The story takes place in the post-apocalyptic future (I'm guessing a nuclear war took place) and there is an oft-mentioned tyrant named the Red King ("Aka no Ou" in the story). In a desert village, a blind prophet, Nagi, predicts that a set of twins will be born (a boy and a girl) where the boy, christened The Boy of Destiny ("Unmei no Shounen"), will be the savior who leads the villagers to victory against the tyranny of the Red King. The Red King also knows of this prophecy and takes steps to prevent the boy from coming of age by sending his Red Army to the village. Incidentally, the Red King is actually only a few years older than the twins. The two twins Tatara (the boy) and Sarasa (the girl) look EXACTLY alike except one's a boy and the other's a girl. What eventually happens is that Tatara is killed by one of the Red King's generals, but Sarasa decides to take his place by cutting off her hair and donning her twin brother's clothing. In other words, Sarasa impersonates Tatara, so the villagers think that Sarasa was the one who was killed, not Tatara. Only Nagi and a family friend named Kakuji know the truth, that Tatara is actually Sarasa. (Later on, other characters learn the truth as well, either from being told or finding out in the midst of battle. But few know in the beginning.) Besides losing her brother Tatara to one of the Red King's generals, Sarasa also watches her father get killed by the Red King himself. (Her mother is captured by the Red Army and held in a prison.) After leading fellow villagers to safety away from the danger of the Red Army, Sarasa (dressed as Tatara) goes alone on a mission to retrieve her brother's precious sword Byattsuko. She succeeds in getting the sword back but is wounded by an arrow shot by the Red King himself. While Sarasa heals, Kakuji takes her every day to a small cave with a well-hidden lake. One day, Sarasa is bathing there when a handsome young man named Shuri walks in on her. It's love at first sight =) Unfortunately, "Shuri" is actually the Red King, but just dressed in civilian clothes. Neither Sarasa nor Shuri knows the other's true identity and so things really start rolling from there.
Wow, it's like Fushigi Yuugi, only better! Cool pretty-boys for the girls (and lots of them), fantasy battles for the guys, a villain that's actually interesting and a heroine that isn't a total moron! Woohoo! Well, okay, maybe it's not better than Fushigi, but it is at least as much fun to watch even if it doesn't have as much laugh-out-loud moments thrown about to lighten things up (although the little meetings between Shuri and Sarasa are quite amusing...). The animation is quite good and while the opening and closing songs aren't nearly as good as the Fushigi ones, they are still easy on the ears. The characters are all quite intriguing, especially the "bad guys" as there is obviously way more to them than meets the eye. The story grabs you just as easily as Fushigi, but sadly it's only 13 episodes long. Bastards. Ah well, add this to the list of quality fantasy series that need to be continued. Great story, great characters and smooth animation make Legend of Basara a winner in my book.
Herself the Elf sez: Ahem. *deep breath* HOTCHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! *cough* Ok, I'm done. ....but seriously, it's wall-to-wall bishounen here. That, and the fact that the heroine, unlike Miaka, actually has a brain and can use it, made me an instant fan of Basara. Meow....
Available only Fansubbed.