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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
patience is a must
By Phoenix Omega
First, I would like to say that these cartoons do have English language voice tracks (I couldn't find that information anywhere when I was shopping). On to the actual review...
Initially, I was disappointed with this cartoon series. The voices of the female protagonist and the main antagonist are brazen and irritating (although you do get used to them). The plot is slow to develop, and the first few episodes consist primarily of an unpleasant little girl proclaiming "I hate it here!" in response to various oddities.
However, the episodes become more interesting as the series progresses. Characters are actually given obstacles to overcome, and personalities become multidimensional. There is some element of intrigue among the enemies, and much mystery surrounding the main characters. Humor blossoms from the characters' burgeoning humanity, and suddenly all the elements of a compelling story are present.
Patience, however, is still required. Those of you have played final fantasy will recall the long animations associated with each summon monster. Summon monsters play an important role in this cartoon series, and the drawn-out animations become repetitive. Moreover, the character who uses the summon monsters recites a tedious incantation before each use. (You'll have the phrase "soil is my power!" stuck in your head after a few episodes.) These repetitive interludes did not ruin the cartoons for me, however. I kept my perspective by reminding myself that commercial breaks are longer and more irritating, and I have in the past watched many shows with commercials.
Some viewers have complained that this series is untrue to the Final Fantasy label, but (thematically speaking, at least) I would strongly disagree. The themes of friendship, teamwork, and self-sacrifice that pervade the Final Fantasy series abundant; expect touching gallantry and heartbreaking martyrdom. Also present is the age-old theme of history recurring in immutable cycles.
Some questions in this series do remain unanswered at the end (of course I won't spoil it with details here!), which is slightly disappointing. I feel the series is less thorough than the games in "tying up loose ends". However, there are enough interesting plot twists toward the end to keep the viewer's interest. I genuinely believe those who are patient enough to watch the whole series will be glad that they did.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Not for adults.
By Walter D. Fitzgerald
For kids 14 and under, this might be a great anime. The animation itself is pretty good. To me, 2 of the main characters' voice acting seemed lame, the others were at least good. I got about halfway through, and just couldn't bear to watch any more of it. Because I did like parts of it, I couldn't just give it 2 stars.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful. See all 50 customer reviews...
Best Final Fantasy Animation so far
Rather than review all the phases, I figure it's best to do the first since you'll be starting off with this one anyway :)
The 'Final Fantasy' direct game series (meaning 1-11) has always been the basis and the best. The spin-off games have always been recieved with mixed opinions, since they can be quite different.
However, the Final Fantasy Animation have always been recieved very poorly. The first anime called "Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals" was in 4 parts and took place after the FF5 video game...the translation of names was inconsistance w/ the later released US video game, needless to say it was pretty bad. We all remeber Sony's attempt to show off the PS2 CG movie...which was terrible.
However, FFU is actually the 3rd and best atempt for an animated FF series. As the games it is a completely new story, but with classic FF elements (Chocobos, Summon Spells, Charcters leave & join the party) so in this aspect it is pretty good.
The English dubbing is also pretty good, though Yu's voice actor always sounds like he reading his lines and they should have used someone else in my opinion (that's quite annoying!).
The story will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys the games, I would base the character types (like Fungus and other weird one) on a FF6 & 9 level = NOT for everyone as some are silly, I do not believe Amano created them, but that's the overall flavor.
This is somewhat like Xenogears animation (mix of CG & Cartoon) but overall not quite that much...but again you get the idea. 90% is animated with only a few scenes and small fractions with some CG special effects like Kaze's Demon Gun (AKA Magun in US).
Overall don't expect this to be based directly on a FF game. I reccomend it for die-hard Squaresoft/FF fans.
The Japanese version would fir nicely in the "Teen" rating, but sadly the US version is slightly toned down and thus younger children would enjoy it :(