Basilisk: To My Beloved: Please Die


This anime is so hot it can’t be shown on standard cable. Based on the 1958 novel The Kouga Ninja Scrolls by Futaro Yumada, Basilisk is the latest from Studio Gonzo and it shines like little else before it.

The action in Basilisk is reminiscent of Ninja Scroll, but the story is unlike anything else out there. Gennosuke is next in line for leadership of the Kouga ninja clan. Oboro is next in line for the Iga ninja. The two clans are the bitterest of enemies—with a feud going back over 400 years—yet Gennosuke and Oboro are all but betrothed. Peace is about to come to the long-feuding clans.

But in Edo, the Shogunate is undergoing a crisis of succession. Open warfare is about to break out between the factions of the Shogunate for the right to rule all of Japan. To settle this feud without sacrificing samurai of the aristocracy, the Shogun decides to let the ninja clans decide the next ruler.

He dissolves the no-hostility pact forced on the two clans hundreds of years ago and has their leaders draw up a list of the ten best ninja from each clan. With the two vying powers each represented by one of the clans, whichever clan destroys the other’s best ten first will be declared the winner and gain favored status with the Shogunate for 1,000 years. Their representative and their dynasty will rule Japan.

The twenty ninja each have a unique power that is both awesome and deadly to behold. Ninki can control his hair as both an appendage and a weapon, while Kazamachi has the appearance and abilities of a spider.
The sense of impending tragedy is almost unbearable at times, but the hope for an eventual reconciliation between Gennosuke and Oboro is enough to keep you watching from the edge of your seat.

The animation is crisp and beautiful, with jaw-dropping action sequences. Where the Ninja Scroll animated series failed so miserably, this series excels beyond all expectations. It’s unfortunate that the content is so mature it can’t be seen on standard cable here in the states, but this is one of the few series that is worth every penny of the $29.99 price tag imposed by most mainstream retailers.