You can file this one away under ‘things I’m surprised to be excited about in 2017’ – and my word did it come out of left field. In a series of Instagram posts, pop sensation Ariana Grande has revealed that she will be appearing as a character in Square Enix’s Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius. That’s right, the Dangerous Woman herself will be walking (‘side to side”) into the Final Fantasy universe as a part of the playable cast in the original, free-to-play Final Fantasy game, released about six months ago on Android and iOS. Aside from having a fucking awful name, Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius was designed to appeal to fans of more traditional JRPGs. The game draws inspiration from the visuals, sounds and mechanics of the classic NES and SNES era Final Fantasy games and apparently does a great job of recapturing some of the magic of those older games. Yet with so many other things occupying my time, I couldn’t really muster the energy to give a shit about the mobile release of a new old Final Fantasy game – until now. Ariana Grande herself is someone I didn’t really care about up until recently, after I decided to give her album Dangerous Woman a listen following its inclusion on several reputable ‘Best Albums of 2016’ lists. I don’t know quite how to describe it other than: catchy, versatile, and incredibly horny. Turns out I accidentally chose a pretty good moment to get aboard the Ariana Grande hype train. Final Fantasy Ariana’s design (as above) has been heavily influenced by the ‘sexy bunny’ look the real Ariana adopted for the Dangerous Woman album art and it actually works really well – the sprite work looks pretty damn adorable and looks right at home in the Final Fantasy universe. As Grande said herself on her Instagram account, “it’s the cutest thing i’ve ever seen in my entire life and i’m so excited and in love with it i cannot contain myself [sic].” It’s nice to know that Ariana is just as excited about her inclusion as I am – it makes me feel less like I’m being manipulated by cynical marketing and PR teams. While details about how the character will play within the story remain unclear, I must admit this celebrity cameo actually has me quite excited. Final Fantasy protagonists are basically pop-idols these days anyway, and Ariana’s character (called DW) doesn’t look out of place for the series at all. Needless to say, I’m ready to download the game as soon as Ariana’s character becomes available – the date of which is yet to be announced. Speaking as Select Start Media’s resident Anime Trash Boy™ and as a fan of Ariana Grande, I have to say – I’m so into it. Whilst we’re speaking of strange Final Fantasy news that I’m into, why not check out this new trailer for the additional content? Turns out they’re remixing and orchestrating a new version of Ariana Grande’s song “Touch It” – and it also seems to fit right into the overall sound of a Final Fantasy soundtrack. Oh and it’s also pretty great, obviously.