X – Anime Review

The Essentials

Name: X
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Episodes: 24
Released: October 3, 2001 – March 27, 2002
Based On: X manga by CLAMP
Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Produced By: Madhouse
US Distribution By: Geneon

Major Japanese Cast

Kamui Shirou: Kenichi Suzumura
Fuuma Monou: Junichi Suwabe
Sorata Arisugawa: Mitsuaki Madono
Arashi Kishu: Ryoka Yuzuki
Satsuki Yatoji: Houko Kuwashima
Nataku: Motoko Kumai
Kakyo Kuzuki: Yuji Ueda
Kusanagi Shiyu: Masaki Aizawa
Princess Hinoto: Aya Hisakawa
Kanoe: Kaho Kouda
Subaru Sumeragi: Tomokazu Sugita
Seiichiro Aoki: Toshiyuki Morikawa
Karen Kasumi: Yoko Soumi
Yuzuriha Nekoi: Kumi Sakuma
Yuto Kigai: Michiaki Furuya
Seishiro Sakurazuka: Otoya Kawano
Kotori Monou: Mamiko Noto

Major English Cast

Kamui Shirou: Steve Cannon
Fuuma Monou: Crispin Freeman
Sorata Arisugawa: Rafael Antonio Oliver
Arashi Kishu: Lia Sargent
Satsuki Yatoji: Karen Strassman
Nataku: Mona Marshall
Kakyo Kuzuki: Terrence Stone
Kusanagi Shiyu: James Lyon
Princess Hinoto: Bridget Hoffman
Kanoe: Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
Subaru Sumeragi: Dave Lelyveld
Seiichiro Aoki: Steven Blum
Karen Kasumi: Wendee Lee
Yuzuriha Nekoi: Philece Sampler
Yuto Kigai: Ethan Murray
Seishiro Sakurazuka: Dave Mallow
Kotori Monou: Michelle Ruff

Scores

Animation: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Story: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Music: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 7/10 (x 2 = 14 pts)
English Dubs: 8/10 (x 1 = 8 pts)
Gut Score: 7/10 (x 5 = 35 pts)

Total: 161/200 (80.5%)

Review

X is about Kamui, a boy who is fated to determine the fate of the world. Kamui returns to Tokyo after a 6 year absence after the death of his mother. He soon meets up with two old childhood friends – Fuma and Kotori Monou – but attempts to keep them at a distance so that they don’t become involved in things.

Soon, members of the Dragons of Heaven – a group of 7 people who are fighting to protect mankind – and members of the Dragons of Earth – a group of 7 people fighting to destroy humanity in the name of saving the planet – arrive to persuade Kamui to join their side.

Kamui is cold towards both sides, but soon the friendliness of the Dragons of Heavan, and especially of Sorata, ultimately leads Kamui to choosing sides with them. However, this leads to Fuma being “chosen” as the leader of the Dragons of Earth as, unbeknownst to either of them, Fuma was destined to lead whichever group opposed the side Kamui chose. And thus, the apocalyptic battle between the Dragons of Heaven and Dragons of earth begin.

This is an interesting series for me to try to review. First off, this series seems to have almost everything: Lots of action. Lots of angst. Lots of story. Stellar animation and music and a good dub to boot. However, despite all of this, I never could get very much into this series. Yes, it was entertaining and I didn’t really bored watching it, but…it just didn’t work for me. And I’m not sure if I can put my finger on exactly why either.

I’m generally a fan of serious drama like X, but in this case, it just seems that it perhaps lasted too long and had too much angst as compared to the action. I guess another way to explain is the fact that, here we are, everything seems to be set for the battle for the end of the world to start but nothing is really happening on that front. Yeah, people are fighting, and Kamui is being angsty and we’re learning about the characters, but after a while I was kind of like “so, when are they going to start fighting for real and stuff?” It just seemed like most of the fighting was people being like “I guess it’s time for us to fight now, even though there is no real apparent reason for it.”

It just seemed that the Dragons of Heaven were sitting there like “what are we going to do” for 23 episodes and then finally the final battle happens in like 10 minutes (if that) in the last episode. Maybe I just missed a lot of what was happening since a lot of stuff, especially at the end, seemed to come as a surprise to me in a “oh THAT’S why this other stuff was happening” way – stuff that really shouldn’t surprise you that late.

Now, after spending 3 paragraphs on that, I’ll reiterate that this is overall a pretty good series to watch for many reasons, and there isn’t anything really fundamentally wrong with it and that my feeling just happens to be one of those things were a series just doesn’t hit right, so for that reason I still would recommend this to people because a lot of people would enjoy this series.

First Watched: October 2007 – July 2008
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes

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