In the line of great Final Fantasy heroes, Cecil, Bartz, Cloud, Squall and now Chobi. Ok, well Chobi isn't really the main character, but with the terrible group we're given, Yu the complete moron son of scientist, Ai his spoiled brat of a sister and Lisa the ignorant idealist, you know why I picked a bird who chews on hair to be the main character.
Story - 4/10
Final Fantasy Unlimited has big shoes to fill and to tell you the truth the story isn't half bad. Two children journey to a magical world to look for their lost parents. They meet a young girl,Lisa, also searching for someone and a mysterious traveler,Kaze, who always shows up at the right time to save them with his summoning cannon.
While on their search they get entangled in Kaze's feud and the plans of an evil ruler, Earl Tyrant, to merge all worlds into one and call forth the destructive Omega to enact his plan. They also meet many interesting characters who both want to destroy them and that want to help them save the world.
The failure comes in the execution, not really of the story, but of the main characters themselves. They are completely unlikable, painstakingly annoying and most of the time brainless (Why Chobi is the hero in my world) The best characters, besides Chobi, are Makenshi, the enemy of Kaze who is equally mysterious and also carries a summoning weapon. Kaze's partner, who is only in about 4 episodes, Moogle and Knave the leader of the comodeen.
I was ready to give the series a 6 for story and then we get the last episode. The final battle is a 2 second affair that ends with the credits. They really just gave up after things started to look promising.
Animation - 3/10
The main character animation for this series is horrible, and thats being nice. The characters are so simplistic and many times seem as if they were left over drawings from Ranma 1/2, especially Lisa and Miles. When they cut in the over used "Kigen Arts" animation it really looks as if they created it at the last minute, and to keep you from seeing how terrible it was they threw a blur filter over it.
The few exceptions to the animation downfall are Kaze and the mechanical creations of Cid. Both look like they may have taken up a majority of the animators time, thus leaving the other 30 characters to be drawn by a grade school art class.
At times you can see that the bad quality of the animation isn't only having to do with the drawings themselves, you can see the background plates through the characters. I'm not an animator myself, but apparently they either had subpar paint or the digitizer had no idea what he was doing.
Also there is a good 30 seconds of animation, maybe more, that is reused in every single episode.
The background's are much better than the foreground animations.
Sound - 3/10
Shocking that a series with Nobou Uematsu at the helm would get such a bad score, but it really shows more of the terrible decisions made by the voice over team, and slightly due to the sparseness of music.
First the voiceovers. I watched the english version and it is hands down one of the worst voice cast I've ever heard. I know they were going for young voices and off beat voices, but they were all like nails on a chalk board. Ai and Yu are just whinny sounding kids that you would hope get eaten by a Malboro. Earl Tyrant is even worse, the ruler of Wonderland yet he sounds like a strangled version of Haruko Haruhara (of FLCL)which almost made me sad thinking it could have been her, but thankfully it wasn't. The Earl's henchmen also become so draining, with Fungus slurring every last word and Herba having one of the most grating voices in anime, her pronunciation or Makenshi and calling everyone Baby almost had my TV become part of my wall.
Now Nobou's music. It was very weak, with the music only catching your attention in the last few episodes, where it started to pick up with the great town music of FF and the completely underrated Final Fantasy XI soundtrack.
Characters - 3/10
Most of the characters are dull and over used, we see the same 4 villains through most of the series with little excitement coming from any of them. The others, like Clear, Moogle and Kaze we learn little to nothing about, when in all honesty they should be the main characters of the story.
A majority of the characters are completely brainless, not even goofy brainless but drool all over themselves brainless.
They only get a 3 based on the stories you end up creating in your head for each character.
Overall - 4/10
I wanted to like this series due to the final fantasy connection. 15 Episodes in and I completely hated in, 21 episodes in and I started to change and episode 25 just destroyed any good feeling you'd have towards the anime due to the failure of an ending.
It will be good for the young or those who want to watch it just for the little FF connections, like all our favorite summons and Moogle.