Basilisk Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: 19.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Basilisk

Basilisk Vol. #3

By Bryan Morton     October 24, 2007
Release Date: October 01, 2007


Basilisk Vol. #3
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
Four hundred years have passed; four centuries of enforced peace which have failed to soften the hatred between the Kouga and Iga clans. Misfortune written in the heavens, one cruel day breaks the treaty binding these fearsome foes.

Pitted one against the other in a deadly fight for Shogun, the terms have been set. Two lists seal their destinies, two lists from which as name can only be crossed out in blood. No mercy will be spared to the enemy.

Episodes Comprise
9 – Utmost Sorrow, Prolonged Rain
10 – Divine Ancestral Mandate
11 – Helpless Pebbles
12 – Magic Lantern of Memories

The Review!
With the Iga keen to press their advantage, Kouga’s forced to reveal his own abilities to his enemy, while Oboro - who’s still far from happy at the renewed hostitiles – takes steps to ensure that her own power at least doesn’t hinder her clan. Will Gennosuke find a way to restore peace, or is this destined to be a fight to the death..?

Audio:
Audio is provided in English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 versions - I listened to the Japanese track for this review. It’s a decent stereo mix, with good use made of the available channels to properly place dialogue and effects - particularly useful as there’s usually quite a bit going on on-screen. There were no obvious problems.

Video:
Presented in its original 1.78:1 widescreen aspect, the picture quality on this release is pretty good. There’s heavy use made of dark colours, with a lot of the scenes being set at night or in darkened forests, but it’s still usually quite easy to pick out the detail in the scenes. Daytime scenes are bright and colourful. There’s some visible banding on colour gradients in places (usually during the darker sequences), but that’s about all that can be criticised.

Packaging:
No packaging was provided with our review copy.

Menu:
In keeping with MVM’s usual style nowadays, the menu is a simple affair, providing direct access to the episodes from the main screen with submenus for language selection and extras. Koshiro features on the main screen, off to one side, while a piece of the show’s background music plays. There are no transition animations, so it’s all quick and easy to use.

Extras:
Along with the usual creditless opening & closing sequences, this disc features another half-hour long “Behind the Scenes” film, looking at the production of the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Oboro's not at all happy at the way her own clan have deceived her, and tries to get to Gennosuke - at just the time he's decided to return to Mandijani. Most of the Iga aren't keen to let him go without a fight, but Tenzen's smart enough to realise that, with Gennosuke's fighting ability never having been tested in public, it may be wiser for now to let him go. When some of his men refuse to listen and press the attack, they learn a very pointed - if brief - lesson about the foolishness of their decision. But one of the Iga may have the ability to resist Gennosuke's power.

Later, a group of Kouga fighters leave Mandijani to pay a visit to the Shogun, but the Iga are aware of their plans and Hotarubi and Nenji are despatched to intercept them…

Anyone who’s been waiting for Gennosuke to stop being such a gentleman and join in the fighting will enjoy this disc, as the current leader of the Kouga finally gets to show off his ability in a suitably violent and bloody way. Personally, I’d like to see some of the characters go into battle with just traditional weapons – I’m not a huge fan of mystical powers – but I have to admit that Gennosuke’s battles, and a few others in this set of episodes, were actually quite enjoyable to watch. He’s still not quite accepted the inevitability of the war – part of the reason behind the trip to see the Shogun is to see if there’s any way peace can be restored – but if the Iga insist on attacking his clan, he’s going to fight back as best he can. That attitude is also reflected in Oboro – not that she really has much influence over the Iga, as Tenzen seems to be the one with the real power, but after one incident in which her intervention almost costs one of her men his life, in her own way she does what she can to make sure that she doesn’t hinder them any further. It’s hard not to feel sorry for Oboro, with the way her dreams have fallen down around her and the way she’s been sidelined by Tenzen.

This volume includes the dreaded recap episode (episode 10), which is presented as a meeting between the Shogun and his advisers, filling him in on the progress of the feud so far. There’s some original material in here as well, looking at the palace intrigue and the two sons and their backers who are vying to take over from Ieyasu – these scenes mean that it does pay to watch the episode, but as ever I found it hard to get overly excited about watching a series of scenes that I’d mostly seen before. It’s only one episode out of four, though, so it’s not too much of a waste of disk space.

The biggest problem with this volume, though, is that it’s simply more of the same – the same characters fighting the same battles in much the same ways that the previous two volumes have already given us. There’s very little movement in story terms – I’d been hoping that at some stage we’d start getting more about the characters and less of the fighting, but it looks that’s not going to be the case – at least not yet.

In summary:
Basilisk continues doing what it’s been doing all along – feuding tribes, lost loves, and not a lot else. If you’ve enjoyed the previous two volumes, there’s nothing here that will disappoint you – what Basilisk does, it does very well – but if you’re waiting for the series to develop in a different direction or focus on something other than the fighting, then you’ll be disappointed.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles,“Behind the Scenes” Feature,Textless Songs

Review Equipment
Toshiba 37X3030DB 37" widescreen HDTV; Sony PS3 Blu-ray player (via HDMI, upscaled to 1080p); Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.

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