Here’s another Clamp-adaptation, the anime with one of the least descriptive titles in existence: X. It tells the story of a bunch of people who have been destined to fight over whether or not the earth is going to be destroyed. And I must say, it hits the mark surprisingly often. Recommended for anyone who likes a good character-study.
There are very few series that can claim that they only get better and better as they go on, but X sure as hell does come close to this. It starts out a bit mundane, but for nearly every successive episode as you get an idea of the plot, and the different characters show their backgrounds and stories, it just gets more intriguing with episode. Especially in the second half, where all hell breaks loose, this series just continues to keep the balls in the air.
What impressed me the most about this series was the maturity of the cast of villains. These guys are miles away from your stereotypical evil overlords, and despite the fact that they’re trying to destroy the world, they’re all surprisingly calm and down to earth which is very refreshing to be honest. The protagonists also receive plenty of attention, which allows each of them to grow beyond stereotypes, and actually develop a bit. A major theme in this series is loneliness, and I really liked how each of them chose to deal with their feelings in a different way.
With all that however, it’s a shame that the least interesting character in this series is the main one: Kamui. With such a colourful cast of side-characters, he fails to stand out and is yet another one of those angsty teenagers with huge powers with the task to save the world. He does develop throughout the series, but it’s all just too predictable and shallow. It’s because of him that the finale of this series turns out to be really cheesy. A pitiful exception to how everything in this series just gets better and better.
Overall, X is a bit too angsty for my tastes. Too often, we see characters stare pointlessly into nothingness instead of actually doing something, and the lackluster lead character and ending prevent it from really standing out, but aside from that there’s a lot to like in this series. It’s an interesting effect you get when half of the series’ plot twists have already been prophesized (especially if you watched the special episode 00, which is basically a very cryptic recap of the series). With a strong soundtrack and very solid animation by Madhouse, I definitely don’t regret watching this.