Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

 

Related: Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV

Similar: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Code Geass

 

Watched in: English

Genre: Action Fantasy

Length: 1 hr. 55 min. movie

 

Positives:

  • Great ad for the game.
  • Spectacular effects match the grand scale.

Negatives:

  • No character development.
  • Almost pure action makes it rather boring.
  • Cringe FF dialogue.
  • Stratagems are needlessly convoluted.

(Request an anime for review here.)

I’ll make this quick. Welcome to the two-hour prologue-trailer for the Final Fantasy XV game.

Kingsglaive centres on the conflict between two kingdoms, Lucis and Niflheim, as the former tries to stop the latter from stealing the crystal that gives Lucis its magic. After a vicious war, Niflheim offers peace in exchange for all of Lucis’s territory beyond the capital. Of course, with Emperor Niflheim after the crystal, there’s more to the treaty below the surface.

At first, Kingsglaive tries to focus on story, but the reins slip from its fingers and the action beast charges unrestrained to the finish, so much so that the finale is a solid 30-minute action scene. From the opening battle of epic proportions to the titanic finale, action occupies three-quarters of the screen time. If you love action, then this is fine.

As far as the characters are concerned, this isn’t fine. They saved everything for the real story in the game. There’s little to no room for characters when Kingsglaive is too busy starting the next action scene, made worse by having such a large cast. I don’t remember anyone’s name except Lunafreya (she’s the only main game character in Kingsglaive). In fact, I remember them by actor names like King Sean Bean of Lucis (no points for guessing what happens to him). Furthermore, the action loses weight before long because it has no real build up with things suddenly summoned or appearing as needed. It becomes “just another monster” or “just another soldier.” If you played any Final Fantasy game, you’ll recognise these monsters, but it doesn’t excuse such laziness.

As a Final Fantasy product, Kingsglaive can’t help but bring the corn with lines such as “I’m the hero!” (It’s the return of Tidus and Final Fantasy XIII writing! Yay…) The funniest is the Niflheim emissary who fancies himself a cowboy, sent to offer the treaty. He is so camp that he belongs on Adam West’s Batman.

Kingsglaive is better than Spirits Within (what isn’t?) and Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, and it doesn’t have a story anywhere near the depravity of Final Fantasy XII, but none of this is saying much.

Art – High

Gorgeous visuals, especially the effects, which look photorealistic at times, but animation is iffy. Lip-sync slipperiness and character movements lack weight, as always in Final Fantasy, unless doing large motions.

Sound – High

They brought out many big actors for the voice cast – Lena Headey, Sean Bean, Aaron Paul, Trevor Devall, and more – several of which had the characters modelled after them. The acting is good, but this is Final Fantasy writing. Epic soundtrack, as expected from the franchise.

Story – Low

After losing the war, the kingdom of Lucis tries to reach an accord with the imperious Niflheim kingdom. With action wall to wall, one can hardly expect much in the way of story. Has as much story as the prologue of a book, which is Kingsglaive’s purpose.

Overall Quality – Medium

Recommendation: For Final Fantasy XV fans only. If you intend to play the game, then Kingsglaive is for you (if you haven’t seen it already, as unlikely as that may be). To everyone else, this is a 2-hour advertisement for a product of disinterest.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)

 

Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive:

Great Music

Negative:

No DevelopmentShallow

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