kind of dark wich I kind of dislike but the story got way to interesting and its been around 1 year maybe more since i've seen it...yet i still remember every bit of the story,yes,it's that awesome.The characters are cool with unique abilities for each of them and very well drawn and for the music well let's say ive watched many many animes and this is one of the best ever.
So i rate this 10/10.This is a Heart-throbbing mind-stamping tear-dropping anime, you will really remember this anime for a long time if you watch it I definitely recommend it.Well unless you want to keep your tears for yourself ;)

Posted by : nejineverdies
Posted on : 2007-08-21        

Basilisk is a combination of romance, political intrigue and tasty ninja violence. By this I mean that objectively, the story and plot is somewhat unsatisfying, but there is enough value to warrant a watch.

Animation: The fight scenes are fantastic and the real heart of this show. Fluid and smooth action, without mitigating your lovely blood spray factor.

Sound/Music: Eh...

Story/Plot: well, you can certainly see borrowed elements of the romantic story, but it clashes strongly with the main plot, such that the 3 ongoing plots don't really cause any of them to stand out.

All in all, this is what I would call "rental quality."

Posted by : MrSentimental
Posted on : 2007-04-25        

I had to wait a bit to rate this one more objectively. Initially, the plot development and ending left me very unsatisfied.

There were alot of interesting characters on both sides. Some with some pretty cool special powers. The action was also pretty good. There were some slow episodes, and I was hitting the fast-forward button on occasion. The occasional episodes towards the end with flash-backs made several characters suprisingly more likeable. But this just added to the tragedy of the direction of the storyline. I really wanted things to end differently.

The artwork is some of the best. It helped make many of the characters more appealing and intense. The women were elegant and beautiful. The guys were determined and strong. The characters' eyes were especially expressive. The emotions at times were strong, but because of the plot direction, in the end the characters' emotions just didn't seem to matter.

The music was forgetable from the opening theme to the ending theme and just about everywhere in between. A stronger music score would have definitely brought up the intensity level even of the series, like with the Ninja Scroll movie.

So, I was ready to give this a lower score, but the great artwork and interesting characters earned an "8" in my book. But, not alot of happiness in this one. 4 out of 5 STARS.

Posted by : GreyCloak
Posted on : 2007-01-01        

"Gloom soaks the air and all you can breath is sorrow and desperation."

This sums up the anime for me. I was left reeling and untangling the pent up emotions that the anime brought. I can't seem to get enough of the romance between the two main characters, the secret love between the secondary characters, the disturbing and very sexy mature scenes, the vicious fights between the ninjas, the intense hatred of the two warring factions. I soaked it all up and it left me dumbfounded and howling- Howling for a happier ending or something like that. Not that I didn't appreciate the ending.. it just seems unfair. lol!

Story: 9
Definitely unparalleled. The story is full of twists and endless tension. If you try to watch the full series in one sitting.. I guarantee that you'll be bespelled by its complex plot.

Characters: 9
Each character has its highs and lows. I like the scheme of each having a distinct capability even if some bordered on the incredulous.

Music: 9
I would like it much if the OP song was dark and very gloomy. But the musical background was top notch! It was pretty creepy and fit the scenes.

Posted by : mushmouth
Posted on : 2006-12-11        

Basilisk is really dark, as far as anime goes. But when dealing with ninjas, how else should the tone be?

The story is not especially deep, but it still delivers. You want to root for the good guys and detest the villains, but for a select few, the line between the two is pretty non-existent.

The art for Basililisk is really beautiful; it's reminiscent of something like Ninja Scroll (even thought it's a little dated). The action is pretty good, but some of the techniques are are strange (becoming a slug-like creture) and others kinda disgusting (using body hair).

Anyways, this series is a must watch for older viewers (due to mature themes).

Posted by : sianon
Posted on : 2006-11-22        

This anime is almost really good. It has many things going for it: it's got incredible graphics. The setting is in feudal Japan and costume dramas are always pretty, although no way would Okoi gett away with showing that much clevage. The music's good too; it sets up the pace of many the fight/chase/action themes.
The problem is the way the plot is set up: it's like a game of survivor. There is a feud between two rival clans who have been forced to hold the peace for 400 years. Now that they think the treaty is broken, they all have at it. From then on the series runs like this: fight, someone dies, fight, someone else dies...etc.
The fight scenes are incredible. Each of the main fighters on both sides have their own super power--- one turns into goo, one's sexually charged panting can kill. That and the fact that the characters change locales a lot leads to a lot of unique fights scenes from mid-coitus (see last special power), to reaching through walls to courtyards. Plus the different power combinations open up many possibilites.
While there is a fair amount of subterfuge between characters as they try to keep their own people alive and kill the others, this isn't done to make the plot interesting as to justify all the fights. Some people really like this in animes: Dragonball is like this and I have nothing against those animes. They're fun, they are what they are and I like them too. This one bothers me because it tries to be a fight anime and a thoughtful one too. So it falls into a fight, tack on some philosophy and romance, then back to fighting. If you're going to be a fight show, don't pretend to be a thoughtful anime. It just makes you look needlessly pretentious.
In conclusion: fun to watch, but that's because what it is: FUN. Fights are good. Men with giant heads chasing flying fat guys through the woods at night are cool. Men with no limbs killing people with their tongue is really cool. But stick to what you're good at.

Posted by : dedefox
Posted on : 2006-05-24        

There are countless tales about unfulfilled love, as Romeo and Juliet, or infamous Rose DeWitt Bukater and Jack Dawson in Titanic (James Cameron). Basilisk carried the same theme, set in Japanís Bakufu Shogunate era. As have been expected by everyone, Basilisk is a huge success and gaining popularity both in Japan and America, and became one of the best anime based on manga adaptation. The main reason why everyone is keen of this theme is because every love is a subject worth fighting for.

Kouga Manjidani and Iga Tsubagakure, both are ninja clans with unique technical ability of jutsu, were rivals from a long time ago. Nankobo Tenkai, a priest with a special relation as an advisor for Imperial Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa, used this condition to solve a political problem involved in electing a successor for Shogun position. He asks Ieyasu to cease the peace agreement that has been conducted between Kouga and Iga, by the first Hattori Hanzo. Ieyasu agreed and finally ordered Danjo from Kouga, and Ogen from Iga for preparing 10 of their best ninjas to engage in a deadly competition ever held.

So the battle has begun. But for two young persons, Gennosuke from Kouga, and Oboro from Iga, this battle is not just a competition for fortune and glory. As the result from peace agreement, Danjo and Ogen have settled a marriage between Gennosuke and Oboro. Even for the first time is just a political move, Gennosuke and Oboro was deeply fall in love with each other. But before they can celebrate their marriage officially, the agreement has already been ceased.

Basically, Basilisk is a great anime. Both the story and graphic are outstanding. Even a degradation was occurred on its frame number and details after first episode, it didnít effect the greatness in this anime overall. Original scores flows greatly, its traditional composition of shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) and koto (Japanese harp) were adding each scenes to its most dramatically feels.

The story itself has a simple plot. If anyone thinks its simple story has made Basilisk as an unexciting anime, it wonít. Focusing in characterís cause of hatred and revenge, and they motives on carrying out their missions is a perfect decision. It made Basilisk true to its manga and novel predecessor. Importantly, the whole story about romance and revenge has brought Basilisk to a classic anime masterpiece.

A notable detail that was offered by Basilisk is its characterís jutsus. Viewer who didnít familiar with ninja movies will probably see the ability of Basilisk characters as supernatural. But they arenít mythical or devilish powers. It was designed as technical ability that can be learned by every ninjas, secretly has been taught by Kouga or Iga masters to each descendants. Even the powerful Gennosukeís Doujutsu was inherited.

Basilisk is the story about love and hate, passion and betrayal. This is the best anime you can watch if youíre not just want to see apocalyptic battle or alien invasions. If youíre care for world peace, and how love can change the world, you must see this anime. Bring anyone closer to you by learn the lesson that has been taught in this drama. Just be careful that this anime really contain adult materials, such as nudity and of course, bloodshed between ninjas.

Posted by : Hhaze
Posted on : 2006-04-08        

I love this anime. After "Full Moon Wo Sagashite", this is my ultimate favorite. It's so good!

This is about two warring Ninja clans, the Koga and Iga, who have been waiting years for the peace covenant between them to be broken so they can get revenge on each other for the wrongs of the past. It's a story about the love between Oboro and Genosuke, but it's also a story about hate and this is done very well.

One thing I really admired about this is it realistically brings out how ugly war can be. No one looks attractive when they're killing people or talking about killing people; they look twisted with hate, anger, and most of the time downright evil. (Even the normally attractive women characters). One excellent example of this is Hotarubi when she's talking to Saemon. One minute she's sucking venom out of his finger with a tender look of concern on her face, the next minute she looks completely corrupted and evil as she talks about how she slowly took revenge on Kazamachi Shogun.

All of them have motivations and reasons for hating the other clan and this is brought out as the story progresses. Some of the characters were killed very early in the story so you probably won't learn very much about them, but by about episode five, you should know who everybody is and be addicted. (I know I was and I found I was very disappointed as I watched some of the ninjas that I'd begun to sympathize with and thought were going to last longer bite it.)

I think one of the main things this anime has against it is that it's confusing in the beginning. It's sort of difficult to try to keep track of all twenty characters, which clan they belong to and who's fighting who. I recommend watching the first episode again if you get confused because it's worth it later on in the story. There's also a flashback to explain the doomed love of Ogen and Danjo (the two clan leaders) towards the end of the first episode that is sort of difficult to recognize as a flashback.

But it's important to the story too... Even more so as the second episode begins and you start to realize that Oboro and Gennosuke are mirroring the destiny of their grandparents in a number of ways.

Besides the plot, the music is excellent (especially the two ending songs "Wild Eyes" and "Hime Murasaki"). The animation is absolutely gorgeous.

Don't miss this one!

Posted by : blueswirls
Posted on : 2006-03-15        

a great anime not for kids.

you can't really stop watching this anime once you've started, it will just bring you all the way until the last episode.
the story is engaging and definitely exciting, the fighting is great though you have to be prepared for lots of bloody and extremely violent scenes, not to mention some nudity here and there.

Basilisk is a very fast paced anime that each episode really matters.
you won't get bored with so many different characters in it and many times I found myself rooting and sympathizing some of them. it's not all about fighting and killing, lots of emotions are involved as well.
in addition, the graphics and music are great!

in conclusion:
art-animation: 9/10
music: 9/10
story: 9/10
characters: 9/10

everything is great, I don't need to say more. don't miss this one!

Posted by : derfman1963
Posted on : 2006-02-01        

This is one of the better anime out there at this time. If you haven't been watching it you are missing a real treat.

Animation: Animation for this series is on par with many OVA's. Yes it is that good. The character designs are very detailed and range from the bizzare to some of the most beautiful female designs ever.

Story: The plot is well thought out and very well paced. My only complaint is some of the flashbacks were confusing. It wasn't clear that they were a flashback until later. Other then that you have some very strong character relations, love triangles, grudges, etc... All of which are very thoughfully played out and explored despite the shortness of the series. Add in a few suprises and you have a good story.

Music: The music is very fitting for the type of anime. Never overbearing, and does a good job of setting the mood.

Overall: Good animation, character design, story, and music. This anime is not getting the attention it deserves. Watch it, you will not be dissapointed.

Posted by : GrayWolf
Posted on : 2006-01-19        

One of the more notable and respectable aspects is the character designs; they are unique and varied, each one displaying unconventional battle technqiues. For instance, the first episode introduces a beast battle.
The personality is that there is no time to develop any emotions toward any one individual character, and this evolutive in all of the anime. Killing off too many characters in so little time can do that (not to mention the deaths are quite unsatisfying). And for the characters that don't drop dead, their underlying motivations are way too confusing and contorted-same goes for the story of a political problems. What really angered me was the fact that Basilisk started out strong;The first battle scene was impresive. The animation was fluid and beautiful. But that was only the first 5 or so episodes. After episode 5 things take a turn for the worse with the most boring fight scenes EVER; I usually find some crappy fight scenes in other animes laughable, but with Basilisk I can't even do that. This anime is the best.

Posted by : narcolepsy
Posted on : 2005-12-31        

Reminiscent of Ninja Scroll, Basilisk contains many of its characteristics. One of the more notable and respectable aspects is the character designs; they are unique and varied, each one displaying unconventional battle technqiues. Albeit having good character design is good, they lack any real personalities. For instance, the first episode introduces far too many characters to keep track of, and they keep piling up as the series progresses.

Aside from the obscene amount of characters, the primary reason for the lack of personality is that there is no time to develop any emotions toward any one individual character. Killing off too many characters in so little time can do that (not to mention the deaths are quite unsatisfying). And for the characters that don't drop dead, their underlying motivations are way too confusing and contorted-same goes for the story (which can very difficult to follow). This is what I obtained knowledge-wise in the story (no spoliers): (1) A guy with hairy eye brows likes whiny girl, (2) whiny girl likes hairy brows back, (3) Hairy brows plays flute (a symbol of their love...) for whiny girl, (4) but can't be together because their clans are at war, (5) and then stupid stuff happens. The end. I might be a little harsh, but trust me, the story blows.

What really angered me was the fact that Basilisk started out strong; they tricked me--TREASON I say! The first battle scene was AMAZING. The animation was fluid and beautiful. But that was only the first 5 or so episodes. After episode 5 things take a turn for the worse with the most boring fight scenes EVER; I usually find some crappy fight scenes in other animes laughable, but with Basilisk I can't even do that. It brings tears to my eyes just to think of them. If your going to watch the anime, stop at episode 5, and then imagine the rest of the storyline and battle scenes. Save yourself the agony. One more thing, the pacing is PAINFULLY SLOW. I don't know why I watched the whole series...but you shouldn't.

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