Welcome to the somewhat adapted version of Romeo and Juliet, only this time it involves a lot of ninjas. A clever idea, the anime even starts up very well. But there are a few problems as follows:
This war between the Koga and Iga clans have been going on for 400 years, as soon as the Shogun places an anit-war pact everyone stops fighting, really? So what they are saying here is that loyality to the shogun runs deeper than 400 years of hatred, i dont think so. I mean even if there is an anti-war pact you can still go out in the forest and fight to your heart's content without the Shogun even knowing anything.
A death match between the 10 warriors of each clan to determine the next Shogun. Why must there be a death match? To be a leader you need strategic thinking to help your people, not martial arts, you have a whole army to defend you. The idea of a death match really makes no sense, but I get why they are doing it so that it can have tragedy at the end.
This show starts of really fast and they kill off most of the warriors at episode 10-12, so the next half of the series just becomes utterly boring because at most time it seems that they are just scraping for a few extra minutes by giving us insight into that characters past so that when they die we can mourn their death. I really didn't care who died next because it was obvious that they all would die in the end.
The ending itself was just so stupid, Genouske and Oboro are face to face surrounded by witnesses and warriors from the Shogun for the final death match. Oboro can't bring herself to kill Genosuke and takes her own life, Genouske writes in the scroll that the Iga clan wins and takes his own life. This is nothing like what happened in Romeo and Juliet, there was a mixup in this case. In Basilisk there was no mixup you are standing right there in front of your lover and kill yourself, they could have easliy killed off all the witnesses choose whichever clan wins and escape off into the forest and live happily ever after. But no they had to die.
I'm just showing here how lazy the script was, they didn't bother to think what would an ordinary person would have done in that situation, they must die and that was all to it.
Basilisk does have good points though.
The animation was beautiful, it completely captured the essence of what was going on, the battle scenes were well done, very entertaining. The artwork was amazing, the characters were very well drawn.
The soundtracks were beautiful, completly captivating, both english dub and sub were very well voiced no problems there.
The characters run very deep, a lot of time is spent painting both the good and evil sides of the characters. However the characters lose their depth with the shallow story.
Overall, just as most of the garbage GONZO makes, this is quite forgettable, it started off with a lot of potential but obviously lazy script all they wanted to do was repeat the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.