In the last decade, Final Fantasy has established itself as the marquee title in the role-playing genre, and nearly everyone who has touched a video game system has played at least one incarnation of this game. However, a good game series doesn’t necessarily translate into instant success in other fields, as FF: Legend of the Crystals proved to our eternal dismay. Of course, this was followed up by the 3D computer-generated film FF: The Spirits Within, whose animation has been praised by many, but whose plot hasn’t quite proved as worthy of acclaim.
When thinking of Final Fantasy, you expect a very good story combined with nice, interesting characters, but FFU has neither of them.
The story is quite simple; two kids travel to another world with a sort of subway, to search for their parents. Meanwhile, they encounter a couple of other people and Final Fantasy-related characters, but none of them add anything interesting to the anime. Although there is a sort of thread connecting the episodes alongside the story, the plot suffers a lot because it’s told episode-wise. The beginning tells only a simple story each episode, without using the real plot, while the later episodes become better. Yet, the series doesn’t end. Although I liked the last 3 episodes which were very, very interesting, the story has a certain open ending, which gave me the feeling of an unfinished series. Still, spreading over 22 episodes before coming to the conclusion was pretty bad, but mainly because the main characters weren’t interesting and that the story couldn’t live up to the expectations. Not even mentioning that it all without any expectations wasn’t even worth mentioning except for the last 3 episodes.
The Final Fantasy characters are probably the best ones in here. But not even them make the anime interesting enough to be fond of it. After introducing the Chocobo (which is done pretty nicely) and Cid, the anime seems to become a bit better, but characters as The Count (an annoying little brat who has been introduced to ‘just’ have a bad guy) make things really worse.
The main characters, the two kids, are not really able to make the anime funny nor interesting. They only walk around in a world they don’t know, and even though that’s the idea of making this anime, they just don’t fit in there and they act forced into the anime, which doesn’t add to the enjoyment.
Especially Farbra who’s giving a summary at the beginning of every episode, starts to become annoying. Not even is she talking in a very
‘you-know-you-are-wrong-but-I-am-not-mad’-voice, but she’s also saying things which make you feel like skipping those parts, since she summarizes things as if the characters don’t have a meaning, but are just lifeless things.
I really enjoyed some things, like the Chocobo being around, the appearance of Cid and especially the victory music whenever they won a fight makes you feel like you’re in the game The same goes for seeing all those names like Shiva and such … if you’re a FF-game freak, you’ll certainly love to see all those !
The first time I saw the shot from Kaze, I liked it. The CG is a bit weird, but okay enough to accept it and enjoy the stuff. But when the anime progressed, they showed that same scene every episode, which makes that really (and I mean REALLY) annoying. Even the best scene gets annoying after a few times, and this scene isn’t even that great. I don’t always mind reused frames, but I do care whenever they appear so much. If that was the only reused frame, it would be bad, but all of these characters have a certain thing where they use a reused frame for which makes it VERY annoying. Although the animation looks good, the reused frames are so bad that I decreased the value a lot.
Nice to note as well: the 1st ending music is excellent. It’s pretty upbeat and is best when played loud.
My conclusion? If you love Final Fantasy, you might want to watch a few episodes, but watching this entire series will be too much. It does have its charmes and it is great to see some of the FF-games in an anime, but most of them are disappointing and sometimes even annoying, not even mentioning the huge amount of reused frames.
Also, this anime is made for small kids, not for teenagers or adults, so it tends to be very childish every now and then. If you like that, watch it. But I didn’t like the series enough to enjoy it.
The most interesting were the last episodes, which suddenly bring up a FF-atmosphere, which is not for the little kids the rest of the series is, but for adults who like the FF-games.