Review of Legend of Basara (1998)

Moving picture

Japan, a long time after some kitschy apocalypse. A boy is prophesied to grow into a great rebel. The smart king cuts his head off. He has a twin sister, young enough to pretend to be the boy and lead the people. During her quest to accept this responsibility, she falls in love with the wrong man.

Based on a hugely successful shōjo manga. It’s a stylized post-apocalypse melodrama, a kind of heroic camp or soap opera with gore, torture and a cute little mascot owl. Basara is also the first late-night anime broadcast over UHF.

The series is a bit of a nanar. There are far too many small-headed, long-necked bishōnen and/or bishōjo filled with chilly pathos in unlikely situations. Surprisingly, the ending theme is an excellent punk song.

moving picture animation Japanese production fiction