Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

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To those who loved this world...
And knew friendly company therein...
This reunion is for you.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is The Movie sequel to the seventh entry in the *insert magnitude-describing adverb here* popular Final Fantasy series.

Two years after the destruction of Meteor in Final Fantasy VII, people all over the world are now infected with the deadly Lifestream-distributed disease Geostigma. In spite of this, humanity is still working to rebuild in the wake of Sephiroth's attempts at global destruction -- and those who saved the world are no exception. In the city of Edge (built from the remnants of Midgar), Cloud now lives a quiet life with Tifa, Marlene, and a sickly orphan named Denzel. To Cloud's dismay, he soon discovers that the influence of Sephiroth is far from gone…

Advent Children served as quite the turn-around for Square Enix (specifically, the Square half) after Final Fantasy the Spirits Within flopped -- it proved Square does have what it takes to make a movie that's at least watchable. Advent Children really is a Love It or Hate It entry in the franchise (like so many before it), but the biggest complaint for both fans and non-fans was the hard-to-follow storyline (even with Word of God present to help clear things up).

Limited-edition copies of the movie were bundled with a novella detailing several characters' points of view during the two-year Time Skip. The Advent Children Complete Blu-Ray re-release included an OVA version of one of the novella's stories and added additional footage to the film that either helped to expand on much of the plot (which was a necessary move) or alter entire parts of it (which wasn't.)

The original release of Advent Children can be seen (legally) for free on YouTube.


Tropes used in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children include:
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Sephiroth, Cloud, Kadaj... Basically anyone who uses any kind of blade has one of these. Cloud's is so sharp that it can apparently cut through entire skyscrapers.
  • Adult Fear: The silver-haired men kidnap innocent children, effectively brainwash them and then put them in harm's way (said harm being a gigantic dragon). For any good parent, the first part alone is utterly terrifying. Somehow this does not prevent them from getting a Redemption in the Rain scene at the end of the movie.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Before Complete more adequately explained the plot, the best way of comprehending the movie (as well as learning of other interesting information) was to buy the Reunion Files book, the filmic equivalent of an FF Ultimania book. Whilst it's technically only available in Japan, it's also thankfully fully bilingual, featuring both English and Japanese text.
    • Besides the Reunion Files, a series of novellas collectively called "On the Way to a Smile" documents the events between the film in the game, including how Edge was built, how Cloud and Tifa ended up living together, what the party members were doing during their two years off, who Denzel is, and what Geostigma is in greater detail. To say the novellas explain a lot of stuff not present in the film would be an understatement.
    • How Rufus Shinra survived also counts. Any chance for him to explain himself in the movie was lost when Cloud cut him off.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Everyone seems a lot more concerned about Sephiroth's return than the silver-haired men kidnapping every single child in Edge. Somewhat justified in that Sephiroth posed a danger to the entire world, but still.
  • Anime Hair: Not as bad as it could have been, but it was still present. The movie's about Cloud, after all.
  • Arc Words: The "Reunion".
  • Armor Is Useless: None of the characters wear metal armor, except perhaps for Cloud's pauldron, which is never used. Averted when Cloud gets shot in the face, but only his goggles get shot off...although it is quite possible that The Goggles Do Nothing, and Cloud's face is just THAT tough. Alternately, he has Adamantine Goggles.
  • Art Evolution: An "all-at-once" example. The original game had a very anime and cartoony design, even beyond the silly Lego-people polygons. Following the trend of the main series as a whole, Square Enix decided that in FFVII's next generation, they should go as realistic as possible. The new style stuck, and the entire Compilation has been near-photorealism since.
  • Arm Cannon: Barret, now bigger and better than ever.
  • Ascended Meme: Sephiroth never actually had a wing in his human form until Kingdom Hearts. It appears during the finale here. Also counts as a Shout-Out.
  • Back from the Dead: Sephiroth
  • Badass: Quite a fair few of them, ranging from characters to tropes, in varying levels.
  • Badass Biker: Cloud, Kadaj, Yazoo, and Loz.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Two in a row. After Cloud defeats Sephiroth, he tells him: "Stay where you belong...in my memories." Sephiroth's response is to look Cloud in the eye and declare "I will never be a memory", doubly badass for quoting his own Ominous Latin Chanting ("Noli manere, manere in memoria").
    • In the original Japanese, Sephiroth's final line is "Ah, but I am much more than that."
  • Badass Cape: Vincent's cape definitely counts, especially during his intro scene. This makes him a better ninja than Yuffie.
  • Badass Longcoat: Sephiroth
  • Badass Normal: Rude. In a world where just about every fighting adult can practically fly, and even Reno has crazy climbing skills, Rude manages to hold his own against Loz with nothing but fists (and some awesome shades). Also, he manages to stop Loz and Yazoo with his homemade bombs.
    • Rufus Shinra too. Played Kadaj like the bush-leaguer he is without so much as getting out of his wheelchair and then engages Kadaj in a sky-diving chase sequence in pursuit of Jenova's head.
  • Belated Happy Ending:
    • Aerith and Zack are finally shown reunited in the afterlife.
    • Cloud. He tried right after the game, and made a good run of it, But his survivor's guilt eventually caught up with him. Contracting Geostigma put the final nail in the angst coffin. However, events in the movie (spelled out in the Ultimania) make it clear Cloud has dealt with his major issues and finds his promised land surrounded by his friends and his family by the final end.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Omnislash Version 5, seen in the original Advent Children, as well as Version 6 in Complete. They both completely defy the laws of physics, not that the movie(s) obey the laws in the first place.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: Cloud's Fusion Swords, totaling of 6 different swords.
  • Bishounen: Cloud, Sephiroth, Kadaj, Yazoo, Vincent
  • Big Damn Heroes: Cloud in ACC arrives just in time to see Denzel about to be devoured by Shadow Creepers and a collapsing building falling on a stunned Tifa. He throws parts of his bifurcated BFS and tags all three Shadow Creepers, saving Denzel. He then slices a building in half to get to Tifa before she gets squashed. Ladies and Gentlemen, the man is back in the game!
  • Bishonen Line: Kadaj gets even more bishonen and far more powerful when he briefly turns into Sephiroth.
  • BFS: Cloud and Sephiroth
  • Bloodless Carnage: Played mostly straight in the original, but gruesomely averted in Complete when Sephiroth repeatedly impales Cloud in mid-air near the end of their fight.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Sephiroth, who has at least two good chances to kill Cloud and decides to fight and taunt him a bit more. It arguably makes sense with Sephiroth. Dude's been waiting two years for his revenge; he's going to take his time and enjoy it.
  • The Brute: Loz
  • The Chessmaster: Rufus to Kadaj.
  • The Coconut Effect: The entire reason Cloud is constantly depicted as emo in the movie (despite the fact that he got over his problems by the end of the game) is because at this point the fandom had made this out to be his only mental characteristic and wouldn't recognize him otherwise.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Yazoo, who not only DOES just shoot him, he shoots him in the back while he's reminiscing.
  • Continuity Lock Out:
    • Though there's a recap at the beginning, the movie sorta requires that you play the game to really make sense out of it. Luckily, the DVD came with a recap of key events.
    • Complete comes with an additional feature that recaps the events of the other spin-offs, although Dirge of Cerberus is glanced over, as it's set a year after Advent Children.
  • Cool Shades: Rude's, the guy even has a spare pair many spare pairs in his jacket. Some parts of the fandom insist that Rude has a special Materia just for producing Cool Shades. Cloud's goggles are pretty cool too.
    • Spare sets or a costuming Materia, Rude has good reason for taking such measures as the first set get stepped on by Reno during their brawl with Yazoo and Loz.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Reno, possibly. President Shinra turns out to be a Crouching Cripple Hidden Badass.
  • Dark Messiah: Kadaj really channels this in the scene at the lake.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: About half the characters, all laid out in its predecessor.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Cloud has one with both Aerith and Zack.
  • Demoted to Extra: All the original playable characters not named Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, and Vincent. Especially Red XIII, who gets exactly one line before the end of the film.
    • Although in Red XIII's case, it was because his model was a pain to render, what with all that fur.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Kadaj. He's the Big Bad of the film and even engages Cloud in a Sword Fight near the finale, but is ultimately a pawn in Jenova and Sephiroth's endgame and is replaced by the latter.
    • He also suspects it all along, going so far as to voice his distress at the prospect to Rufus when they're alone in the high-rise.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Basically everything involving the children. They all qualify as being little cancer patients, but then it gets worse when they're kidnapped by the silver-haired men who have some very...questionable attitudes towards them. Finally, there's their baptism by Cloud.
  • Dumb Muscle: Loz
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Not so much "forgiven" as "forgotten", but everyone's attitude towards working with the Shinras is basically *shoulder shrug*. Even Barrett is without complaint, and he witnessed them personally kill his original Five-Man Band and drop the Sector Seven plate on the slums. That being said, he wasn't the focus of the movie.
    • More like, "Yazoo, Loz, Kadaj and, oh, yeah, fucking Sephiroth are way more important than revenge!"
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Sephiroth, Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo. Particularly Loz.
  • Fastball Special: All the party members perform it on Cloud. Yes, even her. Note that this is not on separate occasions... this is the aerial equivalent of a bucket brigade, with Cloud as the (highly ballistic) bucket.
  • Feather Motif: Black feathers for Sephiroth.
  • Fight Scene: It'd be more accurate to say the movie contains non-Fight Scenes. The original cut is 90 minutes long. The fight with Bahamut Sin starts about 45 minutes in, and the whole rest of the movie is one long fight. A good chunk of the first half is fighting too.
  • The Gunslinger: Yazoo and Vincent
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: An unusual in-universe example. Cloud accuses Kadaj and co. of being this; stating that they don't really know why they're being antagonistic. Kadaj, however, doesn't care
  • Genki Girl: Yuffie
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Reno's don't seem to do anything other than to look cool and give him red rings around his eyes. Completely averted with Cloud, though--in addition to their regular purpose (keeping dirt out of his eyes) the goggles also prevent him from taking a bullet right between the eyes.
  • Heel Face Return: Rufus shows up and explains he's seen the error in his ways and is working to undo the damage he did. His repentance kind of makes sense in that the consequences of Shinra Company's activities were extremely dramatic by the end of the game, and nearly were even worse.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Pretty much everyone who can be considered Badass.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Rude and Reno
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: "A good son would have known."
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Yuffie
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Sephiroth hijacks Kadaj with around ten minutes left in the film.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Kadaj's katana (which is basically two blades on one hilt), Cloud's Fusion Swords.
  • I Let Aerith Die: As it was in FFVII, one of the reasons for Cloud's depression until he finally allows himself to be forgiven.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Rampant.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • Yazoo, who shoots Cloud's sunglasses off his face at point blank range and gives him only a tiny cut on the forehead, though it's more due to Cloud's ability to shrug off a bullet to the forehead.
    • Ironically for a movie so bent on Rule of Cool, this is entirely possible. Squama frontalis, a part of the frontal cranial bone that forms the forehead itself, is one of the (if not the) toughest bones in the human body[1]. In some people it may reach a full inch or more in thickness, and thus is entirely able to stop at least a handgun bullet. Of course, the force of the impact would still create a shockwave that would pulverize the brain behind it. Surviving without skull penetration? Depending on the angle, possible. Surviving without at least some brain injury? Extremely unlikely. Cloud's brain is Made of Iron too.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Reno manages to casually fly a helicopter under a highway...backwards. Yazoo later tops this by flying through the open side doors of Reno's helicopter...in a motorcycle.
  • Intellectual Animal: Red XIII. Also Cait Sith, who is a robotic Scottish cat.
  • It Is Not Your Time: Cloud, after being shot by Yazoo, has a brief encounter with Aerith and Zack who tell him he doesn't belong with them yet.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Barret and Cid.
  • Karma Houdini: Reno.
    • People seem to forget that even though President Shinra ordered the Midgar plate to be dropped that Reno was the one who physically did the deed. Just Following Orders is not an excuse. Does he get any kind of karmic punishment in this movie? Of course not. He's demoted to Plucky Comic Relief.
    • We shouldn't forget, however, that Barret and AVALANCHE also responsible for terrorist actions that killed innocent people. If that can be swept under the rug, then there's really no reason Reno's actions can't be. And besides, with the whole Sephiroth and Meteor incident having transpired and the whole world needing rebuilding, a dropped plate seems like an insignificant event by comparison and retribution for it would be pointless.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Right after Tifa (seemingly) defeats Loz, the classic Final Fantasy victory chime starts playing in the background. It turns out to be the ringtone to Loz's cellphone.
  • Let Them Die Happy: Kadaj's death.
  • Like Mother, Like Son: Invoked by Sephiroth, who states that he's more or less forgotten (or given up) on his original goal of becoming a god and has decided he's going to follow in Jenova's footsteps; flying through space draining worlds of all their life essence.
  • Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition: The original CE of the movie was available only in a limited run in Japan, and equated to around $300. It included the Last Order OVA, a cap and t-shirt with the Fenrir symbol printed on each, a Play Arts FFVIIAC Cloud with Fenrir, the voiceover script, a special reprint of the original game and the movie itself, complete with director's commentary and a special features disc. An American equivalent would be released much later, with many of the physical extras (save for the OVA) removed. FFVIIAC Complete also somewhat qualifies, considering the approximately 20 minutes of new footage and the On The Way To a Smile OVA.
  • Lip Lock:
    • The dub. Oh so much.
    • "Dilly dally shilly shally", a nonsense phrase used in the English version to replace the Japanese "zuruzuru", an onomatopœia that mimics the sound of dragging a heavy load. Since the entire film is about Cloud letting his guilt and feelings of powerlessness weigh him down ("I feel...lighter"), it Makes Sense in Context. "Dilly dally shilly shally" on the other hand....
    • The Lip Lock also resulted in things like this.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Denzel and the other kids battling Geostigma.
  • Lost in Translation: Cloud's sword in the movie was originally called the First Tsurugi by fans, both all six assembled blades and the base blade. In actuality, this name refers only to the base blade - the others were never given names by the production staff, who just used "Fusion Swords" to describe them. The mixup came from a misunderstanding of a transcription of Tetsuya Nomura's DVD commentary. Even the word "Tsurugi" (Chinese for broadsword) isn't the original one used (they just went with 'ken', evidently).
  • Mama Bear: Tifa
  • Messiah Creep: Try watching the baptism scene at the end of the movie and tell us that's not what's happening with Cloud.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The first 2 trailers are infamous for being made almost entirely of test footage, none of which was used in the final movie (save the scene relating to Aerith's death). Interestingly, some screenshots of these scenes are actually on the back of the original DVD box.
  • Nakama: Cloud's party and the Turks.
  • Names to Know in Anime: Notable, since this was the first major instance in which the cast had voices. Most of them have stayed on too.
  • No Flow in CGI: Averted to such cost, they avoided having to where possible. Hope you weren't a big fan of Red XIII.
  • Now That's Using Your Teeth: Bahamut SIN catches Cloud's sword strike in its mouth.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Rufus Shinra always sits in a wheelchair and is covered in a long cloak, making him appear to be crippled and highly disfigured. That way Kadaj constantly keeps turning his back to him, which comes in handy in the end, as he can stand, walk, and use guns without much problems, at least for a short time.
  • Oh Crap: Cloud when Sephiroth is resurrected right in front of him. Later returned the favor with the Omnislash Version 5. In Complete, Sephiroth BLOCKING the original Omnislash.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: According to Reunion Files, Nomura said he wanted Cloud to fight someone younger than him, resulting in Kadaj. It also qualifies as a Double Subversion. Cloud is 23 at the time of the movie and Kadaj physically looks like he's in his late teens, but given how the latter was created he's actually no older than two.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Sephiroth's awesome theme tune.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Sephiroth, just like his dear mother before him.
  • One-Winged Angel: Wouldn't be Final Fantasy VII without it. Kadaj becomes Sephiroth, then Sephiroth sprouts his wing at the fight's climax. The last one is subverted, however, in that he dies immediately after it appears.
  • The Pawn: The silver-haired men to Sephiroth and Jenova.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Kadaj
  • The Plague: Geostigma
  • Point That Somewhere Else: Near the beginning of Cloud and Sephiroth's fight, when Sephiroth points his sword in Cloud's face while he's laid out.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang:
    • Yuffie's entire contribution to the film is having a flashy shuriken to throw around.
    • In one of Complete's new scenes, Cloud throws two of his swords as boomerangs. One comes back quite soon. The other one he catches about 10 seconds later, still in mid-flight, using the sword he was already holding. The laws of physics wept, before getting kicked to the curb.
  • Precision F-Strike :
    • Denzel, after regaining his senses and seeing Tifa get hurt. "Son of a BITCH!"
    • This is actually the only time a swear gets subbed. Of course Reno and Rude are supposed to say "holy shit" when Bahamut Sin unleashes a breath of fire, but the subbers changed it to "hell no".
  • Product Placement: The Panasonic P900iV cellphone.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: One of Kadaj's defining traits.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The silver-haired men. Miniboss, check. Quirky...definitely.
  • Really Somewhere In Their Late Teens: Kadaj and his brothers might look like young men, but the truth is, as Sephiroth's remnants, they're only about two.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Piano tracks come directly from a previous Final Fantasy VII piano album.
  • Remember the New Guy?: If you find yourself wondering who this Denzel kid is, trust us, you're not the only one. Complete expands on his role and backstory.
  • Restart At Level One: See Took A Level In Badass. Initially, the party struggles against Kadaj's crew. They eventually pick up the pace later, wipe out Bahamut SIN, and kill Sephiroth all over again. This is probably signified as Cloud keeps adding more pieces to his sword.
    • The adding of pieces serves as a Shout-Out to the way the game had Cloud upgrading by getting meaner and meaner swords.
  • The Reveal: In all of the promotional material for Advent Children (including the Play Station 3 technical demo that remade the Final Fantasy VII opening with the new character designs), no shots of Aerith showed her whole face. Even in the actual film, the first unobscured shot of her face is at the very end when her spirit turns to look back at Cloud before going away with Zack. Given, her face has become one of gaming's most famous ones, and if the modelers screwed it up...
  • Rule of Cool: Acknowledged by the animators as the only rule they followed in designing the fight scenes.
  • Rule of Drama: Probably the 2nd rule that truly matters in this show after the Rule of Cool, the prime example would be Aerith showing up to help Cloud...inside Mega Flare.
  • Serious Business: Loz and Yazoo about their mom.
  • So Last Season: In Complete, Cloud tries to finish Sephiroth with the original Omnislash. Sephiroth blocks all the lead-in attacks and impales him in the middle of the finishing leap. He's going to need another approach.
  • Spirit Advisor: Aerith and Zack
  • Stepping Stone Sword: Constantly, especially during the fight with Bahamut.
  • Soap Opera Disease/Incurable Cough of Death: Geostigma. A Genetic disease born of Sephiroth's hatred after dissolving into the lifestream but not dissipating. In Complete, Vincent basically describes it as Magical AIDS.
  • Speed Echoes: Omnislash Version 5 (and 6).
  • Survivor Guilt: Cloud seems to have this in spades at the beginning of the film. He gets better.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: In Complete, Cloud really had a lot of time to talk with Zack while Sephiroth was approaching from the sky. Sephiroth himself indulges in this a fair amount as well.
    • With Cloud it's at least partially justified; the sequence in which he talks to Zack is probably taking place in his head, where time may be passing by slower. With Sephiroth, he's just really into crazy monologues and everyone seems happy to indulge him.
  • The End - or Is It?: Sephiroth's last words seem to indicate he believes this.

"I will...never be a memory...."

  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Why didn't Yuffie just pass around some materia, have everyone cast one of their maxed-out spells (most of the materia was green), and wipe Kadaj and his ilk off the face of the earth? Because they've lost their edge - they've moved on and rebuilt their lives after Sephiroth's defeat, while Cloud spent all of his time brooding on his failure to save Aerith. Tifa infers, from her defeat at Loz's hands, that none of them are the demigod-slayers they used to be. None of them save Cloud, who has refused to let go of his grief, is still riding the wave of desperation that let the party match superhumans like Sephiroth blow-for-blow. She even says those Exact Words. Letting him finish the final fight himself not only keeps them out of his way, but enables him to find closure.
  • Together in Death: Zack and Aerith
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Or regained levels, more like. Tifa comments during Cloud's fight with Kadaj how they all got weaker since the end of the game, but Cloud's retained much of his edge due to his isolation, and after entering single combat with Kadaj, seems to once more become "the man who killed Sephiroth"...twice.
    • Also, Denzel in the Complete version in comparison to the old version.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • Did you think Sephiroth was going to come back for this movie?
    • Not the trailer, but the cover for the ACC Blu-Ray release shows both Cloud and Sephiroth on the front of it. But anyone whose a fan of FFVII would have known they were going to bring him back anyway.
  • Updated Rerelease: Complete. Roughly 30 minutes more footage, as well as some altered scenes.
  • Variable Terminal Velocity: Kadaj manages to fall faster than Rufus Shinra, even though Rufus fell first.
  • Weapon Tombstone:
    • Zack's Buster Sword.
    • The stinger for Complete directly references this - The first shot is of the spot Zack died, with flowers growing, and Denzel asking if it was someone's grave. Cloud replies that it was where "a hero began his journey". After this, the shot fades to Aerith' church, where the sword has been moved to.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Sephiroth, Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo
  • Would Hit a Girl: Loz, who defeats Tifa in battle. He would have killed her had Marlene not interfered.

Advent Children is the LONGEST CUTSCENE EVER!!!

Notes

  1. Also the reason headbutts are effective