No real spoilers, but this probably won't make much sense unless you know who the characters are.

I am beginning to experience the frustration felt by so many others before me: I love this series, but it's apparently been abandoned, and I can't find any publication schedule for the English editions of the rest of the series. The last one I have is number fourteen, but the series goes to... what... nineteen or twenty? Waaah! I want to read the rest!

I don't really have that much to say about its qualities, as opposed to the plot, that I haven't said before: the art is incredibly beautiful, the character designs are easy on the eyes and easily distinguishable from each other (an important quality in a story with such a huge cast) and the characters are also well-drawn in the metaphoric sense. The artists are exceptionally good at creating moments of visual tenderness between characters: a touch of hands, a meeting of shy glances, an over-eager set of the shoulders when that special person walks into the room.

Especially between Kamui and Subaru. Subaru has a much bigger role in the manga than in the anime, and now I see why people like him so much. (Poor guy.) And I love the scene between Sorata and Arashi in volume 14 where he touches a lock of her hair. Awwww....

The manga is, of course, more detailed than the anime, but I have to say that the anime generally did an excellent job of integrating the short back stories that appear at the end of each volume, focusing on individual characters, into the series. In the anime, I especially liked how they included Seiichiro Aoki and Daisuke Saiki's; in the manga, Yuto Kigai's romance with the fountain is lovely. I have no idea why the anime did not put in that Kusanagi's power is that he can hear the voices of plants and animals. It would have taken them thirty seconds to establish, and it makes all sorts of things about his role and character make sense.

On the down side, the manga is a bit repetitive, and the whole CLAMP school plot seems unnecessary and self-indulgent. There's cross-over characters who I don't care about because you obviously have to have read aomething else to know who they are, and I generally want to see less of them and the goofy blonde schoolboy who's in love with Kamui, and more of the Dragons.

The manga is more violent, which in this case is not an advantage. For instance, in the anime a character is crucified and then stabbed in the heart. In the anime, she's crucified, stabbed in the heart, then dismembered and decapitated. Apart from the death-by-giving-birth-to-shinken scenes, which have to be gruesome, I don't think this is necessary and leads to a problem. If you're going to kill a character and then have someone pick them up to mourn over them, it's better if their body is more-or-less intact. Visual image of person holding dead body of the one they love: moving. Visual image of person holding the decapitated head of the one they love: faintly ludicrous.

So at approximately what point does the manga leave off? Have any of the main characters died yet? Does Subaru face off with Seishiro? Does Sorata get a chance to save Arashi? Does that really cool scene of the final showdown between Karen Kasumi, Seiichiro Aoki, Yuto Kigai, Satsuki, and the Beast happen, or was that made up for the anime? (If it was, hats off to the anime scripters.) And is it ever revealed who Kamui's father is, or is that not important?

I assume the wonderful scene between Fuma and Yuzuriha must happen in volume fifteen, as I was expecting it in fourteen.

From: [identity profile]

The manga leaves off about midway through what should be volume 19. VIZ has been very slow with their releases. Jahannam has text translations through volume 16. If you are ok with scanslations, you can find the most recent volumes at Daily Manga.

I think the anime actually did a better job of fleshing out backgrounds for certain characters, such as Yuzuriha and Satsuki, whereas in the manga they're much more secondary, even if they do get their moments to shine. I don't think I would have liked these characters as much had I not seen the beginning of the anime first.

The problem with X is really poor pacing. Too much foreshadowing before the action finally gets going, too many flashbacks, too many wasted pages of pretty feathers and gears. I have a feeling CLAMP ran out of steam toward the end, or no longer knew which direction they wanted to take the story, and just gave up.

In answer to your questions:
*highlight for spoilers*
Death count so far: Nataku, Seishirou, Saiki, and possibly Kanoe.

Subaru has his decisive battle with Seishirou in volume 16.

Long story short, Arashi is under the control of evil Hinoto, and Sorata is about to fight Souhi and Hien to get her back.

No confrontation involving Karen, Aoki, Yuuto, Satsuki, and Beast as of yet.

We still have no idea about Kamui's father, even though CLAMP has promised to reveal him.

The scene you're talking about with Yuzuriha is in vol. 15.
*end spoilers*
ext_6428: (Default)

From: [identity profile]

I read through Volume 9 last weekend and just got the DVDs yesterday, and ...

Okay, so far, my big reaction is that I'm really tempted to go through at least Volume 1 and count how many times the word "Kamui" shows up, which I'm betting will average out to at least 3 times per page.

I was much more impressed by Clover.

I actually found the people cradling the decapitated heads affecting and awful, rather than ludicrous, but I don't have much of a sense of humor. I will spare you my thoughts on the entire plot device of women's bodies exploding in order to "give birth to" swords, other than to say (a) I really need to reconsider whether Freud was on quite as much crack as I'd always thought; and (b) the effect is only slightly mitigated by the way love is defined as not-all-that-covertly erotic, ecstatic sacrifice for both genders, not just women.

Big manga, anime, comics round-up coming actually.

From: [identity profile]

I've thought of the reason, maybe, that CLAMP abandoned this -- if you assume they were a chapter or so ahead, they haven't written a word of new story in X since September 11, 2001. And after all, would you still be able to write the fall of buildings, starring one boy's sexualized pain, after you'd seen that day?
Kamui's father is unrevealed as yet; Subaru ans Seishirou is a whole new world of pain -- reply if you want spoilers, Arashi is /just/ about to do something interesting but suffers storyline interruptus, and it's Karen, Aoki, Yuuto, and Nataku in the manga, I think.

From: [identity profile]

Not a bad thought, but actually, the last installment was in April 2003. CLAMP was almost certainly still working on the manga after September 11.

My guess is that they got bored with X and didn't know what to do with it next, so they abandoned it in favor of their new crossover series, XXXHolic and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle.

From: [identity profile]

How do you all like those two?

Perhaps in most parts of America we'd associate the falling buildings with 9/11, but in X they're explicitly associated with earthquakes. Given how many of those Japan has, and the devastation of the Kobe quake, I think the idea of Tokyo falling to quakes is as deliberately disturbing in Japan as the echo of 9/11 is in America.

I'm from California and went to college in Santa Cruz soon after the Loma Prieta leveled the town. No exaggeration: the entire downtown area was rubble and businesses operating out of tents the whole time I was there. Then I went to grad school at UCLA immediately after the Northridge quake hit LA. So I thought more of quakes than of 9/11.

I don't think I've seen any other manga that's much like CLOVER, alas. Restraint and delicacy don't seem to be highly valued virtues in the medium. As for all the Kamuis, that is unfortunately also pretty common. All I can say is that it could be worse:







From: [identity profile]

I'm printing out my novel right now, and it's occurring to to me that restraint and delicacy are not among its virtues, either.

Well, maybe kind of, if you consider that it's a fantasy novel without prophecies, magical animals, non-human characters, widespread magic, or fancy clothing. But the emotional landscape is pretty, well, emotional.

From: [identity profile]

So, the cute kills in Tsubasa, and it more than continues the "crossover from hell" theme, but it's a lark. Art more like X, angst but not much grimness. I think something like Clover only comes along every long time.

From: [identity profile]

Tsubasa and XXXHolic? Tsubasa is a shounen crossover money-making scheme. They expect you to be familiar with their earlier and sometimes more obscure works, and if you are, it's fun to follow along. Otherwise, it comes off as pointlessly self-referential, and it's pretty weak on its own. It's got novelty value though. I haven't read much of XXXHolic, but it's the better and more psychological of the two. It has surface similarities to Petshop of Horrors.

I guess the threat of earthquakes really hits home for the Japanese. I hadn't realized before what a deliberate choice that was on CLAMP's part.

Restraint and delicacy were never among CLAMP's strong points. :) But in the end times, I guess they can be forgiven.

From: [identity profile]


(Yeah, I saw enough Fushigi Yuugi anime for that to make sense.)

From: [identity profile]

Viz has only released up to 14, so I'm hoping they hurry up and catch up with the rest of the manga. Otherwise I'm stuck sitting here watching the DVDs until they wear out.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter

Ugh, the only thing worse than seeing what happens with Kotori in the manga is watching it in the movie version.

Plus, of course there are multiple dreams in which Kamui sees Kotori falling apart/decapitated/explode/whatnot.


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