Legend of Basara is a very long manga
(which I have not read) and also a 13-episode anime
Twins, a boy and a girl, are born to a peasant family in a small village. The prophet Nagi
says that a child born tonight will be the saviour of the people, he will free them from the opressive rule of the Red King
Fast forward about five years. The boy, Tatara
, is being raised as the great savior and told that he will wield the holy Sword of Byakko
, which has been passed down in the village for generations. His sister, Sarasa
, is treated no different from any other girl in the village.
One day, the Red King and his army come to the village. They say that they have heard that there is a rebellion starting here, and demand that Tatara be killed. To save the life of the real Tatara, another boy, a friend of Sarasa's, says he is Tatara. The general of the Red Army kills him and they leave.
Fast forward again to the present. Tatara and Sarasa are about sixteen (I think), and today is the day that Tatara is going to receive the holy sword of Byakko in a big ceremony. In the middle of the ceremony, the Red Army arrives and says they know they didn't kill the real Tatara last time, they're going to make sure he dies now. They start killing everyone they can and the burn the village. Sarasa sees her brother die. She knows that there is no hope for the people without Tatara, so she quickly dresses up like her brother, grabs the sword, and claims to be Tatara. She leads the surviving villagers into the mountains away from the burning remains of the village, and swears that she will have her revenge on the Red King.
Once the villagers are safe, Sarasa (still pretending to be Tatara) decides to leave to kill the Red King. She takes Tatara's horse, which no one else can ride, and sets off for the capital city.
Along the way, she meets a man named Shido
at a hot spring. They part ways soon enough, but meet up more times as the series progresses, and eventually fall in love with each other. Unbeknownst to Sarasa, Shido is actually the Red King, Sarasa's sworn enemy (this isn't a spoiler, it's pretty evident from the opening animation). Shido is also unaware that the girl he loves is actually the traitor Tatara, who is trying to destroy his kingdom.
The anime series ends in the middle of the story, there is no closure at all. There's even a preview at the end of episode 13 for the next episode which was never made.
The opening song for Basara is Endless Loop
, by Rouage
. It is one of the coolest anime opening songs ever.