Wednesday, January 8, 2003

X (TV Series)

Genre: Dark / Occult
Parental Guidance Recommended
© X TV Series. CLAMP. Kadokawa Shoten/ Bandai Visual. MADHOUSE. 2002. Yoshiaki Kawajiri (director).

X/1999 DVDs
X/1999 Art Books
X/1999 Music
X/1999 Video Games
X/1999 Toys, Accessories
X/1999 Posters Etc.
Everything X/1999

Firesenshi's Description:
Kamui Shirou returns to Tokyo after being traumatized by his mother's mysterious death. His childhood friend, Kotori, along with her brother Fuuma, are overjoyed by Kamui's return and remembers the bond that tied all of them.

There is indeed a bond that that ties them until this time. Kamui's strength and power are sought by a dreamgazer named Hinoto and her sister Kanoe. It turns out that the fate of the world is divided into two -- the Seven Seals of the Dragon of Heaven who seek to preserve the Earth, and the Seven Angels of the Dragon of Earth who seek change and destroy it to be reborn. And the fate of this world lies on one man -- Kamui, whose own destiny will decide the one future of the Earth.

Their destiny was already foreordained.

(26 episodes)

Gripping story with memorable characters. >>> by firesenshi

If you have watched the X/1999 movie, was disappointed in the extremely concise version from the manga, and felt cheated with the brevity of the storyline and background of the characters, you will be eternally pleased that great masters in the anime industry have come together to create X, the TV series. X, the TV series, filled the drought that was left from X/1999 movie. However, X TV deviates in certain concepts (such as the end of the world, etc.). Therefore, this will end differently from the movie, as though they really made the movie to stand alone from the series.

Irony and Conflict. No one illustrates apocalyptic scenarios into beautiful images than CLAMP. And nobody else tells stories of people with sad doomed fates can actually be powerfully appealing than Yoshiaki Kawajiri, the director of Ninja Scroll.

X TV is not your stereotypical plot where everything starts out peacefully and later on surprises you, tell you who the hero of the story is and that the world must actually end... From the start, and even from the opening credits, you are made aware that the fate of the world lies in the balance. And although, it shows how our hero Kamui goes through a phase of discovering this, you know he is well aware of his own destiny, which plagues him and the people he cares about most. Immediately, X TV series gives you direct hints about the Apocalypse... as in the Apocalypse, translated magically in X TV's terms as the destruction of the kekkai (a barrier) which protects the Earth. You see Kamui meeting his friend Fuuma and his sister Kotori. As is the signature of CLAMP, they draw their eyes in detail to show a feeling of fear and longing, with scenes of Kamui and Fuuma suffering through flashbacks of magical duels, scenes of the dreamgazer Hinoto looking into the future of Earth -- it lets you know what 'doom' feels like at the beginning of the movie.

Despite being bent on this apocalyptic genre, the story is more concerned on the inner conflicts of the characters, such as Kamui's reluctance and indifference on being charged with the fate of the world. And because this is a CLAMP/Kawajiri tandem, a lot of angst is part of the storyline wherein you see the classic irony that destiny separates two friends to become the greatest enemies.

More Character Development. The battles of the Seven Seals versus the Seven Angels in the X/1999 movie seemed unnecessary for lack of back story. It was more like they just added the battles in there to add more action but you will never understand what prompted some to either be overzealous in fighting or not to be scared of dying. In X TV series, all Seven Seals and Seven Angels were given ample camera moment and background. Cool characters such as omyouji (Yin-Yang masters) Seishirou and Subaru, who were taken out in the X/1999 movie, get an astonishing fight scene as to how Yin or Yang will prevail.

What's incredibly amazing about the character designs is that there is balance from both sides. Not all of the Seven Angels, even though they seek for the destruction of the Earth, are brooding or indifferent or just plain dark. Nor are all of the Seven Seals who seek the preservation of the Earth, saints who desire to live. For instance, Yuuto, an Angel, is an optimistic 'pretty boy' who just 'goes with the flow.' Karen, a Seal, obviously from her favorite baring negligeé attire, works at a red-light district.

It is these background stories that actually kept me going through the series. I would not have otherwise have watched anything 'apocalyptic' in nature, knowing how the subject of doom depresses me. But the background stories have everything -- friendship, family, betrayal, discrimination, love. Each Seal or Angel has a memorable story to tell, most of them sad, but extremely dramatic not to take notice.

The greatest one for me is about Arashi and Sorata, who, like the overall theme of X in dramatic irony, is a story where you know the ending is sad but you continue to torture yourself watching anyway. Sorata, is a houshi (monk) foreordained to have a destiny to die for the woman he loves. The question is: will he find the woman he loves? Will she love him back? The moral of the story then tells you that it is not when your life will end that matters, but on how you live it. Cliché but true. And in Sorata's story, that cliché hurts like hell.

And that is only ONE story. Couple that with other amazing side stories of the characters, the plot twists, the fate of the world -- it's no wonder X TV is one overwhelmingly POWERFUL series. I don't even know when to be happy or to cry because they all happen at once.

This is NOT shoujo. Should that turn you off, anyway? Even though X shows a lot of bishounen because of their detailed artwork and choice of fantastical 'fluffy' elements, like wing feathers blowing in the wind as imagery, the story is heavily dependent on duels. Thus, it exhibits a lot of violence. Although the TV series was not as morbid as the manga (where there is gore and decapitation), fantasy surrounds the battle and glorifies the fight scenes, if you will. Besides, there's Kanoe, and with her sensual entendres and shower scenes, I'm pretty sure you will be convinced how un-shoujo this is.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 10; Story 9; Characters 10; Sounds 9

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