While 2014 brought about many new things ,it also saw the end for many others. In this part, I’ll just talk about two of such ends that were of significance to me.
When Final Fantasy Versus XIII got renamed to Final Fantasy XV back in 2013, Tetsuya Nomura was the one that appeared at the Sony E3 press conference and revealed it to the world. A year and few months later, Nomura is officially off the project as Director with Hajime Tabata taking over his role. The reason given by Square-Enix was to allow Nomura to fully focus his efforts on Kingdom Hearts 3. I’ve read many comments saying that this is a good move and that the game will finally be completed now. All these comments seem to indicate that people think the reason behind the long development cycle for FFXV is due to Nomura’s inability; a notion I can’t quite side with. In fact I kind of feel sorry for the guy, this was meant to be his Final Fantasy and his FF directorial debut. And it seems he wasn’t too pleased with his departure from the project. In a comment found in the Kingdom Hearts Memorial Ultimania released in Japan, Nomura had this to say
If I had to pick, I am a person more on the dark side like Xehanort and co., I harness the burning anger in my heart into what I create. Kingdom Hearts III’s current development explodes very much in this sense. Each time, it’s a battle with Sora and co. who are the exact opposite of myself, it’s been over 10 years and yet we haven’t reached a conclusion.
What this burning anger is referring to could be anyone’s guess, but the sudden announcement of his departure could very well be the cause.
2014 also saw the end of two of my beloved anime and manga series. The Gundam Unicorn OVA series ended with the release of Episode 7 and with it 4 years of epic Gundam action. While I’ve been more or less a Gundam fan for a while now, Unicorn made me into a huge fan and reignited my interest in Gunpla modelling again. At its core the Gundam series has always been a political war drama. Recent entries however, took away a lot of the political element in favour for a more action-packed approach to appeal to a larger crowd. Unicorn in my opinion had the perfect balance of political infighting as well as excellently choreographed action scenes. Not to mention the amazing soundtrack from Sawano Hiroyuki; who is quickly becoming one of my favourite composers.
The long-running insanely popular Naruto also saw its last chapter released in November. I literally grew up reading this manga so it was kind of sad seeing it end but it had an amazing run. Many might say it’s the usual shounen trope and for a manga about a ninja it wasn’t very ninja-like but boy was it entertaining. Naruto also introduced me to my favourite band when the anime series used one of their songs for their opening theme. Although the manga may have ended, a final featured film was released in Japan and Masashi Kishimoto the man behind Naruto also announced a new spin-off series, so it’s not the end just yet for Naruto.
Stay tuned for the final part in this series!