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Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is a CGI-animated film based on the successful PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII. It has been released on DVD and has been released on UMD disc for the PSP handheld console, as well as an extended edition titled Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete, released on Blu-Ray Disc in April 2009. Its official theatrical release date was on September 10, 2005 as the grand public opening. It was released in Japan on September 14, 2005. The movie received the Honorary Maria Award at the Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya on October 15 2005. Taking place two years after the end of Final Fantasy VII, Advent Children focuses on Cloud Strife, who is tormented by personal demons and past failures and has distanced himself from his friends. Complicating Cloud's lonely lifestyle is the arrival of three silver-haired men who begin to attack the new city of Edge. As Cloud later discovers, the three men are seeking the remains of Jenova as part of a plot to reincarnate Cloud's archrival Sephiroth.
Two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII, the planet is in the early stages of recovering from the devastating attack by Meteor, while the survivors of Midgar have begun to build a new city (aptly named Edge) on the outskirts of the old metropolis. However, a strange disease known as Geostigma (星痕症候群, Seikon Shōkōgun, lit. "Planet Scar Syndrome") has arisen.
After his showdown with Sephiroth, Cloud Strife established his own delivery service, the Strife Delivery Service, with the aid of Tifa Lockhart, with whom he has been living in Edge. Marlene has been entrusted to their care, and also with them is an orphaned boy named Denzel.
Cloud is attacked by three mysterious young men who believe that he knows the location of their missing "mother"; however, the battle is cut short and he escapes. Hoping to gain information on the mysterious attackers, Cloud responds to the summons of Rufus Shinra, the leader of the seemingly defunct Shinra Company. Rufus attempts to enlist Cloud's help to stop the trio but fails. After their meeting, Kadaj, one of the men who attacked Cloud, breaks into Rufus' lodge and demands that Rufus tell him where to find his mother, revealing that "she" is, in fact, the remains of Jenova and is somehow connected to the cause of Geostigma. He also announces that he and his "brothers," Yazoo and Loz are planning a new Reunion that will culminate in an assault on the Planet itself.
Kadaj and his "brothers" begin collecting children infected with Geostigma (including Denzel and the uninfected Marlene) and take them to the Forgotten Capital of the Ancients. Cloud attempts to rescue them but fails and must be rescued himself by Vincent Valentine.
Vincent reveals to Cloud what the trio are seeking and that it could result in the return of Sephiroth. He also reveals that Geostigma is the result of one's body working excessively to fight off an infection brought on by Jenova's lingering presence within the Lifestream. After some soul-searching, Cloud agrees to return to Edge and face Kadaj in direct battle.
Shortly thereafter, in Edge, the villainous trio call forth several monsters to attack the populace, including the dragon summon known as "Bahamut SIN." While the other Final Fantasy VII party members (Tifa, Barret, Red XIII, Cait Sith, Yuffie Kisaragi, Cid Highwind, and Vincent Valentine, as well as Aerith to a certain extent) deal with Bahamut, Reno and Rude attempt to take care of Yazoo and Loz until Cloud arrives. Through their teamwork, Cloud and his friends soon dispatch the monsters and Bahamut.
While overlooking these events in a nearby building, Rufus reveals to Kadaj that he has been in possession of the head of Jenova all along, tossing the box containing it from the edge of the building. Kadaj dives after the box and recovers it, although Rufus manages to crack the box slightly. Rufus himself survives the fall when Elena and Tseng launch nets to catch him. Before Kadaj can celebrate his good fortune, he spots Cloud in hot pursuit of him. An intense motorcycle chase carries them into the ruins of Midgar, Reno and Rude appear and use two timebombs which appear to kill Yazoo and Loz who where in pursuit of Cloud and Kadaj.
Cloud catches up to Kadaj and they slide off of the end of the unfinished highway. They then go into Aerith's old church where Kadaj sees the extent of the damage to "Mother" and lets out an anguished scream before Cloud arrives. They confront each other and Cloud comes off worse for it until a magical blast from Kadaj destroys the flowerbed and releases an outflow of seemingly Lifestream-infused water (A reference to Aerith's Level 4 limit "Great Gospel") which heals Cloud's geostigma and proves harmful to Kadaj who flees. Cloud, compelled by Aerith's voice, pursues him to the derelict remains of Shinra Headquarters in the center of Midgar. Now healed of his debilitating condition, Cloud is able to match Kadaj blow for blow and soon defeats him decisively. However, before the battle can come to a complete close, Kadaj tricks Cloud by distracting him with the box containing Jenova's head, which Kadaj then jumps after and absorbs into his body to show Cloud his "reunion". Kadaj begins to transform as Cloud attacks and before the impact, Cloud is stopped in midair by the abruptly revealed Masamune in the hands of a fully regenerated Sephiroth, cuing the entrance of the new One Winged Angel music. Sephiroth reveals that once those who die from the Geostigma return to the Lifestream, he will be able to control it. Sephiroth also reveals that he plans to use the planet as a vessel as he travels space until he finds a new planet where he can start a bright new future.
An intense one-on-one battle follows across Midgar, destroying large sections of the ruins in the process. Cloud eventually gains a burst of strength and confidence from thinking of everything he holds dear which Sephiroth would destroy. Cloud separates his new sword into the six pieces, and performs a new Limit Break (identified as "Omnislash Version Five," a variation of Cloud's ultimate Limit Break from Final Fantasy VII), which defeats Sephiroth at last.
Sephiroth dissipates, leaving a severely weakened and pathetic Kadaj to Cloud's mercy. Aerith's spirit begins to pour healing rain across Edge, curing everyone of their Geostigma. Speaking softly to Kadaj, who now lies dying, Aerith tells him to be at rest. Believing Aerith's voice to be that of his "mother," he complies and is joyfully taken by the Lifestream. Before a full-scale celebration can begin, however, in an unexpected move Cloud is shot through the back by Yazoo's Velvet Nightmare. He and Loz survived the time bombs, but are now slowly succumbing to the healing rain as well. They both had an arm full of Materia and they prepare one final blast for Cloud, resulting in a large explosion that disintegrates them and engulfs Cloud. The English script of the movie packaged with the "Limited Edition Collector's Set" of the movie reveals that Loz and Yazoo used "Comet, Flare, and Explosion spells."
Cloud appears surrounded by a white light. Aerith and Zack Fair are heard and Zack tells Cloud that his place is not with them yet, and sends him back to Aerith's church through the Lifestream. Several small hands touch Cloud and he opens his eyes.
Cloud awakens in Aerith's old church with wounds healed, now surrounded by his friends and the citizens of Edge. After a moment, Cloud demonstrates the healing powers of the water pooled in the church by curing Denzel of his Geostigma, in a baptismal-like ceremony, after which and the remainder of the afflicted children jump into the water. After sharing a shy smile with Tifa and looking back upon the children, he looks up and sees Zack standing in the doorway and Aerith crouching by some other children. As Aerith stands and walks to the doorway, she turns back to ask Cloud if he'll be alright now, and then steps into a white light with Zack, who waves his final goodbyes before vanishing himself. Cloud nods, stating that he'll be fine, as he's not alone anymore.
During the second section of the credits, a scene is depicted as "Calling" by Kyosuke Himuro plays on the soundtrack. This scene features images of Cloud traveling on his motorcycle, Fenrir, through various landscapes. As the song reaches its climax, a flower field is shown, and the camera pans out to show Aerith standing in this field, presumably waiting for Cloud. We see her at first from the side, but she turns her head eventually to face the camera. The last scene shows Cloud's desk at 7th Heaven filled with postcards, letters and photographs of the places he has visited. A close up of his desk is shown with a new photograph of him and the AVALANCHE crew together (in addition to the picture that was originally shown, which only showed Cloud with Tifa, Marlene, Denzel; the new picture implies that Cloud is holding on to his new happiness) and two small flowers (presumably from the field shown earlier) laid in front of it.
The short film Reminiscence of Final Fantasy 7 reveals that Cloud plans on taking an entire day off just to be with Tifa and the children, though no further details about this day off are known.
Concept and Productionsửa
The idea for a movie came about from the success of Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix, in which the secret ending depicts a CGI action sequence of two people fighting Heartless. Nomura had the idea for a full movie with "lots of cool fight scenes", and thought Final Fantasy VII would be a good source material for it. The development team thought that the ending movie for Final Mix was the best they could do, but Nomura was certain that with better technology, they could do better. When Final Fantasy X-2 became a success, the project came closer to realization. Nomura claims that the merger between Square and Enix was the event that sealed the creation of Advent Children and got the project rolling. In spring of 2003, Final Fantasy X-2 was released, Square-Enix was formed, and Advent Children was given the green light to start production.
The original script for Advent Children was originally only 20 minutes long. The script involved an unspecified woman giving a message to a child and asking her to deliver it to Cloud. Through a relay system between children, Cloud receives the message and at the end it is revealed who the messenger is. However, the script kept expanding due to a combination of fan speculation, the anticipation of a long-awaited sequel to the game, and new ideas being worked in. Once initial reactions to sneak peaks and trailers were positive, the short video became a full movie. Kitase and Nojima decided to bring Nomura in as director, and Nomura began writing down key words for scenes as a foundation for a storyline. Some of the phrases he wrote down would be used for ads and trailers for the film. For example, one of Nomura's ideas was for a child to narrate and explain events they could not truly understand, which developed into Marlene narrating the opening sequence of the film which recaps the game's events.
Nomura and others also began experimenting with concept sketches and CG renders of the film's key characters and locations. The subtitle of the film was originally going to be "reunion", but Nomura found it did not suit the rebirth of Sephiroth that was planned for the film. He found the word "advent", Latin for "coming", and Nojima wanted the word "children" in the title as well. Thus the full subtitle "advent children" was created. With the project rapidly expanding, a year after production began, the script was still not finalized and scenes and renders were still being altered. When the development team was offered to show their work at a festival in Venice, they had two months to develop a minimum 30-minute film or else they would be rejected. The team rushed to meet the goal, formulating the final film into a 23 minute segment, showcasing visuals and CG that were not even completed yet; thus, most of the footage shown was ultimately cut from the final product. After the positive fan feedback, the team returned to Japan with the realization they were making a full film, and still had much work to do. The final length of the film was nailed down at 100 minutes at the end of 2004, and work on finalizing the CG visuals and renders began.
Originally, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children had a runtime of approximately 60 minutes, slated for release on July 10, 2004. Upon release the film's runtime had increased to 101 minutes. Commercials for the film were planned for August of that year. Delays pushed the release dates back to September 13 for North America and September 14 for Japan as a simultaneous release. The simultaneous release was not an identical release however, with Japan obtaining a special release of the DVD with more extras and collectible offers than the U.S. release. The official website for the English version of Advent Children featured a clock counting down to the DVD's release. However, due to the release date being pushed back several times, the timer was removed.
Mere days before the North American release, Square Enix changed the date to November 2005, a move rumored to motivated by the promise of better sales during the lucrative holiday season. The date was changed again in early November to a January release date (with initial confusion given that many retail outlets got different release dates and information that did not match), with a limited theatrical run before the release of the DVD. Fans questioned Square Enix's move, given the track record of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, which bankrupted Square Pictures after the movie made a substantial loss.
Special Editions of this movie have been released, including the Ultimate Edition "Advent Pieces: Limited", which includes the OVA Last Order: Final Fantasy VII. This was the first announced title in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. The film's soundtrack, scored by Nobuo Uematsu, was released on September 28, 2005. A collector's edition of the movie was released in North America on February 20, 2007. Included in this collector's edition is the following:
- Ten collectible postcards
- English movie script
- Biographical character booklet
- Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII story digest
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Venice Film Festival footage
- Sneak peek of upcoming Final Fantasy VII (related) games
- Deleted scenes
- The Distance: Making-of featurette with all new English voice cast interviews
- The anime Last Order: Final Fantasy VII.
The Illegal Releasesửa
On September 11 of 2005, the pirate group BiEN leaked the movie in DVD rip format over the internet. Many, desperate to see the movie since its announcement in September 2003, downloaded it through BitTorrent. The Japanese addition Last Order was also leaked around the same time.
Advent Children Completesửa
- Bài viết chính: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete
Advent Children Complete is an extended edition of the original movie for Blu-Ray, with almost thirty minutes of extra features. Along with these new scenes are a demo for Final Fantasy XIII, and a new OVA starring Denzel.
A series of short novellas taking place between the time Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Written by Kazushige Nojima, they were released in episodes on the Japanese Advent Children website, and as a novella in the Limited Collector's Edition of Advent Children. The original two novellas were Case of Denzel and Case of Tifa, and Case of Barret was released with the North American and European releases of the film. Until the Limited Edition Collector's Set release of Advent Children, there were originally no official English versions for the first two novellas, but various fan translations exist on-line.
Three new novellas are planned for release with Advent Children Complete - Case of Yuffie, Case of Red XIII, and Case of Shinra
The Reunion Filessửa
A short booklet titled The Reunion Files was released, detailing much of the process of Advent Children's creation, including character notes, artwork, voice actor interviews, and other commentary.
Characters and Voice actorssửa
|Nhân vật||Japanese||Japanese Voice Actor||English Voice Actor|
|Aerith Gainsborough||エアリス・ゲインズブール||Maaya Sakamoto||Mena Suvari|
|Barret Wallace||バレット・ウォーレス||Masahiro Kobayashi||Beau Billingslea|
|Cait Sith||ケット・シー||Hideo Ishikawa||Gregg Ellis|
|Cid Highwind||シド・ハイウィンド||Kazuyuki Yama||Chris Edgerly|
|Cloud Strife||クラウド・ストライフ||Takahiro Sakurai||Steve Burton|
|Denzel||デンゼル||Kyousuke Ikeda||Benjamin Bryan|
|Elena||イリーナ||Megumi Toyoguchi||Bettina Bush|
|Girl with Moogle doll||Rina Mogami||Andrea Bowen|
|Kadaj||カダージュ||Shoutarou Morikubo||Steve Staley|
|Loz||ロッズ||Kenji Nomura||Fred Tatasciore|
|Marlene Wallace||マリン・ウォーレス||Miyu Tsuzurahara||Grace Rolek|
|Red XIII (Nanaki)||レッド・XIII||Masachika Ichimura||Liam O'Brien|
|Reeve Tuesti||リーブ・トゥエスティ||Banjō Ginga||Jamieson Price|
|Reno||レノ||Keiji Fujiwara||Quinton Flynn|
|Rude||ルード||Taiten Kusunoki||Crispin Freeman|
|Rufus Shinra||ルーファウス神羅||Toru Ohkawa||Wally Wingert|
|Sephiroth||セフィロス||Toshiyuki Morikawa||George Newbern|
|Tifa Lockhart||ティファ・ロックハート||Ayumi Ito||Rachael Leigh Cook|
|Tseng||ツォン||Junichi Suwabe||Ryun Yu|
|Vincent Valentine||ヴィンセント・ヴァレンタイン||Shougo Suzuki||Steve Blum|
|Yazoo||ヤズー||Yuuji Kishi||Dave Wittenberg|
|Yuffie Kisaragi||ユフィ・キサラギ||Yumi Kakazu||Christy Romano|
|Zack Fair||ザックス・フェアー||Kenichi Suzumura||Rick Gomez|
- Director: Tetsuya Nomura
- Co-director: Takeshi Nozue
- Producer: Yoshinori Kitase
- Co-producer: Shinji Hashimoto
- Scenario Writer: Kazushige Nojima
- Original music composed by: Nobuo Uematsu, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Keiji Kawamori, Kenichiro Fukui
- Art Direction by: Yusuke Naora
- Mechanical and Creature Designer: Takayuki Takeya
- Akihiko Kikuma
- Isamu Tachihara
- Jun Ishii
- Mayuko Aoki
- Masakazu Morita
- Tesshin Murata
- Yukiko Nakamura
Battle Motion Actorssửa
- Kenji Arai
- Masahiro Watanabe
- Miwa Hashiguchi
Advent is Latin for "the coming," often used to refer to the time before Jesus's birth, or to the second coming of Jesus at the end of the Earth in Christian religions. This is an obvious reference to the rebirth of Sephiroth, who sees himself as a God, and the son of a figure he considers holy. The second coming of Sephiroth can also be seen as a sign of the end of the world, as he plans to destroy all life on the planet.
Children comes from the original concept for the story, being told by and focusing on children across the planet.
The term Advent Children could refer to the Remnants of Sephiroth, the children of Jenova who attempt to bring about the coming of Sephiroth, or to the Remnants coming to the planet. It could also refer to the children recruited by the Remnants to search out Jenova to bring the advent of Sephiroth.
- Though characters bleed often in Advent Children Complete, in the original Advent Children there is only one instance of blood, when Cloud pulls Sephiroth's sword from his shoulder at the climax of their battle.
- Official Square-Enix Advent Children English site
- Official Advent Children Japanese site
- Official Advent Children Complete Japanese site
- Advent Children DMOZ Directory
- On the Way to a Smile translation of Square Enix's Novel and other resources, all the actuality from Final Fantasy - French Fan site
- The Maïden who Travels the Planet translation of Square Enix's Novel and other resources, all the actuality from Final Fantasy - French Fan site
- Advent Children trailers direct download, searchable image gallery, and fan works
- The Making of Advent Children with Interview Translations and Images