December 16, 2007

Great Ninja Warfare?

basilisk mangaTitle: Basilisk
Story & Art: Segawa Masaki
Volumes: 5
Genre: Seinen

I consider Basilisk as one of my favorite reads of all time because of two things: 1) it's historical fiction and 2) it's great fight scenes.

I haven't really read that much serious ninja-based manga before as I focus more on samurai-themed ones and there isn't that much hardcore ninja stuff out there. I just tried reading Basilisk after I read the summary of the plot online. What else can I say? I absolutely loved it to bits!

Basilisk, for those who have yet to read it (or those who have no idea about it), is based on a novel by Yamada Futaro entitled Kouga Ninpouchou, written in 1958. The plot of the manga revolves around two lifelong-rival ninja clans: the Kouga Manjidani and the Iga Tsubagakure. A truce was called between them by the legendary Hattori Hanzo under the Tokugawa shogunate.

Fast forward a few years after the truce was established, the current shogun Hidetada cannot decide on which of his two sons should take his place: the elder one (who should be shogun by birthright) or the wiser (yet younger) one. To settle the dispute, the truce between the clans was called of and the Iga and Kouga clans have to put forth ten of their best fighters in a fight to death. Both clans are supporting an heir and whichever clan wins will have their faction named the new shogun.

The twist of the story is that the current heirs of the Kouga and Iga clans, Gennousuke and Oboro respectively, are lovers and was supposed to get married before it was announced that they have to fight each other to bloody death. Pretty cool, huh? Well I won't tell you anything more than that so you have to pick up the book if you're wondering what happens to them.

Basilisk's fight scenes are really great. It's action-packed and you don't miss out on some mean ninja one-on-one combat. The plot unfolds really well and it ends nicely, not rushed at all, despite it being just 5 volumes long. The artwork is great and it gives justice to the story and to the action scenes especially. Oh and the powers and abilities of each of the 10 representatives of each clan are very creatively thought of. Of course, I'm not sure if they were based on the novel itself since I haven't read it, so if you have, tell me about it, okay?
(Edit: I forgot to put a title!!! It's fixed now... T_T; )
Post a Comment