On the Way to a Smile is a small series of short stories taking place between the time of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Written by Kazushige Nojima, the first story, Case of Denzel, was released in episodes on the official Japanese Advent Children website, and was released together with Case of Tifa in V-Jump's Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Prologue book. Case of Barret was released exclusively in English, with the North American and European limited edition box set of Advent Children.
On the Way to a Smile was released simultaneously with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete, collecting the short stories in book format, with the Japanese version of Case of Barret, as well as four new stories: Case of Yuffie, Case of Red XIII, Case of Shinra, and Case of the Lifestream.
Advent Children Complete also included On the Way to a Smile: Episode of Denzel, an OVA adaption of Case of Denzel by A-1 Pictures and BeStack.
This story is told indirectly through the perspective of Denzel, the young orphan featured in Advent Children. Four years after Meteor fell on Midgar, Denzel meets with Reeve Tuesti and requests Reeve let him join the World Regenesis Organization. Denzel proceeds to tell Reeve about his life prior to the fall of Meteor. The narration includes Denzel's parents dying when the Sector 7 plate falls, living with Reeve's mother afterward, and ultimately surviving Meteor's fall and becoming a scavenger in the ruins of Midgar before being rescued by Cloud.
This story consists of Tifa Lockhart's account of the events following Meteor's destruction, overlapping in part with Denzel's story. Tifa, Cloud, Barret, and Marlene open a new bar in the city of Edge, and try to begin new lives. Barret eventually leaves to settle his past, and Tifa, Cloud, and Marlene form a family together, including Denzel as well when Cloud finds him. However, Cloud becomes increasingly distant and secretive, a problem compounded by his job making long-distance deliveries. Though Tifa tries to keep the family together, Cloud eventually leaves and does not pick up when she calls his cellphone.
This story centers on Barret and his search for meaning in his life. Barret seeks a way to atone for his past actions as AVALANCHE, eventually helping Cid work on his new airship. When Barret learns of the fatal plague Geostigma, he decides to try and help the infected find treatment, and heads off to find a source of fuel for Cid's airship so they can help the world reach a cure if one is found. Barret also acquires a new prosthetic hand during the story.
This story follows Yuffie as she returns to Wutai in the wake of Meteor's fall and must help those injured in the Lifestream's eruption. Later, the people become infected with a disease from Midgar, and blame Yuffie for it. Almost two years later, the disease, now known as Geostigma, still plagues the village, and Yuffie has spent much of her time treating the injured and attempting to find a Materia to cure them.
This story centers on Red XIII, now known by all as Nanaki, depicting his inner struggle between living as a beast or an animal, as he is more intelligent than normal animals and is largely viewed as a beast by humans. He must also deal with an inner entity called "Gilligan", spawned by his fear of what losses the future may bring him due to his longevity.
This story centers on Rufus Shinra and the Turks, and follows their actions during and after the end of Final Fantasy VII. Shortly after fleeing to Kalm, the Turks search for Rufus and oversee the ruins of Midgar while Rufus is held captive by Mutten Kylegate and later Kilmister, both seeking to use his influence for their own purposes.
This story is further divided into two parts "Black" and "White", and each part has three chapters and focuses on Sephiroth and Aerith. Sephiroth's portion of the story details his actions to inflict the planet with Geostigma and create his avatars, while Aerith's portion follows her trying to heal the dead of Sephiroth's darkness and trying to find a way to help Cloud defeat the infection on the planet's surface.
|Before Crisis - Crisis Core - Last Order - Final Fantasy VII - On the Way to a Smile: Episode of Denzel - Advent Children (Complete) - Dirge of Cerberus (Lost Episode)|
|On the Way to a Smile - Hoshi wo Meguru Otome|
|Final Fantasy VII: Snowboarding|
|Important Recurring Characters|
|Aerith Gainsborough - Cloud Strife - Professor Hojo - Sephiroth - Tifa Lockhart - Vincent Valentine - Zack Fair|
|Epiolnis - Guard Hound - Jenova - Jenova Project - Lifestream - Mako - Materia - Meteor - Nibelheim Incident - The Planet - Shinra Electric Power Company - SOLDIER - Turks - WEAPON|
On the Way to a Smile
|On the Way to a Smile: Episode of Denzel|
|Aerith Gainsborough - Barret Wallace - Cid Highwind - Cloud Strife - Denzel - Marlene Wallace - Red XIII - Rufus Shinra - Sephiroth - Tifa Lockhart - Yuffie Kisaragi|
|Abel - Arkham - Chloe - Elena - Gaskin - Johnny - Kilmister - Mutten Kylegate - Pazu - Reeve Tuesti - Reno - Rick - Rin - Rude - Ruvie Tuesti - Sakaki - Veld - Vincent Valentine - Yuri|
|Cosmo Canyon - Edge - Forgotten Capital - Kalm - North Corel - Rocket Town - Materia Caves - Midgar - Wutai|
|Cellphone - Fenrir - Geostigma - Gilligan - Lifestream - Materia - Meteor - The Shera - Strife Delivery Service - World Regenesis Organization|
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
|Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete|
|Cloud Strife - Tifa Lockhart - Marlene Wallace - Denzel|
|Kadaj - Yazoo - Loz - Sephiroth - Jenova|
|Aerith Gainsborough - Barret Wallace - Cait Sith - Cid Highwind - Elena - Moogle Girl - Red XIII - Reno - Rude - Rufus Shinra - Tseng - Vincent Valentine - Yuffie Kisaragi - Zack Fair|
|Edge - 7th Heaven - Healin Lodge - Forgotten Capital - Midgar - Northern Crater - Sector 5 Church - Shinra Headquarters|
|Cellphone - Fenrir - Fusion Swords - Geostigma - Lifestream - Meteor - Motorcycle - Remnants of Sephiroth - Shadow Creeper - The Shera - Strife Delivery Service - World Regenesis Organization|
|On the Way to a Smile - Hoshi wo Meguru Otome|
|Original Soundtrack - Complete Reunion Tracks