Very Little Wishes

This time next week, it will be next year.

One of my favorite moments of anachronism is in Transformers the Movie, when the narrator says ‘it is the year 2005’.  2005, when Earth is a space-faring society that has become a major player on the intergalactic stage.  Or maybe the opening of Robotech when the narrator begins the show with ‘in the year 1999, high above Macross Island in the south Pacific, a phenomenal event occurred which altered the course of human history’.  Anime, of course, has no monopoly on such passed dates.  Terminator.  Star Trek.  All of science fiction is littered with such missed dates when a singularity would occur, after which life would be totally different. Continue reading “Very Little Wishes”


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.

Continue reading “ANIME USA”

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).

Continue reading “Defining Final Fantasy, pt 2”

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?

Continue reading “What is Final Fantasy?”