Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV – Episode 4 [Bittersweet Memories]

We’re almost to the end of this series, unfortunately. I’ve been looking forward to this episode the most, and us Ignis fans were rewarded with an episode that was, for whatever reason, a few minutes longer than the others. Hey I’m not complaining.

Noctis and his group are continuing their trip to Caem. They’re out in the middle of nowhere when Prompto starts whining about having to spend yet another night camping, so Ignis turns the car around and heads back to the closest town, Lestallum.

Once they arrive and get a hotel room, Prompto and Noctis go looking for kebabs to eat while Gladiolus and Ignis stay in their room. Ignis makes a trip to the local market to get some ingredients for a meal, and once he returns to the hotel he starts making a pastry for Noctis.

The episode is a flashback to when Noctis was in school and experimenting with living on his own. So presumably he’s in his late teens by this point? Ignis comes nearly vlcsnap-00003every day to help him clean his apartment, make meals for him, and encourage him to study. Ignis also does a lot of baking. This is because when he was a kid, Noctis had some kind of sweet pastry while in Tenebrae, but he can’t remember which ingredients were in it. So over the years Ignis has been experimenting with different ingredients to try to match the dessert Noctis remembers. So far Ignis has had no luck.

While Noctis is in class taking an exam, there’s a meeting at the palace about increased imperial activity. There’s increased pressure on the king to continue strengthening the wall, but it’s obvious to all that it’s taking quite the toll on the leader. The king wants to end the war before the wall falls, but it’s still unclear how that will happen.

After school is over, Noctis and Prompto are walking through the city when they see a televised broadcast, and Noctis sees for the first time that his father is now walking with a cane. Noctis may have been able to put his country’s war out of his mind, but seeing his aging father makes it really hit home. This is real, and it’s affecting his father. The king may die. Noctis may lose his father.

Ignis beats Noctis back to his apartment that night; Noctis admits he went to the arcade after his exams were over. Ignis asks Noctis if he read the military report he’d left the previous evening, and Noctis says that he hasn’t. Tension continues to build in the room between the two as Ignis continues to nag Noctis about the things he must do, and Noctis eventually snaps. He’s trying to deal with getting good grades and studying, having a social life and time to blow off steam, yet he’s also still expected to keep up with royal affairs in preparation for being the next king. For a guy who hasn’t even reached his second decade yet, it’s a lot of pressure and expectations being placed on his shoulders. Ignis backs off and leaves.

The next day Gladio finds Noctis and Prompto at the arcade, and brings Noctis back to his place for some training in the backyard. During a break in their training, Noctis admits that he knows he can’t become the king in his current state, but he also doesn’t want to think about his dad dying. And who can blame him? Who ever wants to think about losing a parent?

vlcsnap-00021Gladio and Ignis touch base later and Gladio tells Ignis to give Noctis more credit. Basically to treat him like less of a kid and more like a ruler-in-training. Even if, you know, he can’t pick up after himself or even cook for himself. Baby steps right?

That evening Ignis travels to Noctis’ apartment, where he sees that Noctis has attempted to cook with… mixed results. But his books are open on the table, showing he’s attempting to study at home now. Noctis says there is no food in the apartment anymore, and Ignis didn’t bring anything, so the two end up sharing a meal of instant noodles. Ignis apologizes for being too harsh on Noctis the previous evening, and Noctis silently accepts Ignis’ apology by telling his mentor that his last attempt at baking had been close to the original.

Back in the present, Prompto and Noctis return to the hotel room where Ignis has another batch of pastries ready for them to try. Noctis bites into one and says that it’s not quite correct, but of course continues to eat it. Ignis tries one too.

My thoughts: What I think is really neat about how this series has been structured is that each episode serves a clear purpose. The first was the introduction, and then each of the character episodes looks at their role in Noctis’ life. Prompto is the comic relief and Noctis’ true friend. Gladiolus is Noctis’ trainer and mentor.

But Ignis, more than the others, seems to have been with Noctis the longest (remember we saw him as a valet when Noctis was a kid in the second episode). (Though Gladio was also Noctis’ trainer from the time Noctis was a child, so maybe it’s a tie.) Ignis also has the largest variety of roles to play. When Noctis was younger Ignis’ role may have been more about servitude, but now that Noctis is older and in higher academics, it is Ignis’ job to look over Noctis and guide him in preparation to take over for his father one day. He must advise Noctis about military affairs, help him learn skills so that he can live on his own as he wishes, and he must also be someone Noctis can respect and befriend. I suspect that Noctis doesn’t get to see his father very often (given his reaction to seeing his father on the broadcast) and thus I’d wager that Ignis also fills something of a parental void for Noctis as well.

I’m glad that this episode was longer than the others because honestly, there was more information to fit in. I watched this in its original Japanese format on Youtube and I must say, I much prefer Ignis’ Japanese seiyuu over his English voice actor in the preview for Final Fantasy XV. (Really, Ignis is British??)

I don’t have much else to add other than I’m really excited for the game’s release. I live in western Canada and we never get any cool theatrical promotions, so has anyone been able to see Kingsglaive yet? If yes, what did you think of it?

One more episode to go! I’m not buying FFXV until after the FFVII remake is released, so I won’t be blogging the last episode, though if anyone watches it I would love to hear if it’s any good.

 

Nikolita

Just an animanga-loving social worker. I've been watching anime for almost 20 years - ask me about my favourites! I've been to Japan twice and would live there in a heartbeat if I could.

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10 Responses

  1. Sanokal says:

    Kingsglaive is out in the weekend. Really? You can’t see it but we get it here in New Zealand? That’s odd.
    I was a little underwhelmed by the episode, but that’s just because it was more subtle in the end and you explained it beautifully. It was still pretty neat overall though.
    I actually quite like all of the English voices, I’m not sure why some people have a problem? I think that the British accent (as it usually is i believe) is intended to convey his more polite speech. At least he calls Noctis “Noct” instead of “Highness” like he did in Episode Duscae.
    Curse the delay! I know it doesn’t affect you, but argh!

    • Nikolita says:

      Any time there’s an anime or game-related movie like this, I don’t think we’ve had it in theatres in my part of Canada. I looked around online and I found a link saying Kingsglaive is coming out digitally Aug 30, in which case I’d buy it then. The same link said it’s coming out on Blu-ray in early Oct, so I could also wait til then instead too.

      I do agree with your reasoning for the British speech, but I rarely listen to dubs and prefer the Japanese seiyuus anyways so Ignis having a British accent (and me not being too fond of it) is just one more reason to listen to it subbed. But to each their own. I’m glad you like the English voice cast though! :)

      • Sanokal says:

        How strange. By the way, ignore the critics and decide for yourself what you think of Kingsglaive, and that’s all that I’ll say on the matter.
        Each to their own indeed. I hate that it’s rare for debates like this to end nicely.

        • Nikolita says:

          I’m part of a couple of FF groups on Facebook and that seems to be the consensus: most fans like it, but critics are not thrilled with it. I personally will see it once I’m able to, and expect to like it. :)

  2. Yeah I don’t have a problem with the voices either lol but ignis is definitely my favorite character so I’m a little biased

  3. zztop says:

    That depends on when the FFXII remake is released, and provided it isn’t subject to any delays in releases.
    The next FFXV Brotherhood ep will be the last released online, although a 6th episode focusing on Lunafreya will be included if you buy the Special edition of the FFXV game. Or wait for some kind soul on the Internet to fansub it.

    In your opinion, does Ignis look better with his hair up or down?

    PS. On a totally unrelated note, did anyone on Angryanime catch the Tokyo handover segment of the Rio Olympics? How did you find it?

    • Nikolita says:

      Yeah my two roommates have both pre-ordered FFXV. I’m not sure if the regular pre-order comes with the 6th episode or not, but if it does I’ll watch it with them and then maybe do a random review to cover it or something.

      I like both! Hair down makes him look more refined but hair up with the spikes makes him look… more like a badass? Ugh that’s so stereotyped, but I’m not sure how else to phrase it. His one form of rebellion despite his service to Noctis lol.
      Edit: I lied, I like it without the spikes better.

      I didn’t watch the handover but I heard about it. Sounds like it was a cute idea, very much in the spirit of Japan. What did you think?

      • zztop says:

        The “Mario into Prime Minister” thing was cute, although a lot of the handover emphasised the modern, trendy aspects of Tokyo/Japan in general. For example, the dance/gymastics segment after the PM’s part was very modern, with lots of LED lights and electronic music.

        That said, the closest that comes to the PM’s stunt was the Queen of England skydiving into the stadium during London 2012, and that was by a stuntman dressed as the Queen (the real Queen walks into the stands after the stuntman dives off).

        Here’s a video of the full handover, taken from a mainland China broadcaster. Enjoy! (unless the IOC takes it down)

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