October 24, 2010
Basilisk is based in the Feudal period in Japanese history. It tells of two ninja clans who are in a competition to collect a scroll while killing each other in the process. The prize is being the support of the Tokugawa government for the next 1000 years as well as the annihilation of the opposing clan.
I will be honest, I was expecting something similar to Ninja Scroll. The promo I saw had bloody fights, deformed ninja with unique powers and some sex. What I ended up getting with this one was some really cool looking ninja, with unique powers and a story that ended up being more of a Japanese Romeo and Juliette. Needless to say I was disappointed.
Perhaps I was expecting this show to be something it wasn't. Given that many anime developed depicting this time period do focus more on combat and honor, this one focused more on emotion and love. Now in a show such as Samurai X, this kind of sentiment fits into the story much better. Basilisk comes across as having the same raw animation style as Afro Samurai or Ninja Scroll. The characters all look very violent and in fact many of them are.
The relationship between the two main characters tends to dilute the clarity as to exactly what type of anime the writers were attempting to make this one. Both the violence and emotion are so strong, they contrast too much and can leave you with an almost confused feeling as to what you are watching.
I did find the show was entertaining, and was not a waste of time. Although it wasn't at the top of my list, it was still well done. I would have preferred to see more of the combat in this anime, primarily because this was what I walked into it expecting. Having so much emotion in the show can be compared to having sweet flavor in a salty dish. I believe there are many audiences that would appreciate this show much more than I was able to, and I encourage any of them reading this to please feel free to comment. Provide us with some elements that could be missed in this review.