I'd have to say I was disappointed when I first saw the first episodes of Unlimited. It was named Final Fantasy, but very little linked it to the incredible video game series of the same name. The story seemed immature and generic and not interwoven with many character driven side stories; only the Final Fantasy mascots appeared (Chocobo, for one); and the music didn't reflect the classical style that went with the games. So, needless to say, I didn't bother buying anymore of the DVDs in the series.
Then the box set came out, and I admitted to myself that I was at least curious about how this series would end, plus I had learned that Gonzo made Unlimited, and Gonzo has yet to fail me in any of my anime endeavors. I bought it, and I watched the first episodes again. I cringed, because suddenly I felt the same way and even found a few more things I disliked about it. But I didn't stop, and continued to watch, and found that, slowly, this series evolved. It became emotionally driven, with a lot of elements that made Final Fantasy great. There were mascots galore (the stated chocobo, cactuar, moogles, summons, and Cid). Some of the music heard can be heard in previous games (the opening song--not the title song--and the battle victory).
Still, it wasn't as Final Fantasy as its namesake, but I found that in watching the anime the entire way through that that was okay. Though it isn't a good chapter in Final Fantasy, it's a great stand-alone anime nonetheless. It has great animation, a strange style that seems both classical and cutting edge (Astroboy with CG). The story deepens as the two main characters search for their parents, and other story lines reveal themselves as well, such as Kaze's story, the main character in charge of a powerful gun capable of summoning creatures into battle, and Lisa, a martial artist with the power to control elements. The antagonists also turn into something more than they had been in the beginning. A deeper, more sinister foe appears later, one that adds a sense of dread to the story that wasn't there previously. All in all, it adds up to one decent anime. And the value itself can't be beaten. Twenty-five episodes of anime for less than fifty-bucks.
It's difficult, however, to recommend this anime. I'd only recommend this to Final Fantasy fans who don't take the game too serious. If you do, you'll be disappointed with this anime. I'd also recommend it for anyone who enjoys experimentation in their animation. If you enjoyed Kid's Story in the Animatrix, you'll enjoy this.