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:
excerpt from July 2004 issue of PUFF magazine: