Basilisk - Kouga Ninpou Chou

Title:Basilisk - Kouga Ninpou Chou
Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - GONZO
Original Concept - Kodansha Manga Award Winner
R1 License - FUNimation
The Iga clan and the Kouga clan have been sworn enemies for more than four hundred years. Only the Hanzo Hattori truce has kept the two families from all-out war. Now, under the order of Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa, the truce has finally been dissolved. Ten ninja from each clan must fight to the death in order to determine who will be the next Tokugawa Shogun. The surviving clan will rule for the next thousand years.

But not all the clan members are in agreement. Oboro of the Iga clan and Gennosuke of the Kouga clan have fallen deeply in love. Now these star-crossed lovers have been pitted against each other. Can their romance conquer a centuries-old rivalry? Or is their love destined to end in death?

(summary from DEL REY manga - see link below)

Based on the popular novel by Futaroh Yamada.

Produced by Gonzo
24 TV Episodes
First Aired on Japanese TV in March 2005

R1 license by Funimation
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 6 7 6 7 8 Ggultra2764 [series:1029#1552]
Basilisk, as a whole, was a bit of a mixed-bag for me. While I liked the Romeo and Juliet-style plot angle with Gennosuke and Oboro, the ninja action it touted wasn't too impressive for me thanks to noticeable shortcuts with the animation. I'll tackle the plot first which was actually a bit decent. Gennosuke and Oboro come across as believable characters who are tragically caught up in the feud between their clans and a political rivalry re-igniting the tensions from their clans' bloody feud. The series switches between flashbacks and the present to give you a better sense of how Oboro and Gennosuke's relationship developed and how they came to believe that their marriage would create peace between both clans. This development also carries over to a number of other characters in both the Kouga and Iga clans allowing one to get a sense of the types of character relationships there are within both clans. This doesn't necessarily extend to all the characters though as some like Jousuke, Nenki and Rousai are underdeveloped compared to more prominent characters. The buildup to the ending of this series leads to a bittersweet outcome that did enough at satisfying me in the end in regards to Oboro and Gennosuke.

As a series that hyped itself with ninja action though, this was a major area of disappointment for me. The show makes use of still shots, frozen backgrounds during character movements and other animation shortcuts in a poor attempt to simulate movement in battle scenes. Plus while scenery shots looked decent in fitting with the feudal era setting, the lining of character designs did look a bit rough. I've seen what Gonzo could pull off with animation for TV titles like Last Exile and Gankutsuou. It greatly disappoints me that they didn't put as much effort into the visuals for this one.

If you are looking for a tragic love story and can tolerate graphic killings onscreen, Basilisk is a decent title to pick up despite the action not being as impressive as most of Gonzo's other offerings.

Last updated Wednesday, January 12 2011. Created Wednesday, January 12 2011.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:1029#967]

Last updated Friday, May 15 2009. Created Friday, May 15 2009.
Buy 9 9 9 8 9 9 Dreamer [series:1029#2279]
I love this anime. I watched this a while back... almost when I first started getting into anime and found it to be one of the best ones out there....even to this day as I rewatched it... at least that I've seen so far.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
The art was very well done. For the most part, was a dark artwork. Animation was smooth as well, especially a lot of the fight scenes. As for character designs.... very well done as well. Some of the characters were quite evil looking. Each character had unique appearance, as well as traits that they all were favorites. Actually, probably my favorite characters were Gennosuke, Tenzen, Zaemon, Hyouma (all time favorite), and Okoi.

The OP was right up my alley. It was a hard rock piece with female vocals. Really great beat and the animation went well with it. As for the rest of the music, it was mostly dramatic pieces. When the music starts thumping, you know something dramatic is about to start. At times, there would be

Series and Episode Story
I'm sorry, but Ninja Scroll has nothing on this. It's not even comparable. This has an amazing plot that keeps you unbelievably glued to your screen. Every episode was packed with roller-coaster action and suspense. The concept of two factions (clans), battling it out was not a unique plot, but the way it was done is what made it exceptional. The fights were bloody, dramatic and with crazy techniques.... as one would expect of ninjas. I loved all the characters... all exceptional in their attributes... some quite grotesque. At the pace of the series, I started getting an idea what to expect at the end.... and sure enough it turns out to be a bitter sweet ending. A minor disappointment was that Hyouma died too quickly and easily. He was a more mysterious one that piqued my interest.

Overall, this was one hell of an anime. I loved every episode and every minute of it. If there's any real gripe I have, it's that I wish it was longer.

Last updated Sunday, May 03 2009. Created Sunday, May 03 2009.
Unevaluated AstroNerdBoy [series:1029#436]

Through 6 episodes...

If I can stay focused enough, I should marathon it in a few days. That said, this is ultra-violent story that runs at a mad pace. There are few breather moments and certainly the Romeo & Juliet aspect to the story don't hurt.

Last updated Sunday, December 28 2008. Created Sunday, December 28 2008.

Buy 10 10 8 10 10 manganime [series:1029#1633]
This was one hell of an anime when I watched it, a must watch for fans of ninja scroll and samurai/ninja seinen anime. Nice artwork and animation to boot with a great story.

The main thing which I would say hindered the anime was the fact that I felt most of the fights didn't reach their full potential like how the opening fight was, most of the fights were quite short and in some cases felt a bit anti-climactic.

But overall still a great anime.

Last updated Friday, May 02 2008. Created Friday, May 02 2008.
Buy Forbin [series:1029#1573]
12 Episodes Watched R1
Wow this one Funi hit the Mark. The dubbing on this is superior. (Unlike Negima!) What happens when you redo Ninja Scroll and make the 2 prime antagonists lovers? Oh me, oh my. This is a good contender to beat Ninja Scroll as my favorite Ninja anime. Lets hope.

11.13 : I am enjoying this more and more. It's not as ecchi as Ninja Scroll OVA but it comes close. An encounter with a Vampire like girl was covered and uncovered at the same time and when Genosuke-sama's power was shown, I was completely hooked.

I am upgrading this to a BUY as of right now.

Last updated Monday, November 13 2006. Created Monday, August 07 2006.

Other Sites
Japanese Language Series Web Site
DEL REY manga series (English language)

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