Friday, March 13, 2009

Review of X/1999 Part 1: It’s the End of the World as We Know It

The Clamp mangaka team (comic writing team in Japan) created the manga series X/1999. It has spawned a movie and a television series. It is a related to Tokyo Babylon and Clamp School Detectives (both take place before X/1999). It can be analyzed on so many levels, so I have decided to look at it in a series of posts. Starting with an overall review of the series, with a focus on the first seven mangas.

The world of X/1999 is full of magic, priestesses, monks, wind summoners, and fire summoners, with a hint of technology surrounding the mystical world. The characters by and large are superhuman. The story focuses on Kamui, "The one who represents God's will" or "The one who hunts God's will" the only character who can choose his own fate. Kamui must choose between joining the Dragons of Heaven and saving humanity or the Dragons of Earth and saving the planet by killing humanity. There are six Dragons of the Earth and six Dragons of Heaven. The seventh member to either team is Kamui. The tale begins with his choice which up to volume seven has not happened. Kamui has lived through a lot of hardship and seems to not care about anything but himself. Until you see his interaction with Fuma and Katori, his childhood friends. However, they along with powerful magic user in the two sets of dragons are sucked into the fate of the 1999, which only Kamui can choose.

The character play in the first few books is interesting. The Dragons are not easily noticed when they are not using magic. They are children, mild-mannered adult or people kept away from everyday life. The intrigue of how the end of the world will occur with two conflicting predictions of the future keeps the story interesting. How the characters deal with the knowledge that their lives are planned in interesting.

Overall, it is a great read and I would recommend it to End of the World fans. I give it a 5 out of 5.

Enjoying 1999 all over again,
J.R West the Raccoon

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