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From Viz: 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 prophecy 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.
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Clusterfuck, but I enjoy it
X is such a clusterfuck, but I love it.
It's a manga that is full of really godawful storytelling and convoluted plots and intentionally vague/misleading developments, but it's just so goshdarn epic that I can't help but like it.
If you're not a fan of apocalyptic, dark fantasy tales where everyone dies because reasons (read: angst), then X isn't for you. If you're not a fan of Clamp, I doubt X will make you a believer, unless you are a fan of philosophical mumbo-jumbo coupled with the end of the world and people dying everywhere.
It just so happens that, while I am not a Clamp fan, I am, in fact, a fan of philosophical mumbo-jumbo and people dying a lot. It's great. I couldn't have picked a better series to trudge through.
Now, for those willing to give X a try, the first few volumes are admittedly a pain to read. (Yeah, the first few volumes. Just goes to show how long this series is.) But after Kamui finally makes his choice, things really take off, and everything goes batshit. It's fantastic. Also, lots of blood and gore, which is always my idea of a good time, so.
The thing about X is that you have to be willing to be charmed at the beginning. You have to accept this apocalypse and magical "Kamui" bits at face value. It isn't quite suspension of disbelief, but it's something close. Basically, you have to go into X willing to believe it truly is an epic tale of humanity vs. nature. Because the most fun part of X isn't the premise or the characters (though laughing over character motivations are pretty funny, I'll give you that), it's really the philosophy that comes with it. If you just accept everything else about the plot, the philosophy becomes much easier to digest and contemplate. And even if some of these philosophical ramblings don't make sense, they're great fun to think about, that's for sure.
Otherwise, yeah, while X is certainly Clamp's most ambitious work (and I think Clamp pulls it off here far better than in the cringeworthy Tsubasa), it's certainly not their best or their most thought-provoking. That honor lies with both Tokyo Babylon and Clover (Clamp). X is probably the most interesting of their works, though, and the most fun to pick apart (in a good way; Tsubasa is the most fun to pick apart in a bad way).
P.S. Yeah, that ending cliffhanger is excruciating. Though, at this point, I suspect Clamp hasn't started this up again because they've written themselves into a corner and doesn't know how to end this. They've never been good with endings (I can think of only two series from them, tops, that have ended at least decently). So, from that perspective, the hiatus is a blessing rather than a curse. I would rather have an inconclusive "to be continued" for an epic of this scale rather than a terribad ending.
One of my favorites
One of the my favorite mangas and it's not because it has a deep mysterious plot, this story is definitely no Monster or Fullmetal Alchemist, it's very much a shojo at it's core. The apocalypse factor is more or less just a plot device for the characters' philosophical views, and their selfish need to grant their own wishes, and desire to be with someone special. Unlike most shonen manga, the main character is not a clique world saving martyr, he really gives off the feeling of being a regular human who has lost everyone he loves and will do anything to bring back the one person he has left. Like most Clamp work's the plot is not all that amazing, what's amazing is the world they create and the characters which touch your heart.
what the hell!
not a shoujo reader but i read this because i liked how xxxholic's story meshed with tsubasa's, and i like how the group reuses their characters. i like the technics, the techniques. but this, that kotori was a struggle to even look at, so shoujo. but it got better, and then it, well, ya'll know. how mean.
In my whole life, maybe this is the most depressing manga i ever read. The story progress is soooo sloooow..... the main character is a very, yes VERY strong but so helpless to the point of pathetic where his emotion drives him to do stupid thing that make a tragic thing happen. but i have to admit that CLAMP is the most awesome mangaka-group so far. even the storyline is soo dark that even pulling me into despair when I read it, it still so captivating that I want them to continue it........ It's been a decade. will this ever be complete?
... Last updated on November 23rd, 2012, 6:00am
When I first read this series, I thought it was very confusing, I think this is not a series to read off scanlations just because it's nice to have the books to go re-read at any moment, but besides that, now that I own the physical books and have re-read the story, two things became exceedingly clear, 1) it's not that confusing, and 2) It's not that gripping....I found the first couple of volumes to be somewhat boring, up to about volume 6-7 since all the characters were so slow to introduce themselves and maybe it was just because my favorite characters took a while to appear and interact w/ each other that it felt kinda draggy... Even so though, it is annoying where the story left off, and I wish that they at least release a very long last chapter to wrap everything up, even if it was a rush ending i'd be better than no ending...even though I was (and still am) very intrigued over the shift in Subaru's character... Anyway....if anyone had read RG Veda, I think you can see a lot of similarities between the two series, so maybe that's ehat CLAMP was aiming for?
i LOVE this manga so much and CLAMP dissapoited me with that SUPER CLIFFHANGER right in the middle.....!!!! Well, i somehow understand though, and is still hope they will continue this manga. The art is very beautiful too! Actually, i love CLAMP's art when he drew this manga more than their art nowdays... Expecially Kamui, he's a eye-candy together with fuuma!!
Wasted my Time
This manga is one of those with "beautiful art" and NONSENSICAL, illogical, inconsistent story. Except for CCS, I never liked any of Clamp's stories. (But their art is really gorgeous, and dreamy) And so I tried reading "X" (X1999). I like the first part, the sweet element of the story really drives you in. And then there's the twist which really suprised me and I kinda liked it. It's not cliche for giving the main character the chance to choose if he wants to be hero or the anti-hero and though Kamui chooses to be the hero, I still desired the manga. It seems refreshing but then, everything spiralled down.
There are always new characters who I don't get at all. Random, beautiful characters who are simply too emotional and have no sense in the story. They will do the WORST thing imaginable just for the person they love, and in the end, they want to die. THEY ALL JUST WANT to die, and almost everyone has split personalities.
I also find most of the main characters boring ang predictable. If it weren't for the art, I've stopped before I even reached the middle, but I persevered. I waited until the end--which is tragic. It was expected and I didn't even care. The last battle was anti-climactic and boring like the rest of the story.
This is my opinion. I'm sorry if this looks so one-sided, but I really tried hard to like the manga, but to no avail.
The best of Clamp!
XXHolic is good, Tsubasa is okay, Sakura is lovable, Tokyo Babylon is thrilling... but still, X is the BEST! I read it over and over again, but never does it cease to amaze me. Drawn at the splendid time of Clamp's art style, the more-than-gorgeous art carries the genuine breath of love and death, loyalty and betrayal, protection and destruction, sacrifice and egoism, renascence and apocalypse. You experience many things that can't be found in many mangas: anthropological debate, interpretation of life, earth's apocalypse, egoism, love/hate relationship, the many aspects of wishes... The wide range of characters are well-developed; each char has his/her unique idiosyncrasy and "wish" and role in the "doomsday".
It's sad that X hasn't ended yet. Hope that Clamp will give it a try once again.
No, don't get me wrong. This series is so wonderful that I won't hesitate to vote it over Sakura as CLAMP's best work ever. However, typical to CLAMP's tragedies, all characters were trapped in tragic situations that they had seft created. I mean, on one hand, they fought on their own will, for their own purpose, but on the other hand, that purpose turned out to be for the sake of someone who was then their enemy? So, in short, instead of surviving together, they tried to fight each other for the sake of each other and die? That's the logic I can't understand.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
Another point is that in this story, when someone was fed up with their boring life and wished to die, they would go a great length to eliminate their opponents (along with hundreds of innocents) just to make sure that one day they'd be granted death as they had always wanted (?) That's the logic I can't understand, either
The core of X is, almost every character had someone important, they lived and died for that one and that one only, they acted on the basis "for the sake of one person I'd be happy to destroy the whole world", but hey, this world is not you two alone, do you think you can harm the neighbors without hurting yourselves? Some characters joined the war in order to fulfill their own wish
Spoiler (highlight to view)
(they wanted to die)
. In short, for the sake of one or two people, they all became selfish, and the war was inevitable.
My problem is, because all characters are all too unrealistic, the whole tragedy of X seems to me like breaking a butterfly upon a wheel. Nevertheless, CLAMP's genius lies in their ability to charm us into their stories, however unrealistic they are. Many friends of mine have complained about the exaggeration in CLAMP's manga, but they remain to be crazy fans until now. I, too, used to be one of them. But now that's how I feel. I wonder if it's because I'm getting old? Anyway this's still an outstanding manga, I'd recommend it to any fan of RG Veda & TB
... Last updated on September 27th, 2009, 10:41am
As much as I'd love for the manga to come back from hiatus, its gonna be a while. Also, don't blame CLAMP for putting the manga on hiatus, it had much to due with real life events and natural disasters in Tokyo/Japan that led to putting it on hiatus. I seriously doubt they meant to have it on hiatus this long, but with the success of TRC and xxxHolic they really haven't had a chance to get back to it. Lets hope once those series are complete they'll return to finish at least X, if not Clover/Gohou Drug.