Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
X/1999, an early work of the hit all-female manga-ka group CLAMP, details the apocalypse in a very literal adaptation of the Book of Revelation. The first chapter of the manga originally appeared in the May 1992 issue of Asuka and has yet to be completed, but it has been adapted a movie (X/1999 or X: The Destiny War) and an anime TV series.
The manga is published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten under the Asuka Comics line and in North America in English by Viz Communications. In Singapore, it is called "X" and is published in English by Chuang Yi.
The story is set in Tokyo. Six people, most of them young people raised in temples, and all with magical powers, converge on the city. They are prepared to do battle as six of the "Seven Seals," the "Dragons of Heaven," to save the human race against a rival group (the Dragons of Earth or Seven Angels/Harbingers/Minions) who wish to destroy the human race in order to reverse the devastation of the environment.
Tokyo, it emerges, is the nexus of magical energy that protects the human race. It is itself protected by seven barriers, namely buildings such as the Japanese Diet building and Tokyo Tower. By defeating each of the Seven Seals and destroying the barrier fields they can generate, the Dragons of Earth intend to destroy the magical protection and thus the human race.
A seventh young person, Kamui, has been sent to Tokyo by the last words of his mother, who burned to death in their home in Okinawa. He meets the other members of the Seven Seals. In conferring with Princess Hinoto, a mysterious seer who resides in the Diet building, Kamui discovers that he must choose whether to become a Dragon of Earth or a Dragon of Heaven.
After much confusion and soul-searching, he decides to become a Dragon of Heaven, so as to protect the happiness of his childhood friends, Fuuma and Fuuma's sister Kotori. But he is horrified to discover that Fuuma — his "twin star" — is "awakened" by his choice into becoming a "second Kamui." Fuuma kills his sister and becomes a Dragon of Earth, whom Kamui must destroy if the human race is to be saved.
Battles ensue, and a number of the Dragons of Heaven must kill their love interests and otherwise win pyrrhic victories. Fuuma destroys them one by one, in deeply ironic and tragic ways, by granting their inmost wishes.
All the Dragons of Heaven are eventually defeated, and their barrier fields fall; likewise, all the Dragons of Earth are put out of the fight -- all but Kamui and Fuuma. They fight in a great climatic battle at Tokyo Tower.
All seems lost when Fuuma runs Kamui through. However, Fuuma, as a granter of wishes, cannot prevent Kamui from realizing his inmost wish: to live on in Fuuma's heart. With Kamui dead, Fuuma ceases to be a Dragon of Earth. Kamui's barrier field, never before seen, expands over the whole earth, preserving humankind.
An X/1999 theatrical film directed by Rintaro was released in Japanese theaters in 1996. Because the manga was less than half complete at the time of the film's conception, many elements of the plot and characters were simplified, and the primary focus of the story became the build up toward the final battle between Kamui and Fuuma. As a result of this simplification, most of the characters receive little to no on screen development. Over all, the film is regarded more for its highly artistic fight scenes than its representation of the plot. The ending theme, "Forever Love", was composed and performed by the Japanese group X Japan, also commonly referred to as X.
The X/1999 film received a U.S. theatrical and DVD release in 2001, courtesy of Manga Entertainment.
See X Characters
- gohou douji - 護法童子 (literally, child who supports a religious practice)
The familiar of a Buddhist practitioner of mikkyou, much after the same nature as shikigami and inugami. In "X", Arisugawa Sorata creates gohou douji on two separate occasions: firstly, to protect Kishuu Arashi when she and Nekoi Yuzuriha come under attack by the Dark Kamui/Satsuki in Inokashira Park, and then again to spy on Hinoto after he and Shirou Kamui become suspicious of her actions.
- kage-nie - 陰牲 (literally, shadow sacrifice)
In traditional Japanese occult practices, a "kage-nie" is actually a wooden or paper doll that acts as a representation of an actual person. The doll serves to protect this person from harm, especially harm of the magical nature (kind of like a reversal of the idea of the voodoo doll). When someone attempts to harm a person protected by kage-nie, the doll will suffer instead of the one it represents. In "X", the members of the family from which Shirou Kamui is descended, the Magami clan, are able to act as kage-nie to other people. The Magami clan is so renowned among occult circles for this power that (as Sorata tells Kamui), at least half of Japan's legislative body, the Diet, are suspected of having hired kage-nie from the Magami clan to protect them from such dangers as assassination. Such as this is, Magami Tooru, Shirou Kamui's mother, is destroyed in a fire which results from her acting as the shadow sacrifice for (alternately) Kamui himself and for the Earth. It can be assumed that (being of Magami lineage), Shirou Kamui himself would have the power to act as kage-nie to another person.
- kakushi miko - 隠巫女 (literally, hidden priestess)
In "X", Kishuu Arashi is, in fact, the Kakushi Miko of the oldest jinja (Shinto shrine) in Japan, Ise Jingu. As the Kakushi Miko of Ise, Arashi holds within her body all of the spiritual power of Ise Jinguu (indeed, the power of Amaterasu Omikami, the Japanese sun goddess herself), which she manifests as a sacred sword which springs forth from her left hand. Speculation as to whether Kakushi Miko really exists may abound, but this is likely a fabrication of CLAMP.
- kekkai - 結界 (literally, bound world)
In Buddhist tradition, an impenetrable spiritual parameter created by a monk within which the monk retreats in order to meditate. In "X", the "kekkai" are both man-made structures which form a sort of spiritual network throughout the world as well as the "barrier fields" which the Seven Seals create in order to spare the material plane from damage when they do battle. As man-made structures, the kekkai's spiritual network prevents most major natural catastrophes from destroying human civilization. Because of this, humanity is able to live (and continue to pollute and otherwise defile the Earth) in relative peace and prosperity. Tokyo's kekkai act as the keystone to this network; it is the proverbial "tie that binds". Therefore, if the kekkai in Tokyo were to be destroyed, eventually the entire worldwide spiritual network of kekkai would come undone, and with it the protection the kekkai provide. Earthquakes would then wrack the planet, destroying humanity and allowing the Earth to recover from the damage which humans have done to it (this is the ultimate goal of the Chi no Ryuu). As the barrier fields created by the Ten no Ryuu, the kekkai are fields of varying geometrical shape (depending on which of the Ten no Ryuu has created the kekkai) which only those involved with the end of the world can exist within. The barrier field effectively creates an alternate plane or dimension resembling the area of the material plane which the kekkai was created to protect. This ensures that (so long as the one who created the kekkai remains alive, conscious, and in relatively decent health) the area in which the kekkai was created and all the ordinary people within it cannot be harmed. Also, as a general rule, it is impossible for even the Ten no Ryuu and Chi no Ryuu themselves to leave the space of a kekkai until the creator of the kekkai releases it. The rules regarding ENTERING kekkai, however, seem to be more obscure.
- inugami - 犬神 (literally, dog god)
In "X", the tsukaima (familiars) of the keepers of the Mitsumine Shrine, one of which happens to be Nekoi Yuzuriha. The inugami manifest in the form of dogs (which, however, can only be seen by those who possess occult powers). For each descendant of the family keeping Mitsumine, there is born one companion inugami which stays with them throughout their entire life. An individual's inugami can take on any desired shape (although Yuzuriha seems to be partial to a sword).
- maboroshii - 幻 (literally, illusion)
Comparable to what occultists in the West might refer to as a glamour. A magical illusion created through occult practices (specifically onmyoujyutsu in "X"), which may be used to mislead or, in some cases, physically injure another person. In "X", Sakurazuka Seishirou frequently utilizes his great aptitude in onmyoujyutsu to create maboroshii in battle. He does this on two significant occasions: once while four of the Ten no Ryuu are gathered in the basement of Kokkai, consulting with Hinotohime, and again to assault Shirou Kamui and Kotori Monou. Also, the Seishirou that battles atop the Nakano Sun Plaza with Sumeragi Subaru is, apparently, an illusion.
- mikkyou - 密教 (literally, secret religion or secret teaching)
A Vajra-yana Buddhist tradition specific to the Shingon sect. Mikkyou is mantric Buddhist practice (as opposed to tantric), meaning that its use is primarily verbal, employing chants and mantras. Mikkyou is, in fact, a system of practical Buddhist "magic". In "X", Arisugawa Sorata (a Shingon Buddhist monk, no less) is highly trained in the art of mikkyou. Sorata tends to use mikkyou in order to generate electricity as well as to create gohou douji and a specific type of kekkai that is sealed against eavesdropping.
- ofuda - 御札 (literally, authoritative tag)
An instrument employed by an onmyouji in the form of spells written upon strips of paper. Ofuda are oftentimes cast or thrown by an onmyouji at a target which is possessed of negative q'i. Ofuda can also be affixed to surfaces (floors, walls) in order to purify a structure or create a boundary which impassable to entities of a specific nature. In "X", both Sumeragi Subaru and Sakurazuka Seishirou make use of ofuda in order to carry out their onmyou.
- onmyou - 陰陽 (literally, dark principle-light principle)
What we would call "yin and yang." The onmyou principle is directly descended from Chinese Tao.
- onmyoujyutsu / onmyoudou - 陰陽術 / 陰陽道 (literally, art of onmyou / way of onmyou)
The practice of elemental Tao sorcery. Onmyoujyutsu has its origins in the Chinese principles of Tao and Wu Hsing (the Five Elements, which are: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water). Onmyoujyutsu was encouraged during the Heian Period of Japan in which many officers of the Imperial Court (indeed, the Emperor himself!) hired practitioners of onymoujyutsu to perform such tasks as divinations and exorcisms.
- onmyouji - 陰陽師 (literally, onmyou master)
Practitioners of the Japanese tradition of Tao sorcery known as onmyoujyutsu. The onmyouji had their heyday in the Heian Period of Japanese history. The onmyouji of the Heian Period performed a variety of functions, ranging from such menial tasks as keeping records in accordance with the imperial calendar to the vastly more important ritual exorcisms. In "X", both Sumeragi Subaru and Sakurazuka Seishirou are onmyouji, descendants from the Sumeragi (literally meaning emperor) Clan and the Sakurazukamori (literally meaning cherry blossom [burial] mound guardian) Clan, the two most powerful remaining onmyouji clans within Japan. Furthermore, the Sumeragi Clan is the governing body of official onmyouji within Japan. Thus, Subaru is considered the most powerful of the onmyouji, politically. Seishirou, however, proves more than a match for him in the actual practice of onmyoujyutsu.
- shikigami - 式神 (literally, ceremonial god)
Occult practitioners in Japan often personally invoke their individual "shikigami" for protection or assistance, much in the same manner as Native Americans called on their spirit animals and guides, and after the manner in which Christians believed that witches had a familiar, or a spirit in the form of an animal (a cat or a bird) which would carry out their bidding. In "X", Sakurazuka Seishirou makes use of his shikigami, which takes upon the form of a hawk, in order to attack the Ten no Ryuu. Additionally, the mysterious "men in black" who frequently pester the Ten no Ryuu are not (as many thought for a long time) products of ofuda sent by Seishirou, but rather shikigami sent out by the Dark Hinoto.
- Shinken - 神剣 (literally, holy sword)
In "X", the Sacred Sword wielded by Kamui. There are, in actuality, TWO Shinken. Also, notably, "Shinken" can be taken to imply the meaning "sword that is gifted by god(s)" or "sword that is offered as a sacrifice to god(s)".
- yumemi - 夢見 (literally, visible dream, or having dreams)
In "X", dreams play a very important role as they are a window through which certain characters are able to view what is supposedly the unalterable future. These characters are called "yumemi". The word yumemi is used in this instance not only to imply "one who has dreams", but moreover, "one who has true dreams". Several characters in "X" have the ability to either move through the dreamscape with some degree of control or actually foresee the future in dreams, among them: Hinoto, Kudzuki Kakyou, Kanoe, Monou Kotori, and Sumeragi Hokuto. Although it appears that Kanoe and Hokuto are especially limited in that they can only move into the dreams of others (and even Hokuto's ability is doubtful here, as it was Kakyou who called her into his dream), Hinoto, Kakyou, and Kotori all have dreams foreshadowing future events. Despite this, Hinoto and Kakyou's dream-vision of a future already ordained to lead to ruin and death contrast sharply with Kotori's optimism expressed in, perhaps, her most memorable line, "未来はまだ決まっていない", (Mirai wa mada kimatte inai yo!, The future has not been determined, yet!).
List of Seiyuu
See X Seiyuu
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details