Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou

October 26, 2018

Wow. OMG. Really? It has been more than 10 years since Basilisk aired and the way things ended, there was no way there was going to be a sequel anyhow, right? Well, how wrong were we. Sort of. Therefore it was a surprise that Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou came out as its sequel back in early 2018 and the events are set 10 years after the events of the first season. That series does bring back some nostalgic memories and it was quite captivating. Hence I went into watching this second season with higher hopes and anticipation. But somewhat despite its new setting, story and characters, something tells me that some things are better left ‘dead’ where it was supposed to be…

Episode 1
Tadanaga Tokugawa, the Dainagon of Suruga receives news of his mother’s ailing health. Quickly he and his entourage make haste to her castle despite the stormy weather. Meanwhile we see a few ninja kids playing their version of ninja tag while showing off their abilities. We have Rui (seduction pheromones), Shichigen Higurashi (bug master), Shikibu Kora (iron man), Hachisu (gunslinger), Utsutsu (illusion master) and Saizou Ishi (eye popping, literally). The game is won by Utsutsu. Feeling bored of her constant win, she decides to test Kazuma Kusanagi practising his whip wires nearby. He must be in a bad mood so he strangles her with his weapon to teach her a lesson. He is stopped by Kouga’s leader, Hachirou. He is part of Kouga’s Five Treasures that also include Kazuma, Shichito Geiin, Kaso Himonji and Tenjin Yusa. All know that despite Hachirou is the brother of Hibiki (leader of Iga), they must bang with each other to keep the bloodline flowing. Whether they like it or not. This is to give birth a superior ninja otherwise both their clans will be finished. They receive message that the shogun’s wife is unwell. Namenba sees Gorone Negoro who is trying ways to improve tools for their ninja kids. Their job is to watch over them. Tadanaga’s journey hits an obstacle. With the storm still raging, a violently flowing river blocks their path. Tadanaga is adamant to cross but his men are pessimistic of their chances to survive this. Tadanaga plans to go himself when all his men are killed by a mysterious ninja. Tadanaga tries to cut him but feels his sword keeps evading contact with his body. Thankfully the Five Treasures (actually four of them, minus Hachirou) are here to save the day.

Episode 2
Time for Five Treasures to show us their unique and weird ninja skills as they cut down the assailants. Tadanaga remains suspicious of them now although they will help him build a boat and cross the river. While Kazuma and Tenjin build the boat, the rest accompany Tadanaga as they talk about the rumour relating to Gennosuke’s Doujutsu Eyes but none know very well of it. Hachirou sees Gorone to talk about something. Namenba notices something strange and asks Gorone about it. It seems Hachirou wants to leave the village. Namenba is dismayed he allowed it but he believes if he bumps into Hibiki, it is up to them to handle this. True enough, Hibiki confronts Hachirou on his way out and is mad she didn’t say anything to her. She thinks he fears her powers but she is not scared of his. Flashback shows Hibiki winning once over Hachirou. However she realizes he did it on purpose and it hurt her. So much so her Mystic Eyes activated and gone berserk. Uhm, it just caused a little sakura whirlwind? Is this what Hachirou is afraid of? Gorone continues discussing with Namenba about the ill-fated lovers from both side who are destined to be separated anyhow. Danjo and Ogen were once in love with each other before they were forced to fight to the death. It was the same with Gennosuke and Oboro. Now, it could be the same for Hachirou and Hibiki. The odd part is that if Gennosuke and Oboro’s blood are flowing through them, how could they be born if their parents are dead? Mind boggling! Tadanori continues talking about he cannot accept how Iga won the last battle since he believed Gennosuke was the one who defeated the seemingly immortal Tenzen. It is widely believed that Gennosuke and Oboro faced off in the final match and Iga won due to Oboro lived slightly longer after both sides exhausted their power. But in Kouga’s village, it is told slightly different. Oboro couldn’t kill Gennosuke and killed herself. Gennosuke in despair wrote in the scroll that Oboro won before killing himself (which was what actually happened). Kyouhachirou, the second son of Hattori Hanzo, visited the Kouga village and from what it looked like, a basket containing 2 babies. It is rumoured Kyouhachirou might have saved them to ensure the continued bloodline after being moved watching them sacrifice each other for love despite being destined to be torn apart. Otherwise it would be too cruel and sad for Hachirou and Hibiki. Tenjin returns with his head decapitated!

Episode 3
Flashback shows when Hibiki was new to the village, the other kids wanted to test her but her Mystic Eyes nullified their antagonism. They tried to do the same for Hachirou and Saizou could have fallen victim to his Doujutsu Eyes had not Gorone pin him down hard. Geiin and Kaso discover Kazuma being cut apart by his own weapon. Before them is a mysterious ninja. Kaso tries to burn him down but his ninja ability seems to be reversing time, causing Kaso to be burnt to death by his own ability. He introduces himself as Tsuibamu Kujaku of Joujinshuu. It seems their plan is to assassinate both the Five Treasures and Iga’s Five Flowers. Geiin tries to spread his poison to her but it backfires. He reverses time and now the old fart will die a slow death with his own multiple poisons. Hachirou senses the Five Treasures are dead (more like One Treasure now, haha… Oops…) as he takes Hibiki back to Gorone. He trusts Hachirou’s instincts and believes a powerful force could have easily taken down the Five Treasures. Now that he cannot have Hachirou leave, he has the other ninja kids stake out as well as warn the Five Flowers. Tadanaga is approached by a weird monk, Joujin claiming that his executioner will be his brother, Iemitsu who is also the current shogun. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to him because he too has noticed Iemitsu’s hidden feelings.

Episode 4
Hoetsu Tsuta of the Five Flowers is killed by Itaru Yasha. He could have got the job done had his horny side not get the better of him. Because of that, he looks through her mirror that reflects his entire pathetic life. So pathetic that he jumps off the cliff. When the other Five Flowers come looking for him, they stumble upon this old dude, Neirichiou. He might look like a pushover but look at his giant monster behind! By the time Rui and Shichigen arrive, they see their corpses. Geiin managed to send a message via bird to Hachirou the name of their assailants. Joujin reminds Tadanaga that when Iemitsu was afflicted with the pox, he said those words. Still not believing, Magoroku Rinne uses his ability to go back in time to make him remember. It was a time where Iemitsu was lying in his bed all alone. No attendants were around. Tadanaga went in to look and seeing his suffering, he wanted to call a doctor. Although Tadanaga genuinely wanted him to recover, it did not looked so in Iemitsu’s eyes. Compared to fat boy’s ailing health and his brother’s healthiness, Iemitsu became jealous and thought his death would mean his brother would ascend the throne. If that was not true, why is now Tadanaga attacked by the Kurokuwa of Iga? They work directly for the shogun. Joujin proposes Tadanaga start a rebellion and become a god. It is the only way to survive this. With his men returning and showing the decapitated heads of the Five Flowers, this is to prove their power to him. They are also doing this because they want to save his mother. Utsutsu and Saizou are stunned to see a giant monster before them.

Episode 5
Hachirou insists of going to fight the enemy but is told he has to be protected not because of his status but his technique. But he reasons that only his blood that is needed. If this world was at peace, there would be no need of ninjas. That is why sometimes people need something to cling on even if it’s just an illusion. Gorone accepts if this is his way of doing things, so be it. He shows him a secret shortcut. At the end of the path, Hachirou cuts off Hibiki so he could face the enemies himself. Saizou and Utsutsu stumble into Neirichiou. Utsutsu’s illusion doesn’t work on him because despite his eyes saw her illusion, his brain did not. Huh? He displays his technique of turning into reality his illusion that incapacitates the duo. Utsutsu manages to chant some lines to turn real her illusion on Neirichiou but the old dude escapes. Returning to his monster, he fights off the other ninja kids. When they are out of tricks and injured, here comes Hachirou. His Doujutsu Eyes causes him and the monster to go berserk. Joujin tells him to retreat. Hachirou faces off with Joujin. He is surprised his Doujutsu Eyes do not work. Joujin claims his spiritual training enables him to kill while his heart is calm. Sensing Gorone and Namenba on the way, he leaves it to Itaru to handles this. Now that Hibiki is here, she shows them her mirror. However she is stumped they see something else. With Namenba interrupting, the duo’s eyes go wild. Not really sure about this sakura light beam destruction called Ouka. Joujin takes an interest in them and will look forward in many years’ time. Tadanaga has arrived at his mother’s castle safely. She would pass away 6 months later.

Episode 6
Fast forward 4 years later, the former shogun, Hidetada Tokugawa strips Tadanaga of his prestige after he went hunting for monkeys as they are believed to be messengers of God. Soon Hidetada dies and is buried in secret while Tadanaga is exiled to a faraway land. A few years later, we see the ninja kids grown up and demonstrating their improved abilities. The girls also run a dango shop. They are torn whether if Joujinshuu would return since Namenba spent years making this place the way it is not because of money but to prepare for them. After Hachirou went missing, the boys cried. But they kept honing their skills believing he would return. That would mean Joujinshuu would return to but even so, there is no guarantee Hachirou would come back. Hachirou is of course still alive and grown up. We see him fighting a priest, Hadaebou. He uses strange techniques but it is all just to test him. He then says he has an urgent request. Tadanaga requests to speak to him because he senses something strange is coming. Rather, a strange castle named Murakumo and looks like it is already here.

Episode 7
Namenba has worked her way and infiltrated the castle as a courtesan. Flashback during a talk with Gorone, there was this intention to make Tadanaga’s heart turn evil. It would be an excuse for the shogun to crush him. If Joujin and the shogun had a connection, it would narrow the possibilities down. Hence the best way for Namenba is to go ask the shogun himself. During the night, she infiltrates through the roof but is met by a few Kurokawa resistance. She didn’t kill them but somebody else did. She drops some liquid into the sleeping shogun’s mouth. When she asks the questions, he doesn’t know about the delaying of Tadanaga or who Joujin is. Namenba escapes when security is alerted. She meets Hadaebou who informs he is an ally before slipping back into her courtesan bed. Hachirou sees Tadanaga. He shows him a picture of Murakumo. He gave money to Joujin to make an imperial carriage for his mom but this is what he made. A castle he has no knowledge of that he paid, what will the people think of him? He reveals his secret that Joujin encouraged him to rebel against Iemitsu. Although his mother’s health improved but it only lasted for 6 months. 2 years ago when he went to inspect his territory, the forest started to move (part of the prophecy that Joujin said that will lead to failure) and all the monkeys started attacking. He killed some of them despite his men’s wish not to. Viewing Joujin as a demon, he wants Hachirou to destroy the castle. Not for him but for the country as well. Hachirou declines and reminds him his ancestors were killed to determine the heir and will not be taken advantage again. With the Five Treasures and Five Flowers died for nothing, they refuse to be sacrificed for the likes of them again. Tadanaga is furious that he has poured out his feelings and yet refused. He orders his men to kill him. Their visors might protect them from his Doujutsu Eyes but Saizou’s floating eyes reflect them so they start killing each other. Hachirou leaves the cowering former Dainagon but the latter still want to kill him for fear his feelings might be known to the shogunate.

Episode 8
Flashback shows Tenkai suggested the use of ninjas to settle the succession feud instead of wasting samurais in duels. Hachirou makes his escape but skilled archers are going to take him out. They can judge his position just by noise and hence avoid looking in his eye. Too bad Shichigen summons the crickets to mess with their hearing and Hachirou kills them all. Next are sharp riflemen. Too bad bullets can’t penetrate Shikibu’s armour. Even the best marksman killed himself. He used bubbles to determine the wind but the bubbles also reflect the Doujutsu Eyes. Damn. The guys confront Hachirou for ignoring them. He only tells them he will be the only one to avenge their fallen comrades. In town, Hachirou meets Gobo who blames him for this entire mess. When he mentions he is Tenkai’s ninja monk and was ordered to get close to Tadanaga, Hachirou will not listen to him any further. But he reminds him about the common enemy they have now: Joujinshuu. He should forget the past and help them. In doing so, he will reveal some of Joujin’s secrets. Hachirou is not interested as he believes he is lying and intending to use them again. Gobo starts talking about a wandering monk who prayed for rain in some province 100 years ago. He is Joujin and besides his other fighters, he has many soldiers called Rain. Utsutsu and Rui sneak close to Murakumo. They notice strange but creepy farmers. When their numbers get larger, they flee but are spotted. They are Rain. Thanks to their voice mimicking, the girls get confused and are separated and lost. I’m not sure if Rui’s butterflies make her fight better because those zombie dudes definitely aren’t attracted to her pheromones. Tadanaga is shocked to see Joujin before him. Hello again. Remember me?

Episode 9
Tadanaga blames his deceit but Joujin explains about the forest never moving. It was just monkeys. As for Tadanaga to become ruler of Japan, he wanted him to become god. Tadanaga doesn’t believe a man can become god. Oh but there is one who almost did: Nobunaga. Utsutsu can now summon the undead to kill her enemies. But when the numbers get too many, Namenba returns in time to save our troubled heroines. Namenba gives Gorone illustrations of Murakumo that Utsutsu sketch to investigate. Flashback shows Namenba met with Tenkai who needed her help to bring down Joujinshuu as Joujin is trying to end the Tokugawa era and return them to civil wars. With the guys returning, they tell about Hachirou’s whereabouts but nothing much can be done for now. Namenba wants them to focus on the current task at hand and to investigate Murakumo before Hachirou returns. Saizou’s eyes are useful to peek but does he need to enter Murakumo’s territory? Do his eyes have some sort of limited range? Anyway inside the room he spies a strange man. He is surprised to see him as Nobunaga. He thought he died at the fire at Honnouji. Oddly, Nobunaga crumbles into sand. Now the ninjas have to escape as the Rain army pursues them. We see Rui going on a killing spree because who wouldn’t be mesmerized by a total hot naked ninja chick.

Episode 10
The huge Kishuu army arrives to take out Murakumo with their cannons. The ninjas think Joujinshuu won’t stand a chance. You think so? Hadaebou drops by to request the help of the Kouga and Iga ninjas but upon learning he works under Tenkai, they turn him away as they don’t want to be used again. He would give time for them to think and hope they would give a favourable answer then. Tadanaga is inside Murakumo and he is worried of the army. Joujin assures him Murakumo’s cannons are much better. Yeah, they’re bigger! And they fire first! In an instant the entire Kishuu army is wiped out! Overkill. Now Tadanaga is buoyed with this and believes he can take over Japan. We see Namenba’s flashback as she was serving Senhime 17 years ago. Her real role is to save her when her family and castle fall. She did her role well during that war which claimed Senhime’s husband’s life. After putting her to safety, Namenba returns to the battlefield to kill any dying soldiers who are still barely alive. Gorone explains their plan to take down Murakumo. Shichigen and Rui will draw Rain away while Utsutsu, Saizou and Shikibu sneak in to take out Murakumo’s cannons. Namenba will supervise it and see if there is a need to retreat should this mission fail. From Utsutsu’s sketch of its structure, he believes its gunpowder is stored directly behind the cannon. Taking one out should lead to a domino of explosions and collapsing the castle. But what if they encounter the Joujinshuu? The last time they fought them (as kids), they almost died. This is where Hadaebou will come in to take care of them. Later Hadaebou relays message to his spy about the ninjas agreeing to take down Murakumo. He also notes if Tadanaga cannot be saved, he shall be killed. Joujin sees a man in his prison and wants him to fulfil his role in exchange for his freedom.

Episode 11
Shikibu’s armour cracks. Looks like Gorone needs to fix it and has Hibiki and Hachisu help out. We are told that there is another reason for his armour. In addition to protect him from attacks, it is to stop him from exploding. His muscles are ever expanding and too strong for his skin to handle. Eventually without restraint it will explode and kill him. Therefore his armour aptly named as saibougu means rhino armour. When they sense intruders, Hachisu goes to deal with them. Low level ones are easy to kill until she meets this mummy monster. His skin is so touch that bullets bounce off. He reveals his target is not Hibiki but her. Shikibu charges in to save her but his brute strength is also tough to kill him. Since Hachisu is slightly injured, Shikibu takes her to run and hide. Inside a cave, Shikibu believes all this is happening because it is punishment for wanting to stay with them. Flashback shows that he was born with this condition. People stayed away from him but the monks took care of him as they believe in Buddha’s teaching of not taking a life. They imbued this principal into Shikibu but sadly he cannot make friends and must wander alone like a rhino. He must not desire anything. Hachisu finds it incredulous for him to let words rule his life. Their job is to protect their leader and if somebody wants to kill their leader, they must kill them first. Shikibu’s muscle starts expanding again and it is giving him a great deal of pain. He won’t let Hachisu treat him but after some pestering, he relents. She uses her bandages to tie his muscles down. Meanwhile Gorone has finished the armour and wants Hibiki to deliver. She stumbles into the mummy dude. Good thing Hachirou is here. His Doujutsu Eyes make him try to kill himself. But Hachirou’s sword can pierce through him like butter? After that, Hachirou disappears. Wow. It’s like he didn’t want Hibiki to see him at all. Mummy guy still lives since the thickness of his muscle has the sword missed his heart. He stumbles into Shikibu and Hachisu who just broke out from their hiding. With renewed hope, Shikibu easily kills him by breaking his neck. Even if he gets punished, it is fine. They’ll suffer together. Wait. What? Is this masochism?

Episode 12
Shichigen and Rui manage to distract some of the Rain. But what they didn’t count on are some of them having rifles. Shichigen got shot in his thigh but they manage to escape after he summons the bugs to jam up the rifles. Who shoots, explodes! I guess it’s time for his flashback. His mother loved a poem about a cricket. He took care of him by herself since young. Shichigen could display some level of controlling insects like his father. One day, a bandit assaulted his mom. Shichigen tries to fight him but he is a very sorry state as a samurai wannabe. His mom could at least decently put up a sword fight with this low level thug. When Shichigen tries to fight back with a rock, in this unfortunate accident and slip up while trying to avoid cutting him, the adults accidentally cut each other, effectively killing themselves. That’s why now Shichigen talks like sacrificing himself to let Rui get away. He thinks he has always he slowed his mom down despite she has some ninja techniques. He vows never to let anyone pay the price of his failure again. Nice timing for Hachirou to pop up again. Too early for Shichigen to die now. He wants the help of his ability. In this darkness and range, his Doujutsu Eyes are ineffective. So Shichigen lights up the bugs to provide light to accompany Hachirou. With this, his Doujutsu Eyes literally turns the quiet night into the biggest explosion fest ever!

Episode 13
After Shichigen gives the clear signal, apparently he didn’t check on the other side or if not Rain has divided themselves into groups as they face off with Utsutsu and Saizou. Saizou suggests using her illusions on him and he can reflect them in his eyes to let others see. But he will be affected too. No. Not him. Only his eyes. Huh? Isn’t that the same? The plan works but Saizou still feels its effects. Utsutsu has medication to heal him. I guess it is more romantic to do indirect kiss than to splash the entire bottle in his mouth. Because Saizou says he has seen too much and hence don’t see things he doesn’t need to see, it’s the opposite for Utsutsu. She can’t see what she wants to see. Flashback shows her father locked her up in the storeroom in the mountains with a mandala of hell. Not sure as training or punishment. Because she wants to see nice dreams, father told her about hell and how dreams and emotions can kill. Such technique can only be learnt in youth. Thus she is forced to master it before next spring otherwise all will be for naught and she will die. When she thinks she has done so and shows him, he is disappointed with this useless technique. Because he cannot kill his own daughter, he burns himself. This is not self-pity. She must live with the fact she killed her father than herself. This is the hell that will forever remain in her head. That emotion will become her technique. So the next time bandits try to rob the place, she uses her illusion to kill them. Saizou fires his cannon. Obviously missed at first try. The ninjas are pretty confident they can get this right in a few shots, eh? But Rui has a plan. She ties the cannonball to her special bullet. Once he fires, she will aim at the cannon hole and the bullet will drag it inside. They succeed. Only… Suddenly it is spit back out! Almost turning them into ninja kebab. This is thanks to Kujaku’s doing of reversing time. Hachirou catches Hadaebou trying to sneak into Murakumo. He asks for his reasons. He is here to find out why Joujin has kidnapped Tadanaga. It is odd since Tadanaga has no power or influence so why would Joujin want or fear him? As he is the grandson of deceased Shogun Ieyasu, he might be Joujin’s perfect puppet. He is to prevent that at all cost. But here comes Joujin and he knows Tenkai has set him up for this job to save or in worst case scenario, kill Tadanaga.

Episode 14
While Hachirou fights Joujin, Hadaebou uses this chance to slither into Murakumo. He tries to reason with Tadanaga to get out or die now but realizes this is just a puppet. The real Tadanaga and other Joujinshuu heard this plan and this infuriates Tadanaga. Clones are sent to fight him but Hadaebou escapes. Saizou does the same cannon-bullet trick but Kujaku again reverses time. Saizou tries to attack Kujaku’s dial but fails. Hachirou loses to Joujin but is spared. He wants him to join his side instead because he wants his and Hibiki’s bloodline. Hachirou is infuriated he intends to use them this far. Hibiki and Shikibu come running to his rescue with the latter uprooting a tree to fend off Joujin. Joujin wants Kujaku to fire the cannon at them. If they die, they weren’t worth it. Hachirou and Hibiki’s eyes meet, causing Ouka. Though it destroys the surroundings, it also protects them. Joujin offers his last chance for them to join him. They disagree and would rather use Ouka on him again and sacrifice their lives. Magoroku whisks Joujin away before he is caught up in it. But Ouka fails and both of them become unconscious. This means they can’t control it properly yet and Joujin will give them time to master it before acquiring them. His plan to let Hadaebou live and return to report to Tenkai is to cause some panic and uproar. Saizou again tries the same trick. Now they’re down to the last cannon. Same time reversing thingy. This time Utsutsu signals to Namenba as she soars in to drop another bomb inside. It seems there is a cooling period for Kujaku to use this ability again. Now Murakumo crumbles.

Episode 15
Although Murakumo is destroyed, what remains of it suddenly disappeared. Shichigen realizes he entered an illusion but when he hears his mom’s voice, he runs to her. He is shocked to have gone back in time to witness those tragic events. Fearing what he sees, he runs away. Though he escapes from the illusion, this is a test and experiment done by the Joujinshuu members as they combine their powers. They note he is now their slave. Hachirou hears rumours of ghosts in the town ahead that the people believe is Nobunaga’s soul. He believes it is Joujin’s plan to revive Nobunaga. Hibiki wakes up and surprised to see Hachirou. He says Joujin is here and there is not enough time to escape. Hence he is going to confess his feelings. Will she always be his? Of course. Forever. Unfortunately this Hachirou is just an illusion so Hibiki now becomes under his spell. She makes her way to Joujin but as Utsutsu and Rui try to stop her, her Mystic Eyes do more than nullify their skill and paralyzes them. Hachirou sees Kujaku. He challenges him and only uses a tree branch, confident he is only overestimating his power. When both use their powers, Hachirou’s Doujutsu Eyes did not work. From what Kujaku explains, what was emitted in his eyes couldn’t overflow time and thus couldn’t reach him. He even dares challenge him again if he thinks he cannot use his time reversal for the moment. They fight again but this time Hachirou uses the shards’ reflection. In this distraction, he snatches the branch from him and deals some serious damage to his face. A new castle pops up.

Episode 16
Murakumo v2 is up and on the move to Edo. Namenba and Hachisu see Hibiki going into it with the Joujinshuu. They want to follow but stopped by Hadaebou who warns them Murakumo is heavily guarded by Rain. Namenba will go back and prepare weapons but will still not trust him. Why is he so persistent with her? He hints he likes her. WTF. Cheesy. Rui and Utsutsu are well enough to help out. Gorone makes some bombs for them. As Murakumo moves at a turtle pace, the ladies place landmines before its path. Hachisu fires to give more oomph to the explosive effect. However it is not enough to stop or even scratch it. Hadaebou again pops up to help. He suggests they help each other. The ladies want Hibiki back and he wants Tadanaga. Namenba thinks he is just using them and makes him promise to find Hibiki if he gets in first. Then he also adds if they find Hibiki first, Namenba will be his woman. Eyes rolling moment. Hadaebou slithers his way into Murakumo but more Rain pop up. Meanwhile Hachirou is being confronted with Itaru. She offers him to take him to Murakumo but he ignores her. Only when she says they have Hibiki did he get alarmed. But he fell into her mirror trap and cannot look away. She is going to make him desire her. Meanwhile Hibiki sees a vision of… Oboro?!

Episode 17
Is she a ghost? Not really sure since Oboro says her regret is falling in love with Gennosuke and that’s when her life fell apart. She’ll never forgive him. Rui and Utsutsu have to wash off blood from their body after killing too much Rain. Rui confesses she loves Utsutsu! WTF?! It seems she is afraid of dying without saying anything. Back to Hachirou, I think he is playing chicken with Itaru because he dares to use it on himself. She stops after Magoroku offers they can take him to Murakumo any time. So he won the game of chicken? But later Shichigen asks Hachirou had he taken up that offer, both leaders would have been Joujin’s prisoners. Was what he said a bluff or real? Shikibu and Saizou find Gorone is gone from his house. But looks like he activated something big. Uhm, a robot?! Flashback shows Namenba wandering after the incident on Senhime’s life. She stumbled into a small nunnery that young Rui was staying at. Both the ladies bond in no time and Rui is not scared to talk about death. One night, bandits killed the nun. The duo are forced to kill to stay alive. Namenba offers Rui to follow her in which she accepts. Hadaebou has snuck into Murakumo and slain all the fake Tadanaga clones. Finally he confronts the real one. Tadanaga believes he is here to kill him because his fate was already decided by the fight between those ninja clans. Hadaebou disagrees and says Iemitsu awaits his return. He has always felt guilty to have been given his position in such a way. He goes on to remind him their childhood days where it was filled with brotherly love.

Episode 18
Neirichiou’s monster pop up. So why must Namenba and Hachisu abandon their ascend and run around being chased. Thanks to Hachirou here, he uses his Doujutsu Eyes. Too bad Neirichiou and the monster closes them. Being one with the realm enables them to ‘see’ without using their eyes. Meanwhile Joujin tells Tadanaga not to fall for Hadaebou’s lies. He is considering listening to Hadaebou since those memories are true so Joujin will have him die. Joujin reveals that it is not him whom they want to make a master out of this castle but Nobunaga. They need Tadanaga’s body who is of royal blood as a vessel. As Hadaebou tries to stave off Magoroku, Joujin mind controls Tadanaga to stab him. Then he wants him to commit seppuku and die like a man. Tadanaga is burning with hatred and the lies he has been fed but too late, he has been decapitated. Hadaebou makes his escape. Shichigen summons the bugs and birds to swarm all over the monster. It worked for a while but the monster now rains lightning. Cue for Gorone to come riding in with his, uhm, Batmobile? Spidermobile? He drops bombs and cannons for the rest to use while firing some missiles at the enemy. Is this his way of going out in style? Is there a message he is supposed to relay to Hachirou only via his death? Something about new sakura only bloom when the old ones die off. After Gorone’s death, some splinter cuts off Neirichiou’s arm, making him retreat. Hachirou announces his true feelings as he finally admits he will be entering Murakumo to save Hibiki even though it is a trap. Uhm, wasn’t that what he wanted? The rest also want him to say the most important thing as a leader. Uhm, to have them die for him? Whatever. So before Murakumo, Hachirou calls out to Joujin to let him in. Invitations from his underling didn’t do the trick so he did it this way?

Episode 19
Kujaku leads Hachirou to Joujin. He claims that Ouka has never been his aim but true world peace and salvation. In order for that, a bit of hell must be shown. Basically, he wants to destroy the world. Yeah, I know. It’s insane. Meanwhile the other ninjas are trying to find their way in. Saizou is using his eyes to look around but is unfortunate to have glanced into Itaru’s mirror. He sees his past. His dad trained him to read numbers of a Japanese poker game. So that when he plays with a bunch of guys, he uses his eyes to cheat and peek at the opponents’ hands. Sure, he is on a winning streak and nobody can prove he is cheating. I suppose nobody looks up at the ceiling for a floating eyeball. Plus, poor Saizou outside in the cold. In the last hand, Saizou messed up and read wrongly, causing dad to lose everything. He was beaten up and with the passing of a Kouga ninja, dad sold him off. Saizou is under the mirror’s spell so in a trance he walks into the oncoming path of Murakumo. Man, one flat Saizou coming up! But how can one guy stop dead the tracks of Murakumo?! But even so, this doesn’t stop Joujin’s plan. Murakumo isn’t a palanquin to carry them to Edo but more like a vessel to revive Nobunaga. Murakumo is like a womb. To facilitate that, he needs Hachirou and Hibiki with powers and exchange love fluids. You heard that right. Love fluids. If they don’t, they have to kill each other because blood works as well as love fluids. Hachirou will choose neither but he has no choice as Hibiki is here to kill him. But she claims she is Oboro. She regrets falling in love with Gennosuke that led to the downfall of her clan. She will kill him as repentance.

Episode 20
Oh Utsutsu, Saizou may have been splattered but at least you’ll have an eyeball to remember him by. Oops… Hachirou is reduced to defending. He contemplates using his Doujutsu Eyes on Hibiki to break Joujin’s spell but it risks killing her. So he puts back his sword and closes his eye. An invitation to let her stab him? She does so but not surprisingly he dodges. At this close range, he opens his eyes. It manages to break her out without killing her. However Hibiki is still Oboro and she thinks Hachirou is Gennosuke and wants to love him. Magoroku then hypnotizes them. Shichigen confronts Itaru to avenge Saizou. Thinking no women could resist his pheromones, unfortunately he became captivated by her mirror. He sees Itaru as his mom’s image. Remember, he was already under that spell since that cave incident. I guess Hachisu is the only one left with a backstory and they have to oddly slot it here. We see her brother suggesting she take up a weapon to master since she is not good with her hands. She chose a gun and under his guidance, she kept practising. One day ninjas attacked them. He was taken hostage and brother told her to shoot him so as not to betray the choice she made. She did so and killed both of them. Hachisu and Shikibu thought they are to stumble into Itaru but is shocked to see Shichigen charging at them. Because Hachisu hesitated, Shichigen sliced both her hands! With Shikibu looking into her mirror, she orders him to take off his armour and explode. Not sure how Hachisu could shoot without her hands or pull the trigger but she did before she dies. The ricochet wounded and blinded Itaru. Shikibu grabs onto Itaru and explodes along with her. If killing won’t work, I guess now it’s time to make love. Because Joujin is hoping to watch them f*ck like beasts!

Episode 21
Utsutsu uses her scarf as a distraction so that Rui can use her pheromones to stun Neirichiou and stab him from the back. After making sure his dead body, they move along. But wait, he pops up before them. His wounds healed because his monster absorbs all the damage. He makes them fight Shichigen. Meanwhile Namenba has collected Gorone’s bombs and is about to return to Murakumo when she is confronted by Hadaebou who is willing to guide her in. His mission might be over but he still wants to see how this ends. Hachirou realizes the power he and Hibiki inherited is to defeat evil people like Joujin. Because of this blood’s burden, the reason Hachirou tried to run away as he couldn’t shoulder it. But he is willing to use Ouka to defeat them. Joujin points out Ouka is a power of Hachirou and Hibiki. Hibiki is now Oboro. In that case, Hachirou will become Gennosuke. So can the love making start? Their eyes start to activate. As Shichigen fights off the ladies, Rui notices the Buddha statue behind him that he thinks is his late mother. She pretends to be his mother in hopes of snapping him out. Neirichiou calls this crap and orders him to kill his slut mom. However Shichigen stabs himself. The statue takes the damage and in turn Neirichiou takes its damage. And then Utsutsu decapitates the old bastard. Rui asks Shichigen if he hated his mom. He never did. Mom also never betrayed him. Just that he was too young and he couldn’t forgive himself for not forgiving her. Uh, what? Oh, he’s dead. Rui crying like a river shouldn’t it activate her pheromones like crazy? But here is this Neirichiou bastard stalling hem again. But hey, shouldn’t his monster be headless? Anyway the monster ambushes the girls but it starts to disappear and Neirichiou realizes it cannot receive more of his damages. So I guess it’s goodbye to this old fart too. Bye. Free fall to his death. We interrupt Ouka as Hadaebou barges in to slash Magoroku.

Episode 22
Yuri fanservice between Rui and Utsutsu before they die? While Kujaku fights Hadaebou (too bad the latter loses), Joujin tries to kill Hachirou. Hibiki freed from Joujin’s spell remembers everything since her kidnapping. With Rui and Utsutsu’s powers distracting Joujin before kicking the bucket, Hibiki is able to use her Mystic Eyes on him. Mad Joujin tries to get back at Hibiki. Kujaku wants to help Joujin but he refuses. Kujaku felt offended and kills him! He claims he is doing this for his real master. During the flames at Honnouji, Nobunaga knew he had lost and asked the opinion of his aide, Ranmaru about that demonic voice that spoke to him. He also wants him to help commit seppuku. He orders Ranmaru to live so his ambitions will not die even though he is unsure when he might return. After Ranmaru escapes the flames, he is met by Joujin whom he believed was that demonic voice that spoke to Nobunaga. He will follow Joujin to make Nobunaga’s dreams come true or pay the price. He calls himself Kujaku because Nobunaga often admires his beauty like a peacock. Kujaku is pleased that Joujin’s blood is enough to revive Nobunaga. Joujin is happy to meet him but not Nobunaga. He squishes the old fart. While Kujaku is happy to see his master, here comes Namenba to relay the message to Hachirou and Hibiki to escape as she has placed bombs everywhere. They escape the crumbling Murakumo but Kujaku uses his time reversing technique. Magoroku then cuts the wires to the bombs. Nobunaga then kills Kujaku! He thinks this scarred dude is an imposter as he is nothing like the beautiful Ranmaru.

Episode 23
Nobunaga thinks Hachirou works for Mitsuhide and tries to kill him. When Hachirou uses his Doujutsu Eyes on him, Nobunaga kills himself. However being dead himself, uhm, he still lives? Oh, the irony. Namenba covers Nobunaga with her veil and places her bombs. But before she could escape, he stabs her. I guess they needed a way to finish her off. Although Nobunaga still survives the explosion, it is now Tadanaga who is speaking (since it is his body Nobunaga is using). Learning that Joujin is dead and Nobunaga is trying to wrest back control, Tadanaga decapitates himself. After Hachirou and Hibiki escape, looks like there is still some life left in Kujaku. He tries to turn back time back to how it was with Nobunaga and shatters his dial. Magoroku won’t have that and tries to seal it in his dimension. After that he confronts Hachirou and Hibiki to explain this place’s space and time is going crazy because their powers clashed. But why does Magoroku still want to fight Hachirou? Revenge. He believes Hachirou also has a reason to fight him for revenge as his comrades are dead. Magoroku’s reason of joining Joujin was to find a place to fight. As the guys clash swords, conveniently Kujaku’s corpse drops in. The distraction allows Hachirou to cut him down. The duo run but they see the ghosts of the dead Kouga guys guiding them to a way out. When they get out, they are shocked to see Edo on fire and Murakumo is destroying the entire place. This could be another timeline because all of Joujinshuu still live and gleefully watching the entire place on fire. However they don’t know who Hachirou and Hibiki is and they think they can use this advantage to defeat them.

Episode 24
Hachirou starts off by fighting Magoroku. But this is just a feint so he could kill Kujaku. Then he targets and finishes off Itaru before using his Doujutsu Eyes on Magoroku. Hibiki nullifies Neirichiou’s monster to allow Hachirou to cut him down. Wow. That’s the easiest revenge ever. Joujin is uninterested in them despite being told they know him from another world. He doesn’t think they will affect him and will use Murakumo the way he wants. The duo then use Ouka. Flashback shows Gorone and Namenba explaining how their clash of emotions caused Ouka and because it is too great, hence they can’t control the madness. But they said it had a final form. You mean what we have saw wasn’t its final form???!!! And so we see Ouka’s final form! Wait a minute. Didn’t we see this destruction before? I guess the trail destruction of destruction is even bigger. Hachirou mercilessly kills Joujin. Is it over? Hachirou fears of using Ouka and hence they cannot be together. Oh God. Not this crap again. However before he could blind himself, Hibiki uses her Mystic Eyes on him, steals his sword and blinds herself. Because of that, now Hachirou will never leave her! What a price to pay for a girl to get his man to stay by her side forever. Then plot twist! Joujin still lives! It seems he has Tenzen’s ability. That alien thingy that eats all wounds. Although he has no business with them, he thinks they might still get in his way. Better be safe than sorry. As he fights Hachirou, he could deduce why his Doujutsu Eyes couldn’t work on him. Yeah, it’s like as though his other counterpart told him about it. Because Hibiki is calling out to Hachirou and looking for him (can she not hear them fighting?), Joujin targets her and Hachirou gets slashed trying to protect her. It might seem like a desperate attempt for Hachirou to mock his ability and all but it is to get that alien to be mad so that the Doujutsu Eyes make the alien go crazy and kills Joujin by making the monk tear his own heart out! And that’s that.

In the aftermath, Iemitsu speaks to Tenkai about who the f*ck put Tadanaga up this this sh*t. He knows that their succession was decided by that ninja game and understands he would hate him. Tenkai replies it was all for the glory of the Tokugawa. We see Tadanaga being decapitated as punishment but as narrated it could just be for show as the real Tadanaga had already died. More confusion because our dead ninja comrades are now reincarnated as normal kids and having a peaceful time. I want to say they are being watched over by Hibiki but she’s blind… Yeah, she looks like an elderly mom now. And then another plot twist! Joujin shows up! Can this bastard die already?! Oh, Tenzen’s ability again. So what now, Joujin? Hachirou is gone (I thought he promised to stay by her side forever?) and Ouka cannot be used. But there is one thing left that Hibiki is useful for. OMFG! THIS OLD FART WANTS TO RAPE HER????!!!! I guess when you’ve lost so much, you’d do anything just to get back. Before they can combine love fluids (he said blood but I want to still use that ‘awesome’ term his other counterpart said), f*cking plot twist we never see coming! Because Hachirou whizzes out from Hibiki like a ghost to cut him and the alien down for good before disappearing into the wind. WTF????!!!!! And poor Hibiki couldn’t witness all that f*ckery with her eyes. Yeah, maybe it’s better that way. And Hadaebou continues to wander as a monk on this lovely day. My, such a lovely day indeed.

Bah-Silly! Oh-Gawd Ninja Trolls
WTF?! WHAT THE F*CK?! WHAT THE FFFFFUUUUUUU???????!!!!!! I was already having this disappointed feeling while watching the series and that final WTF episode just ramps everything up! It is so bizarre and weird that it feels like as though the producers knew we were going to criticize this sh*t so they pull off all the unimaginable f*ckery they could think off just to screw with us and end the series. From another world to some reincarnation and rape scene, oh God, it’s just awful. It left me with so many questions like if Hachirou has become a ghost and is now travelling through all the dimensions to cut down Joujin and his alien compadre, hence that super magical BS we get. Or did he combine as one with Hibiki and now resides inside her? Too bad Joujin, can’t come inside her when she already has a man literally INSIDE of her! Haha! Therefore the tradition of the lovers’ tragedy continues but it is so bad that it seeped into the series and brought it down. Good riddance it ended. I don’t know if I could take it anymore had they had another additional extra episode. I might laugh myself to death in shocking disappointment! Thank goodness I won’t see Skywalker Hachirou in the futuristic sci-fi Star Wars future where he cuts down horny Darth Vader Joujin with his lightsaber katana to save Princess Leia Hibiki on Death Star Murakumo. Yikes! Thank heavens it isn’t so!

Overall, this second season feels like a disappointment (even more so when you consider the final episode) and doesn’t live up to the greatness of the original one. Even if I do not remember much of the first season, by the end of this second season I could tell it was definitely not better. Of course when the series first started, it was interesting as it introduces a new bunch of characters and the plot was a bit intriguing. At least for me. So for the first initial episodes, it did lived up to my expectations and hopes that this series was going to be great. I was really looking forward to the next episode. But after a while at halfway point, I could almost instantly feel that enthusiasm of mine waned. At that point I knew something was wrong and my guts once more alarming me that it is going to be downhill from here. I was hoping it was wrong but apparently my guts know me more than myself. Heh.

So one of the biggest fails that had my big enthusiasm fading was the flow of the story. More accurately the appearance of Murakumo. Could you believe it that the rest of the entire second half of the series is about trying to stop Murakumo and everything that happened took place near or inside that damn moving castle? I know, basically it is rescue Hibiki thingy and that made it even more boring as the drama drags on. Murakumo appearing for the first time was okay. It was intriguing as well as dreadful. But even so they spent quite a few episodes trying to take it down. Thought I have seen the last of that castle and might move on to something new, damn v2 of that castle is up and running again. They should have named this sequel, Basilisk: The Murakumo Odyssey. Maybe not. Sounds to sci-fi.

Okay, I might forgive viewers who watched the first season to ask, why isn’t anybody dead yet or when the killings are going to start. That was what most of us remember the series and that is why it was great in the first place. It was a period anime with a battle-to-the-death style action. Even if they got our tongues wagging with the quick elimination of the Five Treasures and Five Flowers, after that it becomes a freaking dry spell. I remember in the first season we had some characters dying off in the early episodes that I was worried if there were enough characters to be killed at the end! But here, the kept us watching with all the draggy drama and left it real late to pick off the characters one by one. By that point, I felt that their deaths weren’t satisfying and they were just doing it because they had to. Death by obligation. I supposed Gorone’s flashy death was to get the ball rolling, eh? Yeah, it would be a big disappointment if the whole gang lives on in the end because we are already expecting as well as told how these ninjas’ lives are tragic. No happy ending for all of you. No siree.

A factor that contributes to the draggy drama and how it could last 2 dozen episodes is because I noticed that some of the scenes have some long pause in between them. I believe it is to add some dramatic effect because the series would have been a little shorter if it cut out those scenes. But I suppose it would be hard to imagine if this series was really fast paced. Even in between the action scenes, you could see this pause. The camera angles showing the faces of the characters facing off. You know, it makes you wonder if they really have time to pause like this in battle. I wonder if time somewhat flows in this slo-mo style then or Kujaku really has some sort of control of it. Nah. I’ll stick to that dramatic effect excuse that ultimately either bores you or start ticking you off.

Another issue about this second season being a failure is the characters themselves. They fail to make an impact. As I don’t even remember the first season much, I do remember that there was some decent focus on Gennosuke and Oboro that really made you feel pity on their circumstances, hence the Japanese version and take of Romeo and Juliet. However Hachirou and Hibiki fail to leave any of that impression and were just boring and disappointing. The irony is that both pairs were separated from each other for quite some time due to circumstances but the former still manages to leave a tragic and everlasting impact on us even though it has been over 10 years. So when this season tries to give Hachirou and Hibiki’s comrades some back story and flashback of their past, it felt more like an excuse to fill up the space and running time. The original Basilisk didn’t have that (because having back stories on 20 characters will take up more time than just 6) but it still manages to work because of how the characters manage to intertwine with the plot. So in this case it wasn’t the individual characters but all of them or at least the main ones as a group.

Here, you could say that Hachirou and Hibiki lacks any back story compared to their comrades. Most probably they want to keep it a mystery. They look so much like Gennosuke and Oboro but you don’t even know if they are their kids. Speaking of which, it was just freaking mind boggling how Gennosuke and Oboro had children after their deaths. I hope there isn’t a ninja technique that could extract sperms and eggs and that watch children grown via incubation. Or a technique that has recently deceased people f*ck each other and the child in the womb somehow kept alive for 9 months. That sounds like horror and too much for this period series. But we’ll never know. So it feels like this part is kept in the dark so we can just have a sequel.

Hachirou takes half of the blame as one of the biggest disappointing characters of the series. Annoying if I should add. Ever since young, this kid has been somewhat moody. Like as though he is born with that frown. What makes Hachirou an irritating character is his penchant of running away. More accurately, running away from responsibility. He thinks by not getting his comrades involved, he can solve the problem. How long has he been away? Did that solve anything? And that b*tching of how the ninjas won’t be used and toyed around anymore. WTF. You think it was fine when he spew that responsibility crap when he was young. Makes him sound so mature. Oh, so grown up. Then you realize he knows nothing as a kid. He’s still a kid despite being the leader of Kouga. This carries over well into his teen and he is still wandering around. Him being able to show up when his comrades are in a pinch shows he hasn’t strayed far. I would prefer to give his comrades more credit in trying to handle the situation than Hachirou who just pop up at some moments and use his oh-so-amazing Doujutsu Eyes for ultimate victory.

Hibiki is the other half who is disappointing. Overall, I find her the most useless character. With only her Mystic Eyes to boot as her specialty, she spends half of the season being a captive and hence being turned into a damsel in distress. Not like she did anything (not saying Hachirou did any better but at least he could fight) but that one time against Joujin was supposed to be it? Not impressed. It doesn’t help that even after breaking free from Joujin’s spell, she remains to be a useless damsel. It might sound cliché that Hachirou is always protecting her but I guess during that period, men were manlier in those days compared to now. Yeah… Therefore it is no surprise that Hachirou would instinctively take the lead to protect Hibiki. But it is sad that from the way this turns out, Hibiki is unfortunately reduced to a useless state. Even more so after she blinds herself thinking it would seal her Mystic Eyes forever.

Making it worse that there is literally no chemistry between them, let alone any sort of romance. As said, the original was a Japanese version of the tragic Shakespearean work and it was heart breaking to see them fight each other despite their love for each other just because they are on differing sides. But here because of Hachirou trying to be so mature, he leaves the place and leaves poor Hibiki all alone. She does pine for him but even during his missing years, it’s not like she sorely misses him. Is this what you call believe in him? I don’t think so. Even when they troll us of having sex before Joujin, I knew it just wouldn’t work out. I mean, after being away from each other and suddenly we’re going to see them make out? Not likely. Therefore Hachirou-Hibiki pair pales in comparison to Gennosuke-Oboro romance. What a let-down. And there was this potential of pairing up the Kouga-Iga ninjas as well. Saizou-Utsutsu, Shikibu-Hachisu and Shichigen-Rui. At one point even hinting a possible lesbianism between Rui and Utsutsu. Oh well, their duties as ninjas are more important than anything else. Don’t even mention that Hadaebou’s crush on Namenba. If I was her, I would spit on his face and tell him to GTFO.

Gorone and Namenba as the mentors also somewhat fail. Gorone is portrayed as some genius who tweaks the abilities of the young ninjas while Namenba looks after them although she always had this tone in her voice that to me says I-wish-I-wasn’t-here-doing-this. Yeah, she sounds lethargic and sluggish. Maybe it’s her but as a female ninja who has been exposed to dangerous missions, I would have expected her to sound better. Saizou, Shikibu, Shichigen, Rui, Utsutsu and Hachisu make better character than Hachirou and Hibiki not because of their short single episode flashbacks. Their loyalty after all these years as well as tackling the problems without their leaders involved (at first) make them more memorable and admirable. Too bad ultimately they are just pawns to be sacrificed as the plot commands them to be. Because it serves as a reminder what this series was supposed to be.

As for the antagonists in Joujinshuu, they feel lacking and one-dimensional too. Basically destroy the world type even though the excuse is to save mankind. Unlike the original Basilisk you had both sides fighting each other and you can’t tell who the good or bad are. Hence you are confused of which side to support. Even the real antagonist in the original (the real Tenzen) had more character than Joujin if I should say. Yeah, they even tried to sully Joujin’s name by making him rape Hibiki. Sighs… Can they get any lower? The members of Joujinshuu feel like a freak circus in town and just because they killed the Five Treasures and Five Flowers, we are under impression that they are so great and undefeatable. Because there is a clear indication of who is on the good side and who is on the bad, hence these clowns are not on anybody’s list of support. You won’t even feel for Kujaku/Ranmaru’s story. You just wish this tranny would just die. Also, the Joujinshuu mostly feel like they’re standing around unless the plot calls for them to do something. Puppets? Okay. They’re doing a great job as that. I wanted to call Tadanaga as annoying as Hachirou and Hibiki but ultimately I figure that since he led a sheltered life as a lord, I suppose it is only expected that he wants to get something out of this but ultimately got lost and used. Perhaps he did the right thing that other characters (like Shichigen) should have done: Kill himself. Damn.

As action sequences are important for the namesake of this series, I believe this one also doesn’t live up to standards. Sure, the initial episodes showing them as kids look interesting because they have a totally new set of strange abilities compared to its predecessor. A little bit more interesting when they grow up as they have honed and expand their powers a little. But ultimately when using them in battle, it is just sparingly and not quite satisfying. You see, how should I describe this, during fighting sequences, the action somewhat feels rather ‘light’. You know, when the ninjas cut through their opponents, as a viewer you don’t really feel the intensity of the cut. I’m not saying you should feel being cut down. But rather it feels effortless when they strike down their enemies. Like when they fight Rain, it feels like there needs to be action because it needs to. Even the final battles were like, okay, that was easy. That kind of feeling. In a way, their deaths don’t really hit you and hence why I said you don’t really feel like supporting the characters. I’m sure that having lots of gushing blood won’t do it any good or hide the fact that the fights are just mediocre.

Also, Ouka also feels disappointing despite it is part of the title. So big gust of destruction? Is it its final form? So they are afraid of being together in fear of activating it, causing some damage and in turn the guilt and trauma of hurting others just because they couldn’t control it. Sounds more like BS than anything. In the end, I wouldn’t really consider Ouka as the ultimate or final trump card. Just a convenient plot device whenever it is deemed necessary. I mean, it wasn’t that important. If the main antagonist like Joujin doesn’t even want it, well, that should say a lot about the covet factor of this technique.

Art and animation also feel mediocre and in fact inferior to the original. Even if the predecessor was like a decade ago, at least the art style matches and gives the series’ period. It might not be perfect and perhaps that inadvertently became a standard when we tried to compare to the sequel that just feels a bit cartoonish. I know the ninjas are teens but they still have the kiddie look and feel. Even if adults like Gorone and Namenba, compared to the original you can tell the original has the characters looking more mature even though some of them look just freaking weird (yeah, there was a really fat rubber guy, a snake guy, a monkey moustache guy and octopus head old fart, if you remember them). They look freaky alright. But this one, even the freakiest, Neirichiou looks more comical and came out from some comic than anything frightening.

Also I want to point out something about some of the characters especially the ‘good looking’ ones. Do you notice that these characters all have pretty eyelashes?! The girls have them so I suppose they are alright. Yeah, it really ramps up their cuteness and feminine side. Don’t need Rui’s pheromones for me to drool over them ;p. But the guys, having this feature sometimes make them look girly! I kid you not. Just take a look at Hachirou, Tadanaga, Kujaku and Shichigen. Is it that pretty guys must have such eyelashes? Because ‘ugly’ dudes like Saizou, Shikibu and Joujin sure have ‘scary’ eyes. I guess some in between like Magoroku has scary eyes too and that’s why he always keeps them closed.

For the character designs, having Hachirou and Hibiki looking so much like their predecessors I wonder if it is a lazy effort. Designing them differently might not be better since this is a sequel and we need the main characters to have some similarity. So similar that they could have just be reincarnations of them. But is it me that Hibiki looks a bit chubby? No offense but perhaps the video put a few pounds on her. I’m pretty sure it’s not the clothes she wear either. And why does Hachirou have dots on his forehead? Is he some sort of god? Yeah, god of running away from his destiny, that is. Haha! Oops. This sequel was done by Seven Arcs Pictures who did Trinity Seven, Mushibugyou and Saredo Tsumibito Wa Ryuu To Odoru. The original was done by Gonzo. Perhaps that is why the difference in quality?

With a completely new casts, I only recognized Ayane Sakura as Utsutsu (personally, she sounds unimpressive like as though she didn’t want to do this role), Shinichiro Miki as Gorone and Cho as Geiin. However the most surprising one is Yui Horie as Itaru! OMG! You mean that’s her?! I never would have guessed! I thought she came back and then laid low again. I sure didn’t expect her as she wasn’t in her usual that I would pick up right away. Another shocking one is Saori Hayami as Hachisu. OMG! You mean that’s her?! I never would have guessed. I sure didn’t expect her as she wasn’t in her usual that I would pick up right away. Damn, I just repeated myself. Maybe I was so disappointed with this series that I couldn’t detect them. Even so, I should have during my initial enthusiastic period.

The other casts are Tasuku Hatanaka as Hachirou (Kaminari in Boku No Hero Academia), Inori Minase as Hibiki (Hestia in DanMachi), Katsuhiro Tokuishi as Saizou (Hanzou in Hagane Orchestra), Fukushi Ochiai as Shikibu (Moguzo in Hai To Gensou No Grimgar), Mitsuhiro Ichiki as Shichigen (Kazuya in Freezing), Reina Ueda as Rui (Mira in Dimension W), Kaori Nazuka as Namenba (Tsukasa in Amagami SS), Takaya Hashi as Joujin (Normandy in Princess Principal), Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Kujaku (Tsukumo in Nanbaka), Hiroshi Tsuchida as Magoroku (Daikichi in Usagi Drop), Umegi Sasaki as Neirichiou, Jin Yamanoi as Tadanaga (Kouda in 3-gatsu No Lion) and Kenji Hamada as Hadaebou (Jouji in Paradise Kiss).

The opening theme is Ouka Ninpouchou by Onmyoza. The same band who sang the opener for the first season. Still around? Okay, my bad. Anyway, I have this feeling that it tries to sound epic as the first season and also copy a bit of its style but somehow it doesn’t live up to that standard. Feels like another generic anime rock music. Also, Nana Mizuki who voiced Oboro and had a cameo here, sings the ending themes, Hot Blood and Suiren. Again, I still find them not as superior to Wild Eyes (still considered as my favourite song in this series) and Hime Murasaki. Hot Blood sounds like another generic rock music although Suiren fares slightly better with its dramatic style. Either way, both songs continue to portray the great vocals of Nana Mizuki and she’s still sounding fine after all these years.

Overall, at times I felt like wanting to obtain Kujaku’s time reversing power to go back in time so that I don’t have to watch this mediocre sequel that I am still reeling from disappointment. To be fair, it is not terrible but I expected better since it came from a well done nostalgic anime but failed to live up to it. But then again, I don’t need Kujaku’s power because in no time I will soon forget it when I watch more disappointing animes in the future! Haha! Is that a good sign? Okay, to be a bit more positive, I’m sure I will watch greater animes to erase this disappointment. It is a terrible shame that this sequel stained the greatness of the original but thanks to that, it only serves to cement even further how great the predecessor was. I really wanted to like this series seeing that I am not really a fan of period series but I guess it was not meant to be. Maybe Joujin was somewhat right along the lines of wanting to bring hell on Earth just to save mankind. Because hell I know that Hachirou and Hibiki couldn’t even f*ck each other to save their clan. Haha! Looks like we won’t toy with you Kouga and Iga guys ever again.

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