Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, September 11, 2008




Fantasy / Drama
24 Episodes
Ages 15+

Anime Review

By Le Chupacabra

The end of the World is nigh and now, two momentous paths are laid in front of Kamui Shiro. Taking the mantle of the Dragon of Heaven, he can allow the planet to continue as it always has and preserve its memories, its people. And if he chooses to become the Dragon of Earth, mankind will perish and the World will be born anew. However, he isn't the only one with a choice to make.

It's comforting to see an apocalyptic drama that doesn't involve angels, demons and everything in-between. And even then, X manages to surprise.

For starters, the brilliance of the pilot episode isn't obvious until the anime is over. A montage of characters and events are shown in tantalisingly quick succession with most of them having no discernible beginning or end. It becomes apparent that these are things that will come to pass with time and despite possessing this information, the actual scenes themselves will still manage to astonish you.

Despite being one of those “end of the world” scenarios, X takes the path less trodden. Instead of focusing on the actual concept of Armageddon, it meticulously highlights the lives and times of the people involved. These are certain powerful individuals who have decided to follow either the Dragon of Earth or Heaven and although they may have conflicting goals, their individual motives are far more intricate and unique. This helps create some beautiful group dynamics and chemistry allowing you to become genuinely interested in each and every personality. Some have prepared for it their whole lives, some are just along for the ride and others are indifferent or even opposed to their paths. However, it's an accretion of all these emotions and individual journeys that make this such an ecumenical, involving adventure.

To be fair, all these different tales were engrossing enough such that I probably wouldn't have paid much attention to the presentation, but X doesn't back down in that aspect either. Atmospheric and moody art bring out some of the best in CLAMP; the fluid animation does great justice to the thematic battles that pepper the anime. The music stands out as being quite special thanks to epic, rousing tracks dappled with light piano notes. There are some utterly fantastic pieces that you simply must sample if you have the opportunity to buy or download the OST.

There some minor discrepancies abound that serve as annoyances rather than outright problems. The size of the character cast and the depth aimed for with each was a bit lofty and near the end, some are still not as developed as the others. There's also an awful recap episode thrown in that really disrupts the momentum particularly when you really want to know what happens next.

Despite these minor inclemencies, the forecast for the upcoming End is good. Spellbinding character vignettes and atmospheric presentation make for a thoroughly enjoyable anime that really grows on you.

By Sujash Islam

“Perfect Symmetry”- that might indicate something related to left-wing stuff, but, nay! It is piano rock band Keane's third album that's to be released on the 13th October. Swerving from melancholic tunes of piano to something electronica hip-hop (judging by the song Spiralling that hit the US and Canadian top-charts just after being released by the band's official website) Keane are going to bring out this brand new album- Perfect Symmetry. Keane have already confirmed their new album being a bit distracted from the previous albums. Their pianist and lyricist Tim Rice-Oxley believes that the more uncool and untasteful, the better the songs get as these days people often like different things from usual little orthodox stuff! Keane started out in Paris where Jon Brion inspired them to create first and think later.

They took the night train to Berlin, where everything came together in an avalanche of experimentation that took them all by surprise; where they made a pact with Stuart Price to ignore the rules of good taste; where they were hyptonised by Marlene Dietrich and spent many a long night throwing ideas around in the crumbling Cabaret-esque glamour of their favourite bar.

Keane hid themselves away in the depths of the English country-side, recorded a new track (that's probably one of the brand new tracks of Perfect Symmetry) in London at the last possible moment.

Having two albums in the 19th and 45th position in the favourite list of PollThePeople website, Keane are now heading to create another upheaval in the music industry. Two times invader into the Grammy nominations, Keane are really optimistic about their new album. That is surely a matter of time to see how far their new album goes in terms of success!

By Osama Rahman

Kids today wouldn't know good television if it bit them on their noses. But, back in the old days, nothing beat good old fashioned wrestling entertainment. The brain-child of Vince McMahon, who coined the term 'Sports Entertainment', WWF/WWE changed the whole concept of wrestling. The greatest aspect of this form of entertainment was the thrilling and exciting rivalries between competitors that kept flaring up. From the rock n' roll, to the attitude to the know your role era, WWE has given us many great memories of many great rivalries that we shall forever cherish. Let's relive some of them for the sheer sake of nostalgia and time-pass.

1. Andre The Giant Vs Hulk Hogan- The golden era of wrestling was ushered when these two great wrestler's squared off in the ring in Wrestlemania III. This match was considered to be the most anticipated match in the history of wrestling. The rivalry started when Hogan's accomplishments dwarfed Andre's undefeated reign and this jealously led to Andre turning heel and taking up Heenan as his manager. Hogan was openly challenged for his Championship title. The match lived up to the hype and millions were in awe as Hogan lifted the 560 pounds Andre and body-slammed him, followed by the atomic leg-drop and then the pin. The rivalry was not over as Andre soon defeated Hogan for the title and sold the title to Ted DiBaise. The rivals would meet once more in Wrestlemania IV and fight out to a double disqualification in a Championship tournament. Wrestlemania III signaled the arrival of Hulkamania and the diminishing of Andre's invincibility and popularity that ran for over 20 years.

2. Mankind Vs The Undertaker- One, a tortured soul, living in angst and the other the Grim Reaper of the WWE, the dead man. When these two crossed paths, it instantly promised to be the bloodiest and most gruesome rivalry of all time and we were not disappointed. Undertaker and Mankind squared of in the first ever boiler room brawl, which Mankind won, albeit help by Paul Bearer. The two then squared off in a Buried Alive match, where the Undertaker was once more screwed out of a victory. Survivor Series and Wrestlemania 13 saw the two squaring off once more and this time Undertaker came out on top. But the match that re-defined hardcore wrestling was undoubtedly the Hell in the Cell match at King of Ring. This was the match, considered to be the greatest match of the most brutal nature and this match was responsible for throwing Mankind in the main-eventer status. The image and the whole scene of Mankind being thrown off the top of the cell, from 16 feet high down through the Spanish Commentators table, has forever engraved itself in the memories of all who watched this show-piece of a match and has shocked all those who heard the tale. “Good God almighty! Good God almighty! They've killed him! As God as my witness, he is broken in half!" Jim Ross screamed, right after the incident, and these words forever ring in the ears of the spectators. There was another fall in the match, as The Undertaker chokeslammed Mankind from the top of the cell, through the cell and onto the ring. Undertaker went off to win the match and both the performers received, possibly the loudest, standing ovation from those that were present.

3. Shawn Micheals Vs Bret Hart- Bret Hart was the poster child of WWF, the most technical wrestler ever and a true champion. He was the fan's favorite and he was the best wrestler of his time. Then came the Heart-Break Kid, Shawn Micheals and the ladies went wild. Then came the sweet chin music, the entrance moves, the fireworks and all the men began to take notice, their insecurities welling up. Then Bret Hart and Shawn Micheals clashed, in what may have been the most memorable rivalry of all time. The two competed in the most famous 'Iron man Match' in Wrestlemania XII, which Shawn Micheals won and in pre-match promos, the latter was always shown to be strictly training. The rivalry was not of professional nature only, as it became too personal with both men bad mouthing each other on and off the mic. It soon led to a major, untelevised, confrontation between the two in the locker-room. The two constantly clashed in the ring as well, in tag team matches, cage matches and ladder matches. But it was in 97, during Survivor Series when the infamous Montreal Screw job took place. Even though Bret Hart was originally scripted to win the title, as Shawn Micheals applied the sharpshooter on Hart, Vince got up from the announcer's table and urged Earl Hebner to ring the bell. This was not part of the storyline and Micheals won the title. Hart was furious and spat on Vince McMahon and also proceeded to smash expensive camera equipment. Apparently, Hart went backstage and punched McMahon in front of his son Shane and Patt Patterson. The Montreal Screwjob effective ensured Hart's last match for Vince and the war of words between Hart and Micheals goes on till today.

Of course in the rich world of wrestling, these rivalries only represent the cream of the crop, although there were many famous ones such as The Rock vs Austin, Randy Savage vs Hogan and DX vs The Corporation to name a few. The best of them we shall forever remember and kids of today have no idea what they missed out on. WWE is still there but the loss of class and flavor is apparent these days. There will never be another Bret Hart or another show-stopper, another Mania or another Kliq. Grab some classic DVDs and witness the matches and the events that shaped WWE and made it what it is today.

Sources-about.com, wikipedia, bumpshack.com


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