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volume 3 issue 12

In This Issue

Contents 2
Features 3
Chasing Otakuism 8
Anime Briefs 9
Reviews 10
Web Showcase 23
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X: TV Series Vol.2
Bilingual DVD
75 minutes
Kadokawa Shoten
TV "X" Project
More character related than a lot of other shows out there.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
X: TV Series Vol.2
By Adam Arnold

As X rounded out its sixth full episode, something became very clear to me -- This isn't just a simple cut and dry manga adaptation. Maybe it took the interview with Yoshiaki Kawajiri for me to fully realize this, but one thing is for certain, this is one of the better CLAMP animes out there.

It may be a little slow at times and it may focus on the high drama a bit too much (but didn't the manga?), but when it comes down to it, this is the series to watch. Volume 2 picks up with Kotori and Fuma's father being hospitalized after his futile battle to keep the sacred sword from being stolen. Kamui goes into one of his little snits, knowing that had he been given the sword and left Japan, none of this would have happened. As the story goes on we also get to see Kamui finally confront Princess Hinoto in the bowels of the Diet Building. For comparison's sake, this meeting makes a bit more sense and doesn't drag on and on like the movie version.

Sorata, aka the guy with the big Alvin and the Chipmunks shirt, continues to be the comedic driving force behind the series. We get to learn a bit of his back-story and how he came to grow up with a bunch of monks. This is also the point where we learn that Sorata falls head over heels for Arashi, the stunning girl who's even more stoic than Sailor Moon's Rei and Love Hina's Motoko put together.

It seems that fate's a funny thing. I'm looking forward to seeing how Sorata's budding relationship with Arashi plays out over the next few episodes. It's been a while since I've read the manga, so this should prove more interesting than the parts of the story concerning Kamui. Hey, wasn't that how the manga was as well?

Fans of X's stunning battles will be pleased that this volume has a couple of them. The most impressive is when Arashi goes up against a horde of Men in Black (paper servants) single-handedly. Another equally cool scene plays out a bit later as we get to see both Arashi and Sorata take on some power lines. That may sound weird, but trust me - it looks awesome.

Characterization wise, I like the transition from Kamui being a big crybaby to being more of a hardass. The same goes for Fuma's reverse characterization. The toning down of their overall characters makes the supporting cast easier to swallow and the events more believable. After all, it's a lot cooler to see Kamui blow people off for touching him, than whine about his preordained destiny.

Dub wise, the voices all seem to fit rather well except for Nekoi's. Her voice is a bit whiny and too typical of a choice for a Japanese schoolgirl. It also doesn't help that she blabs about her invisible dog, Inuki, to passers-by on the street. Doesn't she have any common sense whatsoever? The world's about to end, she doesn't want to find herself in some padded cell does she?

Everything starts to pick up pace as more of the Dragons of Heaven and Earth begin to gather in Tokyo. If you weren't hooked before, believe me, you will be before this volume is up.

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