Bravely Default's story is a fusion of classic JRPG tropes and American television drama, according to its director.
Tomoya Asano said as much in a post on the official Nintendo Handheld Gaming Facebook page about what inspired Bravely Default's story. Silicon Studio used some outside influences to make sure players cared not just about the greater narrative, but the characters themselves.
"We created the world view as a fantasy RPG with a story revolving around crystals, because that way RPG fans won't have any trouble jumping right into the world," Asano said. "The exaggerated characters are cute and players can enjoy them on their adventures. Basically this is comedic up to the point where you start really liking the characters, and then the drama develops.
"I used the methodology of American TV dramas like the older Beverly Hills 90210 (I'm a huge fan!), and Glee as references."
Asano said several games developed outside of Japan also influenced Bravely Default's storytelling approach. Taken all together, Asano described it as "traditional Japanese RPG with American content thrown in."
Bravely Default released in Europe in December and on February 7 in North America. A demo for the game is available on the 3DS eShop.