Tokyo is the city where the final battle between the Dragon of Earth and the Dragon of Heaven will take place in the Japanese anime film X, directed by Rintaro (a.k.a. Tarô Rin; Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion) and written by the all-woman writing team Clamp. The Dragon of Earth wants to wipe out humankind because of the damage people have inflicted on the Earth, while the Dragon of Heaven is fighting to protect civilization. At the center of all this is Kamui, the chosen one, who must pick a dragon to fight for.
Full of dreams and flashbacks that pop up out of nowhere, the structure of X could be considered confusing and needlessly complex—if the story weren’t so simple. Obviously, we’re supposed to root for the Dragon of Heaven to win and save mankind, but the funny thing is, the Dragon of Earth has the better argument. If it were a debate, humanity would lose. But it’s not a debate, it’s an action film, and many of Tokyo’s most famous buildings get destroyed in the battles. As with most anime, the women are either girlishly cute or slutty, but luckily in X, there are no graphic rapes; the love interest is merely crucified three or four times. It may not be the greatest anime film out there, but at least it’s never boring. —Andy Spletzer
About X - The Movie (1996)
Starring: Kôichi Yamadera, Nigel Whitmey, Don Fellows, Adam Henderson, Jeff Harding, Teresa Gallagher, Kazuhiko Inoue, Toshihiko Seki, Rupert Degas, Annemarie Lawless, Hideyuki Tanaka, Emi Shinohara, Toni Barry, Mami Koyama, Jôji Nakata, Alan Marriott, Yûko Minaguchi, Larissa Murray, Issei Miyazaki, William Dufris, Liza Ross, David Harris, Yukana Nogami, Tomokazu Seki, Atsuko Takahata, Denica Fairman, Stacey Gregg, Mike Fitzpatrick, Tôru Furusawa, Masako Ikeda