American cosplayer kawaiiRiceball tries her hand at bringing to life the ever popular Final Fantasy VII character Tifa Lockhart, this time going for the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children look!
Tifa Lockhart is a fictional character in Square’s (now Square Enix) role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. Created and designed by Tetsuya Nomura, she has since appeared in the fighting game Ehrgeiz and made cameo appearances in several other titles, as well as the CGI film sequel to Final Fantasy VII, Advent Children and related games and media in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series. As of Advent Children, Tifa is voiced by Ayumi Ito in Japanese, and by Rachael Leigh Cook in English.
A member of the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE and owner of the 7th Heaven bar in the slums of Midgar, Tifa is the childhood friend of Cloud Strife, the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII. Convincing him to join the group to keep him close and safe, she later assists him in saving the Planet from the game’s villain, Sephiroth. Installments in The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII later expanded upon her character, such as in the film Advent Children, where she attempts to convince Cloud to let go of his self-imposed guilt, and move on with his life after Sephiroth’s defeat.
Named the pin-up girl of the “cyber generation” by The New York Times, Tifa has been compared to Lara Croft as an example of a strong, independent and attractive female character in video games. Media have repeatedly praised both the character’s strength and appearance and described her as one of the best female characters in gaming.
Twelve years ago, a mysterious purple column appeared in the heavens – This was the Day of Succession. Out of it emerged two fearsome beasts, one white, the other black. These beasts clashed and the resulting explosions left nothing but the mysterious dark pillar stretching between the earth and the heavens. This pillar is the gateway to the Inner World.
Marie and Joe Hayakawa were two of the scientists present when the day of confusion first arrived. They were instrumental in chronicling it’s story. They were also the first two people to actually travel to the new and strange world, but on their last mission they left their children and simply vanished. They have been lost somewhere inside the Inner World ever since.
Now the young Ai and Yu have decided to enter the Inner World to find their lost parents. Boarding the mysterious dimensional subway train that appears only at midnight, Ai and Yu need to take a giant leap of faith to enter the strangeness of the Inner World.
As Ai and Yu continue their quest through the many strange places that make up the Inner World, they continually meet new friends and make new allies. Lisa, the girl who hears the currents of energy. Cid, the inventor genius. Nav, leader of the revolutionary Comodin. And Kaze, the Black Wind. Controller of the Demon Gun, creator of the Soil Summonings.
But the Inner World is run by Chaos. The Count rules these dimensions with an iron fist. Together with his Gaudium Deathlords, the Count has now turned his attentions to these outsiders in his domain.
And slowly the appetite of Chaos grows…
2001 saw the release of Final Fantasy: Unlimited, a 25 part sci-fi fantasy adventure based in Square Enix’s Final Fantasy franchise universe and directed by Mahiro Maeda, with animation production handled by GONZO.
The plot of Final Fantasy: Unlimited revolves around a brother and sister’s search for their missing parents. However, their search takes place in the Inner World, a dimension separate from ours. The many worlds that inhabit this dimension are varied and wondrous, though things are not all that well in the Inner World. There exists a tyrant known as the Count who rules this area with an iron fist, and slowly he has been making his way across the worlds, destroying each and incorporating bits into his own vision.
Added to this is the story revolving around the hate relationship between the mysterious Black Wind, Kaze and the White Cloud, Makenshi. Kaze controls the Demon Gun, responsible for the creation of summoned creatures using the power of Soil. Makenshi on the other hand controls the Mist, and is able to summon huge white creatures from its essence. These two are sworn enemies, destined to face each other in battle.
The story of Final Fantasy Unlimited slowly builds up until it finishes with a great crescendo, though unfortunately, it is somewhat lacking in the build up stages. It is pretty formulaic in that it follows the standard “New monster arrives. New monster defeated by Kaze’s summoning” plotline for well over half the series!
On the other hand, the characters introduced throughout this show are really cool. Character development is good, and the characters are all interesting. One can’t help but want to learn more about the Inner World with each and every episode.
The animation is okay, with a lot of CGI graphics thrown in. It kind of captures the feel of the later Final Fantasy RPGs which also make use of CGI to blend in with the in-game graphics. A small gripe that I have is that this series makes a lot of reuse of animation sequences – something that can become particularly annoying.
The voice acting is superb and the musical soundtrack is top notch.
Overall, this isn’t a horribly bad title, but unfortunately it just isn’t as engrossing as a Final Fantasy fan would have liked. Fans will enjoy seeing their favourite creatures such as Chocobos making an appearance, but other than that, most people could probably give this title a skip.
It’s a pity, because SquareSoft could have done so much more with it.
(Historic Note of interest: This review was written back in 2004)
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy:_Unlimited
Japanese gravure idol Kaede Hakuhi is probably best known for her titillating cosplays, though this time around she scales it back a bit and brings to life a very fun cosplay featuring everyone’s favourite Final Fantasy VII gal, Tifa Lockhart!
Tifa Lockhart is a player character in Square Enix’s role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. Created by character designer Tetsuya Nomura, she has since appeared in the fighting game Ehrgeiz and cameo appearances in other titles, as well as the CGI film sequel to Final Fantasy VII, Advent Children and related games and media as part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series. As of Advent Children, Tifa is voiced by Ayumi Ito in Japanese, and by Rachael Leigh Cook in English.
A member of the terrorist group AVALANCHE and owner of the 7th Heaven bar, Tifa is the childhood friend of Cloud Strife, the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII. Convincing him to join the group to keep him close and safe, she later assists him in saving the planet from the game’s villain, Sephiroth. Elements of The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII later touched upon her character further, such as the film Advent Children in which she attempts to convince Cloud to let go of his self-imposed guilt and move on with his life after Sephiroth’s defeat.
Named the pin-up girl of the “cyber generation” by The New York Times, Tifa has been compared to Lara Croft as an example of a strong, independent and attractive female character in video games. Sources such as IGN and UGO.com have repeatedly praised both the character’s strength and appearance and described her as one of the best female characters in gaming, while Play named her the “most adored” of the Final Fantasy series’ female characters. In 2007, Dengeki PlayStation named her the eighth best fictional character all time to appear in games for the Sony PlayStation.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tifa_Lockhart
The feverish fight to rescue the town from complete annihilation makes reluctant allies of everyone – Tian and Drei, Anna and her special task force, the religious chick, and, worst of all, Nagi, the thief. And, surrounded by Zombies and with little hope of making it out of the city alive, the lot of them sallies forth into the hordes of walking dead to face death… or worse.
From writer Creative Hon with art from Yong-Wan Kwon, volume 5 of the Last Fantasy Korean manhwa brings to a close the short fantasy/comedy adventures of the low-level magic user who can pretty much only throw fireballs Tian, and the strong as an ox, but dumb as one too warrior Drei von Richenstein, the two unlikely heroes (who are almost always broke) with a knack of turning allies into foes.
Plunging our main characters directly into battle against the hungry horde of zombies right from page one, the action is relentless until the final and satisfying closing scenes, which bring about the end of the main storyline around two thirds into the book – leaving the rest of the volume to be padded out with some extra stories set in the world Creative Hon has created from the inspiration that is Final Fantasy, generating enough story threads towards the end so that should they ever be called upon to one day craft some more Last Fantasy books, they’ll at least have something to carry on from!
Although the book maintains it’s slapstick comedic value from the previous issues, it definitely is a lot less silly in tone thanks to the loads of action and anguish that drives the lion’s share of the story along. There is a lot of drama to be had, and as a whole, this is a really gripping finale to an enjoyable fantasy romp, one that doesn’t seem to have a problem mixing up as many genres as possible and to be frank, getting away with it.
On the artistic side of things, I have to say I really enjoyed Yong-Wan Kwon’s illustrations, with him coming up with some beautifully detailed and full panels, dripping with loads of line work, and with a knack of correctly capturing the mood of the panel based on what is happening in the text. His facial expressions all work, and he manages to capture all the dark and gritty action sequences just perfectly.
In other words, other than his sometimes tiny waists that he puts on his characters, very little to complain about!
In summary, volume 5 brings with it a great end to an enjoyable little comedy fantasy romp, featuring great art and not so bad writing. It’s a pity that the main action is over two thirds into the book, but I guess it could have been worse – they could have just left it unpadded and thus leave you with a much lower page count in your hands!
So worth a read if you are looking for a break from Japanese manga and American superhero comic books, and are in particular a fan of sword and sorcery based fantasy, mixed with a splash of comedy of course.
Related Link: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=5955
Let’s head back to gaming for this week’s Cosplay Sundae trip, looking up one of the perennial favourites in the gaming world, the legendary Final Fantasy series. Today’s cosplay on display takes a shot at one of the characters with the most mixed fan reception that Square Enix has ever had to deal with: Final Fantasy X and X-2’s Rikku!
15 year-old Rikku is a young and impetuous Al Bhed who first befriends and aids Tidus as he arrives on Spira before moving on and joining Yuna’s entourage of guardians. She speaks both English and Al Bhed and as a character class in the game, Rikku falls somewhere between that of a thief and a chemist. She comes across as a bit childish at times, but she is often the shining light of the group, always being cheerful and coming across as eternally positive.
Rikku was designed by Tetsuya Nomura and voiced by Tara Strong and Marika Matsumoto in the English and Japanese versions respectively. Of course, none of that is particularly important for this post as it is none other than an America cosplayer going by the handle of missfawn that brings Rikku to life in this particular photo shoot. Note the great costume detail and as a whole, this is one Rikku that has been done pretty right! :)
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rikku
Surely one of the cutest game narrators you have ever encountered in a game, today’s Cosplay Sundae entry takes a peek at the FFXIII girl that everyone seems love, Vanille!
Final Fantasy XIII is of course the thirteenth installment of the hugely popular Final Fantasy games series, and as was expected, it was pretty much a runaway hit. The game (as have almost all its predecessors) introduced some great new characters for the fan’s to play around with and today it is the turn of Oerba Dia Vanille.
Vanille if you’ve played the game, is a mysterious but upbeat young girl who wears her red-brown hair in pigtails for some or other reason. Coming from the Oerba Village situated on Gran Pulse, Vanille was among those who were exiled from Cocoon and who was subsequently rescued by Team Nora. Stubborn but with a loveable childlike innocence, Vanille is also extremely compassionate.
Her weapon of choice is a foldable fishing rod with multiple lines that can be reeled and used to attack enemies with. Needless to say, that is also exactly why she rather prefers to keep a safe distance and attack from afar with magic based strikes instead!
Her Eidolon is Hecatoncheir which is a multiple-limbed Earth Elemental summon, who has the ability to transform into a pilotable bipedal mech armed with machine guns.
I don’t recognise our Japanese cutie who goes by the handle of Kotori and who has taken it upon herself to cosplay Vanille in this particular shoot, but as you can see there has been a fair bit of effort put into getting the costume and the detail right, as well as just pulling off the character herself.
A great job and excellent example of cosplay done right, wouldn’t you say? :)
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_fantasy_xiii#Characters
Probably the most important protagonist to step out of the Final Fantasy game world since Cloud, today Cosplay Sundae gives you: Lightning (without the thunder of course)!
Final Fantasy XIII is of course the thirteenth installment of the hugely popular Final Fantasy games series, and as was expected, it was pretty much a runaway hit. The game (as have almost all its predecessors) introduced some great new characters for the fan’s to play around with and today it is the turn of Lightning, formerly known as Eclaire (or Claire if you’ve got the American release) Farron.
In an attempt to emotionally reinforce herself and step away from her tragedy after the death of her parents, Lightning cast aside her birth name and went on to become a sergeant of the Guardian Corps. Originally seeking out the Pulse fal’Cie Anima in order to try and save her sister Serah whom the fal’Cie had turned into a l’Cie, things became a little more complicated when the fal’Cie went ahead and transformed Lightning into a l’Cie herself, with the power to summon the Eidolon Odin!
A very independent and determined woman, Lightning does sometimes give off a hint of a compassionate side, though it is difficult to see through the smoke given off by her awesome gunblade known as Blaze Edge – basically the combination of a gun and a sword, the one collapsing over the other, and the gravity control she’s gifted by the device worn on her thumb.
Agile and acrobatic in combat, Lightning is certainly not an opponent you would wish to come face to face with!
The star of today’s Cosplay Sundae entry is a cosplayer going by the name of Yuzu Inumachi and as you can see, this Japanese girl has gone and got it right, pulling off a great looking costume complete with gunblade and the attitude to match!
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_(Final_Fantasy)
Okay fine, it’s a girl masquerading around like a boy for today’s Cosplay Sundae, but she pulls off the role so well that you really wouldn’t care, now would you?
Final Fantasy XIII is of course the thirteenth installment of the hugely popular Final Fantasy games series, and as was expected, it was pretty much a runaway hit. The game (as have almost all its predecessors) introduced some great new characters for the fan’s to play around with and today it is the turn of Hope Estheim.
Hope is a fourteen-year-old boy with a penchant for using collapsible boomerangs in battle. His mother was killed during the Purge in the battle against PSICOM and as a result this young boy harbors an intense grief-induced rage. Of course, this isn’t all that great a thing when you take into account that his Eidolon is the holy-elemental summon Alexander – a huge transforming fortress in Gestalt Mode that is able to blast anyone and anything from afar with its multiple cannons!
Sakazaki Yuuko is her name and this Japanese cosplay lady has put together a great costume here that captures the detail and fairly Western look of the character pretty damn well. There isn’t really all that much else to say, other than great job boy – or should that be girl? ;)
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_fantasy_xiii#Characters