Written by Kazushige Nojima/Directed by Tetsuya Nomura & Takeshi Nozue/Produced by Yoshinori Kitase & Shinji Hashimoto/Music by Nobuo Uematsu
The world has been largely devastated, and a new disease known as “Geostigma” is wrecking havoc on the remaining population. Still, somehow, life goes on. For Cloud Strife, however, the past is still raw, and he clings to it, unable to move on. He and his childhood friend Tifa Lockheart run a courier service and look after a few orphaned children, and he would be more than grateful to maintain that simple life. When three individuals related to his old archenemy Sephiroth show up, kidnapping numerous children infected with Geostigma, it becomes clear that something is going on. Equally clear is that Cloud is going to have to get over his past failures and act if he doesn’t want to lose even more people who are precious to him.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is a movie based on and continuing the story of the game Final Fantasy VII. I’ve played just enough of the game to be somewhat familiar with the characters and setting, but I think the plot of the movie would have been clearer if I had waited to watch it until I finished the game. Still, I don’t think it was that difficult to follow–it does pull characters, setting, and plot setup from the games, but what develops in the movie is largely the psychological and emotional drama of Cloud’s regrets and the relationships between him, Tifa, and the kids. Oh, and a lot of fantasy CG city action including some pretty crazy chases and an absolutely incredible (read impossible, but still impressive) fight drawing in a lot of characters who don’t show up anywhere else in the story. I must say the CG work was impressive, especially for a movie as old as it is. The selection of voice actors is also quite nice–some individuals in particular that I recognize from anime voicing were a pleasant surprise. And the music is absolutely gorgeous; that’s one of Final Fantasy‘s biggest draws for me in general, and Advent Children is no exception. I admit that this movie will probably be most beloved to those who enjoy the game series first, but I thought that Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was an enjoyable fantasy/action movie even without that experience.