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More on X's hiatus

Turns out that the Kiseki interview reference wasn't the whole story - CLAMP seems to have been continuing a past interview. The main considerations when X first went on hiatus were, according to a 2004 PUFF magazine interview (translated on the manganews forums - I think I'll copy it here), the Hanshin Earthquake, and the crimes referred to as the Sakakibara Incident. The latter is particularly unsettling.

CLAMP maintained in that 2004 interview that the decision should not be regarded as the publisher's fault. I can see why. Any other country, and X's serialization would have been stopped completely after a certain death. Kudos to Asuka for allowing it to continue as far as it did. However, it seems that the decision is that CLAMP's preferred ending cannot be published in this magazine. Yet even though it has been a number of years after both events mentioned above, it is understandable - if I were in any way actually affected by those events, I wouldn't be comfortable with similar incidents occurring in a story I read or watch.

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The Truth Behind X's Hiatus

X, or X/1999, is a manga from the popular all-female manga-ka team Clamp. Based on the end of the world, and taking its cast from many of Clamp's other popular series, X has spawned an animated full-length feature film, Anime TV Series, and numerous merchandises. Despite its immense popularity, X the manga was never finished, which left numerous fans in a cliff-hanger, speculating on why the series was put on hiatus, and what kind of ending Clamp is planning, if they are planning to finish it at all.

X first appeared in Kadokawa Shoten's shoujo magazine Asuka in May 1992. With 18 volumes out, and a few chapters (5, to be exact) beyond those contained in the tankoubons, X has been put on hold since its last appearance in Asuka in early 2003. There has been numerous speculations as to why the series stopped. Some say Clamp does not have an clear ending in mind, and is still working on a appropriate ending. Some say Clamp became lazy, and decided to devote their time on some of their new series. One of the most popular theories was that the series was pulled from serialization after a disagreement between Clamp and Asuka Magazine, who thought that X was becoming more and more violent, and asked Clamp to make changes to the series' development. While this is partly true, it is not the complete story.

The main reason for X's hiatus was due to the various societal incidents occurring in Japan at the time of its serialization. With a story centered around the end of humanity, X has numerous scenes depicting earthquakes and the destruction of Tokyo buildings. Many of its cast members met their ends through decapitation and other gruesome death scenes. With events such as the Hanshin earthquake (otherwise know as Kobe earthquake) and the Sakakibara incident, which caused social unrest, many people found it hard to read X, as its contents reminded them of the tragedies they just went through.

After discussing the issues with their editors, it was clear at the time it would be impossible for the magazine to publish the planned ending of X. Deciding not to alter the originally-planned ending, and wanting to avoid the controversy and criticism it may have caused, the decision was made to put the series on hold until it was deemed appropriate to finish it.

It was not the fault of Clamp or Asuka Magazine that X was put on hiatus, but simply a move to accommodate the mood of the society at the time, similar to how some films or games were put on hold after the 9/11 incident. In an interview from the July 2004 issue of PUFF magazine, Clamp discusses the reasons behind the hiatus, and has confirmed that one day they will finish X. See below for a translation of the interview, translated by Neuroretardant:
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excerpt from July 2004 issue of PUFF magazine:

--"X" is your longest-running series, but it's currently on hiatus.

Ookawa: The situation right now is that, due to the graphic nature of our planned ending, getting it published in a magazine is very difficult.

Mokona: Over the 10-odd years that we've been working on "X," we've gone on hiatus several times, and each time, societal incidents and trends have been a major factor.

Igarashi: The biggest ones being the Hanshin Earthquake, and the Sakakibara Incident.

Ookawa: When the Hanshin Earthquake hit and so many peoples' lives were lost, there was a lot of debate, not just within the group but also with our editors, about whether or not we were going to continue using earthquakes as a motif.

Nekoi: I still remember waking up and turning on the TV, and being unable to believe what had just happened. Several people I knew perished in that quake.

Ookawa: We received a letter from a person residing in Kobe at the time, saying that they "couldn't bear to read [X]," which really made us ponder our future.

Mokona: When the Sakakibara incident occurred, the concern was regarding gruesome imagery used in the manga. Regardless of how liberal a manga magazine "ASUKA" was, the multiple beheadings we portrayed in X were going to raise flags.

Ookawa: We had had several discussions with the editorial staff about how perhaps we needed to make changes to the central themes in the manga and how we portrayed them, but we had still managed to gain the understanding of various people and work through them. But, we were then told that it may not be possible for our publisher to serialize the ending we had planned. If that was true, it would mean that we would have to write a different ending to the story in order to have it published. Excluding cases where the magazine we were serialized in folded, we have never quit on a series before (though we may have gone on hiatus), so obviously we definitely want to work on "X" until completion, but currently that's looking very difficult. But, regardless of what form it takes, we want to write up a conclusion to the story.

However, I want to make it very clear that none of what transpired is the publisher's fault; on the contrary, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for being tolerant and willing to publish "X" for all this time. We will continue to search for solutions and hold discussions with our publisher, so I hope that you will grant us a little more time yet.

Translated by Neruretardant


Posted by Eclipse


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oh hell...GS is on adult swim...in English... Lacus sounds terrible!!

edit (2006-03-09): (karice is being lazy...) New director, new writer and new script doesn't necessarily mean it'll make sense. I still don't understand the need for this...