X is one of the many series I've picked up as a result of me being a collector of Geneon DVDs. Two very rare auctions ended on eBay.co.uk on the same day; one for the rare remix set and one for the less rare bailey box sets - I won the latter.
The series description sounds interesting enough to attract most anime fans: in X there are a total of fourteen people from various walks of life who have psychic abilities (varying from controlling machines to controlling elemental forces). Seven are destined to be Dragons of Heaven; a group who fight to preserve the Earth as it is now by protecting seals located in Tokyo, while the other seven are destined to be Dragons of Earth; a group destined to destroy the Earth by destroying the seals. Among these psychics is one known as Kamui, the only one that can select his own destiny by becoming the leader of either group and, with him being the most powerful, save or destroy the earth as a result.
Very disappointingly, the above description is practically all the plot you're going to get out of X. As interesting as the concept is, it wasn't executed very well at all and there really wasn't much depth at all.
What frustrated me about the story was how flashbacks appeared far too often and went on for far too long when the series is only 24 episodes long, one episode actually being a recap. The time spent needlessly treading over old ground repeatedly could've been spent improving the story, but...
The part of the plot I found most poorly executed was anything and everything related to the seals. The Dragons of Heaven are supposedly there to protect certain areas of Tokyo (where the seals are located), yet the seals can actually be broken easily by simply killing someone close to the seal protector and making them lose the will to fight. And, even if I was to ignore that, there's also the small matter of every other psychic aside from Kamui being worthless when only Kamui can kill Kamui (this will only by understandable if you watch the series) in order for the final seal to be broken.
Thankfully, the plot issues caused by the needless amount of characters didn't ruin the series, the opposite actually being true. X wasn't created with the intention of providing a deep story with lots of twists, the goal instead clearly being to make X into one of the better character driven series out there. While very little time was spent developing the plot during the 24 episodes, a huge amount of it was spent on developing the large cast of characters, with the characters frequently getting episodes all to themselves so that the viewer would become attached to them. After those 'attachment episodes', the cast start to shorten in number due to tragic event after tragic event, resulting in the characters sticking in the 'tragic character' section of my memory.
So, in a nutshell, X isn't recommended to those looking for an excellent story... but is recommended to those looking for well developed/likable characters. Wouldn't it have been great if we could've had the best of both worlds!?
Anyway, time to move on to everything else that needs mentioning, starting with the art/animation. The art looked good for a series that aired in 2002, my only real complaint about it being that some of the female characters looked more like ugly males. The animation wasn't very impressive at all for a series that involves fighting, the fights all being static and usually involving an attack being made and then a short conversation taking place before the next one - it isn't a series that people looking for flowing action would be best pleased with. But, overall, X looks more than good enough for a series that's focused on character development.
The other thing that needs mentioning is the music, but there's really not much to say... I found it to be an easy to forget soundtrack that fitted the series good enough. None of the tracks stood out in an amazing or awful way.
...That's pretty much it. All that remains is for me to say that I thought X was heavily flawed but worth my time. I recommend it it to anyone looking for an emotional ride!