Viewers complained that the 1998 feature X: 1999 failed to capture the complexities of the apocalyptic manga series. The TV series offers more details, but director Yoshiaki Kawajiri indulges in too many flashbacks, dreams... more », visions, and montages that don't advance the plot. These self-conscious devices may pay off eventually, but some viewers will wish Kawajiri spent more time introducing the nearly two-dozen characters a little more slowly and coherently. Astrological shifts announce that the battle between the Seven Dragons of the Heavens and the Seven Dragons of Earth is about to take place, with the fate of the Earth hanging in the balance. The incipient conflict is presented in the familiar visual style of the Clamp collective: there are lots of pretty boys with long hair and skinny legs, elaborate art nouveau curves, and veritable blizzards of flower petals and feathers. Rated 16 Up: Violence, minor profanity, grotesque imagery. --Charles Solomon« less
Kevin Harrison | Pikeville, KY United States | 10/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though the first disc worth of episodes moves rather slowly, this is shaping up to be an extremely entertaining series. Epsiodes 1 & 2 are mostly an introduction to our main characters, and we learn very little about the plot itself. However, episode 3 really packs it all in, giving the viewer a good overview of the two sides and plenty of hints as to what's to come.Though many shows in anime deal with the end of the world, the stylistic approach in "X" helps to grab your attention. Kamui, the lead character, is your typical unwilling hero who wants nothing to do with his destiny. More to the point, he begins this series as quite the anti-hero, and there's little to redeem him. Luckily, the creators don't weigh down the character with melodramatic angst. He is, quite unashamedly, selfish. So, it's up to the supporting cast to show us just why the world deserves to be saved, along with Kamui himself.One word of warning: if you don't want to have certain plot points spoiled for you, do NOT watch the Extras part of the disc, or the Episode 0 included. Skip straight to Episode 1, and don't look back. I wasn't warned in time, so certain major plot elements have been ruined for me. However, getting to those points looks to be the fun part!"
I hated the movie... but I love this series so far
M. Gold | Tukwila, WA USA | 11/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To say I watch a lot of anime is an understatement. I've probably seen *too much* anime at this point, and I can honestly say I've become pretty jaded. It's been a long time since I've been really excited about a series, or waited with anticipation for the next disc to be released. Also, the fact that I detested the X movie didn't give me very high expectations for the series. I decided to give it a try anyway, and all I can say is that I'm now waiting breathlessly for the next disc to come out. Unlike the movie, this series is taking it's time to develop the characters, create plausible motivations, and set a complicated plot in motion. The art is very attractive (characteristic of CLAMP) and the DVD transfer is excellent. The computer animation used in action sequences might take a little getting used to, but overall it merges very well with the more traditional animation style. I recommend this disc very highly, and I only hope that the rest of the story is this good."
To Preserve or to Destroy
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 02/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Clamp Cooperative's original manga series for 'X' was a complex, doom-filled apocalyptic vision. Two groups, the Dragons of Heaven and the Dragons of Earth are enmeshed in a struggle for ascendancy over Tokyo that would ultimately decide the fate of the world. Those of earth seek to destroy in order to recreate the world anew, and those of Heaven seek to preserve and revitalize the existing sources of power. Into this struggle steps Kamui, a young man who has returned to Tokyo to reclaim the Shinken or divine sword. In doing so, he will make a series of decisions that bring about the final resolution of the struggle.When a feature length film was made from the manga, it became painfully obvious that this is too much story to be communicated in 90 minutes. Almost twenty major characters are involved and the needs of the limited format ensured that only a few received enough attention to gain definition. The plot itself is complex, and depends on the characters to progress. The best the film could do was to be a beautifully crafted and acted but infinitely fragile production. The result left everyone a bit dissatisfied. Unwilling to write off Rintaro's efforts completely, director Yoshiaki Kawajiri undertook to remake the story as a full-length television series. Insisting on a high level of production values, especially for the graphics and musical work, he has managed not only to surpass the film, but also to improve upon the story telling of the manga. This first DVD sets the gothic, art nouveau styling of the story, sketches out the bones of the plot, and begins to bring the characters on stage. This is no small task, and the viewer is warned to read the accompanying character guide and be willing to tolerate a bit of confusion before everything is sorted out and the characters have developed sufficient personalities so that the plot and the cast begin to mesh.The key characters to come on board in the beginning are the trio of Kamui Shirou, Fuma Monou and his sister Kotori Monou. Kamui, who knew the Monou's as children, has returned to Tokyo. Despite his every effort to keep his old friends at a distance, fate takes charge. Because Kamui's own decision about his role in the coming cataclysm will force a parallel decision from Fuma, and brings Kotori into a tragic conflict between duty and desire. Two other characters of early interest (both Dragons of Heaven) are Sorata Arisugawa, an unlikely priest from Mt. Kouya, and Hinoto, a dreamseer who keeps the Dragons organized until Kamui can make his decision.At this early stage, this series shows every sign of being a landmark effort. Whether it will finally succeed will depend on Kawajiri's ability to tame the complex story and large cast. So far the director has proven up to the challenge. This series is well worth continued attention."
One of the Best Anime Titles of All Time
lochadx | X | 07/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"X is a great example of what anime should aspire to. By Clamp (Chobits, CC Sakura)It is a fairly dark tale of Kamui, the one who holds the fate of the world. Will he choose to save it, or destroy it? The series deals with many theme common to anime (love, loss, faith in others) but has its own twists on it. This vol introduces you a few of the main characters and hints at the plot, which will twist violently about half way through. The story starts out during the X year, 1999 (not to be confused with the X movie, which sucks, series is nothin like it and a hell of a lot better)Kamui, troubled by recent past event comes back to Tokyo to fulfill his sadame. (destiny) Great fight scenes, dark plot, and beautiful animation fills this series. This dvd contains Episodes 1-3 and the OVA: An Omen. The OVA is kind of a spoiler, but will help you understand what goes on later in the anime. For those of you who like Art Boxes for your DVD, wait a bit to order this, Pioneer is releasing a series box with Vol One (of 8)but its not listed yet. At times, this series is heart wrenching, but is a must have series in my opinion."
A warning about this first DVD for those new to the series
lochadx | 03/27/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A few people have referred to this, but I thought I'd be a bit more explicit, as it isn't mentioned anywhere on the DVD packaging and some people, like me, may be a bit annoyed to find it out too late: Episode 0 is a "prequel" episode that was made after the rest of the series; it contains massive spoilers about characters and events.DO NOT WATCH EPISODE 0 FIRST IF YOU INTEND TO CONTINUE WITH THE REST OF THE SERIES.If you're just checking the series out to see if you're interested and/or don't mind being spoiled, by all means go ahead and watch it (it's a good episode)... but I thought it was highly irritating that such a thing appeared first on the DVD without any kind of warning to viewers."