Square Enix’s often overlooked manga and books division is preparing more works in print for Final Fantasy and Nier fans, including the start of a two-part novel for Nier Replicant.
The editor announcement (opens in a new tab) some additions to his book lineup earlier today. The first to arrive will be Chocobo and the Airship: A Final Fantasy Picture Book. It promises a 40-page short story about Cid, the inventor who is perhaps best known for his role in Final Fantasy 14, and a Chocobo who “work together to build an airship to help save their home.” Even the plot bears an uncanny resemblance to the early chapters of Final Fantasy 14, only with the Warrior of Light replaced by a Chocobo, which is honestly a respectable edit.
Illustrated by Toshiyuki Itahana, character designer on Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon, and written by Chocobo’s Dungeon 2 director Kazuhiko Aoki, this “all ages” picture book certainly has some Chocobo pedigree behind it. It comes out March 21, 2023 and costs $17.99 hardback.
Square is also giving Nier Replicant the Nier Automata treatment with a pair of novels. The first part, titled *sigh* Nier Replicant Ver.1.22474487139: Project Gestalt Recollections – File 01, was released on April 11, 2023. It was written by Jun Eishima, the author of the previous (and actually quite good) novels of Nier Automata as Long Story Short, Short Story Long, and Yorha Boys, with “backing” from quirky series director Yoko Taro, who presumably controlled the book’s title. It’s $27.99 in hardcover and $13.99 in digital; the second part, or rather file 02, is expected at the end of 2023.
Nier Replicant fans also receive a richly illustrated guide. The revised edition of the Grimoire Nier art book contains 272 pages “of key illustrations and concepts, exploration of world stories and lore, game strategies, ending guides, and concept art” as well as new extras like short stories and interviews. It’s $44.99 in print and $25.99 in digital.
Interestingly, Square’s line of non-video game books includes two manga: Daemons of the Shadow Realm is the next work from Fullmetal Alchemist creator Hiromu Arakawa, and My Clueless First Friend is a slice-of-life comedy about two schoolboys. Earlier this year, the publisher reported significant the growth of its publishing division thanks to the hit My Dress-Up Darlingand it looks like he will invest more in manga in the future.
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