?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

My Lulu Manifesto (repost)

Reposted from Tumblr, because Tumblr blows as a place to talk about anything or find anything you posted earlier.

Note that some of my comments derive from backstory provided by the Ultimania guide rather than from the game itself. Ultimania is a supplement put out by Square employees, rather than what really happened or what was said in-game. So I regard Ultimania as subject to fan interpretation and selection. Here's what I took from it.

Anon "Confession":
One of the most heartbreaking scenes for me will always be Lulu's shock that Sin could never truly be lkilled in FFX. It stood out to me because it's the only time she really yells in the game, and [is] not apathetic.

ffvibe:
I wish I knew exactly what moment this was so I could watch it to reaffirm my thoughts.

Me: It's right here: during the second confrontation with Yunalesca. Skip ahead to 1:10 or so. It stuck in my mind as well; Lulu's pitch rises, and her voice breaks. She doesn't sound like herself at all. It's one of only two moments when her voice changes like that in the game. (There's her sad little, “It is you, isn't it, Lady Ginnem? Forgive me...I was too young." And there's her pained response to Tidus' meltdown when he learns the truth about the pilgrimage: "Lulu, how could you? How could you? Isn't she like a sister to you?" "Don't you think we tried to stop her?She follows...her heart.") But even in the latter case, Lulu's voice doesn't crack or jump like it does here.

"This cannot BE. The teachings clearly state that Sin can be exorcised with complete atonement! It's been our only hope all these years!"

This is the moment when Lulu's faith breaks. Unlike Wakka, she was able to take in stride the fact that the church was corrupt and its officials a bunch of power-hungry bastards, because she's never had much faith in people — even in herself. But she still had faith. And, even more tellingly, she learns this not five minutes after she had just offered her life to Yuna for the Final Summoning. She was ready to die for that hope, and for Yuna.

ffvibe:
Prefacing my thought, I don’t think Lulu is apathetic. She’s a hardened and somewhat cynical realist. All stemming from the death of Chappu, of course. I have a feeling before his death she was still a little cold but her warmth was still visible and smiles occurred more often.

Me: This is very true. There's also the fact that Lulu is grieving for Yuna in advance. It's very hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other as a guardian, when you don't want your summoner to reach the destination she's chosen.

ffvibe:
I’m sure Lulu wants to assist in the defeat of Sin for all the regular and expected reasons, but I think on a small level she wants vengeance for Chappu. Being crushed, killed and washed up like a dead fish on the Djose Shore isn’t what you can consider a respectful death (of course no death by sin is, but her image of it is dreadful.)

Me: Beyond this, Lulu wants Yuna's sacrifice not to be a waste. Ironically, even more than Tidus and Rikku, Lulu has fought to stop this moment. Several years before, when Yuna said she wanted to become a summoner, Lulu had forbidden her to start the training. Yuna defied her, and you can bet there were some fireworks over that. When words failed, Lulu resorted to deeds to head her off. So Lulu became a guardian and went on pilgrimage with Ginnem... and failed. She watched a summoner die due to her own inadequacy.

When Lulu came back, Chappu decided to take up the Crusader's sword, even a gun, to protect her. So she may feel some guilt for his death, too, although she tries not to. ("It's pointless to think about, and sad.") As soon as Chappu died, Lulu headed out with Zuke one more time, once again trying to head off Yuna and beat her to Sin. We see that Lulu really did hope that Sin could be defeated once and for all.

Lulu had failed, again and again. She couldn't stop Yuna from becoming a summoner. She couldn't move heaven and earth to get rid of Sin before Yuna set out on pilgrimage. "All we can do is protect her along the way," was an admission of Lulu's own failure to stop this pilgrimage. It fascinates me that Lulu was able to be such a steadfast guardian to Yuna, when she had tried so hard to stop Yuna from leaving. Tucked away in Lulu's little asides and optional dialog, it comes through how much it's hurting her to go on this journey, although she's fashioned her grief into a sword on Yuna's behalf (and will smash Tidus like a bug if he gets in the way).

I wonder what would've happened had Tidus and Auron not been there. Auron was trying to let them make their own choices — to discover the truth for themselves and exercise the free will of the living, instead of the dictates of the dead — so he told them almost nothing. He trusted Tidus to ask all the important questions that believers couldn't. If Tidus hadn't rejected Yunalesca's initial spiel, charging up the steps and demanding more answers, would Yuna have accepted Lulu's offer to become her Final Aeon? Lulu might have used the same argument Auron did about letting Luzzu go to the front lines in Operation Mi'ihen: "Let him go. He chose this path as you did yours, when you became a summoner." Would Auron have intervened, or would he have let them make their own choices? I'm not certain, and I find that fascinating.

TL;DR Lulu is anything but apathetic. She's driven. But her corset, braids and belts suggest her current situation: she's all tied up, bound by love and loyalty into assisting her best friend's church-sanctioned suicide. Lulu's faith gives her no way out of that dilemma. No wonder she doesn't smile often.




This entry was originally posted at http://auronlu.dreamwidth.org/227718.html, where it has comment count unavailablecomments.
 

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
laerkstrein
Mar. 26th, 2013 04:26 am (UTC)
Do you get paid to do things like this? You should. I mean, this is fantastic. I particularly love the last allusion to Lulu's clothing as a representation of her current state as a guardian. I wouldn't have thought to consider that as a possibility at all. In all seriousness, someone should freaking hire you to write Final Fantasy character analyses for books.
auronlu
Mar. 26th, 2013 05:40 am (UTC)
Actually, you know, I kinda do. Lemme check. *peers* Yeah, my old Lulu character study article has earned me $13 and change. Woo hoo. I feel a little shy about mixing my fandom activities and how I earn a living, though, so I generally keep a bit of a wall between them. ;)

The idea about Lulu's clothing being a metaphor for her metaphorical bind is somewhat inspired by a great A/L fanfic, periphery. However, I had already picked up on the idea that her bondage-like clothing was suggestive of a straitjacket even before reading that. (She even holds her arms as if she's straitjacketed, although that's partly an artifact of the 3D modeling which has to keep her sleeves from interpenetrating).
melchar
Mar. 26th, 2013 11:23 am (UTC)
I love your insight ... and have just spent a couple hours reading 'Periphery', then some other Au/Lu stories. I noticed your comment at the end of 'Defender of the Faith' - and enjoyed that too. ^_^
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner