A bitter fate of ninja
5 Volumes – Completed
Iga and Kouga were two ninja clans fighting as enemies for hundreds of years, but a peace treaty had kept the two clans from attacking one another. Unfortunately the day for the treaty to be broken has come. The Shogun, Ieyasu Tokugawa, decided that his successor will be determined through the battle between Iga and Kouga. Ten ninjas were chosen to fight to the death in this battle. Gennosuke of Kouga and Oboro of Iga were part of the chosen ninjas. Both of them were actually lovers who tried to unite the two clans. It is unfortunate what fate has offered them. Will their love hold the peace or will they die for the sake of their clan?
The first thing that draws my attention to this manga was the ninja skills of each character. I find it interesting to know every unique skill that they have. That’s why I enjoyed reading this manga to the very end. As the story progressed, each character was killed one by one. This adds another interesting point in the manga where I am constantly waiting to see who dies and how they will die. Not that I’m cruel or anything. That’s just how the story goes, i.e. everyone will die. The things left to know are how and when they will die.
That being said, I have to admit that Basilisk might be considered boring. The advantage of each clan constantly changes sides. At one point we see Kouga winning the battle, but a few pages later Iga have turned the tables. We really need to read the whole series to know how it really progressed. I don’t see any effort of adding more spices to the main plot. Some people expect more than just the main plot.
Zero character development could be an additional flaw. Every character will be what they are from the introduction. Even their skills are not improving. I wouldn’t be surprised if no one were attached to this manga. I don’t see any chances of attachment to this manga other than the cruel fate of love between Gennosuke and Oboro.
I do have to say that I am a bit disappointed because little was told about the background of the story. As a reader, I am curious to know why both clans end up hating each other. It would be wonderful to know how the peace treaty was formed. Then there’s the thought of why does the Shogun’s tactician insist on having a battle between ninjas to decide the Shogun’s successor. Perhaps there’s a genuine conspiracy to destroy the dangerous clans of Kouga and Iga. It would be nice to read about all those things even though it won’t have any effect on the main plot.
Above all else, Basilik will always be a 5-volume manga about who kills who and the constant uncertainty of who wins the battle. Manga readers should not expect more from this manga. With proportional expectations, Basilisk will no doubt be a unique and interesting Romeo and Juliet story involving super-human ninjas from the feudal age in Japan.
[Reviewer: Amir Syafrudin]