Everyone seems to love Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light, and it’s not what you think

Are you interested in watching a series about Final Fantasy XIV that’s actually about watching two people play the game? You might be surprised. Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light is on Netflix right now, and it turns out the show is actually really good even if you have little to no interest in FFXIV as an actual game. Because it’s not about “how awesome is our game,” it’s about two people connecting after years apart.

The show centers around Akio and his father Hakutaro, who have a distant relationship with one another and only connected ages ago around the original Final Fantasy game. Now that Akio is older, he starts connecting with his father again through FFXIV, and also while pretending to be someone else… which sounds goofy, but it leads into an examination of how people can connect through video games despite the gaps in their lives. Which is something less than the cynical bit of cross-media synergy you might expect.

Source: Polygon
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20 Comments on "Everyone seems to love Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light, and it’s not what you think"

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Pedge Jameson

Drunk aquarium fish says to another, I am totally tanked. Hah
Or was this not the angle they going for?

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Jeff

I watched this with my daughter, I found it enjoyable, having lived in Japan for eight years I don’t have the issues that some folks have with how the players are portrayed….western and eastern views of cheesy are different.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

It leads into an examination of how people can connect through video games despite the gaps in their lives.

I am certain that I have been fine friends in MMO-land with people I probably would punch square in the mouth if I ever encountered them IRL and had any idea who they are and what they are like outside the game.

I appreciate that I am able to know and relate to people that way whom I likely never would meet or relate to in any way if I knew anything about them as actual human beings. It’s a good reminder of the truth that we all are more alike than we assume, even when we think there is nothing we could possibly find to like or identify with in another person.

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Jeff

I love the concept of people connecting over a game. Not quite sure if I can handle it or not. I have only watched the first episode but I plan to keep giving it a go. There is certainly enough there to peak my interest.

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BalsBigBrother

As I mentioned in my last wrup I laughed, cringed and even cried a little while watching this show but I did ultimately enjoy it for what it was so I count that as a success.

I liked that the people who made it had some understanding of mmos and how new folks will interact with them. The one that stood out for me was when the dad ran circles around someone who spoke with them and then ran away because he didn’t know how to reply when spoken to. I did exactly that, in FFXI no less, when I first started. I ran away because I was embarrassed that I couldn’t figure out how to speak to someone who had politely asked me something.

While they did take liberties with the mmo parts for the sake of the story it was nice to see the mmo genre being treated respectfully for the most part on a tv show for a change.

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Jeff

Yes, when they would animate the game characters talking to each other I just thought yeah this is how people that don’t play these imagine them to be like. Then the running in circle thing happened and I was amused. Personally I would of rathered of seen people with headsets in front of a computer and some shots of the game. Something more like The Guild did it. But I’m sure I’ll get over it.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

Actually, that’s how social- casuals and RPers play MMOs. I remember doing that in AC1, a bit in AC2, Horizons, being forced to do it in FF11 (“Watch me fish!” -_- ), WoW, and even Darkfall 1.

quietdwarf
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quietdwarf

The show is cheesy, with the typical japanese teen show acting, but I’m loving it and I can’t stop watching it. FFXIV is my MMO of choice, so it must have something to do with it. I watch it while fishing around Eorzea!

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Randy Ward

It was pretty good, although sometimes a little icky creepy with his son secretly interacting with his dad as a girl.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

YEAH, that bothered me a lot, and I’m still not sure how intentional that was meant to be. It’s an interesting enough story that it could spawn a few psych and cultural fiction comparison papers.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

For people who haven’t seen a Japanese drama, think Soap Opera: over the top acting with fairly predictable plots and unbelievable “character development” 95% of the time. Now add in advertising for the game.

Sounds bad, right? The thing is, it was certainly written by people who know MMOs at least (won’t say anything about FF14 since I’ve still yet to get past the character creator), so there’s some solid heart.

I won’t lie, I binged watched it and only really half-hated myself for watching the last “bonus” episode. The rest I felt safe enough to ask some J-Drama fans if they’d heard of it.

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NeoWolf

Its actually “based” on a true story, so not a soap opera in fact :)

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

Have you seen it? You don’t need to speak Japanese to be able to tell that it’s what an American would call a soap opera in their own country.

Also, “Based on a true story” just means it’s glorified historical fiction. Take “The Revenant” for example. Read the historical accounts and compare it to what you saw in the movie. “Based on a true story,” yeah, but so many hard facts were changed, it’s just a selling point for people who don’t think they like fantasy so they can feel comfortable thinking they’re learning something true when they would have been better off visiting a PBS companion site that actually got to scan and upload some historical figure’s diary.

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NeoWolf

I have seen it yes, the moment it released in fact :) A soap opera is a thing, a ture story is a thing.. one is not the other and vice versa. It may be embellished and over dramatised but it is not by definition a soap opera. Now if they make a sequel lol..

Other than an overly generous exaggeration in regard to how much a person can actually make their game avatar express themselves, we don’t actually know HOW much of the story is made up. (out of interest I had a google, noone seems to know, other than Netflix state it is based on a true story) more could probably be learnt on some japanese sites, but although my spoken japanese isn’t too bad, I don’t read japanese at all.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

A soap opera is a thing, a true story is a thing.. one is not the other and vice versa.

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

Why_not_both.jpg
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NeoWolf

Because you arent saying a duck is a duck your saying a swan is a duck.. similarities..SURE wings, beak, feathers, lay eggs…, but still wholly different things. A duck is a duck and a swan is a swan lol

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BalsBigBrother

The best I can come up with is the story is based on a series of blog posts (http://sumimarudan.blog7.fc2.com/blog-entry-2019.html) I found a partial translations of the entries (https://transnoteblog.wordpress.com/) and looked through the rest with google translate.

It is impossible for me to judge the veracity of the blog. Even with the limitations of google translate it reads like this was a real event but again I am unable to find any other confirmation.

Whatever the actual truth I think I am content to just accept that its a nice sweet story with a positive message. That is good enough for me in any case :-)

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Phubarrh

When I started watching this, I wasn’t sure if I should be face-palming, snorting with laughter, or waiting to see what happens next, so I’ve been doing all three. As J-dramas go, though, it’s solid.

Also, it’s gotten me playing the game again. Don’t tell Square Enix.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

even tho my dad is the chief architect of me getting into games as a hobby when i was a kid and throughout much of my life, he’s never been into it and my past insistences about certain games being more about cinematic experiences (such as half life 2) have been met with resistance.

still we connect over hardware speccing. he’s a huge software guy (speaks code fluently, worked at one of the worlds largest software companies from teh early 80s until just a few months ago) but doesn’t know hardware that well. so he turns to me for advice on all things pc parts purchasing. i can’t always give him super helpful answers (the other day he asked me the difference between vengeance and dominator corsair brand ram – i told him i have no idea, but did point him where to look at teh specs for each), but if he’s going to upgrade his pc or buy something for my siblings i’ll likely be getting a fb message followed by a phone call.

recently also we’ve been in contact a great deal more than normal over the process of my inheritence, which now having been finalized and largely paid out, i’ve kept him in the loop of my big pay day purchase – new pc, and what my experience has been so far.

and in general just facebook keeps us sharing music and comings and goings in a casual passive way.

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Duey Bear

Glad to hear, I will start watching it tonight! Been a while since I watch a J-Drama.

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