Basilisk (Japanese: バジリスク〜甲賀忍法帖〜, Hepburn: Bajirisuku ~Kōga Ninpō Chō~, lit. Basilisk: The Kōga Ninja Scrolls) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masaki Segawa. Based on the 1958 novel The Kouga Ninja Scrolls by Futaro Yamada, it was serialized in Kodansha's Young Magazine Uppers from 2003 to 2004. The story takes place in the year 1614. Two ninja clans, Iga of Tsubagakure and the Kouga of Manjidani, battle each other to determine which grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu will become the next shogun. The deadly competition between 10 elite ninja from each clan unleashes a centuries-old hatred that threatens to destroy all hope for peace between them.

Cover of Basilisk volume 1, featuring Kouga Gennosuke
(Basilisk: The Kōga Ninja Scrolls)
Written byMasaki Segawa
Published byKodansha
English publisher
MagazineYoung Magazine Uppers
Original runFebruary 4, 2003June 15, 2004
Volumes5 (List of volumes)
Further information
Anime television series
Directed byFumitomo Kizaki
Produced by
  • Hidemasa Arai
  • Hideyuki Nanba
Written byYasuyuki Mutō
Music byKō Nakagawa
Licensed by
Original networkTV Saitama, TV Kanagawa, Chiba TV, KBS, AT-X
English network
Original run April 12, 2005 September 20, 2005
Episodes24 (List of episodes)
Serial novel
The Ouka Ninja Scrolls
Written byMasaki Yamada
Published byKodansha
ImprintKodansha Taiga
Original runNovember 19, 2015December 15, 2015
The Ouka Ninja Scrolls
Written byTatsuya Shihira
Published byKodansha
MagazineWeekly Young Magazine
Original runJuly 24, 2017April 8, 2019
Anime television series
The Ouka Ninja Scrolls
Directed byJunji Nishimura
Produced by
  • Isao Hidaka
  • Renta Suzuki
  • Natsuko Tatsuzawa
  • Hiroshi Shibusawa
Written byShinsuke Ōnishi
Music byGo Sakabe
StudioSeven Arcs Pictures
Licensed byFunimation
Original networkTokyo MX, tvk, Sun TV, KBS Kyoto, BS11, AT-X
Original run January 8, 2018 June 18, 2018
Episodes24 (List of episodes)

A 24-episode anime television series by Gonzo was broadcast in Japan from April to September 2005. Segawa continued producing serialized adaptations of Futaro Yamada's novels with The Yagyu Ninja Scrolls in 2005, Yama Fu-Tang in 2010 and Jū: Ninpō Makai Tensei in 2012. Additionally, a two-part novel sequel titled The Ouka Ninja Scrolls: Basilisk New Chapter (桜花忍法帖~バジリスク新章, Ōka Ninpō Chō ~ Bajirisuku Shinfumi), penned by Masaki Yamada, was published in 2015 with illustrations by Segawa; a manga adaptation, Basilisk: The Ouka Ninja Scrolls (バジリスク〜桜花忍法帖〜, Bajirisuku Ōka Ninpō Chō~), illustrated by Tatsuya Shihira with character designs by Segawa, was serialized between 2017 and 2019, and an anime adaptation by Seven Arcs Pictures aired in 2018.

Basilisk won the 2004 Kodansha Manga Award for general manga.[4]

Plot edit

At the dawn of Japan's Azuchi-Momoyama period (the late 16th century) two rival ninja clans, the Iga Tsubagakure and Kouga Manjidani, are engaged in a bitter blood feud that has spanned for centuries. The fighting finally ends when Hattori Hanzō the 1st succeeds in forging a cease fire between the two clans by conscripting both into the service of Tokugawa Ieyasu (the man who seized power to become shogun and form Japan's first truly stable form of centralized government). Regardless, hostilities and bad blood remain between Kouga and Iga, ensuring a tenuous co-existence at best.

Fast forward to the year 1614; Ieyasu has retired from power (although he still wields considerable influence within the government) and passed the torch to his son Hidetada. Unfortunately, a succession dispute has risen concerning which of Ieyasu's grandsons are destined to take up the reins of power when their father finally decides to step down. The various government retainers are beginning to take sides and the Tokugawa Shogunate is on the verge of tearing itself apart.

In order to solve the problem before it spirals out of control, Ieyasu orders the no hostilities pact between Kouga and Iga canceled and promptly commands each clan to send 10 of their best ninja to enter a ruthless and bloody competition of kill or be killed. Each clan will represent one of the two factions supporting Ieyasu's grandsons; the names of their selected fighters recorded on two identical scrolls to be marked out in blood upon their death. The clan that slays the chosen ten of the other will be given favor for a thousand years while the grandson they represent will be pronounced the undisputed heir to the Shogunate.

Prior to the conflicts renewal, Kouga and Iga's two young heirs (Gennosuke and Oboro respectively) were betrothed to each other in the hopes that their union would finally dispel their clans' long-seated animosity toward each other. Forced headlong onto separate sides of a conflict they want no part of, Gennosuke and Oboro must now choose whether to kill the person they love or lead their entire clan to annihilation.

Publication edit

Written and illustrated by Masaki Segawa, Basilisk is based on the 1958 novel The Kouga Ninja Scrolls by Futaro Yamada. It was serialized in the seinen manga magazine Young Magazine Uppers from February 4, 2003, to June 15, 2004. The publisher, Kodansha, collected the individual chapters into five tankōbon volumes between April 30, 2003 and August 7, 2004. The manga was published in English by Del Rey Manga from May 2006 to May 2007, and then digitally by Kodansha USA in September 2014.

A sequel manga series, Basilisk: The Ouka Ninja Scrolls, based on a 2015 novel by Masaki Yamada, with character designs by Segawa and illustrated by Tatsuya Shihira, was published in Kodansha's Weekly Young Magazine from July 24, 2017 to April 8, 2019 and collected in seven volumes.

No. Original release date Original ISBN English release date English ISBN
1 April 30, 2003[5]978-4-06-346197-8May 30, 2006978-0-34-548270-9
2 September 13, 2003[6]978-4-06-346212-8August 1, 2006978-0-34-548271-6
3 January 18, 2004[7]978-4-06-346233-3December 12, 2006978-0-34-548272-3
4 April 8, 2004[8]978-4-06-346238-8February 27, 2007978-0-34-549046-9
5 August 7, 2004[9]978-4-06-346246-3May 29, 2007978-0-34-549047-6

Anime edit

The first series, Basilisk: The Kōga Ninja Scrolls, premiered in Japan on the television stations TV Saitama, TV Kanagawa, Chiba TV, Mie TV, KBS, AT-X, Jidaigeki Senmon Channel, and others between April and September 2005.

The second series, Basilisk: The Ouka Ninja Scrolls, premiered in Japan on January 8, 2018. It is set 10 years after the original series and focuses on a group of young ninjas who endeavor to carry on the ninja traditions and techniques.

Notes edit

  1. ^ Formerly known as Funimation.

References edit

  1. ^ "Basilisk". Funimation. Archived from the original on March 5, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  2. ^ Kimlinger, Carl (February 25, 2007). "Basilisk DVD 4 - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  3. ^ DeMott, Rick (June 7, 2005). "FUNimation Finds Basilisk Anime Series". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on January 21, 2021. Retrieved January 21, 2021. BASILISK can also be seen as a new take on the martial arts 'tournament' genre since ten representatives from two ninja clans fight to the death.
  4. ^ Joel Hahn. "Kodansha Manga Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
  5. ^ "バジリスク~甲賀忍法帖~(1)" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  6. ^ "バジリスク~甲賀忍法帖~(2)" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  7. ^ "バジリスク~甲賀忍法帖~(3)" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  8. ^ "バジリスク~甲賀忍法帖~(4" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  9. ^ "バジリスク~甲賀忍法帖~(5) <完>" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2020-07-05.

External links edit