9 June 2004 | nimbleweevil
Awful theme song, brilliant series
Two months ago, I'd have told you that I despised anime, because two months ago I was under the heavily mistaken impression that all anime was "Dragonball Z" and "DigiMon". Having recently viewed all 24 episodes of "X", I was clearly mistaken. This was the first series I have ever seen about which I have had nothing serious to criticize.
Once one gets past the absolutely godawful, mood-killing, schmalzy theme songs at the beginning and end of each episode, one discovers immensely complex characters and plot lines. Our hero is 16-year-old Shirou Kamui, your very untypical high school sophomore. He's quiet, bitter, has no family left, and he doesn't know or particularly care that he's supposed to decide the fate of the world. This is beginning to sound cheesy, but surprisingly enough, it's not. Basically, we have two opposing sides - the Seven Seals, who are fighting to preserve the world and contain everyone from a hyper 14-year-old to a devout Christian woman who happens to be a prostitute, and the Seven Angels, the "bad guys" who really aren't that bad - they may be fighting for the destruction of Planet Earth, but they're likable and very human. Kamui comes in because he's the only one of this group who gets to choose which side he wants to be on. And it only really begins to matter when he realizes that his two best friends are going to be affected by this.
Kamui (and everyone else) are your standard shoujo posterboys - gentle, selfless, and (as Arisugawa Sorata, one of the primary players in this apocalyptic game comments) ridiculously attractive. But at the same time, they are characters anyone can relate too. The animation is gorgeous, and the non-theme music is actually pretty good. The series also features a trench-coat-clad young medium named Sumeragi Subaru, who seems not to have a personality. He is, in reality, one of the most complex characters ever created. For more on him, read the Tokyo Babylon manga.
If you're skeptical, that's understandable - I was. Now, I'm giving this fascinating series 10/10.