Ai and Yu, after reading their parent's research and after their parents' disappearance, they decided to go on search for them. They ride a strange train to the Inner World in search of their parents and meets up with Lisa in the train and together they begin their journey within the Inner World.
It is not what I've expected it to be... Most of you would think the same after seeing it for the first time.
Almost every episode starts off with a narrator called FABULA telling you what happened so far and at the end she makes a brief prophecy for the next one.
The characters are appealing and I grew to like every single one of them, but their design doesn't match (to be honest, they're even ugly sometimes...) with the backgrounds and effects (both really good), however... you get used to it after a while and with each passing episode you come to know them better.
story is imaginative and completely different from any series before. The plot is relatively dynamic and contains only very few repetitive or boring sequences. Another thing that fascinated me were the locations, because they seemed to be very well thought out.
A lot of fans of the Final Fantasy games do not appreciate this anime, because it has nothing to do with any of the already existing parts. In my opinion Unlimited is special in its own way and shouldn't be compared to anything seen in the games. That would be the same as if you'd hate F.F.X. just because it isn't associated with F.F.VII. but as in everything that shares the name 'Final Fantasy' there are Chocobos, Cactuars and Moogles featured!
So, don't listen to bad critics and judge for yourself.
If you just found out about this anime are are thinking: "OMG!!! Final fantasy anime~ this must be the best thing in existence!111!!!11" Think again.... Besides references to a few summons and other final fantasy lore~ the story feels like nothing resembling final fantasy at all. Its not a sequel or connected to any other fantasy universes in any way~ If anything it just felt like a diabolical anime company decided to add "final Fantasy" to the title to brainwash fans of the franchise to buy their series... a very inhumane marketing tactic indeed...
Story: Kids from the "real world" looking for their lost parents in
a "fantasy world"... run into trouble because they have no powers to protect themselves from the crazy monsters running about. They are saved by a few people in the world who decide to help them find their parents.
The flow of the story is VERY VERY slow...Alot of cheesy jokes and talking that no one really cares about. The fighting scenes are not the best, but because the Fighting Protagonist "Kaze" is just so awesome, and the rest of the plot is so slow, you just pray a fighting scene will come soon to save you from misery. ohhh... and the fighting relies on summoned beast fired from guns... Some sword action would have been nice.
Art: Its not a masterpiece or anything~ but for the time it was rather good. Kaze and his main antagonist have a very unique presence that makes them shine compared to the rest of the cast.
Sound: Nothing stands out about the sound for the most part, it wasn't very memorable. One of the endings was very upbeat and nice, I still listen to it occasionally.
Characters: Nearly all character attributes are stereotypical shounen roles... Nothing stands out barely at all. The two siblings Ai and Yu were supposed to be the main characters, but they're just so boring and predictable its not even fun.
Kaze, the "fighting protaganist" was the only real reason I could even bare the show~ and even then he's the stereotypical "Silent hero" type, and gets little to no attention unless its a battle. If not for Kaze and his antagonist my rating would have been a 4 overall...
Enjoyment: I honestly felt betrayed watching this series. If Final fantasy has made alot of mistakes on its path to glory... but this series takes the cake. When the show was over I wished I had a time machine to go back and delete this series off my hard drive before I had the opportunity to waste a good 7-8 hours of my life on this show.
The only thing you'll get from watching this series is bragging rights that you didn't commit suicide in the watching of this series.
As a longtime Final Fantasy fan, I'm continuously amazed that this triple-A videogame series, with over 20 years of lore to draw from, remains unable to make a successful big screen transition. "Final Fantasy: Unlimited" may not be completely devoid of elements from the games or a bunch of FMVs duct-taped together to appease fanboys, but this anime still pretty much lost me when one of the characters uses a gun to conjure summons (yes, a freakin' gun). When all is said and done, "Unlimited" is nothing but a souless "Alice in Wonderland" ripoff (the anime's world is even called Wonderland). The barely-there story yields
boring action, tons of recycled animation and a cast consisting of some psychic monk bimbo with bouncy boobs, a couple of bratty kids and the anime staple "guy with black cape who never talks whom we're supposed to believe is a bad@ss just cause he's a jerk with a big gun." I was literally an inch away from quitting this series after Disc 3, but I somehow managed to tough it out all the way to Disc 5, only to watch "Unlimited" collapse into an abrupt heap of an ending. Yeah it's got chocobos, something resembling summons and that legendary Final Fantasy victory theme, but the rest of "Final Fantasy: Unlimited" is simply a weird for the sake of weird mess with hallow, uninspired characters and a non-sensical story that isn't even complete. The English dub is also strikingly below-average. If you're still waiting for a decent Final Fantasy anime or movie, you're gonna have to wait some more. One and a half stars.
Final Fantasy: Unlimited began airing towards the end of 2001. It was one of Gonzo's early anime projects. Yes, the same studio behind Gantz, Solty Rei, Strike Witches & Gankutsuo. Gonzo is one of those studios that seems to have something really bad for every good series they put out. The Sunabouzu to balance out the Bakuretsu Tenshi, if you will. They've also had quite a few middling titles. Where does this one fit? Let's take a look.
We open with a scene in our everyday world where two dragons are facing off as onlookers take bets and wonder when Godzilla is going to get involved.
Or, maybe it'll be Gamera. I hear he's really neat and full of meat. We cut to much later when the existence of the other world has become old hat. Twins Ai & Yu are heading to a magical subway to journey to the Inner World in search of their parents who went there to do science. On the subway they encounter Lisa Pacifist, a young woman going to the Inner World for reasons of her own. Which may be related to them having really good tacos, but probably isn't. We follow the travellers as they go through different, strange locales of the Inner World and encounter all kinds of trouble. Fortunately for them, a mysterious bloke with a magic gun always seems to be in the same areas to help them.
By far the biggest issue with this series is just that it's under-developed. There are quite a few things that had the potential to be interesting. The revelation involving the soil that Kaze uses in his magic gun could have been interesting and led to some really compelling stuff in turn. The revelation about Ai & Yu had potential as well. But in both of these cases the revelations come at the very end and there's really nothing to even strongly hint at them beforehand. So, they end up as pretty close to nothing. There's also the evil death lord characters. It's hinted throughout that one of them, Oscha, is plotting something. And there's a lot of build up and then it all leads up to nothing. The series also suffers a bit from being overly repetitive. Yeah, the characters travel to a variety of strange locations but, ultimately, most of it culminates in some big bad attacking, Kaze's magic gun moving, him shooting a summoned creature and the FF victory music playing. Incidentally, you know how a good magical girl series will start abridging its stock footage so that you aren't watching the same thing in every bloody episode? Well, Unlimited takes the other route. They never abridge Kaze's magic gun sequence and most episodes use it. I guess they were really happy with the animation. Or they didn't want to bother writing a little extra content.
There are some parts to the series that are kind of dumb too. For example, there's a point where our characters are in an advanced submarines and its weapons work by having a bunch of men blow into tubes like they're trying to audition for pornographic yaoi. You can make a really advanced submarine but you can't build a more effective firing mechanism? You really have to take the giant blowgun route? This version of Cid is an idiot. There's also the whole magic gun thing. This thing doesn't just require specific combinations to work, it requires super specific combinations. There are at least three different versions of white. With that many kinds of Soil, how exactly does Kaze know which ones work? A lot of trial and error? Considering the soil's secret, that would be unfortunate. Did he look it up on the Internet? Does he have a strategy guide with all two hundred varieties of soil and exactly which summoning recipes each one is used for? Did he scour the bookshelves, chests and back alleys of the Inner World until he found all the secreted away books with summon recipes in them? Inquiring minds demand answers.
With that out of the way, I do have to say that most of its problems aren't all that bad. And it is kind of interesting to watch them go through the strange locations. Some of the set ups they find themselves facing are quite intricate and it can be interesting to experience how they function. The series also has some pretty nice comedic moments here and there. It never quite reaches the point where it's a slog to get through.
The characters in this can best be described as mediocre. With the main cast, you occasionally get glimpses that indicate that the writers are going for something better but they never take the time to really focus on any of the characters enough to elevate them above average. Take Kaze for example. For most of the series, he acts as a “mysterious” figure who seems to care more for his vendetta than for the people around him. We then start getting hints that he has some tragic past that drives him. Towards the end of the series, we learn basically what that tragedy was but it comes across more as a blanket justification for his behaviour as opposed to a new facet for the character. His attitude and behaviour remain completely stagnant.
The art is pretty mixed. On the negative side, the character designs look kind of lazy. There's also some awkward CG in places. To top it all off, the stock footage stuff gets boring very quickly. On the positive side, the summoned creatures do look pretty interesting. There are also some visually surreal locations they go through that look good.
There are some superb actors in this. Takehito Koyasu, Imai Yuka, Canna Nobutoshi & Ishida Akira among them. We also get a surprisingly good performance from Inoue Kikuko who only gets to say variations of “kukururu” but manages to show a lot of emotion anyway. Her character has moments where she sounds shocked, uncertain, sad & frightened. All while speaking gibberish. None of them are giving their best performances ever here, but they're all good. The music is very Final Fantasy. We've got some classics by Uematsu Nobuo. We've also got some from Hamaguchi Shiro (who also has a decorated background in FF music) & Tada Akifumi. The music is, by far, the strongest element in the series.
The closest thing we get to ho-yay in this series is Lisa blushing furiously when she finds out she'll be sharing a room with Mireth, and Mireth winking at her when imparting that information. There might be payapaya happening on this submarine.
There are certainly things to like about Final Fantasy: Unlimited. The music and acting are both strong. The summons and diverse, strange worlds look good. The story keeps your interest with its strange set ups & locales. It manages to get some laughs. Unfortunately, it's also a series that never reaches its full potential. The story has a lot that's under-developed and under-utilised. The characters are just mediocre and the boring, uncut stock footage attack is a constant. I would still say the series is okay but it's not good. My final rating is going to be a 6/10. Next week I'll talk about Trinity Blood.
Guns come in all shapes and forms, but sometimes you need a little something more than a simple bullet to deal with arcane and mystical threats against humanity. The following list will showcase magical anime guns that pack enough heat to blow away whatever is on the other end of the barrel!