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From Del Rey: By the order of Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa, ten ninja from the Iga and the Kouga clans must fight to the death in order to determine who will be the next Tokugawa Shogun, with the surviving clan ruling for the next thousand years. But 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?
Note: Won the Kodansha Manga Award in the category "Best General Manga" in 2004.
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The graphic of this manga is really unusual but not bad. I saw firt the anime adaptation and then read this manga. I love it. I'm not into romantic but I love tragedy and gore things. I'm hopping Y+M will be same good.
Ninjas or mutants?!
Don't take this manga seriously and you'll get some fun. I like samurai and ninja stories like Lone Wolf and Cub, The Sword of Kamui and Asumi, there are very strong characters in these mangas, but none of them are like the "ninjas" of Basilisk, those guys aren't ninjas, they have freaking mutant powers! They could be admitted into the X-Men without any DNA test and would put most of the Xs to shame. If you like serious stories don't touch this, but if you suppress your need for credibility and want to try something funny for a change, go for it. The center of the plot is a Romeo and Juliet drama, so if you know that Shakespeare's play, you know what to expect. The story isn't completely shallow, you will find yourself touched by the cruel fate of many young lovers, the author manages to make the reader like his characters, for this I praise him and his manga.
... Last updated on August 29th, 2015, 4:21pm
Basilisk was a fun read, but all my problems with it come from one essential aspect of story telling - DEVELOPMENT.
The manga's characters had little to no development. It's almost like the author is assuming that we know each of their backstories enough to give a damn about their overall character. Sad thing is, I didn't give a single damn about any of them. Well, maybe I was obligated to sympathize with Oboro, and genuinely feel for Akeginu,Koshiro and the old people at the beginning, but that's about it. People die off way too quickly, motivations weren't explored satisfyingly, and even the romance (that was supposed to be a huge factor in the outcome) didn't even feel real.
On the bright side, the action was great, and art is quite excellent by my standards. Most conversations are intelligent, and the overall concept was really good.
So yeah, it could've been done a whole lot better.
Great manga with screwed up situations
Damn this was a great manga i really thought it was creative and the art was great, but i have to say i was on the Kougas side the whole time
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
mainly cause one they were the underdogs most of the time because the igas knew ahead of time the general situation and were kinda cheating (especially when they got the help of of some soliders like some bitches) and also there's not a doubt in my mind that if all the kouga ninjas knew ahead of time they would have won way more easier because most of them had better abilities than the Iga (excluding the one with the wind and the wire guy) and cause most of the kougas needed more that one iga ninja to get killed.Plus despite a mega disadvantage in the beginning they managed to take the advantage until the iga cheated and got help.
however the iga did have a few characters i liked which where mainly the ones that were sorta couples but anyway great manga, sad that its over and that the end turned out that way.
... Last updated on August 23rd, 2013, 6:57pm
Couldn't believe it!
I think this is the first time I've actually finished a manga/anime without caring for the fate of any of the characters. In most cases like these, I would have quit somewhere in between but...well, I was bored.
It surprised me though, because throughout the story of Basilisk, I've probably switched my preferred clan over 30 times, each time thinking to myself, "Hurry up and kill [insert opposing clan]!". I felt no personal connection to any of the characters, besides a bit of pity every now and then but I could not find anyone that I wanted to stick with in terms of a ''favorite character". In the end I decided to keep it neutral and just watch the events unfold in front of me, every now and then predicting some future event. Speaking of predictions, I had jokingly predicted the actual ending near the beginning on Basilisk and I have to say, I was pissed off. When I had first made my prediction I had inferred a cheesy ending...an ending that I had laughed at because I had thought, "They wouldn't pull something like that." But the fact is, that ending happened. I felt like I should have been crying at the end but all I felt was the weird satisfaction of being right.
Oh and rage. Lots of rage.
... Last updated on March 30th, 2012, 12:12pm
I really dont want to class this as romance, people who think that this will be real romance are going to be dissappointed. Even at the end it felt like a romeo and juliet story without a real reason behind it
Beautiful in it's own way
When I finished reading I felt kind of conserned. It was really sad to see how people killed each other for the sake of power. And in the middle is two who loves each other. I couldn't help feeling sadness over everyones destiny. I also makes reminds me of off all the wrong things that happens in this world. This is a really good fighting manga. The action is well drawn and I think the art is beautiful. I like the dark content about humans nature which is mostly described in how hate affects us. The mixing of beauty and vilonce is great. It's just like reading Shakespear, but with ninjas.
Adaptation of a Classic Novel
Since it doesn't seem to be mentioned anywhere in the comments or description, I thought it was worth mentioning that this is an adaptation of The Kouga Ninja Scrolls, a 1958 novel by the late Futaro Yamada, which is often described as the first modern Japanese fantasy novel.
The story, which is the first in his "Ninja Scroll Series", has been adapted into three different manga, as well as an anime and a live action film. It's also inspired countless other anime and manga. An English translation of the novel has been published by Del Ray Books.
The manga has, in my opinion, a distinctly "80s ninja anime" vibe, perhaps because it's adapting the origin of modern Japanese ninja stories, or perhaps because the last decade has been dominated by the thoroughly modern Naruto. If you've ever watched Ninja Scroll or Yotoden: Wrath of the Ninja, this will likely feel very familiar to you.
The biggest flaw of this one is that all of these characters are just killing each off one by one without developing their personalities at all and for a reason that seems like an arbitrary pretense to have them fighting. Sure the character abilities are very well developed, but I find it difficult to care about characters in a manga where I don't find myself caring all that much who lives or dies and cheer on characters based entirely upon who seems more cool this time. Even when the cooler character is the one defeated in a fight, there's no motivation to care. Although the anatomy can seem unrealistic at times, the art is still far better than the story/plot.
... Last updated on June 12th, 2011, 7:14pm
Out of curiosity I began reading basilisk, after reading Y+M (which isn't that much better). The art is in my opinion rather grotesque, even when the characters aren't dying a horrible death. Of course the story is what's important, and in this case there isn't much of one. The characters are thrown right in from the beginning, and they die off before anyone would even be able to establish some kind of connection to them (if you could fall in love with any of their hideous faces). The "romance", if you can call it that, is melodramatic and I didn't sympathize for anyone.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
When Genosuke finds out that the two clans have to fight, he ups and leaves Oboro like it's her fault. What the heck was up with that? So much for "love". And in the end, when they drift off into death on the river and he writes that she's won, that was the cheesiest thing ever. I think I almost laughed.