Well I wasn't going to write a review about an anime series (just movies) in this blog, but I can't help it - I really want to write about Basilisk. I know you're probably as shocked as Oboro-dono about this, but bear with me! Now without further ado, I shall begin. :)
Basilisk: Kouga Ninpou Chou
First off I would like to give a word of warning - if you want something with a happy ending don't watch this. Basilisk is very sad. Excellent, but sad.
Story: The main point of the story is quite simple enough - to kill (or be killed). Usually I would say that focus makes an anime boring, but definitely not in this case. The fascinating various ninpou techniques of the characters make the fights quite artistic and interesting to follow. Also, the thoughts and flashbacks of the characters in between the killing add much depth to the story. Other than that, it is quite your typical Romeo and Juliet -sort of love story. I'm sure that gives you an idea of what to expect from the ending and such, and I can tell you that already from the first episode I at least knew exactly how the story was bound to end and I was correct. Knowing before hand how it will most likely end does not take away from the impact though - it still touched me so much it brought tears to my eyes.
Characters: The character development is built in a very interesting way, as first you only feel affinity towards the main characters - Kouga Gennosuke and Iga no Oboro, and just feel disgust towards the others. I mean seriously, most of them not only act disgustingly joyous when they learn they are allowed to kill each other again but also look disgusting - there's a man with very overgrown nose hairs, another who looks like a spider, a third that has neither arms nor legs and so forth. However, as the story progresses we see flashbacks of the characters that show very different sides to them that make you sympathize with them and slowly you learn to feel their grief and to understand them. Well that happens with everyone except Tenzen. No matter what happened to him before he is one huge bastard who'd be better of dead. Mark my words! >:(
Seiyuu: I'm mainly going to focus on the main pair here, but I want to say that overall I think all of the seiyuu in this did a really fantastic job and brought out the different shades of personalities the characters have very well. Also a very enthusiastic round of applause for them on the use of old, very polite, Japanese. It is even more of a joy to listen to as normal Japanese usually is and is just very soothing, and I would assume quite difficult to use convincingly. Comparing their effort and results to the English version really shows how clearly they've put more heart into it (why do dubs always sound so emotionless and monotone?). Well anyways, Toriumi Kousuke does a very excellent job with Kouga Gennosuke's calm and determined demeanor and with very slight and refined changes of voice brings to life the sadness and confusion he harbors within. Very excellent job befitting of the character. Mizuki Nana (yay, my favorite topic! <3) does an equally excellent job as the naïve and kind Iga no Oboro, who probably develops the most throughout the series by slowly becoming a very determined woman on a mission. You can nearly taste her sadness when she speaks and it really gets me every time. Also kudos to her for perfectly handling unusual situations such as having hiccups and nearly being raped.
Songs: The opening song, Kouga Ninpouchou by Onmyouza is quite fitting to the story lyrics-wise and starts and ends very powerfully with flute melodies that perfectly symbolize the connection between Gennosuke and Oboro. The middle part loses the power however, which is quite a pity. On the other hand the two ending songs, Wild Eyes and Hime Murasaki, both by Nana, are so spot on that even me who expects the best from Nana has to just listen and stare in awe. Wild Eyes is simply perfect because Gennosuke's and Oboro's ninpou both have to do with their eyes and Hime Murasaki delivers the sad atmosphere of the series very splendidly and is one of the most beautiful songs I know and I have to say that it would definitely have made it to the top 5 of my Nana song list if I had been aware of it earlier. So now listen to them or ELSE!
- Wild Eyes (Translation: here, this one is slightly weird compared to what the subbers used in the anime but pay no mind)
- Hime Murasaki (Translation: here)
Well that's the gist of it I guess, there were many more things I still wanted to say but quite many of them would have been spoilers so watch it first and then I shall vent. Maybe. ;) Last but not least I have to say that Gennosuke is such a tease - Oboro tried and tried to get things rolling along but nooo. Here, I'll show you what I mean (slight spoilers I guess, but nothing really relevant):
- Hinting - Try #1
- Oboro fantasizing about touching Gennosuke's lush behind by playing with the shadows
- Hinting - Try #2
- Gennosuke the Tease in action
See?! How infuriating! Josuke sums it up quite well here. Hell even their predecessors back in the day knew how to behave! Learn from your elders young 'uns!
That is all. I will have to watch this again at some point for sure. I shall leave you with Operation: Stop the Hiccups.