Basilisk

This week or so I have been watching this anime. An old anime, in terms of age but it still managed to get something out of me at the end. But the front and centre, not really. 

The story itself is all all about ninjas with a tragic romance added in it. Well, two of them. Both ending in a similar fashion, so it really does run in the clans itself. 

The best thing about the anime itself are the characters, the plot nothing special nor through provoking about it. The characters were the only thing that kept me here and going. 

Every single one of them had really intrigued me and I will further talk about them separately, they were the best thing about the story. That much I have to agree. And even the more monster like in design characters, they were realistic. 

And another thing, my favourite about this anime is that there was no good nor bad side. There was no clear direction for each character. Everyone had their own good and bad side, with their backstories, relationships and even habits. None of them were truly evil and it showed them well. One minute they can be tender and gentle, the next a cruel person ready to kill. In fact, everyone had at least killed someone in the story. In fact, a lot of the characters you just cannot tell from their looks, those have monstrous or strange looks sometimes have very good traits and those that were good, they can very dark sides. 

Every character here were at its best, they didn’t feel one dimension, some of them did. Because of the short screen time, which I’m thankful for that one flashback episode, it fleshed out their personalities well. And even introduced a lot of things. 

I had my suspicions about a lot of things, and it came true. At some point, they felt like real ninja, deception, schemes were their strongest abilities. Hell, the girls would sleep, seduce men if asked to. That was what I liked, is that it gave an accurate portrayal of ninjas, who were masters of silence. Well, I enjoyed Naturo but I like this cast more, they were less annoying, and they were all double sided. 

In fact, I enjoyed it. Even the more impulsive, or less subtle characters knew the art of keeping information. And deceiving them. 

And at certain points, I liked them and even clicked with some of them. There is a couple here that I like, and I just like them. It didn’t feel awkward forced, and the main couple here as well. 

Even though the story takes a dark twist, and at some points it would have sounded better to just run away. But I can see it in perspective, as they still have those that had died and grudges to settle. And in those times, it was natural to go back and put personal feelings aside to settle it. In fact, in such a setting and time, it would have went that way. I’m sure eloping was a good choice, but they would be letting down their entire clan, family and friends. Those that had died for them. 

And those that remained, many wanted revenge and it made a lot of sense. In fact, it was refreshing from the usual wallowing in self pity, or being so grief striken that I would just roll my eyes. And the ending, it lives up to the Romeo Juliet theme. And ended everything well.

Also, I would say that this story is very feminist. It is if they were portrayed well, they were portrayed as characters who were capable of thought and all did something awesome (yes, even Oboro.) They weren’t glorified sec objects and when they were raped, well they completely turned it against the male most of the time. And their way of returning sexual advances, I would say it’s a positive feminist message. 

And a lot of them were skilled and nor just idiot, even the most passive and weak Oboro. And the Ogen despite her age is still very skilled and powerful. I liked Akeginu’s abilities, Hotarubi, Kagero and have a special liking for Okoi.

All their endings are pretty gory, so just keep that in mind if you want to pick this up. And at the end of the day I enjoyed this anime, for its characters and strong portrayal of females here and kunoichis, most of them are deadly. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 

Watch for: the characters, action and gore

Don’t watch: if you want a real historical anime, or dislike tragic romance, or dislike having rather simplistic plot 

Also, a piece of advice: don’t grow attached to any of the characters. 

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