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Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV

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Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV
Brotherhood key visual.png
Key visual featuring the four main characters in the bottom right corner. From bottom right going clockwise: Gladiolus, Prompto, Noctis, and Ignis.
ブラザーフッド ファイナルファンタジーXV
(Burazāfuddo: Fainaru Fantajī Fifutīn)
Original net animation
Directed by Soichi Masui
Produced by Kazuki Adachi
Akio Ofuji (Square Enix)
Written by
  • Akio Ofuji
  • Yuniko Ayana
Music by
  • Yasuhisa Inoue
  • Susumi Akizuki
Studio A-1 Pictures
Released March 30, 2016 September 17, 2016
Runtime 10 to 15 minutes
Episodes 5 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV (Japanese: ブラザーフッド ファイナルファンタジーXV, Hepburn: Burazāfuddo: Fainaru Fantajī Fifutīn) is an original net animation series directed by Soichi Masui, produced by Akio Ofuji, written by Yuniko Ayana, and composed for by Yasuhisa Inoue and Susumi Akizuki. Co-produced by Square Enix and A-1 Pictures, it is based on the setting and story of the 2016 video game Final Fantasy XV, which is thematically connected to the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries. Brotherhood is set within the events of Final Fantasy XV, and details the backstories of main protagonist Noctis Lucis Caelum and those closest to him.

Brotherhood was made as part of a planned multimedia expansion of Final Fantasy XV without the need to develop a series of games. The series was conceived by Ofuji in 2014, based on his wish to expand upon an in-game reference to the difficult childhood of one of the characters. The story focuses on themes of brotherhood and friendship, and was designed to give players glimpses into the personal lives and personalities of the characters that would not have fitted within the game.

The series ran from March 30 to September 17, 2016. Streaming free online through YouTube and Crunchyroll, the series was bundled with different editions of Final Fantasy XV, alongside fellow spin-off title Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. The Ultimate Collector's Edition of the game included additional scenes focusing on the character Lunafreya Nox Fleuret. The episodes were among the most popular videos on the game's official YouTube channel, and opinions on the anime have been generally positive.

Synopsis

Brotherhood is set on the Earth-like world of Eos, occurring within the events of Final Fantasy XV. The kingdom of Lucis, keeper of the world's last surviving magical crystal, has been at war with the technologically-advanced empire of Niflheim, the latter dominating much of the known world. After many years of war, a peace is agreed between Lucis and Niflheim. As part of the peace agreements, Noctis Lucis Caelum—son of the reigning King Regis and heir to the Lucian throne—is to marry Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, former princess of Tenebrae and now hostage of Niflheim. Noctis sets off to marry Lunafreya in the company of his loyal companions and friends: Gladiolus Amicitia, Prompto Argentum, and Ignis Scientia. On their journey, Niflheim betrays and invades Lucis, stealing the crystal and killing Regis, leaving Noctis to go on a quest to reclaim his throne and defeat Niflheim.[1][2][3][4]

Production

Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV forms part of the "Final Fantasy XV Universe", a multimedia project based around the 2016 video game Final Fantasy XV that also includes the theatrical CGI film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV: the story of XV was large enough to have covered several games, but as the team did not want to create any additional games, they decided to create additional media.[5][6] While similar in style to the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII project, the media associated with Final Fantasy XV came before the game's release rather than after it, acting as insight into the world and characters.[7] XV and its associated media likewise hold a thematic connection to Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy, a compilation of games and associated media sharing a common mythos while boasting unconnected stories and settings. While distanced from the brand for marketing purposes, the world of XV still uses its mythos and design elements.[2][8][9][10][11] Brotherhood was designed so it would not be necessary for people to watch for understanding of the main game.[12] Following the release of the game, director Hajime Tabata described Brotherhood and Kingsglaive as granting a better view of the game's world, adding that those who only played the game might notice the missing context.[13]

Brotherhood was co-produced by Square Enix, the game's developers, and anime studio A-1 Pictures. Square Enix staff ensured that the staff of A-1 Pictures stayed true to the game.[14] A-1 Pictures had previously worked with Square Enix on "On the Way to a Smile", a short animated film included with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete Edition, and both had frequently voiced willingness to work together again.[15] It was directed by Soichi Masui, written by Yuniko Ayana, and had music written by Yasuhisa Inoue and Susumi Akizuki.[14] The series originated due to producer Akio Ofuji, who was also the marketing producer for the Final Fantasy series. Ofuji's favorite character from the game was Prompto, and the anime grew from the wish to expand upon a reference in the game to the character's difficult childhood.[16][5] The concept was first proposed in 2014, a year and a half before its reveal. Its format as an anime series was based both on staff suggestions and the fact that Kingsglaive was already in production as a CGI feature.[17] Episodes were produced fairly quickly, being created and released at monthly intervals.[14] As they were released, the creators took fan feedback into account when creating future episodes.[18] The nature of Brotherhood as a free anime caused problems when it came to funding the project: this had been decided upon to get the anime to the widest audience possible. Ultimately, the budget was split between the total production costs of Final Fantasy XV and projected physical sales after the anime's release.[15]

Ofuji was responsible for creating the basic scenario from which Brotherhood's main writers would work: working from the character sheets created by the writers of Final Fantasy XV, he created the entire scenario based on each character's background characteristics, such as Ignis' love of baking and Prompto's childhood obesity.[15] The anime focuses on themes of brotherhood and friendship, and includes interpersonal scenes that could not be included in the game.[7] Its storyline details the backstory of Noctis from his childhood to the game's opening, along with the backstories of his companions. The first and last episodes tie directly into the events of Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV, a free tech demo showing Noctis' journey through a dreamworld during a near-death experience.[5][19][20] The anime also serves as an introduction for potential players to the characters. In previous Final Fantasy games, the player party was built up gradually over the course of the game. In Final Fantasy XV, the complete party is available from the start, and since the backstory moments could not be fitted into the game, the anime serves as a similar means of allowing players to sympathize with them.[21] Each episode's events also helped detail some of the characters' different social classes, with the cited example being the contrast between Prompto's small house and hard-working parents when compared to Gladiolus' more luxurious life.[22]

Release

Brotherhood was first announced on March 30, 2016 at "Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV", a media event dedicated to the game; the first episode aired immediately following the event. Each episode was released online for free through the game's official YouTube channel and concluded with the fifth episode on September 17, 2016.[23][24][25] They were also streamed through online service Crunchyroll.[26] Each episode is approximately ten to fifteen minutes long.[21][22] This format was chosen over the standard 23-minute format as it would tell the desired stories without the viewers getting bored.[22] All episodes of Brotherhood were included as part of the Ultimate Collector's Edition of Final Fantasy XV on a Blu-ray disc.[24] The series was also included in the "Final Fantasy XV Film Collection", a box set which includes Final Fantasy XV and Kingsglaive.[27] Bonus scenes focusing on Lunafreya were included exclusively as part of the Ultimate Collector's Edition.[16][14] The series was edited together into a 30-minute episode and broadcast on Japan's Tokyo MX network on September 30, 2016.[28] The five episodes were also broadcast on Niconico during a launch event livestream on November 28, the day before the worldwide launch of Final Fantasy XV.[29] The planned run only extended to five episodes, but Ofuji stated that depending on public reception to the series, further episodes could be produced.[16]

Episodes

No. Title Original release date
1 "Before the Storm" March 30, 2016 (2016-03-30)[30]
Noctis has set out on his journey to meet Lunafreya, during which he hears about the attack on Lucis' capital, Insomnia, and must fight off attacks from Niflheim magitek troops. He also remembers the Daemon attack in his childhood which left him seriously wounded: at the end of the episode, he encounters the Daemon again as part of a Niflheim attack force.[30]
2 "Dogged Runner" June 14, 2016 (2016-06-14)[31]
Prompto's backstory is revealed as he is tending to a wounded wild puppy found on the road. Initially an introverted and obese student at Noctis' school, his chance encounter and care for one of Lunafreya's puppies results in him being asked by her to be Noctis' friend. By the time the two were attending high school, Prompto had slimmed down and gained new confidence, though Noctis still recognized him from their first meeting and accepted him as a friend.[31]
3 "Sword and Shield" July 7, 2016 (2016-07-07)[32]
Gladiolus's origins with Noctis are shown within the frame of a monster encounter that turns into a friendly contest between Noctis and Gladiolus. Initially seeing Noctis as a spoiled and self-centered child, his opinion is changed drastically when Noctis helps keep Gladiolus' sister Iris out of trouble by taking the blame for going outside the Citadel grounds with her. Gladiolus and Noctis formed a close bond, which became a firm friendship by the events of XV.[32]
4 "Bittersweet Memories" August 17, 2016 (2016-08-17)[33]
The origins of Ignis' relationship with Noctis is revealed when the group stays in the town of Lestallum, and Ignis attempts to recreate a favorite dessert of Noctis'. As he begins to feel the effects of maintaining Lucis' magical Wall, Regis entrusts Ignis with caring for Noctis. While initially carefree, Noctis becomes disturbed when he sees how far Regis has declined, and has an argument with Ignis when confronted with his future as king. Eventually facing his position, Noctis and Ignis reconcile.[33]
5 "The Warmth of Light" September 17, 2016 (2016-09-17)[25]
The episode picks up where "Before the Storm" left off, with Noctis charging at the Daemon that almost killed him. He charges at it alone, and after a fierce battle is beaten back—during the fight, he remembers everything about the first attack, including how his father only managed to drive it away. Noctis finds new resolve in these memories, and kills the Daemon with help from his companions, which causes him great emotion. The four then resume their road trip to Altissia.[25]

Reception

The initial reaction to the series was better than the developers had initially expected, with the first episode getting more views than anticipated upon release.[18] As of November 2016, the anime episodes were among the most viewed on the game's official YouTube channel. "Before the Storm" was the most watched video on the channel, with over 2,330,000 views. "Dogged Runner" was fifth with over 614,000; while "Sword and Shield" and "Bittersweet Memories" were at #13 and #14 with over 431,790 and 344,000 views respectively. The final episode had the lowest viewing figures, with just over 110,000. Versions of episodes on the channel featuring multi-lingual subtitles also had view counts above 100,000.[34]

In her review of the anime's first episode, Meghan Sullivan of IGN praised the visuals and fight choreography, but felt that the story would be confusing to those not already familiar with the game. She finished by calling the episode "a solid start to what will hopefully be a memorable anime".[35] Michelle Nguyen of Geek.com, writing following the release of "Sword and Shield", was generally positive about the anime, praising its characters despite her dislike for the lack of playable female characters in the game itself. Speaking about each episode, she found the first episode to be rather weak, and ranked "Dogged Runner" high for changing Prompto into a more complex character.[36] Andrew Webster, writing for The Verge, said that the anime captured the game's mixture of humor and traditional role-playing story tropes, sharing Nguyen's praise for "Dogged Runner", and saying that the anime made him more eager to play the game itself.[37]

Destructoid's Chris Carter, in an article on the release of the final episode, said he enjoyed the anime overall, although he found the final episode lax on story when compared to the rest of the series due to its focus on action. He stated that he "bought into" the relationships between Noctis and the other characters.[38] In an article summarizing Final Fantasy XV and its associated media, GamesRadar called the episodes "surprisingly well-written" and "well worth watching", noting its focus on personal stories compared to the grander narrative of Kingsglaive.[39] In a similar article, Kotaku UK's Kim Snaith said that the anime "perfectly [sets] the scene for where Final Fantasy XV picks up".[40]

References

  1. ^ "Final Fantasy XV - What is Final Fantasy XV?". Final Fantasy XV Website. Archived from the original on April 3, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Juba, Joe (May 2016). "Final Fantasy XV - The Clearing Storm". Game Informer. GameStop (277): 38–64.
  3. ^ "『ファイナルファンタジーXV』野村哲也氏インタビュー完全版&画面写真も一挙公開". Famitsu. June 24, 2013. Archived from the original on February 13, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  4. ^ Romano, Sal (August 5, 2015). "Final Fantasy XV at Gamescom 2015: early story detailed, Malboro battle footage". Gematsu. Archived from the original on August 6, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Corriae, Alexa Ray (March 31, 2016). "15 New Things We Learned from Final Fantasy 15's Director". GameSpot. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  6. ^ 『FFXV』の期待値を最大限に高めるプロジェクト"FINAL FANTASY XV UNIVERSE"――"UNCOVERED FINAL FANTASY XV"詳細リポ (in Japanese). Famitsu. April 1, 2016. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  7. ^ a b UNCOVERED: FINAL FANTASY XV後の田畑氏・野末氏・大藤氏を直撃! (in Japanese). Famitsu. April 5, 2016. Archived from the original on June 17, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  8. ^ "Gamescom 2015: Hajime Tabata Interview (English)". Finaland. August 11, 2015. Archived from the original on August 11, 2015. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  9. ^ 『ファイナルファンタジーXV』発売時期を示唆、『Just Cause 3』との技術協力も決定【gamescom 2015】 (in Japanese). Famitsu. August 7, 2015. Archived from the original on August 7, 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2015. Quote:
    ――ではもうひとつ。神話や神についての設定は、『FFヴェルサスXIII』から『FFXV』への移行により変更があるのでしょうか。
    田畑: 『FFXV』にする段階で、そこまでに固まっていた設定については、神話とは強く絡めず『FFXV』の設定として取り込んでいます。ファブラの神話として出てくるものではありませんが、ベースとして活きています。
  10. ^ Corriae, Alexa Ray (August 29, 2015). "16 More Things We Learned About Final Fantasy 15". GameSpot. Archived from the original on August 30, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  11. ^ "30 Minutos Con Hajime Tabata" [30 Minutes with Hajime Tabata] (in Spanish). La Capital Ovidada. October 13, 2016. Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  12. ^ Sato (April 21, 2016). "Final Fantasy XV Tidbits From The April Active Time Report". Siliconera. Archived from the original on April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  13. ^ Smith, Mat (August 26, 2017). "The director of 'Final Fantasy XV' isn't finished yet". Engadget. Archived from the original on August 26, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  14. ^ a b c d "Les dessous d'une compilation : Brotherhood, Kingsglaive..." [The following is a compilation: Brotherhood, Kingsglaive...] (in French). Final Fantasy Dream. April 4, 2016. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  15. ^ a b c Corriae, Alexa Ray (September 13, 2016). "The Story Behind Brotherhood, the Final Fantasy XV Anime". GameSpot. Archived from the original on September 14, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  16. ^ a b c "Kingsglaive, Brotherhood : détails à Japan Expo" [Kingsglaive, Brotherhood: details at Japan Expo] (in French). FFRing. July 8, 2016. Archived from the original on July 8, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  17. ^ "Interview : l'univers de FFXV selon Akio Ôfuji et Takeshi Nozue" (in French). Final Fantasy Dream. July 28, 2016. Archived from the original on July 28, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Hironobu Sakaguchi and Hajime Tabata Discuss Their Passion for the Series and Behind-the-Scenes Episodes from the Final Fantasy XV Reveal Event". Famitsu. May 13, 2016. Archived from the original on June 11, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  19. ^ Lada, Jenni (March 30, 2016). "Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV Follows Noctis From Childhood To Adulthood". Siliconera. Archived from the original on 2016-03-31. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  20. ^ Lada, Jenni (March 30, 2016). "Final Fantasy XV Platinum Demo Follows Young Noctis In His Dreams". Siliconera. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  21. ^ a b 『FFXV』のプロジェクトについて田畑端氏と野末武志氏を直撃! 「もう一度、『FF』が勝つ姿を見せたい」【ダイジェスト版】 (in Japanese). Famitsu. March 31, 2016. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  22. ^ a b c "JE2016 : Interview Akio Ôfuji FFXV". Finaland. August 2, 2016. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  23. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (March 30, 2016). "Final Fantasy 15 'Brotherhood' Anime Series Announced". IGN. Archived from the original on April 12, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  24. ^ a b Romano, Sal (March 30, 2016). "Final Fantasy XV release date, Platinum Demo, anime, CG movie, and more officially announced". Gematsu. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  25. ^ a b c Square Enix, A-1 Pictures (September 17, 2016). Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV - Episode 5: "The Warmth of Light" (Video) (in Japanese). Crunchyroll.
  26. ^ Luster, Joseph (March 31, 2016). "Crunchyroll Streams "Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV" Anime". Crunchyroll. Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  27. ^ Products / Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (in Japanese). Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV website. Archived from the original on July 15, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  28. ^ 『キングスナイト』が『FFXV』に! 『ブラザーフッド FFXV』テレビ放映やコラボカフェなど関連情報が大量発表【TGS 2016】 (in Japanese). Famitsu. September 18, 2016. Archived from the original on September 19, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  29. ^ Romano, Sal (November 14, 2016). "Final Fantasy XV pre-launch live stream set for November 28". Gematsu. Archived from the original on November 17, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  30. ^ a b Square Enix, A-1 Pictures (March 30, 2016). Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV - Episode 1: "Before The Storm" (Video) (in Japanese). YouTube.
  31. ^ a b Square Enix, A-1 Pictures (June 14, 2016). Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV – Episode 2: "Dogged Runner" (Video) (in Japanese). YouTube.
  32. ^ a b Square Enix, A-1 Pictures (July 7, 2016). Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV - Episode 3: "Sword and Shield" (Video) (in Japanese). YouTube.
  33. ^ a b Square Enix, A-1 Pictures (August 17, 2016). Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV - Episode 4: "Bittersweet Memories" (Video) (in Japanese). YouTube.
  34. ^ "Final Fantasy XV Youtube Videos - Most Popular". YouTube. Archived from the original on November 17, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  35. ^ Sullivan, Meghan (April 1, 2016). "Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV Episode 1 - "Before the Storm" Review". IGN. Archived from the original on June 3, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  36. ^ Nguyen, Michelle (August 7, 2016). "Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV: The bro-iest bro-ship to ever be bro-nimated". Geek.com. Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  37. ^ Webster, Andrew (August 21, 2016). "You should really be watching the weird and wonderful Final Fantasy XV anime". The Verge. Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  38. ^ Carter, Chris (September 19, 2016). "Watch the final free episode of Final Fantasy XV: Brotherhood here". Destructoid. Archived from the original on September 19, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  39. ^ "Final Fantasy 15: Release date, VR DLC, collector's editions, and everything you need to know". GamesRadar. 2016. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  40. ^ Snaith, Kim (November 17, 2016). "Get Yourself in the Mood for Final Fantasy XV". Kotaku UK. Archived from the original on November 17, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.

External links

  • Official website (Japanese)
  • Behind the Voice Actors
  • Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
  • Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV on IMDb

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