Final Fantasy: Unlimited is, as the name implies, an anime series produced as part of the mind-flayingly popularFinal Fantasy franchise. It was produced by Gonzo, and brought to the United States by ADV Films; it's available to the Spanish-speaking audience in a subtitled version, and has also been dubbed in French and German. Like many Gonzo anime, Final Fantasy: Unlimited is often guilty of Conspicuous CG (though it uses said CG better than many other Gonzo productions) and varying art quality depending on which studio is working on each episode.Originally planned as a two-season anime with an open-ended finale to allow for a third season if it was well-received, Final Fantasy: Unlimited did not receive enough attention to have its second season produced. The unanimated plotline was instead released in two voiced dramas, a book, and several short stories released on the official website—none of which were made available in a language other than Japanese. That didn't stop the non-Japanese fans from piecing the rest of the story together through unofficial translations and summaries anyway.Final Fantasy: Unlimited tells the story of a pair of twins from the real world, Hayakawa Ai and Yuu, who journey to a bizarre parallel dimension in search of their parents, a pair of scientists who've made a living off said parallel dimension and went there to investigate it... and never quite made it home. Along the way, they and the friends they find there discover a great deal about Wonderland's troubles, which might actually present a threat to the real world as well. Being a Final Fantasy story, the villains are affiliated with an Eldritch Abomination known as Chaos. And Chaos is battled by existences known as the Unlimited, who are said to be more powerful than gods.What does this have to do with Ai and Yuu, who just want to find their parents and go back home? Well, maybe more than anyone would like.The statute of limitations on anime spoilers is now up. Please continue to mark spoilers from After, though.Final Fantasy Unlimited now has a character sheet, but at this time it is not complete.
Abnormal Ammo: Kaze's summon-firing gun that turns out to be using souls as bullets.
Can't Catch Up: Due to Kumo's status as Unlimited, whenever he and Kiri got into the same hobby—say, swordsmanship or summoning—Kumo would always wind up leaving Kiri in the dust; as the older brother (and one with considerable pride), Kiri had a lot of trouble dealing with this. Especially as, like most younger siblings, Kumo wanted to emulate everything his brother was good at out of innocent admiration. This (and Oscha being an asshole) is the eventual cause of all the Cain and Abel in episode 18.
Deus ex Machina: Twice a season, Fabula finds some loophole (once a Pun on her role as a Guide) that allows her to assist Lisa and the twins. The first time, it's by giving Ai a few words of encouragement and Poshepocket; the second time, she pulls our heroes out of the dimensional tunnel when it looks like Omega will destroy them. And then, in After, she sends Ai, Yuu, Lisa, and Chobi back to their own world when Chaos attacks the Comodeen.
Tends to be of the Fridge Brilliance variety, especially considering all the hints that are dropped about how Fabula really feels about her job.
Domestic Abuse: Though not really, what kind of parents like their elementary level kids at home alone?
Dramatic Irony: Possibly true with Lou Lupus. She leaves the party to go looking for Kaze, which is pretty amusing to the audience, given that we know that Kaze always seems to show up wherever Lisa, the twins Ai and Yuu and Chobi are.
Even Evil Has Standards: Sort of. About who's with them - no one cares when Fungus dies because he never did anything noteworthy.
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The Earl and his flunkies call Kumo "Makenshi" because he never reveals his name around them. In After, even though they know his name is Shiroi Kumo, everyone still calls him Makenshi out of habit. It causes some, uh, consternation when Touya freaks out about what kind of person might actually be named Makenshi.
Evil Laugh: Earl Tyrant eventually shows himself to be quite capable of this.
Fanservice: Lisa gets some shots that show off her apparent abundance of breasts... And from the looks of it, without a bra on.
Faux Action Girl: Lisa is supposed to be a secret agent with the ability to use Kigen Arts (defensive spiritual energy). She does toss around some foes to temporary effect, but in the end she ends up huddling with the twins while Kaze shoots the things with his Magun.
This becomes less and less true the longer the series goes on, culminating with her getting to fire the Magun in the final episode.
Heroic Sacrifice: Kumo's entire fight against Chaos is eventually revealed to be one. And then there's Kaze and Kumo's apparent deaths in episode 25, which are actually something of a subversion, as they turned out to be Not Quite Dead.
Intimate Healing: Laughed at in episode 15, where Kaze is found drifting in the ocean by the Comodeen and brought aboard their submarine; when Lisa notes that he doesn't seem to be breathing, Yuu prompts her to perform CPR. Although she had no problems using it to resuscitate Ai in the sixth episode, Lisa balks at the thought of having to kiss Kaze—so Knave volunteers. Cue a close-up of his puckered lips descending; luckily, Kaze wakes up just in time.
I Shall Taunt You: Depends on how you take it but the way Kumo talks DOES probably lead Kaze on.
Large Ham: Every one of the Lords of Gaudium, but Pist and Soljashy definitely take the cake here.
Limited Wardrobe: In the first season, Ai gets a change of clothes twice, but no one else does; Yuu lampshades this once she gets her winter duds in episode 14. Justified since all they came to Wonderland with was in Ai's backpack, which Fungo ate. Lisa and the twins get new costumes in the second season, though.
Meaningful Name: Lupus is the Latin word for "wolf". And Joe and Mary's names might be considered to be a biblical reference, considering Ai and Yuu's eventual role in the story.
Oscha is an anagram for "Chaos."
The Messiah: Ai, Yuu, and Kumo all display signs of having this role in the second season.
Mood Whiplash: Episode 17 is a silly little story about Cid coping poorly with a Baleful Polymorph. Episode 18 is an incredibly serious and depressing glimpse of Kumo's backstory and motivations. And then Episode 19—the most slapstick of the lot—is positively bipolar, swinging between over-the-top gags and Clear angsting.
Mysterious Past: We see very little, if not any of anyone's past in the first season. And when we do, it's mostly the same stuff over and over.
Narrator: Fabula. Subverted in that she turns out to be a story character who just can't interfere directly in the plot (unless she's sneaky about it).
Rule of Cool: Arguably the entire point behind the show, going above plot and character development. Especially prevalent in the (egregiously long) summon sequences.
To some degree, they started getting better about it towards the end of the series, focusing more on plot and no longer having Kaze pull out his Magun and summon in every episode. It's possible the series might have lasted longer if they had focused more on plot right from the very beginning and not so much on cool.
Ship Tease: A lot of them. There's Kaze's strange tolerance for Lou, Lisa getting a bit further in making Kaze acknowledge her presence, Kaze and Kumo's obsession with each other, Kiri and Kumo and their copious Subtext, Ai being so very considerate of Clear, Miles and Cid apparently getting closer, and even hints that Kumo may have felt something for Aura...
An entire end credit sequence is based entirely around a ship tease between Lisa and Kaze.
Shoo the Dog: Attempted by Yuu when Chobi makes friends with Chocoimo's chocobo herd. It doesn't stick for too long, though.
Stepford Smiler: Subverted with Lisa; whenever she tries to hide emotional distress with a smile, Ai promptly tells her to knock off the creepy laugh.
Stock Footage: Every time Kaze loads his Magun or Lisa uses one of her special abilities. This tends to come up a lot when the show is criticized; Kaze and the Magun were particularly bad, as the show tended to use the entire loading sequence in multiple successive episodes.
Stuff Blowing Up: The radio tower in "Moogle: Nostalgic Memories," once Kaze and Moogle Kupo use Ixion Zero on it.
Sugar and Ice Personality: Kumo. Sort of. The coldness isn't a natural part of his personality, though; if he had his way, he'd be able to dere all the time.
Talk to the Fist: Part of the lampshades the cast throws on Kaze's long, long, long summoning sequences. Both Pist and Kumo do it. Pist eventually has this trope turned on him by Kumo; the results were beautifully epic.
Theme Music Power-Up: Kaze, Kumo, and Lisa are all prone to this. The Lords of Gaudium each have a villainous version.
Chobi's Ciel Chocobo transformation comes complete with a special theme as well.