X: The Complete Series
by Amber Burnham
Available Now on DVD from FUNimation Entertainment
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X is an action packed apocalyptic anime that doesn’t fail to deliver. There is drama, fighting with characters possessing supernatural powers, intrigue, sacrifice, and even a little romance. X is a story of the world changing decision that a young man named Kamui must make. The end of the world is coming fast and there are two factions of fighters who are being drawn to Tokyo; the dragons of heaven and the dragons of earth. The dragons of heaven, or the Seven Seals, are fighting for the world to stay as it is thus allowing all the humans to live. The dragons of earth, or the Seven Angels, are fighting for a revolution, thus the earth will live on in peace without the humans. Kamui doesn’t belong to either group, but it is his destiny to choose a side. As with any decision there are consequences, Kamui must decide which consequences he feels are more acceptable and then fight for the side he chose.
X is based on the manga written by the all-woman artist group, CLAMP. As in many CLAMP stories, the plot of X is revealed slowly throughout the anime. While the audience is given small hints throughout the story, the facts are not given until the characters find out. This creates a storyline that will keep you guessing and trying to put together the small hints that you are given. There are times when you are not quite sure which character is on what side, or where the story is going to go next but you have confidence that it will all be revealed.
As with the plot, the characters are built slowly throughout the episodes. You feel as if you are learning the group of characters as you would if it were real life. Information is given at a rate that allows you to get to know the characters without feeling as if there is too much being given to you at once. At the same time, enough is given to you early on in the anime to allow the characters time to change and grow as the show goes along.
The art in X is classic CLAMP style with thin characters who have pointed chins and large expressive eyes. The backgrounds are beautiful, but I will admit that the beauty of the characters draws the eye more often than not. So much about the characters are told through their body language and eyes that it is truly awe inspiring.
X is available through the Anime Classics line from FUNimation Entertainment. The X DVD contains all twenty-four episodes plus the OVA, entitled O-An Omen, on four discs. Other extras include the trailer for the OVA, an interview with the director and trailers.
Amber Burnham has a BA in Early Childhood Education from Kendall College. She is also a regular panelist on Kichicast, the all-girl, Chicago-based podcast devoted to anime, manga, and Japanese culture. You can listen to Kichicast at kichigi.com.
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