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Title:
  X volume 1

UK Distributor:  MVM

BBFC Certificate:  12

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  15.99

Episodes:  1-4 (of 24)

Audio Options:  English 5.1, Japanese 2.0

Subtitles:  English

Release Date:  19th October 2009

Reviewer:  Amichan
 

X is one series that has been a long time coming to the UK, after all it was produced in 2001 in Japan.  So has it been worth the wait?

The story at first does not start the way that you would think it would.  In fact it begins with one of the supporting cast, Kakyuo, one of the seven Dragons of Earth.  He has an ability to dream gaze and in this first episode you see his vision of the future.  This is mainly made up of disjointed clips of future episodes.  I am guessing that it was the aim of the producer to tease the viewer with the pending drama that is about to unfurl on screen.  However, I found it to be confusing and in parts irritating as being someone who has not read the original manga it was hard to pick up the basic principles of the story.  In this initial episode it does explain that there are seven dragons of heaven, which will fight to save mankind and seven dragons of earth who will try and purify the earth.  It is apparent from this that Kakyuo is not happy with the way that fate has fallen upon him as he is cursed, unable to change the future that he sees.
 

From episode two onwards, the narrative falls into a more conventional style of storytelling.  It begins with Kotori dreaming that an old friend of hers, Kamui has come back to Tokyo.  She tells her brother Fuma of her exciting dream not knowing that it was about to come true.  Meanwhile, Kamui, is travelling to his new school when he is attacked by some minions of the dragons of Earth.  It is quickly apparent that he is no ordinary school boy as he uses his power to easily dispatch these enemies before arriving at school. 
 

At first when Kotori realises that Kamui has returned she is happy as she has good memories of the two of them.  However, she quickly comes to realise that it is not the same Kamui before her as his reaction to her is far from friendly; so much so that he tells her to leave him alone in their first meeting.  It is after this that you realise that Kamui is being watched from afar by Hinoto one of the seven dragons of heaven.  Kamui, who is angered by this destroys the spell that allows her to watch and sends a warning out that anyone who follows him will die.
 

Kamui, as the main character in the first couple of episodes, is hard to like.  He is hard headed and more willing to kill people than to listen on how they can help him. His character is very distrustful of others.  For example, in the final episode of the first disc he does not believe that his Auntie is telling the truth of the real reason why his mother died.  It is lucky though that there is a good supporting cast along side Kamui, which helps to balance out the series.  In this first disk you get the opportunity to meet both a few of the dragons of Earth and Heaven.  It is through these dragons that you learn more about Kamui's involvement in the story.

Overall, this first disc is a reasonable introduction to the series.  The first episode is unnecessary in my opinion but once past that the story really begins to grip you.  So much so that you want to watch the next disc.  What I particularly like about this series so far is that you can not tell the direction of it, for example, will Kamui be the saviour or the destructor of Earth?  The art style is distinctly CLAMP and adds nicely adds to the story which is currently developing.  The only reason why this first disk is receiving three stars and not four is that the story could be told in a far more clearer way which allows the viewer to grasp the fundamentals while still not revealing any future plot points.

Extras:

Trailer for the first episode and 2 trailers for other MVM titles.

Ratings

Feature:   Extras:
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