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"Basara - The spirit of freedom which denies old authority, transcending traditions and customs."

Born under a prophecy that will liberate and unite Japan, Sarasa has had to take her brother Tatara's place as the "Boy of Destiny." Fighting for the oppressed, Sarasa journeys across Japan to gain allies and defeat her enemies--all while keeping her identity a secret!

Basara won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shoujo in 1992.


Related Series

Associated Names
Legend of Basara
บาซาร่า ศัตรูที่รัก (Thai)

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.21 c.78 by MangaONE over 11 years ago
v.20 c.Extra by MangaONE over 13 years ago
v.20 c.76-77 by MangaONE over 13 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

in Country of Origin
27 Volumes (Tankoubon - Complete)
16 Volumes (Bunkoban - Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1
Ends at Vol 5 (Vol.5 Abridged)

User Reviews
Basara by PrincessVera

9 topics, 62 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 8.9 / 10.0 (1345 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.84 / 10.0

Last Updated
April 8th 2020, 3:50am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Betsucomi (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (27 Vols - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #292 increased(+14)
Monthly Pos #332 increased(+5)
3 Month Pos #308 decreased(-44)
6 Month Pos #294 decreased(-89)
Year Pos #220 decreased(-19)

List Stats
On 1224 reading lists
On 1803 wish lists
On 2559 completed lists
On 178 unfinished lists
On 738 custom lists

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User Comments  [ Order by usefulness ]
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An absolute masterpiece  
by MermaidAiera
February 26th, 2020, 1:23pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
I'll begin this review by stating that I'm wildly biased in awarding it a perfect 10. However, I do recognize that there are various flaws that make this manga not for everyone. Despite these shortcomings I feel that the incredible impact the rest of the work has as a whole far outweighs and goes so far as to negate them.

Basara is an award winning classic for a reason. The story is compelling. The characters are multi faceted. The attention to side characters is astounding--so much that even characters we've known for one or two chapters can make an overwhelming impact both to the plot and emotionally. The themes explored are deep, heavy, and complex. They are also skillfully explored and executed in a way that moves the reader and makes a significant impact. Odious characters that were once abhorred are humanized; like the characters, readers come to assume a grudging respect for them, even mourning with them if misfortune befalls them. The author clearly highlights right and wrong, but paints a picture of a coin with two sides that also has a moral grey zone. The entire story highlights sacrifice, redemption, desperation, destitution, ruination, and the process of navigating, overcoming, and healing through these things.

And all of this has boldly withstood the test of time.

Basara is also for mature audiences. Although it already has the power to command readers' emotions, it requires a degree of empathy and understanding of the hardships of life and difficulty of navigating complex social problems. At times it rips back the skin of political, emotional, and ethical problems and rawly exposes the deep hurt that fuels the misunderstandings and perpetuates the issues at hand. Every time I re-read this work, I find I'm relating to it more and more. And seeing how the characters live out their lives in such trying times and situations is beyond motivating and inspiring.

I think the most life-changing aspect of Basara is that throughout all the deeply relatable themes it explores, it offers a solution of love and forgiveness. Not your typical shoujo style of obstinate friendship conquers all--love and forgiveness that is quietly settled on through grief, suffering, loss, and tenacity.

Say what you want about the art, the pacing, some unrealistic plot points, or even some of the characters. This manga is undeniably the heavyweight champion of epic stories that have the power to profoundly affect the reader.

tl;dr - This manga is absolutely incredible and I highly recommend it. It is for mature audiences though, and if you're not someone looking to get emotionally involved in the story and explore incredibly deep themes then it may drag on. It's not some romantic adventure--it's a heart wrenching life story. So if that's your cup of tea then please, buckle up and enjoy it.
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Started promising, became boring and ended up predictably  
by AndelMartina
November 17th, 2019, 9:05am
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
That's how I'd sum this series up. It started quite well and I found myself unwilling to stop reading. After a few volumes (around the middle - vol. 15 or so) it started to become really repetitive and boring. The ending was a predictable "happy ending". The MC is a bit annoying, being strong and weak the next moment, it was like a horrible emotional rollercoaster, but instead of sympathizing with her it just made me angry 😀 Could have been a good series, but has its flaws. The style of drawing is fine in my opinion. Still recomend for reading, if you have the patience for it.
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Engaging Adventure  
by CCheshire
August 19th, 2019, 10:39pm
Rating: N/A
I recall looking at the series for a while but I was initially put off by the retro art but the manga-ka improved a lot and it ends up being very unique.

Sarasa is a great MC as she starts out as an avg girl who witnessed tragedy into wise and capable leader of the rebels. I liked how she wasn't the strongest fighter and relied on other strategies to win her battles. Also, she still is a believable teen hero vs someone who would end up super jaded from her exp. She remains true to her goals even if it meant separating from loved ones.

I do have to say that their romance does felt a bit rushed since I swear they met like 4x. Also, I'm glad they didn't have any strange love triangle problems.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)

Aegha... leaving her alone on that mountainside during her breakdown is a terrible idea like why. A lot of the times I kept wondering like what's his deal then he died w/o giving us much of a clue.

I'm still on the fence if I liked the ending or not. Since Shuri lost his arm and now Sarasa are both traveling together vs running the country. I get it as works as a conclusion but I kinda wanted them to actually govern Japan together instead of just leaving it to everyone else.

... Last updated on August 19th, 2019, 10:41pm
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A enjoyable surprise despite its popularity  
by Shellshock
March 26th, 2019, 1:21pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
Maybe calling it a surprise might be a bit much considering that this is one of the most popular manga ever but it STILL took me by surprise
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by sayhelou
January 4th, 2019, 2:18pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
this manga is one of the best i’ve ever read! the art in the beginning can bother a few, although i loved it from the start lol. Anyway, everything is well-written and i couldn’t find a good story like this in a while for now. Strong and captivating characters, good romance, no unnecessary drama! 10 today, 10 tomorrow, 10 forever for this!!! give it a try even if the beginning is a bit slow certainly won’t regret it later.
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by sakirol
February 23rd, 2018, 6:06am
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
I come back to this series every few years.

Basara is just so great. Adventure. Novel Situations. Romance. Angst. I'm always looking for another shoujo/josei adventure with the same kind of adventure and romance, but they're so far and few between, and I haven't found anything else that hits the spot quite like Basara.

For anyone looking at this comment that hasn't read Basara yet, you're really missing out.
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One of my all time favourites  
by PZcolo
September 2nd, 2017, 6:39am
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
This one easily enters the top 3 in my list and fights for the first place, an amazing work, 27 volumes and its finished! Tough to measure up against it and few can in my eyes.
I'll write a review if I ever re-read it since I read it at least 10 years ago, I found there is a "new" high quality scanlation and started downloading it only to notice I had not written anything here.

... Last updated on September 2nd, 2017, 6:43am
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Third time's the charm  
by XileDragon
July 15th, 2017, 3:21pm
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
I finally finished the manga on my 3rd try. I couldn't get into the art the first 2 times and dropped it after a couple of volumes right before it got into the epic moments. What a mistake that turned out to be.

Basara is simply one of the most beautiful, epic and touching story ever told in manga. A story about a girl so fragile yet so strong, so naive yet so mature, and above all, the story of how she captivated all those around her with her unbelievable charm and spirit. Many female led adventure epics seem to end up with a male co-star to stand by her side as equal, but not here: Sarasa stands alone and all others are only witness to her incredible story of loss, growth and ultimate vindication. That isn't to say that there isn't romance, in fact the romance is a central part of the plotline, but Basara is above all the story of the struggles of war and nation building, brought together by one of the strongest girl character ever found in manga.

Basara is not a manga without its faults, as it suffers sometimes from unrealistic plot twists, too many characters, and overly annoying behavior. Yet all of this is secondary to the author's unbelievable way to draw the audience into Sarasa's life, feelings and growth. After reading hundreds of manga over more than 12 years, this is one of the greatest. Basara is a manga that has it all: the adventure storytelling of Red River, the unyielding character spirit of Skip Beat, the closure of Toyko Crazy Paradise, and finally the raw emotional impact of Onani Master Kurosawa.

An absolute masterpiece.

... Last updated on July 16th, 2017, 2:54am
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Best Manga In History  
by jennyxbangtan
December 4th, 2016, 6:56am
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
Basara is truly the best manga I have ever read in my entire life. I've read athe least 200 mangas and I have never read anything like this.

Sarasa was truly a female lead that I rooted for and was proud of. She had so much character development and is the most idealistic female lead of the shoujo genre. I love the relationships she builds with her friend and Shuri. She is so strong and good at what she does, but there are times when she fails. However, she always gets back up.

All the characters were absolutely perfect and I couldn't ever find a single flaw in them. I really want to find another manga as good as this, but I don't think I will :/ this was written in the 90's and a lot of the good mangas are from back then. Nowadays, I can't find any good quality manga except for Skip Beat or Akatsuki No Yona. Sigh, the time I spent reading this wonderful gem was really fun and emotional. All of you reading this comment needs to pick it up NOW.
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by femalecorpse
October 19th, 2015, 3:07am
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
this manga is really good. i love how the mangaka build both shuri and sarasa's character. shuri, the red king who is really mean and cold blooded, but once he learnt that the woman he loves with all his might is also his nemesis, turn into warm, wise and kind leader. and the mangaka can pack all the romance that makes me shiver but not felt cliche at all. the storyline is also good, not too boring, everything just good, good, good!
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