Anime Review: “Basilisk”: A Toothless Entity

Written by Alex Bowman March 16, 2013

I’ve personally begun to notice a pattern in the anime that I have reviewed so far (besides the fact that they are all incredibly amazing). This particular pattern relates to the blending of genres. Personally, I enjoy when a creator takes two genres at completely opposite ends of the spectrum in an attempt to blend them together. Sometimes they work really well and can create all new genres of their own (i.e. blending Westerns and science fiction together to create steam punk).

However, this doesn’t work all of the time and hence we are presented with “Basilisk.” This anime is the mongoloid bastard child created by a drunken hook-up shared by “Mortal Kombat” and “Romeo and Juliet” after they finished watching a John Carpenter marathon. This anime is extremely clumsy with a plot that is both weak and confusing while being shackled to a premise so ridiculous it ends up having to be watched in order to comprehend the sheer levels of madness.

Remembrance

The plot for this anime is EXTREMELY confusing and unnecessarily complicated so I will try and provide you with the Cliff notes version. Two ninja tribes, the Kouga clan and Iga clan, risk a potential stalemate by being forced into a conflict where 10 ninjas of each tribe must fight until one tribe is left the victor. The plot constantly tries to remind us that whichever clan wins will decide the new shogun, which kind of adds some element of historical flavor, but this is so ham-fisted into the show that is it is immediately forgotten after the first episode. Oh, FYI, the romance shared between the two protagonists, Gennosuke and Oboro, ends up ruining the entire ending of the show with the repetitive use of foreshadowing so be prepared for massive disappointment.

River of Mercy

I will try my hardest to keep this review from turning into a rant because when it all boils down to it this anime had such great potential. The animation for this show is really good. The artistic quality really shines through with a combination of round and sharp images to create some really fluid animation. The art never lacks and when something needs to look beautiful or ugly you can be damn sure the show delivers on that front. I would also be lying if I said I didn’t like the ninja elements of the show; every ninja has a unique ability that goes hand in hand with their personalities which can be enjoyable at times. You can also appreciate the fact that the battles are all uniquely choreographed and add a nice change of pace to the slow monotony of the series.

Fallen Flower

Now we can commence the beating. This show had potential but it dropped the ball one too many times for me to count. One of the main reasons why this show doesn’t work is because it lacks a consistent tone; the show becomes confused as to what genre it wants to adhere to. It can’t be a show that focuses on the combative elements because the two main protagonists are constantly spouting about how violence is never the answer, it can’t be a love story because the romantic elements are constantly being overshadowed by every single character’s constant need to fight and it certainly can’t be a period piece when you have a ninja who is a half-human/half-spider hybrid. This show is a schizophrenic nightmare; it tries too hard at blending genres together and then shifts the gears without using the clutch and we are left wondering what direction the show is going to take next which can lead to some really awkward moments.

A Dawn Without Light

“Basilisk” is an anime that I can only recommend as something to watch as a joke. The serious elements of the show are way too goofy, the romantic elements are way to corny and the entire show feels like a toy being pulled at either ends by two genres that really don’t know how to play nice. Watch it for laughs and then forget about it; it’s the only way you will prevent yourself from becoming as frustrated as I was.

My Rating: 5/10

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