An anime by Clamp can’t be bad, that’s what I thought at the beginning of this series, so I was happy to start with this one. It didn’t take long before I noticed that all the stereotypical Clamp features from other Clamp anime (consisting of pretty boys, fantasy elements, life-threatening tasks and legs and arms that can’t possibly be natural) were also present in this anime. It didn’t bother me, on the contrary, I found this distinct style quite charming.

The end of the world has been foretold. Kamui, a young boy, returns to Tokyo after an absence of six years. He has to prevent the world from falling apart, and in order to do so, he has to choose between becoming the Dragon of Heaven or the Dragon of Earth. To assist him, seven powerful people have to be gathered.

24 episodes
Drama, action, fantasy

Even though the premise is nothing new (good versus evil, depending on which point of view of course), I found myself very much entertained by it. Sometimes there are quite unexpected plot twists, and the pace of the story is just right. There are a lot of flashbacks that help to comprehend the story and the characters’ motives for their acting, as we learn more about their past.

This anime has an ‘old look’ (due to the character designs and the colours), despite being aired in 2001. It took me quite a while before I got used to the art, especially to the character designs. Almost all the characters are so extremely long and skinny that they are out of proportion. The colours are symbolic, as there is often a contrast between black and white. For example, during fighting scenes the sky is often black, reflecting the tension between the characters. I would not say the art is very detailed, but it doesn’t give the impression of a draft either. The clothes are standard, and add to the feeling of an older anime.

The characters are definitely one of the strongest points of this anime. There is a lot of character development, especially regarding Kamui. Art-wise the characters are sometimes hard to distinguish when you haven’t seen them a lot (a lot of the male characters have short, black hair), but their personality is worked out very well. Kamui, the main character, seems cold and heartless in the beginning of the series, but this changes gradually over time. The motives for his harsh behaviour towards Fuuma and Kotori are explained further in the series. Fuuma is one of Kamui’s childhood friends. He wants to restore the friendship between him, Kotori and Kamui, but Kamui refuses to. Kotori is Fuuma’s younger sister, and she as well wants to have the old Kamui back.

The music, composed by Sato Naoki, fits the anime perfectly. The score is mainly dramatic and dark. It definitely gives the feeling bad things are going to happen. The only downside is that there is a lot of repetition, and some themes are so over-used that they lose some of their power.

I’m a great fan CLAMP’s works, and yet I waited a long time before watching this anime. Because I am very picky with the art of an anime, I found it awkward to watch an anime that looked so old. I’m glad I got over that, though, because now my standards of good-looking anime are somewhat lowered. I liked the characters very much, and I love the way Kamui developed from a cold-hearted, stubborn person into a responsable and friendly character.
I would recommend this anime to everyone that wants combination of action and fantasy elements.