Before I played Final Fantasy Type-0, I read the manga. No real reason. I had more time to read than play through Final Fantasy Type-0 multiple times. I wanted to get an overview of the game first. Plus the idea of a Final Fantasy manga is pretty cool. In the past, the only books I’ve ever read were comics. Like most people, Batman was my favorite comic book. I read a few graphic novels: superhero, coming of age and slice of life. But at the time, not really manga, besides the one about Batman. It was weird.
Before Final Fantasy, Batman was my chief OBSESSION. But I’m much more serious about Final Fantasy. While Batman was a dark superhero, he was childish. Seriously, why would a guy need to dress up in a bat costume in order to scare criminals? While he’s the most realistic superhero, I still tend to think of him as being too much.
When I became serious about Final Fantasy, I noticed how much more depth in morality. It wasn’t the same old “who created who” routine between Batman and his rogue gallery. It didn’t always ponder whether or not it was just to kill criminals. Even though the games were quirky, the themes seemed deeper. And Final Fantasy gave me a lot to think of. So Final Fantasy quickly hooked me. Yet, something was missing. Something that I loved to do. I wanted to read about Final Fantasy. But I didn’t want to just read a book about the lore. I wanted to read and view illustrations of Final Fantasy characters.
So imagine my surprise when I finally got to read a Final Fantasy manga. I never got around to reading the Final Fantasy XII manga. It’s online, but I want to hold the volumes. I don’t want to read it from a computer screen, or a tablet. Why couldn’t they have released the entire manga with Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, in English, in book format?
On to Final Fantasy Type-0: The Manga. Is it like the game? After playing it, yes. They have the same memory loss plot devices, in which people forget their fallen classmates. It doesn’t make sense in the game, it doesn’t make sense in the manga. Is it good? Sure, I guess. It made me want to play the game. It’s cool we get to know more of Rem and Machina. It’s just wordy. I thought Batman comics got unbearable at times, this was way too much. Even weird for this medium; if you’re illustrating the story, show, don’t tell. Visualize what you want your characters to do, and draw it. This reduces the need for pointless dialogue and exposition. Convey that through facial emotions (and not of the anime variety).
However, I have a gripe with one scene in the manga. A monster-man hybrid chops Ace with a broadsword on page 44. Yep, no denying it. Take a look at Ace’s facial expression. He’s in shock. Everyone sees it. Queen, Nine, Trey, etc. The Prototype No.2 slashes Ace down his right side. Ace even expresses regrets, by saying “Sorry…everyone…”
And then Ace comes back fully intact. Yeah, right. How, exactly? Queen remarks he “dodged it”. Well, yeah. So did the illustrator and writers.
Listen, when you draw, it has to make logical sense. You can’t show someone slashed, have the katakana for the onomatopoeia ‘slash’ and then have him stay intact. This is worst than plot armor, it’s irresponsible. Trust me, the art and writing elsewhere are far too amazing to let this scene drag it down. Nothing in the artwork indicates that he dodged it though.
Causing tension and suspension just doesn’t cut it. And having Ace in that position does. To say the opposite of what actually happened is a blatant contradiction and an affront to your reader’s intelligence. Anything possible can happen. It’s not possible to dodge a direct hit.
After reading the Type-0 Manga, I was surprised to learn of other books about Final Fantasy Type-0. It’s the Ice Reaper Side Story. Kurasame is the main hero. Remember him? The stoic guy whom the entire zero class fight? Ever wondered about his story? No? Me neither. But then again, I read through it. Man, was he cocky. But don’t worry, I won’t spoil how he gets the mask. Because neither does the story.