What the heck are you doing Square?
There is a pattern when it comes to titles. The more awesome they try to sound, the higher are the chances of them sucking. I mean what’s with the name? Unlimited? One would expect the most awesome story or plot twist ever and all he gets is mediocre show with far less to offer than Digimon. Yes, I am using Digimon as an example because this anime is nothing but a bad look-alike of a children’s adventure. Kids traveling to a magical world full of monsters and they get to fight one on every episode.
… Hey wait a second… CHILDREN’S??? What is this; ain’t FF games more teen-oriented? I don’t know many 8 year olds who would manage Materias on FF7 or Junctions of FF8. Why is this anime targeting people outside the demographic? Did they make this in order to draw younger players and not to please the established ones? And why do we even need a magical world and not the one the heroes live in from the start? Even in Tactics the world was a projection of the mind of one of the characters so it doesn’t count as an entirely disjoined feature. But look here; it’s just a poorly made setting with random areas and the characters teleport from one place to another after a mission. I mean one of the nice things about the games is the detailed world map (for a JRPG of course; western RPGs are far more detailed) and here we get nothing but a random pile of random areas.
So where are the elements that still remind us of Final Fantasy? Ok, there are Chocobos and a guy named Cid. They of course don’t actually offer anything to the setting; they are just the mascots. And there are Summons as well. In the form of… bullet combinations. Make that repeated bullet combinations. And ok, the cut-scenes in the games were the same every time you summoned them but I don’t think it looks so nice in anime form. I mean, why are the monsters standing frozen while the gunner makes his special move? And why are all the monsters defeated at once with a simple summon? Shouldn’t they be using a lot more that that? Man, the action in the show sucks…
So ok, they messed the setting and the action. Maybe the characters will be cool. Because that is why you play Final Fantasy after all; for the cool characters going to save the world from cosmic horrors … And you get kids??? Looking for their mommy and daddy??? Shoot man, I know the first missions were always something simple but not something THIS un-epic. The premise is messed up. Ah, wait, there is always Lisa, their baby sitter. Maybe she is a great fighter and cool enough to… NOT! Just a typical mortal with a few spells as a distraction. All the job is constantly done by Kaze the demon gunner. AH, THAT’S MORE LIKE IT! Now here is a cool character to… kill the monsters with one-shot summons. And he always needs to combine three bullets to do that? What if he uses different summons on a given monster; won’t that do the trick? And what is his backdrop story anyway? Why is he not the main character instead of those kids? He is cool man! And for the most part we hardly know or see him; he is nothing but a plot devise to kill the random monsters.
Ok, maybe the build up is better. Maybe it escalates to something far more important and … What the- STAND ALONE EPISODES??? MONSTER OF THE WEEK??? This is Digimon after all! The story is not only unexciting but it is also simple, childish and barely there, as it is made up of mostly stand-alone episodes in one-time locations. Plus it is … INCOMPLETE??? Here I am watching all these episodes and the anime suddenly gets cancelled mid-way.
Boy, this starts to suck bad. Maybe at least the villains are worthy to stand the show for. Maybe they are sinister and spooky and feminine like in the games… And we get this circus of sorts. The main boss is a spoiled rich kid with no powers? And his generals are a bunch of misfits that fit better in a Power Rangers show? WTH man; where is some Kefka/Sephiroth/Kuja wannabe? Why do we get these losers instead?
I’m getting really angry now. Maybe the visuals are going to be great. I mean the games always had great artwork for their time so why not this series as well? … So … what kind of a simplistic artwork is this? Where are the tons of details and the cool visual effects and the awesome battle choreographies we get in the cut scenes? This is like… Digimon. No, it is less than Digimon; the excitement is lower. And it sucks all the way! Who made such a horrible work anyway? OH MY GOD, NOT GONZO AGAIN! Why do you torment us you piece of shitty studio? GO DRAWN IN YOUR OWN CESSPOOL!
Ok Square, thanks for this badly drawn, badly written, badly funded, incomplete piece of trash. It is Unlimited all right.
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 not from the story itself, but from the main characters within. 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 right as 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 the bad quality of the animation doesn't only have to do with the drawings styles themselves, as 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 casts 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 of Makenshi and calling everyone Baby almost had my TV become part of my wall, and then trash bin.
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 reminiscent of the completely underrated Final Fantasy XI soundtrack.
Characters - 3/10
Almost all 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 their appearances. The others, like Clear, Moogle and Kaze we learn almost 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.
My score isn't so much from the characters themselves, but the stories you’re forced to create for them in order to make the series slightly watchable.
Overall - 4/10
I wanted to like this series due to the final fantasy connection. 15 Episodes in and I completely hated it, 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.
Final Fantasy Unlimited
Brain -> Objective as possibe
Heart -> Aims at the romance
Soul -> Own Taste
Body -> :|
SPOILERS tried to avoid
BRAIN: Expecting the story to be at least on par with Final Fantasy Games (at least 1- 10) won't get you anywhere here. The story is about as run of the mill as can be. People in distress and cool powers.
HEART: In Final Fantasy Unlimited romance is not focused on but there is a heroine kinda.
SOUL: Light and Dark battle at the end except that Light guy is the enemy and that Dark gun guy has so few information about him he just shows up and combines bullets and stuff.
BODY: It's pretty old and other anime who's like it outshine it now. There's Chocobos here though.
BRAIN: The designs are good enough and the CGI... well it's okay. Sound fits in well. Battles are good nothing to complain abbout except that gun scene is so overused.
HEART: So Romance scenes.....huh?
SOUL: The designs are good not much to talk about and while the sound is not memorable at least not something you'd buy the soundtrack CD for It does have its highpoints.
BODY: Chocobos being yellow fit well its like a big chicken with ostrich legs.
BRAIN: The characters aren't memorable enough I can't even remember any names.
HEART: There's that girl in the picture and stereotypes shounen galore in a bad way.
SOUL: Silent protagonist who just appears for battle I don't even remember if he said cool lines or any lines at all besides when he loads his gun.
BODY: I remeber the gun is he a character? There's also Chocobos.
BRAIN: Give it a 5/10
HEART: My heartbeat was steady
SOUL: Nothing really it felt empty just breezed through without really caring its not bad its just not good too.
BODY: I think if your gonna watch stuff like these watch the newer ones. There's Chocobos here though.
BRAIN: Not really recommended. Especially now since its old.
HEART: Won't give heartattacks.
SOUL: Will keep you faith in anime brother.
BODY: It's pretty old and other anime who's like it outshine it now. There's Chocobos here though.
First off, if you are looking for something that is just like the games, then stay far away from this show. It is made for children and that’s how it should really stay in my mind. Another thing is that it pretty much gives you a middle finger when you want to know more of the ending because the manga that takes place after this isn’t translated for Americans. I seriously don’t know why they would dub this (except for maybe the big boom of video game selling, and yet, this has nothing to do with them.)
A lot of the stuff that should be explained is never explained so I feel really left out, not a great way to try and get me to watch. I actually don’t feel I could finish this show at all. Nothing is explained; some things are implied but leave you wondering what the fuck was going on. In the end, I lost interest half way threw because of this and the fact that Kaze’s summoning takes so freaken long. I mean, do we really need a 10 minute summoning in a half hour show? Its worse then Sailor Moon’s transformations each and every episode. I just about fell asleep to it! It pretty much consists of him flipping a bullet as he talks about what color it is and what it symbolizes, it going into the gun where it pretty much shows as a CG version, and then he does it 2 more fucken times… give me a break! How come it has to happen that long?
It pretty much seems to take up all of the show just for him to summon one monster. It was supposed to be 50 episodes long but got cut down to pretty much fucken half, so makes me not want to watch it even more.
The animation is BAD! Really, the runny egg look of everything and the way they move is so bad. The design of things looks like a freaken acid trip and the CG feels much out of place in a lot of the scenes. What can I say? Gonzo messed another one up again. I mean, go look at it if you really care about the animation because I don’t know how else to explain how bad they messed up.
The voices are really bad, most of them full of monotones that show no really feeling. Kaze rarely speaks and even his counterpart seems a real downer. I really wish he would talk a little more. At least explain something!
Now here’s a part where I’m going to speculate something about Kaze and his rival that I probably will never know if it’s real or not. Kaze might be the reincarnation of Bahamut and his rival is the reincarnation of Mist Dragon from the fight in the beginning of the show… There, I said my bit, and I probably will never know the truth now because the stupid show is bland and the part with all the answers has not come out in English.