Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light is a Japanese television series sponsored by Square Enix.
Set in part in their tear-jerkingly popular MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, and Based on a True Story from a blog titled, Ichigeki Kakusatsu SS Nikki under the sub-category, Project: Dad of Light chronicled by a real FFXIV player named "Maidy Maidy;" whose project garnered a grand readership following through his 9-month journey documenting his attempts to reconnect with his father through FFXIV, and whose user account was used in recreating the drama.
Akio Inaba, a young officer worker, has been distant from his father, Hirotaro. For many years, despite living under the same roof, the two haven't talked beyond a few words with one another since Akio was a child. One day during the year of 2014, Akio's mom notified him that his dad suddenly quits his job without consultation. Stunned, confused, and not knowing how to break the ice with his dad over the reason why he had quit his job, Akio recalled how his father bought him Final Fantasy III when he was little, and how they bonded over the game. To that end, he hopes to use his passion for FFXIV to reconnect with his father; he buys a copy for Hirotaro, and plans to befriend him in-game, keeping his identity a secret while trying to understand his father better.
The series premiered in Japan in April of 2017, and was released worldwide via Netflix in September of the same year. It aired a total of 7 episodes, with an extra 8th encore episode.
On June 21, 2019, this title released a movie edition featuring a new cast of actors, along with a slight tweak in having additional supporting cast.
On December 6, 2020, the player behind Maidy passed away from cancer.
- Author Avatar: Literally. To preserve user rights (and prevent non-gamer noobness,) the character of Maidy was enacted directly by his original user, and dubbed by voice actress, Yoshino Nanjo post-production; while the entire gameplay segments, including in-guild interactions, were also newly recorded gameplay (including footage capture, user log texting, and emote acting!) featuring the author's very own guild members for drama production, including the person who manages all of his "online public meetings," Aru-chan.
- According to Real!Maidy's documentary, all gaming segments were mostly (and amateuringly) produced by him and his guildmates, who cast their times aside from their daily lives to participate and lend their skills to film under the professional guidance of the film director, who created an FFXIV account to "film footages" from within the game. The director even gave them a neat job title—"Character Actors." Depending on the needs for camera angles, the director would also assign Lalafell and Roegadyn members to take on the job as "cameramen."
- Aerith and Bob: Maidy's dad originally wanted to name his character 'Inoue' with Maidy telling him it's so plain. In the blog series, his dad was wondering why everyone has strange names like Artemesia because he's old, he's not going to remember them.
Web Original Blog Series
- Language Barrier: Maidy reminisces a time during Legacy when he worked with a non-Japanese person to do a quest but didn't know enough English to communicate with him. He found a way around this by using in-game emotes. This inspires Maidy to use emotes to communicate with Indy who didn't have a functional keyboard at the moment.
- Self-Imposed Challenge: Maidy's grandfather had a golf game and continued to play it by finding new ways to challenge himself. This segues into the plot where Maidy convinces Indy to do the Coils of Bahamut raid with the Echo off.
- Adaptational Backstory Change: Real!Indy was already into video games while Show!Indy was portrayed as less tech savvy.
- Bait-and-Switch: In the final episode, following a one-year Time Skip after Hirotaro's surgery, Akio and Kimiko are shown being solemn, as though Hirotaro had passed away. In truth, Hirotaro recovered wonderfully and still played FFXIV: Kimiko was just saddened over a soap opera actor she admired getting engaged.
- Like Father, Like Son: Hirotaro and Akio are basically similiar in having a dorky personality.
- Loosely Based On A True Story: The show took liberties with the original posts for Rule of Drama. For starters, Real!Maidy didn't have a strained relationship with his father.
- Machinima: The series uses a combination of live-action scenes and footage shot from within FFXIV.
- Mythology Gag: So much of the shows music cues come from the game. Like in episode 2 when Akio's boss gives him a task to do, the FFXIV "Quest Accepted" music plays; and when he completes the task, the "Quest Completed" theme plays.
- Indy riding the same chocobo as Maidy is a reference to the original blog post where he participated in a promotion to receive a draught chocobo if he invited a new player.
- Not What It Looks Like: Hirotaro walks in one evening on Akio. Akio covers up his monitor, which won't shut off, to keep his father from knowing he's Maidy. The tissue in his hand leads Hirotaro to think Akio's on A Date with Rosie Palms.
- Pac Man Fever: Young Akio tells his dad to enter the grand tower in Final Fantasy III; they were in the beginning dungeon where no such thing even exists.
- The Plan: Akio's plan for reconnecting with his father is to invite him to play FFXIV, befriend him in-game without letting him know his true identity, and learning more about what is going on in his life as they work their way up to fighting one of the endgame bosses of A Realm Reborn, Twintania. After felling the beast, he would reveal his true identity.
- Porn Stash: One of Akio's coworkers mentions how after his father passed, he found he had a folder full of porn. Akio is likewise afraid that may be what Hirotaro is hiding when looking for his medical records. To his relief, it's actually a strategy guide for FFXIV.
- Shout-Out: In Episode 6, one of Akio's drunk co-workers sings the theme song to Saint Seiya at a karaoke bar.
- An unintentional example done by some cast members, because credit is given to their avatars and not the player behind said avatars, who named themselves Amazon Japan and Clive Winslett.
- Training Montage: Before their last fight with Twintania, Maidy, Indy, and their friends are shown training for the big fight.
- As with the TV show, the end of the movie cuts to over a year after the surgery. As if to make the viewer think Hirotaro passed away, Akio in-game is shown at Haucherfant's grave... only for Hirotaro running in-game towards him to go on their next adventure
- Done twice to Yoshii, when the director overseeing his group calls him over. Yoshii thinks he's getting that promotion or an exciting new assignment, only for the director to ask Yoshii if another employee will be good for the job
- Brick Joke: At one point, Akio's father considers quitting the game because he didn't know how to put on a coat after wandering into snowy Coerthas. At the end of the movie, following the surgery, Maidy and Indy meet again in Coerthas, this time with Indy wearing Shire Conservator's Coat.
- The Determinator: After getting his diagnosis, Akio's father leaves the hospital suddenly and checks into an internet cafe to fight Twintania, even though he is in pain.
- Mistaken for Romance: A few of Akio's coworkers are eavesdropping on him and a female coworker who also plays the game. They fall into this after hearing a few out-of-context words.
- Vocal Dissonance: Satomi's character in-game, Big Gorio, is a big burly male roegadyn who speaks with Satomi's distinctly feminine voice.