Big thanks to everyone at Anime USA this year.  It was an absolute blast and I want to thank everyone who came by the table and came to the panels for making it so memorable.  To try and return the favor, Caffeine & Ink hooked up all AUSA attendees with free links to the first chapter of my new book, RocKaiju.  Given the traffic we immediately saw, I’m guessing they like rock ‘n roll and giant lizards.

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Defining Final Fantasy, pt 2

Hey, sorry about the abrupt departure last week.  I was mostly twirling my thumbs before I realized I was stumbling into something a little more substantial than I realized.  I maybe should have posted something else and turned this into something a little more substantial, but meh.  I figure it’s the holidays, why not have some fun?  Besides, I think art analysis is a lot of fun, and what makes this art distinct is some of the best kind of analysis.  So let’s dive back in to what makes a Final Fantasy game a Final Fantasy game?


Last week, we discussed the plots of Final Fantasy games (they have two: the Captain Planet plot and the Star Wars plot) and the mechanics, namely the job system (that party customization is achieved by either swapping out characters or swapping out jobs that the character performs).

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What is Final Fantasy?

At first glance, the answer seems simple: Final Fantasy is a long-running role-playing game franchise from Square Enix.  Beginning on the original Nintendo and carrying into the modern era (formally on the PS4 but also mobile platforms), the game spans 15 official and distinct titles, about a dozen or so spin-offs, a couple of crossovers (namely the Chrono Trigger and SaGA franchises), and half a dozen knockoffs (Record Keeper, Möbius, etc).  Case closed, right?

In the truest sense, that explanation might suffice but what distinguishes Final Fantasy from any other gaming franchise?  Is it merely the name on the box or is there something more?  If you didn’t know a game was a Final Fantasy, would you be able to intuit it?

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Thanksgiving Prep

Like most Americans, I am preparing for Thanksgiving this Thursday.

Like most holidays, the origins of Thanksgiving are dubious at best.  What was meant as a show of decency between equals turned into a precursor for one of the worst exterminations in world history.  Even today, looking at how Thanksgiving is celebrated, we see plenty of evidence of the cultural appropriation and rampant racism from which it spawned.  The purpose at times for holiday itself has changed, shifting from an alternative form of Christmas to a secular day of gratitude to an observance of a questionable historical event.

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