Basilisk is a Japanese manga and anime series. The manga was authored by Masaki Segawa and published in Japan in 2003 and 2004, based on 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.

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.

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 addional scenes which occur only in the anime; both of which serve to expand on the characters and the backstory.

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.

The Kouga Ninja Scrolls (Kouga Ninpōchō) is the first book in author Futaro Yamada's "Ninpōchō series of novels. His work also served as the inspiration for the 1993 hit anime movie Ninja Scroll (Jūbei Ninpūchō) and Basilisk feature similar and occasionally matching characters. For instance; both feature a character named Kagerou, a female ninja from the Kouga Clan whose ability is to poison those in sexual contact with her, and who is in love with the main character. Basilisk's antagonist Yakushiji Tenzen is similar to the villain of Ninja Scroll Himura Genma in that both possess powers of regeneration and pursue their own objectives outside of their superior's knowledge. And Rousai's ability to stretch and contort his arms is replicated by Ninja Scroll's Dakuan. However, Ninja Scroll didn't credit Yamada.
The anime/manga's title is a reference to the basilisk; a mythological dragon whose gaze was said to cause death. Likewise, both Gennosuke and Oboro possess the deadliest techniques in the series which are exercised through their eyes.
Some characters are designed around concepts of animals. Rousai's large, gourd-like head and lengthy limbs are meant to evoke an octopus. Similarly, Shogen has six red dots on his forehead, meant to evoke the multiple eyes of a spider. Most obviously, Jubei's prehensile tongue and limbless body are meant to evoke a snake. A less obvious example is Hotarubi who controls clouds of glowing butterflys; a possible reference to how her name is the Japanese word for firefly.
In addition to the Basilisk anime and manga, Futaro Yamada's book has been adapted for the live action film, Shinobi: Heart Under Blade which was released on DVD for American audiences in February 2007 by Funimation, the same company that distributed the dubbed version of Basilisk.
Del Rey Books, the company that publishes the Basilisk Manga in English, released an English language version of the original Kouga Ninpocho novel in late December 2006, shortly after releasing English volume 3 of the manga.
The Funimation English dub of the anime keeps many of the original Japanese honorifics.
The Funimation English sub of the anime uses the original credits written in Japanese honorifics when played.
The Basilisk manga is printed using a method unique among other titles in that very little of the background is actually drawn. Instead, a good deal of the manga is comprised of the various characters superimposed over black and white photographs of real world landscapes.
In the Nintendo DS videogame Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. One of the enemy Ninja Boys near Snowhead City will ask if your character is Kouga or Iga.

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