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Also known as FFU.

Final Fantasy: Unlimited is an anime series produced by SquareSoft in order to push the Final Fantasy name further into the public's eye and conquer all forms of media (not to bash Square, or anything, but that’s what they've been doing recently). The series is visually and musically stunning, but the plot line is about as thin as any American produced cartoon of the 1980's. However, the point of the show is not for the plot. It's for the humor True to the Final Fantasy name, however, the show IS amusingly addictive, has chocobos, a guy named Cid, a fascinating musical soundtrack, an airship (but not until the closing credits of the last episode), the annoyingly fun victory song from Final Fantasy VII, a moogle, and even features summoned creatures.

The show at first centers around two children named Yu and Ai who decide to travel into the inner world (which is composed of countless "outer worlds", all connected by an inter-dimensional subway) to search for their parents, who are experts on, and wrote a book about the inner world as a possible source of fuel for humans (no, that's not a form of evil capitalism. I swear.). The children quickly meet up with a girl named Lisa, who is also traveling into the inner world. The children conclude that she is looking for her boyfriend, although in truth she is working for the government or something like that. Nevertheless, she takes it upon herself to "protect" the children as they search for the parents.

I say "protect" because she hardly does anything worthwhile. Her attacks alter the flow of bio-energy around her to create shields and such. However, because she's unsure of herself and in a place that isn't earth, the bio-energy is much different, so when she does successfully attack something, it gets back up. When she doesn't successfully attack, she makes water catch fire.

Luckily there is one competent good guy. A shadowy man named Kuroki Kaze, translated to Black Wind, Kaze for short. He has a gun strapped onto his right arm, called the demon gun, which he uses to summon creatures that are drawn with second rate CG graphics (but still managed to give me chills down my spine because it was just beautiful). He's almost exclusively the one to get the good guys out of trouble.

The show is repetitive, the entire series is composed of what passes off as random monster encounters. And as a result of that, the show becomes predictable. Luckily they throw in a few plot twists at the end. But like I said earlier; the point isn't the plot. At least, I hope it's not (if plot is what this anime is about, oh god, help us all). The show is at times hilarious. A running gag is all the chocobos love to eat Ai's hair, and they'll bite onto it and run around with her. But only at times; most of the time it is rather mundane...

The show has yet to be released in the U.S., and currently it is available to download from at least two different fan subbing groups. I give kudos to them on their translations. The English subtitles are wonderful in the fan subs. I couldn't give them enough praise. ADV has picked up FFU and is shoving the series down the throats of the endeering public.

Even though the cheesy second rate CGI's are just that, it's at least worth putting up with watching the series for them. Another thing about the anime that is just stunningly wonderful is the normal animation. Some of the best I've seen, period. It is most beautiful when they seamlessly combine the CG graphics and the normal animation, as they do when Lisa uses her powers. Wonderful. Simply wonderful.

At the end of the series, there is enough evidence to suggest that a second FFU series could be made, and if it's going to be anything like the first, I hope they don't bother. That said, I still recomend trying to watch this anime. Like some Final Fantasy games, if nothing else, it's good for the music and graphics.

Update Feb. 8th, 2004: I have just learned that Square had intended FFU to be a 72 episode series. So that explains that.

dokool says re Final Fantasy: Unlimited: I bring you word from Anime Boston 2003: ADV has licenced FFU for region 1. rox0r.

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