44. X 3-in-1, Vol.I by CLAMP

X (3-in-1), Vol. I by CLAMP (US) - (Canada)
X, Vol. 1,2,3

Pages: 584
Ages: 16+
Finished: Feb. 8, 2012
First Published: 1992-93 (this edition Nov. 8, 2011)
Publisher: viz media
Genre: YA, manga, fantasy, apocalyptic
Rating: 3/5

First sentence:  "It's been six years."

Publisher's Summary:  "Kamui Shiro is a young man followed by mystery. Taken from Tokyo by his mother when only a child, Kamui left behind his dearest friends—the gentle Kotori and her brother Fuma—in the aftermath of a terrible incident that claimed their mother's life.

Returning to Tokyo after his mother's death, Kamui is a changed young man—moody and distant to his old friends, yet determined to protect them from the dark forces that swirl around him. For he is the nexus of a great cataclysm to come, and inheritor to a strange destiny that could decide the fate of the entire world."

Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading:   The story sounded fantastic; I've never read a series by Clamp before and have wanted to, plus I love these omnibus editions of manga that viz is putting out.

Fantastic art!  Especially since this is "old school" manga art to me (I'm a fairly recent reader of the medium).  Just gorgeous details and expressive faces.  Each volume inside starts with several full colour pages including the original cover art work.  Another thing I love (that slightly surprised me for the early '90s art) is that the boys/men look like guys.  I really like this in manga.  They all have short hair and there is no mistaking the boys from the girls, who are extremely feminine.  I also enjoyed the realistic eye shapes, instead of the constant round eyes.

As to the story, not quite so fantastic, but interesting.  My main problem is that it is very confusing and I am very glad I got to start with the first three volumes.  If I'd only read volume one, I wouldn't have been very excited to go any further as it left me quite dazed.  These first three volumes, slowly let the story out of the bag.  All the characters, minus Kotori, know to some extent what is going on.  Some have full knowledge, others only a brief understanding, but the reader knows nothing until it is revealed by some character on the page.  This makes for a mysterious, yet baffling read.  And it does take the three entire volumes for the reader to get a grip on what is happening.  The ending has left me hanging and my interest piqued but right now, I'm not ready to say I'm hooked.  I am interested but it is going to take the next volume for me to decide if this is a series I'll be staying with.  I can say with certainty that I am fully intrigued by all the characters at this point and do look forward to seeing if Vol. 2 (which will include the original volumes 4-6) will hook me on this possibly fascinating series.


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