This page is dedicated to the methods of writing the next X1999. And if you want to do a story like it, just look it up here!
Necessary TropesThe bare-bones idea of X is a war centered around a coming apocalypse, between two groups. Often, battles between the groups are held in a remote location which humans have not noticed, or have been talking about for the past few months, like X's Kekkai. Some of these battles may involve Fighting Your Friend, or fighting your current lover, the romance being implied through either Ho Yay, Les Yay, or if your couple is on opposing sides of the war, Foe Yay. In X's case, those battles involve one group wanting to save the Earth by Human Dieback, and another wanting to save humanity. Many times a Human Sacrifice will be used as part of either a character's backstory, or during the story itself. Then again, there are people who want to stop the war and create a group of their own. Therefore, these now three groups now form the complete war, which in X's case is the End Of The World. But later, the a member of the three groups joins one of the two pre-existing groups composed of Five Man Bands as a Sixth Ranger, and another does the same. The third is usually staying in her post, or is dead. Now for the ending, X's story hasn't been resolved yet due to a hiatus. Suitable options are to have the characters earn their happy ending, and/or supply a Bittersweet Ending.
Choices, ChoicesAs you are making a Spiritual Successor, you must deviate from the source material. In many ways.
PitfallsNo one wants to see an apocalypse that's too sudden, right? Doesn't the fate of the apocalypse have a history? It cannot be abrupt and sudden, but it cannot be too gradual too. And people don't want groups who just keep fighting. Aren't there reasons as to why they fight? And no one wants to see a direct alternate retelling of X. Because there must be deviations. Which are heavy. Its best you don't make your story suffer from too little Character Development. The X movie (ironically directed by Rintaro, of all people), was said to have focused on the fight scenes, so you should add some of the rich background to your characters by writing supplementary novels or manga.
Potential SubversionsIf ever you want to deconstruct your group, you must break it down to its components. There may be The Hero, The Lancer, The Big Guy, The Smart Guy and The Chick to one of your Five Man Bands of a group, but why don't you subvert it, by having a Genius Bruiser for The Big Guy, and The Smart Guy only knowing things? Even better if one of the members of your Five-Man Band act like a second Lancer of a group? Have one member of a group disagree with the other members of his clique, just like having a Cynical guy in an Idealist world. That way, your group becomes even more diverse.
Potential MotifsOften, the best thing to do to make your story come alive by beginning with a question. That way, you can set up your various morals and keys to discovering the themes of your story that even questioning something becomes part of the character, to the point of even questioning reality by what the character is doing for the apocalypse. If you want to do a story centered around a fight between those who are religious and those who aren't, take a look at how atheists and religious people view themselves. Add belief into their motivations, and better if those religious people are Christian.
Suggested PlotsRemember that your story is about a coming apocalypse, involving a war between two groups, three people being drawn to it. But how can you liven up that story and make that mess of a sentence a novel or a manga of your own? Here are the recommended sub-plots?
Set Designer / Location ScoutIf an apocalypse tells the death of an Earth, then it's recommended that if you want to do an apocalypse X1999-style, it should be based in the real world where buildings of that certain region hold the world together. Better if Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe due to it being based off a certain anime series, or if The End of the World as We Know It takes place in a slightly noir-ized Big Applesauce, as they are both large and urbanized areas. Unless you're doing building-abundant (even moving skyscrapers are there in) Dubai or even Christian-mythos enriched yet very metropolitan Manila as the world's ending place, which makes it more unique, yet all the same.
Props DepartmentAny weapon is fine, as long as its usable and is relevant to the plot. Take a look at X's Shinken. It is heavily used in the conflicts and is notable amongst the major characters. Any prop is fine, just as long as its not too elaborate, nor too simple. And its gotta suit the character's personality.
Costume DesignerSince the people here involved in the apocalypse are ordinary people, their clothing should be a bit more ordinary than what you see in anime. Take a look at what you wear, and what other people wear. And anachronism is only a desperation tactic, but it must be sutbly anachronistic clothing if you want to go that far. But whenever the occasion calls for it, IT MUST MATCH the event. If you want to go for elaborate clothing, it must be a bit like a dance or a ball. Even better if one of the fights for the apocalypse are the true purpose of that ball. But if you do casual, then do casual.
Casting DirectorIf you want to do your apocalypse CLAMP-style, then you gotta focus on people sexier and way more beautiful than you are. Even better than that pretty girl in your school. Because they must be The Beautiful Elite, who will clean up even nicer than that girl. And Bishōnen are a must, especially if the people participating in the conflict are akin to a harem—but they must be mixed when it comes to groupings. Speaking of groupings, here's how it'll work! Often, there will be a Power Trio. Id: The ID will often be a jock, or pretty much a bookish sports buff, who pretty much respects ideals and wants them to happen. Superego: The Ego will be even MORE learned than the Id, who has a more cynical viewpoint on the world, yet respects his best friend. Ego: The Token Mini-Moe of the trio, she's way smarter than you, and often quells the mini-debates the Id and Superego have. But the two more groups are the Five-Man Band. The positions often go through a Deconstruction, along with a dose of Red Oni, Blue Oni to liven up the spectrum. Recommended if your groups are the sheer living epitome of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism. Here's how! The Hero
Stunt DepartmentWhen it comes to the action, be sure not to use too much Purple Prose. Show, don't tell. Remember that the battles too can't be lengthy, as the rest of the story is important in its own right. And the use of weapons/techniques the characters know must be creative. But the locations of those battles will have to either be affected, or have no effects due to a certain barrier which prevents the effects of that battle affecting the world outside the barrier.
The GreatsX1999 (the anime, really).
The Epic FailsX1999. The Movie. Heard to be a bad one when it comes to the story, but damn good visuals.