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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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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.
This is truly a Romeo and Juliet story-- you have been warned. The art is what I found most unique about this; it's very clean, especially the scenery, and I could actually TELL what was happening during fighting scenes, which was nice. It wasn't just a mess of body parts and undistinguishable shapes. Basically this is reccomended to those who like fighting rivalries, ninjas, and a tiny bit of romance tossed in. And for those who can stand a sad ending.
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.
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.
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
Good Artwork and deep plot. It is very short... thats -1 point very good manga, just like romeo & julia
one of the most realistic ninja mangas ever it should be rated 10 out of 10.i say that because most ninja mangas aren't that realistic such as naruto though it is still good but i rate it 9/10 base on the story
characters have strange abilities, fast pace story, good artwork (even though I don't like the artwork that looks digitaly animated)
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.
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.