Basilisk (manga)

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Basilisk vol1 cover.jpg
Kouga Gennosuke on the cover of Basilisk volume 1.
(Basilisk - Book of the Kouga Ninja Arts)
Genre Action, adventure, historical fantasy, romance, tragedy
Written by Masaki Segawa
Published by Kodansha
English publisher
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Young Magazine Uppers
Original run February 2003July 2004
Volumes 5
Anime television series
Directed by Fumitomo Kizaki
Studio Gonzo
Licensed by
Original network TV Saitama, Animax, TV Kanagawa, Chiba TV, Mie TV, KBS, AT-X, Jidaigeki Senmon Channel
English network
Original run April 12, 2005September 20, 2005
Episodes 24 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Basilisk: Ōka Ninpōchō
Directed by Junji Nishimura
Music by Go Sakabe
Studio Seven Arcs Pictures
Original run January 2018scheduled
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Basilisk (Japanese: バジリスク〜甲賀忍法帖〜, Hepburn: Bajirisuku ~Kōga Ninpō Chō~, lit. Basilisk: The Kōga Ninja Scrolls) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masaki Segawa. It was published in Japan in 2003 and 2004 in Kodansha's Young Magazine Uppers magazine, based on the novel The Kouga Ninja Scrolls by Futaro Yamada published in 1958. The anime, produced in 2005 by Gonzo Studios, closely follows the manga aside from a handful of distinctions. The manga won the 2004 Kodansha Manga Award for general manga.[1] The manga was later followed by a sequel series titled The Yagyu Ninja Scrolls which was also based on a novel by Futaro Yamada.

The story takes place in the year 1614. Two ninja clans, Tsubagakure of the Iga and Manjidani of Kouga, battle each other to determine which grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu will become the next shogun. The deadly competition between 10 elite ninja from each clan unleashes a centuries-old hatred that threatens to destroy all hope for peace between them.


At the dawn of Japan's Azuchi-Momoyama period (the late 16th century) two rival ninja clans, the Iga Tsubagakure and Kouga Manjidani, are engaged in a bitter blood feud that has spanned for centuries. The fighting finally ends when Hattori Hanzo the 1st succeeds in forging a cease fire between the two clans by conscripting both into the service of Tokugawa Ieyasu (the man who seized power to become Shogun and form Japan's first truly stable form of centralized government). Regardless, hostilities and bad blood remain between Kouga and Iga, ensuring a tenuous co-existence at best.

Fast forward to the year 1614; Ieyasu has retired from power (although he still wields considerable influence within the government) and passed the torch to his son Hidetada. Unfortunately, a succession dispute has risen concerning which of Ieyasu's grandsons are destined to take up the reins of power when their father finally decides to step down. The various government retainers are beginning to take sides and the Tokugawa Shogunate is on the verge of tearing itself apart.

In order to solve the problem before it spirals out of control, Ieyasu orders the no hostilities pact between Kouga and Iga canceled and promptly commands each clan to send 10 of their best ninja to enter a ruthless and bloody competition of kill or be killed. Each clan will represent one of the two factions supporting Ieyasu's grandsons; the names of their selected fighters recorded on two identical scrolls to be marked out in blood upon their death. The clan that slays the chosen ten of the other will be given favor for a thousand years while the grandson they represent will be pronounced the undisputed heir to the Shogunate.

Prior to the conflicts renewal, Kouga and Iga's two young heirs (Gennosuke and Oboro respectively) were betrothed to each other in the hopes that their union would finally dispel their clan's long-seated animosity toward each other. Forced headlong onto separate sides of a conflict they want no part of, Gennosuke and Oboro must now choose whether to kill the person they love or lead their entire clan to annihilation.

Related historical events


The series first premiered in Japan on the television stations TV Saitama, TV Kanagawa, Chiba TV, Mie TV, KBS, AT-X, Jidaigeki Senmon Channel, and others between April and September 2005. The series has also been aired across numerous international regions, including Malaysia on ntv7, Canada on Razer, the United States on IFC and Funimation Channel, Russia on 2x2, Turkey on MTV Türkiye, and numerous others. The opening theme is Kouga Ninpou Chou by Onmyouza while the ending themes for the first fourteen episodes are "Hime Murasaki" by Nana Mizuki and "Wild Eyes" by Nana Mizuki.


No. in
Title Original airdate English airdate
1 "Destiny"
"Sōshi Sōsatsu" (相思相殺) 
April 12, 2005 January 10, 2008
After a demonstration duel between two members of the Kouga and Iga clans, Tokugawa Ieyasu, the shogun, orders the truce between the two long-time feuding ninja clans to be canceled and promptly commands each clan to send 10 of their best ninja to enter a competition to eliminate each other. The surviving team would garner favor from the shogun for a thousand years, and their grandson will be the undisputed heir to the Shogunate. A scroll is used to indicate the competitors from the table. The episode goes into the back story of the two leaders represented at the demonstration being former lovers; however, in the present, they end up killing each other and mark their names on the scroll as eliminated. 
2 "Last Rendezvous"
"Taidō Niba" (胎動弐場) 
April 19, 2005 January 17, 2008
Kouga Gennosuke of the Kouga clan and Oboro of the Iga clan are betrothed lovers, however, they soon receive news of the cancellation of the truce. 
3 "The Onslaught of War"
"Kyōchū Muzan" (凶蟲無惨) 
April 26, 2005 January 24, 2008
With the no-hostilities pact ended, the Iga clan sets out to keep the news of war from reaching the Kouga. 
4 "The Horned Owl"
"Yōkaku Yakō" (妖郭夜行) 
May 3, 2005 January 31, 2008
Gennosuke and Udono feast with the Iga clan under the false pretense of coming peace; forgiveness will end one ninja's life. 
5 "The Surprise Attack"
"Ninja Rokugi" (忍者六儀) 
May 10, 2005 February 7, 2008
The Kouga begin to worry over the absent Gennosuke, and quiet steps are taken to study the lay of the land. 
6 "Longing in the Rain"
"Kōrui Renbo" (降涙恋慕) 
May 17, 2005 February 14, 2008
On their return trip to the Iga clan holding, unexpected bounty is discovered in the wild. 
7 "The Bloodsucking Seductress"
"Hitohada Jigoku" (人肌地獄) 
May 24, 2005 February 21, 2008
Gennosuke grows wary as hostility mounts; Oboro is called away to finally learn the truth. 
8 "Cage of Blood"
"Chikemuri Mujō" (血煙無情) 
May 31, 2005 February 28, 2008
The Kouga remnants stand together in the midst of the Iga storm. 
9 "Farewell"
"Aizetsu Rinu" (哀絶霖雨) 
June 7, 2005 March 6, 2008
Gennosuke possesses the secret scroll and Iga's elaborate deception has come to an end. Oboro makes the ultimate sacrifice. 
10 "Divine Mandate"
"Shinso Gojō" (神祖御諚) 
June 14, 2005 March 13, 2008
Lord Leyasu and the nobles review the carnage from a safe distance. 
11 "On Their Own"
"Sekireki Mukoku" (石礫無告) 
June 21, 2005 March 20, 2008
Oboro stands united with her clan against the Kouga and her beloved Gennosuke. 
12 "Remembrance"
"Tsuisō Gentō" (追想幻燈) 
June 28, 2005 March 27, 2008
Gennosuke's challenge is accepted, both clans take to the road. 
13 "A Swarm of Butterflies"
"Kochō Ranbu" (胡蝶乱舞) 
July 5, 2005 April 3, 2008
Kouga prepares for Sunpu Castle; Tenzen hopes to stop Gennosuke from reaching their destination. 
14 "Fallen Flower"
"Sange Kaikyō" (散花海峡) 
July 12, 2005 April 10, 2008
Words from the past haunt Gennosuke; servant torn between two masters. 
15 "Reckoning"
"Hatō Gokumon" (波涛獄門) 
July 19, 2005 April 17, 2008
Twenty ninjas must fight to the death for possession of a scroll. 
16 "First Impressions"
"Kaihō Tanga" (懐抱淡画) 
July 26, 2005 April 24, 2008
17 "Wandering Hearts"
"Konmei Rubō" (昏冥流亡) 
August 2, 2005 May 1, 2008
The surviving samurai must come to terms with the aftermath of battle. 
18 "A Dawn Without Light"
"Mumyō Futsugyō" (無明払暁) 
August 9, 2005 May 8, 2008
Gennosuke is led to a safe haven after his mentor's sacrifice. 
19 "Conspiracy"
"Mōjo Kanbō" (猛女姦謀) 
August 16, 2005 May 15, 2008
False voices lead to lies, deceit and death; impatience has goaded political intrigue. 
20 "River of Mercy"
"Jinji Ryūryū" (仁慈流々) 
August 23, 2005 May 22, 2008
21 "With All Her Heart"
"Misatsu Kagerō" (魅殺陽炎) 
August 30, 2005 June 5, 2008
22 "The Haunted"
"Kikoku Shūshū" (鬼哭啾々) 
September 6, 2005 June 12, 2008
With Kagero captive, Oboro issues a public challenge, seeking to draw Gennosuke out of hiding. 
23 "Emancipation"
"Mugen Hōyō" (夢幻泡影) 
September 13, 2005 June 19, 2008
24 "Requiem"
"Raise Kaikō" (来世邂逅) 
September 20, 2005 June 26, 2008
Gennosuke and Oboro face the final conflict with little care as to which one wins. 

Differences between manga and anime

Although the anime follows the original manga almost exactly in storyline, there are a few slight differences. The most notable being flashbacks (such as the one in episode 1 as to how Ogen and Danjou's love came to an end) as well as additional scenes which occur only in the anime; both of which serve to expand on the characters and the backstory. One of the more prominent scenes added to the anime was an epilogue for the final episode which was intended to add a sense of closure whereas the manga ends immediately after Gennosuke and Oboro's duel.

Other differences include fight scenes happening in a different order (i.e. in the manga, Oboro uncovers Jingoro's attempt to assassinate Gennosuke before stopping Akeginu and Jousuke's duel whereas in the anime the situation is reversed), and exposed breasts being obscured in the anime by some form of covering whereas the manga tends to be less censored. Although, toward the end of the anime, bare breasts can be seen on a number of occasions.


  1. ^ Joel Hahn. "Kodansha Manga Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  • Fumitoro Kizaki (Director). Basilisk-Koga Ninpocho [TV-Series] GONZO/Kodansha/Japan Digital Concepts: Japan. 2005
  • Masaki Segawa (Manga artist). Basilisk-Koga Ninpocho [Manga] Kodansha: Japan. 2003-2004
  • Futaro Yamada (Author). Koga Ninpocho [novel] Japan. 1958
  • Ten Shimoyama (Director) Shinobi: Heart Under Blade (DVD) Japan. 2005

External links

  • Official Japanese website (in Japanese)
  • Official Basilisk broadband site (in Japanese)
  • Official Funimation website
  • Basilisk (manga) (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
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