At the millennial edge, the concluding battle for humanity's future is staged. Kamui Shirou's destiny has been decided as he returns to Tokyo to face his ultimate challenge. The Dragon of Heaven, defenders of the Earth, stand ready to protect the world from the Dragon of Earth, the seven angels of legend, who embrace the devastation of the planet to bring about its purification. Now Kamui must decide which side to fight for although he finds the idea utterly unappealing. It isn't until realizing that his two childhood friends, Fuma and Kotori Monou, are in grievous peril that Kamui decides to step into his fated position in the climactic struggle of the Year of Destiny: 1999.
This movie is horrible. It is so bad that it's entertaining. If you've never read the manga or know nothing of the characters then it will make almost no sense. If you have however it's kind of amazing to watch it all pushed together. It's almost like watching a movie condensed into 30 seconds. Only it's a long overly complicated manga plot condensed to movie length with lots of barely explained fight scenes.
It's CLAMP, so it's pretty. This is a given. But that's about all it has going for it when it comes to technical merit.
Someone's head gets cut off practically every ten
minutes (or at least dies in some gruesome way). They fit the deaths of most of the cast into the movie. Someone should turn it into a drinking game.
I think my mother summed it up best: "Who are these people and why did they just kill each other? It looked like it was important for some reason."
I'll try to be objective without stating the conditions, my mood and my preferences when watching this movie. I'll just point out that when I wrote this review, I considered the fact that it is actually a summary of TV series compiled of 26 episodes and made in 1996 by CLAMP, a highly appreciated group of manga-ka.
How to define what is a good anime? You consider the story and its development as a main point, the characters' originality and description, the animation and the drawing (although this can be an subjective point of view) and the sound as a whole - the voice acting and
the background music.
The story in this movie, as well as in the series can be viewed only as an average and nothing new, even if we consider that this is an anime from 1996. The (un)conventional view of the ever-going fight between the good and the evil, which is never purely black and white. The moral and the reasons for choosing on one side or the other. The duality of people's choices and the world that we live in. All of these points are represented clearly, though not in a very original way.
The actual development of the story is really different from the one in the TV series, but that's understandable considering the time frame. The story is taking a faster way of developing, it's has more blood-shed, and it's full of conflicts between the actors. And that is about all that is. It looks like it is just one big fight and it's background is depicted in a really hasty manner.
Considering the large number of characters, there practically wasn't any time to tell each of their stories, even in the amount that it was done in a 26 episode series. You get the feeling that all that they're are about is filling up the story with action time and fights of the type everyone vs. everyone. And besides the genders and different fighting styles, there aren't many differences between the characters. So you ask why do you need 7 vs 7? Is 7 really a number that magical? It could've been done with just the main characters and the story would've been liberated of the ever-repeating fights that, of course, lead to the culmination in the last 10 minutes. Which is a fight with lots of blood shed, as well.
The art is really good. From the drawing of the characters to the backgrounds and scenery, it's obvious that a lot of time and affection has been spent on it. The fights, including all the effects from sword slashing to sakura leaves flying around, are really a high point. The only thing that can be considered is the originality and the personal taste of the viewer.
The background music is eerie throughout the movie and wonderfully backing up the blood-shed and the fights. But it gives an even darker light to the whole story and to the enjoyment of it all.
So considering all this and hoping to stay objective to the end, my conclusion will be that this is an average version of a potentially great anime. And that is all.
I really didn't like this anime. I haven't seen the TV series yet, however based on what I've read here, it doesn't seem like that's a requirement. Whether or not the actual series is better, however, is not in question here. What is in question here is the quality and source of enjoyment from this movie, and in that regard I found very little.
The story seemed rehashed, recycled, and overused. Boy comes back home, meets childhood friends (one a girl who he's obviously still enamored with even after the six years he's been gone), has childhood friends taken away from him, and finds out he
can save the world. Wow. While some features of the plot may have been original (the Dragons of the Earth and Heavens, for instance), too much of the story wasn't.
The art wasn't very good, and whether or not this is because of the age of the movie or not, I felt that the anime was very difficult to watch because of that. The sound was fairly absent, but what was there I had no problems with.
The characters, like the story, were very unoriginal, even though we're talking about a CLAMP story here (maybe even because we are?). The friendship and "love" between the childhood friends and the main character seemed shallow and incredulous (it's been six years since they last saw each other... and we hardly know why he even leaves or how he's such an honorable person in their eyes). This really hurt my enjoyment of the show, along with the story.
Overall, not a movie I recommend for either good action or a good story.
Well , as a fan of the X series I must say I was really disappointed on this .
Mainly because they tried to fit all characters and a long and intricate story and character relationship in a 1:30 hour anime . There's only a blink of what is going on in the story , if you aren't familiar with it you won't understand anythiing at all and even if you do know the basics about the series you'll most likely be puzzled on how they shoved the story aside and turned this into a bizarre 'ending' for
all characters showing what I believe to be the 'last match' between them and most characters end up dead one way or another . If you like the X series watch the TV and OAV instead .
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