The Uniqlo Final Fantasy 35th anniversary shirts came and went fairly quickly! The prospect of one from each mainline entry, even an unreleased one, seemed quite an attractive one. After all, the official page for them tends to only have sizes XXS through XS following their May 2022 debut. After getting one and checking it out in person, they’re essentially an affordable novelty. It’s an official means of acquiring merchandise that remembers every entry. Though due to their nature, I would recommend a little caution when making a decision.
The Uniqlo Final Fantasy 35th anniversary shirt I ended up with is the FFVII one. This is a basic black t-shirt with a design on it. It’s also one of those extra soft sorts of cotton. You know the type. They feel softer than usual, and maybe even a little thinner as well. I always like to go a size or two up when presented with one as an option, for the sake of comfort.
Each of the Uniqlo Final Fantasy 35th anniversary shirts tends to focus on certain iconic imagery from installments. This could be a logo, messaging, or character art. For the FFVII shirt, it goes with key art and images from event scenes plucked from the game. There’s Aerith from the game’s opening and in front of the airship. Cloud is in front of the Shinra building and lowering Aerith into the water. We see Tifa at Nibelheim. Sephiroth walking into the fire. The group on the highway. Sephiroth facing Jenova. The group at Cosmo Canyon. In the center is Midgar proper. The design captures everything that matters in monochromatic tones. For some scenes, this can make it a little hard to see the definition. However, it’s a good array of choices. (Though you might get some people decrying the “spoilers” for one moment.)
As for the wording, I have mixed feelings about it. I love the FFVII logo proper on the shirt. It’s a good shade of teal, and one that calls to mind the color of the lifestream in-game. However, I’m a little less smitten with the major terms scattered atop the images. Referencing “Holy,” “Jenova,” “Lifestream,” “Mako,” “Midgar,” and “Soldier” makes sense. These are critical plot points. It just detracts from the actual images I think, and in some cases the words can be a little difficult to read. This is most noticeable with “Midgar” on my shirt.
I would almost suggest getting one size larger than you normally would. The design fading shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The sizing is fairly accurate, though it might run a little small on you. Think of it as being based on traditional slim-style men’s or unisex t-shirts. If you’re unfamiliar with Uniqlo shirts and don’t have one nearby for a point of reference, I would suggest going with one size larger if you can. Definitely take advantage of the MySize Assist feature on the official website. It helps a lot.
I also advise taking care when washing one of the Uniqlo Final Fantasy 35th anniversary shirts. These are 100% cotton ones. I’ve noticed in the past that these special edition ones can shrink if you aren’t careful when washing them, as they aren’t pre-shrunk. I haven’t noticed that with the FFVII one yet. Though granted, I haven’t owned it long enough for that to be an issue. Not to mention when I did wash it, I used cold water and had it air dry.
But really, one of the selling points is the price. Let’s take for example some of Square Enix’s official t-shirts sold through its online storefront. The FFXIV Perfect Alexander shirt cost $29.99. The Uniqlo shirts in the collection are $19.90 each. They’re also available in a wider range of sizes. Using the Perfect Alexander one as an example again, it appeared in small through XXL. Each Uniqlo Final Fantasy shirt was available in XXS through XXXL at launch.
Honestly, I can’t recommend it enough. The Uniqlo FFVII shirt from the 35th anniversary collection is pretty great. The design taps into nostalgia, referencing major moments and characters. The shirt is comfortable and looks great. The price is also right. Provided someone cares for it properly, it’s a nice piece of memorabilia to have.
Select styles in the Uniqlo Final Fantasy 25th anniversary shirt series are still available. A second run of them will appear in Japan in June 2022.