We continue with X/1999, with more character development for the manga’s characters, and more information on the forces working behind the scenes.
Title: X/1999 Volume 6 – Duet
Written & Illustrated by CLAMP
Translated by Fred Burke
Retouch & Lettering by Wayne Truman
Originally Serialized in Kadokawa Shoten’s Monthly Asuka
Available on Amazon.com
Kamui gets a personal visit from Seishiro Sakurazuka, a Dragon of Earth, who attacks Kamui and Kotori, only to be saved by Fuma, who has realized his intertwined destiny with Kamui – though not entirely.
Meanwhile, Sorata and Arashi try to get in touch with Subaru Sumerugi, a Dragon of Heaven, and discover that he has come to Tokyo, and the twin to the sword stolen earlier in the series has been found.
After answering a bunch of questions in the last few volumes, this one sets up few more questions to answer before the big throw-down starts, and some of the questions are important ones which the reader might not have thought to ask on his/her own. Also, the (surviving) leads from Tokyo Babylon make their big entrances here, and quite impressive ones at that.
While the new questions are good, there are some incongruities here which kind of bug me.
Just to use one example, Fuma’s interference is enough to cause Seishiro to break off his attack, yet apparently another member of the Dragons of Earth has no problems with trying to possess Fuma? While I realize that yes, Seishiro like to frak with people, I don’t think he finds Fuma interesting enough to frak with – at least not yet.
There is considerably more violence here, including a bloody dismemberment – though there is no gore in this volume.
Originality: The concept is still enjoyable, and the new questions we get help keep the series fresh. 5 out of 6.
Artwork: On par with the earlier volumes, meaning fantastic, but unlike last volume I didn’t lose track of some of the action sequences. 5 out of 6.
Story: As mentioned under the high points we do get some new questions here, and some new characters introduced, but much of this volume consists of dramatic introductions, with not a lot of plot advancement. 3 out of 6.
Characterization: We get some more character development for Yuzuriha Nekoi (CLAMP’s requisite Genki girl who likes dogs), as well as the relationship between Kamui, Kotori and Fuma. 5 out of 6.
Emotional Response: I’m glad to see the Tokyo Babylon leads again, but aside from being happy at seeing familiar faces again (and some squeeing from fans of Yaoi), there’s not much suspense to be had in this volume. 3 out of 6.
Flow: 6 out of 6.
Overall: This volume seems to be coasting, but there is hope that things can and will pick up in a future volume. 3 out of 6.
In total, X/1999 Vol. 6 gets 30 out of 42.