by Amy M. Green
Kingsglaive’s Exploration of World War II, Cultural Trauma, and the Plight of Refugees: An Animated Film as Complex Narrative posits that the 2016 film, tied narratively to the video game Final Fantasy XV, merits far more critical attention that it has received. Given that Kingsglaive is both CGI animated and erroneously seen as only a video game tie-in, it has tended to be consistently dismissed by critics. A closer examination of the film reveals a deeply complex narrative, one that contends with the lingering cultural trauma of WWII in Japan, as especially evidenced by images of fire and burning. The film also contends with the plight of refugees and immigrants, both in Japan and around the globe, as recent years have seen a drastic spike in anti-immigrant sentiment. Finally, through the film’s hero and protagonist, Nyx Ulric, Kingsglaive presents a man who is himself suffering from trauma, standing in the present, yet unable to fully imagine a future for himself.
About the author: Amy M. Green received her Ph.D. in literature from UNLV in 2009. She specialized in Shakespeare and 19th century American literature. Today, her work has evolved and she focuses her research on the exciting and evolving field of digital narrative study. She is especially interested in the expanding presence of video games as a compelling source of narrative, one that is necessarily participatory by nature. Further still, video games have long merited the right to be considered as important cultural artifacts and her study and analysis of their stories focuses especially on their historical, political, and social relevance. She also maintains her love of the written word and loves to explore how storytelling, in all of its forms, reveals important aspects of our shared humanity. Most of all, she loves her time in the classroom, sharing ideas and thoughts with students from all backgrounds. Her classes feature the close and careful study of storytelling in both written and digital forms. She is the author of three books, Storytelling in Video Games: The Art of the Digital Narrative, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Trauma, and History in Metal Gear Solid V, and A Cure for Toxic Masculinity: Male Bonding and Friendship in Final Fantasy XV as well as numerous articles.