The gateway to another world appears suddenly one day and with its coming awakens two mysterious beasts of astonishing power. When the monsters appear to destroy each other, they vanish ?leaving behind only the inexplicabl... more »e pillar of darkness and the unanswered questions of the natural world. 12 years later, the twin children of two scientists who disappeared on the so-called Day of Conjunction go on a hazardous quest in search of their lost parents. Boarding a phantom subway, Ai and Yu travel to Wonderland, a chaotic world of amazing beauty and thrilling danger. Accompanied by Lisa, an enigmatic woman they meet on the train, and Kaze, a brooding stranger with a demon-summoning gun, the twins begin an incredible journey that will lead to the mysterious heart of Wonderland. ? The entire 25 episode Final Fantasy: Unlimited series in one thin-pak boxset! ? Set in the fantastical world popularized in the Final Fantasy games! ? Produced by GONZO Digimation (Full Metal Panic!, Gantz, Peacemaker). ? Directed by Mahiro Maeda (Second Renaissance ? Animatrix, Blue Sub #6) ? Epic adventure of stunning visuals and fast-paced action and lovable Chocobos« less
Antonio D. Paolucci | Beaver Falls, PA | 12/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'd have to say I was disappointed when I first saw the first episodes of Unlimited. It was named Final Fantasy, but very little linked it to the incredible video game series of the same name. The story seemed immature and generic and not interwoven with many character driven side stories; only the Final Fantasy mascots appeared (Chocobo, for one); and the music didn't reflect the classical style that went with the games. So, needless to say, I didn't bother buying anymore of the DVDs in the series.
Then the box set came out, and I admitted to myself that I was at least curious about how this series would end, plus I had learned that Gonzo made Unlimited, and Gonzo has yet to fail me in any of my anime endeavors. I bought it, and I watched the first episodes again. I cringed, because suddenly I felt the same way and even found a few more things I disliked about it. But I didn't stop, and continued to watch, and found that, slowly, this series evolved. It became emotionally driven, with a lot of elements that made Final Fantasy great. There were mascots galore (the stated chocobo, cactuar, moogles, summons, and Cid). Some of the music heard can be heard in previous games (the opening song--not the title song--and the battle victory).
Still, it wasn't as Final Fantasy as its namesake, but I found that in watching the anime the entire way through that that was okay. Though it isn't a good chapter in Final Fantasy, it's a great stand-alone anime nonetheless. It has great animation, a strange style that seems both classical and cutting edge (Astroboy with CG). The story deepens as the two main characters search for their parents, and other story lines reveal themselves as well, such as Kaze's story, the main character in charge of a powerful gun capable of summoning creatures into battle, and Lisa, a martial artist with the power to control elements. The antagonists also turn into something more than they had been in the beginning. A deeper, more sinister foe appears later, one that adds a sense of dread to the story that wasn't there previously. All in all, it adds up to one decent anime. And the value itself can't be beaten. Twenty-five episodes of anime for less than fifty-bucks.
It's difficult, however, to recommend this anime. I'd only recommend this to Final Fantasy fans who don't take the game too serious. If you do, you'll be disappointed with this anime. I'd also recommend it for anyone who enjoys experimentation in their animation. If you enjoyed Kid's Story in the Animatrix, you'll enjoy this."
Behind the Curve
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 10/30/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When I first heard that there was a Final Fantasy series that was to be introduced as a DVD series in the US I was quite excited. Certainly, as a game series, Final Fantasy has consistenly hit high marks in both story and graphics. It seemed reasonalble to expect that the series, coming out at the same time as other series that have shown landmark levels of quality would be something to watch. Alas, that is not the case.A great tower of light suddenly plunges into the modern world, and titanic monsters appear in epic battles. The world changes subtly as a darker presence begins to take possession of the shadows. A pair of research scientists start an investigation, but disappear right after they publish a book about a strange underground world that seems to have appeared right under our feet. Now it falls to Yu and Ai Hayakawa to try and find their parents. The board an odd subway train, and are transported to...Wonderland.In this DVD we take our first tour of wonderland, as the young children discover the mysteries and threats that surround then and acquire new companions like Lisa, who has her own special variety of 'martial arts,' and Kaze who uses a magical gun to carry out his role as a summoner (remember FF8 and FFX). At present the story stays focussed at this level, a bit more fight and adventure oriented, although I expect that the serious story arcs will gradually become more important.While the work is acceptible as standard Saturday morning cartoon fareit really lakes the flair that marks most Final Fanasty work. In fact, other than some creatures like Chocobos, it really has very little in common with the Final Fantasy game series. Scripting and character development are minimal, aimed at an audience that isn't quite ready for the complex relationship building which marks the show's namesakes. And the artwork is interesting in spots, but more cartoon-like, reminiscent of than the originals.A quick glance at the credits shows that there is very little cross over between the game creators and the series staff. This explains many of the little gaps that make the show confusing for a long time fan. If one approaches this as an independent work rather than as an heir to one of gaming's greatest lineages, then it is an acceptable and entertaining series. Buy if you are looking for the world of Gaia, peopled with Yuna's, Strife's, and Vivi's you are going to be disappointed, as I was."
A bizarre beginning, but it has potential
Kevin Wilson | Colorado United States | 11/12/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Final Fantasy: Unlimited gets off to a very odd beginning. The artistic style is different from most animes, and it's also different from most US animation. In fact, it doesn't really lie anywhere in-between. At the get go, the strange mix of CG animation and hand-drawn animation don't really seem to mesh too well.. but given enough time, you will get used to it, and perhaps even enjoy it. The English voice acting is decent.. All the characters match their voices quite well? although the twins (who's names are pronounced "You" and "I") sound just like kids. "That's good," you say. "They are kids." Yes, you're right, but the voice actors sound like they're trying too hard. Kids attempting to voice act = bad. The Japanese dub might be preferable.
The plot seems to be a bit bland and generic at the moment, but we?ll have to wait for it to evolve, the same as in any story. While some of the action is mildly violent, the general feel of this series isn't adult by any means. While an adult can catch a lot more of the symbolism than could a, adolescent, the plots themselves are thus-far simple and perhaps a bit childish.
If you?re a die-hard fan of the series (like I am, admittedly) you'll probably want to pick this up at some time. However be warned, the TV show is very odd. Alice in Wonderland comes to mind. Traditional animation + traditional storyline + recreational drugs? Is this bad? Perhaps not, it may turn out to be something new and original? but the beginning doesn?t seem to be anything too special.
The box art is decent, and the box construction quality is very good. If you've bought it, try the next DVD and make a judgment then. If you haven't tried it out yet, you may want to consider waiting for the next few Phases to be released and reviewed. Just be prepared for a bit of insanity."
Really Good Series... Not Long Enough Though
Brock R. Joncas | Saskatoon, Saskatchewan | 07/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ok... this series isn't exactly like the Final Fantasy games, but the elements are there. For instance, you have chocobo's, you have cactuar's, you have the summoning of Guardian Forces (which by the way look really cool), you have character's which have too much power for their own good, and a journey. This journey is that of Ai and Yu's search for their parents, where they are accompanied by Lisa Pacifist, a woman who possesses the cool power of Kigen Arts. During their journey, they see and do many wonderous things in wonderland (I wont say anymore, I dont want to spoil too much of the plot). I have this product rated as 4/5 stars, but actually i think there it should be 4.5/5 stars. I really enjoyed this series, but I dock it .5 points because the time length ADV gives the series to be is inadequate. They say it is total 625 minutes, where actually each episode is 22min 45 sec, thus 22.75 min * 25 = 568.75 minutes long total length of series. Anywho, if you like final fantasy, i suggest watch this series."
Great but slow
R. Torres | 08/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great anime, will keep you entertained and guessing until the last episode. But be warned, the story line and action are a bit slow. And the main character's summoning gun takes at least 10 seconds... just for him to fire it. Sigh. But don't let this keep you from buying this product. It is still a great anime, hope you enjoy."