The success of Final Fantasy VII prompted Square Enix to begin the franchise through transmedia storytelling by announcing the release of the sub-franchise “Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.” According to Final Fantasy Wiki, the sub-franchise released “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children”, an animated released in the US in 2009 (1). The film provides the fan base with a sequel taking place two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII. The film includes a self-reflexive plot, as it re-examines the morals and allegiances of a minor antagonist, Rufus Shinra, and turns him into a minor protagonist. Additionally, the film furthers the worldbuilding experience that the original Final Fantasy VII offered, diving into the dogmatic lore surrounding Sephiroth and the Ancients.
The main heroes in the movie, Reno, Rude, and Shinra, were actually minor villians in the Final Fantasy VII game. This creates a sense of self-reflexivity in a sense that the audience is forced to be more sympathetic to the Shinra cause. In addition to the audiences altered perceptions of these characters, the narrative also sheds a different light on Cloud’s allegiances. Instead of worried about saving the world, Cloud is now more worried about his regret for allowing Aerith to die by the hands of Sephiroth. The self-reflexivity of this plot lends to the horizontal integration of the Final Fantasy VII world; a world that is also shown further through the idea of worldbuilding.
The audience is provided with more information on the world of Final Fantasy VII through the worldbuilding of the history of the Ancients, and the motivations of Sephiroth and Jenova. Henry Jenkins claims that this idea of worldbuilding draws upon the curiosity of the fan by providing him or her with the knowledge that more information on the narrative is available (2). In this scenario, the fan base was given more knowledge on the world of the narrative in the events after Meteor had struck the planet. Because the original story stopped after Meteor struck, this film gave the viewer more information about the outcome of the world.
It is no surprise that this film was distributed by Square Enix, the producer of the original game, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, which produced the platform on which it was played. This entire franchise is an example of transmedia storytelling being used properly to make a brand more horizontally integrated.
1.)”Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete.” wiki. Final Fantasy Wiki, n.d. Web. 01 March. 2014.<http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Final_Fantasy_VII:_Advent_Children_Complete>
2.) Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html>.