These are the battle mechanics.
You are free to move as you please. Running around makes normal physical attacks miss, though I've seen them connect if you're very close. You can't avoid every special move like this.
Your movement will be stopped if an ally cast a buff or an enemy casts a debuff. Also, large boss moves where they charge up and do a cinematic move. In cases like that you should defend to mitigate damage.
You have to stop to cast spells, and some actions freeze the battle, like selecting characters or familiars and changing targets.
There are no turns. When you attack, your character/familiar will start throwing out attacks. A meter in the shape of a clock face will appear at the bottom. They'll attack until this runs out. Some familiars have faster attack rates so they get more out of this.
They can't run around while attacking, so they and the enemy will continue to pummel each other until one dies or you take a different action. Kind of like FF12 I guess.
You can cancel the attack any time, but have to wait for a short cooldown before choosing this command again. Very useful for when you see the enemy powering up for a special move or a boss is charging up so you can switch to defend.
Your characters have spells or special abilities, as do the familiars. These are basically just like casting spells. You are stuck in the spot for however many seconds, then cast. Timing varies.
There's a counter attack, which happens when you interrupt an enemy's attack.
When you choose this, the character/familiar takes a blocking stance which greatly decreases damage. It also has a timer and you can cancel it as well.
Each character can bring 3 to a battle but only 1 per character can be out at a time. You can switch whenever you want.
When out, you take direct control and their HP/MP is shared with the character. Attacking, defending and using spells/moves is the same. They are also on a timer so you want to recall and switch before that runs out.
Familiars can evolve when they reach a certain level and are given the right item. I hear some easily become super OP.
That's pretty much how combat goes. You can capture familiars and make your own teams but everyone says the game is so easy that you never have to do anything other than attack with a few OP familiars. NNK2 had the same problem where Higgledy elemental properties offered zero in the face of physical attack power. Elements actually have a huge impact in NNK1 though, it's just that apparently, physical tops anything.
Right now I'm trying to work out how stat increases on level up work. Everyone says they're random but I want to test a few things I've seen in other games before I accept that. Then I might consider a no evolve run.