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Basilisk Perfect TV (1 - 26) [FX]
Our Price: $15.00 (MSRP: $39.99)
Koga and Iga were ninja clans that had been fighting for 400 years. Gennosuke of Koga and Oboro of Iga, loved each other and promised to break down the cursed bond of conversion. However, they were destined to kill each other.
It was Keicho Era 19 (A.D. 1614), 73-year-old Ieyasu was wondering which of the brothers he should choose as a successor, Takechiyo or Kunichiyo. Takechiyo was the elder but he was stupid, while his younger brother Kunichiyo was clever. In order to choose the successor, Ieyasu decided to make Koga and Iga fight against each other. Both clans would choose ten best ninja to fight. If Kouga ninja survive, Kunichiyo would succeed to Shogun. On the hand, Takechiyo would become the next Shogun if Iga ninja win. Because Hattori Hanzo the first made them achieve a truce, they hadn't had an apparent fight for years. Therefore, when the truce was broken, they went for fights as if they were unleashed hound dogs. The only weapon they use were their own bodies. They had special abilities that men could hardly imagine.
Now that, the battles of twenty ninja including old, young, men, and women began. They made most of their special abilities to fight. During the harsh battles, they were killed one by one. Which would win, Koga or Iga? Who in the world would survive? Then, what would become of the love of Gennosuke and Oboro, who were separated by the battle.
--Video: Excellent rendering of a fantasy feudal Japan. Great mixture of old castles and clothes and fantasy; all of it obviously lovingly done--and very well. Great action sequences.
--Audio: English voice acting still sucks. Portions of it even have a wierd echo/mute. And I think I've pinpointed one problem that I have with the English dubbing--it always sounds so cheap, like the actors are in an echo box and speaking from far away with those microphones that go with drive throughs. Ah well. I watch it in Japanese anyway. It's solid. The music is a mix of traditional and rock. Nice.
--Subtitles: A few grammar mistakes, but nothing to get excited about. The subtitles don't really match the English. Would have appreciated better titles, especially when the series started to go downhill for me (see below).
--Story: Ninja families that have had historical have been restrained by truce. Then the truce is called off--but only one side knows about it. Ah, the killing. You see the relationships fall apart and explode. From the description on the website you have the impression that this might be some political story, but it's hardly that. Most of the characters do not even KNOW what's really behind their fighting. And most don't care. This is an action and drama through and through.
--Characters: Right from the start you see lots of interesting characters. Obviously an epic. In a way this reminds me of Ninja Scroll, and not just because there are ninjas. The character designs are fully realized, even side characters; combat is lively; and the special abilities of the ninjas are varied and surprising. If anything, it's kind of annoying because just when you think someone is dead they come back and deal some killer blow, but maybe that's a ninja thing. Interestingly, anyone dressed as a traditional ninja seems to be smallfry, and killed instantly. The REAL ninjas look more like samurai.
--Enjoyability: Good chapter skips allow me to pass the intro. The chapter menus have images, which help. Right from the start you'll feel right at home if you've seen samurai movies. It translates well into anime because here the traditional gets a much needed infusion of modern action and music that (most) modern samuri movie efforts lack. Still, I found it very hard to sympathize with the characters. They come and go and kill and die. They are friends and family, lovers and allies, and as the series progresses they die. I was about 8 episodes in and felt a little sick. Here's a cool anime and these people are doing cool things and dying. Then the main characters emerge, and you get hope... Right up until one of them is (almost?) raped. The dialogue after the fact is extremely vague--I suppose they REALLY want you to hate the bad guy. Maybe there's something wrong with me, but I can deal with people dying but not raped. What appeared to be a great series gets dealt a serious blow. A good ending however that I suppose remains consistent with the history that this is supposed to portray. In the end I don't know that I'd recommend this but for people that like excellent action, ninja powers, great characters, and some high drama, then this shouldn't be missed.