The stars have begun to shift; the Promised Day is approaching at a breakneck speed. The Dragons of Heaven (Seven Seals), who wish to save the world and protect mankind, and the Dragons of Earth (Seven Angels), who wish to wipe the Earth clean and start anew are gathering in Tokyo at the demand of the dreamseers that guide them.
They wait for Shirou Kamui, a 15-year old boy who has returned to Tokyo after his mother's tragic death. He has been foreordained to choose the fate of the world, even if he wants to have nothing to do with it. Will he choose to become a Dragon of Heaven and save mankind, or will he become a Dragon of Earth and destroy mankind?
Before I go any further into this review, I would like you to take any thoughts, opinions, and heresy regarding the movie version of this anime, and throw it out the window. X TV is the X manga done right. It surpasses the movie in just about every way possible, particularly the plot and characters, which were thrown to the side like sacks of rice in lieu of eye candy.
For a TV series, the artwork is outstanding, though not as great as the movie. For the most part, the character designs are rather similar looking to the manga. Tokyo is depicted in full detail and the destruction of it during isolated battles is well presented. The animation is generally very good, but at times, it becomes repetitive, though it's not in a "we're out of money and too lazy" way, but in a way that helps the plot along. It exceeds the standards that have been set by any other TV series and sets standards of its own.
And that leads into the most positive aspects of the series: the plot and characters. X, although seemingly straightforward at first, is a very complex TV series. It is extremely character driven, far more than any other series that I know of. There are at least fourteen characters to explain in detail and Kawajiri Yoshiaki explains their past and respective subplots perfectly within such a short period of time. No time is wasted talking and taunting before and after fights a la Dragon Ball Z. There are no filler episodes and nothing is wasted at all.
Their subplots and relationships are well explained, almost too well explained if that's possible. I particularly enjoyed the subplot involving Kishu Arashi and Arisugawa Sorata, and that's not just because they are both great characters. It, like the other subplots, has a great twist in it. The connections between characters on both sides make it next to impossible to decide who's evil and who isn't, as they each have their own reasons for joining the battle. Some wish to protect someone they love, some live to fulfill their destiny, others are hell bent on destruction and some just want to go with the flow. They are easy to relate to and sympathize with. Kamui may start off as an immature, uncaring person; he matures and shows compassion towards those he wishes to protect. As you see his past unfurl, you can truly identify with the burden that he holds on his shoulders.
The subplots may be great, but the main plot hits the center of your heart as time goes on. It's almost impossible to go on any further without spoiling any major portion of the plot, but the connections between the Dragons of Heaven and Earth are far more than personal.
X TV is a definite purchase for all. It has a little something for everyone. There's a touch of shoujo, great action, some occasional comedic moments and a whole load of drama. Unless frequent doses of angst are not up your alley, it is worthy of sitting in collection. It won't gather any dust.
Oh, and beware for twists and surprise endings because they come by the barrelful towards the end. No matter what you think is going to happen next, it won't. Trust me.
CLAMP fans can add a star, if that's possible. Those who hate angst in large doses may remove one. — Robert Nelson
Recommended Audience: Once again, this was a show aired at night and aimed primarily at an older teen and adult audience. People die, often bloodily (although it's not nearly as gory as the manga). There are many adult themes and siutations, but no nudity or sex.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (24/24)
X TV © 2001 CLAMP / Kadokawa Shoten / X TV Production Committee
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