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Basilisk Vol. 1
Author/Artist Futaro Yamada/Masaki Segawa
After Ross’ review of volume 2 of Basilisk, its time to go backwards and review the first volume, just so we know were we’re coming from. Whilst Basilisk isn’t the sort of thing Ross goes for, Battle Royale and it's ilk are right up my street. This is very adult and is very clear who it’s aimed for, but is there anything else under the fighting, sex and sleaze?
The Iga and Kouga clan have been at each others throats for hundreds of years. If not for the Hanzo Hattori truce, the two enemies would have killed each other long ago. But now the truce has been dissolved and all out war has been declared. Ten ninjas from each side have been chosen and the surviving clan will rule for a thousand years.
But we can’t just have a full on war. Oh no no no. We need drama. Enter Oboro of the Iga and Gennosuke of the Kouga who are deeply in love and due to wed. Now amidst the ensuing chaos, things have gone to pot for the pair. Such is love it seems. So basically, a lot of ninja slowly start finding out what has happened and then they start killing each other off. That’s about it for the volume completely.
The art style is nicely detailed, with a realistic approach. However, as in the volume 2 review, characters appear very similar and makes them hard to tell apart. There is a lot of violence (and of course plenty of nudity) for those looking for it. It seems the creators of Basilisk were aiming primarily for a young male market and just threw in a story to stretch it out for a few volumes.
It’s not to say Basilisk couldn’t have been good, but with very little focus on story and more on trying to kill each other the volume quickly loses steam towards the end and becomes uninteresting. If big breasts and senseless killings with minimum story are your thing, then Basilisk will float your boat. Personally, Battle Royale had a lot more heart and story with its killing. As it is, Basilisk just comes across as mindless violence.
Very little story makes this a very cheap thrills manga