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DVD Review

DVD cover

X the Series
Volume 5


Starring (voice): Junichi Suwabe, Kenichi Suzumura, Houko Kuwashima and Kumi Sakuma
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 08 March 2010

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 super humans 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 5 of X the Series (2001) continues with another four episodes of this surprisingly good series. This twenty-four episode show was directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri from a Yuki Enatsu script. After the action packed narrative of the previous volume the series stumbles somewhat in this one and then picks itself up delivering the turning point of the story now that Kamui and Fuma have finally chosen their sides fulfilling the shows central idea of equilibrium and choice.

Episode seventeen, Wish, is little more than a recap episode for those that might have fallen asleep in the previous sixteen episodes. It is wrapped around Subaru’s attempt to dive into Kamui as he lies unconscious following the death of Kotori. If you’ve been following the series it’s pretty safe to skip this one.

Episode eighteen, Newborn, and it’s another diversion from the main action, this time its a little side story about Nekoi Yuzuriha and her invisible dog, Inuki. She forms an unlikely alliance, of sorts, with Kusanagi, who she originally met in episode ten. Like most of the middling episodes the narrative concentrates on relationships.

Episode nineteen, Inferno, and the story starts to get back to the central confrontation between the Dragons of Earth and Heaven. Having been branded as a devil by her mother, shades of Carrie here, Karen takes Mr Aoki’s place in a fight with Yuto, but when she turns up at the railway station her opponent turns out to be Nataku. Nataku is having a few problems of his own, having discovered that he is a clone of two other people.

The last episode on the disc, episode twenty Ripple, and we are finally back with Kamui. Having finally recovered from his injuries Kamui, Sorata, Arashi, and Yuzuriha are planning to get back in the fight, but little do they know that the next one may cost them the lives of a friend.

The only extra on the disc is a screen picture gallery (2 min, 14 sec) which contains images from the entire series, so be warned there are spoilers ahead. Like the previous discs the show has options for either a pretty good English 5.1 dub or the original Japanese 2.0 with optional subs.

One of the nice things about the show, other than the unusual character design from CLAMP, is the way that it uses the confrontation between the two groups to explore the concepts of ethics, ideals and biology, when discussing whether humans are worth saving.

So the pieces are in place and the die has been cast, with only four episodes and an OVA to go the show has a lot to do if it's to come to a satisfying conclusion.


Charles Packer

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