If you can look past that clunky name, Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light on Netflix is a TV series that will suck you into a Japanese soap drama like no other.
Based on a true story of a Final Fantasty XIV (FFXIV) player, the premise of the show is probably one that may be familiar. As a child, Akio loved video games, but his father, Hakuatro, didn’t share the same passion as he did – until they both started playing the original Final Fantasy. Though the pair forged a powerful emotional bond over the game it was sadly short-lived as Akio’s father dove further into his work and prioritised it.
Back to the present day, Akio and Hakutaro haven’t spoken much since and find it hard to connect each other. It’s a theme that a lot of people can relate to, with the relationship of father and son at the forefront of the story. Now an adult, Akio is still a Final Fantasy obsessed fan while his father is a hardworking salaryman, that is until one day, Hakutaro quits his job unexpectedly leaving himself with plenty of time at home.
Here’s where it gets kind of weird and a bit pluggy from Square-Enix, but roll with it a second. Akio convinces his dad to play Final Fantasy XIV online to build a relationship with him again but with Akio in disguise as… well… as a beautiful blonde woman in-game; only revealing himself once they have completed their adventure. That’s his plan anyway and though it sounds utterly bizarre, it’s actually very sweet and reminiscent of countless fathers and sons who find it difficult to express their emotions.
If you’ve ever seen your parents struggle with technology, then this will delight and make you snort with laughter with some of the funniest moments being simply Hakutaro’s attempts to learn how to use voice chat and emotes. While some of the scenes can be ridiculously totally over the top at times and the lead actors strange facial expressions might seem painful, the series still manages to retain its charm.
Admittedly I kept this series on the back-burner a long time due to what seemed to be a blatant cash-cow move from Square-Enix to sell more copies of FFXIV (and maybe that’s still the case), but I’ve got to admit, this made for incredible heart-warming television.
Dad of Light is an endearing exploration on how video games can bring people together regardless of age and experience. The episodes at just 20 mins in length are easily bingeable and since there are only eight it’s worth popping onto your watchlist.
Have you watched this series? What did you think? Let us know in the comment section below.