Here's where I gather all sorts of info about the series that didn't fit anywhere else. Note that I'm not an expert on Japanese language and culture, and I'm sure I got some things wrong, so please feel free to e-mail me about those.
FFU was, I'm sure, originally meant to have a full 26 episodes and probably more than one season as well. However, the production was cut short due to lack of interest in Japan. I believe they even squeezed the last two episodes into one (which is why episode 25 doesn't have a title sequence; there's regular action and the credits are superimposed on it). Unfortunately it leaves us with a whole bunch of unanswered questions and spaces in the story.
Apparently TV Tokyo, which produced the series, has plans to continue the story in something called "FFU: After", some sort of book. Unfortunately since I can't fully read Japanese I can't give you any details whatsoever about it. There's also plans for a FFU video game, but I'm not even sure what system it's for, let alone be able to tell you anything about it.
There are no plans to make further episodes of FFU. However, I've been told that ADV has bought the English rights to the episodes, so hold your horses till it's out. 8-) When it is, I suppose I'll have to go around changing all the names again...
Here's some notes on the names used in the series. I generally use the Soldats translation for them, but there are some interesting points that should be raised about them all.
- Cactuar: In Japan, a cactus is a "saboten", and the Cactuars in the
FF series are known as Sabotenders. In the anime they are called Catcas (Or
Catca-Baby/Catca-chan, as Herba refers to them}
- Chaos: "Konto" in Japanese. See the FF Game Relationship section
- Chocobo: In the series, both Ai and Yu make reference to a chocolate
bar called "chocobu" - in fact, Yu tries to offer one to Chobi before he actually
realizes what a chocobo is. ^^; The Name Origins
section of this site mentions a candy bar called "Chocoballs" sold in Japan.
I'm not sure if this is the same as Chocobu, but it'd be interesting if it
- Fungus: "Fu" and "Hu" are written the same way in Japanese and they're
kinda hard to tell apart; that's why early Soldats episodes had this character's
name as "Hungus". Obviously since he's a mushroom, though, Fungus would be
more appropriate, but perhaps the translators thought that was a trifle too
- Kaze: Kaze actually isn't the guy's name (neither he nor anyone else
remembers it) but the credits list him as Kaze. Everyone actually calls him
something different. Most of the deathlords call him "Kuroki Kaze" ("Black
Wind"); Yu calls him Kaze; Ai calls him "oji-san" or "mister"; Lisa calls
him "that man" (forgot the Japanese for it); and Herba calls him "Demon Gun-chan",
with -chan being a familiar honorific. Phew! Apparently Moogle knows him as
Kaze, though, which is a bit odd.
- Kigenjutsu: Literally means "Spirit Appear Skill" (so "Genesis" does
kind of make sense). The "ki" part is a vague idea identical to the "chi"
force in Feng Shui... the most general meaning is "spirit", but that's glossing
it over a bit. It's pretty obvious what's meant if you watch the episodes.
- Kuria: The Chikara translation lists this guy's name as "Clear",
but the phonetics of the name in the credits clearly favor the Soldats transliteration.
- Madoushi/Makenshi/Magan: This is interesting... a professional translator
friend of mine says that "ma" can mean either "magic", as in "mahou", or "demon",
as in "akuma". In fact, I'm rather inclined to say that in this case "ma"
does mean "magic" rather than "demon", which isn't like either Soldats nor
Chikara. That'd mean that Makenshi would be "Magical Swordsman", and the Magan
would be "Magical Gun". To digress, the Magic Swordsman/Paladin class of FF5
was called "mahoukenshi" in Japan, in this case stressing the fact that he
actually casts magic from his sword (whereas "makenshi" might stress the fact
that the sword itself is magical). Similarly, the various Mages in FF are
known as "madoushi", as in "kuromadoushi" (Black Mage), "shiroimadoushi" (White
Mage), etc. See the FF Game Relationship section below for further proof.
- Moogle: In Japanese it's "Mogri/Mogli", which is what Moogles are
called over there. See Name Origins for more info.
- Pist: Originally listed as "Fist" in Soldats, because a bit of hard-to-hear
dialogue made it sound like he was calling himself "Demon Fist" like the other
"demon" characters. But later episodes definitely showed his name to be Pist.
- Lou Lupus: I do recall one episode (not sure which translation) listing
her name as Ru "Lupis", which word comes from the Latin for "wolf". That'd
definitely make sense, but since she only says her last name twice in the
series, and I don't believe it's ever listed as such in the credits, I can't
- Yu: Also variously spelled Yuu (Chikara) and Yuh. It's literally
spelled "Yuu" in Japanese, but the extra "u" just indicates a long syllable.
Just a note about honorifics. These are the little things tacked on to the end of spoken names indicating extra information about them. Certain characters show their stations and ideas more clearly by what they call others. For example, Herba speaks about very nearly everybody by using "-chan", which is, I think, the most familiar of the honorifics and generally used for females. She only calls Earl Tyrant by "-sama", indicating deep respect or love (generally used for people older than you). Earl Tyrant generally doesn't use an honorific for anyone at all, indicating he's above everyone. Lou calls Kaze "-sama" as well (since she's head over heels for him). Finally, Oscar calls basically everyone "-sama" (he's extremely polite and genuflective) except, oddly, for Shroi Kumo, whom he calls "-dono" (a rare suffix which basically means Lord).
Also, Michael Robinson was kind enough to give us the FFU name changes for the official version:
- Cid -> Sid
- Nav -> Knave
- Fango -> Fungo
- Fabura -> Fabula
- Count -> Earl Tyrant
- Helba -> Herba
- White Cloud -> Shroi Kumo
- Pisto -> Pist
- Ru Rufus -> Lou Lupus
The story leaves all sorts of questions when we're finished with it (as said earlier, we finished before we expected to). Here's a list of them off the top of my head.
- Why has Kaze lost his memory, and what can't he remember?
- What relationship does he, Moogle, and the Demon Gun have together?
- If Earl Tyrant was behind the attack on Kaze's world, why is Kaze dead set on defeating Shroi Kumo rather than Earl Tyrant? Even if Shroi Kumo did carry out the attack, why wouldn't Kaze realize the root cause behind it? Or is he really trying to beat Earl Tyrant which is why he keeps showing up with Yu, Ai, and Lisa? But then why does he apparently not care about any of it?
- How did Kaze and Shroi Kumo and their summons end up in Tokyo twelve years ago?
- Who is Lisa working for and why is she trying to find the Hayakawas?
- Who asked for Izabel to be created by Sid? I know Oscar put it on Chobi, but apparently a woman was the one who asked for it.
- How did Sid build Elizabeth without ever seeing it?
- Who piloted Elizabeth? Again it's supposedly a woman, but we never find out who.
- If Pist couldn't shoot the Demon Gun, why could Lisa do it at the end?
And of course there's the generic stuff like why the heck all this Inner World thing exists in the first place, but we can't ask questions like that or we'd never get anywhere. 8p
Obviously there's no actual "FF world" but rather a series of interconnected ones. However, FFU definitely falls very close to that series. The Summons, for one thing (not to mention Shroi Kumo's Mist Dragon, used in FF4, and Lisa's very Leviathan-like kigenjuu). And there's Moogles, Chocobos, and Cactuars, too. Music themes include the Chocobo theme and a variation on the Victory Theme, and a truncated Prelude starts each episode.
Other more obscure references are indicated on the main FFU page, including Molbols, Pupu from FF8, and Dead Peppers from FF9. Earl Tyrant also makes a mention of Gysahl and Sylkis Greens in one of the early episodes (although I recall the reference was missed by Soldats). 8-)
Chaos may possibly have been a reference to the final boss from FF1, but that's doubtful; that boss had his name spelled phonetically "ke-i-o-su" whereas the Chaos in FFU is a Japanese word (konto).
However, the coolest reference may be completely missed by most people due to the translation of Magan as "Demon Gun" rather than "Magical Gun". In FF Tactics, you could collect special (but useless) Treasures as a result of errands. One of them was known as the "Enchanted Pistol" which shot magic bullets - and the game mentions that eventually Summons were put into it as well! The gun looks nothing like Kaze's Magan, but still... 8-)