As a means to promote its most anticipated video game title of the year, Square Enix has teamed up with A-1 Pictures to create a five-part animated series giving a little bit of background on the characters of Final Fantasy XV. Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV brings the gameplay elements of Final Fantasy XV to the anime, including all of the good times between the friends, some beautiful environments, and of course, the battles. For the most part, Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV succeeds at all it sets out to do, making it a must-see for Final Fantasy fans.
Following a rather dark introduction taking a peek at the past, the show sets its focus on the main party of the franchise as they travel with Noctis, the series’ protagonist. The first episode takes the band of buddies to a small diner, a night of camping, and an encounter with some robotic enemies. The quieter moments are full of humor and do a wonderful job at showing just how close the party is. The dialogue is easily one of the highlights of the episode. Even though Noctis is mostly quiet, the anime adds a few layers to the character through his actions. A certain scene with him being picky over his food is funny and shows a light-hearted side to the young prince. Of course, Prompto is off doing his own silly thing too, establishing himself as the clown of the group. Those who are unfamiliar with the characters will learn a bit about each one, but probably won’t fall in love with anyone right away, as the show assumes that its viewers have some previous knowledge of the franchise.
The action sequence at the end of the episode looks exactly how the game is played. Noctis’ signature warp attacks shine here, as well as his juggling of multiple weapons. The party works together in a variety of ways, with each member clearly playing their own role in battle. The fist bumps throughout the fight are fun to watch, and reinforce the friendships. Overall the essence of the gameplay is captured perfectly in the first episode.
The animation is possibly the shows weakest point, with a few choppy movements here and there. While it isn’t as smooth as some of today’s more prominent anime, it still holds up decently. The art style is solid, with characters and environments looking great.