Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls
|Alternate title : Basilisk: Kouga Ninpou Chou |
Studio : GONZO
Licenced by : FUNimation
Length : 24 Episodes
Year : 2005
Genre : Mature - Fantasy - Drama - Romance - Action - Historical
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 The pact has been revoked!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
Official #1 : FUNimation's Basilisk Website (English)
Official #2 : Official Basilisk Website (Japanese)
OP1 : Onmyouza - Kouga Ninpouchou
ED1 : Nana Mizuki - Wild Eyes
ED2 : Nana Mizuki - Hime Murasaki
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
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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.
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!
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.
Each character has its highs and lows. I like the scheme of each having a distinct capability even if some bordered on the incredulous.
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!
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.
Posted by : batousaijin
Posted on : 2005-11-28
Basilisk is one awesome anime. It's everything a ninja fanatic could hope for. The story is reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet. There are two ninja clans, Kouga and Iga, who hate each other and have just been given permission to go to war. They go all out and use their ninja skills to the utmost. Some skills don't even seem humanly possible. The first clan to kill the ten ninjas from the other clan on the hitlist will win, but not only that, will decide who the next shogun will be. In the midst of this ninja war, Gennosuke of Kouga and Oboro of Iga just happened to fall in love. War is ugly, however, and brings out the ugliness in everyone. Will their love survive? Will they betray each other? Ask someone else to spoil it for you, I ain't tellin'! Seriously though, the animation is on par with anime movies that have a much bigger budget than tv series'. The characters move very realistically. Their skills are as cool if not cooler than some of the more memorable ninpou of Naruto, a much more childish (though not necessarily bad) anime. All of the ninjas' abililties fit in well with the universe this anime creates. There's nothing worse than an anime that breaks its own rules. Anyone see Batman Begins? [spoiler] Why doesn't the doomsday device, a microwave that heats up water molecules on a huge scale, explode the people standing next to it like the old lady's poodle in the urban legend? [/spoiler] The soundtrack is memorable and moving. When your favorite ninja dies the experience is all the more traumatic because of the touching music that fits well into the feudal setting. Holy cow, I couldn't stop watching this anime. I'm so bummed that I couldn't find more than 19 episodes anywhere. If anyone knows where or how, send me a message PLEEEEEEEEEZE!!
Posted by : ekremserhan
Posted on : 2005-10-14
This is the ninja anime!! After Ninja Scroll, this is the only anime which is close to its legend. Everything in this anime is for justice and revenge. There has no good and no evil. Everyone who likes Ninja Scroll must absolutely watch it.
And also this anime is ninja version of Romeo & Juliet.
Story:To put it a simple it's about the ninja fight between two clans, Iga and Kouga. Both of them are expert in ninjitsu and hate each other.However in every episodes there has another stories like why Iga and Kouga hates each other.
Characters:Every character in this anime is very important but the most important ones are Gennosuke and Oboro.Both of them are the leaders of each clans and they are in love with each other.
Posted by : ariq
Posted on : 2005-10-14
A great ninja anime
This show has fairly nice storyline, at the same time i find it kind of dumb, trying to be the strongest clan out ther by taking out all the people of your enemy clan. The thing i like mostly about this show is the romance in it, i think it is done farily well, and both characters dont want any fighting to happen
The music to this show is awsome, i like the opening theme the best, the ending thime is also really good, there is 2 versions of the ending theme i prefer the first version more.
Animation is great obviosuly since it is done by gonzo, and to me gonzo does the best animations for any show, that is just my opinion. Blood in this show is great to watch, i loved when the main character made the enemies turn on each other with his eyes, and it was awsome when one of the enemies decapitated himself(cut of his own head). The violence in this show is great, and ofcourse this show has to be violent since it is a serious ninja anime.
Characters in this show are great, none of the characters are annoying at all which i really like about it, and the main characters from each clan are great characters and characters that you come to admire. The thing i like about this show is just when you kind of get to know some of the characters they die. I actually wanted the guy that plays with steel string like things to live, i loved it when he was in action in the first episode and i would have like to see more from him SPOILER!!! but he died.
if you have no other show to watch right now i suggested you go watch this show, you wont be dissapointed. The only thing I was dissapointed with this show was the plot, but besides that this show is a solid series. There is not much good ninja animes out there but Ninja scroll, but to me ninja scroll was not that entertaining, but basilisk is pretty entertaining.
My overall score i would give it is 8/10
Posted by : Yebyosh
Posted on : 2005-09-22
Shadowy figures dashing among trees, vanishing into the night. Silently they emerge from the shadows to break the necks of their targets. Bound in tight ropes, they are able to contort their bodies and twist free to escape. They move around freely amongst the enemies, taking on their exact appearances Using their own bodies as weapons, they are able to kill even when stripped bare. This is the classic mystical ninja. The ninjas shown in the awesome series Basilisk.
Growing up with the superhero ninjas made popular during the 1960s-1980s flicks, I have become very disillusioned with modern crops of so-called 'ninja' shows. Ninjas have been made to be just plain fighters who are dressed in black pyjamas. Even worse are those shows who turn ninjas into Dragonball-nesque fighters. Thus when an anime is to be adapted off the mystical ninja manga, Basilisk which in turn is adapted from the classic mystical ninja novels, Kouga Ninpoujou, I got pretty excited. I am happy to say that for once GONZO excelled at adapting an anime from a manga.
Basilisk is a very simple story, Gennosuke of the Kouga Manjidani sect and Oboro of the Iga Tsubagakure sect are the heir-apparents of their respective clan and deeply in love with each other as well. However the hatred between the two clans ran four centuries deep, kept under restraint by a pact imposed by a respected member of the government. When the pact was revoked by the shadow Shogun for personal gains, the ninjas eagerly seize upon the opportunity to eradicate each other. The story tells of how they kill off the 10 champions of each clan and how Gennosuke and Oboro went through the tumultous difficult time.
The animation is superb. The action is smooth and fluid, readily displayed right at the very start with its introduction where a snake slithers amongst the grass before launching itself at a swooping hawk. Many of the action scenes in the show itself carry this fluidity. Whips of hair flicker through the air, globules of webbing spltter onto the surface, sword strokes are followed through; blows are really exchanged instead of just illustrating movement only with action lines. Fighters move around instead of a slideshow of static images. GONZO has definitely dedicated itself to the action department knowing very well that 80% of the attraction of the series lies in the ninja war.
I love the opening number. It reminds me so much of the 80's ninja real-life drama serials but in a modern pop rhythm. The forlorn reflected in the voice and the flutes make it an appropriate introduction for this story of doomed romance. The voices in the show are excellently cast. Jovial Jousuke had a voluminous voice, soothing out the atmosphere. Creepy Shougen and Jingorou ( when using his ninpou ) have raspy voices, giving them that evil edge to them in line with their physical appearance. Oboro has the dainty voice enhancing her cuteness.
Character designs are excellent here as well, taken straight from the manga. The designs give the characters' personalities, augmented by their motivations and voices. "Boob Grabber" ( *snicker* ) Jousuke is all blubbery fat, lending a mischievious sleazy look to him. His ninpou uses his body well. Nenki with his disgusting nose hair, displays an equally disgusting personality along with the use of his features into his ninpou. Saemon's slit eyes reflect a secretive nature which works as well into his ninja arts. Gennosuke's and Oboro's eyes are large and distinctive with the lashes, a sign of them being the source of their powers, a signature of the show's title. There are pretties and uglies on both sides, giving a variety rarely found in other animes these days. Their distinctive appearances allow viewers to readily identify the characters.
Despite the simplistic plot that is akin to Sunday afternoon B-grade action TV series ( revenge, and the tragic love angle ), it absolutely works! No complications, no idiotic attempts to set up a 'complex' plot, no heavy handed over-use of angst or other plot setups, this is just a straight forward tale of two loves set among bitter vendettas and an external force exploiting them for their own gain. The age-old vendetta sets up a field where the deaths of the characters are unpredictable ( except for the final two ). This is a story that can be easily followed by anyone.
An excellent adaptation from the manga. This is a fine example of how it should be done. Taking scenes from the manga, GONZO simply expanded upon the action from the key frames. For other additions, they simply added in scenes that flush out the the background of the story and characters, without changing any of the original story's content or progression, or the cast's personalities. These additions gave more information on the story, adding to the atmosphere ( the finger-tap communication between the Kisaragi siblings, the love story between Yashaman and Hotarubi ) as well as enhancing the character's history, motivations ( Gyoubu's hatred for the Iga ), appearances and presence. This is the very model for adaptations to be done.
The only point in the anime that puzzled me were a few minor changes from the manga, like the sequence of actions in the battle on the boat, and the chronlogy of Tenzen's life ( the anime seemed to indicate him to be greater than 50 years old?! ).
Besides the heavy gore, flesh is quite readily exposed in this series namely by Akeginu and Kagero. Though the profile of breasts can be seen, nipples are conspicuously missing, either being covered by hair, or strips of cloth, or being non-existent at all. Perhaps these will be added back in the DVDs to allay the oddity of nipple-less females? XP
... ( Nothing )
Simply a wonderful viewing experience for everyone and THE very ninja anime to date 10/10
Posted by : fantasticdamage
Posted on : 2005-09-21
OMG! what can I say about Basilisk?! or is there anything that would be enough to say about it. Let me get started; as far as I have seen this is about the Iga and Kouga, 2 rival ninja clans that have been chosen by the aging shogun to compete in a contest between each clan's best 10 ninja warriors in order to decide which of his two heirs will be the next shogun. The prize that they are fighting for is settling a 400 year old vendetta by annihilating one another and the surviving clan's promise from the shogun to be supported for the next thousand years. Alot of Japanese history here but I digress.
The animation is very much along the lines of both Ninja Scroll and Shadow Skill (the 1st movie not the series or that computer generated 2nd movie) I loved the detail that went into the characters and the fact that the saved the best character so far (Gennosuke), for last. The story to me is well developed and not at all hard to follow. I have watched 16 episodes and everyone of them had me on the edge of my seat.
The opening, the music and the ending are all wayyyy sweet! I have watched the series - well as much as I have - like 3 times already and I intend on watching it again.
Animation doesn't get better than this. The intriguing characters and the animation, the fights and just the whole plot to it make this a definite one for any and all watchers of anime and if you aren't one then after Basilisk you certainly would be.
I can't wait for the next episodes to come out.
Posted by : Kazzuki
Posted on : 2005-09-08
Finally this feels like 2005 , I was searching so hard to find an anime that shows how much progress technology has helped the world of animation and this is the answer. Basilisk is the anime to watch of the year no doubt.
Characters: damn that eye voodoo . This anime does not really stick to one single main hero like most anime, but brings to you an awesome cast of 20 each having insane fight scenes which will always leave you breathless
Sound: The OP and ED soundtracks are indeed awesome , even the in animation music is simply brillant . Kudos to the soundgenius behind this anime for it surely is top class and brilliant.
Animation: Each character adopts different skills which are well displayed with the awesome animation this anime gives. The movements, body language and choreography is truly amazing and the icon for this show . It's rich colours and lovely artistic design leaves most anime in weak comparison
Storyline: Blood thirsty revenge spanning 400 years, though simple Basilisk truly brings lots of flavours and exciting mini stories from different generations.
Definately a 10 and a must watch this year!!
Posted by : monkee012
Posted on : 2005-08-19
Overall, this anime ROCKS!!! It's soooo relieving to watch an ACTUAL ninja anime where it's not all peaches and cream. Here, when people get attacked, they actually DIE!!! It's not a never-ending battle between two people that lasts an eternity. Also, unlike the "Dragonball" superhuman aspect that most anime's have, this is different; ninjas have certain techniques that they have and they use that to survive, not turn into superhuman all powerful beings. If you want a Naruto-Dragonball-like anime, this aint it, this is a very original ninja anime that is worth every minute of your time!!!
Posted by : axon
Posted on : 2005-08-19
Basilisk is a very well-animated ninja anime. The fight sequences are drawn well, though at times can be hard to follow, and the music (opening, ending, and background) blends in nicely with the feel of this anime.
This is a very dark show, both in content and the palette used in the animation. The characters, for the most part, have depth and are likable or dislikable in their own unique ways. The character design for this series is also quite good, and as a viewer it's fun to guess at and anticipate the full variety of powers each character will show.
This show is also not afraid to show blood, sexuality, and death when necessary. Twisted limbs, sensual showings of skin, and bloody wounds become commonplace. Basilisk's creator(s) are not afraid to kill off characters.
Overall, the plot is well formed and well executed. This show is definitely worth the time to watch, especially for fans of the original Ninja Scroll or more mature anime such as Shingetsutan Tsukihime. The main problem I personally had with this anime--and the main reason it dropped from an 8 or a 9 to a 7--is one of the main characters, Oboro. Oboro is immediately placed into a weaker, weepier role, and, both to my and her clanmates' dismay, allows herself to only be a hindrance to her clan. Still, if you can deal with Oboro's moanings, as most viewers probably can, since it is an overused stereotype, this series is worth your while.
Posted by : chubby_kidd
Posted on : 2005-08-10
The voice acting and the animation quality is amazing. The fighting scenes and sound effects are especially well done. It has many different distinguishiable characters. The opening theme and the ending theme has a rockish feel to them, but it goes well with the series. It really is one of GONZO's best action anime.
Posted by : night
Posted on : 2005-08-08
So far, I've seen only 6 chapters, looking forward to more!!!
I've read the beginning of the manga (first 2 Volumes), to the same point that I've seen the Anime as well.
The drawing in both is very nice and smooth, but the Anime version coloring is too watery in some
scenes. The animation itself and the story are very good. It is inspired by a previous novel but with a
very personal touch from the author. I like the speed of it; it's fast but takes you with it. I love the
Ninja skills, they're all unique abilities; being a Martial Arts lover I've always admired the Ninja Techniques.
The names of the characters and places, with a few exceptions, are important in understanding the plot.
The characters' feelings in the story are just as important, along with understanding what causes them. The story is a struggle
of emotions and wills, revolving around the hatred between the two clans mixed with the love between the main characters.
The new found desire for peace and the tradition of war are perhaps equally important elements in the story that is a mix
of genres. It is a novelesque tale combined with a classic ninja story, making it a very physical, violent and bloody love story.
It's the kind of novel I would like to watch; because in the end that's what it is, an alternate view of romance!!
Posted by : ffmaniax
Posted on : 2005-06-04
I have only watched the 7 episodes that are out for this anime and so far it is great.
This anime gets to the point, it's not one of the sissy animes where no one dies. Everyone seems to get slaughtered and there is no clear good side. It is great to see an anime like this every once in a while especially since how many people get frustrated and tired of the children's style anime of Naruto where the good guy always wins, while managing to find a way to convert the enemy. It also skips the long boring talks and flashbacks and gets directly to the action, the beauty is it's not even mindless action, each fight moves the story's plot further. This is one of the fastest plot paced anime I've seen and it a welcome change from the boring childish animes i have watched recently.
Contains lots of blood so this should be for mature audiences only.
By the way in my opinion this is the best anime that is currently out.
Posted by : faebinder
Posted on : 2005-05-24
This series is written by the same author of Ninja Scrolls the movie, Yamada Futaro, and a second author that I know less about, Segawa Masaki. The series has stunned me so bad and I modified this review by the time I watched the final episode. By far, I am very very very impressed... this anime starts very very strong... Reminds me so much of the perfect quality of Ninja Scrolls OVA.. here are the details:
Animation/Art: 10/10 You can't accuse this action anime of bad drawing. Every scene was very very detailed. All the not so important characters were drawn like they had their own running story. The fights were fluid and the artist has his own flair for details, adding a surprising touch to many of the characters making them unusual.
Music: 10/10. Wow! The first opening and first ending were absolutely AWESOME. The second ending was pretty good as well. The music during the episodes was above average. I must get my hands on the openings and endings though, well worth it. (The songs had strong female first voice.)
Story: 10/10. So it involves ninjas, one might argue that 'how can they go wrong.' It's possible but it has not happened in this series. So far the story has quite a few twists and you never know who is going down next in this struggle. There are no repeated flashbacks or fillers, and the story just shoots forward showing a struggle between two ninja clans with a love constrainted in its center. And to make the story even better, the first episode is half in the past giving you the solid background of how this whole mess started. The ending was fabulous and semi expected by the time you reach the last episode but everything along the way is a surprise fast pace story/action/drama.
Characters: 10/10. If you think you are going to watch an anime that the good guys and characters always win, you are dead wrong. To make this even better, this anime has 20 important characters and they are surprisingly well set up. Some characters have more screen time than others but there is no doubt that each of the important characters is addressed sooner or later in the episodes as the story progresses. The characters are well thought out.
In short, if you haven't seen a good movie since the Ninja Scroll OVA or Samurai X Trust & Betrayal, then this is the anime for you. You will not be disappointed.
Posted by : Sepherz
Posted on : 2005-05-22
Here are some of the things that make Basilisk my personal 2005 spring favourite alongside Speed Grapher :
First of all, the animation here is simply amazing. The characters design is unique (sometimes rather odd..) and the battle scenes are stunning.
Secondly, this series features thus far one of the best OP/ED I've ever heard. Kouga Ninpou Chou is an amazing song with great riffs and a strong female singer, and both Wild Eyes and Hime Murasaki are excellent endings (not to mention I liked the 1st epi having a different ED than the rest of the series thus far).
Moreover, and maybe most importantly, Basilisk is a very fast-going series that keeps the watcher magnetized through every single second of every single episode. This series seems to be going the right way, a ninja-fighting-based-shounen that is following the path of Ninja Scroll the movie.
Posted by : IHateLois
Posted on : 2005-05-16
OOOOooohhh man this is the gotta-see ninja series of all time. the fight scenes are mind blowing! and the animations is stuning.
ok ok ok I think thats enough for now.....
Basically, the show is about two clans in mortal combat for countless decades and what-not....and don't for get the Romeo and Juliet bit.
But man the way the creators tell the story it's like ALL NEW MATERIAL.
Anyway, the two clans were forced into some peace treaty for like 15-20 yrs now that treaty has been broken in order to decide who will become Shogun.
Can't wait to watch the next eps
Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait, can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!!!!!!!!!
Posted by : datzilla
Posted on : 2005-05-13
Gotta love them action scenes; very well drawn, detailed actions, blood, and more blood. This is not some girly anime like Naruto and the rest of new animes.
It's simple, gets to the point. If you guys are fans of Samurai-X, and Ninja Scroll, this is the stuff! No gay talk like Naruto, characters do die, and they shed real blood. They don't talk for 10 hours before they actually die.
This anime gets a 10 along with other animes on my list, Elfen Lied, Samurai-X, and Samurai Champloo.
Posted by : tabz
Posted on : 2005-05-09
Basilisk for some hard core ninja action! a bit of warning, this is not your Naruto ninja ninja that you're used to, it's more in the lines of ninja scroll. Yes, the battles are brutal, the fight scenes are dark and awesome, and the story is better than ninja scroll in my opinion. The conflicts in this series are good. This series really gave me that 'ninja scroll impression' in terms of action, the dark/gloomy atmosphere, (well ninjas do hide in the shadows) and they don't wear flashy orange suits that can be spotted easily. The characters are unique to say the least, the women are beutiful and the men are ugly^^... and varying in abilities. If you liked ninja scroll - that kind of ninja stuff, you'll probably like this one.
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