The Paris-based animation studio, Cyber Group Studios, announced that it is working on an adaptation of Final Fantasy 9 and that it will work alongside Square Enix.
The COO of the studio, Dominique Bourse, said that the project is a dream come true for their French and American teams. Pierre Sissmann, CEO of the animation company, said they are honored to work together “with [their] friends of Square Enix”.
Apart from this announcement, there isn’t a whole lot of official information out there. What we do know is that production is slated to begin by either the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022, so it’s going to be a while before we see a trailer for this new series.
— IGN (@IGN) June 21, 2021
The new series is going to target children between 8-13 years old and Sissmann later goes on to say that the company is almost done putting together a “project bible” and will soon begin pitching to broadcasters. If you look at the studio’s website, it’s a lot of educational shows. It’s currently unknown if the studio will go this route or a more anime look.
In case you don’t know, or forgot, Final Fantasy IX centers around the thief, Zidane, who kidnaps Princess Garnet of Alexandria. Eventually, Zidane is thrown into an epic adventure with new friends to save the world from the evil sorcerer, Kuja.
Final Fantasy IX is getting an animated series and I HOPE they put this scene in pic.twitter.com/et9A19tndB
— Lulu🌈🎏 (@luulubuu) June 21, 2021
The game was released all the way back in the year 2000 and was the last entry for a lot of things. It was the last single-digit entry, the last pure high fantasy, and the last of the PlayStation titles. Final Fantasy IX was a return to the series’ high fantasy roots.
Back to Square One
Final Fantasy VII and VIII fully embraced modernity with cars, science experiments, robots, guns, and more. It was more “Final Sci-Fi” than “Fantasy”. So, Square Soft (as it was known back then) went back to what made the series so popular in the first place. Gone was the cyberpunk aesthetic, which was replaced with the traditional medieval fantasy.
The developers threw out the ideas of clones, robots, time travel, and dark protagonists– throwing in knights, mages, paladins, and a hero with a warm personality. Zidane the thief isn’t the dark hero with problems like the heroes of VII and VIII. He’s a much happier guy who has the habit of chasing after girls and considering the personalities of the previous two guys, Zidane is a breath of fresh air.
I do think Final Fantasy IX is a good entry to adapt into a children’s cartoon as it is one of the child-friendly games in the franchise. The game still has mature themes like war and genocide, but it’s way more lighthearted and the plot is more straightforward.
There’s no overarching plot that deals with child soldiers, time travel, post-traumatic stress disorder, or terrorism. It’s kids/teenagers going on an adventure to save the world.
Plus, there are some notable characters like the Black Mage Vivi and the weird comic relief that is Quina Quen. Both characters have distinct personalities and designs that bring a great balance to the game, and I’m confident that’ll come off in the animated series.
Cyber Group Studio said that they will handle distribution, licensing, and merchandise for the series. I can only hope this means brand-new Vivi plushies and a Beatrice figurine.