X: The Complete Series [Import]
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Based on the series from the international manga powerhouse CLAMP.
Kamui stands alone at the crossroads between salvation and Armageddon. Destiny demands that this tormented young man decide the fate of a world he no longer belongs in. Torn between rival orders of superhuman warriors, the time has come for Kamui to choose his side. Either he fights with the Dragons of Heaven – fights to save civilization and the two friends he swore to always protect, or he must draw swords alongside the Dragons of Earth and deliver a death blow to the human race. Whatever his choice, there will be consequences. Friends will change. Friends will die. Life will never be the same. There’s a last time for everything. That time is now.
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15 year old Kamui returns to Tokyo after being gone for 6 years. His childhood friends Fuma and Kotori are very excited at his return, but are hurt and confused by his change in character. Rather than the kind and cheerful boy that they knew, Kamui is cold and quite. But Kamui has a reason to be moody - the day of reckoning is near and the Dragons of Earth and the Dragons of Heaven will battle to decided the fate of humanity, and Kamui must pick a side to join.
This series is, in my opinion, CLAMP's greatest masterpiece. X was the first CLAMP series I was introduced to, and has remained my favorite. To explain why this series is great, I have outlined the pros and cons below.
~Artwork - As with all CLAMP's work, the artwork and character designs are detailed and beautiful. Some of the characters look very similar to other CLAMP characters, but some are completely unique to X. Some of the imagery is very impressive, and with a wide range of characters (the Dragons alone add up to 14) and a wide range of situations leads to a wide range of different types of scenes that show CLAMP's creativity and imagination.
~Music - The music for this show is some of the best I've heard in any screen production. The main theme, Destiny, is very memorable and beautiful. I bought the soundtrack and Destiny is one of my top played songs, despite being instrumental.
~Story and Characters - X boasts a complicated story with complex characters. The cast of characters is large and many of them have their own story to contribute. The interactions between the Dragons of Earth and the Dragons of Heaven are quite realistic - even the people wishing for the destruction of humanity are only human themselves and this especially evident when they encounter someone from the opposite side.
~This isn't a very cheerful series - it is about the end of humanity after all. I don't want to spoil anything, so won't go into detail about any tragedies that occur. I thought that tragedy was essential to the story, but it was still sad and might make you cry (I think I did).
~I like having a lot of characters, but it did get a little confusing at times!
~Even at 24 episodes, this series wasn't quite long enough to fit all of the story into it. The manga is 18 volumes long, and still hasn't ended. I think that the anime creators did a good job of picking which things were cut, but it still felt a little rushed in some places.
Obviously, the pros far outweigh the cons and you should totally watch this series! This set is pretty cheap at $30, which is about half the price I originally paid for the series, so you are getting quite a bargain!
One final note: I watched this series in Japanese and the cast all did an excellent job. I haven't see it in English, so I can't say if it is any good or not. But I really liked the Japanese dub, so I would recommend it.
The main characters have powers with different elements, as well as being able to leap and run from buildings tops to buildings tops. The action scenes are consistently great & epic in this way. The story also involves dreamseers, spells and other dimensions as part of the super-natural clash for the future of planet Earth.
While basic story is pretty straightforward it does have some interesting naunce also, as well as being a more character focused story, with a wide range of characters all with decently developed stories as part of the plot - in contrast to the Directors more well known purely action works - and has alot more depth in how things come together in keeping track of the whole story.
It is maybe abit more melodramatic & tragic in tone than it needs to be at times to tell the story, yet despite this, there are quite a few moments especially toward the end where the story matches it's melodrama in a very bittersweet & uplifting way! The action scenes and other supernatural things are always involving in each episode along with the extra depth provided in the story constantly rewarding as well. The Japanese voice acting is very good as often the case in animes, and the subtitles are fine.
As a fan of the Matrix, i notice quite a few similarities and ideas including visuals, so if you like that kind of anime feel to esthetic, it should be a rewarding & interesting watch overall.
X is rated 16 up & is abit more extreme than a kids cartoon. It is a Unique type of Anime in often being quite Kid type then very Adult in the same episode making X an artistically difficult Anime to easily categorise with all it's different character stories and moments - but overall, X is a well deserved if not widely known anime classic made by a Master of the form i think.