Advent Children Trivia

An image of Cloud's cell phone

I was discussing Gladiolus’ Cup Noodle quest on Final Fantasy XV with some friends recently when one of them pointed me to this wiki. Most of the article explains the product placement in FFXV, but a small section at the top discusses the Panasonic FOMA P900iV, a 2004 phone model released in Japan in conjunction with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. This model serves as Cloud’s phone in the movie. I’ve forgotten and remembered pieces of Advent Children trivia throughout the years, but I don’t think I ever knew this. It gives a whole other layer of meaning to the scene where Cloud’s phone falls to the bottom of the lake.

For many years, this scene, featuring whimsical music underplaying a cell phone drifting to the bottom of a pool that is always as deep as the plot needs it to be, was just silly to me. I still find it funny, even after my close examination of this film over the past year revealed its purpose. This scene symbolizes Cloud losing the one thing that connected him to his friends in the first half of the movie. After this point, Cloud can only interact with them directly. In the final fight with Sephiroth, neither his lost phone nor his friends can serve as a source of comfort or safety. Knowing that his phone is modeled after a real product and that, consequently, at least the first half of the movie is a subtle advertisement for it, this scene is now also a commercial showing off the phone’s sleek design. It also demonstrates that it is not waterproof. 🙂

I’ve heard people say that Final Fantasy XV is a giant advertisement for Cup Noodles, but out of everything negative people say about Advent Children, I’ve never heard them call it an hour-and-a-half-long advertisement for a cell phone. I feel like it should be an outrage that the film is filled with product placement, but it’s not. Cloud’s Panasonic FOMA P900iV, and the prominence of phones and cell phones, in general, is product placement done right. It’s visually subtle but deeply integrated into the story. Even the scene where the film does its most blatant advertising isn’t terribly out of place. It’s visually and audibly similar to another silly scene where Cloud and Tifa pass out in a patch of flowers. While the film has a somewhat bizarre focus on cell phones, its only part of the charm of a film that is bizarre for multiple reasons. Gladio’s quest, on the other hand, just makes FFXV’s story look even stupider and the creators look desperate.

I also recently discovered the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children – Reunion Files, an artbook with interviews from the cast and crew. I skimmed through a free copy available online and immediately purchased it. The interviews I glanced at confirmed many of the things I suspected about this movie and more. I’m not crazy! I swear.

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Weekly Update

Writing – As I wanted to do, this week I focused on writing critiques. I wrote three reviews through Critters and provided feedback on a pitch document for Team KAIZEN. I also got my first bit of feedback on the first chapter of The Twelfth Hour. So far, I have about the same problem I did last time I gave this to someone to read. I don’t explain why characters are the way they are until after they start acting like assholes. Great. My writing skill hasn’t improved in eight years. 😛 At least this time, I did it with a different character, not the same one. Speaking of The Twelfth Hour, after struggling with it for a couple weeks, I finally figured out how to order the sections in chapters 5 and 6. The previous draft was a bit of a mess. I think I’ve finally got it. At the very least, it won’t be such as mess. Once I finish reviewing and making notes on each section, I’ll be editing again.

Development – This week, I sent off the current version of the PDF splitter application I built to the guy who hired me for evaluation by his team. I did a little bit of work in Burst!, working on displaying a soundwave using Unity UI. Mostly I got caught up on Shattered Soul. In addition to modifying Burst!, I’ll be extending the combat system I built in Shattered Soul for Team KAIZEN.

Cheeky Geeky Vaudeville – Missoula’s annual fandom-themed variety show returns on October 14th. As the technical manager, I gathered light, sound, and projection requests from performers and started writing up cue lists and plans this week. If you’re in the Montana/Missoula area on the 14th, go see it. 😀

Saberspark’s History of Pixar and DreamWorks

I have a tendency to lump all CGI children’s and family movies into one category. These videos reminded me, “Oh yeah, Pixar and Disney make consistently decent movies compared to DreamWorks, Illumination, Blue Sky, and Sony.” I think I have such a negative outlook on these movies because I forget that. O.o

Weekly Update

Improvised Incoherence – I edited and released three episodes of Improvised Incoherence on Saturday, one more episode than I thought I would have with what I recorded. They are… a blast from the past.

The Twelfth Hour The other major thing I did this week was prepare and submit the first chapter of The Twelfth Hour to the Critters website (finally). It’ll be up for review in a couple weeks. I’ll probably spend more time reviewing stories on Critters between now and then to see if I can encourage more people to take a look at it and get lots of feedback. How terrifying. O.O

Burst! – Finally, I started familiarizing myself with the code for Team KAIZEN’s rhythm game Burst! this week and audio visualization in the Unity Game Engine. I’ll be updating the fireworks that appear in the game and making the editor that our volunteers use to create the button combinations for each song and difficulty nicer.

New Episodes of Improvised Incoherence

This month, I read and discuss random writings I found in my closet. Most are stories that I wrote when I was little. Some, however, are bizarre… other things.

A raccoon must find happy flours. They can cure you of any decease.

Did you know that being scary and scaring people are two different things?

Finally, I read James Frederick Christian Von Uhde III’s carefully researched report on the life and accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin.

Unsolicited Comment: SuperButterBuns’ Kingsglaive Reviews

In these video, SuperButterBuns reviews Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. She discusses its poor characters, strange pacing, inconsistent themes, lack of explanation, and general nonsense. Ultimately, however, she gives the film a 7/10 for its pretty graphics, fun action, and relation to Final Fantasy XV.

While I agree with (her love of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and) the 75% of her reviews in which she discusses Kingsglaive’s many problems, I’m not sure how she arrived at her conclusion. One of her favorite scenes is Regis’ tense conversation with Niflheim’s ambassador right before the Crystal is stolen, which I agree is the best scene in the movie but don’t think excuses it from everything else it does wrong. She claims that Noctis and the gang tied up the movie by introducing the game post-credits. She also appears to take it on faith that the game will explain the elements of the movie that the movie didn’t, which makes it a good film for fans. Basically, it got her excited for the game and provides empty action and visual entertainment. Therefore, it’s a good movie…?

It’s interesting what fans who’ve followed Final Fantasy XV since the Versus XIII days bring to this movie. From ButterBuns’ perspective, Luna and Regis were automatically cool characters from how they were portrayed in the game’s promotional materials. She admits that Luna mostly just looks like an idiot in the movie but continues to believe that she is a cool character. Buns has an affection for Regis’ character and found scenes with him the most interesting. This I find shocking because, to me, all I see in Regis in the movie is a heartless, selfish king of a kingdom no better than Niflheim’s.

ButterBuns also had an interesting interpretation of the scene where Luna jumps out of the airship. To Buns, “Not all miracles are made by magic,” was a major theme in the movie. Luna jumping out of the airship could have illustrated this theme if only Nyx hadn’t “rescued” her with magic. Luna’s confidence in her ability to reach the ledge would have demonstrated that magic isn’t everything. What I focused on in this scene was Luna saying, “I do not fear death,” and then throwing herself out of an airship, which contradicts her supposed importance to the Noctis and the future. While the theme ButterBuns perceived would make this movie interesting, she herself admits that it isn’t shown very well in general. If it were, then Nyx wouldn’t have used magic at the end of the movie. Instead, he only spends a brief time in the middle of it without magic. Then, miracles are made by fancy cars. 🙂

There are a few other minor points I disagree with. I also went to college for film and animation, but I completely disagree with Buns’ assessment that this film, in general, is well edited. The realistic graphics don’t make up for the poor cinematography or hyperactive video editing in my opinion. And Kingsglaive is a giant step backwards in terms of storytelling from both Advent Children and The Spirits Within.

Overall though, SuperButterBuns is entertaining and makes a lot of good or at least interesting points about what makes this movie good and bad. I DEMAND AN ADVENT CHILDREN REVIEW!

Weekly Update

The Twelfth Hour – This weekend was my birthday, and I ended up saying, “It’s my birthday, and I can write if I want to.” Then, I worked on The Twelfth Hour for 30+ hours and didn’t do much else with my week. At least the protagonist’s arc in chapter 5 and 6 has a sensible beginning, middle, and end. Now that that, the backbone of the chapters, has been better defined, it’s time to revise the other sections, figure out how to order all the scenes, and determine what is extraneous crap that needs to go in the garbage.

RPS Wars – I ran out of job-related programming things to do, so I worked on Start and Pause menus for RPS Wars. Team KAIZEN, however, just asked me to work on another video game Burst! for them, so I’ll probably have to set RPS Wars aside again.

Improvised Incoherence – Before I dropped everything in favor of writing, I got a couple hours of video editing done on the next episode of Improvised Incoherence. We’ll see if I actually do something other than write this week. Maybe I’ll finish it finally!