Having my very first exposure to the Final Fantasy franchise, namely Final Fantasy VIII for the Sony PlayStation®, my attention is undivided whenever I see an item with the Final Fantasy label on it. Never woud I come across an anime series dedicated to one of my personal favorite franchises in history, sans running only four episodes. A big special thanks to Urban Vision for this release, though we sympathize the contractual rights lost when wanting to distribute this to DVD. Saying that means you'd best be sure you still have your VCR player and have treated it well. If not, shop for one because this series was only available on VHS.
First volume contains the first and second episodes of the series introducing the characters and the overall setting. The introduction is quite nice as you get a scrolling text that reads:
While being imprisoned by the pirates on
the cosmis calendar year,
Kari-Yuga 1000 God Year
Planet R, attended by twin satellites,
enjoys an abundance of majestic
nature and a blue glowing ocean.
Its prosperous existence is
maintained by mystical Crystals,
which control the four major
elements of the Universe:
Earth, Water, Fire and Wind
Two Hundred years ago, when
Planet "R" was menaced by a dark
existence and faced its biggest
crisis, the valiant ones fought
desperately to protect the sacred
Crystals. A fight which has since
been long forgotten, but...
I understand scrolling text as an intro can be annoying, since viewers don't want to read first thing (what's wrong with reading?), but I liked it.
The Wind Chapter begins as we get to know Linaly and her grandfather, whose aim is to protect the Wind Crystal from thieves wanting to take away the basic elements of Planet R, let alone being the building blocks of the Universe. We also meet a young, but hilarious, lad named Prettz who decides to tag along Linaly and her grandfather going to the Temple of the Wind. Wanting to get their faster, Linaly encounters an enemy! She summons a chocobo who does a lousy job at attacking, but the enemy attacks nearly hurting Linaly's grandfather. Asked not to follow them, Prettz came anyway and saved the day eliminating the enemy. Linaly's grandfather lays in bed and tells her to continue on without him as he's feeling very weak. Next thing you know, a pink ship ran by a badass woman named Rouge and her henchwomen show up, asking Linaly and Prettz about the Wind Crystal. Without giving away too much, and escaping her capture, Linaly and Prettz reach the Wind Forest. After summoning a spell asking for the support of the spirits, the duo arrives at Valley of the Dragon getting past the heavy, tornadic winds to finally reach the Temple of the Wind. Catching up, then joining them, Prettz and Linaly, with Rouge and her crew, enter into the Temple to try and find the Wind Crystal. While waiting in their ship, Rouge finds and sees The Iron Wing where top commander Valkus show up, wanting to know the whereabouts of this Wind Crystal. Once the duo finds and gains possession of the Wind Crystal, the Crystal punctures Linaly in the chest giving her full ownership of the Crystal which is reflected off her....butt.
On to the second episode titled The Fire Chapter, and intro goes like this:
The Crystals of Earth, Water & Fire have
been stolen by the Evil forces and
Planet "R" is suffering from many grave
Meanwhile, Prettz and Linaly, a decandent
of the legendary Valiant ones, must travel
to the Temple of the Wind to protect the
one remaining Crystal, overcoming many
dangerous obstacles along the way.
After finally reaching the Temple of the
Wind, the Crystal makes an extraordinary
move and magically dives straight into
Starting the episode off with Rouge and her crew dropping bombs on Prettz, Linaly, along with Valkus, the opening takes place at Nazalea Islands, Rouge Island where Rouge resides. Hoping to snag the Wind Crystal off one of them, the trio are held prisoner by Rouge as they all ponder what the next option, which includes breaking out, will be. Miraculously, the Wind Crystal casts a light summoning another figure named Mid—a spirit who came back to exemplify in completing his grandfather's goal gathering all the Crystals together helping soldiers to protect it. Mid was legendary during his time as he fought and defeated the evil Exodes in the past, but now has come to help out in saving the Wind Crystal from being stolen. Suddenly, the tough girls who serve Rouge take Linaly away believing she has possession of the Wind Crystal. Prettz uses all his strength to break out of the prison, with Valkus' help, fearing Linaly is in great danger. While Valkus is breaking out as well, Prettz barges in the nearby room only to see that Rouge and Linaly are having tea and conversation. Not trusting Rouge's motif, Prettz goes all out to destroy every furniture and decor in the room as Mid shows up to help the duo escape. Running away, and trying to get Linaly to hand over the Wind Crystal, Deathgyunos' army of bots begin to approach and swarm the place to annihilate the place to steal the remaining Crystal. Prettz, trying to save the entire group including Rouge, fools the bots in thinking he has the Wind Crystal and gets them to chase him back into Rouge's residence. Throwing and detonating his infamous "emoji" bombs, Prettz eliminates the entire bot army which also destroys Rouge's cave....and survives! Happy he's still alive from the explosion, Linaly jumps and dives into the water with Prettz happy that he survived. The episode ends with Deathgyunos disappointed and their plan failed and the evil forces are headed to Black Moon to execute their next operation.
Both episodes end with credits.
Prior to the first episode, promotional trailers were shown for the following titles: Gatchaman (Volumes 1, 2, 3), Psycho Diver (August 26, 1997), Dragon Slayer (September 16, 1997), Bio Hunter (July 29, 1997), Twilight of the Darkmaster (November 11, 1997), and Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals (Volume 1 - December 9, 1997, Volume 2 - February 3, 1998). The dates written are when the home video will be released for that title.
While these two episodes are great introductory stories to the series, let alone the video game, I felt it could have a bit more action. However, asking for more action may overdo the story a little bit. It's like being careful about your salt intakes, but you know eating french fries would be too bland without some salty seasoning yet even a pinch of seasoning could be overdoing it. Same with these episodes, as too much action would deter the attention away from the story even though we understand that snatching the final Crystal could result in dire consequences.
I'm sure if this was re-released on DVD, there'd be more behind the scenes and how the series connected with the video game itself. It is series like this that proves that not every show/movie has been digitized and released on DVD in some form or other. Now that you've realized that, keep and take good care of your VCR! Plus, depending on the title and condition, VHS tapes are at an all-time low and should be very easy to collect.
It is a good two-episode volume, and an excellent on for any Final Fantasy fan. As for the story, a tad more pizzazz would have been nice but it's still an enjoyable show.
|Title||Legend of the Crystals based on Final Fantasy|
|Volume Number and Title||Volume #1|
BASED ON THE BEST SELLING JAPANESE ROLE PLAYING GAME
Planet R's luminous existence is maintained by four magical Crystals, each regulating a different essential element: Earth, Water, Fire and Wind. Long ago, sinister dark forces stole the Crystals and threatened to destroy the Planet. But, the courageous heroes fought desperately and defeated the dark forces to restore the planet to its peaceful state.
Two hundred years later - The great fight has been long forgotten and again, three Crystals have been stolen. The young descendants of the ancient heroes, Linaly and Prettz, are all that remain to protect the Crystal of Wind from the evil forces. If the two can manage to escape from Rouge - the leader of the leather-bound army of female pirates, they must still pass through the many dangerous obstacles that protect the magical crystal. Only the chosen one will survive the passage.
Directed by the acclaimed Rin Taro, FINAL FANTASY will dazzle your senses with vibrant colors and innovative character design. Our tale continues the story from the popular Japanese RPG - FINAL FANTASY V.
|ISBN / Bar Code number||1-890603-14-7 / 6 38652-1015-3 2|
|Video Format||1.33:1 (4:3) / Full screen|
|Audio Format||Hi-Fi Stereo|
|Tape Count||One (1)|
|Genre||Anime (Japanese animation) - Action/Adventure|
|Run Time||60 Minutes (Actual time: 1:04:52)|
|Rated||Not Rated. Contains Mild Violence. Acceptable for all ages.|
|VHS Release||December 9, 1997|
|Production / Company||Urban Vision Entertainment / American Anime / SQUARE/NTT Publishing|
|Product / Item Number||UV1015|
|Copyright||© 1994 SQUARE/NTT Publishing Co., Ltd. • Packaging design © 1997 Urban Vision Entertainment|
|Other||Warning: For private home use only. Licensed for use in U.S. and Canada only