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DVD Review

DVD cover

X the Series
Volume 3


Starring (voice): Junichi Suwabe, Kenichi Suzumura, Houko Kuwashima and Kumi Sakuma
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 07 December 2009

1999 and it is the end of days, the final run up to the apocalypse where the conflict between the dragons of heaven and hell reaches its fulfilment in the form of Kamui Shirō, who is believed to hold the key to the fate of the world. After an absence of several years Kamui returns to Tokyo, where superhumans are gathering to take their sides, in the final fight to protect the ones he loves. It is his choice whether to join the The Dragons of Earth wiping out humanity, to start another world or The Dragons of Heaven who wish to keep humanity safe and the world as it is...

Volume 3 of X the Series (2001) continues with another DVD of this surprisingly good series. This twenty-four episode show was directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri from a Yuki Enatsu script.

The original premise did have me somewhat confused as I thought that the end of days would have a lot of fights as fillers. Rather than be an action show, though there is action, it has turned out to be a much more thoughtful exploration on what it means to make such a decision, a decision which is likely to hurt the ones you love no matter what you choose. It is the moral dilemma which is at the heart of the show which is starting to make it compulsive viewing.

This volume contains another four shows, episodes nine to twelve:-

Episode nine, Onmyou, and allegiances are being formed and broken. Even in the face of Armageddon some people are more motivated by revenge than honour and so it is with Subaru Sumeragi, who is intent on Seishiro Sakurazuka, the man he blames for the death of his sister, Hokuto.

Episode ten, Inuki, and the focus of the story switches once again back to Nekoi Yuzuriha and her invisible dog, Inuki. This is a flash back show for her filling in some of her past. This is all pinned on a chance meeting with an ordinary soldier, Kusanagi Shiyu, who just happens to be able to see her dog.

Episode eleven, Border. Although there have been many hints about Kamui’s choice and the possibility of there being another, only in the next two episodes is this plot device expanded. In the realm of dreams portents are overflowing and it would seem that whichever side gets Kamui, the opposition will also get Kamui. In the real world Fuma and Kamui are finally catching up, with Kamui explaining to his friend why he disappeared and why he has returned to protect him. But to protect him he will need the Divine Sword which his aunt Tokiko has been holding for him. However, neither of the friends is prepared for just how she intends to do this.

Episode twelve, Alternative, and things start to escalate out of Kamui’s ability to control. Having seen Kamui’s aunt transform into the sword, Kotori falls into a coma. The Agency arrive meaning to place the sword in a secure instillation until it is needed without realising that it is needed now. Kamui has finally made a choice between evolution and revolution sparking a change in his friend Fuma.

The disc comes with options for a broody English 5.1 or Japanese 2.0 audio track, with subtitles. The only extras on the disc are the textless opening and closing sequences, plus a few trailers for other shows. The 4:3 picture is a delight, although it suffers from a little softness being a conversion.

So the show is half way through and the time for contemplation has passed. Now that Kamui has chosen his path Fuma has been placed opposite to him. To secure the future will Kamui be able to kill his friend? Hopefully, now that the time for thought has passed, the show will be able to integrate more action and pick up the pace of the narrative.


Charles Packer

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