Kamui Shiro is a young man who was born with the power to decide the fate of the Earth itself—a destiny he can barely bring himself to believe. But as other players in the prophesy begin to gather around him—the "Seven Seals," with the power to protect the Earth, and the "Seven Harbingers," who are fated to destroy it—he has no choice but to come to terms with his fate.
X was published in English by VIZ Media as X/1999 under the Shōjo imprint label from December 10, 2002 to May 10, 2005. A 3-in-1 omnibus edition labeled simply as X was published from November 8, 2011 to August 13, 2013. The series was also published in Polish by J.P.Fantastica from March 2000 to June 2003.
(What?! Nobody has reviewed this CLAMP classic yet?! Shame on you people! So i'll do it, but please bear in mind this is my first review....)
Story: Out of all of the series that Clamp has created over the years, X happens to be their darkest, most violent series to date. As usual, Clamp manages to create some unique, and interesting ideas, as well as some surprizes. What I also find interesting is the whole conflict between the Dragons of Heaven and Dragons of Earth. To me, it feels like neither side is simply the "good guys" or "bad guys". The Dragons of Heaven wish to
save mankind, but if they succeed, the Earth itself will be destroyed because of man's ignorance towards the Earth. The Dragons of Earth wish to eliminate all of the people from the Earth to save it from destruction.
Anyways, no matter what side you're on, this series has a great story that should never fail you keep your interest. If not the art will, which brings me to....
Art: The art here deserves a perfect score. The art may be an older style, it is absolutely gorgeous thoughout the manga. Whether it would be peaceful-looking scene, an action-packed fight, a dream sequence, or even a bloody scene of somebody getting hurt and/or killed, the pictures are beautiful to look at, and well placed. Sometime I even pick up my copies of the manga at look at it just so I can admire the art. Its really that pretty, I even plan on buying the art books next time I see them.
Character: Each and every one of the Dragons of Heaven and Dragons of Earth have their own unique back story, and reasons why they want to fight, all of which I thought where interesting to read about. There is character development here too as well from what I have read so far.
Enjoyment: As stated above, great story, great art, great characters, now put it all together and I thought this is certainly a very enjoyable read. X is definitely Clamp at their best, i'm not exaggerating the perfect scores here either.
As I am writing this, I have only read the first 15 volumes of the manga out of 19. Although, I have yet to read them all, I know X still remains unfinished after all of these years, which I find very unfortunate (X being one of Clamp's earlier works that started in 1992). There is a possible reason behind why this happened. It is because the magazine that was serializing X believed that X was way too violent and had asked Clamp to tone it down, Clamp refused, and the series was dropped. Because the series was under contract with the publishing company, there is no other alternatives at this time to get the rest of the series released. There is hope though, its been rumored that Clamp still plans to continue X, and they just might do it after they complete Tsubasa Chronicle and xxxHolic.
If you have been looking for a very dark, yet beautiful series to read, then give X a try. If you're a Clamp fan, then this is one series you should definitely check out, especially because it even crosses over with Tokyo Babylon and Clamp School Detectives. Also, many characters and elements from X also later reappear in Tsubasa Chronicle. But keep in mind that X may not be for everybody due to its very violent content, and theres certianly lots of gore and violence here, you have been warned.
If nobody could ever hurt or kill anybody, then why would people become blinded, to the most important things?
- A Dragon of Earth, X/1999
I can't imagine why anyone could dislike CLAMP or X. You don't have to like X I suppose, but they must have something you would like. Also, you should really read Tokyo Babylon before this one. It is a prequel to this and is just as beautifully tragic as this one, as well as a few of the characters in there and their stories coinciding in X that you may not understand or get if you don't read it. Check out
my review for that one.
Story: Dragons of Heaven versus the Dragons of Earth. But really, is it that simple? The Dragons of Heaven want to save mankind. The Dragons of Earth want to save the Earth. Saving mankind destroys the earth, and those saving the earth must destroy mankind. A battle of morals. There is no good and evil to this epic battle of destiny. There is no right and wrong. Because really how can you call any of them "bad guys?" When you read it, you'll understand. Both paths could be the end of everything.
I also feel that I must mention that there is a strong ambiguous love connection for some of the characters. Though not outright for any male characters (yet), for those of us who have read plenty of CLAMP's work, we all know that love for these women (CLAMP, that is), can happen anywhere, at anytime, to anyone, of any age and of any gender. That's right. There are hinted at undertones of shounen ai. And while this not only makes me love CLAMP all the more (for their support of loving the one most precious to us-no matter whom that might be) some people may not appreciate the allusion to what this might be. In my opinion, it shouldn't be a problem for anyone. Most people seem to focus on the amount of blood and violence that this manga displays anyway. Alright. Moving on.
Now while X is supposed to be their darkest story yet, and I suppose it is, to me it just feels like the truth. And the truth just strikes home. This story is so compelling I'm not sure how you'll not be able to pick up another volume to read it. I became so immersed in it, that I felt involved in this whole world-ending business, half the time I was crying. Trust me. This story is too good to be passing up.
Art: X falls under their older category (1992-2003) and I find that I like their older works far more than their newer ones. Something about them is just so much cleaner, more artistically beautiful. Compare one of these volumes to Tsubasa or xxxHolic and you'll know what the difference is. I think the characters have a more sensual feel in X than they do in their newer work. There's my word. Sensual. X falls under the shoujo category and for a reason. Those characters are sexy. Just like Sora says "all the Dragons of Heaven are pretty!" Or something along those lines. What Sorata doesn't want to say is that all of the characters of X are beautiful masterpieces. Each is unique to their own power and personality. I also feel that there's a harsher feel to the artwork of their older works, a darker, thicker accent to the lines of it. You won't want to look away from this artwork. Believe me.
Character: I love all the characters of X. Even the ones who are supposed to be "the bad guys." For I believe there truly aren't any "bad guys" in X. I think there's certainly development, and you see it especially it in the group that Kamui eventually picks. If your someone who gets emotionally invested in your characters when you read be prepared. You will come to love your favorites and and you will be rooting for someone to win. But more than likely you'll want everyone to win in the end.
Enjoyment: I love X/1999. I really, honest to god, love it. And would anyone understand me if I said I'm rooting for the Dragon of Earth leader? I feel like I know what his wish is for and I feel like he'll get it in the end and it's going to make me so sad. As some may not like it, I'm on the Dragon of Earth side. Never thought I would be, but I understand where they come from. I understand where their leader comes from. As you can see from my involvement with the characters, I really wish they would just finish the series. I hate that it isn't finished. It's such a beautiful piece of work, filled with plenty of angst, drama, romance and action. I've never been adverse to lots of blood and gore and if that's a problem for the publishers than slap a warning on it. I want it published please!
X didn't disappoint me in any way. Perhaps because it hasn't been completed but that is a problem that I hope will one day be fixed.
I'd recommmend this manga if you're into tragic, supernatural, fantasy & end of the world sort of thing. X/1999 has an amazing storyline (don't count the movie!)
I haven't read the whole manga but I have read certain bits, mainly bits I wanted to see, but still, in some ways the manga is better than the anime because they left out some parts like in the manga, there is a lot more gore & torture.
I do hope it'll be finished with the publishing soon, it's been so long (though not for me but in general.)
I love this series the most of all CLAMP works next is Tsubasa Chronicle. It might not be others like because of the tragic and violent events that happened through out the story.
About the story, I could score it as 10 since I love action, drama, supernatural, and end of the world theme. Well, the most is I love the story on how the main character, Shirou Kamui moves on accepting his destiny. Since, no one could accept such a cruel destiny on the near future. Well, I finished reading the manga and I find it interesting the most. I really hope that this manga
will end finally, it is keeping you hanging every end of a manga volume that will give you much of your interest until the end to know who will win in the end....
About the art, I love everyone of them but there's this dual character, Kamui could look the same as Ran/ Lan from Clover. While, Fuuma looks like everyone in the series.
The characters are established with different personality and different motifs. The characters are established depending on the power they possess.
I find this manga a great enjoyment especially because of its theme.
I really wish to finished this manga already, I've seen the last chapter of it in the volume 19 until where it had gone hiatus. If you have the guts, courage to know the secret behind the earth's sufferings then this is the best manga for you!