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X (エックス, Ekkusu), also known as X/1999, is a Japanese shojo manga series created by CLAMP, a creative team made up by Satsuki Igarashi, Nanase Ohkawa, Tsubaki Nekoi, and Mokona. It premiered in Monthly Asuka's May 1992 issue and ran there until the magazine's editors showed concern with the increasingly violent stories and the series went on long-term hiatus in March 2003. The story takes place at the end of days, in the year 1999. The series follows Kamui Shirō, a young esper who returns home to Tokyo after a six-year absence to face his destiny as the one who will determine humanity's fate. The series is a foray into apocalyptic fiction, it combines elements from various end of the world scenarios, both secular and religious, with its own mythos.

Kadokawa Shoten collected and published the individual chapters in 18 tankōbon volumes, with five chapters published in the book "All about Clamp". All but one or two final chapters have yet to be published. It has been adapted into a series of audio dramas, a 1996 animated feature film and a television series in 2001 with the two last ones produced by Madhouse. Viz Media published all the eighteen volumes in North America, while the film and the TV series have released in DVDs by Manga Entertainment and Geneon, respectively.

Plot

In 1999, a teenager named Kamui Shirō returns to Tokyo after a six-year absence. He comes to protect those dearest to him, Kotori and Fūma Monou, and fulfill his mother's dying wish of change fate. The end of the world is fast approaching as superhuman individuals gather and take sides in Tokyo, the battle site of Armageddon. Following Kamui's arrival the Dragons of Heaven and the Dragons of Earth, the two factions in the final battle for humanity's future, vie for the young man's allegiance, convinced his power will assure their victory. The Dragons of Heaven are the first to contact Kamui. The Dragons of Heaven are guided by Hinoto, dream gazer for the Legislature of Japan. They are the protectors of the kekkai (結界), spiritual barriers that hold the fabric of nature together. As long as the kekkai survive, Judgment Day is postponed. The Dragons of Earth are the counterpart to the Dragons of Heaven. Their mission is to unleash death and famine so the Earth can be cured of the plague of humanity. They were assembled by Hinoto's sister Kanoe, secretary to the Governor of Tokyo.

As Kamui is forced to choose between the two sides, he concludes he only wants to protect Kotori and Fūma, and becomes a Dragon of Heaven. At the same time, Fūma has a change of personality and becomes the "Kamui" from the Dragons of Earth as he was destined to be Kamui's opposite. In such awakening Fūma kills Kotori, and swears to kill Kamui. Deciding he wishes to bring Fūma back to normal, Kamui joins the Dragons of Heaven in their fight against the Dragons of Earth. Because of the issues regarding the manga's serialization, the plot from the series has yet to be concluded by Clamp.

The animated films and the TV series follow the manga's initial story and come to two different endings. In the film all the Dragons of Heaven and Earth die in the ensuing battles, leaving Kamui and Fūma as the last Dragons. In the final battle, Kamui decapitates Fūma and the film ends with Kamui crying why he ended killing his best friend. In the TV series, all the Dragons of Heavens lose their powers to create kekkai because of they lose their most important people leaving the Tokyo defenseless. As Hinoto commits suicide to stop her alternate self from attacking the Dragons of Heaven, Kamui goes to face Fūma. In the fight's outcome, Kamui is killed by Fūma, but uses his last forces to transform his body into a kekkai that protects the world from the change from the Dragons of Earth, and causes Fūma to return to his old self.

Media

Manga

Main article: Manga Volumes

Featured Film

Main article: Movie

The X feature film, directed by Rintaro (Captain Harlock, Doomed Megalopolis) and co-scripted by Nanase Ohkawa, premiered August 3, 1996, in Japan. The supernatural thriller focuses on the roles Kamui, Kotori, and Fuma play in the Apocalypse, reducing the Dragons of Heaven and Earth to peripheral characters. Even though the abbreviated story fails to place the characters' action in the proper context, the film is praised for its dreamlike atmosphere, powerful imagery and visually engaging action sequences. The film was given a limited release in the United States in early 2000 and released to DVD on September 25, 2001. X: The Destiny War, a comic book based on the feature film, was released on September 30, 1996. Yoshiki from the band X Japan wrote the song "Forever Love" for the film after reading the manga. The song was later used by the former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in a campaign advertisement in 2001.

TV Series

Main article: X (Anime)

The episodes from X TV anime series were directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, being first announced on October 18, 2000. In anticipation to the series premiere, X: An Omen (エックス - 前兆Ekkusu - Yochō) was released direct-to-DVD on August 25, 2001. Written and directed by Kawajiri, "An Omen" tells the story of the upcoming battles through the prophecies of Kakyō Kuzuki, dream gazer for the Dragon of Earth, and acts as primer for viewers not familiar with Clamp's manga. The series premiered October 3, 2001 on WOWOW satellite television and finished on March 27, 2002, totaling twenty-four episodes. A total of twelve DVD volumes from the series, each containing two episodes, were released in Japan from February 25, 2001 to January 25, 2002 by Bandai Visual. The music for the series was composed by Naoki Satōwith two original soundtracks being released.

Pioneer Entertainment claimed ownership of the series for distribution in North America in March 2002. Geneon collected the series and the OVA in a total of eight DVD volumes released between September 24, 2002 and November 25, 2003. Two DVD box sets of the series were also released on January 11, 2005. In 2006, Geneon released the X TV Series Remix, which was composed of five individual DVDs released between July 11, 2006 and November 14, 2006, as well as a DVD box set on July 11, 2006. The DVDs came with re-encoded video and audio, including 5.1 surround sound for both the Japanese and English tracks. In September 2009, Funimation Entertainment announced that it had acquired the rights to the anime series and OVA. They were re-released them in a DVD box it on June 15, 2010 using the original Geneon dubbing for the English-language audio track.

Music Video

On November 21, 1993, SME Records released X²(ダブルエックス, Daburu Ekkusu), a short film based on Clamp's manga, set to the music of power metal band X Japan. X² features a slideshow of X artwork set to a medley of X Japan's "Silent Jealousy," "Kurenai" and "Endless Rain" and the "X" music video directed by Shigeyuki Hayashi.

Audio Drama

The X Character Files (キャラクターファイル, Kyarakutā Fairu) were released from June 1996 to December 1996 by Victor Entertainment. The seven audio dramas, scripted by Nanase Ohkawa, focus on the thoughts and motivations of the individual Dragons of Heaven and Earth. The Character Files are performed by the feature film voice actors. No English translation is available.

Video games

X: Unmei no Sentaku (X ~運命の選択~, lit. X: Fateful Choice) was released for the PlayStation on August 22, 2002 by Bandai. The fighting game features a Story Mode, set in the television series continuity, and a Versus Mode, which allows players to compete against each other using any of the Dragons of Heaven or Earth. The game was not released outside of Japan and has two different endings.

X: Card of Fate, a card battle video game for the WonderSwan Color, was released June 27, 2002.

Navigation

X/1999
Content: Anime EpisodesManga VolumesCharactersTimeline of EventsOVAMovieCLAMP
Media: Anime Manga Music Video Drama CDs Video Games X Artbooks
Mythology : TokyoCLAMP AcademyShadow SacrificesSacred SwordDream seers
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