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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Review: Final Fantasy VII: Last Order

A short review for a short one-off piece of anime. Apparently included in the Final Fantasy VII : Advent Children DVD in Japan (not currently scheduled for the west, strangely), Last Order is a 25 minute anime set prior to the events of the original Playstation and PC game. If you’ve not played the majority of the game then the anime (and this short review) will spoil some decent storytelling moments in the game. So a bit of a gap, which I shall fill with a screen capture of animated SOLDIER Zack.

I must admit, my memory of Final Fantasy VII has slipped slowly away in the 3 or 4 years since I finally played it on my PC. I was initially a bit baffled as to why a character named Zack appeared to be Cloud, and Cloud... wasn’t. Then it clicked and I remembered the neat piece of false flashback memories in the game – this anime (also something of a flashback, largely) depicts the incident at the Mako Reactor involving Cloud, Tifa, Zack and Sephiroth. In parallel we’re shown Zack escaping the clutches of Shinra with a practically comatose Cloud, hunted by the Turks on the way to Midgar (set a few months before the game begins, I believe). Despite how complex this sounds, it’s actually a pretty straightforward 25 minutes.

It’s also a rather lacking 25 minutes. What works as a nice part of the game storyline does not make an outstanding piece of anime. It’s a nicely animated version of that backstory, and the new sections are very fluid and action packed but it’s all very much in the territory of an average episode of a TV anime. There’s nothing outstanding here and much more could have been done with the “present day” material that surrounds the pre-existing events of the past. The ending is particularly poor, as they try to make a shocking and sudden stop in the post-escape pleasantries but instead produce a jarring cut to the credits which rounds off an all too short, and all too unadventurous 25 minutes.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Posted by Alex Hopkinson @ 10:59 PM


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All original content is copyright Alex Hopkinson 2005. Other content is copyright the respective owners. To contact the author email: alex [at]

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