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Of Moogles.

While updating the Shrine, I found myself smiling again at muggy_mountain's "?!?". It's so CUTE.

Which brings me back to the thing that threw me off Lulu most back when I started, besides her name, which made me think of a French poodle.



I am not much for cute. The irony of a death-and-brimstone strong female character with a cute squishy doll doesn't escape me, but I am suspicious of cute anime sidekicks anyway (unless in Vampire Princess Miyu, where it's a parody with bloodshot eyes and teensy little fangs), and I am especially suspicious of strong female characters being "defanged". It would be like putting little smiley faces on Auron's sword.

I became somewhat more reconciled to the Moogles when someone pointed out to me that they are like Shinto nature spirits. Totoro and such.

Nevertheless, I gloss over Lulu's Moogles as though they don't exist, when I write. I like the idea that it's her magic, her power, her skill.

A lot of other writers do as well. Yet a few have included Moogles (not least saharasnow, who is an artist when it comes to dolls) to good effect.

I wonder what other folks' thoughts are about the Lu Moogle.
 

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
saharasnow
Jul. 21st, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
In FFVI, Moogles are supposed to be some magical creature, though different from Espers (or Aeons in FFX). They can talk and dance and they are one hell of a fighter (or maybe because I trained mine too much).

It really baffled me when I first realized Lulu's weapon was a... doll. I know Square always includes Moogle into the FF series in one way or another but I never expected them to make them into weapons... funny looking ones in this case.

Lulu's dolls to me, are just something to enhance her magic, just like her other accessories.
owlmoose
Jul. 21st, 2006 05:39 pm (UTC)
There's a concept I've heard of elsewhere in magical/fantasy literature about mages having some sort of object through which they focus their power. That's sort of how I always thought of Lulu and her Moogle -- the doll doesn't contain the power, it merely acts as a conduit to help Lulu harness her own innate magic. That's my vague sense of it, anyway.

I haven't written Lulu enough to really deal with the dolls, but when I have I also tend to ignore them. If she was able to choose her own talisman, I do have to wonder why (besides the game designers' need to work a Moogle in there somewhere) she picked something so fluffy.
dagas_isa
Jul. 21st, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
I love 'em. I'm not one for over the top cuteness, but the dolls amuse me, and I've always seen them as a subtle signal of Lulu's more vulnerable side. I can too easily see a little girl Lulu, who's just lost her parents, choose dolls as a focus for her black magic. Even when she'd outgrown needing the security the dolls provided, they still worked well for her as a focus.

So, I don't see it the dolls Lulu being 'defanged' as much as it is an acknowledgement of a softer side (if that makes sense). Even with the dolls she's still the same, strong, wise, powerful, speak-her-mind black mage that we know and love. I'd be much more bothered by the dolls if Lulu held or played with them during cutscenes.

I find it curious that Lulu and Wakka are the characters who essentially fight with toys, though people don't really think twice about Wakka and his blitzball.
auronlu
Jul. 21st, 2006 06:46 pm (UTC)
Ooh.

I find that a very plausible thought, that Lulu adopted dolls (not to mention black magic) while dealing with the loss of parents, and keeps them out of habit.

The blitzball seemed a bit silly to me to, but in a different way; athletic equipment strikes me as bizarre weaponry.
cygna_hime
Jul. 21st, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC)
Haven't played many sports, have you? Sports stuff can hurt. And inasmuch as blitzball consists of throwing a ball really fast--and through water, which makes it harder--I bet anyone who played much would be capable of doing some serious damage with a blitzball.

Admittedly, I wander through the game wondering where the archers are, since other long-range weapons are illegal and you've got to catch dinner somehow.

I like Lulu's dolls for the same reason dagas_isa mentioned. It's kind of sweet. Lulu's just full of contradictions like that.

Functionally, they're probably similar to Yuna's staves: they're nice, and probably make things easier, but they're not by any means necessary.
auronlu
Jul. 21st, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
I guess I always made sure to put the hardest, nastiest plastic hair boppers on my braids when I played girls' field hockey back in the dark ages, so I can see that.

Yes, where ARE the archers?!
owlmoose
Jul. 22nd, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
I, too, wondered where the archers were. (*fondly remembers arguments over whether weaponry should be allowed in the dining halls*) I've even snuck some in as original characters, on the theory that we only saw soldiers who were willing to use machina and that the "old guard" Crusaders and warrior monks would still be toting about bows and arrows. Too much hand-wavy speculation? Maybe. But Wakka is the only person we see fighting with a blitzball, and I can't see the whole society giving up projectile weapons entirely.
mneme_forgets
Jul. 21st, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
I like the idea of a Lulu who chose dolls to focus her magic through and I like your reasoning for it.

Actually, now that I think of it, can you imagine how Lulu *herself* would react if someone questioned her choice of weapon or teased her about it? I doubt they'd be laughing long.
mneme_forgets
Jul. 21st, 2006 07:39 pm (UTC)
When I think of moogles I think of the fact that Lulu performs black magic, like a sort of voodoo magic and I rather enjoy the fact that she uses a physical object to help manipulate her spells.

Sure it looks quite silly, but what I really like about Lulu is that no matter how ridiculous she does look, you'll never catch her being anything but ultra calm and confident. I mean, a woman in an elaborate gown running around in the dirt and mud and traveling all over on foot is a bit ridiculous too, but you'd never know it by her.
cygna_hime
Jul. 22nd, 2006 03:02 am (UTC)
It would be like putting little smiley faces on Auron's sword.

"Rikku! Put that paint down right this instant!"

"You never let me have any fun!"

"I'm only doing this for your own good, you know. And by 'for your own good' I mean 'because I really don't want you to die horribly until you finish teaching Tidus how to steal things'."

"Gee, thanks."

"Where'd you get half a gallon of red paint, anyway? Do I want to know?"

"I picked it up in Guadosalam. No one seemed to be using it."
saharasnow
Jul. 22nd, 2006 03:29 am (UTC)
That's precious XD Go Rikku! You can always hides behind Kimahri lol.
auronlu
Jul. 22nd, 2006 08:53 pm (UTC)
Bwah. I laughed at this earlier and forgot to hit post or something. *Facepalm*

Heh.

Thanks for the funny! :)

Rikku, Rikku. She's really not that much of a mischief-maker in FFX, and yet we still see her as this imp on two legs.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
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