Note: this is a spoiler-free examination of Final Fantasy: Dad of Light, that is accessible to tide on Netflix. I’ll plead simple tract and impression sum yet equivocate removing into spoiler territory. Sound off in a comments to let us know what we suspicion of a show’s tract twists.
No, Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light is not a latest enlargement to Square-Enix’s long-running MMORPG. It’s not even a diversion during all, yet rather a company’s latest try during expanding a Final Fantasy authorization into other media. With that in mind, FF fans should know what they’re removing into with this Netflix Original Series. Dad of Light is reduction epic journey with a predestine of a star during interest and some-more trusting dramedy about a father and son fastening over their common venerate of Final Fantasy.
Basically, Dad of Light is partial live-action, Japanese-language soap uncover and partial machinima regulating a Final Fantasy XIV engine to account a digital adventures of father and son. The suspicion being that protagonist Aiko Inaba (Yudai Chiba) sees a event to finally bond with his emotionally apart and newly late father, Hirotaro (Ren Osugi), regulating FFXIV as a conduit. But rather than go a logical, candid track by sitting down with Hirotaro and explaining a details and outs of online gaming, Aiko’s devise involves clandestinely befriending his father in-game and anticipating that their online loyalty will one day enhance into a genuine world. As Aiko willingly reiterates during a commencement of each episode:
“Dad of Light Project! This is my devise to entice my father into a Final Fantasy XIV world, a place we adore, and go one fantastic adventures with him while concealing my loyal identity. It’s my approach of display my father that we caring for him!”
It’s a needlessly difficult plan, yet this is a soap opera, after all. The genuine purpose of Dad of Light is to applaud a bequest of a authorization and a ability of online games to emanate holds of loyalty that couldn’t exist otherwise. The show’s heart is in a right place, during least.
My initial suspicion after training about this show’s existence is that Dad of Light seems some-more like a grounds of a five-minute-long, feel-good announcement for a diversion than provender for an eight-episode TV series. And honestly, that notice hasn’t unequivocally altered after indeed examination a show. Dad of Light’s many vivid smirch is that it doesn’t need to be as prolonged as it is. Even with a additional story embellishments, such as a poser behind Hirotaro’s remarkable retirement or a concentration on Aiko’s possess work-related struggles, Dad of Light never justifies a using time. To make matters worse, a array effectively ends after a seventh episode. The eighth part is zero some-more than a purposeless summation of a array (one noted by some truly repulsive narration), followed by an addition method focused on dual before teenager characters. Do yourself a preference and fast-forward by a initial 10 mins or so.
Another problem with this format is that a Final Fantasy XIV engine isn’t utterly worldly adequate to be chronicling a delayed fastening routine between Aiko’s avatar, Maidy, and Hirotaro’s amusingly named Indy Jones. The machinima scenes do mangle adult a relations routine of a clean, plain live-action scenes. However, frequency does a gameplay footage behind adult a visit discussions about a beauty and allure of a digital area of Eorzea. Aiko and other characters mostly indicate out how they’d rather live in Eorzea than a genuine world, yet too mostly a diversion footage feels vapid and nonessential rather than unconditional and grand. As an announcement for Final Fantasy XIV, Dad of Light isn’t always as successful as it seems to consider it is.
Despite all that, there’s something infrequently desirable about a story of Aiko and Hirotaro. Despite a really low-stakes inlet of a conflict, it’s tough not to be held adult in Aiko’s devise to finally bond with his father. As needlessly difficult as that devise is, a enterprise is really identifiable. And a grounds works improved in a Japanese environment than it substantially would in an English-language series. Japan’s some-more rigidly formal, work-driven enlightenment lends some-more faith to a suspicion that a immature male would have no other opening yet video games to bond with his workaholic father.
It helps that a dual leads give a array a certain grade of romantic weight and authenticity. As nonsensical as a uncover is during times, a characters themselves tend to feel genuine. Occasional flashbacks to Aiko’s childhood assistance lend additional wight to a father/son relationship. Osugi, in particular, delivers a strong, cool opening notwithstanding a mostly candid material. He shows a knack for veering between comedy and play during a dump of a shawl and paints a clever mural of Hirotaro as a male cut off from a star and in hunt of a new purpose. Mako Ishino also shines as a devoted, soap opera-addicted mama of a Inaba household, yet she’s never given adequate to do in these 8 episodes.
Dad of Light maintains a correct change between comedy and melodrama throughout. The array seems self-aware adequate not to get too critical with a family play or a solemnly maturation poser of Hirotaro’s retirement. Occasionally, a array even veers into full-on raunchy comedy mode, including one noted stage with Hirotaro walking in on his son during a really inappropriate time. If anything, we wish those slapstick moments came along some-more frequently to piquancy adult a series’ differently family-friendly clarity of humor.
Aiko’s uneasy veteran life is another area we wish a array had focused on a bit more. His ongoing veteran struggles tend to counterpart his father’s retirement woes in dramatically available ways, mostly centering around a doctrine that it’s critical to never give adult in a face of adversity. That storyline feels strangely unprepared in a end. Neither Aiko’s delayed stand adult a corporate ladder nor his budding attribute with a co-worker is resolved in a end. Instead, father and son’s climactic showdown with FFXIV trainer Twintania takes dominance over all else in part 7.
It’s adequate to consternation if a writers were withdrawal room for a second season. Ideally not. As desirable as Dad of Light can be, it was already pulling a fitness during 8 episodes. There’s not adequate beef to this story to clear even more.
At a finish of a day, Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light plays like a extensively blurb for a diversion as most as it does an aspiring soap uncover about a father and son reconnecting. But a latter component is rubbed good adequate to mostly equivalent a former. As prolonged as you’re not awaiting a grand, desirous prolongation of a Final Fantasy XIV universe, Dad of Light is only desirable adequate to aver a binge.