Sometime distant into the future, a comet has crashed into earth and on it was a bunch of aliens, who suck out your soul if they touch you. There are 2 schools of thought on how to beat them: Either collect the 7 "Spirits" (Believed by scientist Aki Ross) or blow the hell out of them (as supported by some mad General). Guess which one is right...
Continuity mistake: When Aki gets cornered by phantoms in Old New York at the beginning of the film and the Deep Eyes come to rescue her, all four members of the Deep Eye Squad jump from the transport (even though one of them should be the pilot), but only three of them hit the ground. Just a few seconds later, Aki tries to escape through a gap between two buildings. The three Deep Eyes follow her. When Ryan shoots at two phantoms hitting some explosive tanks in one of the next shots, you can see four Deep Eyes again. (00:07:15)
Trivia: Something to look for: somewhere in the film, the animators placed a Chocobo (one of those ostrich-like chicken things that people ride on in some of the Final Fantasy games). It's on the top right corner of Aki's shirt, almost the same color as the shirt, when she wakes up from her 2nd dream.
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