Final Fantasy XV: The franchise that launched a thousand ships.Sure, there’s the game itself, which has been in the works for years, but Square Enix sure isn’t pulling any punches with the game’s tie-in materials. Besides the multiple app games, demos, and a feature length CG film titled Kingsglaive, we also are getting a unique anime series showing the bonds between the main characters of the game. Welcome to Brotherhood, or as I like to call it: Bro-fest Road Trip 2016 or Fellowship of the Bros. Or maybe, Band of Bro Brothers. You get it. It’s about bros.The first episode was released in March of this year on their official YouTube channel and also on Crunchyroll with five total planned. Square Enix partnered with animation studio A-1 Pictures (Sword Art Online, Your Lie in April) to create the series.SPOILERS AHEAD!Brotherhood follows the adventures of main character Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum as he and his best bro-sefs take a road trip to see his fiancee, Lunafreya Nox Fleuret. While on this trip, Noctis learns that his kingdom has been taken over by an opposing force. The journey becomes one fraught with avoiding enemies, battling monsters, and reminiscing about old demons.Episode 1: Before the Storm, focuses on Noctis himself, showing a dramatic flashback to his youth when a woman (probably his mother, but not confirmed yet) is killed at the hands of a many-armed she-beast with Noctis right next to her. He only survives when saved by his father, King Regis.The dramatic, bloody introduction switches abruptly to the bro-iest of bro trips, as we see beautiful shots of the band of goth club brothers (every single one of them is wearing black and grey. They must all share a stylist, too) traveling the Arizona-esque country side in a convertible.What is with this choice of car? Don’t you know the wind will mess up your perfectly styled spiky hair, you guys?Throughout playful conversations on their road trip, camping, hunting, and going to a diner, viewers are shown the deep friendship and chemistry between the guys.The episode ends with Noctis being made to face the monster from the first flashback, entering the battle in a cliffhanger that still has yet to be resolved.The battle sequences are beautifully done, showcasing some of the gameplay you will see more of in the actual game. I’m personally a big fan of the bros’ weapon conjuring techniques thus far, though it does read a little jarringly when translated to 2D animation. Many magic sparkles!Admittedly, Noctis is a bit of a drag in this episode, prompting many fans to make numerous comparisons of him to Sasuke Uchiha from the Naruto series.The hair is almost strand-for-strand the same, and the gruff personality seems to match. But all that changes in episode 2 when we get to see that he’s actually a nice guy with a heavy burden.Episode 2: Dogged Runner, is where it starts getting really fun. The story focuses on Prompto Argentum, the playful, energetic member of the gang, and how he met Noctis back in elementary school.In episode 1, Prompto seemed to only be there to be “the blonde one” of the group. He comes off as uber hyper and clumsy (he dumped a bottle of ketchup on everyone!), but after episode 2, he becomes my favorite thing ever. A pudgy, lonely, latchkey kid whose only friend is a digital camera, Prompto rescues a dog that turns out to belong to Lunafreya. Lunafreya sends him a thank you note for taking care of her pup, but also encourages him to be a good friend to her buddy Noctis.Now, the reason Prompto decides to lose weight is so that he can feel worthy of being Noctis’ friend. This part is problematic, I will admit, but you know what isn’t? The fact that Prompto, through training to be more fit, gains self confidence that doesn’t have anything to do with just wanting to be Noctis’ friend. He learns how to properly say “hello” to strangers (hell, I can’t even do that right yet), starts to interact with his classmates that he once avoided to get advice on fitness, and learns self discipline in his quest to become fit.After a heartwarming montage, we flash forward to the first day of high school and Promtpo has become physically what he looks like today: trim, friendly, and energetic. He’s the total opposite of how he was before. Prompto introduces himself to Noctis, but in reply he smiles, saying, “Don’t I already know you?”Noctis doesn’t know the reason for Prompto’s training montage, but he has been quietly noticing his efforts to train, and also trying to befriend him, and greets him warmly. The two are fast friends from the first day of high school. Guys, the bro-ship is real.This episode turned a totally unlikable character into a multi-dimensional, interesting guy worthy of being part of the inner Bro Circle. A+ on this one.Episode 3: Sword and Shield focuses on Gladious Amicitia. Unlike Prompto, Gladious started out hating Noctis. He thought of him as a spoiled brat due to his observations of the Prince while working as a royal guard and having been nicknamed the King’s “shield.”Gladious has a close and playful relationship with his little sister, Iris, who has been confirmed to appear in the game as well. The deep bond between the siblings is played out in cute, small interactions such as them teasing each other over Gladious’ complaining about Noctis.Because Gladious doesn’t personally like Noctis very much, we see that he has trouble training the prince in swordplay techniques and becomes frustrated with him easily (and vice versa). That changes when Iris comes to the castle, but ends up getting lost, causing Noctis to follow and save her. Once back to the castle, Noctis lies to the King saying it was his fault. When Iris reveals to her brother that Noctis protected her, Gladious is forced to rethink his views of the prince and warms up to him, promising to train him well so he becomes a strong king one day.Once Gladious becomes serious about training Noctis, this is where he also becomes the “sword” in the episode’s title of Sword and Sheild. They do a buddy bro fist bump to seal the deal, which they still do to present day.I have to say, even as a woman who is annoyed there doesn’t seem to be any playable female main characters in Final Fantasy XV yet, I am still thoroughly enjoying this anime series about this gaggle of bros. The first episode was a decent intro to the group, if a little weak. However, by episode 2 I was hooked on the deep friendship dynamic that was being shown in years of understanding and loyalty. If you’re into Final Fantasy, like stories of friendship and perseverance, and don’t mind a little bro-mance, then this series is for you.I’m personally really into the glasses-trope characters (megane-kei, for all you informed anime nerds), so I’m stoked to see Ignis Scientia’s episode, which should be the next one up in the series. Episodes 4 and 5 have yet to be released, but should all be out before the game’s debut in September.