Before I begin, let me start with a quick disclaimer. I like the Final Fantasy games, for the most part. If I poke fun at the franchise a bit during the course of this review it’s not because I just don’t like the series, it’s because the series has a lot of goofy aspects. I’ve looked at a few anime adaptations of video games in the past. I’ve looked at bad ones, Ninja Gaiden being the obvious example. Average ones, Nightstalkers and ones that were pretty good, Tales of Phantasia. This week I’m going to be looking at a selection from one of my favourite game companies, Square and our old friends at Madhouse with their widely varying quality. This is Final Fantasy, Legend of the Crystals.
Legend of the Crystals takes place several centuries after the events of Final Fantasy V. Linaly, a descendant of Bartz, is going to the temple of the wind to safeguard the crystal. She’s followed by a young man named Prettz. The two find the crystal, which decides to hide itself in Linaly’s body, which causes her bum to glow for some reason. The two find out that the other crystals have been stolen and find themselves targeted by mechanical beings who are trying to get the last one. They even build a Proctologist robot for that very purpose. Not really, but that would’ve been moderately less stupid than what actually happens. The actual story is pretty minimal and very cliche. The plot element of Linaly’s firefly bottom mostly serves as an excuse for fan-service shots, on a character who looks to be all of twelve, classy. The final battle scene is quite anti-climactic and a lot of the events in the plot happen by virtue of plot contrivance instead of as a part of any kind of cohesive whole.
The characters in this are dreadful. You have Linaly, who spends most of her time either getting kidnapped or acting as a compass. She brings great shame on Bartz’s name, and he’s not even one of the good FF protagonists. He’s okay though, which still makes him far too good of a character to be associated with this helpless twerp. Prettz is only slightly better, being an annoying moron. Then you have Rouge, a character who does absolutely nothing plot relevant. The other major characters are Mid, a ghost who basically serves as a guide for the majority of the OVA, Valkus, a muscle-head with all of one personality trait, and Ra Devil, the antagonist who makes Exdeath look like the best developed character ever by comparison.
The art in this is largely just lazy. With shading being used almost never. The facial expressions used for the characters tend to range from blank to dull surprise with very little variation. A lot of scenes are also repeated pretty much verbatim. To give an example, there’s an action scene in which a large woman tries to slice our protagonists with a sword, only to have them duck. Then it happens two more times and it’s pretty much the same every single time. The chocobos in this look terrible. They don’t have their traditional yellow feathers, looking more like plucked ostriches, their beaks and eyes are also off. Then we have the fan-service. There are a lot of panty shots of our twelve year old heroine, because Madhouse decided to put their grossest people on this project. Linaly, put on some proper pants. Your shorts are far too short. Especially given that your ass keeps glowing. Rouge’s outfit is just terrible. She looks like she’s wearing bondage straps. Lady, most people can’t pull bondage gear off as an outfit for action. You certainly aren’t Sephiroth. Valkus just looks like a badly drawn 90s comic hero with a head that’s too small for his overly muscled body.
Madhouse did get some really good voice actors for this. Particularly Ogata Kenichi, Yamazaki Wakana and Minaguchi Yoko. However, they don’t give their best performances. In fact, their performances are kind of mediocre. The music is the best part of the OVA. It’s the only aspect of the OVA that actually feels like a Final Fantasy game.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. The female characters barely even interact.
that was Legend of the Crystals, and it is bad. To be fair, the story is only the fifth worst I’ve seen in conjunction with the Final Fantasy title, but that isn’t saying a whole lot. The franchise may have some great stories and characters, but it also has some really bad ones. It’s not the worst video game adaptation I’ve reviewed either, but it’s down there. My final rating is a 2.4/10.