Review by: Jean-Pierre Arevalo
Being a Toronto native, sometimes anime features make their way
to the big screen in town. On May 19th, this very thing happened, as
I attented the Toronto premiere of "X". Most manga and anime fans out
there have heard of the siren team of artists and creative minds known
as CLAMP. "X" is one of their most popular creations, and was the
subject of a movie back in 1996 in Japan. Manga Entertainment picked
up the rights to the movie for North American distribution and decided
to show this film in arthouses around the continent.
For those unfamiliar with the basic premise of "X", I offer
this official blurb from the cinema I watched the movie at:
"...The story takes place in 1999 - The Year of Destiny -
where it's up to one young man to decide the fate of
humanity. Will it be victory for the Dragons of Earth
or the Dragons of Heaven?..."
That basically sums up the events of this movie, which are
a very condensed version of the original manga. Popularity sprung the
creation of this film 4 years ago, and an "X" TV series has begun in
Japan this year.
To the actual presentation of the movie...Manga did a solid job
with the dub job on this film. None of the voices really make you
twitch in disgust every time you hear them, which is probably the best
thing you can ask from most dubs these days. There were a few
technical issues that needed to be ironed out though. A couple of
instances in the film where Japanese subtitles should have been
translated and were not. Also, Manga mispelled the character's name of
"Kotori" as "Kotari", in the end credits, thereby nulling the
translation of her name as "small bird". Hopefully, these glaring
errors will be fixed for the VHS and DVD versions of the film.
The audience at the premiere was ghastly, laughing and hollering
at the end of the film, because they found the last shot amusing (if
you've seen the film, you probably know what I'm talking about and also
share my surprise at the show of immaturity). That aside, it was an
enjoyable watch, and if "X" is showing at a theatre in your city, I
recommend you check it out, even if you've already seen the original.
Aside from a minor few errors, the film is an enjoyable watch that shouldn't be missed.