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YMMV / Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

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  • 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.
  • Angst Dissonance: One of the criticisms thrown at the movie was Cloud's moodiness. Let's be honest: most people wouldn't exactly be in a good mood if they found out they had a fatal disease.
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  • 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. Whether the finished product is any good is still up for debate, and some new elements are claimed to be even weaker, but they at least tried to improve it and it's generally agreed that the improvements outweigh the negative changes.
  • 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.
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    • 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.
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  • Base-Breaking Character: Cloud, infamously so and far more than in the original game. Over both versions of the film, fans argued for him either having a strong character arc and having an impressive weapon and flashy fight scenes to his name, or having a contrived character arc and spending much of the movie as an unlikable, whiny emo, and being a far cry from the well-rounded and highly variable character he was in the original game.
  • Broken Base:
    • The entire movie split the VII fanbase down the middle. Then Complete came along and split it again.
    • The Fusion Swords themselves are either flat-out awesome, or an overblown and impractical take on the Buster Sword that tries too hard to be cool.
    • 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 I (and the other VII characters had kept their actors from that game, aside from Sephiroth whose replacement voice George Newbern was widely liked). When Kingdom Hearts II came out, she became even more disliked and that was her last time voicing the character.
  • Contested Sequel: The release of Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV has provoked arguments about how it and Advent Children compare to each other, due to both movies' very similar formats and criticism for similar reasons.
  • Critical Dissonance: A mild case, due to the fact that both critics and general audiences were highly divided on the film. Advent Children received mostly negative reviews from both gaming and non-gaming critics alike due to its confusing plot, along with other issues such as Continuity Lockout and Flanderization of many characters.note  However, Advent Children was very successful commercially, and as the main demographic of the film, some FFVII fans are more forgiving of it (especially Complete) and argue that it works (to varying degrees) as a companion piece to the game, rather than a standalone film. It stands at a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 33%note  (although most of the reviews are for the original and not Complete), but has an IMDb rating of 7.3 out of 10.
  • Dork Age: As the pilot project of the "Compilation of Final Fantasy VII", Advent Children started one. The movie was met with highly mixed reception, and many fans were not happy with the Flanderization of various characters, particularly Cloud, who was bashed as the kind of "emo pretty-boy" stereotype that eventually became a frequent point of criticism for Final Fantasy, and Square Enix, as a whole. As the Compilation continued to build up, FF7 lost much of its prestige and recognition, and only started to see a rise again with the announcement of Final Fantasy VII Remake and Cloud's addition to Super Smash Bros., both of which were driven by "Holy Shit!" Quotient reactions and drew heavily from the original game while ignoring developments from Advent Children and the rest of the Compilation.note 
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo, who actually happen to wear full-body leather.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: 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.
  • Guilty Pleasure: Very much so. Very few fans will argue that Advent Children is good as a whole, but many enjoy it as the piece of fanservice that it was intended to be.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Dave Wittenberg voices Yazoo, a remnant 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 by 2005's standards) 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.
  • 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:
  • 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 — and Final Fantasy protagonists in general — 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:
  • Sequelitis: Regardless of one's thoughts on the movie, very few will argue that it lives up to the classic, universally-acclaimed video game that it follows up on.
  • 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.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing: The English dub, while generally considered above par for an anime dub, is highly contentious. On one hand, many of the performances and memorable lines were praised, particularly with George Newbern who made his debut as Sephiroth and replaced the unpopular Lance Bass from Kingdom Hearts I. On the other hand, the Lip Lock is considered a consistent problem, both in terms of immersion and in terms of lines that were changed to fit (such as the infamous "dilly-dally shilly-shally"), and Steve Burton's performance as Cloud, while debated, is generally considered inferior to Takahiro Sakurai's in the Japanese version.
  • 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.
  • Video-Game Movies Suck: Advent Children, particularly Complete, is widely regarded as one of the better video game movies out there. However, this is a case of Damned by Faint Praise, as most fans argue that it doesn't hold up on its own as a film (with overreliance on the viewer's familiarity with and emotional investment in the original game) and that its overall setup more closely resembles a game than a movie.
  • 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.
  • Vindicated by History: Cloud's character arc in Complete, mostly due to Character Rerailment in newer appearances. With Cloud being readjusted to his old, cockier and more confident personality in The New '10s (Namely, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Dissidia Final Fantasy (2015)) and shaking off the "mopey emo" stigma that this movie gave him, some fans have noted when rewatching Complete that they pay more attention to the actual Character Development he goes through in the movie (regaining his old levels of strength and confidence), as opposed to his wangsting overshadowing everything else and overtaking his character in general.
  • 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.


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