Manga of the Month: X/1999

X/1999 (X) by CLAMP

 The as yet unfinished masterpiece from CLAMP. Fate, tragedy, sacrifice, violence, and the rush toward the end of the world hit like waves which quickly sweep you deep into the story.

Following the death of his mother and a prophecy, Kamui returns to Tokyo seeking the means by which to change the fate of the world as armageddon is fast approaching. Two supernatural factions vie for control over the world’s destiny, both seeking the power of Kamui to reach their ultimate goals. And thus fights for power erupt all over Tokyo as Kamui is torn between friendship and the power to change the course of the Earth’s future.

A large cast makes up this epic as CLAMP interweaves the desperate battle for Earth with the relationships and personal stories of all involved. There is always someone new and interesting just around the corner, sometimes literally, in this story but be prepared to say goodbye to quite a few of them because death and destruction are present at every turn.

Everyone has their favorite CLAMP work and this is mine. I much prefer their earlier series where the art feels more tactical and less perfect.

This is a prime time to pick up X/1999 and enjoy all 18 volumes of beautiful art since VIZ has started releasing fantastic oversized omnibus editions which include color inserts.

As the years go by it becomes less and less likely that X/1999 will ever receive an ending in manga form. They should really consider doing it as a doujinshi!

Ongoing Investigations: Case #099

hisuiconFinishing Dawn of the Golden Witch has just made me anticipate Requiem of the Golden Witch even more than I already did. This seemed like a shorter chapter than most but we got some great scenes so all is forgiven. Battler is now the Golden Sorcerer and running the game with Erika Furudo as his opponent. Beatrice is back but she is clearly not the same Beatrice as before. This chapter really centers around George, Jessica, Shannon, and Kanon. I will say the is a decent amount of evidence for the Shannon equals Kanon theory but I have to hope that it’s all a red herring. Otherwise there are some very unobservant members of the Ushiromiya family. In the end we get another suspended game that ends during the second twilight. I am assuming at this point that if we had all the games go to the end it would be much more obvious who the culprit is. As it stands these game are just supposed to be hints that when pieced together with the first four games give us who is behind all the murders on the island. I still think my final denouement stand the test of the 6th game but we shall see. Part of me wonders if I am like Battler and I am just in denial that one of the 17 could be the murderer. Another part of me feels that many of the themes point to me keeping this seemingly blind faith. We shall see what is revealed in the penultimate and ultimate game soon enough. As a side tangent I now wait for the part in every chapter for a part where Beatrice’s demon hooligans make some trouble for someone. Ryukishi07 has done well in making them lovable characters.

I started watching the TV anime adaption of CLAMP’s X (eps. 1-8). After the first couple of episodes that have plenty of action and foreboding, then we start to learn about each of the stars little by little. Kamui is hard to like at first, but his tortured mind is easy to recognize. Sometimes these episodes can feel a little slow, even though they are interesting, they take away a little from the present circumstances of characters that you haven’t quite gotten attached to yet. Lucky for me, I already have a great love for the cast. However, each moment in the present is exacting, telling, and dramatic pulling you in further and further into this complex and twisted story of destiny.  Continue reading

What do the characters we like say about us?

Apparently I am easier to read than a picture book. It seems that people are rather easily able to tell which characters I like from series that I watch. This revelation led Narutaki and I to have a long conversation not only about what types of characters we liked but what did it say about us as people. Do your favorite characters give you and others insight into who you are? Do they reflect any pattern in the types of friends you make or people you date? Do they say anything about how you view yourself or others? Narutaki and I are going to share three different charters that exemplify types of characters we enjoy and one oddball character that does not fit our standard categories. We then have a little challenge for all of our readers.

A good deal of us put a lot of love into the characters that we like and there is no denying that sometimes it can go over the top. But that is neither here nor there in this case. There are grand ideas abound! Specifically, I am constantly wondering just how much the characters people like actually say about them. And I move in wide circles from thinking it is the window to someone’s soul to convincing myself it means absolutely nothing, and then back again. It would be egregious not to mention that I am thinking about the personalities of characters rather than looks. Frankly, looks tell me nothing about anyone, sure I may be able to pick out another character they enjoy on the surface but it doesn’t delve very deep.  Now who a character is, there there might just be something to be learned about someone. To further matters along in a fun way, we will be giving you a glimpse at some of the characters that are near and dear to us. Happy analyzing!

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