Lurkers' Retreat
Pioneer Pioneer LDCE
1: PIO 10050 Dub
2: PIO 10051 Dub

Cert  PG

Final Fantasy

Anyone that has played the game will be familiar with this series. The world is protected as long as the four crystals stay in place, but three have been taken by the baddy, one who wishes godhood at the expense of the planet. The fourth crystal falls to the care of Linaly, a young girl descended from the last lot of warrior types that had to do this job, and her ally, Pretz. They are soon scooped up by events as the soldiers of Tycoon, the local empire, as well as a group of overweight leather clad girls led by Wash^H^H^H^HRouge. The action shifts from the Temple of the Wind to Rouge's island, the underneath of the Tycoon palace and finally the Black Moon, with a few twists to keep the whole thing from looking too much like a typical games adaptation.

Of course, that's the problem. Any game can be turned into a multitude of stories, but each of those stories will inevitable be exposition, fight, exposition, fight, exposition, fight and so on until the end. Too many games have therefore hit the screen with any number of noble intentions only to end up looking like a game replay. Certainly this time they have tried to cover things up a little by splitting the action and introducing a few twists to keep the otherwise stock storyline from looking too hackneyed. The artwork is good, with overall direction by Rin Taro and charas by Yoshinori Kanemori, though again I can't help feeling some deja-vu looking at them (apart from the distinctly biscuity name, Pretz was last seen being skewered by a Zeiram construct, Rouge is distinctly Kyoko-like and Linaly could easily double for Akane Tendo, though the glowing bum is a first for me!)

On the whole, a good job has been made of covering up the origins of this, but it still comes across too much as a game adaptation for my liking. Certainly I like this better than something like Streetfighter II The Animation or Salamander, but it is quite obvious why this anime exists, and despite the best efforts of the people behind the actual anime, that reason has little to do with anything artistic. Seems that it also gave the US voice actors of Tenchi-Muyo something else to do!

[3 stars]

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