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Anime / Basilisk: The Ouka Ninja Scrolls

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Hachirou Kouga and Hibiki Iga (front), with the Kouga Treasures and Iga Flowers behind them, and Joujin in the background

We look the same, but men call us monsters.
If we shadows, who lurk between eras, are destined to die
then I shall fall with the cherry blossoms.

The battle for succession that continued for three generations of shogun in the Keichou era culminated in a gruesome battle of ninja arts between the Kouga and Iga clans. Amidst a rain of flower petals, a man and woman who had decided to live for love were separated once again. However, it is said that by the hand of Hattori Hanzo's adopted son, Kyouhachirou, these two lovers were given life again and left two mementos behind. These children, born with a destiny of their own, were called Hachirou Kouga and Hibiki Iga. The former had eyes like his father's, and the latter had eyes like her mother's. It is now the Kan'ei era, and the land is at peace. As ninjas begin to disappear into the shadows after being deemed unnecessary, the Kouga and Iga clans ask a favor of Hachirou and Hibiki in hopes of reinforcing their foundations.

This work is a sequel to Basilisk.

The Ouka Scrolls contains examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: Hachirou's eye power is only effective if he can A. make eye contact, and B. if the target has killing intent. Neutralizing eye contact or feeling no hostility whatsoever will make his eyes utterly useless.
  • Action Girl: Namenba is a veteran ninja and combatant. All the young Flowers are capable warriors as well, with varying skills.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Hachirou keeps himself apart from Hibiki as he ponders what to do about the Joujinshu, not even speaking to her after saving her life, which causes Hibiki considerable angst.
  • Asshole Victim: The samurai in Shichigen's flashback pays Shichigen's mother for sex, then tries to cheat her by giving her less money than they initially agreed upon before attempting to drag her to an inn to service others there. And when young Shichigen sees the struggle and tries to interfere, the man tries to attack him, too. Not many tears when Shichigen's mother cuts him down, albeit when she's forced to take a blow for Shichigen that costs her life.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Hachirou is the elder of the twins and he is fiercely protective of Hibiki to the point of engaging a Joujinshu assassin in genuine rage when Hibiki is threatened.
  • Blood Knight: Most of the Joujinshu absolutely love combat and bloodshed, wiping out the original Flowers and Treasures just to show off.
  • Brother–Sister Incest:
    • What Namenba, the Treasures of Kouga, and (arguably) the Flowers of Iga expect Hachirou and Hibiki to do when they grow up, according to their discussions in Episode 1!.
    • In episode 15, Joujin's plan to ensnare Hibiki revolves around an illusion of Hachirou asking Hibiki to be his forever. Hibiki happily accepts.
  • Cherry Blossoms: The Ouka technique is named after them, and they also feature prominently in the opening, the ending, plus episode titles.
  • Covert Group with Mundane Front: The Iga girls keep a restaurant and shop in the middle of nowhere, where they serve travelers and the like. Occasionally, the Kouga boys are there too as customers. Rui wishes this could be their life from now on, instead of continuing their mission against the Joujinshuu.
  • Covert Pervert: Shichigen tends to look at pornographic drawings in his spare time.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Ouka of the title is only unleashed when Hachirou and Hibiki use their powers together, creating an enormous wave of golden energy that can destroy anything in the area, and even shield those they wish to protect. It is incredibly draining and can easily kill them both should they use it carelessly.
  • Dead Person Conversation: After Hibiki gets kidnapped into the Murakumo, she wakes up to an apparition of Oboro, who seems to want revenge against Gennosuke.
  • Deal with the Devil: Joujin can be heard offering a different fate to Oda Nobunaga in the first few minutes of episode 1.
  • Demonic Possession: Tadanaga was being kept by Joujin as a future body host for the soul of Oda Nobunaga.
  • Determinator: Of all the Iga Flowers, Hachisu deserves special mention. She fights through fatal bloodloss and having no arms to cripple Yasha Itaru so a dying Shikibu can kill her and only collapses after she knows she's succeeded.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A Kouga Treasure attempts to kill Utsutsu by hanging for wanting to "play" with him.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: When her hands are sliced off and Shikibu is forced to remove his armor, meaning his body will explode? Hachisu manages to pull up her guns with her stumps, fire them using Shikibu's helmet and positions herself to blast Yasha Itaru in the face. With the spell broken a dying Shikibu seizes her so when his body explodes, she'll go with him, saying that while he and Hachisu are headed for heaven, Itaru is going right to hell where she belongs.
  • Eyeless Face: Saizou using his technique as a kid.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Rui wears a patch over her left eye. Without it, she begins crying from said eye, which makes men find her utterly irresistible and abandon all reason.
  • Eye Spy: Saizou's ninja technique as a child involves ejecting his eyeballs and levitating them around to see outside his normal range. As an adult, he has a more sensible upgrade: paper eyes.
  • Friendless Background: Shikibu was kept away from other children while growing up in a monastery.
  • Gender Equals Breed:
    • Hachirou has his father's magical eyes, turning any attempt to attack him out of malice into the aggressor. Hibiki has her mother's eyes, disabling any ninja techniques.
    • The boys (Hachirou, Shichigen, Shikibu, Saizou) are from Kouga, while the girls (Hibiki, Rui, Hachisu, Utsutsu) are from Iga.
  • Gentle Giant: Shikibu could be mistaken for The Brute as he's a huge, musclebound hulk of a young man. He's also unbelievably kindhearted and gentle, who hates killing any living thing and even watches where he steps as not to hurt any insects.
  • Handicapped Badass: Gorone requires a wheelchair to move around, yet he's a capable strategist and even gets in on action when need be.
  • Haunted Castle: Murakumo. It appears suddenly in the territory the Iga girls are watching over from their little shop. For no reason, it moves as if it's alive and it makes no structural sense visually.
    • After it is destroyed in its original form, it comes back with a cleaner look that also just happens to start rolling towards Edo thanks to extensive clockwork-like mechanisms
  • Heroic BSoD: Shichigen places his mother on perhaps too high a pedestal. When the Joujinshuu force him to not only know she engaged in prostitution to support him when he was sick but tricked him into seeing her sleeping with the same man who killed her, Shichigen breaks down, sobbing "I didn't see anything, I shouldn't have looked" over and over.
  • Inhuman Human: The Joujinshuu are trying to bring Oda Nobunaga Back from the Dead, but they fail horribly at least once, with the body crumpling into dust as soon as it attempts to move. The same happens with Tadanaga's body doubles.
  • Kite Riding: Namenba's kimono can be used for gliding.
  • Living Aphrodisiac: The tears from Rui's covered eye cause men to find her sexually irresistible. Shichigen can attract women instead.
  • Love Confession:
    • A fake Hachirou asks Hibiki to be with him always. She accepts before Joujin reveals himself to her and kidnaps her.
    • Rui declares her love for Utsutsu as they wash away their enemies' blood in a river, echoing an earlier scene together.
  • Magical Eye:
    • Hachirou and Hibiki have the same powers as their parents.
    • To a lesser extent, Saizou can actually control his eyes magically.
  • Mama Bear: Shichigen's mother was a sweet, gentle woman and barely defended herself when fighting with a samurai client of hers. But when Shichigen rushed to defend her, she pulled the sword away from him and engaged the man herself. While she tries to end things nonviolently, Shichigen fails to realize this and attacks, resulting in her taking a fatal strike for him without hesitation while simultaneously cutting the man down.
  • Master of Illusion: Utsutsu's ninja technique is making enemies believe they're in hell, flames and all.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Utsutsu means "reality".
    • Rui means "tears" and "sympathy", and it could be said her ninja technique involves both, for alternate definitions of "sympathy".
    • Hachisu means "lotus", which was also the name for her upgraded gun after the Time Skip and before the Sniper Rifle.
    • Saizou's name reveals that he's a hidden genius, as seen after the Time Skip with his Go playing, plus his general Eye Spy ability.
    • Shichigen's family name (Higurashi) means "evening cicada". His mother says he got his skill from his father.
    • Shikibu's family name (Koura) means "shell" or "carapace".
  • Nerves of Steel: Joujin is totally immune to Hachirou's eye powers because he can perfectly control his emotions to exude not even the slightest trace of killing intent or hostility. Even when he's about to kill someone.
  • Off with His Head!: Tadanaga is asked to commit seppuku by the Joujinshuu, but he refuses to and is beheaded instead.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Joujin and the Joujinshuu. They appear to have genuine magic that ninja techniques cannot deal with, as well as having some religious ideas and symbolism hanging around.
  • Pest Controller: Shichigen's main ninja technique lets him control bugs.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Kunichiyo/Tadanaga/Suruga gets sent away and stripped of all his titles and power after he becomes delusional due to Joujin's manipulations.
  • Reality Warper: What the Ouka technique is theorized to be. For Oboro and Gennosuke, their greatest wish was to start a family together. For Hibiki it initially manifested as the all-devouring black hole because she and Hachirou were in danger and she wanted that danger to be gone by any means. Joujin wants to use Hibiki's power to bring Oda Nobunaga back from the dead and take over the world.
  • Retcon: Somehow Gennosuke and Oboro had children, something that would require them to be extremely out-of-character, as their relationship was very chaste, and, in the case of Oboro, she would need to survive the end of the previous series long enough to birth the twins.
    • The last two episodes. Both Hibiki & Hachirou find themselves in a parallel world where they fight a different version of the Joujinshuu, both the Iga Flowers and Kouga Treasures are alive but ten years younger and since Shikibu wasn't wearing his special armor to prevent himself from exploding it can be inferred that both groups of kids grew up with a different but happier lives.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: The Five Treasures of Kouga and the Five Flowers of Iga all fall really easily to the Joujinshuu.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Saizou and Gorone have died in the fight against the moving Murakumo.
  • Shipper on Deck: Namenba happily notes 'sparks are flying' between Hachirou and Hibiki early on
  • Son of a Whore: Shichigen's mother apparently used prostitution to provide for the two of them. Shichigen, however, seemed entirely unaware of it until the Joujinshu show him a flashback when he catches his mother with a samurai, prompting him to go into a massive Freak Out.
  • Spin-Offspring: The basic premise of the series.
  • Super Wheelchair: Gorone uses one. It saves him and Namenba from falling off a cliff to their deaths.
    • He kept an upgrade hidden beneath his hut, only accessible by activating the waterwheel. It carries dozens of cannons and its spider-like arms shoot out with wire.
  • Team Dad: Gorone is gentle, kind and a caring paternal figure to the young Koga ninja ready to dispense advice and keep their spirits up.
  • Team Mom: Namenba is the eldest of the Iga kunoichi and acts as a caring mentor to them, looking out for their well being and success.
  • The Gunslinger: Hachisu has no skill with ninja techniques, so she has to resort to using guns. She eventually gets a Sniper Rifle too.
  • Time Skip: After the Joujinshuu's attack on the kids, there are two timeskips of several years. The first ends with Tadanaga's situation, and the second takes us back to the Kouga and Iga kids as young adults practicing their improved techniques on each other again.
  • Training from Hell: Utsutsu was locked up in a building alone with a very creepy painting depicting hell, while under threat from her own father that she would be killed if she couldn't develop her technique. Then during her first attempt at using it, he was not impressed and let her feel the horror of her impending death, only to set himself on fire and tell her it was all her fault and she would have to live with the knowledge she killed her father forever.
  • True Companions: The young flowers and treasures slowly bond to become true comrades, without the old animosity between the clans.
  • 24-Hour Armor: Shikibu wears one, because apparently his muscles could grow out of control and make his body explode if not compressed by all that metal.
  • Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born: Hachirou and Hibiki to Gennosuke and Oboro.