Review: ‘X’ Vol. 2: 3-in-1 [Manga]

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by Victoria Erica | staff writer

In the next installment of CLAMP’s X, more and more dragons of heaven and earth are gathering for the big battle for the fate of the world. The second omnibus by VIZ covers volumes 4, 5, and 6 of the original run. Like the first omnibus, this edition has colored artwork by CLAMP between each volume. Continuing on where we last left off, we get to know the characters a little bit more. While the story is moving forward, X heavily focuses on character relationships.

We learn more about Sorata’s motivations to save the world and his days in the monastery. We meet the cutesy Yuzuriha who has a spirit dog that only a dragon of heaven and earth can see. What’s nice about the manga run is that there are bonus chapters dedicated to giving more back story to each dragon of heaven and earth. We also get a look into Kotori and Kamui’s childhood days. Kamui is still the quiet cool guy, but does not outwardly show his affections for Kotori.

CLAMP is also known for bringing characters from previous works into their mangas. We are introduced to Seishirou Sakurazuka from CLAMP’s Tokyo Babylon. Tokyo Babylon is a boys love manga based around clans of stylish exorcists. Seishirou bears a striking resemblance to Chow Yun Fat in the A Better Tomorrow movies – suit, black trench coat, shades, and total badassness. The manga also hints that they need to search for a member of the Sumeragi clan – a blatent hint that Subaru Sumeragi, also a key player in Tokyo Babylon, will be making an appearance in the next volumes. Speaking of bishounen and boys love, there’s a ton of moments where Fuma and Kamui are drawn in such a way. Fuma consistently telling Kamui, “I am you…” as the two gaze at each other with bedroom eyes.

Like the first installment, the artwork is beautiful. Everything is done to the very fine details. CLAMP has done such an exhaustive job with the art style. Each character is drawn to reflect their personality very well. Yuzuriha and Kotori are drawn to be very adorable. Karen Kasumi, the sexy masseuse, is clad in lingerie and has them dangerous curves. The action and more dramatic scenes are drawn out well – particularly the nightmares that involve Kotori’s fate. While those scenes do get disturbing and are a far cry from cherry blossoms and bishies, it still pulls you in on the horrific events to come.

What I also found interesting about this installment was reading the artist notes by Ohkawa at the end of the omnibus. As a fan of the X series, it was nice reading about her insight and what she wanted in each of the art pieces.

I highly recommend picking up this edition of the manga. If you are into classic CLAMP, this is the one to go for. If you enjoy stories that are very character driven, X is the way to go.

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One Response to “Review: ‘X’ Vol. 2: 3-in-1 [Manga]”

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