Monday, October 26, 2009


Basilisk is a Japanese manga/anime series. Written by Masaki Segawa in 2003 & 2004, based on the The Kouga ninja scrolls by Futaro Yamada published in 1958. The anime was released in 2005 by GONZO studios. Though this anime is not really historical it is based in 1614 in Medieval Japan.

 Basilisk won the 2004 Kondasha Manga Award for general Manga

Two rival Clans, the Iga Tsubagakure & Kouga Manjidani, who have hated each other since anyone can remember. But they have been forced by Hattori Hanzo I to cease their fighting.But tension between the two clans continue.
Shogun Ieyasu is ready to retire and wants to hand over power to his son, Hidetada but soon a sucession crisis appears and threatens to tear the shogunate apart. Ieyasu calls off the cease-fire between the two clans. Each Clan represents one of the factions of supporting Ieyasu's grandsons. They must choose 10 of their finest warriors to fight 10 warrior from the other clan in a kill or be killed manner. Which ever clan kills the chosen 10 from the other will be given favor for a 1000 years and the grandson the represent will suceed Ieyasu.
Before this conflict began, the heir to the Iga & Kouga, Oboro & Gennosuke are engaged in hopes that their marriage will stop the fighting between the two clans. But they must either choose to kill the one they love or risk the totally annihilation of their clans.


When all is said and done, and only Oboro and Gennosuke remain of the two clans. They must face off in a final frontation. Oboro unwilling to kill the one she so dearly loves, kills herself (uttering "I love you Gennosuke-sama" before dying). Gennosuke, hear-broken, decides to take his life as well. Before he stabs himself, he writes that the last person alive was Oboro.

Basilisk also has a live action movie counterpart called "Shinobi : Heart Under A Blade".The plot is basically the same except that instead of Oboro AND Gennosuke having the mystic eyes, only Oboro has the special eyes (the combined powers of Gennosuke and Oboro). Instead of 10 nin there are only 6. The drama between the ninja are not apparent in the movie (except for that of Kagerou and Gennosuke). The Movie ends with Gennosuke and Oboro in a final battle. Gennosuke lets Oboro kill him. The whole point of sending the shinobi off to fight each other so that their villages will be defenseless. When Oboro goes to tell Ieyasu that she is the sole survivor, she discovers that her village and that of the Manjidani are under attack. She begs him to leave them be but Ieyasu says he can not, claiming that the ninja are to dangerous, using her dojitsu as an example. Oboro then blinds herself to prove that she is harmless. In the end, Ieyasu relents and leaves the villages. I understand that when you make a book or TV show into a movie, you have to cut things. And I didn't mind the loss of some characters. But however, the story lost some of its good features during the cutting of characters. I give the movie a 3/5.  

I give this a 5/5 It was simply brilliant. The drama played about between all the characters was stunning. The timeless love story of doomed loved has never been more appealing. The story was rich with romance, suspense, and violence. I didn't like the art so much. The story plot could not have been better. Entertaining and Witty. I would rate is 16+ for its violence but other than that I would definitely suggest this for ALL!

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