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“Basilisk: The Koga Ninja Scrolls” is a 24 episode TV series from 2005.

Our story opens in early 17th century Japan. The Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu, has given control of the clan to Hidetada, but his Grandsons’ caretakers are fighting amongst themselves to resolve who will be Hidetada’s heir. To stop the squabbling between Tadanaga’s and Iemitsu’s supporters, Ieyasu’s underling comes up with a plan. There will be a duel with stand-ins for each side. The winner of this duel will determine the Tokugawa heir.

Ieyasu doesn’t want to spill the blood of worthwhile individuals, those born to privilege, the Samurai Class. So instead of Tokugawa retainers fighting as proxies for the heirs, two groups of expendable Ninja are chosen, the Iga and the Koga. Each team has 10 fighters. The first side to annihilate the other side’s fighters wins.

In the 16th century the Koga and Iga were bitter rivals and deadly enemies, but at that century’s close, they were forced to sign a peace treaty. Despite years of hate, the two ninja clans’ leaders are in love with each other and their heirs are betrothed. After Ieyasu frees the clans from the peace treaty, the leaders immediately kill each other, leaving their heirs to decide which is stronger, blood-hatred or love.

“Romeo and Juliet” ninja style, with some societal class stratification thrown in. The plot is formulaic and predictable, but the pacing is better and faster than most current anime. The main protagonists were too archetypical for my tastes, but, in my opinion, the show has some of the best character design to be found in post-cel, CG Anime.

What I like most about this Anime are the fights. I keep hearing how with computers Anime has become more fluid, but except for “Blood: The Last Vampire”, I don’t see it. “Basilisk” doesn’t have fluid fights, but it has a lot of the lurid coloring and quick cutting that made ’80s-’90s Anime fights exciting.

 Basilisk 01

 Basilisk 02

 Basilisk 03

 Basilisk 04
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Curator: guyvariii
Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

Presentation 8.65/10   Collection 9.12/10   Overall 8.70/10   Votes 65 votes
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