The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Title: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Genre: Action
Company: Square Enix/Visual Works
Format: Movie; 101 minutes.
Dates: 14 Sep 2005

Synopsis: Two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII, a mysterious illness called Geostigma plagues the people of Midgar. When three mysterious men appear searching for the remains of Jenova in hopes of reviving someone special, Cloud has to pick up his sword, again, and end his battle once and for all.

The Highlights
CG: Beautifully rendered and life-like.
Action: Absolutely stunning.
Music: Beautiful music from the original game.
Plot: Lack of background information and filled with plot holes.
Characters: Most are nothing more than cameos.
Extras: Plenty of easter eggs for fans of the game.
Seiyuu: Does not dissapoint.

I have been accused, and rightfully so, of being a Final Fantasy VII fanboy before, so I tried to be careful, and made sure I watched Advent Children with an unbiased eye. Even while trying as hard as I could to keep my feelings separate while watching, nostalgia did get the best of me at times. This OVA, nonetheless, is a must see for any Final Fantasy fan.

One of the reasons Advent Children is so hard to separate from its video game counterpart is because of all the extras that were inserted that only the fans would recognize. My two favorite examples of these easter eggs are the moogle doll and the Final Fantasy victory theme ring tone. It served no other purpose other than to put a small smile on the face of the fans who remembered these parts from the Final Fantasy games. Another reason it was hard to separate the OVA from the game is because most of the music is originally from the game. The music was great overall and the few original scores were excellent as they blended well with the ones that came from the game.

The presentation in Advent Children is breathtaking. It has some of the best CG animation I have ever seen. The characters move as if they are alive. Every detail is beautifully animated and nothing is left out including facial expressions, which move ever so smoothly with each character’s emotions. Luckily, this CG animation does not go to waste. In fact, it hosts some of the most fast paced action in any medium. Whether it’s a swashbuckling sword fight on a motorcycle or a group fight against Bahamut, the fight scenes are always a sight to be seen. The Bahamut fight was truly amazing, incorporating all the side characters from the game. Unfortunately most of the characters were nothing more than useless cameos. One of my concerns while going into this OVA was that the voices wouldn’t match the characters, but that wasn’t a problem as the voices were expertly done and matched their counterparts beautifully.

Unfortunately where Advent Children falls flat on its face is in telling a story. The story leaves much to be desired. There is a total lack of background information and many of the questions that get asked never get an answer. “Where did Kadaj’s gang come from?” “What is Geostigma?” “Who is Denzel?” Looking back, very little is explained and all too much is left to the viewer’s interpretation.

When it all comes down to it, Advent Children was a blast. It might not have been an excellent sequel to the game, but the non-stop action and true-to-life animation make this OVA one of the best action titles based on a game.

The Rating: 7

Reviewed by: DarkKanti

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