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OP/ED of the Day #111: Kouga Ninpou Chou

Illustration for article titled OP/ED of the Day #111: Kouga Ninpou Chou

Title: Kouga Ninpou Chou | Artist: Onmyouza | Show: Basilisk

Aw geez, now the anime that was made while I was in high school is now starting to turn a decade old (;-;). To celebrate a recently minted 10th anniversary I’m covering the opening to what is easily one of my favorite Gonzo anime series, Basilisk. In a lot of ways Basilisk, both the manga and the anime, were just a bit ahead of their time. Nowadays you see people left and right falling head over heels in love with series where the main draw is wondering who will be killed off next. Shows like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Attack on Titan are pop culture institutions now. Even less popular, but still relatively popular series like Akame ga Kill! get in on this action too. But Basilisk was probably my first series of this type. Now I don’t mean my first series with lots of character death, I had definitely seen a few by the time I saw this. Rather I mean series where the main point, or at least the main reason to keep watching, is to see the characters die off. And honestly, a decade later, this is still one of my favorites of that type of show, if mainly because there is an actual reason for all this character death.

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Set in a fictionalized version of post-unification Japan, Basilisk is a tale of two ninja clans, the Kouga and the Iga, fighting a proxy war to determine which of Tokugawa Ieyasu’s two heirs will become the next shogun. It doesn’t hurt that the Kouga and Iga hate each other with the fire of a thousand suns. The only two that don’t hate each other are the Kouga clan’s Gennousuke and Iga clan’s Oboro. You see, prior to both the clans being thrown into war again, these two were to be married to each other to form a peace bond between the two clans, and they truly love each other deeply. But anyways, back to this proxy war. Basically both clans send their best fighters to fight and the first clan to kill all of the opposing clan’s representatives wins, and the heir they are representing becomes shogun. To put it another way, the characters in this series have to kill each other to prevent many more lives being lost in a massive civil war over the next shogun.

Like I said, I greatly enjoyed this series. If you are interested in seeing it, it is only 24 episodes long and FUNimation holds the license, so you can see it subbed and dubbed on Hulu or FUNi’s own site. Also, in case anyone is wondering why a series about fighting ninja clans is called Basilisk, it is because Gennousuke and Oboro have extremely powerful eye-based powers. See, every single one of the characters that fight have a unique power, theirs’ use their eyes.

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Well enough prattling from me, time for the opening!

What I like about this opening is how in infuses traditional Japanese instruments with this otherwise normal rock music to make a song that is distinctly Japanese. And of course, like always with me, the full version to listen to as well.

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