March 27, 2007
by: John Paul Houser
A story starts to form in the second installment, making it a volume worth looking into.
Manga Description: The Iga and Kouga clan have been sworn enemies for over 400 years, kept from all out war only by the Hanzo Hattori Truce. Now on the heals of a Romeo and Juliet esque love story, the truce has been dissolved. It is now up to each clanís tribe of 10 ninjaís to defeat the other in all out war to become the Tokugawa Shogun. The stakes, not only clan survival but the position of ruler for the next 1000 years, who will rein shogun and will love in the end, conquer all?
Content: (This section may include spoilers).
This volume takes the action seen in previous installment and doubles it, not only in volume but in quality as well. The Iga clan is as yet the only tribe aware of the dissolution of the Hattori peace truce and has used the secret to put a dent in the Kouga clans' list of elite ninjas. If you have read my last review you will recall that I wasnít impressed by Volume 1ís offerings as far as entertainment and value for the cost of manga. Well things have changed in the world of Basilisk and after the slow beginning this series is off and running. We also learn that the two leaders of the clans that are very much in love will have a large role in deciding the fate of the clans; not that it is a shock, but how much of an impact they have and the revealing of what their secret ninja abilities are is very interesting.
This volume boasts some real fun; such as a two-page spread of a guy's face getting sucked into a wall. How does this happen you ask? All I can say is ninjaís have many strange and lethal abilities. Everything the first volume lacked has been made up for in Volume 2. It contains more action, more story, and naked vampires of the female variety. It doesn't get any better than this!
My complaints from volume one have all been corrected; there is now enough text in volume two so as to say some semblance of a story has been developed. Also when you are introduced to a character -- the character's name and the name of the clan in which they belong is provided, clearing up some of the confusion as to who is who.
Art: The art hasnít changed from volume one, still very good by manga standards. It's very detailed and no corners were cut in character design and scenery. It even packs a couple color pages, which is a nice touch.
Translation: The translation is on par with volume one, but the additional character information i.e. their clan association makes it an easier read.
The Bottom Line: Basilisk Vol 2. takes the ninja fighting we know and love and throws in enough story that I feel like Iím reading something, but not so much that it makes me bored. A happy medium has been reached. If you liked Vol. 1 then you will enjoy Vol. 2. If you werenít sold on volume one then you should at least give volume two a read before casting it off into the list of manga not worth reading. Especially with the DVD releases and the growth in popularity of the series--itís definitely worth checking out.