- Alternate Character Interpretation: While it's definite that Aerith is helping them from beyond the grave, with her Great Gospel limit break, the conversations Cloud has with her (and Zack in Complete as well) could be real. Or they could be his imagination, as a way of trying to forgive himself.
- Author's Saving Throw: Advent Children Complete was an attempt to do this; many new scenes and extended scenes better explain critical plot elements, better develop the characters, and overall streamline the film's pacing and story. If the finished product is actually good is still up for debate, and some new elements are claimed to be even weaker, but they at least tried to improve it.
- Awesome Music:
- "One Winged Angel" is back (in a metal version), and it's cooler than ever. The other Black Mages remixes are pretty awesome, too.
- "Divinity I", complete with Ominous Latin Chanting, complements the impending destruction that Bahamut rains down on Edge, whilst "Divinity II" is more epic, coming to a climax as Cloud faces Bahamut with the help of his old allies. Some of Uematsu's best work with a full orchestra.
- The ending songs: "Calling" (original) and "Safe and Sound" (Complete).
- "Opening", an orchestral rearranging of the song that plays during the original game's Title Drop.
- "Battle in The Forgotten City" can count too. Its pace complements Cloud's arrival to The Forgotten City being attacked by Yazoo and Loz; then Kadaj walking towards him, and finally the actual fight.
- "The Promised Land", the song that plays during Marlene's narration and after the battle with Sephiroth.
- "Those Who Fight", an industrial metal remix of the iconic battle theme from the original game.
- Let's not forget the piano version that plays in Tifa's fight.
- "Black Water."
- "The Reunion."
- Badass Decay: Rude and especialy Reno. They were serious threats in the original game but became Plucky Comic Relief in the film. Given who they were up against, though, it's somewhat understandable.
- Base-Breaking Character: Mena Suvari's performance as Aerith was this at the time of the film's release. It didn't help that she replaced Mandy Moore who had voiced the character in Kingdom Hearts (and the other VII characters had kept their actors from that game). When Kingdom Hearts II came out, she became even more disliked and that was her last time voicing the character.
- Broken Base/Contested Sequel: The entire movie split the VII fanbase down the middle. Then Complete came along and split it again.
- Draco in Leather Pants: Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo, who actually happen to wear full-body leather.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Moogle Girl, who even gets an expanded role in Complete. Her voice actress was likewise upgraded to voicing Aerith for Crisis Core.
- Epileptic Trees: Some of the speculation regarding the movie back in 2004, particularly regarding the identity of the man in the wheelchair, was pretty crazy, which was only spurred on by the very slow drip-feeding of information at the time.
- Foe Yay: Cloud and Sephiroth. Sweet Christ, is there ever.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- Dave Wittenberg voices Yazoo, a remanent of Sephiroth, in Advent Children. Years later, in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, he voices another Final Fantasy character: Kefka Palazzo, who is also one of the rivals of Sephiroth in terms of the fanbase.
- George Newbern and Rick Gomez were picked as the English voice actors of Sephiroth and Zack respectively. They had just done Final Fantasy X-2 where they were again soldiers together, Newbern's character went mad and Gomez's character got shot.
- Ho Yay: Cloud with... everyone. Also a lot between Reno and Rude, especially in Complete. As for Rufus and Kadaj, well, there's a Missing Trailer Scene of Kadaj bending over and taking his hand.
- It Was His Sled: What, you didn't know Sephiroth was going to come back somehow? It was pretty much the selling point of the movie to build up a second confrontation between him and Cloud. Complete ditches the pretense and works it into Rufus's conversation with Cloud in the opening that Geostigma is Sephiroth's doing and is a mechanism for his resurrection. Word of God is also that the point of the film from conception was a second battle between Cloud and Sephiroth, everything else was wrapped around that idea and how to make it happen.
- Just Here for Godzilla: There are many reasons people watch Advent Children: to see the cast of Final Fantasy VII again after eight years, to see the cast animated in (especially 2005) jaw-dropping CGI, for the fight scenes, for the fight scenes in the context that they are what it would be like if you took a JRPG boss fight and choreographed it, or you are just waiting it out until the Cloud vs. Sephiroth rematch happens. What's rare to find though is someone who appreciates the movie for itself, or likes the whole movie, including the non-action scenes.
- Love It or Hate It: Depending on who you ask, it's either the Rule of Cool in film form and the proof that Square Enix is more than capable of making good movies, or it was the very thing that ruined the Final Fantasy VII compilation, if not the whole franchise itself.
- Magnificent Bastard: Rufus Shinra - He spends most of the film pretending to be a cripple, and has Jenova's head with him the entire time. The reveal of this comes with Rufus going full on Magnificent Bastard as he openly mocks Kadaj for never figuring it out, simply remarking "A good son would've known." Then, he jumps off a building, basically depending on the fact that the Turks will stop him hitting the ground (which of course they do).
- Memetic Molester: Certain fans have gone on to characterize the Silver Haired Men, but especially Kadaj, as paedophiles. The sad thing is that that isn't far-off how their mass child-kidnapping goes.
Reno (in-film): Kadaj's gang.
Rufus (watching film): Did film Reno just say Kadaj is gay?
Tseng: Most likely.
- Memetic Mutation:
- Sephiroth's wonderful present for Cloud: "Shall I give you dis pear?"
- "Unforgiveable!" -> "You meanie!" Because Loz apparently needed to be even more of a Man Child.
- "Dilly dally shilly shally."
- "There's not a thing I don't cherish!" So really Cloud, you value everything in existence? That's either Narm or a hell of a Papa Wolf.
- It's Cloud. Probably both.
- Narm: In the English dub when Reno and Rude are taunting Loz and Yazoo during their fight by insulting Jenova. It was actually a pretty intense fight but due to the previously mentioned Lip Lock, the best comeback the dub team could come up with? "You meanie!"
- Narm Charm: From the English dub, "dilly-dally, shilly-shally". It's rather silly when it's said by Tifa and Aerith, in response to Cloud isolating himself. However its original Japanese counterpart was very hard to translate into Englishnote . It's so silly in the context of the scene that it becomes rather cute.
- Never Live It Down: You can thank this film for hogtying Cloud to the term "emo."
- It doesn't help that Steve Burton sounds incredibly bored when voicing Cloud — becoming a NLID for his portrayal as Cloud too; even though he has improved since then. He barely acts angry at some moments! On the other hand, Takahiro Sakurai makes a more expressive Cloud.
- Nightmare Fuel:
- Tear Jerker: Some of Marlene's lines:
"For every battle, there was more sadness. Someone I loved went back to the Lifestream too."
"Please don't take Denzel away..."
- Denzel's OVA is one long Trauma Conga Line with occasional Hope Spots. His parents are killed when Sector 7 is destroyed. His caretakers after that die from Geostigma. The others kids in the scavenger gang he joined all move on one by one, and a thoughtless comment ruins his relationship with his last remaining friend. By the end, he's teetering on the edge of the Despair Event Horizon and considering suicide until he meets Cloud.
- The ending is made very bittersweet when it's implied that Aerith and Zack are finally at peace, and can finally rest.
"Hey, you're okay now, right?"
- Villain or no, Kadaj's death is surprisingly moving. The Gray Rain of Depression doesn't hurt.
- The Moogle Girl's expanded backstory in Complete. She and her brother are implied to get the stigma from a man they help in an alley. She's seen trying to carry her brother on her back, while trying to hide their sickness. Her brother then is implied to have died from it before she goes with Yazoo.
- Toy Ship: Some people appear to like Denzel/Moogle Girl. Especially once Advent Children Complete came out, and they got more scenes together. There's also Denzel/Marlene for others.
- Wangst: People accuse Cloud of this despite being about to die. Nevertheless, he actually gets over it about halfway through the film and says so. This is one of the things most people agree Complete fixes, as it explains that Cloud's wangst is a side-effect of Geostigma's affect on the mind.
- On the Way to a Smile manages to do this with Barret, and truthfully nearly every character the novellas focus on.
- Win Back the Crowd: Many in the fanbase prefers the director's cut version over the original. This because of how the director's cut improved Cloud's characterization giving him more heartwarming scenes that tried to overshadow his brooding, further flashbacks that help to understand the story to newcomers and extended fight scenes. However, the movie still has a Broken Base, as the director's cut also undercuts Cloud's defeat of Sephiroth by adding in Zack as a factor.