Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy Trading Arts Kai Mini: Yuna

Trade Arts Kai Yuna

Two weeks ago I reviewed the Final Fantasy Trading Arts Kai Mini Cloud And Squall figures. Today I’ll be finishing this batch by reviewing Yuna. And then it’s time for some wacky figure posing! Continue reading »

Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Exhibition Tour

Gabranth's full body armor

Rain and dark clouds accompanied me as I made my way by train to the Hikarie convention center in Shibuya. Upon arriving I was greeted by masses of people, all of which eagerly waited in line for the special Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Exhibition that started yesterday and will come to a close today. Allocating two days for an event meant to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of such a beloved franchise as Final Fantasy ensured people would come en masse and I ended up standing in line for two and a half hours. No biggie; We were given free Final Fantasy Brigade tissues and a nice wallpaper for our smartphones so I soon forgot all about the line. I was told by an all-knowing friend of mine called the internet that the exhibition will be free, but when I reached the end of the line I was kindly guided to the reception table where I was kindly asked to buy the exhibition pamphlet for the nominal fee of 2000 yen if I want to enter. The pamphlet, as it turns out, is an art book, featuring many miniature versions of sketches and concept art that we were soon to feast our eyes on in the exhibition hall itself. The pamphlet (can you even call a 49 page full color bound book a pamphlet?) also contains pictures from the exhibition and was signed on the of the back of the cover by some famous Square Enix Personnel.

Exhibit Pamphlet
The exhibition pamphlet is 49 pages long and is a small art book in itself.

Exhibition Rooms Map

The exhibition was split into several rooms and we were given a set amount of time to enjoy what each room had to offer before having to move to the next room. The first room – Final Fantasy Works – showed life size replica of Final Fantasy memorabilia, such as Genesis’ red coat, Gabranth’s full body armor, some clothes and weapons from Final Fantasy XIV, a “genuine” crystal, a miniture of Sin and the two biggest attractions in the room: a full size replica of Cloud’s buster sword and a miniature (yet huge) replica of the city of Midgar. I seriously believe Square Enix should make an attempt at marketing these authentic buster sword and Midgar replicas. Owning such a piece of gaming history is almost irresistible.

Genesis Red Coat

Gabranth's full body armor


FF XIV Weapons


Cloud's Buster Sword


Midgar 2

After ogling these replicas we were rushed into the second room – Memories of Final Fantasy. Here we saw a short video featuring quick glimpses from all the older FF games (the same video Square Enix has been showing in their booth during the Tokyo Game Show for the last four years), the entire Agni’s Philosophy tech demo and a quick plug to buy the upcoming Distant Worlds – The Celebration audio CD (the release date of which will be announced soon). The next room – Final Fantasy Creatives – was filled from wall to wall with concept art, sketches, maps and landscape images from the numerical Final Fantasy games. One of the attendants briefly explained that what we are seeing in front of us is the priceless Final Fantasy heritage and as such photography is out of the picture. Some of those sketches and concept art images were available in the exhibit pamphlet, albeit in minute size (think museum pamphlet pictures). Each Final Fantasy game received its own mini exhibition space. There was even an exhibition of landscape art from the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. A woman alongside me looked at those XIV landscapes and ironically noted that “the landscapes look beautiful but they are empty of people”. Ouch.

Some of the sketches on display, as portrayed in the event’s pamphlet

Sketches 2

The next room had a nice surprise in store for us. On our pamphlet it bore the name “the gimmick hallway” but once inside a big sign with the words “Analysis Process” welcomed us. We were to walk in turn across a huge TV screen. Each time a person walked across the screen a human sensitive camera caught his or her figure and magically transferred him or her into their suitable Final Fantasy Brigade character class. A gimmick it was but we were fascinated nonetheless to see ourselves magically transformed into tiny FF characters, which walked alongside us through the entire hallway. Almost all the people got a different character class from one another, but the crowd stopped to applaud as a couple who had walked together were both transformed into berserkers.
I ended up being a dark knight. Not too shabby if I may say so myself Big Smile
The next, and last, exhibition room was the Yoshitaka Amano Works room, which was filled with picture frames showcasing his work throughout the years. After beholding the Creatives room and the Yoshitaka Amano room (which we also could not take pictures of) I now understand where Square Enix will find the art to fill their three upcoming 320 pages thick Final Fantasy 25th Memorial Ultimania art books.

Yoshitaka Amano Drawing
Some of the Yoshitaka Amano’s drawings on display, as portrayed in the event’s pamphlet.

Yoshitaka Amano Drawing 2

Upon exiting the Yoshitaka Amano Works room we were given the opportunity to purchase FF merchandise, most of which is widely available on the Square Enix shop. However, the exhibition did feature a few new sound track releases, such as the Chips series (a series of sound tracks that downgrade the newer FF games’ music into retro FF music). There were also three event exclusive CDs: Music from Dear Friends, Music from More Friends and the Square Enix Sound Effect Collection. A whole section of the merchandise hall was devoted to a line of rumbling Final Fantasy Brigade capsule machines (gashapon). A little stall inappropriately named the Chocobo Café sold some FF themed cookie packs, Dissidia ramune and a cold Diamond Dust cocktail (I’m not sure if it really tastes like Shiva’s diamond dust but it didn’t taste half bad either).

Diamond Dust Cocktail
There’s nothing is quite like a cup of cold diamond dust on a warm summer day.

Near the exit of the exhibition guest illustrations were hung up in a small gallery. These were placed “as is” on the wall and had some pretty bad reflective qualities, making it extremely hard to take good pictures. But I took some anyway.

Final Fantasy Guest Art

Final Fantasy Guest Art 2

Final Fantasy Guest Art 3

Final Fantasy Guest Art 5

Final Fantasy Guest Art 6

Final Fantasy Guest Art 7

As I left the exhibition hall I thought about the long and glorious history of the Final Fantasy franchise, and how fans keep worrying if it will soon fail them and tarnish their nostalgic memories. Whether this will be the case or not I cannot tell. But for now let me drink my diamond dust cocktail, reminiscent about all those great games Square and Square Enix have created for us in the last 25 years and wish to be back here yet again during the 50th anniversary of this formative JRPG franchise.

Final Fantasy Trading Arts Kai Mini: Cloud And Squall


Kazuo is busy with his exams so this week I’m filling in for the figure review. Now, I’m a big Final Fantasy fan so I was very happy when Square Enix announced their new Final Fantasy Trading Arts Kai Mini line. This post covers the Cloud and Squall Kai Mini figures, while next week’s post will cover Yuna and present some crossdressing figure posing mayhem. Continue reading »

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Official Guide Collector’s Edition Overview

As promised in an earlier post today I am going to do a quick overview of the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Official Guide Collector’s Edition. There is a little story behind this guide book, and it begins in March 2010 when Piggyback published the collector’s edition of Final Fantasy XIII’s guide book. Piggyback is not a new company, and obviously it wasn’t the only company to release a guide book for Final Fantasy XIII. What Piggyback did, however, was understand that Final Fantasy fans don’t want a simple book devoid of pictures and filled with gray pages of walkthroughs – we have the internet for that! No, Piggyback understood that we fans want a book that will be collectable in itself. They made a superb collector’s edition guide, using premium glossy paper, tons of full-page colored pictures, a hard cover, all the tables and graphs we FF fans so love, and not a page in grey. Continue reading »

Final Fantasy XIII-2 European Limited Collectors’ Edition

I just received my Limited Collectors’ Edition of Final Fantasy XIII-2. As all you Final Fantasy fans probably already know, FF XIII-2 had tons of DLC content and some pre-order bonus items that came along with it. The problem with these DLC and bonus items was that each retailer handed out a different DLC or bonus to those who bought their game through it. This in turn made it harder for Final Fantasy fans to decide where to place their order. To avoid this problem I went ahead and pre-ordered from – the only place that offered (if you pre-ordered) all the bonus content and DLC available…and then some. Now would be a good time to mention that offers only the European version, and FF XIII-2 will probably have lots of DLC coming up, so this deal would have been good only for those of you who have European credit cards. So anyway, since pre-orders are already over here’s an unboxing video of the collectors’ edition for all those interested:

I’m very satisfied with the limited collector’s edition and the pre-order bonus. In fact, the only better version available is the crystal edition (that has the full OST which I don’t need). As for Impressions about the game itself? I don’t have the time to play it yet
I’m also waiting for the Collectors’ Edition of the game guide (I’ll post a separate review for that of when I get it). In the meantime, Happy gaming!

The New Final Fantasy Play Arts Kai Mini are Excessively Cute

Square Enix has revealed a new line called Final Fantasy Play Arts Kai Mini which feature chibi (petite) versions of famous characters from the company’s well-established Final Fantasy franchise. The first batch includes Cloud Strife from FF VII, Squall Leonhart from FF VIII and Yuna from FF X.


All three figures come with a stand, switchable expressional faces, several props and even text bubbles. Cloud comes with a street sign while Squall and Yuna have a battle menu. Why does Cloud gets a street sign you ask? To accommodate his badass bike of course!



Squall also has access to his formal Seed attire and ultimate weapon while Yuna gets a separate new body for her gunner outfit from FF X-2, which is equipped with her twin guns. Squall even comes with a mini Cactuar and mini Pupu!  It seems Cloud’s bike “ate all the plastic” that could have been used for his alternative (Advent Children?) outfit and ultimate sword.


All three will be available in June and come at a very attractive price for what you get, if I might say so myself. Preorders for the three have already opened on Amazon Japan and AmiAmi. As a super hardcore Final Fantasy fan I already secured an order of all three. Considering the popularity of such dolls, as well as that of the Final Fantasy franchise itself, I would advise you to order sooner than later if you feel inclined.

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