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Anime / Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

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Spoilers for all preceding Compilation of Final Fantasy VII entries, including Final Fantasy VII, will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
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 throat-punchingly popular Final Fantasy series and a part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.

Two years have passed since the destruction of Meteor in Final Fantasy VII. People all over the world have become infected with a deadly Lifestream-distributed disease called Geostigma; in spite of this, humanity keeps rebuilding society in the wake of Sephiroth's attempts at global destruction. In the city of Edge, built from the ruins of Midgar, Cloud now lives a quiet life with Tifa, Marlene, and a sickly orphan named Denzel. To Cloud's dismay, he soon discovers his own Geostigma infection, which threatens to shatter his new life. To make matters worse, the influence of Sephiroth still remains: Three young men bearing a resemblance to the "One-Winged Angel" have come looking for Cloud—and the remnants of Shinra—for their own sinister purposes.

Limited-edition copies of the movie came 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; it also added additional footage to the film that either expanded on the plot or altered parts of it.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Sephiroth, Cloud, Kadaj—basically, anyone who uses any kind of blade has one of these. Cloud's and Sephiroth's are so sharp that they can cut through entire skyscrapers. In Complete, the friction generated by these cuts produces enough heat to set aflame chunks of concrete and rebar.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Kadaj's death. He was easily the most sympathetic of the villains. He fades away in Cloud's arms while calling out to his mother as the Gray Rain of Depression falls around them.
  • 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. While it is technically only available in Japan, it does feature 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 game and the film. This includes detailed explanations of the construction of Edge, how Cloud and Tifa ended up living together, what the party members did in the two year interim, who Denzel is, what Geostigma is, and Aerith's role in all of this. 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.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Inverted; the Japanese version of Advent Children Complete, as well as the movie's French dub, uses a new ending theme song called "Safe and Sound" but everywhere else uses the original theme, "Calling." The 4K Blu-Ray release of ACC retains "Safe and Sound" on the French audio track.
  • Anime Hair: Cloud's hair is not as bad as it could have been, but it was still present. The movie is about him, after all.
  • Arc Words:
    • The "Reunion".
    • "Dilly-dally, shilly-shally" in the English dub.
  • 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 that tough.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Tifa ask Cloud this question that hits him to a point where he couldn't answer the question immediately.
    Tifa: A memory or us?
    Vincent: Cloud, are you sure this is about fighting?
  • 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. (This also extends to the remake of the game.)
  • Arm Cannon: Barret, whose cannon is bigger and better than ever.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Every fight scene violates at least one law of physics; how many laws a given fight breaks differs from scene to scene. Unlimited jumping distances are the most common law broken. Rule of Cool applies here.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: According to The Reunion Files, Sephiroth had "ascended to a new level of existence" following his death and resurrection. That he never blinks, breaths, or loses his calm tone during the final battle was meant to emphasize how inhuman he had become.
  • Ascended Extra: Marlene is mainly Barret's Morality Pet in the original game and only factored in the game's story twice. Here she's the tritagonist and the film's narrator.
  • 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.
  • Audible Sharpness: In Complete, Sepiroth's Masamune gives off a high, clear, chilling tone—even if it is perfectly still. If you can see the Masamune, you will hear it all but sing about its ability to cut anything apart.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Sephiroth is resurrected by Kadaj eating Jenova cells.
    • Cloud gets shot in the back and caught in an explosion after the Sephiroth battle, but is stopped from entering the Lifestream by Zack and Aerith; he emerges in the Lifestream-infused pond in Aerith's church.
  • Backup from Otherworld:
    • Aerith's spirit helps Cloud in the battle against Bahamut SIN by joining in the Fastball Special. She later uses her Great Gospel limit break from beyond the grave in order to cleanse Midgard and Edge of Geostigma.
    • During the battle against Sephiroth, Zack's spirit asks Cloud if he wants some help, but Cloud turns him down. The pep talk eventually pushes Cloud into a Heroic Second Wind that allows him to triumph.
  • Badass Biker: Cloud, Kadaj, Yazoo, and Loz.
  • Badass Boast: Two in a row.
    • After Cloud defeats Sephiroth: "Stay where you my memories."
    • The latter's response is to look Cloud in the eye and say, "I will never be a memory." Doubly badass for quoting his own Ominous Latin Chanting ("Noli manere, manere in memoria").
  • Badass Cape: Vincent's cape definitely counts, especially during his intro scene.
  • Badass Decay: This is invoked in-universe: When Cloud fights Kadaj, Tifa tells the others that they had all become weaker over the two-year timeskip, but that Cloud has regained that strength.
  • Badass Longcoat:
    • Sephiroth, of course.
    • Yazoo wears one that makes him look just like Sephiroth.
    • Tifa and Cloud's outfits seem to echo this.
  • 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 a pair of sunglasses. He also manages to stop Loz and Yazoo with his homemade bombs.
    • Rufus Shinra fools Kadaj without so much as getting out of his wheelchair, then engages Kadaj in a sky-diving chase sequence for control of Jenova's head.
  • Belated Happy Ending:
    • Aerith and Zack are finally shown reunited in the afterlife.
    • Cloud tried to have one after the events of the game, and he 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. But the movie's events (spelled out in the Ultimania) make it clear that Cloud has finally dealt with his major issues, and he soon finds his promised land—surrounded by his friends and his family—by the final end.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: Cloud's Fusion Sword, comprised of six different swords.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In Complete, Cloud arrives 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 Fusion Sword and tags all three Shadow Creepers, saving Denzel. He then slices a building in half to save Tifa from being squashed.
    • Tifa prepares to face Bahamut SIN all by herself until Barret steps in—and the rest of AVALANCHE. "Reunion", indeed.
  • Bishōnen Line: Kadaj gets more bishonen—and far more powerful—when he briefly turns into Sephiroth.
  • Bishōnen: Cloud, Sephiroth, Kadaj, Yazoo, and Vincent.
  • BFS: Cloud and Sephiroth.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: The first thing Sephiroth does is block Cloud's swing so dead that he and his sword suspend in midair for a while. More easily justified than most, as his strength is so much higher that blocking is almost a formality. The force of Cloud's blow was enough to crush the metal pipe Sephiroth was standing on, but of course does nothing to Sephiroth himself.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The Complete recut. While the characters didn't receive apparent battle damage in the original version of the movie, Complete shows characters getting dirty as they fight, as well as damage being done to Bahamut SIN (e.g. some armor breaking off the face, revealing flesh and blood). The biggest change is toward the end of the fight between Cloud and Sephiroth, where Sephiroth stabs Cloud repeatedly in mid-air—to the point that Cloud becomes a bloody mess who is barely able to stand.
  • Bloodless Carnage: As noted above, this is played mostly straight in the original, but it is averted in Complete when Sephiroth repeatedly impales Cloud in mid-air near the end of their fight.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Sephiroth gets at least two good chances to kill Cloud, but decides to drag things out for the sheer enjoyment of it all. It arguably makes sense with Sephiroth, as he has been waiting two years for his chance at revenge.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted with Vincent's triple-barrel handgun, Cerberus. During the Bahamut SIN fight, Vincent stops twice to reload in the span of thirty seconds (once on top of a building spire, then on Bahamut's shoulder) This is played straight by every other gun wielder in the movie, though.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Cloud and Tifa, whose relationship is not in the best place at the beginning of the movie. She loves him and has been trying to make it work, but he's still hung up on his feelings of guilt about Aerith's death and trying to separate whatever feelings he may have had for Aerith from Zack's. Poor Tifa finally (quietly) snaps and tells Cloud she can't do this anymore.
    Tifa: You have to decide. Us, or a memory.
  • Casting Gag: The voice actress for Marlene in both Japanese and English (Sumire Morohoshi and Ariel Winter, respectively) shares the voice for characters in other Square Enix works: Mog and young Kairi, who are also cute, small characters. Andrea Bowen, who played the Moogle Girl, was also upgraded to voicing Aerith in Crisis Core.
  • The Coconut Effect: The entire reason Cloud is constantly depicted as angsty in the movie (despite the fact that he got over his problems by the end of the game) is the fandom. They had turned his angst into his primary mental characteristic, and they seemingly would not recognize him otherwise.
  • Combat Parkour: Tifa does several Tic tacs and an impressive wall cling during her battle with Loz at Aerith's church.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Yazoo, who shoots Cloud in the back while he's looking at the sky.
  • Cool Bike:
    • Cloud's Fenrir, which gets bonus points for having a built-in sword rack to hold his new Cool Sword.
    • The motorcycles used by the Remnants of Sephiroth count, too.
  • Cool Shades: Rude has many spare pairs of sunglasses in his jacket. Some parts of the fandom insist that Rude has a special costuming Materia just for producing Cool Shades. (Cloud's goggles are often counted, too.)
    • Rude has good reason for taking such measures: The first set is stepped on by Reno during the brawl with Yazoo and Loz.
  • Cool Sword:
    • Cloud's Fusion Swords, which is/are currently the page image for Bifurcated Weapon.
    • Souba, Kadaj's dual-bladed katana.
    • Loz and Yazoo's gunblades, which get bonus points for having an awesome name: The Velvet Nightmare.
    • Then, of course, there is Masamune, the sword of Sephiroth.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Reno possibly qualifies.
  • Cultural Translation: Not really. For example, the Japanese have a more nuanced relationship with insects than Americans do, so calling Kadaj a "chrysalis" carries more meaning, though Yuffie's "He's a bug?" response works just fine.
  • Curb-Stomp Cushion:
    • Tifa manages to hold her own pretty well against Loz at first and even manages to knock him around and down several times, before he receives the order to bring Marlene and proceeds to defeat her with all his speed and strength poured into a single blow.
    • Cloud's battle with all the Remnants of Sephiroth ends up this: Despite being weakened by the Geostigma, Cloud still manages to fend off both Yazoo and Loz at the same time, blocking most of their hits and even negating Loz's shockwave with his own attack, but his weakened strength and speed proves insufficient to let him land any actual hits on them and they had him on the ropes the entire time. He also fights with Kadaj, but is unable to beat him, though he does successfully block all of his attacks until Vincent ends the fight as a whole and saves him.
    • After Cloud gets himself cured from his Geostigma, his fight with Kadaj has Kadaj on the receiving end: Kadaj still proves to be a formidable opponent, managing to hold his ground against Cloud in their sword fight and even at one point disarms him of one of his Fusion Swords, but then Cloud starts dual-wielding and he puts Kadaj on the ropes for the rest of the fight before he finally finishes him off with one of his Limit Break attacks.
    • Cloud's last fight with Sephiroth. Cloud is able to hold his own against Sephiroth, blocking most of his attacks and shrugging off those that did affect him, and even Sephiroth admits to being impressed by the strength Cloud is using to challenge him, but it becomes apparent from the beginning Cloud is on the losing end as he is unable to land a single solid blow on Sephiroth while Sephiroth has the upper hand and repeatedly throws Cloud several distances away and at one point through a building. Cloud also manages to throw Sephiroth out of the remains of Shinra's building and dual-wielding two Fusion Swords, is actually able to match him for a while, but the effort strains him, causing him to be on his knees for a moment, panting, turning the rest of the fight decisively into Sephiroth's favor. It ultimately takes Cloud having a Heroic Second Wind to defeat Sephiroth with his Omnislash Version Five.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: This movie is, more or less, this exact trope.
  • Dark Messiah: Kadaj 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 several with both Aerith and Zack.
  • Defiant Stone Throw: Marlene gets a Defiant Materia Throw that hits Loz in the back. It backfires horribly.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: This film has a "desaturated" variant. Most of its scenes take place in a ruined city under cloudy skies, so there is a lot of greyness.
  • Demoted to Extra: All of the original playable characters not named Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, and Vincent receive a demotion. Red XIII gets the worst of it; he has exactly one line before the end of the film, mostly because of how much time it took to render his model.
  • Deus ex Machina: Aerith uses her Great Gospel limit break from beyond the grave to cure Cloud's Geostigma and drive away Kadaj; it later dispels the dark Lifestream and heals the rest of Midgar.
  • Deuteragonist: Tifa gets the most development after Cloud, with her being the one who fills him in on what's happening. Her voice actress gets second billing in every language.
  • Didn't Think This Through: After spending the entire story pursuing Jenova, when Kadaj finally gets her head he doesn't know what to do next. Lampshaded by Cloud who points out that as a fragment of Sephiroth he's acting on instinct rather than thought.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Kadaj is The Heavy of the film; he even engages Cloud in a Sword Fight near the end. But he is still just The Pawn in Jenova and Sephiroth's endgame, moreso when Sephiroth resurrects using Kadaj's body. Kadaj suspects his status as a pawn the whole time; he even voices his distress to Rufus.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • This is basically everything involving the children. They all qualify as being cancer patients, but then it goes From Bad to Worse when they are kidnapped by the silver-haired men, who have some questionable attitudes towards them. And there is also their baptism by Cloud.
    • In the game, Materia were placed into slots on weapons. In the film, Kadaj infuses a piece of Materia into his arm. (His sword, Souba, does not appear to have Materia slots, but that still raises implications.) The next time Kadaj shows up, he summons Bahamut SIN and repeatedly blasts people with magic. This would require, at minimum, two Materia pieces—one for the summon and one for the spell. After Yazoo shoots Cloud in the back, we see him and Loz each raise one arm; they soon reveal that they are pumped full of Materia of multiple different colours. At this point, you can tell they've been getting the good stuff.
  • Downer Beginning: The film opens with a recap of the previous game that was highlighted by a flashback showing Aerith's iconic death scene, particularly her underwater burial. It then follows with a text stating a two-year Time Skip has happened since the end of the game, which then shows Cloud being very depressed over everything that has happened. It is then quickly revealed that many people (including Cloud) are currently suffering from a new disease called the Geostigma.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Cloud's Fusion Swords, being six different blades, naturally get this treatment all throughout the film. note 
    • Yazoo gets bonus points for doing this and Guns Akimbo when he dual wields his Gun Blade, Velvet Nightmares.
  • Dumb Muscle: Loz is the physically strongest of the Remnants, but he has the mental capacity of a child.
  • Easily Forgiven: Not so much "forgiven" as "forgotten", but everyone's attitude towards working with Shinra is basically "meh". Even Barret is without complaint, and he saw Shinra personally kill his original team and drop the Sector Seven plate on the slums. That being said, he wasn't the focus of the movie.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Sephiroth's last words seem to indicate he believes this.
    "I will...never be a memory..."
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Sephiroth, Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo. Particularly Loz.
  • Exact Words: Barret's "He's got ten minutes" line during the fight with Kadaj? Check the timestamp. Now check the timestamp during the Redemption in the Rain scene. The entire Cloud vs Kadaj/Sephiroth battle lasted no longer than ten minutes; this includes the slow motion scenes, the Dead Person Conversation, and Omnislash Version Seven.
  • Fanservice Pack:
    • Barret is seen rocking a netted shirt.
    • Notably inverted by Tifa, who ditches her famous white shirt and black Mini Dress Of Power combo for a longer and modest black shirt and a regular-sized shorts with a coattail.
  • Fastball Special: All the party members perform it on Cloud to send him toward Bahamut SIN. Yes, even Aerith. And 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 would be more accurate to say the movie contains a few non-Fight Scenes instead. The original cut of the film is ninety minutes long; the fight with Bahamut SIN starts about halfway in, and the rest of the movie is basically one long fight, while a hefty amount of the film's first half is also filled with fighting.
  • Flanderization:
    • Cloud's angsting went from pretty minor in the original game to taking over his characterization here. At the end of the game, he mostly seemed to have resolved his issues. But Word of God says that depression is a standard side effect of Geostigma—and Sephiroth was also screwing with Cloud's head the whole time. Then again, Word of God also says that they deliberately regressed Cloud's emotional state so he would feel more "familiar" to viewers (even though the movie actually makes him far more angsty than he was in the game), which turns the Geostigma side effect into a justification.
    • Although Cloud is the more obvious example, all of the characters from the game receive this to different degrees. Though for the other characters, a large part of it is that Cloud dominates the screen time so we barely see them do anything.
    • Sephiroth is totally and utterly obsessed with rubbing Cloud's face in it because focusing on his hatred for Cloud was the only way to maintain his individuality in the Lifestream.
  • The Gunslinger: Yazoo and Vincent.
  • Generic Cuteness: The movie made Reno look like a model. Even the mighty Cid Highwind looks more like his actual age with the addition of a broad chest.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: The film has an unusual in-universe example. Cloud accuses Kadaj and the Remnants of being this, even telling them outright that they have no idea why they are doing what they are doing. Kadaj refuses to care.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Reno's goggles seem to do nothing other than look cool and give him red rings around his eyes. This is completely averted with Cloud, though—in addition to their regular purpose (keeping dirt out of his eyes), the goggles also save him from taking a bullet to the head.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: While Kadaj and the Remnants are the main threat for most of the film, their main goal is to revive Sephiroth, whose influence can be felt throughout.
  • Heel–Face Return: Rufus explains that he has seen the error in his ways and is working to undo the damage he did as a member of Shinra. His repentance kind of makes sense, in that the consequences of Shinra's activities nearly brought about the end of the world.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Pretty much everyone who can be considered badass wears some leather.
  • Hellish Pupils: Sephiroth and the Remnants have these. The children infected with Geostigma develop them after drinking the water corrupted by Kadaj, and Cloud sporadically develops them whenever his Geostigma acts up.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Cloud was on the verge of losing his fight with Sephiroth until Sephiroth makes the mistake of threatening to kill all that Cloud holds dear, which leads to Cloud remembering everything he has gone through and gaining the strength to finish off Sephiroth.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Rude and Reno.
  • Hidden Eyes: The animators were careful to make sure Rufus's eyes were never visible under his cloak, to hint he may have been disfigured somehow. It also conveys that he is hiding something, but you cannot figure out quite what.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Rufus has Jenova's head this whole time, Kadaj doesn't seem to notice this at all despite being near him for most of the president's screen time.
    Rufus Shinra: "A good son would have known."
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Yuffie.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Sephiroth hijacks Kadaj before the final battle, and he manages to put Cloud on the end of Masamune before it is over.
  • Hope Is Scary: Seems to be how Cloud came to neglect Tifa and their adopted kids; he has already lost Zack and Aerith before and he is scared having a new, happy life would also mean it would be ripped from him.
  • Hope Sprouts Eternal: Mimicking The Stinger from the original game, Red and his children come across Midgar overrun with greenery at the very start of the movie.
  • Hypocritical Humor: "A good son would have known," says Rufus Shinra.
  • Iconic Sequel Outfit: Cloud, Tifa, and Yuffie's outfits in this film have appeared in several crossovers and become just as recognisable as their original outfits.
  • Iconic Sequel Song: While Sephiroth's Leitmotif "One-Winged Angel" is present in the original game, the film's rendition of the song is the most remembered and the one frequently used in his crossover appearances and other promotional material(s).
  • Impending Clash Shot:
    • During the narration at the beginning. a shot of Cloud wielding his Buster Sword about to clash with Sephiroth with his Masamune was among some of the flashbacks.
    • Some posters and Blu-ray covers feature an impending clash shot between Cloud and Sephiroth.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Kadaj's katana (which is basically two blades on one hilt) and Cloud's Fusion Swords count.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Being unable to save Aerith is one of the reasons for Cloud's depression—until he finally allows himself to be forgiven. (Even though he seemed to have gotten over somewhat in the original game.)
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: This is used throughout. Characters swinging their BFS around like they weighed about as much as a butter knife, striking ninety times a second, Parrying Bullets, you name it.
  • 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.
  • 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 a motorcycle.
  • Intellectual Animal: Red XIII. Also Cait Sith, who is a robotic Scottish cat.
  • In the Back: As Cloud basks in Aerith's Great Gospel after defeating Sephiroth, Yazoo shoots him through the back and then he and Loz blow up the area.
  • It Is Not Your Time: Cloud, after being shot by Yazoo and blown up in an explosion, has a brief encounter with Aerith and Zack, who tell him he doesn't belong with them yet.
  • It Only Works Once: Cloud tries to repeat the ending of Final Fantasy VII and kill Sephiroth with Omnislash, but it becomes immediately apparent that Sephiroth was ready this time. Instead it's Sephiroth who makes a repeat performance by skewering Cloud through the stomach like he did during their skirmish in Nibelheim when Cloud goes in for the final slash. Sephiroth even takes the time to mock him for it.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Reno. In Complete he has a conversation with Rude where he admits that he's happy helping people now, but he isn't quite sure if any one of them can really make up for what they did what with the whole almost destroying the world thing.
    • 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 are 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 needs rebuilding, a dropped plate seems like an insignificant event by comparison and retribution for it would be pointless.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Sephiroth is prominently featured in promotional material and the cover, despite his resurrection happening at the film's end.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
  • Let Them Die Happy: Kadaj's death.
  • The Lifestream: The original game is the Trope Namer.
  • Like Father, 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.
  • Limit Break: Several instances through the movie.
    • Cloud gets the most of them; he uses all from the original game save for Cross Slash and Meteorain. Easily distinguishable for the blue aura surrounding Cloud when he's about to pull one off:
      • He uses Blade Beam with the main blade from his First Tsurugi against Loz, to cut through the shockwave coming to him on their first fight at the Forgotten Capital. He also fires a wave of energy at Sephiroth during their fight, but he lacks his blue aura.
      • He uses Braver against Bahamut SIN and knocks it down to the ground in one hit.
      • Shortly thereafter, he uses Climhazzard as a Finishing Move against Bahamut SIN.
      • With his Fusion Swords all assembled, he uses Finishing Touch to send Kadaj off flying.
      • And in the Complete version of the movie, he tries to use the original Omnislash against Sephiroth. It backfires spectacularly.
      • Then there's Omnislash Version 5note  which is a revamped Omnislash utilizing his Fusion Swords to their fullest. The attack is redone in the Complete version; no official name is given to it, but fans have begun to call it "Omnislash Version 6".
    • Tifa uses several of her special moves against Loz at the Sector 6 Church, specifically Beat Rush, Somersault, (a missed) Water Kick, Meteordive, and Meteor Strike.
    • Barret unleashes Mind Blow straight to Bahamut SIN's face, likely to drain its MP so it won't be able to spam its Flare Attack on Midgar.
    • Cid performs a High Jump, again, against Bahamut SIN.
    • Yuffie performs a Grease Lightning against Bahamut SIN during the same battle.
    • Aerith also gets a couple from beyond the grave. She calls upon Great Gospel to heal the Geostigma in Cloud, which then pools to act as a healing spring. She uses it again after Sephiroth's defeat to heal people all over Midgar. In the Bahamut SIN fight, she also fuels Cloud with Fury Brand, allowing him to perform two Limit Breaks within a few minutes of time.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Vincent, Rufus, and the Turks are all wearing their outfits from the original game. Aerith, Zack, and Sehiroth as well, but their cases are justified due to the first two being ghosts and the last being freshly resurrected with god-like powers to recreate himself and his entire battle gear.
  • Lip Lock: Since it's CGI with accurate lip movements, the dub suffers from this a lot.
    • "Dilly dally shilly shally", a nonsensical phrase used in the English version to replace the Japanese "zuruzuru", an onomatopśia 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" (Japanese for broadsword) isn't the original one used (they just went with 'ken', evidently).
  • MacGuffin Blindness: Rufus Shinra, who's been stuck in a wheelchair (as he's dying from Geostigma) being interrogated by the villains for most of the film, reveals that not only is he much more well than he lets on, but the head of Jenova was on his lap in a sealed box the entire time.
  • Mama Bear: Tifa towards Marlene and Denzel.
  • Mental Health Recovery Arc: A few in regards to people with poor mental health like Cloud.
    • In general, finding one's resolve doesn't mean one will never relapse.
    • Cloud never really had proper time to mourn Aerith and Zack's deaths in the original game due to the world being at risk. Once the threat is taken care of, things started to finally sink in and Cloud is in severe Survivor's Guilt by the time the film rolls around.
  • Messiah Creep: Try watching the baptism scene at the end of the movie and tell us that's not what's happening with Cloud.
  • 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 nearly destroyed the entire world, but still.
  • Moving Beyond Bereavement: One of the central threads is Cloud's guilt over the deaths of Zack and Aerith. At the end, after some nudging from beyond courtesy of Aerith, he is finally able to let it go.
  • No Flow in CGI: Averted, but...Hope you weren't a big fan of Red XIII, because to save on money they avoided showing him as much as possible.
  • No-Sell: Sephiroth casually blocks Cloud's initial attacks and easily parries Omnislash, the attack that killed him when they last fought.
  • 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, which was remixed with new lyrics.
  • 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.
  • Parrying Bullets: Cloud's enhanced SOLDIER skills enable him to move and react fast enough to parry automatic gunfire from multiple directions at once. Seen when he fought Kadaj and his gang in the Forgotten City, and later while pursuing them on the highway.
  • The Pawn: The silver-haired men to Sephiroth and Jenova.
  • Peek A Bangs: Kadaj.
  • Phone Call from the Dead: Aerith leaves a message on Cloud's sinking cellphone, and later sends all the people who had been infected with Geostigma to her church by calling their cells.
  • Pinned to the Wall: This happens to Cloud when Sephiroth is revived.
  • The Plague: Geostigma, a disease caused by the Jenova cells accidentally distributed by the Lifestream.
  • 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.
  • 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 dubbed. Of course Reno and Rude are supposed to say "holy shit" when Bahamut Sin unleashes a breath of fire, but the dubbers changed it to "H-hello..." "Hell no..."
  • Present Absence: Aerith and Zack's respective deaths still haunt Cloud for much of the movie.
  • Product Placement: The Panasonic P900iV cellphone.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: One of Kadaj's defining traits. Loz too, with emphasis on the childishness. Yazoo also has shades of this, though due to his personality and lack of screen time, it isn't as obvious.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The silver-haired men. Miniboss, check. Quirky...definitely.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Piano tracks come directly from a previous Final Fantasy VII piano album.
  • Redemption in the Rain/Redemption Equals Death: Kadaj being invited into the Lifestream by Aerith. Cloud also has a moment of this immediately before Yazoo and Loz kill him.
  • 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.
  • Resurrection Revenge: Ever since his death, Sephiroth has kept himself from being assimilated by The Lifestream, by focusing on his hatred of the one who killed him: Cloud Strife. So his first order of business upon coming back to life, was to settle the score. But Cloud defeats him a second time, after a hard fought battle.
  • The Reveal: In all of the promotional material for Advent Children (including the Playstation 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 motivation for a lot of the design decisions, including the art designs for aspects such as Bahamut and the Shera, and the fight scene animation, including Omnislash Version 5.
  • 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.
  • Running Gag: Aerith jokingly complains about Kadaj and Cloud both calling her "Mother".
  • Serious Business: Loz and Yazoo about their mom.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: Going through the SOLDIER process really makes one a badass. Tifa, Yuffie, and the rest are badass, but Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo are superhuman, and it takes the three of them working together to overwhelm Cloud. Subverted when he fights Sephiroth, who dominates him the entire time they faced off, as Sephiroth is the greatest SOLDIER, and it's only due to Sephiroth's arrogance and Cloud's persistence that Cloud survives their fight and wins.
  • Shout-Out: Reno does a familiar tap to his forehead when taunting Loz and Yazoo, so as to ensure they got it memorized.
  • Situational Hand Switch: Barrett suffered a gunshot wound that made his right arm unusable. It's likely he was right-handed before this wound. However, he might have simply gotten used to using his left by this point, as his gun-arm is now capable of assuming the form of a usable hand.
  • Soap Opera Disease: Geostigma, with added Wangst for assurance.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • In the original, it's tough to see what's actually so bad about the disease, as it seems painful, but not particularly fatal. Complete clarifies the horrific nature of the disease when, at the beginning, someone is shown dying of it by melting.
  • Speed Echoes: Omnislash Version 5 (and 6).
  • Spirit Advisor: Aerith and Zack act as this to Cloud, urging him to let go of his past failures and focus on the present.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: After taking over Kadaj, Sephiroth forms the Masamune out of tainted Lifestream just in time to effortlessly block Cloud's attack.
  • Stepping-Stone Sword: Constantly, especially during the fight with Bahamut.
  • Stock Footage: Rufus and Kadaj's conversation before Kadaj summons Bahamut SIN reuses clips from the opening of the film as they talk in a manner similar to B-Roll, the footage sometimes matching what they're talking about, sometimes not. These sequences, as well as other clips from the film, have since been reused in subsequent Compilation entries and related media, particularly Crisis Core.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: When Cloud and Rufus look at Kadaj, they see Sephiroth superimposed over him.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Complete, Cloud tries to use Omnislash to defeat Sephiroth once more, only to fail miserably. As it was the same move that was used to take down Sephiroth in their second battle when they were fighting on the Lifestream with Sephiroth weakened from being beaten as Safer-Sephiroth, Sephiroth's previous experience with the attack makes it easy for him to not only block all of Cloud's attacks, but he ends up using Cloud's attempt to deliver the finishing leaping blow to instead stab Masamune through Cloud's stomach. The Fusion Sword Cloud was using not being nearly as long as Sephiroth's Masamune, the move works spectacularly on Sephiroth's favor and completely negates Cloud's attempted attack before it can even come close.
    • In general, finding one's resolve doesn't mean one will never relapse. Cloud never really had proper time to mourn Aerith and Zack's deaths in the original game due to the world being at risk. Once the threat is taken care of, things started to finally sink in and Cloud is in severe Survivor Guilt by the time the film rolls around.
  • Survivor Guilt: Cloud seems to have this in spades at the beginning of the film. He gets better throughout the movie.
  • Sword Fight: There are about five examples of this not happening. Two of them are gunfights.
  • Sword Plant: Cloud plants the iconic Buster Sword on the spot Zack died to serve as the latter's tombstone.
  • Symbolic Baptism: The game ends with a heroic character creating a pool of water beyond the grave. This mysterious pool cures Geostigma, a disease born of the villain's hatred, of anyone who steps in the pool.
  • Taking You with Me: Close to the end of the film, Loz and Yazoo, who are being purified by Aerith's Great Gospel, shoot Cloud from behind and then overload their materia to create a massive explosion that engulfs all three of them. Aerith and Zack block Cloud from entering the Lifestream, though.
  • 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 Trade Your Passion for Glory- 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. Though Barret does say "He's got 10 minutes", presumably before he would jump in, it just never came to that.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • While Tifa comments during Cloud's fight with Kadaj how they all got weaker since the end of the game, due to having spent 2 years trying to move on with their lives or helping find a way to stop the Geostigma, Cloud's isolation and active engagement means he's not only retained all of his edge but has had the opportunity to grow even stronger as he gains more experience. This shows itself as while Tifa ends up being beaten by Loz, Cloud is able to fight all three Remnants of Sephiroth by himself even if he doesn't win and ends up beating Kadaj once he is cured of his Geostigma. Then he goes on to fight Sephiroth and while he is still overwhelmed obviously by the greatest SOLDIER in history, he is actually able to stand up to him, which Sephiroth even acknowledges, stating Cloud has grown much stronger than the last time they fought. Ultimately, Cloud uses a newly-developed sword move of his combined with a Heroic Second Wind to put down Sephiroth, once more becoming "the man who killed Sephiroth"...twice.
    • Also, Denzel in the Complete version in comparison to the old version.
  • Trade Your Passion for Glory: The entire cast save Cloud. That's why defeating Sephiroth is something only he can do.
  • 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.
  • Troll: Rufus Shinra. Word of God says that he really did have Jenova in his lap under his cloak the entire film, and with that in mind, sitting in his chair doing nothing to stop Kadaj but continuing to taunt him casts him into this territory.
  • True Companions: Cloud's party and the Turks.
  • Updated Re-release: Complete. Roughly 30 minutes more footage, as well as some altered scenes.
  • Uncanny Valley: Invoked with Sephiroth by the developers to make him seem otherwordly and ascended. His facial features are strangely thin and feminine, he never blinks or breathes, and always remains calm in tone.
  • Variable Terminal Velocity: Kadaj manages to fall faster than Rufus Shinra, even though Rufus fell first.
  • Victory Is Boring: While not exactly boring, winning two years ago took away Cloud's purpose in life. He took up a simple job as a delivery boy and had a lot of free time on his hands. He spent this time brooding on his failures and drinking. Soon afterwards Denzel, his adopted son/brother, gets geostigma and Cloud leaves to find a cure, but he fails. Even worse, he catches the disease himself and is dying at the young age of 24. Indeed, his fighting ability is greatly hamstrung until he is cured. A combination of embarrassment, shame, guilt, and sadness drive Cloud even further into depression and isolation not helped by the occasional seizures and Mind Rape being handed to him by Sephiroth and the disease.
  • Vocal Evolution: Just listen to Mena Suvari's performance here when compared to Kingdom Hearts II, you'll notice an immediate difference.
  • 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's church, where the sword has been moved to and been restored.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: A few characters (such as Tifa, Marlene and Vincent) give Cloud one for his inability to let go of the past (and Aerith's death) and for shutting them out all the time and not thinking about what's going on in the present.
    Tifa: Stop running! I know, even if you find the kids, you might not be able to help them. Maybe something would happen that can never unhappen that scares you, doesn't it? But you need to think about now, really dig it in. Look at you, you think you got it so damn hard! Well you hate being alone, so let people in. Sure, you might not answer the phone, but I don't see you throwing it away either. Which is it? A memory or us?
    Marlene: Forget it, Cloud! Why don't you ever pay any attention to us?!
    Vincent: Cloud, are you sure this is about fighting?
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Sephiroth, Kadaj, Loz and Yazoo are all white-haired villains.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Tifa gets her butt handed to her by Loz once he stops holding back. She later remarks to the others that in the two years since Meteorfall they all lost the level of strength they once had and that only Cloud has managed to regain it. Additionally, both times Tifa gets knocked out, it was partly because she was shielding one of her adopted kids (Marlene and Denzel).
  • Would Hit a Girl: Loz, who defeats Tifa in battle, namely by punching her full of electricity. He would have killed her had Marlene not interfered.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The silver-haired men kidnap innocent children, effectively brainwash them, and put them in harm's way (said harm being a gigantic dragon). For any good parent, the first part alone is utterly terrifying. This somehow does not prevent the trio from getting a Redemption in the Rain scene at the end of the movie.
  • Younger Than They Look: Kadaj and his brothers might look like young men, but the truth is, as Sephiroth's remnants, they're only about two.
  • Your Mom: Subverted for two different reasons. Reno and Rude insult Jenova in front of Loz and Yazoo. When they take offense to it, Rude apologizes instantly. Reno attempts to follow through, then realizes they're talking about Jenova's friggin' head and snaps back into battle mode.
    Yazoo: I will not have you refer to Mother that way!
    Loz: You meanie!
    Rude: Our apologies.
    Reno: Your mom's cool. (Beat) What the hell am I saying?!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Advent Children


"One-Winged Angel"

The reveal trailer for Sephiroth plays One-Winged Angel, which is the most iconic song in the Final Fantasy franchise.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (34 votes)

Example of:

Main / SignatureSong

Media sources: