They’re the best Anime that 2005 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Pokemon Movie 08: Mew to Hadou no Yuusha Lucario, Tsubasa Chronicle: Tori Kago no Kuni no Himegimi, Tennis no Ouji-sama Movie 1: Futari no Samurai – The First Game, and more!
5: Pokemon Movie 08: Mew to Hadou no Yuusha Lucario
English: Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
Japanese: ポケットモンスターアドバンスジェネレーション ミュウと波導の勇者 ルカリオ
MAL Score: 7.30
A long time ago, the people of Camaron Palace found themselves on the brink of destruction. Fortunately, they escaped it when Sir Aaron, the True Guardian of Aura, saved them. He sacrificed himself to stop a war between kingdoms. From that day on, a tournament is held every year to commemorate his noble deed.
Satoshi, a budding Pokemon trainer from Kanto, manages to win the latest tournament and is allowed to wield a staff said to have belonged to Sir Aaron himself. Lucario, the Aura Pokemon—who is also the servant of the True Guardian—emerges from the staff. However, remembering his last memory of his master abandoning him, Lucario runs away in confusion.
Meanwhile, Pikachu, Satoshi’s companion, is abruptly taken by a Pokemon named Mew to the legendary Tree of Beginning. Only Lucario knows the way there, but he is unwilling to trust humans after his master’s betrayal. Even so, to save his partner, Satoshi and his companions must acquire all the help they need and travel to the Tree of Beginning, unfolding hidden truths from centuries ago.
What made Lucario and the Mystery of Mew so appealing was that instead of just showing a legendary pokemon and making it more epic than it really needs to be, this Pokemon movie took a step backwards and just didn’t use a legendary pokemon as a main character (Mew seemed more as a side character) but Lucario was also close to the old atmosphere that made the older movies so great.
The very first scene shows a raging two-sided war. That alone drew me in for I knew that this movie was much more than what Pokemon Ranger or The Spell of the Unknown was. It had the same feel as Pokemon 2000 and The First Movie. It was a fun ride, I’ll tell you that.
The animation was phenomenal in the movie. From the sparkling spirit of lucario’s last moments to the action scenes, the movie never let up on the pretty graphics. Everything had a real fantasy look to it and it’s very cool to see on a HD TV.
The sound was great, even if a little familiar. The usual opening scene of Ash battling someone to the tune of a recent opening song from the main series (which was lost in some other movies) was a fun scene to watch. By now it seems the dub DVDs will never supply us with a Japanese track, which is disheartening to say the least.
Lucario is by far one of the better “main” movie pokemon characters. He was lik a mix of Lugia and Entei combined into one and his personality was amusing. Sir Aaron was another likable character, though his time on screen is short.
After Jirachi Wishmaker and Destiny Deoxys, many people thought that Pokemon movies were falling into a sinkhole but it’s great to see that Lucario and the Mystery of Mew was able to pull through. I recommend it to the die-hard pokemon fans. And maybe a few others that are looking for something to watch on a Friday night.
The story line keeps you guessing, no matter what part it is at. I could watch this movie over and over and over again, and the ending is very moving. Anyone, even those who don’t like Pokemn that much, will find this story absolutely great.
They had a lot of new art, and the setting was beautiful.They had a lot of fun with the outfits (in the beginning). I did not see any art errors whatsoever.
I loved the theme song (it is my favorite one) and I loved the ending song as well. All the songs in the middle during the different scenes really set the tone and mood. I have no complaints.
The whole thing with Lucario being involved was a true throw-off from what the Pokemon series is use to. The only characters that are humans are extreme minor characters (except the Pokemon Hunter; she was a Major Minor character, but she did not fill an important role).
I loved this moving. Whenever I watch the ending, I can’t help but shead tears. I could watch this over and over, and I wouldn’t get sick of watching it.
Overall, this is my absolute favorite Pokemon Movie so far. It has great backbones in the plot, and they did a lot of changes I wish would continue throughout the rest of the movies and series.
Better get good out of the way. Soundtrack was fine, even if not on the level of the first or fifth film. Art, on the other hand, was not fine – it was much better. Just like in the last film, artists did a great job. While not breaking standards set by the first, third and fifth films, some images present in here will stay vivid for days after you’ve watched it. Mew and the Aura Hero: Lucario certianly did a lot better than Jirachi and kept the consistency of Deoxys’s flick.
What else was good? Lucario ended up being a well crafted character, even if a bit stereotypical. Relationship with his trainer was completely predictable and some of Lucario’s lines towards his master were really bad (made him sound like a sexually submissive other). Fortunately, this didn’t diminish Lucario’s character. His interaction with Ash was a bit more aggressive that Pokemon sequels usually dare to go, even if it was for only a few minutes. And well… Did I mention landscapes? There’s some georgeous landscapes in here.
When discussing this film, I can easily break it down into three main sections. That is to say, the film shifts gears twice, changing its style. These sections are at the castle, aproaching the mountain and in the mountain. Of the three, the only one I’d characterize as good is the second one. It’s also the shortest.
Considering that the opening scene is the same as in so many other films, I don’t have much to say. It wasn’t particulary bad, but I can’t say much good about it either. It’s just there. I guess seeing a hundred copy-pasted pokemon fighting was neat, though.
Now we get to the real begining of the Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. Film lures us in with neat arhitecture. We get to really enjoy the location for a few minutes as Ash battles another trainer. A bit later into the act, film uses classy outfits to draw us into a rich party. Both of these disguise the main problem of the film for only a few minutes. After the wow factor fades away, you start to notice the dialogue and interactions between the characters. Simply put, they aren’t interesting. There are a few pokemon only shenanigans used to distract the viewer, but they’re not nearly as effective as in most other films.
At one moment Brock sees a girl and opens his stalking notebook. As he reads through the insanely stupid list of gal’s achievements, you cringe at this catastrophic attempt at comedy. The party drags on forever and it’s only after Ash summons Lucario that things get a bit interesting. How did he do it? Due to lazy writing, of course. For some unexplained reason his aura is the same as Lucario master’s (even if their characters are nothing alike). What a cop out! A chance to make the premise of the film interesting is ignored.
Throughout these first 40 minutes of the film, we’re treated to multiple scenes of Team Rocket and other characters doing irrelevant things. All in all, there’s around fifteen minutes of footage which should have definitely been scraped, as it adds nothing to the experience.
After film shifts geas, we’re sent on a journey towards the crystal mountain. The journey is perilous since, well… No one’s been there. As baffling as this is, the following 20 minutes feature some neat scenes and atmosphere. Ash and Lucario clash, Lucario gets to act tsundere and a few jokes are genuinely funny. On the other hand, the stupidity doesn’t leave. We discover some flowers which record and show the past. And apparently no one’s ever tried harvesting this power, or at the very least we aren’t informed of it, as film finds it irrelevant. Next up, the gang trriggers a thousand year old crystal flower with Lucario master’s memories. How this is possible, I don’t know. As the gang is attacked by underwhelmingly weak Regi legendaries, we approach the third act.
In the third part of the film we’re treated to a fun subplot – Mew & Pikachu playing. A few of their scenes were shown earier, but the culmination of the subplot happens here and I gotta give credit where it’s due – they look adorable.
As for the main plot, the film completely breaks down here. Starting here, the film contains numerous vices and sins that Pokemon films indulged into throughout the years. There’s the sentinent mountain’s very own defense system against humans (no, I’m not joking), villains having acces to impossible technology, there’s shallow mysticism, characters surviving impossible falls and nature acting in baffling ways. Yes, Pokemon was never about realism, but within every work exists a treshold where things turn to schlock. This film breaks the Pokemon scale. Yes, I could go in depth and explain each and every thing wrong with it, but this is a review, not an in depth critique. Not to mention the length of this piece is already going too far. The gist of what I’m saying is – at a certain point you simply stop caring as the rules have been bent too far and the whole work becomes boring. Then the film ends with a somewhat interesting sacrafice, but you’re too far gone to care much. At the very least they didn’t ruin Lucario’s character.
I’m left with two distinct impressions; I see a neat concept with a nicely realized character. I also see a mess of a film with no consisteny, a boring first part and inane second half. There are a few neat Lucario moments sprinkled therein, but I can’t recommend it to anyone expecting a good film. Fortunately for Lucario and his Mistery, there’s a rabbid fanbase of the character out there. And this fanbase will go through the fire and the flames just to watch him some more. This film is tailored for them, even if it is a trainwreck. So, enjoy the movie, I guess.
4: Tsubasa Chronicle: Tori Kago no Kuni no Himegimi
English: Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE The Movie: The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom
Japanese: ツバサ クロニクル 鳥カゴの国の姫君
MAL Score: 7.32
In their continuing journey to find the feathers that are the fragments of Sakura’s lost memory, Syaoran, Kurogane, Fai, and Sakura move through time and space with Mokona. Here, they visit the “Land of the Birdcage,” a seemingly peaceful country where people and birds live together, each person having a bird companion. After a boy named Koruri confuses Syaoran and Sakura for “bodyguards” and attacks them, they learn that the king of the country possesses a mysterious power. Princess Tomoyo, Koruri, and the other oppressed citizens, having had their birds taken from them, live in hiding within the forest. In order to take back Sakura’s feather, Syaoran and the others stand up against the scheming king.
Despite being called a movie, its duration is rather short (personally I feel as though it was an OVA or extended episode). The movie has a rather plain and unsurprising plot, not exactly superb but its not horrible either. Still better than most of the fillers from the Tsubasa anime.
As expected of Production I.G, the animation is simply superb and detailed, with a wonderful use of colours. The movements of both the characters and inanimate objects are fluid, and the character designs are also pleasing. There were hardly any moments where I felt the characters look like they were drawn rather odd. While I originally intended to give the art a 9, thinking of how disappointing the animation of the anime series done by BeeTrain was, I decided to give it a 10. You can clearly see the difference in animation quality between the two studios.
Music has always been the strongest point of the Tsubasa anime series to me. The music used were all familiar tracks from the anime series, all composed by Yuki Kajiura, so theres no problem where music is concerned, though I did feel that some of the tracks used didn’t quite suit the scene. The opening song and ending songs by Kinya and Yui Makino respectively were also very good and fit the movie well.
Being a 30 minute movie, there isn’t exactly anything special about the character development, as the audience is expected to know them by now. They are all the same as you see them in the anime/manga.
Although some will find this movie rather boring or too short, I really did enjoy it. Especially when compared to all those filler episodes from the anime.
Overall, I find the Tsubasa Chronicle movie rather entertaining despite being only 30 minutes long. Is this movie really worth your time to watch? While I wouldn’t recommend this movie as a must watch, it certainly wont hurt to give it a try either.The plot is simple but the animation really makes up for it (Once more the Tsubasa anime comes to mind when I say this). You are not obligated to fully agree with my ratings and opinions nor does this review truly reflect what this movie is like. Hope you enjoyed this review by a first-timer like me.
After just arriving Syaoran, Sakura and Mokona (after being seperated from Fai and Kurogane) meet young Princess Tomoyo, a girl who uses touch to communicate through the help of the ring that she possesses. Syaoran and the others soon learn of The King of Birds and his sour plans to wipe Eternal Darkness over the land.
Whilst he keeps on his search for finding another of Sakura’s feathers, Syaoran is determined to put a stop to the scheming King!
Before watching this movie you should already be familar with the story of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle as you will not get any background from this movie alone. So don’t go straight into watching this movie if you haven’t got any knowlegde of the main story.
With this movie only being just over the length of an average episode, we are not given any new character development and the movie itself feels like a short arc from the series as there isn’t anything inparticularly special about this world from the worlds that the group had visited in the previous Anime.
Whilst saying that, there are some noticable improvements such as the art and animation. It was newly assigned to Production IG to handle it and I think they did a rather incredible job with it. With this alone it gave the movie suddenly more visual interest being more sharp and more beautiful animation than what we’ve seen in the main Anime adaptation.
Memorable soundtracks from the Anime reappears in this movie along with some new giving it that definite same feel.
Regardless of the few bad points I have made, with more wonderful scenes from the great main TRC cast; I find this a short but nice treat for huge TRC fans. It’s a movie I’ve enjoyed watching time, and time again.
Story (3/10): I rarely have ever been so lost as to what the hell was going on in an anime. This movie has absolutely nothing to offer. It isn’t canon and adds nothing to the story. This “movie” (if you even want to call it that considering how short it is) doesn’t even feel anything like the Tsubasa TV series does. It’s just a mindless short story about… hell, I don’t even know what it WAS about!
Character (3/10): The Tsubasa characters have zero presence. They are just there. The entire time, they seem to be screwing around and at one point flying on some sort of thing (I don’t remember what) to try and let some mute girl talk again. (If that’s even what was happening. I couldn’t follow the mindless story.) The “villain” in this movie is extremely clichéd and boring and could not be more forgettable. Every other character introduced also sucks. The mute girl could be an interesting character if she had development, but she’s not gonna get that in 35 minutes.
Art (7.5/10): The animation was pretty good. It looks better than the TV series. My only gripe is the coloring. They made Syaoran’s hair much too light…
Sound (7/10): The sound was fine. Nothing sounded bad, but nothing astounded me either.
Enjoyment (2/10): 15 minutes in I found myself almost falling asleep. If this movie was any longer than it was, I don’t think I could have finished it. I don’t think I have ever been so happy to see the credits roll after an anime movie.
Overall (3.3/10): Overall, this is a crap movie with nothing to offer. It adds nothing to the series and was just a way for them to get some money off of Tsubasa fans. Don’t bother watching it unless you are a completionist who wants to see everything Tsubasa, no matter the quality.
3: Tennis no Ouji-sama Movie 1: Futari no Samurai – The First Game
English: The Prince of Tennis: The Two Samurai, The First Game
Japanese: 劇場版 テニスの王子様 二人のサムライ The First Game
MAL Score: 7.35
Ryouma Echizen and the Seishun Academy Boys’ Tennis Team are invited to participate in an exhibition game aboard a luxury cruise ship by its owner, Hikomaro Sakurafubuki. When they arrive, the boys are shocked to discover that Ryouma’s adopted older brother, Ryouga, is the captain of the opposing team. During their first games, Seishun easily crushes their opponents, garnering excitement from the cruise spectators. However, many strange things about the cruise begin to surface—from the restaurant’s cheap sushi to a bathroom covered in marble wallpaper.
Suspecting something is amiss, the team quickly finds out that Sakurafubuki is running an illegal gambling plot and that they must lose their next set of matches in order for him to win a large sum of money. Back on the first day, their opponents were told to purposefully lose in order to make the spectators bet heavily on Seishun’s victory. If the middle schoolers do not comply, they risk losing their lives, as all of the employees on the ship are armed and working with Sakurafubuki, including Ryouga.
Relying only on themselves, the team must put their skills and intellect together to outsmart the threat around them. As Seishun decides to fight for their lives, the two sons of Samurai Nanjiro go head-to-head to determine who is the superior player.
In fact, this movie is ridiculous and over-the-top in a number of ways, and that’s exactly what’s so great about it. It takes the "junior high school tennis is serious and manly!" theme of the TV series and turns it up to eleven in ways that deny logic, physics, and the very nature of reality. Underwater tennis on the deck of a sinking ship! Energy-beam tennis that blows people’s clothes off! Tennis killing the dinosaurs! Heck, the "play this fixed tennis match… OR DIE!!!" premise alone is pretty amusing.
So if you’re looking for a serious and realistic sports anime… well, I don’t know why you’d be looking at anything Prince of Tennis-related in the first place, but you certainly won’t find it here. But if you have a sense of humor and a fondness for shounen absurdity, this movie is a lot of fun.
I think the people who made this movie is a bit too hurried to decide on the characters.
They made this filler character, Ryoga Echizen, Ryoma’s older adopted brother. In the movie he entered ryoma’s house when he was a kid. Then Ryoga went missing through the entire series… come back for a brief moment on the movie, then went missing again…
It’s just too weird…
2: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children – Venice Film Festival Footage
English: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children – Venice Film Festival Footage
Japanese: FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN ヴェネチア映画祭版
MAL Score: 7.54
Advent Children Special Edition is the 25 minute version of the movie which was shown at the 62nd Venice Film Festival in 2005. Available as dvd bonus on 2-disc special edition.
1: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Japanese: ファイナルファンタジーVII アドベントチルドレン
MAL Score: 7.74
Two years ago, the world was changed forever. The young Cloud Strife and his band of friends may have defeated Sephiroth and thwarted his plan to crash a giant meteor into the Earth, but this victory was not without great cost. The highly populated city of Midgar was nearly ripped apart in the conflict. Fortunately, many of the city’s citizens were able to evacuate to safety, and in the years afterward have formed a new home called Edge.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children revolves around Cloud and Tifa as they try to make new lives for themselves, as well as for those around them, in this new city. Together they run a courier service, and tend to their mutual friend Barret’s adopted daughter Marlene and a young orphan by the name of Denzel. Denzel, Cloud, and scores of children are suffering from a mysterious new illness called “Geostigma.”
The children of the city have one other threat looming over their heads—a trio of powerful men are kidnapping infected kids for unknown reasons. Cloud is determined to save these young ones, not only from Geostigma, but from the kidnappers as well. He has no idea, however, that these men share a link to his old enemy, Sephiroth, and Cloud’s quest to vanquish them will bring him back into conflict with the demons of his past. If there is any hope in conquering these threats, it lays within the bonds of friendship between Cloud and his allies who saved the world once, and now must do so again.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children takes place two years after the events of the game. It follows Cloud, who is still mourning the death of Aerith/Aeris and a trio of mini Sephiroth clone things as they try to obtain “Mother” and wreak destruction on the entire planet. Goody.
Well, I can say that anyone who has no idea about the events of Final Fantasy VII might be confused on the events and people that are mentioned, or it could be just my mother, but it’s fairly easy to keep up with, so long as you’re paying attention. While I did enjoy the story, it just seemed a little like your typical villian wants to destory the world because of some personal reason and hero, or slight anti-hero in Cloud’s case, goes and takes down villian for some personal reason, so that took away from the inital enjoyment.
Score – 8
…Dude, this is Square Enix we’re talking here. Square Enix the video game company. Do I have to say anything else? ….Fine, I will.
Okay, the last Final Fantasy movie, The Spirits Within, it was a flop, why? Well, I think that it looked too darn REAL, and when you’re making something animated or with CGI (that’s it right?), you don’t want it to look real! The whole point is for it not to look real, if it’s going too look real then you’re better off using real actors. When AC came around they learned that you can’t make them look too real. Now, while the characters can be mistaken for real people, they still hold that animated air around them (it’s all in the hair). And that, my dears, makes for some awesome animation. Satisfied?
Score – 10
Well, the background music is well. I have the feeling that some of it are different versions of the soundtrack from the game, but again, I can’t be sure. The piano compositions that play at certain points of the movie are simply beautiful, particularly the one, Cloud Smiles… I think that’s it’s name anyway. The remixed version of One-Winged Angel, is simply awesome, and it proves that you can mix a mad rock band with a orchestra. I wasn’t fond of the ending song that plays during the credits (the one with the vocals), so I seldom watch the credits because of that…
I watched the dub version, and I loved it, I thought everyone’s voices suited their apparent character… Kadaj sounding like a crazy boy dude, Cloud sounding like some… well, you get it, don’t you? Though my mind doesn’t agree with Aerith’s voice…
Score – 9
Well, I’d say the characterization for this is fairly well, particularly Cloud, since because the end while he does show some acceptance with what’s happened and what he’s been told over and over again, he still seems like the same…stoic Cloud. Ahm. Yeah. I’ll use Kadaj as an example again, he’s a good character because you see him, and when he’s in your mind you can’t put him out of character, unless you’re some rabid fangirl… But… yeah. Since this is a movie a character can’t really grow in the allowed time period (I assume the movie takes place during maybe… three or four days?), so I can’t say much… Unless we’re talking Cloud, and we did already.
Score – 9
…I can say with a straight face that I enjoyed this movie. After all, you’re not going to watch a movie that you don’t like eighty times, now are you? I liked the actions scenes, and the animation the most… And particularly Reno… Okay, moving on.
Score – 9
All In All…
Yay! – Animation, baby! Those graphics can be synonymous with… eye candy. I think they are, too.
Nay! – Story needs to be indepth, and should maybe a little easier for the… non fans to follow… Eheheh…
Overall Score – 9
(This review contains spoilers for the FFVII game, but not the actual movie.)
STORY – I recall looking up FFVII’s backstory and plot once or twice on Wikipedia, but most of what I know is based on sniplets of casual conversation, fanart, random other things on the Internet, and the (bastardized) versions of the characters’ stories in Kingdom Hearts. That said, Advent Children’s story was mostly “Wait, what?” to me. Even for movies based off other media, it’s always best to have enough cohesiveness for it to make sense to newcomers and strangers to the original; to that end, Advent Children definitely failed. Explanations seemed abbreviated and choppy, and characters did little to clarify their intentions or motivations. At times, it seemed like they were trying too hard to connect it to the game, as if people didn’t already know what it was based off of. (Seriously, how many flashbacks of dead Aerith do we need?) And despite that, I hear from the diehards that the movie’s story connected poorly to the game anyway.
The sickness is poorly presented and explained; its cure similarly so. A good number of scenes also seemed like they were there for the sole purpose of fanservice, rather than actual story progression. The same could be said for the inclusion of many of the characters — they served no real purpose, but I’m sure all the fanboys and girls in the audience were screaming their heads off, and that’s what really seems to count with a movie like this.
CHARACTER – Poorly developed, all of them! If they were even developed at all! Cloud seemed like he spoke no more than five sentences for the entire movie, and none of them were particularly insightful or informative. Why was he doing anything he was doing? Got me. Because he felt guilty? Because he felt obliged? Because he had nothing else to do? Most of his support characters were either mindlessly cheerful or vacantly stoic; none seemed to have any real depth. The children, as well, did not seem to have any substance — they were mostly objects to be protected or to be captured and mind-controlled. They weren’t people at all.
Reno and Rude provided some humorous antics and were entertaining to watch, but beyond that, it’s the same thing for the most part. I suppose they have the excuse of working for an organization for their motivation, but we never really see anything beyond that simple exterior. Kadaj and his brothers were just the same — one-dimensional characters with tunnel vision. What exactly they were trying to accomplish always remained vague, and why exactly did Kadaj manifest as Sephiroth when he came into contact with Jenova? Well, shit, I don’t know, but it’s probably just to give Sephy some screentime because otherwise he’s dead, right? The entire movie was built around that final fight. There is no other greater purpose or story. Advent Children is a 100% fanservice movie.
ARTSTYLE & ANIMATION – Now, this is where all my harsh words end, pretty much. The animation was beautiful. Beautiful! Stunning! The details in all the renders — backgrounds, characters, clothing, weapons… everything was gorgeous, moved smoothly, and integrated well with its surroundings. The special effects were great, too. This movie is full of so much eye candy, your brain will explode. Even the simple things, like the inverted forest, or our five minute long scene of a cell phone falling through water — all of it looked beautiful. I mean, come on, things have to look pretty darn amazing for me to be entertained by a falling cell phone for that long.
MUSIC – Another flawless aspect of this movie is the music. From the very first track, I was completely in love with Advent Children’s score. A collection of different composers did the music for the movie and each and every one of them did an absolutely amazing job with every single track on this soundtrack. Every melody fit its scene, and every scene was so much more emotional or exciting because of it. The piano thrashing for “Those Who Fight” makes me wish I could play better. The guitars in “Black Water” get me totally pumped every single time. This soundtrack is also definitely one you could listen to over and over again, independent of the movie, and I’m sure that many others who haven’t even seen the movie could enjoy the music here. The vocal track, “CALLING,” at the end of the movie is also pretty nice, and I thought it was a great way to conclude it all.
VOICE ACTING – I’ve seen both the sub and dub. The sub was amazing. All the voices fit their roles wonderfully. Kadaj and Reno in particular had very memorable performances. The dub was much better than I thought it would be; really, the only real problem with the dub is Cid’s hick accent, Yuffie’s annoying voice, and the fact that Tifa’s “zuruzuru zuruzuru” definitely did not translate well because we silly English-speakers don’t have a sound effect for “dragging.” Other than that, I couldn’t have wanted more from the dub. An identical voice cast was used for all the FFVII characters in Kingdom Hearts II, so the voices were familiar. This also impressed me since the same was true for the Japanese version. What impressed me further was the fact that both Reno and Axel were voiced by the same actor in Japanese, and the same is true in English (ironically for Axel, his voice is also the Human Torch). Those little similarities are what make the fangirls happy. Moving on though, Steve Blum as Vincent Valentine? Totally awesome.
OVERALL – I think it’s the general consensus all across the board that no one watched this movie for its brilliant storytelling and character development. This was an eyecandy movie for fans to squeal over. Really, the best way to watch this might be in Japanese with the subtitles off. That way, you can play ignorant to the bad stuff, but you still get all the brilliance of the voice acting, all of the amazing music, and of course, all of the visual madness that is this Advent Children. Enjoy.
Anime(?): AC is a digitally animated film that was released in 2005 by Square-Enix (famous for the Final Fantasies, duhr!), and directed by Tetsuya Nomura (Kingdom Hearts, FFVIII, FFX, duhr!). The original version was released in Japan in 2005, and it finally made its way Stateside in April of 2006 thanks to Squenix NA and Sony.
There have been several super-deluxe ultimate editions released, as is Squenix’s habit, and I’m not even going to bother covering those.
Story: I would assume that you know this, but maybe you’ve been hiding under a rock. Basically, it’s two years after the Planet was almost destroyed by Meteor and Sephiroth, and now there’s this disease called Geostigma striking the children, and Cloud’s living life as a delivery man and being generally emo and such before he gets dragged back into things c/o three silver-haired men (ZOMG SEPHIROTHS?!).
In case you couldn’t sense the sarcasm permeating the review up until this point, I’m not terribly impressed with this movie. The plot is very lacking, and I expect more from Squenix because I know they can deliver better than this.
No one gets any development (except Cloud, and that’s only to from emo to zomgkickyourassSEPHIROTH!), which is disappointing, especially because we have the three silver-hairs who could’ve been developed pretty nicely, but are pretty much cardboard cutouts. This applies to the rest of the cast, too.
The plot is essentially something I could have found on Fanfiction.net, and about as well thought-out/executed, too. It boils down to Cloud emo, fight, fight, Cloud emo, silver-haired guys, fight, fight, Cloud emo, fight for the kids, fight, fight zomgsephiroth! Come on, Squenix! You’ve done better than this! Basically, it was very obvious that they did this simply to milk FFVII for everything that it’s worth.
Art: It’s Squenix, so it’s guaranteed that the visuals are going to be astoundingly beautiful, which they are. The guys look prettier than the girls, for crying out loud!
I have a problem with the way they chose to cut this, though. Several people, both in the AC thread and in earlier reviews, have compared the editing to that of a music video. And it’s not that far off. The cuts are very confusing, as are the angles, and it takes a few viewings to get used to it.
Music: It basically comes down to strings and choir background vocals mixed with hard rock. Not all that impressive, really. There are some good tracks (‘For the Reunion’, ‘Aeris’ Theme’, whatever that one song is that plays during Tifa and Loz’s fight, the AC version of One-Winged Angel), but it’s not enough to save most of the soundtrack from repetition. Decent, overall.
Length: The repetition of the plot causes this to drag a little, despite how fast it moves along. The dragging is really obvious at the end, which is similar to Return of the King’s in how long it takes to wrap up. Nomura admits this was originally planned as a twenty-minute short, but it just ended up expanding and expanding, and you can tell that it got a little bloated as it did.
Seiyuu: This is one of the saving graces of the film. I could watch this just for Rufus and Kadaj’s seiyuu. And there are some top-tier seiyuu (Maaya Sakamoto as Aeris, most notably, and the guy who did Roy Mustang as Sephiroth) as well, and everyone else in the production carries their roles wonderfully.
Dub: However, what I said above doesn’t go for the dub. The voices are amazingly bland when compared to their Japanese counterparts. Aeris and Tifa’s voice actresses, most notably, deliver their lines like robots. The only ones who get close to their Japanese counterparts’ performances are Kadaj and Sephiroth, and even those are pale imitations at best.
Performances like these are the reason I went to/usually stick to subs.
Overall: This was a disappointment to me, especially after I went out of my way to get a legal version. I’m hoping this doesn’t carry over to the other Compilation of FFVII titles (though, from what I know thus far, Last Order didn’t fare much better than this, and I’ve heard the same for Dirge of Cerberus, while the recently-released Crisis Core is said to be the best of the bunch). I know you’re trying to get everything you can out of this, Squenix, but really, could you at least try for some quality?
Overall: 42/60; 70% (D)
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
2. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children – Venice Film Festival Footage
3. Tennis no Ouji-sama Movie 1: Futari no Samurai – The First Game
4. Tsubasa Chronicle: Tori Kago no Kuni no Himegimi
5. Pokemon Movie 08: Mew to Hadou no Yuusha Lucario