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What is this 'sadame'? // Sorata x Arashi from X/1999

Subject: Sorata x Arashi (X/1999)
Title: What is this 'sadame'?
Author: Clara (_mayflower)
Spoilers: Major spoilers for the anime/manga X/1999.
Email: maybot@gmail.com

X/When?

There once was an anime/manga called 'X/1999' and it was originally drawn/created by the lovely ladies of CLAMP, which is a group of manga-ka (manga artists) who will be taking over the world quite shortly with their engaging art style and creative, edgy storylines. That was a loaded sentence. Back to CLAMP...

X/1999 takes place - for the most part - right before and during the year 1999. It's the story of fourteen people - seven Dragons of Heaven (aka the Seven Seals) and seven Dragons of Earth (aka the Seven Angels/Harbringers) - who are going to be responsible for Earth's fate when the Promised Day (that would be in 1999) comes. Now, in the literal sense, or at least that of which the story is told (aka the perspective), the 'good guys' are the Seven Seals. In the moral sense, who can say which side is right?

The Seven Seals want to preserve humanity as it is. They want to protect the ideal world we live in, with all its humanism and pollution and injustice. Their idea is that the world is the way it is for a reason and they all want to believe that people can make the world around them a better place. They each are responsible for the 'upkeep' of a Spirit Shield - more commonly known as a 'kekkai' to the purists - and are charged with the protection of one of seven sacred/holy areas in the city of Tokyo. They are led by Kamui, or a Kamui - he who fulfills God's will or he who is God's will.

Rather, they will be. But, in contrast, the Seven Angels will be led by a Kamui as well. This is where we get into some spoilers. The Dragons of Earth want to destroy the world, to purify it for nature, and allow the planet to be reborn. They are each responsible for destroying one of the kekkai/Spirit Shields. They are (tenatively) led by a Kamui - he who hunts God's will. The name can, apparently, be taken to mean both one who fulfills God's will and one who hunts it. The idea behind this is that Kamui (or Shirou Kamui, the main character) has a twin star.

Almost everyone who has heard of X/1999 knows who this twin star is, but if you don't, I suggest you go no further, unless you want to have this amazing series' most important (or arguably so) point spoiled for you.

Shirou Kamui left Tokyo with his mother six years prior to 1999, the two of them fleeing the city under mysterious circumstances. She raised him, training him to use his 'powers' until mere weeks before the beginning of the manga, when she and the house Kamui lived in catch fire. She dies, her last words to Kamui being 'return to Tokyo and fulfill your destiny'. Destiny is a VERY major part of the story/plot development in X/1999. Destiny is foreordained, you cannot change your destiny. Your life was planned for you - in Kamui's case and that of the other Dragons of Heaven, at least - from the moment of your birth. So what else can the slightly arrogant Kamui do but return to Tokyo?

He returns to Tokyo and to the memory of friends long-forgotten. These friends are Monou Fuuma and Monou Kotori. Eventually, one will die and the other will fight opposite Kamui in the Final Battle. I'll leave it to you to figure out which is which. However, the characters I most want to discuss are none of those I've mentioned so far. Destiny has a plan for everyone, and that includes Arisugawa Sorata and the lovely Kishuu Arashi. First, let's talk about Sorata.

The Story of How a Monk Loved a Priestess

Sorata is a monk. He is 17 years old. He really likes to eat and is about the sweetest male anime character I've ever seen fleshed out. He was given over to the monks at Kouya-san (Kouya Mountain) when he was three, unless I'm much mistaken, by his mother. The only thing he can remember about her is that she was crying when he left, thus instilling a deep sense of remorse in him whenever a woman cries. He is a Dragon of Heaven, gifted with the power of lightning, as well as whatever powers come with being a monk. When he was small, the head monk at Kouya told him that he would grow up and protect Kamui, but that he would lose his life for the sake of a woman. Sorata, being the gentle sort of guy that he is, only responded by asking the monk to pray with him that she would be a beautiful woman.

Flash forward to Tokyo. Sorata comes to the city at the urging of his mentor, the old monk at Kouya, being told that the Promised Day was at hand and that Kamui needed him. It isn't long after he arrives in Tokyo that he meets another Dragon of Heaven.

Enter Arashi. I have such a bias for her, what with her being my favorite character in one of my favorite manga ever, so you'll pardon me if I ramble. Sorata meets Arashi and almost immediately tells her that he has 'chosen' her. She's slightly standoffish and this confuses her. He'll end up saying this at least twice more before she asks him what he means. And, of course, he means that he's chosen her as the woman he will sacrifice his life for.

Not many pairings get that much justification. He outright tells her he loves her, though she's still a little way. For a little background, Arashi is a priestess at the Ise Shrine, more specifically, she carries the title of Hidden Priestess. She holds within her body the sacred symbol of the shrine, a sword that comes out of her hand, and she is partially responsible for protecting the Princess Hinoto - a dreamseer that lives beneath the Diet Building in Tokyo. When she was young, her mother passed away, telling her only that she must live. She goes through a harrowing period of living on the streets before she meets a priestess (named Kaede in the anime) from the Ise Shrine, a woman who later takes her in as an apprentice of sorts. She has to decide whether she wants to continue living - her main problem being with eating - and eventually comes to a greater respect of Sorata at one point because he convinces Kamui to come down to dinner when he doesn't want to associate with the group.

She and Sorata go through a lot as a couple over the course of the first part of the manga/anime, including Sorata being injured for her sake more than once. Everyone who has read the manga up to a point and has seen the anime knows what this couple's 'crowning moment' is. After a fight with Fuuma (Satsuki in the manga, if I recall) and Sorata once again coming to Arashi's rescue, Arashi breaks down in tears, telling Sorata - in essence - that she loves him. And then, spoiler here, they kiss and all the rest. I think this gives us Sorashi fans the right to call this a 'canon' couple. However!

(More spoilers ahead, mostly for the anime because the manga hasn't gotten this far.) However, this seemingly pushes Arashi over the edge and the next day, she disappears. Later on in the anime, we find out that - due to a little thing called Kusanagi - she has deflected to the side of the Seven Angels. This breaks my heart to tell, but apparently she's done this because she doesn't want to put Sorata in the line of fire and the only way to keep him OUT of the line of fire is to kill Kamui. If Kamui were dead, the Seven Seals wouldn't need to be in existence anymore and she and Sorata could get married and have five hundred kids. Sadly and most tragically, this action has the opposite effect and Sorata does end up (in the anime, at least) dying for the sake of Arashi, the woman he loves.

Another however! (This will contain spoilers for Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle!) CLAMP has done it again, something they're fond of, and has created a crossover manga, one which combines the various universes of their various projects together in one fun mishmash. Later on in the first volume (and a few of the ones after that) Sorata and Arashi make an appearance. Die hard fans - such as myself - were touched and tickled to find that in this universe Sorata-san does not die and does, in fact, marry his missie. Aww.

I don't even think this pairing needs any justification beyond what canon gives it. If I WERE to go out of my way, about the only thing I'd say is this: if not Sorata x Arashi, then what? Who else can you pair these two with? They're so exclusively devoted to one another that there is little room for anyone else in their lives. Besides Kamui, but I obviously don't think either of them have a romantic interest in him, simply because I'm writing a manifesto for the pairing Sorata/Arashi.

Read More?

Tokyo Love Story is a very nice Sorashi (Sorata x Arashi) shrine.

Sadame is the official Sorashi fanlisting.

Stormy Skies is a large Sorashi fanfiction archive.

---

Casting Stones by Fushigi Kismet is an excellent Sorashi fic, one of my favorites. I really love the language and characterization of the story. I strongly reccomend you read it.

Comments

So very happy to read this essay!! <3 <3 Sorata/Arashi is so sweet!
blue by darkhavens

January 2018

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