During the last Live Letter from the Producer, Square Enix revealed a new spinoff manga for Final Fantasy XIV. The title was romanized during the stream as Academia Eorzea, while the Japanese title is Shiritsu Eorzea Gakuen (私立エオルゼア学園, lit. Private Eorzea Academy). Today, Square Enix announced Academia Eorzea will begin publication on December 24 as part of the company’s Manga Up! digital platform. Following its debut, the manga will be updated weekly every Friday.
The Famitsu announcement also included key art for the manga, drawn by artist Amaichi Esora. Esora previously did the official manga for the Disney Twisted Wonderland mobile game and debuted with their own project, Okyu no Trinity. The story will be done by Esora under the supervision of the FFXIV team.
【告知】 #FF14 スピンオフ漫画『私立エオルゼア学園』12月24日0時よりマンガUP！さんにて連載開始です！
— 雨壱絵穹◆エオルゼア学園連載中 (@Esojiros) November 18, 2021
As previously announced, the manga will feature Alisaie, Alphinaud, and the rest of the Scions in a school setting. It’s the springtime of their youth instead of the twilight Seventh Astral Era. The key art included G’raha Tia, Estinien, and Y’shtola as additional characters, with the former two being students and the latter seemingly being a teacher. The plot involves the two schools — the Private Light Academy and the Private Darkness Academy — merging into a single school. Principal Tataru has ideas on how to bring the student body together.
First, putting Tataru in charge of a school seems to be a terrible idea. All she cares about is money, not the lives and academic upbringing of her young charges. Second, the existence of the Private Darkness Academy points to perhaps some of the FFXIV villains getting some time to shine in this series. I can definitely see Zenos or Yotsuyu making an appearance. Honestly, the idea of mean girl ojousama Yotsuyu in a school is giving me life.
All in all, the art and setting just scream “visual novel” to me, and I’m patiently waiting for Square Enix to give us the FFXIV dating sim we deserve. If my Warrior of Light cannot date within FFXIV proper, a spinoff is proper restitution.
There’s been no word about Academia Eorzea making its way over to Western markets yet. That said, Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light, the Japanese drama show based on a blog about FFXIV players, ended up heading worldwide as a Netflix release. Maybe Crunchyroll Manga or another Western manga publisher will pick up the rights. Until then, you can dream about the school shenanigans of the Scions.