Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV is a must see mini-series to everyone interested in the upcoming Japanese role-playing game.
As a way to promote and provide some context about the world, events and characters from Final Fantasy XV, Square Enix ordered a multimedia expansion. The result of this experiment is a CGI film known as Kingsglaive and an ONA (original net animation) titled Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV. Brotherhood which is presented in the form of a five-episode anime that anyone can watch for free on YouTube and Crunchyroll. Luckily, this mini-series represents a massive improvement over Kingsglaive and tells a compelling story that’s fun to watch.
Brotherhood follows the four protagonists as they travel around a fictionalized version of the United States, but it pays more attention to past events that are introduced in the form of flashbacks. The road trip reeks of Americana and that’s what makes the upcoming JRPG so intriguing to many. After all, the franchise has seldom been rooted in reality and this represents a massive change in tone. Each episodes focuses on a specific character, tells their backstories and explains how they became a part of the group. Thematically, this miniseries revolves around friendship and, as its name suggests, brotherhood and was clearly designed to provide some context about the characters’ personal lives and defining moments.
But even if Brotherhood introduces many elements and concepts from the games, it doesn’t spend that much time dissecting the present lives of these characters. I understand that you wouldn’t want to reveal too much about the story, since the game’s not out yet, but I feel like even after watching these five episodes I know nothing about the world of Final Fantasy XV and the motivations for these protagonists to fight.
Even if this is a free series you can watch on YouTube, you can tell that no expenses were spared on its audiovisual aspect. The music is also amazing and the soundtrack was heavily influenced by Americana. There’s blues, jazz and country-inspired songs, as well as some orchestral pieces the franchise is famous for that fit with the rest of the game quite well.
In a way, Brotherhood is a like a long, glorified trailer that happens to be in anime form. It will make some people excited about the upcoming game, but even after watching these five episodes I don’t feel like I know that much about the game. It’s miles ahead of Kingsglaive, but I don’t see anyone other than Final Fantasy fans excited to watch Brotherhood. That said, the decision of uploading the Japanese version with English subtitles should be applauded, since most of the people interested in watching Brotherhood probably want the more “genuine” version.
In the end, Brotherhood is a must see mini-series to everyone interested in the upcoming Japanese role-playing game. Although it’s too early to tell, watching it won’t change the experience you have with the game, but if you can’t wait to know more about the characters, their relationships and the events that shaped them, Brotherhood provides that and much more.