The battle for a dynasty begins!!! More than just the battle for a dynasty, it’s the battle of two warring historic ninja clans. It is the Keichou Era, year 19 (A.D. 1614) in Japan. The now retied shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa must decide which of his two grandsons will succeed him in ruling Japan. To help make this decision he talks to one of his most trusted advisers and decides he will have two of the best ninja clans in all of Japan fight each other to help him make a decision. He meets with the heads of both the Iga and the Kouga ninja tribes and has them put on a brief demonstration before deciding these are the two he wants to fight it out for him. Ieyasu then has each tribe leader write the names of their ten best warriors on separate scrolls they want to be in the contest. Tokugawa then declares that each clan will fight for one grandson to the death and the last remaining survivor with the secret scroll in hand will be the winner and that clan will receive 1000 years of glory. Along with the 1000 years of glory the tribe representing that grandson will have placed him as the new heir to the dynasty. The only problem with this is that the original legendary Hattori Hanzou has placed both the Iga and Kouga ninja tribes in a peace treaty for the past 400 years. Each tribe is willing to forgo the treaty as long as the current descendant of Hattori Hanzou agrees to it. The latest descendant of Hanzou agrees to break the treaty for his master, Tokugawa, to decide not only who will be the best ninja clan, but also who will be the next heir of the Tokugawa dynasty. This is where the anime begins.
Basilisk follows the fight between the Kouga and the Iga ninja clans fight for supremacy…and what an awesome fight it is! This anime has everything in it, mystery, intrigue, tons of action, historical characters, and even a romantic back story to it. No matter what your interest in anime is you can’t go wrong with Basilisk. Immediately, when the anime starts after the cut scenes there is a battle right away. You get to watch as a member of the Iga and Kouga go at it for Ieyasu’s (and your) enjoyment. The anime is actually based off of the manga with only some slight differences between them. The art work in Basilisk is beautiful. All the characters are well drawn, the scenery is nice, and the ninja abilities are well emphasized. The story itself is also very fascinating as it takes numerous turns and keeps you more and more interested in it as the series progresses. While it may be about two warring ninja clans engaged in battle for their master, it also develops nice side stories for most of the characters. I would also like to say that while I’m really not interested in romantic stories, the romantic side of Basilisk is actually quite touching and even I got into it. This only goes to show how well done the storyline is.
One facet I particularly think is great about Basilisk is that regardless of how often you watch anime or how big an anime fan you are Basilisk can be enjoyed across the board. Whether you only watch anime every once in a while or are a seasoned anime watching veteran, Basilisk can be enjoyed by anyone into excellent action and a fantastic storyline. This is what anime is all about! I do have to put out a word of warning though. This anime does have some themes in it that only a more mature audience should watch. This isn’t Naruto so put your younger children to bed first before watching it. There really isn’t a big negative side to Basilisk. The only thing I can think of is that a few of the characters could have had more interesting abilities. But even the lamer characters were still pretty unique so it sort of makes up for it.
I have to give Basilisk 5 out of 5 stars, it’s that good. The good: Fantastic artwork, great storyline, nonstop action, fun for anime fans of all types, and a plethora of things to like about it. The bad: Not much, sure they could have improved upon a few of the characters but I’m just being nit-picky. This is definitely a must see anime. If you skip this one, you’re really missing out.