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silentfuzzle
07-12-2017, 01:14 AM
Hello all!


Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children has been my favorite movie ever since it came out, and for the past few years, Iíve been studying it to find out why I like it so much. This has included examining similar CGI movies to see why nothing has quite reached its caliber. I recently wrote a series of articles in which I discuss a theory that Advent Children tells a story primarily through action and visuals that can be interpreted in multiple ways.


Iím curious to know what this film means to other people. As a CGI movie enthusiast who hasnít spent much time with the Final Fantasy VII game, I interpret Advent Childrenís story mostly through the imagery and themes, such as reunion and solitude, life and death, and mental illness, in the film itself. Over the past few months, Iíve read interpretations from Final Fantasy VII fans that I would have never thought of. One review pointed out the similarity between Cloudís relationship with Sephiroth in the game and Kadajís relationship with Cloud in the movie. Some reviewers say that Cloudís personality in the movie didnít match what they expected from what happened in the game. Others argue that it makes sense. Some say that Cloud fights alone at the end of the movie because heís the only one with a reason to fight. In the game, all his friends had personal reasons to fight Sephiroth. Others say the battle with Cloud and Sephiroth at the end of Advent Children is irredeemably pointless fanservice.


Gathering these opinions through film reviews has been difficult though since reviews of this movie rarely discuss its storytelling or filmmaking techniques. Most reviewers simply say that the story is incomprehensible or non-existent, or they claim that the creators donít know how to make a film, donít understand their own universe, or only made this film to make money off fanservice. In Advent Childrenís case, I think this is rather insulting and disrespectful, especially when reviewers make no attempt to understand what the creators were doing and explain why it didnít work for them.


So I thought I would find some Final Fantasy forums and ask you all directly. Why do you like or dislike this film? What does this film mean to you? Do you have favorite scenes or favorite shots? What do you like about them? Who are the children? Who is Denzel? Who or what does the wolf represent? Why did we need to see a scene of Cloudís phone falling to the bottom of a pool? What is the point of Cloud and Tifa lying in a field of flowers while whimsical music plays in the background?


If youíd like more information/examples on this topic, you can read my articles on Advent Children on the Extra Life Community website here:


http://community.extra-life.org/articles.html/communitycontent/advent-children-what%E2%80%99s-beneath-the-fan-service-part-1-r991/


http://community.extra-life.org/articles.html/communitycontent/advent-children-what%E2%80%99s-beneath-the-fan-service-part-2-r999/


http://community.extra-life.org/articles.html/communitycontent/advent-children-what%E2%80%99s-beneath-the-fan-service-part-3-r1011/


Note that Iím discussing the original film, but feel free to talk about the added/modified scenes in Advent Children Complete. Make sure to specify which version of the film youíre talking about.


Thank you for your time!

Sephiroth
07-12-2017, 01:18 AM
To me it means everything. It is the sequel to Final Fantasy VII and reflects exactly what Nojima- and Nomura-san thought of it. And Advent Children is only half known by people as long as they do not read On The Way To a Smile, a book written by Final Fantasy VII scenario writer Kazushige Nojima. And the entire movie is fanservice. I hate it when fanservice is automatically treated as a bad word. It is the very essence of a company to make money and use all the power they have to do so. People just hate to see something they claim they could have done better while seeing that they did not even understand essential parts of what they loved. And that is about everything life.

And Final Fantasy VII Advent Children has a fantastic story. It is a short story about life going on with the immediate consequences of saving the world. The movie gives Cloud a natural behaviour based on his normal character + what happened in the first game which works together in a very believable way. And on top of that of course we once again get to see the guy who always resists from fading away. Which is incredible in On The Way To A Smile because it gives Sephiroth an even more human description for such an inhuman character: He has a natural fear of death seeing it as the non-existence of his very self, directly opposing to Aerith's view of that. Which is by the way a very understandable and logical way to think, psychologically spoken as the very self, the consciousness is simply what we are. And even Aerith's thinking of "ascending to a new state of being" does not directly explain if you still exist or not. Because if it is just metaphorical, then "you" still don't exist anymore and just the leftovers of you. So Sephiroth would actually be right - very fitting indeed considering I also would not want to give up but who knows - maybe Aerith's view does not even mean we do not cease to exist as person. And that is just one small part of what we get to know. There is a lot more to the book and movie.

And there was also a reason in-universe for the fight with Sephiroth.

1. He is the evil guy. If he wins, everything is doomed.
2. By the end of the day he is inevitably and always something CLoud needs to deal with to overcome obstacle x and cope with the past.
3. Sephiroth himself holds a grudge against Cloud and wanted to show off that it was all his doing so he wanted to meet Cloud face to face.

"
Sephiroth and Jenova gain new powers as the plot demands, ...Even Nomura mentioned in earlier interviews that the original story of VII created several problems that made the script somewhat implausible, but simply retcon what they could so the film could have all the elements fans wanted to see like a rematch fight between Cloud and Sephy. "

That is absolute nonsense as Sephiroth's alien powers that he uses in the movie and to return stand in direct relation to the abilities that he has used before. And I would love to see the "interview" that you have read. By the end of the day the writer is Nojima-san who wrote the powers in the first installments as well and Sephiroth's transcendence, his ability to project himself into other things and shapeshift and all perfectly fit - the only really new thing is his "linking his existence to memories" and even that stands in direct relation to the first installments. Also even gaining new powers "as the plot demands" for a highly inhuman entity that inherits the powers of an alien is nothing special. You are also making it yourself always very easy with "it is weak writing if the person cannot implement a certain part of the story" -> "well, the person can make this decision for several purposes like it would disrupt their narrative flow or their just want a certain focus on another aspect more" -> "if that person were a good writer they would know how to do it" -> "but then the person would not always do and write the way they want to -> "if that person were a good writer they would do this and that". You are always trying to construct this mirage of an impenetrable argument that because of any reason you want to insert the person is a good writer but by the end of the day what that person writes and how they choose to write and choose to focus for a certain narrative flow the person is not automatically a bad writer or writes a bad story. And I am sorry that I have to say that but I have yet to see you guys providing some actual writing skills and actual communication skills. Truth be told most people here like other people all over the world just want to see what they want to see and that's it, and yes, you do, because you are obviously aso leaving out parts of the story or justify your arguments with totally irrelevant stuff like "well, Hironobu Sakaguchi's view of the franchise ... and therefore I too", as if that be an actual argument. You don't like it, fine. You do not need to like it. And yes, sometimes things make less sense - it is fiction, it does not matter for the existence of that world as it is not bound to those rules but in that case I understand that sometimes it can disturb someone's entertainment. But don't think being the forum's "resident critic" and always adding your great coffee + monitor smiley adds any plausibility and credibility to your posts. By the end of the day I also have seen a lot of questionable stuff from you.

Wolf Kanno
07-12-2017, 05:58 AM
To me the film is pretty much Square realizing at the time that they had bled away the creative talent that had made the company a force to be reckoned with in the 90s, and simply took a lesson from the modest success of X-2. They discovered they could easily make back the money they lost from the Spirits Within and the bad PR caused from that whole mess by distracting everyone by bringing back the game that made the company famous.

While I will not say that anything is wrong with the animation, I do feel the choreography and over-the-top visuals clash with what the fans saw within the game itself, which is to say that while it had its fair share of visually stunning and physics defying shenanigans, it never strayed as far into the cartoonish levels witness in the film. This choreography and wanton destruction not only clash with the ultra-realistic visual art style, but pigeonholes the film with the deluge of campy visual choreography fights that films like The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had popularized in the late 90s/early 00s and popularized a whole medium that is frankly diffiult to take serious anymore.

The plot is weak, largely because someone thought it would be a great idea to release it as a novel separate from the film, which ultimately weakens the films ability to tell an actual compelling story because so many important plot elements are cut out. Even the film directors themselves acknowledged this with the films later Director's Cut trying to fix this issue. Despite all that, the story is contrived and only serves as a means to move the viewer from the action scenes which make up the majority of the film, giving the movie the same format as a porn film. While there is a story in some porn films, it only serves the purpose of stringing together why all these people are having sex, and thus is of little importance to the film.

Sephiroth and Jenova gain new powers as the plot demands, Cloud is placed in a situation to destroy his character growth from the game and simply come to terms with it again, Tifa is still chasing after Cloud and utterly useless without him, and the rest of the cast plots are edited out and placed in the novelization. Aerith continues to go through her awkward Messiah imagery despite the fact that it once again detracts the viewer from VIIs central theme of the Planet itself being a living entity that interconnects us all. Rufus and the rest of Shin-Ra feel like caricatures of their true selves as Reno suddenly becomes a hyperactive physical comedy act when his original incarnation was much more subdued and Rufus goes from cartoonishly evil to suddenly being sleazy but pretty nice guy. The same guy who preached about running the world through fear. This is also despite the fact that watching the cutscene of his "death from within the game makes the hand wave excuse of his survival in the supplement material feel completely unrealistic. Even Nomura mentioned in earlier interviews that the original story of VII created several problems that made the script somewhat implausible, but simply retcon what they could so the film could have all the elements fans wanted to see like a rematch fight between Cloud and Sephy.

So I can't really get behind the writing for this piece of film because it can't really stand on its own as a story, and what plot is there simply exists for fanservice. Advent Children can be a fun fluff film, but frankly I feel The Spirits Within was better because it actually had some substance and a message to it, a message as subtle as train crashing through a fine china shop, but a message nonetheless. I mean what was the point of ACs story? For Cloud to stop feeling sorry for himself and be the hero he wanted to be? Didn't he already do that in the game?

So yeah, this film was made to make use of all the money Square poured into making a high-end CGI animation studio for The Spirits Within, and to try and wipe that stain of a venture out of the minds of the fans by milking their nostalgia. At least we got some good music from Nobuo Uematsu from it.

:wcanoe:

fat_moogle
07-12-2017, 10:45 AM
dilly dally shilly shally

krissy
07-13-2017, 06:23 AM
i really liked it
and the long version fleshes it out a bit more

it had one of the most meta/emotional scenes of the series for me (aeris's hand during bahamut fight)

Wolf Kanno
07-13-2017, 08:54 AM
Ugh...

Okay two things I'm going to say before I answer your rambling exposition, and the mods will likely slap me down for this...

First, we have a nice button below our posts that says "Reply with Quote" if you really wanted to discuss something with a particular person, please use this feature cause I, and many other forum goers, only check threads with new posts, and having you respond to something by modifying your previous posts doesn't help anyone since the thread won't update to show there is new content

Secondly, It also makes your post very disjointed to new readers of the topic since you're quoting a discussion that technically hasn't started yet on the thread timeline. There is no reason you can't use a very convenient feature out of consideration for other people. Now I'll shut up and stop acting like a mod.




That is absolute nonsense as Sephiroth's alien powers that he uses in the movie and to return stand in direct relation to the abilities that he has used before. And I would love to see the "interview" that you have read. By the end of the day the writer is Nojima-san who wrote the powers in the first installments as well and Sephiroth's transcendence, his ability to project himself into other things and shapeshift and all perfectly fit - the only really new thing is his "linking his existence to memories" and even that stands in direct relation to the first installments. Also even gaining new powers "as the plot demands" for a highly inhuman entity that inherits the powers of an alien is nothing special.

Even if it is written by the original author, its still a cop out writing technique and one that is overused in several mediums where the author has to somehow save their villain from certain death for the inevitable sequel. It also doesn't make sense that a guy whom the novella reveals is using the last of his will power to stay existing and even forgot his original form can somehow fully resurrect when one of his shadow copies gets his hands on what little of Jenova is left and come back ten times more powerful when he died back when he had the full body of Jenova, knowledge of the lifestream, and had absorbed a health amount of it. Rule of Cool can't save such sloppy writing that was obviously just there so fans could have their rematch fight; despite common sense dictating that it's all bullshit and Cloud should have beatdown what logically would have been a very weakened Sephiroth. Apparently there is a novella somewhere that reveals that Jenova is secretly Cells sister.



You are also making it yourself always very easy with "it is weak writing if the person cannot implement a certain part of the story" -> "well, the person can make this decision for several purposes like it would disrupt their narrative flow or their just want a certain focus on another aspect more" -> "if that person were a good writer they would know how to do it" -> "but then the person would not always do and write the way they want to -> "if that person were a good writer they would do this and that". You are always trying to construct this mirage of an impenetrable argument that because of any reason you want to insert the person is a good writer but by the end of the day what that person writes and how they choose to write and choose to focus for a certain narrative flow the person is not automatically a bad writer or writes a bad story.

You're getting a little off topic here, but if you want an answer as to why I feel that cutting apart a plot to tell in a different medium than the main event, I will point out the fact that for many FF fans going into the film with only the knowledge of the game, Denzel is kind of a jarring experience since he would appear to such people as to coming out of nowhere. Similarly, the three Sephy clones also come out of nowhere, but at least fans can guess their origin at least. I'm not even against the idea of writing separate stories to expand smaller characters, but these two sets of characters were important to the main narrative, so to have it removed from the main event and left for supplement material is just a bad move and you don't even need to be some award winning author to see that. I simply feel the film should have spent a few minutes getting the viewer up to speed on what's going on because a film is usually meant to be a self contained experience. I mean Star Wars would be a pretty jarring film to watch if the whole Cantina scene had been cut from the film because George Lucas felt it would work better as a novel he can sell on the side. You would be left wondering who Han and Chewy are since they just kind of show up with little introduction. Yet it would be okay if George left the scene in place, but still wrote the novel anyway that expands the scenes in ways he couldn't for the film, because it wouldn't really hurt the films narrative and flow. That's the real issue with Squenix's cutting branches. You're promoting a game/film, why are you taking out content for other mediums when the works rarely stand on their own and it weakens the main event?

I'll clarify my stance on supplement material, I don't like it when it remains exclusive from the main work its suppose to be supporting. For example, I feel FFXV would have been a better game as a narrative had Kingsglaive remained within the game. The film was okay, but I didn't feel it warranted being its own thing. After playing FFXV, I feel it would have made the earlier chapters more exciting, and easier to invest in the story and world, had it remained part of the earlier chapters. I don't feel a lot of fans would argue with me on this one as many people cite the early chapters have little in the way of a compelling story. I feel FFXIII should have had its novella included within the main game because it made it nearly impossible for me to sympathize or care about the characters and world when I was thrown into the plot in media res and all the story bits that would help me understand their motivations and what they were like before the story began to help me care about them, it didn't and I instead wasted forty hours wondering why I was still playing. I also don't really have time to read all the content. I have a day job I hate and bills that keep me chained there and sometimes I want to read, watch a movie, or play a game, and its simply hard to enjoy a gutted story because no one told me I had to read the 15 part web series prequel to it, of which I really don't want to.

If Nojima and Nomura were really worried about wasting just five minutes to give the viewer a recap of why so and so is here and what there dealio is, then maybe they could have cut it from one of the films many over the top fight scenes. Just saying, if the characters and story were really that important, they could have spent a bit more time on them within the film in order to make it a more contained story piece. Its a dick move to do this and I highly doubt its there for artistic integrity and more because the parent company needs an excuse for fans to shelve out an extra twenty bucks for the Ultimate Edition.



And I am sorry that I have to say that but I have yet to see you guys providing some actual writing skills and actual communication skills.
I feel that if I'm this hard on a guy who is actually making money off their writing, then logic would make it pretty obvious that I'm probably ten times harsher on myself. I don't upload any of my work on here because I think it's garbage as well and I'm frankly too embarrassed to let other people read any of my stuff because I have such a low opinion of it.

7291172912


Whether my skills are good or not is completely debatable and I've been told I have at least good ideas. I can say for certain that I can't write dialogue to save my life, and I blame it all on consuming more pretentious stories where characters go off on philosophical tirades about the meaning of being a man or whether time is an illusion, which makes it hard come up with a natural sounding conversation a middle age couple would have over dinner after another boring day.

I can say that writing, film, and game design have fascinated me for such a long time that I regularly consume any media discussing the process of making all three, so I at least have an extensive "book smart" so to speak on the topics at hand, but that doesn't really mean anything at the end of the day.


Truth be told most people here like other people all over the world just want to see what they want to see and that's it, and yes, you do, because you are obviously also leaving out parts of the story or justify your arguments with totally irrelevant stuff like "well, Hironobu Sakaguchi's view of the franchise ... and therefore I too", as if that be an actual argument.

I say the Sakaguchi comment because I frankly feel its a great idea and something that the series was built on originally. I find it amusing that you're trying to call me out on this seeing how you yourself were simply saying that any writing changes in AC are fine since it has one of the games original writers working on it. You call out Word of God more than anyone, and while I agree with Sakaguchi's original intention for the franchise, I state that to simply explain why I feel that Squenix's idea to franchise individual titles is a bad idea because I don't feel it adds creativity to the world, I feel it lessens the original. Some things were meant to stand alone and while not all sequels are bad, most are. I also tend to want as many of the original people working on a title, but frankly my opinion has begun to change on that front since I realize that people change and some works are simply as much as a product of their time as the people who work on them and lightning rarely strikes twice.

I'm not going to respond to the rest of this since its largely off topic and mostly inflammatory against me. I will simply say that it would be best for us to focus on the topic at hand and leave such matters to private discourse. As for the reference, I will admit that I was mistaken and the interview I was referencing was not from any of the official guide books but rather an old interview with the main creative staff in Dorimaga magazine if that helps. :wcanoe:

Fynn
07-13-2017, 09:09 AM
And hey, ive posted TONS of my writing here and I completely agree with Wolf on this :monster:

Shauna
07-13-2017, 09:16 AM
People can have different opinions, no need for things to be made personal.

Carry on with your discussions on Advent Children and how it is a movie that exists, for better or worse.

Sephiroth
07-13-2017, 04:42 PM
First, we have a nice button below our posts that says "Reply with Quote" if you really wanted to discuss something with a particular person, please use this feature cause I, and many other forum goers, only check threads with new posts, and having you respond to something by modifying your previous posts doesn't help anyone since the thread won't update to show there is new content

Secondly, It also makes your post very disjointed to new readers of the topic since you're quoting a discussion that technically hasn't started yet on the thread timeline. There is no reason you can't use a very convenient feature out of consideration for other people. Now I'll shut up and stop acting like a mod.

You should know from my other posts that I indeed do use the quote button. I simply used the quotation marks because I was not home when I wrote this and had no time to correct the broken quote that I had. So I used the quotation marks instead.




Even if it is written by the original author, its still a cop out writing technique and one that is overused in several mediums where the author has to somehow save their villain from certain death for the inevitable sequel.

He saved the villain with the same kind of technique he wrote for the first installment - a skill that is not even the ordinary Reunion but simply the shapeshifting ability he used. Sephiroth resisted the lifestream and travelled through it in FFVII already. Then he made use of Jenova's body after initiating the Reunion he shapeshifted the body into an exact duplicate of his own to run around in it while regenerating inside of a giant crystal. Sephiroth has the power to, let's call it in a funny way, use his consciousness like Wireless Lan. He can exist lose of one specific body and project himself into bodies and control them. Which is one of his greatest powers as it is one of his basic "a highly powerful entity with Jenova cells can willingly control the cells, even when not in his own body" aspects. If anything you can say it was "lazy" that he used it again. As a matter of fact if Nojima-san would have wanted to make it again more overkill he would also have made use of the fact that there was no reason for the Silver Haired Men to search the cells because Sephiroth can use them no matter where they are. But he did not. I think you are blaming Nojima-san way too much just because you dislike him as a writer, not seeing how he indeed did write several things that many would see as both appropriate as well as a good choice instead of something else that many others would rant on about as real "asspulls" as the kids would say.


It also doesn't make sense that a guy whom the novella reveals is using the last of his will power to stay existing and even forgot his original form can somehow fully resurrect when one of his shadow copies gets his hands on what little of Jenova is left and come back ten times more powerful when he died back when he had the full body of Jenova, knowledge of the lifestream, and had absorbed a health amount of it.

It makes direct sense with the rules established for Sephiroth's power. First of all, Nojima-san would have never had the obligation to write that Sephiroth became weaker and was about to lose himself to the lifestream. But he did so at least there was some kind of narrative difference and drive for Sephiroth to do what he did instead of simply going all "oh, no I am back" and making him absolutely invincible. So he was not even treated like what he would normally be if you would actually consider all of his powers and using them in the most efficient way possible. And do you see me saying Nojima-san is a bad writer because of that because he did not let Sephiroth, a highly intelligent person, use them like this? No. Because I know it would be absolute overkill.

Second, one of the Jenova powers gives the ability to read minds. It seems you have read On The Way To A Smile so you should know about the whole existential link and all. Kadaj and the others were individual beings, brought back by Sephiroth with him, "living on in them" and them being a part of him even though they are other people and existed once as people that had nothing to do with Sephiroth. They had no idea about their relation with Sephiroth other than that he would return by reuniting. The entire drive to reunite and Sephiroth all the time, it is a dumb word in this situation but let's call it "secretly" lurking behind and making use of the powers gave him enough opportunity to reshape the memories of his own image and thus restore both mentally and physically. Controlling Jenova cells, changing form, reading minds.


... despite common sense dictating that it's all bulltrout and Cloud should have beatdown what logically would have been a very weakened Sephiroth. Apparently there is a novella somewhere that reveals that Jenova is secretly Cells sister.

What you say has nothing to do with common sense. You just want it to be "bulltrout" and the story is directly conform to the stance of the writers about the power scaling of Sephiroth and Cloud. How do you come to the conclusion that a - where it matters - fully restored Sephiroth that you see as weakened, is defeated by Cloud with ease, a person who is all the time and he himself even admitted, way way weaker than Sephiroth and only ever shown to be dominating in power whenever he follows the fairytale/shonen way of writing that "he gets stronger whenever he needs to protect someone/he fights for what is important for him/he fights with the one he loves/et cetera"? There would not have been a single aspect of the story where Sephiroth would have been defeated in any justified way other than the one they used: The final moment of the battle. Because it followed the way of how Cloud can defeat Sephiroth. Sephiroth cannot even be that "weakened" considering his will is directly related to his power and this will is even for years considered to be the absolute strongest in the Compilation. He reads the Lifestream. He resists it because of his will (only exception after the first game, obviously). That means he can use the power to get stronger. This makes his will stronger. And so on, and so on. Sephiroth WAS weakened. Then he recovered.



Denzel is kind of a jarring experience since he would appear to such people as to coming out of nowhere.

That is purely subjective. I knew AC before the novella and never had a problem with Denzel.


Similarly, the three Sephy clones also come out of nowhere, but at least fans can guess their origin at least.

They are no clones, even the FFVII "replicas" are far from that. And Kadaj even hints that they are "fragments" as well as that they want the Reunion and that Sephiroth will come back. And Vincent also explains what Kadaj is. I will give you THAT one, because semantically spoken Vincent's explanation is highly misleading. The book really only goes into the detail that they "are Sephiroth but also are not" and actually are three dead guys that he found in the lifestream and made use of them.


You would be left wondering who Han and Chewy are since they just kind of show up with little introduction. Yet it would be okay if George left the scene in place, but still wrote the novel anyway that expands the scenes in ways he couldn't for the film, because it wouldn't really hurt the films narrative and flow. That's the real issue with Squenix's cutting branches. You're promoting a game/film, why are you taking out content for other mediums when the works rarely stand on their own and it weakens the main event?

In which way does not knowing more about Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo hurt the movie? By that logic the book is also "bad" because it only gives like 1 more detail about them. The question might be silly because you dislike Final Fantasy VII in general and your answer will be most likely "the book IS bad" but the point is, Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo are, despite being present in the movie not nearly as relevant as people as you might think. And that is exactly what it is about. Because the movie really only wants to present you some tools to "show Sephiroth without actually showing him and in the end really showing him". Do you know how many people in the last 12 years I have ever met or read from that complained about not knowing about the three Silver Haired Men? Not many at all. I only ever read "who were they?" and I answered and they said "ah, okay". They are fragments. (They once were normal guys, not ready to accept death.) Sephiroth uses them to return. They represent Sephiroth. And that's all that is important for the plot. Everything else would lead away from that.


I'll clarify my stance on supplement material, I don't like it when it remains exclusive from the main work its suppose to be supporting. For example, I feel FFXV would have been a better game as a narrative had Kingsglaive remained within the game. The film was okay, but I didn't feel it warranted being its own thing. After playing FFXV, I feel it would have made the earlier chapters more exciting, and easier to invest in the story and world, had it remained part of the earlier chapters.

I think Kingsglaive is a fantastic example. I watched it before the main game. And therefore I knew what happened. And I had absolutely no problem considering "ah, okay that is what happened between chapter 1 and 2. But what Kingsglaive could not do, no matter if it was included or not was solve problems of the main scenario and focus of the game. Which is exactly why I am so glad that there will be more to give further explanation.


I feel FFXIII should have had its novella included within the main game because it made it nearly impossible for me to sympathize or care about the characters and world when I was thrown into the plot in media res and all the story bits that would help me understand their motivations and what they were like before the story began to help me care about them, it didn't and I instead wasted forty hours wondering why I was still playing.

But half of the novella is in the game as flashbacks? I agree some more flashbacks that made them more human and all like Lightning swearing on her mother's grave to be there for Serah or Serah and Snow buying the knife while laughing about how Lightning would look with a plushie or the power plant thing with Dahj or Cid and Lightning's talk would have been cool. I also understand that you might think it would be better for it to be in the game to make you feel more immersed but I never ever had a problem taking all of that into account. This must be a personal problem.


If Nojima and Nomura were really worried about wasting just five minutes to give the viewer a recap of why so and so is here and what there dealio is, then maybe they could have cut it from one of the films many over the top fight scenes. Just saying, if the characters and story were really that important, they could have spent a bit more time on them within the film in order to make it a more contained story piece. Its a dick move to do this and I highly doubt its there for artistic integrity and more because the parent company needs an excuse for fans to shelve out an extra twenty bucks for the Ultimate Edition.

I feel like in a way I have covered this already but if there needs to be more clarity I will answer to that as well.



I feel that if I'm this hard on a guy who is actually making money off their writing, then logic would make it pretty obvious that I'm probably ten times harsher on myself.

Psychologically spoken this is not obvious at all. I cannot even start listing the endless amount of cases and reasons why you could criticise someone like you do and still not do the same thing for yourself. It would already start with having an incredibly inflexible self-concept and not being ready to do anything against it while on the other hand reflecting all of that by instead criticising exactly the same thing on other people, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The possibilities are endless, you see.



... and I've been told I have at least good ideas

That I can agree with.



I find it amusing that you're trying to call me out on this seeing how you yourself were simply saying that any writing changes in AC are fine since it has one of the games original writers working on it.

And how in the world is that "amusing"? A story is something someone composes and yes, this "word of god" that you are calling it can also include so called "retroactive continuity". Whenever Nojima-san writes something that is directly conform, it is fine. He is one of those he decides. Whenever he decides to change something of what he wrote before, fine, he is one of those who decides. Saying retcons (if they actually happen) are not following "the word of god" is like saying "you can never change what you said in your life/correct yourself and everything needs to be the first stance you have had for the rest of your life". I respect Sakaguchi-san a lot. But he is neither an officially employed writer for Final Fantasy VII as it stands right now, nor does his stance about sequels and going on and all mean anything about the "word of god" that affects that fictional universe or how fans should see that. If he was still working for Square and said something about the game the story stuff could be different if he were a writer. But even then stances like what should or should not have further installments are nothing that should affect anyone. No person working for Square can affect me when it comes to that because it is something completely different from me saying "that person said this detail x is like y in the game". It just is not the same thing.



I'm not going to respond to the rest of this since its largely off topic and mostly inflammatory against me. I will simply say that it would be best for us to focus on the topic at hand and leave such matters to private discourse. As for the reference, I will admit that I was mistaken and the interview I was referencing was not from any of the official guide books but rather an old interview with the main creative staff in Dorimaga magazine if that helps. :wcanoe:

It was not "inflammatory" against you. I am simply responding in the same manner you once did by without calling my name and yet blunt enough talk about the posts of people who sleep with the Ultimania Omega (paraphrased by me, definitely not respectful and with some very obvious stance), so it is not like you never "tried" anything. Maybe I am wrong about you having talked about me that time? But I can't help feeling that it was meant to target me for real.


Sorry, Shauna.

Fynn
07-13-2017, 04:55 PM
I mean, it probably doesn't help that you have the same name as the main villain

Sephiroth
07-13-2017, 04:59 PM
I mean, it probably doesn't help that you have the same name as the main villain

Hey, it is no secret that Sephiroth is my most favourite fictional character but nothing I say is anything made up. I will not start posting anything like "it was absolutely logical that Sephiroth came back because *insert reason here that has nothing to do with Nojima-san's writing*. I love ALL Final Fantasys. That does not mean I am not critical towards them. I am very critical towards FFXV, for example. I simply dislike all the bashing of several official bodies just because someone disliked anything and then did not even give an understandable reason. If the person just said "I hate it, I think it is bad" or "I disliked it because 'insert reason that is understandable" THEN I am absolutely fine with it. By the end of the day no one needs me to be/be not fine with it. It does not matter. But I at least want to clarify things.

To add more topic-related fairness I will edit this post once I have more time and make it a pro and contra post for what happend in AC.

silentfuzzle
07-13-2017, 07:45 PM
It also doesn't make sense that a guy whom the novella reveals is using the last of his will power to stay existing and even forgot his original form can somehow fully resurrect when one of his shadow copies gets his hands on what little of Jenova is left and come back ten times more powerful when he died back when he had the full body of Jenova, knowledge of the lifestream, and had absorbed a health amount of it. Rule of Cool can't save such sloppy writing that was obviously just there so fans could have their rematch fight; despite common sense dictating that it's all bulltrout and Cloud should have beatdown what logically would have been a very weakened Sephiroth. Apparently there is a novella somewhere that reveals that Jenova is secretly Cells sister.


I’m not sure what you guys are arguing about but didn’t Sephiroth appear as several horrible monster-human hybrids in the game? How is appearing in the movie as a normal human that can fly, wield a sword, manipulate children, taint the Lifestream, and die after a single omnislash more powerful than his form in the game where he killed a lot of people, summoned an asteroid, required ~nine people to defeat him, and had all of Jenova or whatever?


Denzel is kind of a jarring experience since he would appear to such people as to coming out of nowhere. Similarly, the three Sephy clones also come out of nowhere, but at least fans can guess their origin at least. I'm not even against the idea of writing separate stories to expand smaller characters, but these two sets of characters were important to the main narrative, so to have it removed from the main event and left for supplement material is just a bad move and you don't even need to be some award winning author to see that. I simply feel the film should have spent a few minutes getting the viewer up to speed on what's going on because a film is usually meant to be a self contained experience.


I agree that I would have liked one more scene of introduction for Denzel. One of the few additions I like in Advent Children Complete is where Cloud decides to take Denzel home from the church. But I disagree that excluding the rest is a bad move.


He saved the villain with the same kind of technique he wrote for the first installment - a skill that is not even the ordinary Reunion but simply the shapeshifting ability he used. Sephiroth resisted the lifestream and travelled through it in FFVII already. Then he made use of Jenova's body after initiating the Reunion he shapeshifted the body into an exact duplicate of his own to run around in it while regenerating inside of a giant crystal. Sephiroth has the power to, let's call it in a funny way, use his consciousness like Wireless Lan. He can exist lose of one specific body and project himself into bodies and control them. Which is one of his greatest powers as it is one of his basic "a highly powerful entity with Jenova cells can willingly control the cells, even when not in his own body" aspects.


This is precisely why a detailed explanation of how Sephiroth came back to life and where Kadaj, Yazoo, and Loz came from didn’t exist in the movie. It’s complicated, it’s strange, it would probably ruin the pacing, and at the end of the day, probably only diehard fans of FFVII would care about it in this detail.


As it is, the movie explains that Kadaj is a larval form of Sephiroth and his similarity to his brothers suggests that they have a similar relationship with Sephiroth. The only thing Kadaj is missing to transform is Jenova, and when he gets Jenova, he transforms. At the end of the movie, Kadaj disappears back into the Lifestream, which suggests that’s where he came from in the first place.


I think this is explanation enough when the details of how Sephiroth came back to life have nothing to do with Cloud’s story, which is what the movie is ultimately about. This isn’t lazy writing. Most authors agree that you shouldn’t info dump stuff that doesn’t matter into your story. The author needs to know all these details to create a cohesive world, but he isn’t obligated to bore his viewers with them. In this case, fans who care about the details can go read the novella in stories where those details advance the plot. What's in the movie is enough for its story… unless you want to sit there and claim that excluding boring, irrelevant explanations is bad writing.


While Advent Children is a sequel, it also functions very well at introducing newcomers to Final Fantasy. This movie was my introduction to the games, and I don’t think it would attract new people as well if it hit them with more complex details and terms from the game.


(Sorry, Sephiroth. I’m on your side. I’m just defending the movie from a different perspective.)


For example, I feel FFXV would have been a better game as a narrative had Kingsglaive remained within the game. The film was okay, but I didn't feel it warranted being its own thing. After playing FFXV, I feel it would have made the earlier chapters more exciting, and easier to invest in the story and world, had it remained part of the earlier chapters.

Just throwing this out there because it’s my goal to say it as much as possible. Kingslgaive is garbage in almost every way, and the game is lesser because Noctis was excluded from the events that take place within it.

Sephiroth
07-13-2017, 08:33 PM
I’m not sure what you guys are arguing about but didn’t Sephiroth appear as several horrible monster-human hybrids in the game? How is appearing in the movie as a normal human that can fly, wield a sword, manipulate children, taint the Lifestream, and die after a single omnislash more powerful than his form in the game where he killed a lot of people, summoned an asteroid, required ~nine people to defeat him, and had all of Jenova or whatever?

Well, to be honest, whether he appears as Humanoid Sephiroth, Rebirth Sephiroth or Sepher Sephiroth does not really mean anything about his current power because he still wields the inner strength that he has gotten by simply bathing in the lifestream. The metamorphosis in FFVII was just a simple effect of his power gain. That does not mean he does not have the power in a human form - do not forget Sephiroth can shapeshift anyway so he could get back to that form without any problems. But I know that you just wanted to answer to point out that the human form does not necessarily indicate that he was massively stronger than in the final battle - not really appropriate considering he created his own corrupted lifestream and even scared away Aerith while laughing at her so she had to call out for the Cetra to purify parts of the lifestream again but I know what you mean.


Denzel is kind of a jarring experience since he would appear to such people as to coming out of nowhere. Similarly, the three Sephy clones also come out of nowhere, but at least fans can guess their origin at least. I'm not even against the idea of writing separate stories to expand smaller characters, but these two sets of characters were important to the main narrative, so to have it removed from the main event and left for supplement material is just a bad move and you don't even need to be some award winning author to see that. I simply feel the film should have spent a few minutes getting the viewer up to speed on what's going on because a film is usually meant to be a self contained experience.


I agree that I would have liked one more scene of introduction for Denzel. One of the few additions I like in Advent Children Complete is where Cloud decides to take Denzel home from the church. But I disagree that excluding the rest is a bad move.



At the end of the movie, Kadaj disappears back into the Lifestream, which suggests that’s where he came from in the first place.

I would not directly say it has to mean that automatically because dissolving and becoming a part of the lifestream is normal in FFVII - especially considering everything at one point already was a part of it. I know you mean "not too long ago and he was taken from the lifestream as manifestation/host for Sephiroth's plans" but still.




unless you want to sit there and claim that excluding boring, irrelevant explanations is bad writing.

As a fan who is interested I do not call that boring but I agree that it can be distracting, especially for a movie that is supposed to be short and all. Exactly why you also have to reduce to the characters to certain aspects and then risk running into the claim that they are "one-dimensional". Well, of course Ghost Aerith will not show her funny side when it is not needed for the movie at all. Of course Cloud does not show his arrogant side (that he even has while not confabulating) when his self-critical side directly flows with his sadness and fits this whole Geostigma thing.

When it comes to THAT, this I must say could have been shown a bit more in flashbacks and explained. The novella does explain it thoroughly and the movie tackles it just a bit. The Geostigma and people like Cloud having it because of reason xyz indeed could have been better in the movie. That I guess is more relevant than the whole Kadaj, Loz, Yazoo question because while both has sort of an explanation in the movie and also in the book, the Geostigma in the movie is also a way more present factor as it affects the entire planet again (not really all people but all over the world).




(Sorry, Sephiroth. I’m on your side. I’m just defending the movie from a different perspective.)

I actually wondered why you explained me something I knew, then I noticed that that was not even your point but that you were only using my post to point something out.

I think the movie did a good approach of making true what the originally wanted. One of their initial points for the games was "Sephiroth returns again". That is why they wanted to call the movie "Reunion". But they did not want to be blunt about it so they used "Advent" reflecting Sephiroth coming back. And as they also wanted Children in the title as they wanted the children to play some sort of role in the movie they then went with "Advent Children". And theme-wise they had a lot of natural writing directly related to Final Fantasy VII-1. A lot of people are just not invested enough to see that THIS stuff indeed is also in one way or the other in the game. They rather read their Brittenham or Wikia interpretations or other stuff and make Sephiroth Jenova's marionette or say that he wants to merge with her - which is not only in one way redundant but in another way also contradicted by the plot and Sephiroth's psychology illogical as well and all that other stuff and expect multi-facetted, cheery, yet sad and angry characters in a short movie that is supposed to be a tribute about a game that so many people wished to be continued. But sadly we live in a world where "fanservice" is a swear word and whenever you say "not all fanservice is bad" people try to argue about how this and that is bad because of how forced this and that is. You know what is forced in FFXV? The Open World. It reeks of "The fans ranted about FFXIII" even though XIII-2 and XIII-3 managed to work with the critics and still reflected how the devs did what they want with their own think. You know what else? Ardyn. For Sephiroth it at least works well together because he is an alien-hybrid and already over the top in the first place in the whole game and AC is basically what he did in the game already: Him using one of his bodies ad abilities to fulfill his plan and destroy the world . But Ardyn is even forced in the one game that he has because he is supposed to be the "cool, annoying Kefka character". And as I say, Kefka is shallow as hell but Kefka is way better in my opinion and Ardyn is the for me worst Final Fantasy villain ever. Even worse than Garland. I had to re-play FFXV to at least "dislike him a bit less". FFXV is one of those installments that actually lacks substantial story where it should be. But I will not be mad about it because as long as I get that info through no matter which media it is fine for me. Especially Luna updates.

The problem is we live in the age of cyber communication and people can get heavily influenced through a peer of strangers. And yes, that is no nonsensical claim, it is exactly like that. Just like FFXIII never had a chance the moment it came out. People in December 2009 ranted about it and the internet exploded with ranting comments and this immediately tainted them. That hatred even influenced me because I had it in my mind all the time and it bothered me so much because I liked it so much because of the words (paraphrased) "its linear its bad its linear its bad its linear its bad its linear its bad". It was not bad for me but people ranting on about it still haunted me. It was very similiar with XII. So many people in forums hated it. I also had my problems with it but please, I won't hate something just because it is different and now suddenly everyone jumps on the FFXII train like it was never treated as garbage by so many people. The internet is a dangerous place. Because it contains words.

silentfuzzle
07-13-2017, 10:30 PM
While I will not say that anything is wrong with the animation, I do feel the choreography and over-the-top visuals clash with what the fans saw within the game itself, which is to say that while it had its fair share of visually stunning and physics defying shenanigans, it never strayed as far into the cartoonish levels witness in the film. This choreography and wanton destruction not only clash with the ultra-realistic visual art style, but pigeonholes the film with the deluge of campy visual choreography fights that films like The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had popularized in the late 90s/early 00s and popularized a whole medium that is frankly diffiult to take serious anymore.

I wouldnít describe Advent Children as ultra-realistic and the creators didnít either. In The Making Of featurette, Takeshi Nozue says, ďIf it looked too real, then we might as well shoot it live.Ē Do the characters look like real people? Have they ever looked like real people? This film is often classified as photorealistic, but it definitely has a lot of anime influence, at least in its character designs. Ridiculous, physics-defying action still exists in a lot of anime (e.g. Attack on Titan). Itís far from a tired concept.


The plot is weak, largely because someone thought it would be a great idea to release it as a novel separate from the film, which ultimately weakens the films ability to tell an actual compelling story because so many important plot elements are cut out.

Wait, was Advent Children always intended to be released alongside a novel? As I understand it, the novel came out with Advent Children Complete when the creators decided they needed to make the story more ďcomplete.Ē I think they did this to appease fans who wanted more details and characters they knew from the game. But in my opinion, Advent Children Complete only adds fan service and irrelevant filler that isnít required to understand the original film. I havenít read the novel, but I assume itís the same, considering that I like the story in the original movie just fine.


So I can't really get behind the writing for this piece of film because it can't really stand on its own as a story, and what plot is there simply exists for fanservice.

What did Denzel, the children, Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo have to do with fanservice? Why didnít we see more of Cid, Barrett, Yuffie, Red XIII, etc? Why did Cloudís fight with Sephiroth only last five minutes? Isnít that what fans want to see? The Tekken: Blood Vengence movie has a ridiculous plot featuring mostly characters from the game and ends with a twenty-five-minute-long battle between characters who combined had less than five minutes of screen time in the rest of the film. I fail to see how Advent Children classifies as pure fanservice.


I mean what was the point of ACs story? For Cloud to stop feeling sorry for himself and be the hero he wanted to be? Didn't he already do that in the game?

Yeah, the story is about some guy struggling to accept his past and find his place in the present. I can see where some fans of the game would be frustrated by this in that it somewhat rehashes what happened in the game. But when you think of it as just a movie, itís a compelling and relatable story (even with all the weird Jenova-Sephiroth-geostigma stuff in the background). The fact that this personal drama is told in an action movie makes it even more interesting.

On a different note...


Well, of course Ghost Aerith will not show her funny side when it is not needed for the movie at all. Of course Cloud does not show his arrogant side (that he even has while not confabulating) when his self-critical side directly flows with his sadness and fits this whole Geostigma thing.


I think the different sides of Cloud and Aerith were shown in the movie. It was subtle, but it was there. I think the entire point of Cloudís fight with Kadaj toward the end of the movie is his attempt to show that he doesnít need his friends after all now that he has his confidence back. One shot, in particular, shows him smiling cockily with Cidís airship flying off in the background, leaving him to fight Kadaj on his own. Aerith shows her humorous side when she stands with Cloud in his vision in the field of flowers. She teasingly pretends not to understand who he wants to forgive him. This is a little more obvious in the Japanese dub than the English dub.


The Geostigma and people like Cloud having it because of reason xyz indeed could have been better in the movie.


Yeah, it could have. I like the idea of the orphans being children of dead SOLDIERs, who inherited remnants of JenovaÖ Thatís a real thing, right? ÖOr did I just make up a crazy fan theory? O.o


The problem is we live in the age of cyber communication and people can get heavily influenced through a peer of strangers. And yes, that is no nonsensical claim, it is exactly like that. Just like FFXIII never had a chance the moment it came out.

I try to form my own opinion about these things a well especially since I started studying Advent Children. Most of the past twelve years, I believed everyone who said Advent Children didnít mean anything, didnít have a story, had no point, etc. But when I looked closer at the reviews that said all that, I realized that complaints about it were mostly exaggerations, someoneís personal interpretation of the film, or objectively wrong.

Sephiroth
07-14-2017, 01:14 AM
I had a whole post but somehow it was killed by the forum. To make it shorter: For the Geostigma read On the Way to a Smile. There is a lot you do not know yet/are mistaken about. For the characteristics thing: There are very very very very very slight moments when something is shown. But it is not comparable to something like Aerith threatening Corneo. Also you are a bit mistaken about Aerith. I know FFVII in German, English and Japanese as I speak all three languages and I always take the actual facts, so the Japanese version. What Aerith does is not really a "tease". It is just her in a non-direct way pointing out "Who should even forgive you? -> I don't blame you". She even opens the conversation with a very early "ne ne", implying she is in for a very casual conversation. But of course she went the actually caring and more pure route with her conversation. Everything else would just not fit. As a matter of fact Rufus is way way way more different in the original as he is also much more direct with his disrespect. He flat out calls Cloud "wannabe-Ex-SOLDIER" which then is later picked up by Cloud when Rufus calls him as the Ex-SOLDIER and Cloud just responds with "wannabe ..."

fat_moogle
07-14-2017, 01:30 AM
Where's Mother?

Mother?

MOTHER?!

I told her to take a left at the Wall of Text but she gets confused, bless her Jenova Cells. Anyway I realise my dilly dally silly shally post didn't contribute to this at all so let me say that when I first saw Advent Children, I enjoyed it. It was pretty. There were some flashy scenes. There were guys in leather (<3 Kadaj). However when I watched it again a month or two later and took off those rose tinted glasses I found myself thinking exactly what WK said in his original post. So yeah, he hit the nail on the Jenova head there.

silentfuzzle
07-14-2017, 04:32 AM
The plot is weak, largely because someone thought it would be a great idea to release it as a novel separate from the film, which ultimately weakens the films ability to tell an actual compelling story because so many important plot elements are cut out.

Okay, I looked it up (http://chrysaliswiki.com/merchandise:advent-children-prologue) and Case of Denzel and Case of Tifa were released with the original film in 2005. My mistake. But I still stand by the idea that the film stands well enough on its own.

I agree that a film can be weakened by placing crucial elements of its plot in other media though. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is a good example. I haven't beaten FFXV yet, so I'm not sure if even knowing the story in the game can redeem this terrible movie, but Noctis was a crucial element of the plot. Without him, the film doesn't even have a conflict (http://community.extra-life.org/articles.html/communitycontent/kingsglaive-the-void-noctis-left-behind-r474/). The deplorable characters fight over magical objects and people to save a nebulous future. We're given no reason to care about them or their successes, and even if they fail, the prince is still safely outside Insomnia and could probably save the future himself. Regis dies, Insomnia falls, the Crystal's stolen, Luna threatens to kill herself, no one can use the ring unless Regis and the other former kings allow it, and the movie ends on a hopeful note, so what was the point of trying to save any of them?

I don't think this is the case with Advent Children because even if we don't know all the details of geostigma, Sephiroth's revival, Denzel, Tifa, etc., the film has conflicts and explains why Cloud needs to address them, which are the basic pieces of a story. Whatever happens in novel didn't seem to hinder the film's ability to tell its story.


As a matter of fact Rufus is way way way more different in the original as he is also much more direct with his disrespect. He flat out calls Cloud "wannabe-Ex-SOLDIER" which then is later picked up by Cloud when Rufus calls him as the Ex-SOLDIER and Cloud just responds with "wannabe ..."

I assume you're comparing the scene between Rufus and Cloud in the original film and in Advent Children Complete. I really like the dialog in that scene in the original. It's very to the point and says a lot about both their characters.


However when I watched it again a month or two later and took off those rose tinted glasses I found myself thinking exactly what WK said in his original post. So yeah, he hit the nail on the Jenova head there.

The only negative retrospective thoughts I remember having when the film first came out was I wished Cloud had to work a little harder to cure his geostigma. I think I understand what the creators were doing in the scene where he's healed now, but then, I wished it were different. The more I've watched this film, the more little details I pick up in it, and the more I appreciate what the creators appeared to be doing.

Forsaken Lover
07-14-2017, 06:32 AM
More than X-2, it symbolized the dilution of the Final Fantasy brand as FF game were no longer those amazing, revolutionary works they once were. Now they were pandering sequels and remakes and remakes of pandering sequels. What it means to me is cheap fanservice.

It's gorgeous, though. I would do naughty things to Kadaj. Music was good, too.

Fynn
07-14-2017, 07:03 AM
Yeah, it's definitely an end to an era. Even if you like what came after, AC kind of signifies a certain shift in the values and aesthetics the brand represents.

Wolf Kanno
07-14-2017, 07:19 AM
Lots of stuff to get back to it seems.



You should know from my other posts that I indeed do use the quote button. I simply used the quotation marks because I was not home when I wrote this and had no time to correct the broken quote that I had. So I used the quotation marks instead.


Fair enough, but it does seem sometimes you forget to come back to the posts. ^^;



He saved the villain with the same kind of technique he wrote for the first installment - a skill that is not even the ordinary Reunion but simply the shapeshifting ability he used. Sephiroth resisted the lifestream and travelled through it in FFVII already. Then he made use of Jenova's body after initiating the Reunion he shapeshifted the body into an exact duplicate of his own to run around in it while regenerating inside of a giant crystal. Sephiroth has the power to, let's call it in a funny way, use his consciousness like Wireless Lan. He can exist lose of one specific body and project himself into bodies and control them. Which is one of his greatest powers as it is one of his basic "a highly powerful entity with Jenova cells can willingly control the cells, even when not in his own body" aspects. If anything you can say it was "lazy" that he used it again. As a matter of fact if Nojima-san would have wanted to make it again more overkill he would also have made use of the fact that there was no reason for the Silver Haired Men to search the cells because Sephiroth can use them no matter where they are. But he did not. I think you are blaming Nojima-san way too much just because you dislike him as a writer, not seeing how he indeed did write several things that many would see as both appropriate as well as a good choice instead of something else that many others would rant on about as real "asspulls" as the kids would say.

Part of my issue here is that Sephiroth surviving the dissolution into the Lifestream feels somewhat counter to the vision Cloud sees of him actually doing so in the original game's ending. We witness his consciousness shown as a different colored Lifestream get engulfed and absorbed rather nonchalantly I might add. Even if we disregard that as only being "half the story" as the novella retcon into being, said novella reveals that Sephiroth did indeed take quite the psychological beating from the endeavor as he is described as being on a spiritual deaths door so to speak, which is why he couldn't reform and had to use the shades instead. Which brings me to my first point, when did Sephiroth suddenly gain the power to will matter into existence? He could have used such a power when he was being defeated in the original game, even if it was something gained from the Lifestream, there really isn't such a power shown within VII's original world to suggest the Planet itself is capable of turning thought into matter. Because if it did have such an ability, I kind of feel like it could have dealt with Jenova without the Ancients, not to mention that it's established in the novella that Sephiroth's will and identity are holding on by a thread, so how is he suddenly multitasking staying sentient against the collective will of every living being on the planet, using magic to create thought people to do his bidding, and still have time to use Geostigma to make Cloud a sad panda? You have to admit when it's written out like that, it sounds a little goofy in hindsight. Not to mention as you said, that if Sephy still has the power to control Jenova, why would he even need his though people when he could have simply hijacked her body and build himself up? Not to mention, if Jenova is virtually immortal and Sephy's consciousness is stuck in the Lifestream fighting for its independence, couldn't Jenova pottentially regain its own will and just go back to doing its own thing?

This is part of my issue here, Sephy's got some pretty extreme powers and yet it kind of feels to me the plot is ignoring some of his powers, in order to give him new ones, in order to create a rather contrived situation that results in the films plot, despite the fact the game itself has shown that Sephy has the power to make all of this a non-issue. It would have made more sense to have Sephy simply body hop his consciousness to the living remains of Jenova (which technically he kind of does in the film with Geostigma) and use simply wait out the regeneration process to come back and face Cloud. Nojima is trying a bit too hard to have his cake and eat it too, but suggesting that Sephiroth is so weak, he has to come up with a resurrection plan to fill up the space where the plot is, but still somehow be omnipotent in comparison to Cloud and the others.

Frankly, the idea of Sephiroth's will being strong enough to go toe to toe with the Collective unconscious of all life on the planet always felt a bit far fetched to me. We've shown that Cloud is strong willed enough to beat Sephiroth, you mean to tell me that their isn't a million stubborn consciousness making up the Lifestream that they couldn't squash Sephy's will like a bug? I mean I can get behind him and Cloud surviving a Lifestream bath since their consciousness are still attached to a physical form, but I find it hard to believe that once the body is gone the Lifestream wouldn't have made short work of him, which is ultimately how I interpret his final scene in the game.

Yes, I don't care for Nojima's writing, but it largely stems from him being kind of sloppy and his insistence on coming up with far fetched plot twists even if he has to kind of break the rules of his worlds to make them happen. At best, he tends to be inconsistent with the rules he established within the worlds he creates, at worst, he tends to create rules that should have logically allowed for the plot to be a non-issue. With that said, he does occasionally come up with some good ideas. Cloud's past was a clever idea and I liked the Zack twist, and I've mentioned before that I feel Squall is one of the best written protagonists in the main series, which is kind of saying something coming from me and my bias love of the older titles.


It makes direct sense with the rules established for Sephiroth's power. First of all, Nojima-san would have never had the obligation to write that Sephiroth became weaker and was about to lose himself to the lifestream. But he did so at least there was some kind of narrative difference and drive for Sephiroth to do what he did instead of simply going all "oh, no I am back" and making him absolutely invincible. So he was not even treated like what he would normally be if you would actually consider all of his powers and using them in the most efficient way possible. And do you see me saying Nojima-san is a bad writer because of that because he did not let Sephiroth, a highly intelligent person, use them like this? No. Because I know it would be absolute overkill.

At no point in VII was it revealed that Jenova has the power of Zenkai and can somehow magically come back stronger from certain death. Kitase and Nojima mention in the Ultimania that Sephiroth is practically a transcended being in AC that was stronger than when Cloud fought him with the party in the game.

His will is practically a caricature of itself after being eaten away by the Lifestream, and while I won't contest the fact he should still have the power of the Lifestream, he probably shouldn't really be in a state to use it effectively since his will is eroded away. His physical ability should really be no stronger than Jenova since he's basically just hijacking her body again and using its regenerative powers, but in no way should he somehow be stronger than he was in the game when he had time and Jenova's full body to resurrect and pull off his master plan. Where did all this power come from since we've established he's been spending all his time simply surviving and coming up with a means to gain anew body? Not to mention that in the game, even with the power of the Lifestream, it took him seven years to fully regenerate and yet he somehow gains instant regeneration within the film? This is kind of what I'm talking about with Nojima. He tends to be very inconsistent with how powers work in his stories.


That is purely subjective. I knew AC before the novella and never had a problem with Denzel.
Good for you, it didn't stop half my anime club coming up to me asking me who this kid was and why he was important. I still stand by the fact the film should have addressed it better for the audience.


They are no clones, even the FFVII "replicas" are far from that. And Kadaj even hints that they are "fragments" as well as that they want the Reunion and that Sephiroth will come back. And Vincent also explains what Kadaj is. I will give you THAT one, because semantically spoken Vincent's explanation is highly misleading. The book really only goes into the detail that they "are Sephiroth but also are not" and actually are three dead guys that he found in the lifestream and made use of them.

I meant clones figuratively since they hold a resemblance to him and contain an aspect of his personality.



In which way does not knowing more about Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo hurt the movie? By that logic the book is also "bad" because it only gives like 1 more detail about them. The question might be silly because you dislike Final Fantasy VII in general and your answer will be most likely "the book IS bad" but the point is, Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo are, despite being present in the movie not nearly as relevant as people as you might think. And that is exactly what it is about. Because the movie really only wants to present you some tools to "show Sephiroth without actually showing him and in the end really showing him". Do you know how many people in the last 12 years I have ever met or read from that complained about not knowing about the three Silver Haired Men? Not many at all. I only ever read "who were they?" and I answered and they said "ah, okay". They are fragments. (They once were normal guys, not ready to accept death.) Sephiroth uses them to return. They represent Sephiroth. And that's all that is important for the plot. Everything else would lead away from that.

You kind off missed my point here, and frankly I feel Denzel is the worst offender compared to the Terrible Trio. I even mentioned that most fans would figure them out, but to introduce a character who is meant to be both important for the plot and the emotional crutch for one of the characters and not bother to really go into detail within the film itself despite the fact you did write out an eloboarate backstory for them anyway is kind of just a bad idea all around. Films have a bad enough wrap with masses as it is, they don't need to add skimming the Wiki articles before going in to understand the story.

This brings me back to my main point concerning the novella and by extension, any media sidestory with important plot points contained within, which is that if its important to the plot, you leave it in. Again, I'm not saying the novella is some abomination that should never have been made, but I do feel the contents of some of the pieces were too important for the film that they should have been addressed within the film as well. You can't create a character whose meant to be an emotional crutch that helps move the story along and at least not tell us why he's important. It would have been nice to see Cloud and Dezel interact with each other more to not only gain a better understanding of their relationship but to also help the viewers understand why Cloud is so invested in saving this kid.

"Bob fought the dragon to save his wife" makes sense, but isn't very compelling.

"Bob undertook a journey to save Sarah, the girl he grew up with and used to play in the grassy meadows behind the farm. This same meadow is where he proposed to her with a ring made from lily petals that were her favorite flowers. She was taken away by an evil dragon who lived in the mountains nearby and thus he had to save the love of his life. " Not only makes sense but places you in the context of how Bob is thinking. We understand that Sarah is more than just a wife, but a childhood friend he's known his whole life and likely the most important person in the world to them.

Denzel deserved better man, and the viewers would have come away from the film with a richer experience if they had at least done more to make him feel like more than MacGuffin. Even if the film was solely about Cloud, its made obvious that Denzel is important to him and had he been better developed and established in the story, could have helped to tell Cloud's story better.


I think Kingsglaive is a fantastic example. I watched it before the main game. And therefore I knew what happened. And I had absolutely no problem considering "ah, okay that is what happened between chapter 1 and 2. But what Kingsglaive could not do, no matter if it was included or not was solve problems of the main scenario and focus of the game. Which is exactly why I am so glad that there will be more to give further explanation.

See this is simply an issue of us both having different desires in a project. I watched Kingsglaive before playing as well but even knowing that information didn't really help the slow crawl of the plot at the beginning of XV, and likewise, I feel Kingsglaive was kind of dumb for focusing on a bunch of characters who were never intended to be in the main game anyway, the fact the villains had better representation in it than the main game, and agiain, inconsistant rules concerning the powers of the Ring of Lucis considering the King and Nyx used several powers and abilities with the ring not scene in the game like Protect Spells and Force Lightning. See its not just Nojima who does this.

While I agree that adding Kingsglaive wouldn't help the larger problems in XV's story, I still feel it would have been a large improvement for the earlier sections and potentially address other issues, like dropping the Kingsglaive themselves since they are largely unimportant to VX as a whole, and simply focus the story on Regis and Lunafreya, who are crimninally underultilzed in the main game proper. I'm not suggesting just adding the story in, I'm talking about integrating it as a gaming component as well. I would have loved to play through the Fall of Insomnia with a party of Regis, Lunafreya, and Gladios dad.

Bottom line here is that I'm a fan of the FF games, why is Squenix cutting out content from these games and making me pay for it separately so I I can enjoy the thing I like that they make which are games? Its a business yes, but some business practices are just bad and shouldn't be encouraged.


But half of the novella is in the game as flashbacks? I agree some more flashbacks that made them more human and all like Lightning swearing on her mother's grave to be there for Serah or Serah and Snow buying the knife while laughing about how Lightning would look with a plushie or the power plant thing with Dahj or Cid and Lightning's talk would have been cool. I also understand that you might think it would be better for it to be in the game to make you feel more immersed but I never ever had a problem taking all of that into account. This must be a personal problem.

Probably since I'm genuinely cyncial and not terribly sentimental, so I usually need more reason to care and feel invested in people. I'm not the type to take things at face value and simply go along because I'm told to, so saying that I should care about the cast feeling conflicted about destroying their homeworld when the only part of it I've seen is the sheepl driven death squads doesn't exactly make me sympathize with their conflicting issues when I barely seen any reason to care for the place or understand what it means to them. Simply being their "home" doesn't mean anything to me without context. I wanna know why they care.

I also just feel that introducing a character at their low point (or close to their low point in XIII's case) without a baseline of their personality beforehand is kind of a gamble, writing wise, since most people size up others pretty quickly and it's hard to change a first impression. Watching Cloud be a jerk back to blustering blowhard but charmingly ineffective Barret is kind of amusing, watching Lightning do the same thing to obviously fish out of water, but wise cracking civilian Sahz just kind of makes her look mean.

We're both aware of the fact that I have a lot of issues with XIII's narrative, but this isn't the place for it so we'll continue this at another time.

I'm also going to skip over the more personal stuff, so bear with me. I don't wish to detract from this thread anymore but I do appreciate the insight it has given me.




[QUOTE]And how in the world is that "amusing"? A story is something someone composes and yes, this "word of god" that you are calling it can also include so called "retroactive continuity". Whenever Nojima-san writes something that is directly conform, it is fine. He is one of those he decides. Whenever he decides to change something of what he wrote before, fine, he is one of those who decides. Saying retcons (if they actually happen) are not following "the word of god" is like saying "you can never change what you said in your life/correct yourself and everything needs to be the first stance you have had for the rest of your life". I respect Sakaguchi-san a lot. But he is neither an officially employed writer for Final Fantasy VII as it stands right now, nor does his stance about sequels and going on and all mean anything about the "word of god" that affects that fictional universe or how fans should see that. If he was still working for Square and said something about the game the story stuff could be different if he were a writer. But even then stances like what should or should not have further installments are nothing that should affect anyone. No person working for Square can affect me when it comes to that because it is something completely different from me saying "that person said this detail x is like y in the game". It just is not the same thing.

Its not so much that I'm against retcons, I'm a Metal Gear fan for crying out loud and Kojima has retcon the history of the series with every entry since MGS1, but between the retcons made by Kojima and Nojima (this might become a tongue twister after awhile), I feel Kojima's retcons were better ahndled and actually expand the story in a good way. Nojima, not so much, but I blame this one Nojima introducing elements and tropes from other mediums that I don't particulary care for as well as the fact that while Kojima has always left his game more open ended with sequels in mind, VII to me was a fairly self-contained story and didn't leave itself open to as much expansion as I felt the Compilation gave it. I mean truth be told, I like the Last Order because I felt it was a story that should have been told and the retcons it made I felt actually fixed some issues I had with VII's original narrative. Crisis Core ended up doing the opposite for me, and Before Crisis started off promising before jumping into weirds-ville. AC is ultimately just redundant to me since I never felt the story did anything for the mythos that the original game had not already addressed.

With all that said, I feel its fine to actually disregard the canon presented by the writer if its awful enough. Even writers make bad calls from time to time and so I feel that as a fan, its fine to take it as word of god from a case by case scenario. Nojima says VII and X are indirect sequels to each other, but I'm honestly going to choose to ignore that truth because I feel its kind of stupid. I like the fact that when Sakaguchi created the franchise, he made a rule that said no direct sequels and forced the teams to be more creative with each new installment and I love how that concept fits well with the series title itself by each game being the "Final" Fantasy of their respective worlds. This doesn't necessarily mean that I feel Sakaguchi hasn't come up with his fair share of bad ideas that I don't support, nor does it mean that everything Nojima has said about his works are ultimately awful and should be disregarded. The issue comes that I tend to agree with Sakaguchi's ways of doing stuff, but his era was my era, so his vision of the franchise coincides with my own interpretation of what I feel the series is.

Nojima on the otherhand just doesn't write the type of stories I like, and while I can agree he comes up with clever ideas, he just can't seem to follow through with them to my satisfaction, so its a little easier for me to blow off his authority cause I often disagree with his ideas. If it makes you feel better Motomu Toriyama is probably closer to someone I actively dislike that works at SE; but that's largely due to his hissy fit about the Western fans after XIIIs release, along with my general dislike for his storytelling and game design choices. He might be a cool dude in person, but he kind of ticked me off with that news debacle.



It was not "inflammatory" against you. I am simply responding in the same manner you once did by without calling my name and yet blunt enough talk about the posts of people who sleep with the Ultimania Omega (paraphrased by me, definitely not respectful and with some very obvious stance), so it is not like you never "tried" anything. Maybe I am wrong about you having talked about me that time? But I can't help feeling that it was meant to target me for real.

Well, I wasn't exactly singling you out with that statement, so I apologize if I caused any offence and made you feel that way. I've dealt with my fair share of fans who treat the Ultimania's like the Bible, so it was meant to be a generalized statement that you happen to be grouped within, but I was honestly thinking of people like The Crystal, Bolivar and njoran of whom I've had a longer history of debating the merits of VII and its Compilation with. Even then, while I disagree with their opinions on the matters, I have generally no ill will against any of them, and I'm actually "friends" maybe "frenemy" with Bolivar as we eventually came to an understanding and only debate each other to troll each other anymore. I'm simply a very blunt person when it comes to my opinions and that often means. Again I apologize if it hurt your feelings.



Sorry, Shauna.

I'll behave. ^^;

Half way done, now to round two.




Iím not sure what you guys are arguing about but didnít Sephiroth appear as several horrible monster-human hybrids in the game? How is appearing in the movie as a normal human that can fly, wield a sword, manipulate children, taint the Lifestream, and die after a single omnislash more powerful than his form in the game where he killed a lot of people, summoned an asteroid, required ~nine people to defeat him, and had all of Jenova or whatever?[quote]

Its something mentioned off hand in the Ultimania guides for VII. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me either as you can tell from me pointing out some logical errors, which is what we're kind of arguing about.

[QUOTE]I agree that I would have liked one more scene of introduction for Denzel. One of the few additions I like in Advent Children Complete is where Cloud decides to take Denzel home from the church. But I disagree that excluding the rest is a bad move.

The Complete version addressed my intial problem with it. I'm not implying his whole backstory had to be in there, but I feel the film should have addressed him in a way that assumes the viewer wouldn't have access to all of the supplement material.



I think this is explanation enough when the details of how Sephiroth came back to life have nothing to do with Cloudís story, which is what the movie is ultimately about. This isnít lazy writing. Most authors agree that you shouldnít info dump stuff that doesnít matter into your story. The author needs to know all these details to create a cohesive world, but he isnít obligated to bore his viewers with them. In this case, fans who care about the details can go read the novella in stories where those details advance the plot. What's in the movie is enough for its storyÖ unless you want to sit there and claim that excluding boring, irrelevant explanations is bad writing.

Whether its boring is in the eye of the beholder, but frankly I felt the film was a bit too vague and people simply assumed Sephy just redid what he did in the game with the actual clones despite that not really being possible anymore. Still, there are many ways this could have been addressed without info dumping, and luckily the visual medium offered by film could have come up with a few cool ideas to foreshadow an expalantion better. Letting Cloud have a "dream" about Sephiroth who simply mutters that he can't fade away and simply calls out Cloud's name over and over with more anger each time. Meanwhile he envisions three black shadows taking human form over Sephiroths simple dialogue. That could have been a minute and half sequence that would have done a better job connecting all the pieces and making sense of the part of the expalanation we got in the film.



While Advent Children is a sequel, it also functions very well at introducing newcomers to Final Fantasy. This movie was my introduction to the games, and I donít think it would attract new people as well if it hit them with more complex details and terms from the game.

Agreed, and I felt the opening did a good job of recapping the important bits of VII's story without the details. Though I feel it can be a double edged sword in some ways as well as I've met plenty of people who watched it as their intro to the series and promptly chose to ignore the franchise after wards because too much backstory and information wasn't addressed and the person wasn't intrigued enough to bother learning all of the gritty details. It can be a great gateway story, but it can also deter people who simply wanted a cool action flick.

For me personally, I prefer my films (and games) to stand on their own, so I can't help but feel that AC has some problems within the story for not really addressing important aspects from the game. Yet I feel that's a third issue behind the action to story ratio and the issues regarding Denzel.




Just throwing this out there because itís my goal to say it as much as possible. Kingslgaive is garbage in almost every way, and the game is lesser because Noctis was excluded from the events that take place within it.

I'm not bothered by Noctis being absent but I strongly feel it would have served XV better had it been implemented as a gaming experience in the early chapters to run counter to the slower and more blissful events of Noctis and his entorouge trying to get to a wedding. It also would have been a great way to expand Lunafreay and Regis' characters within the main game and we could have even had a taste of power section playing as Regis.



I wouldnít describe Advent Children as ultra-realistic and the creators didnít either. In The Making Of featurette, Takeshi Nozue says, ďIf it looked too real, then we might as well shoot it live.Ē Do the characters look like real people? Have they ever looked like real people? This film is often classified as photorealistic, but it definitely has a lot of anime influence, at least in its character designs. Ridiculous, physics-defying action still exists in a lot of anime (e.g. Attack on Titan). Itís far from a tired concept.



In comparison to the original art style, which had a distinct and unapologetic anime aesthetic, AC feels like Nomurra redesigning the cast as if they were real people.

With that said, I still feel the defiance of the laws of physics were a little more over-the-top than they should be and while its still prevalent in anime, it's an aspect I don't like in the medium either. I just dislike Rule of Cool, because it often feels like the product is trying too hard to impress me, and that kind of just takes me out of the experience because I become aware that the film is trying to manipulate me with visual wonders.



Wait, was Advent Children always intended to be released alongside a novel? As I understand it, the novel came out with Advent Children Complete when the creators decided they needed to make the story more ďcomplete.Ē I think they did this to appease fans who wanted more details and characters they knew from the game. But in my opinion, Advent Children Complete only adds fan service and irrelevant filler that isnít required to understand the original film. I havenít read the novel, but I assume itís the same, considering that I like the story in the original movie just fine.

Sephy will answer this better than I could since my first foray into the film was a bootleg copy a friend acquired the day the film released, but I'm pretty sure the novellas were part of the Japanese boxsets of the films original release.


What did Denzel, the children, Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo have to do with fanservice? Why didnít we see more of Cid, Barrett, Yuffie, Red XIII, etc? Why did Cloudís fight with Sephiroth only last five minutes? Isnít that what fans want to see? The Tekken: Blood Vengence movie has a ridiculous plot featuring mostly characters from the game and ends with a twenty-five-minute-long battle between characters who combined had less than five minutes of screen time in the rest of the film. I fail to see how Advent Children classifies as pure fanservice.

Indeed, what did any of those character have to do with anything besides force Cloud (and Tifa) to jump from one extravagant fight after the next, simply so we could follow a story whose entire purpose is really to have that five minute fight with Sephiroth, which is about the only thing people really remember about the movie besides wondering what the hell happened to Reno's personality.

I'm not saying its the worst fanservice movie (that would be the second Mortal Kombat movie), but Cloud's story is kind of redundant, the children being infected really never amounted to anything meaningful, most of the returning cast show up for one fight and then stand by watching Cloud get his ass handed to him for four and half minutes with the fate of the world at stake, and Reno and Rude drop any pretense of their cool persona to go full on Gilgamesh for the flick cause we needed some humor. It was also not surprising that Vincent, one of the fan favorites of the film got more screentime than the rest of the supporting cast. In fact the major characters from the game that feature prominetly in the plot are largely the favorites from the game.

The film largely runs on Rule of Cool and the plot always felt to me like it was there to string it all together. So its hard not to call it like I see it.


Yeah, the story is about some guy struggling to accept his past and find his place in the present. I can see where some fans of the game would be frustrated by this in that it somewhat rehashes what happened in the game. But when you think of it as just a movie, itís a compelling and relatable story (even with all the weird Jenova-Sephiroth-geostigma stuff in the background). The fact that this personal drama is told in an action movie makes it even more interesting.





I would have preferred finding a new way to explore Cloud's character, especially since we never really got a good grasp of the real Cloud in the game. So to have him simply reguritate the same drama as before was kind of a letdown and simply felt like the writers were too lazy to come up with anything new, so they simply rehashed the old story. To be fair to AC, Square-Enix does this with most of their sequels, but what's the point of continuing a story if you're not going to really do anything new with the characters. This is why most sequels fail anyway since a majority of them are just more of the same as the first film.

I can see where it wouldn't be an issue if you've never played the game, but that brings us back to the plot and lack of developing the rest of the cast leaving the viewer needing to consult a secondary source to really get the full picture. I can't say it's a good standalone film. Great CGI work? Yes, but for me it, lacks any substance to validate it so its really just some flashy visuals and a nice way to kill a few hours before moving onto something more mentally stimulating.

With all that said, writing these long responses is kind of exhausting for me, and not how I like to spend my evenings anymore. So I'm going to have to courtesly bow out of the discussion for the time being.

Sephiroth
07-14-2017, 10:03 AM
I assume you're comparing the scene between Rufus and Cloud in the original film and in Advent Children Complete. I really like the dialog in that scene in the original. It's very to the point and says a lot about both their characters.


No, in general, he says 自称 and referring to him as an Ex SOLDIER and that means "you wannabe-Ex-SOLDIER". In both the normal and the Complete Edition.

Wolf Kanno, I do not have the time to read through your post now. I will answer it in ~9 hours.

Sephiroth
07-14-2017, 10:53 AM
I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT MY POST WAS KILLED AGAIN!

silentfuzzle
07-14-2017, 06:41 PM
I didn't realize Final Fantasy VII fans were so negative about this movie. This might be because I look at Advent Children in the context of other CGI movies rather than in the context of Square Enix's other content, but from the first trailer I ever saw, Advent Children was unique. To this day, there's still nothing like it. The thing about CGI movies is that as soon as you step outside the typical children and family genre, storytelling and filmmaking techniques go out the window. No one seems to know how to use CGI effectively to tell a story. Most of the time, the story is just an excuse to make something that looks photorealistic (e.g. The Polar Express, Beowulf, Kingsglaive) or the art style mimics 2D animation with cell shading, as if that can make up for the fact that the film gives the viewer no reason to care about its protagonist (e.g. Vexille, Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker, .hack//Beyond the World).

If this is just a cash grab, it's a well crafted one. Someone on the team knew what the heck they were doing when they made Advent Children. Someone apparently had a vision of a story they wanted to tell and a message they wanted to say. Someone cared about shot composition, video editing, and lighting. Each shot and each scene says something or does something that advances the story, builds the world, and/or develops the characters. Someone realized that they didn't have to cell shade or make the film photorealistic to avoid The Uncanny Valley. Someone decided to tell the story in an unconventional way through visuals rather than spoon feeding the plot through dialog. They give us reasons to sympathize with Cloud and don't turn him into an invincible super protagonist. While he has superhuman strength, he's sick, distraught, and easily exhausted. The characters don't follow the laws of physics, but they follow more than The Rule of Cool to keep dramatic tension.


the story is contrived and only serves as a means to move the viewer from the action scenes which make up the majority of the film, giving the movie the same format as a porn film.

You say everything in the film is just an excuse to get from one action scene to the next, but isn't that the point of all action movies? I agree in a bad action movie, the action scenes are pointless visual spectacles/action porn, probably featuring a city being destroyed in a tsunami and hundreds of thousands of people dying while the seemingly invincible protagonist and antagonist beat each other in the face. There are no stakes. There are no rules. There's no reason to care about what's happening unless you just like looking at it.

But the action scenes in Advent Children are scenes, integral to advancing the plot, building the world, and/or developing the characters. Because Advent Children doesn't use the laws of physics, it must establish its own rules and elements of battle as part of the fight scenes, which it does. The shot choices establish where the characters are in space, show what they're feeling, and their personalities. This is why the battles have significance for the characters and look so great. Cloud and Tifa are introduced to the bad guys in fight scenes, Cloud confirms his uselessness when he attempts to save the orphans in a fight scene, all the fight scenes are losses until Cloud regains his confidence in a fight scene alongside his friends, Cloud attempts to prove he can fight alone with his battle against Kadaj but he still needs the memories of his friends to defeat Sephiroth in the final battle. What Cloud really needs to do in the film to be happy is reunite with his friends, but the fights are where he confronts the demons and memories in his head, which is one way to show an invisible struggle in a visual medium.

Advent Children is mostly action and visuals because that's how it tells its story. Using dialog minimally is how the creators chose to tell the story, not a flaw. Perhaps the creators could have had a little more explanatory dialog, but that doesn't discredit the entire story as garbage. Of course, the action scenes look spectacular. That's what an action movie is supposed to do. Of course, the visuals look beautiful. Who wants to look at butt ugly artwork for an hour and a half? The fact that this movie looks good doesn't mean that it's empty visual spectacle.

I can see why you wouldn't like this movie if you don't like action movies or you don't think a Final Fantasy VII movie should have been an action movie or you simply don't agree with what happened in the film based on what you saw in the game, but that doesn't make this movie or its story objectively bad.

Edge7
07-14-2017, 06:59 PM
I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT MY POST WAS KILLED AGAIN!
I've been having the same problem. I've taken to copying my text just in case.

When I first saw the movie, I was 12 and I LOVED it. Since High School though I just find it boring. The action scenes (really for a lot of people, the movie's main sell) don't really do much for me because there's no personality to it. A fight can look as cool as it wants, but extended fight sequences are supposed to be more than clashing swords in 30 different cool ways. Empire Strikes Back has Vader trying to lure Luke into the carbonite freezer (while also showing that Luke relies too much on his light saber and too little on the Force), Pirates of the Carribean shows Will's dedication as a blacksmith and a swordsman, Princess Bride establishes the relationship between Wesley and Inigo Montoya, and characterizes Wesley as a show-off. Advent Children has people doing cool flips and shit. I will say, I like Tifa's fight scene in the Church; it's brief and they worked her limit breaks into the choreography (actually reminds me of a lot of scenes in the Street Fighter II movie). The Sephiroth fight also has dramatic stakes as Cloud's super outmatched, but I agree with Kanno that it doesn't exactly make sense for Sephiroth to be as powerful as he is.

Anyway, regarding the plot, I'll go ahead and say I agree with the detractors. Too much is left out for the movie to feel like its own product. I've read a few of the Novellas, and I really liked Case of Denzel and Tifa (the others vary for me). I feel like another problem with the movie's writing is that every non-action scene with Cloud (of which I think there are 3?) is the same:

Rufus: Cloud, help us save the planet...
Cloud: Not interested, let me grieve

Tifa: Cloud, we gotta save the kids!
Cloud: I'm not up for it, let me grieve. Besides, Reno and Rude have this.

Vincent: Exposition, also are you gonna head back to save the city?
Cloud: I dunno... I could grieve
Marlene: Seriously?!
Cloud: You know what, yeah, I'll give it a shot.

I used to be a lot harder on Cloud's characterization in this movie, but I do think that writing Cloud as depressed is a solid believable choice. Despite his character arc in the game, it's very easy to believe he could have a relapse. My problem is that EVERY SCENE that features or involves him is the same (and the only dialogue heavy scenes between multiple characters that aren't about Cloud are about Kadaj asking Rufus for Jenova's location). I'm not really an Evangelion fan, but I like Shinji Ikari because while the character is known for his insecurities and not wanting to act, a large amount of his screen time is spent on his relationships with other characters. He's allowed to exhibit a range of emotions; he gets flustered, irritated, prideful, content. At the end of Advent Children, if I hadn't played FFVII, I would only know Cloud as "that angsty guy with the big sword" and surprise, surprise, that's how gaming culture at large remembers him.

Anyway, I know people personally who like this movie, and I'm well past the age of telling them they shouldn't. That being said, I don't think Advent Children is well written or particularly interesting. Last Order and Case of Denzel are probably the most well written things to come out of the Compilation, honestly. The latter is a great self-contained story with well defined stakes that feels relevant to the original game, as opposed to creating a new threat for someone to deal with "just because" (and yes, despite their relation to Sephiroth, I would classify Kadaj Yazoo and Loz as a "new threat").

Sephiroth
07-15-2017, 12:01 AM
I swear this post at least took me 40 hours of one day.



Fair enough, but it does seem sometimes you forget to come back to the posts.



Not quite. I am just busy for 50%-75% of the day for the next three weeks and I often come home late because of that. If you are referring to another post you must tell me.
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...spiritual deaths door so to speak, which is why he couldn't reform and had to use the shades instead.
Well, he could not reform because his time in the lifestream made him forget his old shape as, as mentioned or to be mentioned, he willingly threw away some of his memories as well as did not care about some of his, in his eyes, irrelevant memories fading away as he did not hold onto them and only cared about his very being.
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Which brings me to my first point, when did Sephiroth suddenly gain the power to will matter into existence?
Eh~ Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo do not consist of normal bodies that Sephiroth manifested out of thin air. They are remnants/fragments, directly bound to his being and their shell consists of the cell leftovers, which is also why Kadaj can get damaged from Great Gospel.
And I have not even begun telling you that your assumption is wrong. The planet can manifest matter. It did with the Weapons. These are these kinds of things that I mean. Dislike stuff you want, that's totally fine. But if it is based on something you don't understand then that is what makes no sense. And yes, that is what most people do. It is nothing those that argue with them "do not understand". It is that those who say "this and this is bad it did not make sense" just did not understand it in the first place and now are not ready to accept that because they were not ready beforehand and now ignore the entire rest. You cannot ignore that stuff. You have to put all important pieces together.
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Because if it did have such an ability, I kind of feel like it could have dealt with Jenova without the Ancients, not to mention that it's established in the novella that Sephiroth's will and identity are holding on by a thread, so how is he suddenly multitasking staying sentient against the collective will of every living being on the planet, using magic to create thought people to do his bidding, and still have time to use Geostigma to make Cloud a sad panda? You have to admit when it's written out like that, it sounds a little goofy in hindsight.
I have explained it further below how Sephiroth makes use of his will, his powers, his plan and how he starts off as weakened first but does not stay like that all the time. He did so much in the game. Regaining his strength and then being back to business is pretty believable, especially considering he was written as too strong in the first place.
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Not to mention as you said, that if Sephy still has the power to control Jenova, why would he even need his though people when he could have simply hijacked her body and build himself up?
Mentioned below but his heritage is not to be disputed. It is just skills that he has. We see them in the game, we can read him thinking about using them again and the usage of one or the other thing in the movie as well.
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Not to mention, if Jenova is virtually immortal and Sephy's consciousness is stuck in the Lifestream fighting for its independence, couldn't Jenova pottentially regain its own will and just go back to doing its own thing?
What Jenova is is heavily misinterpreted by so many people. Jenova is nothing but a super-intelligent animal but it is not even an actual character. And no, I don't mean it in the "humans are intelligent animals as well" way. There is not much Jenova can do at this point. The id that Jenova personified for itself as well as the id that lives on in Jenova cell bearers will always exist but that does not mean the tick with two tentacles and an abstract female body and a heart behind its shell will come back. Jenova is still doing its thing in a more passive way. But now its time for the better one to do the job - the trademark character next to Cloud. Also Jenova cell fragments and just a few Jenova cells that could be found - there is not much Jenova can do. But I have explained further below that the cells will of course somehow still be a thing.
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This is part of my issue here, Sephy's got some pretty extreme powers and yet it kind of feels to me the plot is ignoring some of his powers, in order to give him new ones
It does not really ignore them, it just gives them another narrative form. The only really new thing is the existence bond. Everything else stands in direct relation to something else of his powers.

... the game itself has shown that Sephy has the power to make all of this a non-issue.
THAT is an unfair treatment. The game itself should already be a non-issue for the very fact that Sephiroth is too strong. It is like asking "why did Cell not use the Kaiouken against Son Gohan?" when it actually is a fact that he can use it or "why did he not use Shunkan Idou to teleport behind Gohan for his Kamehame-Ha?" when he actually copied it form Goku. Sometimes you just want to write a story the way you want to write it and I will go into further detail in a below paragraph.
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It would have made more sense to have Sephy simply body hop his consciousness to the living remains of Jenova (which technically he kind of does in the film with Geostigma) and use simply wait out the regeneration process to come back and face Cloud.
Sephiroth wanted to appear before Cloud as an astral projection but he failed doing so. So he used the next appropriate way that did fit with the new elements of Geostigma established in the story. Final Fantasy VII-1 makes a normal reunion and Sephiroth using the powers of Jenova more convenient because he has the center of the Reunion itself with him and then just after intiation used the rest of his nifty abilities for this stuff. Do you really want a story: "... yeah ... uhm ... there are no leftovers ... but actually the normal cells ... and Sephiroth used his old trick of CD1-CD2, not even written with a new and fance shape ... and then he comes back ..."
I don't. I mean, I do. But a new shape for everything does not bother me.
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but suggesting that Sephiroth is so weak, he has to come up with a resurrection plan to fill up the space where the plot is, but still somehow be omnipotent in comparison to Cloud and the others.
But that is just your claim all the time. "Sephiroth is weak. He was weakened after the final battle so it makes sense he is weak for x time units". YES, Sephiroth was weakened. But he does not stay weakened. He is never treated like he still is half dead. He is treated like he happily enjoys his life in the lifestream once he does his existence link and all and just from time to time it gets referred back as stuff like "oh, crap baskets, I don't even know my own image anymore". And that's it.
The problem with these kinds of posts is that they are not based on actual knowledge. Either people ignore important facts or simply do not understand them. And once you confront them with it they either ignore it again or try to once more act as if you were the problem even if you flat out acknowledge everything needed. It is all in the story.

Frankly, the idea of Sephiroth's will being strong enough to go toe to toe with the Collective unconscious of all life on the planet always felt a bit far fetched to me. We've shown that Cloud is strong willed enough to beat Sephiroth, you mean to tell me that their isn't a million stubborn consciousness making up the Lifestream that they couldn't squash Sephy's will like a bug? I mean I can get behind him and Cloud surviving a Lifestream bath since their consciousness are still attached to a physical form, but I find it hard to believe that once the body is gone the Lifestream wouldn't have made short work of him, which is ultimately how I interpret his final scene in the game.
Sephiroth works like that though and he always worked like that. How is a fictional story about an alien-human entity less farfetch'd than a specific power that person has. It is exactly the same thing as a Universe Busting attack in Dragon Ball hitting a character and this character just not being fazed from it. They just can do it. Sephiroth is so powerful, he can both use the Meteor and hold back Holy as long as he is not defeated and therefore weakened for the moment of the finale. So yes, I am telling you that he is better than all of them. Because that is just how he is. I don't make him a powerhouse, he IS a powerhouse. Also why are you insisting on him having a physical form? You do realize a body is just a shell and the spiritual parts/psychological parts that "we" truly are? And those are what makes Sephiroth so damn strong. Yes, he has some very cool physical powers. But that's not all. Cloud is shown to be an incredible weak-willed person. Whether he suffers from confabulation or him having his own doubts about his being and all. He is just a broken boy even before being used by Sephiroth. But the final scene simply was there because Cloud a) finally got his crap together and wanted to get the consciousness bond of him and laughing Sephiroth be disconnected as well as b) fight for what's important for him. Cloud is a total "loser turns hero" character. But that does not mean he can make use of his powers all the time and I say that so often. That is also why he only can overwhelm Sephiroth when both actually giving it his all as well as grudging Sephiroth, the man who was defeated by a 16-yeard old blue guard, once more underestimating him - both total shonen trope.
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At no point in VII was it revealed that Jenova has the power of Zenkai and can somehow magically come back stronger from certain death. Kitase and Nojima mention in the Ultimania that Sephiroth is practically a transcended being in AC that was stronger than when Cloud fought him with the party in the game.
But I even hinted his whole power gain. His sheer power representation still does not have the same magnitude than whenever he went all out. Sephiroth gets stronger all the time. That does not mean he goes all out. Did you really think the final battle in AC was all of his power? It wasn't. And Sephiroth very much has an easy written way in the game that allowed for his power gain. All he needed for that he also still had with him in the book. I delve further into that in another paragraph.
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His will is practically a caricature of itself after being eaten away by the Lifestream, and while I won't contest the fact he should still have the power of the Lifestream, he probably shouldn't really be in a state to use it effectively since his will is eroded away.
But it is really not. Which spiritual components highlight the person Sephiroth the most? His consciousness as the existence "Sephiroth" that he never wants to give up and even thinks the Lifestream might to that, should he actually give in and his will power. The will power of Sephiroth CANNOT be harmed in any true way. This is why he lasted such a long time in the Lifestream and had no problem with it. And when he was about to get dragged with the Lifestream a bit he did some safety net stuff. You know, just because Sephiroth gives up memories and all this super-powerful engine that is his will does not automatically belong in the trash bin.
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His physical ability should really be no stronger than Jenova since he's basically just hijacking her body again and using its regenerative powers, but in no way should he somehow be stronger than he was in the game when he had time and Jenova's full body to resurrect and pull off his master plan. Where did all this power come from since we've established he's been spending all his time simply surviving and coming up with a means to gain anew body?
You know that Sephiroth is an energy consuming entity or do you not? He can live from the planetary energy and strengthen himself the same way Jenova does. How does he do that? He confronts planetary energy/life energy/knowledge -> Is the will of the reader strong enough to withstand? Yes? He can make use of it and get stronger from that. No? -> He is pretty much wrecked. And Sephiroth even more strengthened his own power in a way because he instead of just going with his ordinary life reading and converting it to his own power thing he even creates his own part of the lifestream that he can even easier use because of this whole tainting and using the mentality of the dead thing, et cetera. Anyway, whether he starts off as a bit weakened or not does not matter. His concept of a self-feeding reactor makes him too strong. He gets stronger because his will allows for his capacity to not be overloaded. This makes him strong enough to become stronger again, blablabla.
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Not to mention that in the game, even with the power of the Lifestream, it took him seven years to fully regenerate and yet he somehow gains instant regeneration within the film? This is kind of what I'm talking about with Nojima. He tends to be very inconsistent with how powers work in his stories.
That is wrong. And I even explained it already. This "Reunion" of Sephiroth in AC as well as this "regeneration" has nothing to do with what we normally see of him. His AC "Reunion" is a direct use of the shapeshifting ability that he used with Jenova's headless cells and yes, he did that instantly and not in 7 years. They just wrote the story different now because of new circumstances.
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Good for you, it didn't stop half my anime club coming up to me asking me who this kid was and why he was important. I still stand by the fact the film should have addressed it better for the audience.
You know you are using the term "fact" wrong here and you are intelligent enough that I should not even need to point that out.
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You kind off missed my point here, and frankly I feel Denzel is the worst offender compared to the Terrible Trio. I even mentioned that most fans would figure them out, but to introduce a character who is meant to be both important for the plot and the emotional crutch for one of the characters and not bother to really go into detail within the film itself despite the fact you did write out an eloboarate backstory for them anyway is kind of just a bad idea all around. Films have a bad enough wrap with masses as it is, they don't need to add skimming the Wiki articles before going in to understand the story.
I am not really missing the point. I know what you mean. It is just that I feel you expect too much from Denzel just because he was the "main child" together with Marlene.
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"Bob fought the dragon to save his wife" makes sense, but isn't very compelling.


"Bob undertook a journey to save Sarah, the girl he grew up with and used to play in the grassy meadows behind the farm. This same meadow is where he proposed to her with a ring made from lily petals that were her favorite flowers. She was taken away by an evil dragon who lived in the mountains nearby and thus he had to save the love of his life. " Not only makes sense but places you in the context of how Bob is thinking. We understand that Sarah is more than just a wife, but a childhood friend he's known his whole life and likely the most important person in the world to them.
You must be a massive fan of Tolkien who even describes the every colour on every piece of leaf. Whenever I write my stories I so much want to be consistent with what I establish. I want the world to feel rich. And I want it to be detailed. But very often I find myself just neurotically following this pattern and that for something that often is not even the point of things. And if we are absolutely honest, is forgotten, ignored or misunderstood by 99% anyway. It can take away your own entertainment or make you drift away from what you actually want to do. I very often add my details and explanations. But, for example, whenever I write an action scene I make use of several abilities of a character or in a conversation between characters I delve more in their psyche, making things cohesive with that pattern and do throwbacks to old moments. BUT sometimes the situation simply makes it feel awkward because it is not the place and time for it. You might say now "but you could rewrite it to make it fit". But that's exactly the point. Why should I rewrite something that is more important for me just to make something fit in that has no relevance in that situation? It ruins the motivation and your drive to do what you want. Whenever you want it and feel like it, great. But don't force yourself to add something that you feel has no place here.



Denzel deserved better man, and the viewers would have come away from the film with a richer experience if they had at least done more to make him feel like more than MacGuffin.
I see Americans always using the word "McGuffin". I should google one day what that means. We don't use it here.
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Even if the film was solely about Cloud, its made obvious that Denzel is important to him and had he been better developed and established in the story, could have helped to tell Cloud's story better..
Would have been cool but then the movie would have to be longer, more expensive and once more drift away from the main points a bit.
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See its not just Nojima who does this.
I cannot help but point out that Nojima-san also worked on the basic script of FFXV itself.
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While I agree that adding Kingsglaive wouldn't help the larger problems in XV's story, I still feel it would have been a large improvement for the earlier sections and potentially address other issues, like dropping the Kingsglaive themselves since they are largely unimportant to VX as a whole, and simply focus the story on Regis and Lunafreya, who are crimninally underultilzed in the main game proper. I'm not suggesting just adding the story in, I'm talking about integrating it as a gaming component as well. I would have loved to play through the Fall of Insomnia with a party of Regis, Lunafreya, and Gladios dad.
I knew what you mean but that is still just not enough for me. And in a way I think adding Kingsglaive would have given it a very weird tension this early. The tension was already there because of just that affecting the world but this for real being there for the player - if it were in the game I would have placed it later. FF has the tradition to start with moment with tension and action, yes. But this seems like an extreme overkill.
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Bottom line here is that I'm a fan of the FF games, why is Squenix cutting out content from these games and making me pay for it separately so I I can enjoy the thing I like that they make which are games? Its a business yes, but some business practices are just bad and shouldn't be encouraged.
Purely subjective. You know what should not be encouraged? Cigarettes and alcohol. They cause real problems and people still consume them.
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Watching Cloud be a jerk back to blustering blowhard but charmingly ineffective Barret is kind of amusing, watching Lightning do the same thing to obviously fish out of water, but wise cracking civilian Sahz just kind of makes her look mean.
Cloud and Lightning are both supposed to be absolutely "inappropriate" simply because their shell made them socially awkward. Whether they talk with the one that gives off some cartoony feeling with his talking against asshole wall Cloud or wise Sazh, as you call him, does not really make to much of a difference. As a matter of fact Lightning is even easier to talk with because while she is grumpy queen #1 she at least does not reflect absolute disinterest. You could see that from the very first chapter in the game already. I can point out some scenes to be more clear but only if that conversation continues. The post will be massive anyway.

I'm also going to skip over the more personal stuff, so bear with me.
Which personal stuff? There was not a single attack in my last post. If you mean the "that must be something personal", well, it has to be if it is about you. It is equivalent to saying "this must be subjective".
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... , but I blame this one Nojima introducing elements and tropes from other mediums that I don't particulary care for as well as the fact that while Kojima has always left his game more open ended with sequels in mind, VII to me was a fairly self-contained story and didn't leave itself open to as much expansion as I felt the Compilation gave it.
I am an absolute sucker for sequels. For me there normally has to be at least one sequel to a story all the time so I can feel "okay, now it was solidly finished". It is not about me not being satisfied with what happens in the stories. I just do not want to leave them. They are created and alive in their own way. And I do not like it that you write something down and then lay away the pencil and never bother with the story ever again. The whole "self-contained thing" seems like an incredibly forced thing to me as well. If it works I say "okay" but I barely ever have the feeling that I do not want more of what I love.
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I mean truth be told, I like the Last Order because I felt it was a story that should have been told and the retcons it made I felt actually fixed some issues I had with VII's original narrative.
You know Last Order is just a re-interpretation to promote Crisis Core and was not there to actually tell or fix anything?
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With all that said, I feel its fine to actually disregard the canon presented by the writer if its awful enough. Even writers make bad calls from time to time and so I feel that as a fan, its fine to take it as word of god from a case by case scenario. Nojima says VII and X are indirect sequels to each other, but I'm honestly going to choose to ignore that truth because I feel its kind of stupid.
It is fine if you call it "just ignoring it" but that's exactly the point. You cannot do more than that. A car that you ignore will still drive and hit you because you ignoring it will not affect its existential state. Let me give you an example: I am a great Pokťmon fan. But at one point in life I did not bother watching all the anime episodes again. I just did not bother. But I did not treat them like "they didn't happen". Because it does not have any effect. It is like me writing a letter to you, you choosing to ignore page 2 or simply acting as if it never was there and then claiming I did not write it and what was there did not matter for the expression of my inner world. You cannot decide that. That is the entire point. So why even bother using words like "disregarding"? When they want it to be canonical, it is canonical. If you want the power to change that, you have to buy the brand. Just because you disregard something does not mean they have to consider that in their next step. Actually it is the other way around. Or well, you just look away. As long as you know it will not stop it from existing and actually mattering.

I like the fact that when Sakaguchi created the franchise, he made a rule that said no direct sequels and forced the teams to be more creative with each new installment and I love how that concept fits well with the series title itself by each game being the "Final" Fantasy of their respective worlds.
Hironu Sakaguchi is one man who worked on Final Fantasy and he had the idea, yes. But he is not the only one, a whole company who owns it made it and as it stands right now, his position is not even that of an employee anymore. The company has evolved, just as Final Fantasy - though I would still say this whole "Final Fantasy is different" is an incredible exaggeration.
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Nojima on the otherhand just doesn't write the type of stories I like, and while I can agree he comes up with clever ideas, he just can't seem to follow through with them to my satisfaction, so its a little easier for me to blow off his authority cause I often disagree with his ideas.
I dislike a lot but I don't blow off any authority because it is not in my power to do so. I am nothing but a consumer of a product and treat what they create the same way I treat your words: I would never come out and say "NO YOU MEANT THAT!!! I KNOW YOUR INTENTION AND THEREFORE YOUR COGNITIVE COMPOSITION BETTER THAN YOU!!!!1111oneoneone".


That was some obvious hyperbole. You get the point.
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If it makes you feel better Motomu Toriyama is probably closer to someone I actively dislike that works at SE; but that's largely due to his hissy fit about the Western fans after XIIIs release, along with my general dislike for his storytelling and game design choices.[quote]
This is not about me feeling better and Toriyama-san is not the storyteller of Final Fantasy XIII-XIII-3. Daisuke Watanabe is. I on the other hand am shocked about how this forum thinks of it as funny how he looked when he was approached about many people disliking his work. This shows the very face of the world. Those people really think they have done nothing wrong with his incredibly sign of disrespect and yes, no matter how people try to twist it and try to come up with some excuses about how he deserved ultimately just reflecting the "I don't care" statement, by the end of the day approaching someone publicly and then people laughing about that and these people not giving a crap and don't even see what the problem of this is, THIS is bothersome.
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[quote]Its something mentioned off hand in the Ultimania guides for VII. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me either as you can tell from me pointing out some logical errors, which is what we're kind of arguing about.
I would like to know what exactly you are referring to because it might just be a misunderstanding.
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Whether its boring is in the eye of the beholder, but frankly I felt the film was a bit too vague and people simply assumed Sephy just redid what he did in the game with the actual clones despite that not really being possible anymore.
Eh, its not like it is absolutely and under no circumstances possible anymore. It just was another take of all of that and so the whole cell leftover thing was done.
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I'm not bothered by Noctis being absent but I strongly feel it would have served XV better had it been implemented as a gaming experience in the early chapters to run counter to the slower and more blissful events of Noctis and his entorouge trying to get to a wedding. It also would have been a great way to expand Lunafreay and Regis' characters within the main game and we could have even had a taste of power section playing as Regis.
For me it would not have made much of a difference. I knew Luna from Kingsglaive and still wanted to see more of her in the main game and I don't mean seeing the movie scenes as well but really more. This is what for me is actually substantial for FFXV other than having a backstory of three marionettes in the movie instead of the novella.
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Sephy will answer this better than I could since my first foray into the film was a bootleg copy a friend acquired the day the film released, but I'm pretty sure the novellas were part of the Japanese boxsets of the films original release.
The novella is a collective of stories released over a certain amount of time. On Square's website Case of Denzel was readable when AC became a thing and the moment it hit theater a short prologue book with Case of Tifa and Case of Denzel came out. The rest was added a bit later then. It does not really matter though because it was always a widely known thing that there was some additional backstory for AC. I mean, it is not even the only backstory book that exists for FFVII.
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Indeed, what did any of those character have to do with anything besides force Cloud (and Tifa) to jump from one extravagant fight after the next, simply so we could follow a story whose entire purpose is really to have that five minute fight with Sephiroth, which is about the only thing people really remember about the movie besides wondering what the hell happened to Reno's personality.
You are hanging out with a great peer of one and the same people oppressed by peer pressure then. And I hope you are not one of them.
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but Cloud's story is kind of redundant
As a computer scientist the term redundancy in such a context hurts me. How is Cloud's story redundant? When was the last time he felt absolutely depressed about a friend dying, blaming himself and almost dying because of it, totally locking himself away from the rest of the world?



the children being infected really never amounted to anything meaningful


The children were used as cell radar and as another expression of the world's suffering. Also the children are the future life of the planet. How are they useless? It is like saying the True Ending of Zelda Breath of the Wild with its very last moment is useless/random when it is not. Zelda is back. And in a flashback before you see her picking a Princess Flower being sad that it might be the last one, standing for a) the flower's life, b) Hyrule's future, c) Zelda being the last of her kind and then BAM, Ganon is defeated and we see Zelda and a whole damn Princess Flower field with the camera stopping directly in front of one because it is a symbol for Zelda's future, the flower's future and Hyrule's future being saved.
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and Reno and Rude drop any pretense of their cool persona to go full on Gilgamesh for the flick cause we needed some humor.


THAT is wrong. Reno and Rude were never as intense as you remember them. The original installment, so the Japanese one, always gave them a somewhat mixed character. The Western version still got a bit of the whole thing but not enough. Crisis Core did it better. The Western version of Reno in FFVII appeared even though he showed some his funny moments, way too serious what he actually is. It is a shame - the stuff is still there and there are a lot of scenes where it can be seen but in the middle of all the transition something og that was simply lost.
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It was also not surprising that Vincent, one of the fan favorites of the film got more screentime than the rest of the supporting cast. In fact the major characters from the game that feature prominetly in the plot are largely the favorites from the game.


The film largely runs on Rule of Cool and the plot always felt to me like it was there to string it all together. So its hard not to call it like I see it.
I have a problem seeing that as another problem. If it feels forced for you then I can understand that because I feel like that about FFXV.
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I would have preferred finding a new way to explore Cloud's character, especially since we never really got a good grasp of the real Cloud in the game.


THIS is one of the things I hate the most whenever a fan of FFVII says it. "Real Cloud is that". That is psychologically absolutely wrong. You can say that as a metaphor but using the word real is heavily misunderstandable. Cloud suffers from the Final Fantasy VII version of a defensive mechanism called "Confabulation". The brain prevents itself from getting damage by repressing troublesome parts of your very psyche/memories and replaces the surface with convenient bits and pieces to create half-truths. It does not make him any less "real Cloud" in a technical sense than when he is healthy. This is NOT the same as dissociative identity disorder. This is not a case of "Johnny Depp in The Secret Window". Cloud in Final Fantasy VII suffers from a mental sickness that James Sunderland in Silent Hill 2 also suffers from. In Final Fantasy VII they just went with the whole JENOVA stuff. I don't even know if they know what Confabulation is. With a dissociative identity disorder your brain splinters your psyche for the splinter to get its own consciousness/ego. THIS is the essence of a literal other and own individual being, even if it originally came from someone else. But with Cloud that is not the case. The "echo" he hears and he talks with and who we wonders about who that is, is not "an actual second or the normal Cloud", it is no "other consciousness of a second person that lives in that body". It is not a Sora & Roxas case. This talk is nothing but a subconscious echoing. The guy we see all the time IS OUR Cloud, he is just not fully restored and aware of what he normally is like and as a matter of fact a lot of what is his normal character is still very much on the surface. Aerith even noticed what came from him without Confabulation. Maybe you do not mean in in a literal sense but I cannot help but pointing that out because existentially this is a great great great difference. If you just give it a metaphorical meaning, fine.
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So to have him simply reguritate the same drama as before was kind of a letdown and simply felt like the writers were too lazy to come up with anything new, so they simply rehashed the old story. To be fair to AC, Square-Enix does this with most of their sequels, but what's the point of continuing a story if you're not going to really do anything new with the characters. This is why most sequels fail anyway since a majority of them are just more of the same as the first film.


You must hate Star Wars 7.
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I can see where it wouldn't be an issue if you've never played the game, but that brings us back to the plot and lack of developing the rest of the cast leaving the viewer needing to consult a secondary source to really get the full picture. I can't say it's a good standalone film. Great CGI work? Yes, but for me it, lacks any substance to validate it so its really just some flashy visuals and a nice way to kill a few hours before moving onto something more mentally stimulating.


I have the feeling you did not understand the ACTUAL message of the movie. The message was "Final Fantasy VII is back." And the Compilation is far from being over. It was even back in 2008, so AFTER Dirge of Cerberus and Crisis Core were out when they said "The Compilation's finale will need another form".
There is a reason why Sephiroth says "Watashi wa ... omoide ni wa naranai sa."


Sephiroth is not gone for good. And Genesis has not awoken for some beer in the next tavern. Advent Children was the key to open a door again.

Example
07-15-2017, 04:40 AM
I used to like it when it first came out, but after completing FF7 for the first time a few years back I understand and even agree with why it's so hated. Even setting aside the fact that it doesn't make a lick of sense unless you've played the game, it's the ultimate nostalgic cashgrab that was 100% made for the money, no different than the notorious straight-to-video Disney sequels. It just went through the motions without doing anything new in terms of story, character development or lore, and it's even worse due to the majority of the game's beloved cast being shoved into the background to make room for three uninteresting, nearly identical villains with the same personality. At times it even detracts from the original FF7; it almost seems after playing the game for over 40 hours you never accomplished anything at all, since Sephiroth is destined to come back and probably still could come back at any time, and the Shinra corporation that had caused so much damage the planet is still in operation.

Basically it just had no real reason to exist besides making money off the fans.

Goldenboko
07-16-2017, 01:58 AM
Off topic, sure, but it warms my heart to still see 5 paragraph essays posted here about whether or not these games and movies are magical art or awful shit.

silentfuzzle
07-17-2017, 07:10 AM
Off topic, sure, but it warms my heart to still see 5 paragraph essays posted here about whether or not these games and movies are magical art or awful trout.

That's because this movie warrants this discussion. People don't talk about its merits enough!


The action scenes (really for a lot of people, the movie's main sell) don't really do much for me because there's no personality to it. A fight can look as cool as it wants, but extended fight sequences are supposed to be more than clashing swords in 30 different cool ways. Empire Strikes Back has Vader trying to lure Luke into the carbonite freezer (while also showing that Luke relies too much on his light saber and too little on the Force), Pirates of the Carribean shows Will's dedication as a blacksmith and a swordsman, Princess Bride establishes the relationship between Wesley and Inigo Montoya, and characterizes Wesley as a show-off. Advent Children has people doing cool flips and trout. I will say, I like Tifa's fight scene in the Church; it's brief and they worked her limit breaks into the choreography (actually reminds me of a lot of scenes in the Street Fighter II movie). The Sephiroth fight also has dramatic stakes as Cloud's super outmatched, but I agree with Kanno that it doesn't exactly make sense for Sephiroth to be as powerful as he is.

Not sure what you mean by "there's no personality to it." The fight scenes should have a goal other than to fight? Show the characters strengths and weaknesses? Show the character's personalities? Show the character's relationships? Reference moves from the game? Have dramatic tension? I could probably list how every fight scene in Advent Children does all these things, but I can understand if you didn't see it.


Too much is left out for the movie to feel like its own product.

I'm not sure if it's supposed to feel like its own product. Putting "Final Fantasy VII" in the title automatically warrants the question, "Where are the other six?" I think it can be enjoyed on its own though, especially considering that I'm probably the least familiar with Final Fantasy VII and its related games/media on this thread but enjoy Advent Children as much as or more than anyone else.


I feel like another problem with the movie's writing is that every non-action scene with Cloud (of which I think there are 3?) is the same:

Rufus: Cloud, help us save the planet...
Cloud: Not interested, let me grieve

Tifa: Cloud, we gotta save the kids!
Cloud: I'm not up for it, let me grieve. Besides, Reno and Rude have this.

Vincent: Exposition, also are you gonna head back to save the city?
Cloud: I dunno... I could grieve
Marlene: Seriously?!
Cloud: You know what, yeah, I'll give it a shot.

There's more than three (Cloud and Tifa in the church, the scene where Kadaj dies, Cloud with the townsfolk at the end of the movie...). The scenes you've listed are all from the first half of the movie, which is where Cloud gets his head together. I don't blame you for remembering only these scenes though. They're good ones! Also, half of Cloud's character development takes place in action scenes, so it's a little unfair to only count the non-action scenes.

I think the fact that Cloud is angsty is awesome. He actually feels like a human being. Action movies with confident/headstrong protagonists with no other perceptible weaknesses are boring to me. It's shocking how weak Cloud is despite his super strength and physics-defying abilities.


I'm not really an Evangelion fan, but I like Shinji Ikari because while the character is known for his insecurities and not wanting to act, a large amount of his screen time is spent on his relationships with other characters. He's allowed to exhibit a range of emotions; he gets flustered, irritated, prideful, content.

Cloud exhibits a range of emotions as well. Sadness is the one he talks about, but in the action scenes, even in the first half of the movie, he shows confusion, anger, cockiness, relief, confidence, fear, surprise, etc. They're all in the reaction shots.


Basically it just had no real reason to exist besides making money off the fans.

So when comparing it to the game, you hate Advent Children, but when not comparing it, you liked it? Advent Children is arguably a bad sequel, but does that make it a bad movie?


Advent Children actually does some really interesting and unique things with its story, character development, and filmmaking techniques. Consider that this is an action film that features a personal drama about a guy struggling with the deaths of two friends and memories of past enemies. This story could have taken place in a brand new universe, but it instead told this story through Final Fantasy VII elements. The film tells its story almost entirely through action and visuals as opposed to spoon feeding an obvious tale through dialog. Finally, it is a fully computer generated, feature length film that approaches but purposefully avoids photorealism and stars human characters that successfully cross The Uncanny Valley. This is an extremely unconventional action movie, both the story and the way it is told.


I'd also argue that this film makes sense but can be difficult to understand regardless of whether you've played the game or not. There are certainly things that only Final Fantasy VII fans will understand or care about, but I think almost anyone, fans and non-fans, can relate to Cloud and follow him through the film's strange setting. The problem is that Advent Children rarely uses dialog, and when it does, the characters rarely explain to the audience what's happening. The film gives its viewers the respect and space to put its pieces together themselves, which opens it to interpretation. It has a story... but only if you take the time to find it in its action and visuals. Unfortunately, many assume that it doesn't contain a story, or a good story, for a multitude of reasons without even examining the movie.


I find it hard to believe that this film exists only to pull money out of fans. It attracted many new people to Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy in general. You sound like one of them. Of course, the creators wanted to make money. Artists need money to continue making art, and this film can be examined and classified as art. Its association with a video game only makes it more often examined and classified as fan service. This film chose to experiment with CGI, a very young storytelling medium, and unconventional filmmaking techniques over creating a straightforward tale stuffed with characters, details, and references to the game as every other fan service film would do. If it exists only for fans, then why did it do so much else?

maybee
07-17-2017, 07:04 PM
Movie I sold for about $5

Fynn
07-17-2017, 07:06 PM
So much I idealism in this thread

Edge7
07-17-2017, 10:25 PM
There's more than three (Cloud and Tifa in the church, the scene where Kadaj dies, Cloud with the townsfolk at the end of the movie...). The scenes you've listed are all from the first half of the movie, which is where Cloud gets his head together. I don't blame you for remembering only these scenes though. They're good ones! Also, half of Cloud's character development takes place in action scenes, so it's a little unfair to only count the non-action scenes.

I think the fact that Cloud is angsty is awesome. He actually feels like a human being. Action movies with confident/headstrong protagonists with no other perceptible weaknesses are boring to me. It's shocking how weak Cloud is despite his super strength and physics-defying abilities.
I'll admit, that's one of my favorite things regarding the character as well.

I think may I have to readdress my problem with the fight scenes. They're *fine*, but my problem with most is that they go on for too long, or I feel like the audience doesn't learn anything. It's action for action's sake, or at least that's how they read to me. The one I'm thinking of in particular is the fight in the Sleeping Forest/Forgotten City in which Cloud goes to save the children. Going into the scene, we know that Cloud is outmatched by the three silver haired men, and that he doesn't believe he'll save the kids. After the fight scene, comprised of varied choreography involving creative use of the environment, the only new thing we learn is that Vincent's in the movie. The entire fight scene, while flashy, failed to engage with me because I felt it didn't add anything to the film. You could cut the scene out with the kids having already been moved to Edge and nothing would've changed. Granted, it's entirely possible that that's the film's weakest scene; It's been at least 7 or 8 years since I've watched the film in its entirety (though I will say that when I was super into this movie, I watched it at least 20 times, so I remember it pretty well), and I've only watched the "Complete" version once, so there might be some ambitious visual storytelling I had simply not noticed. I'm just throwing my two cents in on why time has soured this movie for me.

Skyblade
07-17-2017, 11:23 PM
Not a fan, personally. You say it's a good movie with its own message. If that was true, they would have just called it "Advent Children", and not "FFVII: Advent Children".

If you remove the FFVII connection from the movie, does it still hold up? If the answer is "yes", then that's what they should have done.

The movie ruins most of FFVII's story. Sephiroth is dead. He's ultra dead, having both his body and his mind torn to shreds by the Heroes at the end. It's the whole point of the final battle.

The life stream is the life energy of all living things. Once you're absorbed into it, you're done. "Don't worry, he's part of the lifestream/planet now". Not "don't worry, he'll reincarnate as long as he really, really wants to". That doesn't happen. If it did, Sephiroth would sure as hell not be the first person of the trillions throughout the Planet's history (or vastly more, since this cycle takes place across the universe and is known by the spacefaring Cetra) to hold together after being absorbed.

The movie cheapens the entire story of the game, pulls powers, characters, and plot elements out of nowhere, and largely exists just to give fans a big flashy fight scene between Square's ultra depressed Cloud (as opposed to the one we actually see in the game) and his arch nemesis, the broody "best villain of all time", which just means he can't ever die.

But, hey, if you want a stupid mindless action flick between FF styled characters, go for it. It's a decent watch from that angle.

Sephiroth
07-17-2017, 11:24 PM
There's more than three (Cloud and Tifa in the church, the scene where Kadaj dies, Cloud with the townsfolk at the end of the movie...). The scenes you've listed are all from the first half of the movie, which is where Cloud gets his head together. I don't blame you for remembering only these scenes though. They're good ones! Also, half of Cloud's character development takes place in action scenes, so it's a little unfair to only count the non-action scenes.

I think the fact that Cloud is angsty is awesome. He actually feels like a human being. Action movies with confident/headstrong protagonists with no other perceptible weaknesses are boring to me. It's shocking how weak Cloud is despite his super strength and physics-defying abilities.
I'll admit, that's one of my favorite things regarding the character as well.

I think may I have to readdress my problem with the fight scenes. They're *fine*, but my problem with most is that they go on for too long, or I feel like the audience doesn't learn anything. It's action for action's sake, or at least that's how they read to me. The one I'm thinking of in particular is the fight in the Sleeping Forest/Forgotten City in which Cloud goes to save the children. Going into the scene, we know that Cloud is outmatched by the three silver haired men, and that he doesn't believe he'll save the kids. After the fight scene, comprised of varied choreography involving creative use of the environment, the only new thing we learn is that Vincent's in the movie. The entire fight scene, while flashy, failed to engage with me because I felt it didn't add anything to the film. You could cut the scene out with the kids having already been moved to Edge and nothing would've changed. Granted, it's entirely possible that that's the film's weakest scene; It's been at least 7 or 8 years since I've watched the film in its entirety (though I will say that when I was super into this movie, I watched it at least 20 times, so I remember it pretty well), and I've only watched the "Complete" version once, so there might be some ambitious visual storytelling I had simply not noticed. I'm just throwing my two cents in on why time has soured this movie for me.

How does this scene not mean anything?
Cloud drives to Aerith's grave
Cloud and Aerith's spirit bond that was established in the main installment was used for the spirit talk
Kadaj uses the composition of his remnant body to activate the children's Jenova leftovers that sleeps within their Geostigma
Cloud wants to save those kids
Vincent tells Cloud what he has found out about the gang as well as that he saved Tseng and Elena from dying

Edge7
07-18-2017, 09:00 AM
None of that is in the actual fight. Typically a fight scene is supposed to change the status quo in someway. If I remember correctly, the kids drink Kadaj's ink water before Cloud even gets to the sleeping forest. You could just as easily have Cloud go to the Ancient City, have the scene with Aerith, and arrive at the Lake too late. Then he runs into Vincent, maybe he tried to rescue the kids and failed, and explains to Cloud what Geostigma is and who the three men are. Alternatively, you can give Cloud the objective of fighting Loz and Yazoo in order to prevent Kadaj from fully contaminating the water, that way the audience knows the stakes of what will happen should Cloud lose. The fight scene as it stands is just drawn out and unnecessary. Cool looking, but pointless.

Even if the fight scene had the proper stakes, I wouldn't be invested because the action does a poor job of setting tension. The fight scene is so fast paced, I don't actually have time to digest who is winning. For example, there's a moment where Cloud has one sword knocked out of his dominant hand, but he retrieves it so quickly, I don't even have time to realize he was at a disadvantage. After that, Loz knocks down the tree Cloud's in and Yazoo starts firing at him. Cloud deflects his bullets like it's no problem. There's no tension in the fight because there's no struggle in the fight, any disadvantage Cloud is at is immediately handwaved away. I didn't even realize he was about to lose the fight until retroactively after I saw him lying on the ground, and EVEN THEN, the camera work is focused on Vincent's weird cape form flying all over the screen so I had to rewatch the scene to notice even that.

There's constant information on the screen with no time to digest it, aside from a few split-second reaction shots. In wrestling it's important for the performers to "sell" a hit, to make it obvious they're in pain, because pain dictates the drama. If they gain the advantage by grabbing a chair, they make a big show out of it. If they see something that intimidates them, they overact to convey their fear. Anime does the same thing; Dragon Ball, abysmal though its pacing may be, makes a big deal whenever one character gains the advantage over the other, and I think its that sense of drama that has contributed to its enduring legacy. Advent Children, or at least this fight scene in particular, lacks that drama. There are moments when Cloud's at a clear disadvantage, but it never lasts long enough to leave an impression.

Heck, the FFVII Extended Canon's had better CG fight scenes. The sparring match between Genesis, Angeal and Sephiroth in Crisis Core conveys its action a lot clearer and it's easy to tell Sephiroth has the upper hand through most of the fight, even with Genesis blitzing him.

silentfuzzle
07-18-2017, 10:42 AM
So much I idealism in this thread

Indeed. I suspect there are also various types of cognitive bias all around. Part of this discussion is so we can all be a little less biased.


The one I'm thinking of in particular is the fight in the Sleeping Forest/Forgotten City in which Cloud goes to save the children. Going into the scene, we know that Cloud is outmatched by the three silver haired men, and that he doesn't believe he'll save the kids. After the fight scene, comprised of varied choreography involving creative use of the environment, the only new thing we learn is that Vincent's in the movie. The entire fight scene, while flashy, failed to engage with me because I felt it didn't add anything to the film. You could cut the scene out with the kids having already been moved to Edge and nothing would've changed.

I didn’t think of that before, that we know Cloud is outmatched, believes he will fail, and indeed that’s what happens. I don’t think you can get rid of this scene though. It’s the first scene where Cloud tries to fix something. It shows that he’s willing to try to save these sick orphans even though he believed he would fail, tried to ignore it, and fought against doing it. If he never tried and this scene didn’t exist, he would come off as a jerk and a coward, who left his foster son Denzel, his friend Marlene, and a bunch of kids in the hands of creepy guys in black leather. He’s still kind of a jerk and a coward for ignoring them in the first place (thus Marlene and Tifa’s rage), but at least he tries to make up for it.

World-building-wise, this scene introduces materia, Cloud’s limit breaks, Kadaj’s weapon and fighting style, and ground-based sword/weapon battles. This is important to establish the rules and elements of combat that will be seen for the rest of the film. Perhaps it could be shorter, but at the same time, it can’t be too short. If Cloud lost too quickly, then it wouldn’t be as plausible that he could defeat a giant monster, Kadaj, and Sephiroth in later scenes with a little friendship magic.


The fight scene is so fast paced, I don't actually have time to digest who is winning. For example, there's a moment where Cloud has one sword knocked out of his dominant hand, but he retrieves it so quickly, I don't even have time to realize he was at a disadvantage. After that, Loz knocks down the tree Cloud's in and Yazoo starts firing at him. Cloud deflects his bullets like it's no problem. There's no tension in the fight because there's no struggle in the fight, any disadvantage Cloud is at is immediately handwaved away. I didn't even realize he was about to lose the fight until retroactively after I saw him lying on the ground, and EVEN THEN, the camera work is focused on Vincent's weird cape form flying all over the screen so I had to rewatch the scene to notice even that.

I will admit that Advent Children occasionally has some vague camera angles such as Loz sucker punching Tifa in the church (or whatever he does) and Kadaj chopping Cloud out of the air in this fight scene. If the creators showed these things from any other camera angle, they would probably just look stupid. Most of the time though, Advent Children shows what it needs to show in its action and reaction shots and moves to the next shot. This film's shots really are packed with information that probably can’t all be absorbed in one viewing. If you’d like to see some truly terrible action movie camera angles that often fail to convey any new information whether you watch it in slow motion, multiple times, or not, watch Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV.

Of course, I can’t make you see anything in this film or make you like it… I can only strongly encourage you to watch it again. :D


Not a fan, personally. You say it's a good movie with its own message. If that was true, they would have just called it "Advent Children", and not "FFVII: Advent Children".

If you remove the FFVII connection from the movie, does it still hold up? If the answer is "yes", then that's what they should have done.

I read a book recently called Finch by Jeff VanderMeer. It’s the third book in a trilogy but was written to be a standalone story. It takes place in a rotting city where the buildings are all basically giant mushrooms, fungus is everywhere and has various functions in society (there are even fungus guns), and these creatures called Gray Caps enslaved humanity and contaminated Earth with fungus or something like that. The world is never explained in detail. It just is, but the book still tells the complete story of a detective solving a mysterious murder/suicide.

This is a technique used in short stories that take place in strange settings as well. Short stories usually don’t have the space to explain how the world came to be. They can only show their world and its limitations as it is.

I feel like this is the case with Advent Children. It takes place in a very strange setting and provides just enough detail to get you through the story and create the illusion of a cohesive world. The only difference between Advent Children and a standalone short story is that if the world the movie takes place in really interests you, then you can go play the games, watch the anime, or read the novel and learn all about it. With a short story, that’s it (unless the author was lucky to attract enough attention to create more stories or a book in that universe).

In this way, I think Advent Children could stand on its own had it been completely divorced from Final Fantasy VII, but because it uses Final Fantasy VII elements as the medium to tell its story and deliver its messages, there’s no removing “Final Fantasy VII” from its title.

This is purely speculation, but Square Enix making an original film in 2005 doesn’t strike me as something they should have done. The company’s previous attempt at creating a film was the box office flop Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Creating another original film would be too much of a risk since people were already disillusioned in their ability to do it. Creating a standalone story based in a pre-existing Final Fantasy universe would be the closest they would get to redeeming themselves as filmmakers. Personally, I would love to see Square Enix create an original film with a style similar to Advent Children, one that’s even better, even one in a different genre, but a movie based on Final Fantasy VII is the closest I’m going to get, particularly if people continue complaining that Advent Children is a bad movie simply because it’s based on Final Fantasy VII. :/

Advent Children may be a bad sequel for the reasons you specify, but I don’t see how that makes it a bad movie in general.