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Hm. You know what surprises me?

There's quite a lot of people who specifically consider Wakka/Lulu one of their favorite Fandom pairings.

(Spoilers to FFX-2)



When I first heard that Wakka and Lulu got married, I thought, "Say WHAT? What is Square THINKING?" It seemed like crack, it seemed cruel to Wakka, and it seemed disrespectful to Lulu. I came to the conclusion that it was a marriage of convenience for the game designers, getting Wakka and Lulu out of the way so that they wouldn't rush to Yuna's defense when the going got tough.

Crack because he was this nice ordinary guy, a heart-of-gold jock athelete, and she's a frickin' force of nature, with a deadly implacable streak. Neither one of them is on the same wavelength as the other. I certainly can understand their friendship; they have a lot of shared history and common ground. But that which makes them most themselves is not something the other will ever really relate to.

I could see playing them off against one another in fanfiction CRACK, the way one might put Selphie and Seifer, or, well, things like Aurikku where part of the game is that they're so different that it's bizarre. I know the whole opposites attract schtick. Wakka and Lulu are very, VERY opposite, and from what I've seen, those differences would put far too much strain on a relationship.


The second and biggest thing for me is that it seems mean to Wakka. He will always feel inferior around Lulu, and she will always be in a position of authority and power, even when she chooses to defer to him in the hopes of kicking him to make up his own mind. He loves her, sure. But he's scared of her. I don't see any sign in X-2 that he's grown a spine and is no longer in the "yes ma'am" mode he was in FFX (a phrase he did say to her).

I just don't think it's good for poor Wakka to be in a permanent partnership with Lulu. It's an unequal relationship where she holds the leash, unless she denies her own self-power and authority, and decides to let him be in charge. That's one of the big reasons why Auron/Lulu works so well -- neither one dominates the other.

I can see Wakka falling for her, but he would have done better with Rikku, where they'd fight and argue and get mad and neither one would feel eclipsed by the other.


Third is the hypocritical factor for Lulu. In FFX, she made it bluntly clear that they were incompatible on at least two occasions where Tidus hinted at something between them.

First response: "You don't want to finish that sentence."
Second response: "Getting along isn't enough. Not even close. You need to learn something about women."
"Okay, I won't forget."
"I won't forget either."

It's the second one that's really, really firm to me. Lulu knows herself. She is trying to instruct Tidus to pay a little closer attention to what people are like. She's trying to make a very important point (often lost on fanfic and other writers), that one can have male/female friendships that are not romantic.

Lulu says she's not going to forget. Then, according to X-2, she does.

I know people can lie to themselves, I know they can protest too much, I know they can have a change of heart -- but I hate it that Lulu turns out to be a total hypocrite, a fickle woman who doesn't know her own mind and heart. I'm tired of the "fickleness of women" plotline. I don't want her words to turn out to be a lie.

Also, honestly, I don't understand why she would've had a change of heart in how she feels about him. Getting over her frustration of Wakka to trust him as a friend, yes. Falling in love with him? No. Chappu was an ordinary guy (opposite, again) but he seemed to have a life, a spark in him, and I could see how that exact kind of magic and love and "come on, Lu, let's go!" might have helped her draw her out of herself. But Wakka's insecurities only draw out Lulu's frustrations. At best, she has to tolerate and gloss over his neurotic worries, his annoying habits, the things she finds foolish. I don't see anything in Wakka to ignite a romantic spark in a woman with Lulu's temperament.

Watching the two of them married, I see that Lulu has diminished herself and given up on a piece of herself in order not to hurt him. I see Wakka is still under her thumb, unable to be his own lovable self without a sense of shame. That's sad for both of them.

I can imagine writing the ship as an alternative to canon, playing with "what if the impossible happened and Lulu fell for Wakka the way he's fallen for her?" but as canon, it's disappointing. I have the hunch that most of the Wakka/Lulu shippers would not see it that way.

In my own writing, which is firmly FFX most of the time, I enjoy very much writing Wakka and Lulu as friends, and Wakka with a crush on her (poor Wakka). I will sometimes write on the assumption that maybe after the pilgrimage, Lulu gave in and let herself marry Wakka because he's there, because he's a friend, because she trusts him, because he at least understands her a little. But it's not an ideal match, and he'll never entirely live up to her expectations or fill the gap in her heart.




ETA: Wakka/Lulu fans, I am sorry that I got a little too forceful in stating my opinion in a few places here. There are definitely different ways of looking at all this. Please see some of the thoughtful replies below.
 

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
heyheyrenay
Jul. 26th, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC)
You know I'm right there with you--I get so disappointed when I get comments to my Rikku/Wakka material that's the equivalent of "this sucks because Wakka belongs with LULU!" Writing primarily in the FFX fandom, it's a regular occurance, and a pretty hurtful one, too. Oh, well, I guess!

Sometimes I wonder if I seriously missed something in the game for the Wakka/Lulu ship. Because as I get told, the evidence is EVERYWHERE. Maybe I'm not observant enough.
auronlu
Jul. 26th, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
I think people are reading all the Wakka/Lulu interactions as "Lulu is lying to herself." :(
sunsetsred
Jul. 27th, 2006 02:32 am (UTC)
I think everyone who writes characters in a relationship that contradicts canon or what fandom deems canon gets that response -_- It's like, wtf, dont read it if you dont like it.
animecrush
Jul. 26th, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
I agree with you on many of your points. During my replay of FFX lately, when in Guadosalam Lulu and Tidus have a discussion that really made me think about Lulu's future marriage to Wakka.

Tidus: "That's it? What if she doesn't even like the guy? Is that okay?"
Lulu: "People marry for different reasons."
Tidus: "What's that mean?"
Lulu: "Sometimes marriage doesn't require love, you know? Defeat Sin, and bring joy to the people of Spira. For Yuna, they're just two ways down the same road. All you need is determination. If you have that, you don't need love."

While yes, she is refering to Yuna, I can't help but feel maybe such a philosophy turned into to something she took personaly for herself. "Marry Wakka.. make people happy...have children to rebuild Spira." It is very sad to think that she fell into it merely as a way of convience and joy for others, even as a strong character. She can't be with her true-love.. so why not make everyone happy and just go for second best? I hate to think thats how it was set, but its just another theory. Maybe there is guilt there for things that occured with Chappu. I agree though, it is rather.. sad to think on.
muggy_mountain
Jul. 26th, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
Tidus: "That's it? What if she doesn't even like the guy? Is that okay?"
Lulu: "People marry for different reasons."
Tidus: "What's that mean?"
Lulu: "Sometimes marriage doesn't require love, you know? Defeat Sin, and bring joy to the people of Spira. For Yuna, they're just two ways down the same road. All you need is determination. If you have that, you don't need love."


I never minded Wakka/Lulu because I can understand a lot can happen in two years, and I prefer canon-bending to canon-denial.

But wow, I never put that quote into that context.

And that makes it very sad. I think an Aulu fic should be written around that. *Eyes Helluin*
Whoops, rant alert. ;) - auronlu - Jul. 26th, 2006 11:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Whoops, rant alert. ;) - muggy_mountain - Jul. 26th, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
cygna_hime
Jul. 27th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)
Hmm. I'm rather on the other side, here: my first time playing, Wakka and Lulu set off my UST detector more or less instantaneously, and I've never shaken that off. So, let me try to articulate why I like Wakka and Lulu as a couple. So, in order of your problems:

I can't really perceive Wakka/Lulu as a "crack" pairing, because I hail from fandoms with far looser defintions of "sane". Wakka and Lulu have actually spoken more than two sentences to one another. They do not hate each other's guts. They're even the same species. QED, not crack. This is really just personal, but my definition of "crack" is much, well, crazier.

I also think you and I perceive Lulu differently, which is interesting. To me, she's a force of nature, maybe, but significantly smaller than some of the other force-of-nature characters wandering around. Implacable? Well, I'll give you that, but not always and not deadly (or Wakka wouldn't be alive now). I see her as someone who wants structure and, above all, control, and her tragedy is that her life will always be a little bit outside her control.

So. Being mean to Wakka. Gods forbid anyone should ever be mean to Wakka, the poor sweetie! *hugs* I don't think Lulu and Wakka's relationship is that unequal, really. When we meet them, I think Wakka's still a bit walking-on-eggshells around Lulu, not entirely sure how to handle either her grief or his own, but he doesn't automatically obey her.

Their first conversation, it does look like Lulu comes out ahead, verbally at least. But does she actually win? Not if she wanted Wakka not to adopt Tidus, she didn't! It seemed to me like he heard her out and did what he thought was best anyway. Yeah, he values her opinion, but if it comes down to it, he's just as stubborn as she is.

I don't think Lulu could ever eclipse Wakka, any more than he could ever eclipse her. They might sometimes *feel* eclipsed by each other, since they're both famous not only as guardians but in two distinct fields, but that doesn't mean it would matter, in the long run.

Now, Lulu and hypocrisy. I always felt that Lulu was lying to herself, but I didn't think it made her weak or fickle. I thought it made her human. We all lie to ourselves, by omission if in no other way. And since many of FFX's character arcs (if I may call them so) are about what we say as opposed to what we really feel, I think having Lulu not know exactly what she wants is perfectly appropriate. You could argue that all the main characters lie to themselves or are hypocritical at some point. Lulu fits in perfectly.

I don't find Wakka/Lulu disappointing as canon, either. Though now I come to think of it, I realise that's because I could see it coming from minute one. I always expected them to happen, so it couldn't disappoint me. On the other hand, it didn't elate me, either. I simply knew it would be canon, and felt satisfaction at a prediction well fulfilled.

I think they fit well together, because Wakka is so very alive, and Lulu needs to be reminded that life isn't such a fearsome thing; and Lulu is real and realistic enough to bring Wakka's head out of the clouds, at least temporarily. I can picture them living together, with occasional spats, for years and years.

No, Wakka will never live up to Lulu's imagined perfection, but no one ever does; that's why it's imagined. Lulu will never live up to Wakka's wildest dreams, either. Such is life.
cygna_hime
Jul. 27th, 2006 12:35 am (UTC)
More. I ran out of room.
The odd thing is, even though I would call myself a fan of Wakka/Lulu, I don't think of them as wildly romantic. Or I don't think romantically. Whichever.

I think, they're friends. They're close. They trust one another. They feel affection for one another. They understand one another, often better than they understand themselves. Neither of them has a closer relationship than the one with the other. Why not?

Allegedly there's something more, but I've never seen it, and couldn't say what it is.

Since I've been writing stories about Wakka, Chappu, and Lulu, I think I may always perceive Wakka and Lulu as a trio with a bit missing.

I can see Lulu's decision to marry Wakka (and isn't it interesting that no one here doubts that Wakka would marry Lulu?) a lot of ways and for a lot of reasons: He loves her, and she can't think why not. He reminds her of his brother (though I think this is what's keeping them apart in FFX, not what could bring them together). He's the only person in her life who isn't going anywhere. She's under pressure, in a society used to a ginormous mortality rate, to have children NOW NOW NOW. She's tired of adventure and wants peace and quiet. She wants to be normal. She wants a new beginning. To go on arguing and making up more conveniently. She loves him, or thinks she does. She's wary of passionate love, and would rather have someone she cares about than risk getting hurt again. He's safe. She thinks she can be happy with him.

Take your pick. Some reasons are better than others, but I think they're all possible. And I think Lulu quite probably was selling either herself or Wakka short in whatever reason she did have, but that's okay. It doesn't have to start out for the "right" reasons to be a good relationship in the end.

I like Wakka/Lulu, but I'm not hugely invested in it. I don't get all twitchy when I read either of them with someone else. Actually, I do, but it has more to do with either the someone else in question or the quality of the writing, depending on the story.

A person can only take so much drama in relationships. Sometimes you need nice, stable, cuddly, staying-put-ness.
sunsetsred
Jul. 27th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC)
I like Wakka/Lulu, and it's probably one of the only canon pairings I like so much.

I guess I like their dynamics? And they kinda remind me of me and my husband. Not that I'm like Lulu, but just that we're really different in a lot of ways. And maybe it's the fact that it's not your typical canon pairing?

And I dont think it's settling or selling someone short if you both really love each other.

A lot of why they work has to do with their history together... it's just believable to me, the way they act around each other. Their relationship just seems real. Maybe that's what reminds me of me and my husband.

I like Wakka/Lulu, but I'm not hugely invested in it. I don't get all twitchy when I read either of them with someone else.

I really agree with that. I dont seek out Wakka/Lulu fanfic and fanart or follow their fandom at all, really. I'm not a fan of any other Wakka pairing, but it's not because of Wa/Lu. And I really like Auron/Lulu, too. I love how Auron and Lulu just go together, y'know? Mature, stoic, and all that jazz ^_^
parron
Jul. 27th, 2006 03:46 am (UTC)
Please note that I don't mean to sound, well, mean at all, and I apologize if I do:
Came here on a whim, and must at once join the opposition and agree with the last two commenters. I like Lulu/Auron, but I've always liked Wakka/Lulu. I can't put it eloquently, but I can say I agree with what's already been said. I admit that I was a little thrown when I first played X-2 and saw it, but not in a bad way--just in a "I would have liked to know they were dating before I find them married-with-child-coming" way.

I do like Wakka/Lulu. And in a way--sorry if this sounds a little touchy--it always bugs me the way the fandom is so freverently anti-W/L. People hate Aurikku and will just say "well, not my tastes, ship it if you want." Same with most pairings. But for some reason, to say "I like W/L" is inviting open derision. "You do? They make no sense! Sheesh!"

Not liking a pairing is obviously fine. But just because other people have the nerve to like it - the nerve to like a canon couple, of all things! - doesn't mean that it's nice to attack it, either. No one is ever going to agree on anything. And the more you like one thing, the more clouded against other things you tend to get. *shrug* That's just life.

So if it's not to forward to ask, I'd appreciate it if you didn't treat one of my favorite couples like it was stupid to even consider!
(Deleted comment)
sunsetsred
Jul. 27th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)
Re: Please note that I don't mean to sound, well, mean at all, and I apologize if I do:
Hehe. Most of the fans who answered the pairing memes (well, the last two friending memes, really) are my circle of friends, which usually means a good deal of under-represented and/or overly-protested pairings, at least the last time I checked. So I'm not sure if we're such a good measurement of the fandom...

Though I'd say I've seen people on both sides of the matter. *shrugs* I think it's something everyone has something of an opinion on, yet dont pay much attention to.

Aurikku makes me scream too. And punch. And... other equally bad things. >_>
parron
Jul. 27th, 2006 04:59 am (UTC)
Wherin Parron tries to contribute, and ends up tangenting!
Yes, of course. I must apologize for sounding a little snappy; this whole "debate" is one I've come across a little too often, and it never stops bugging me. It's not that I cannot deal with people that don't like a pairing I like, it's more... "in my expirence," (and admitedly my corner of fandom is not exactly in the mainstream) "Wakka/Lulu is often bashed just for the sake of its existance, often by fans of alt.ships with them both." Not to say that liking A/L or W/R is bad, never. Just, well, you know. :P I'm a bit sensitive to the subject, and I'm always too brash for my own good.

It was a miscommunication to be sure. No harm intended. Peace indeed. ^^;

On the subject of crack pairings and attacks, actually - this is somewhat off topic, but it just struck me. No one has ever once attacked me for my ships. Whether they be Baralai/Nooj or Paine/Leblanc or, oh, Rikku/Yunalesca. But in "less" crack alt.pairings, like A/L or whatever, it seems that there is a fair amont of attacking, doesn't it? I always hear about it. This is interesting to me, somehow. Is there a range? "This ship strikes a little too close to home?" What makes Auron/Lulu more offensive than Auron/Kinoc? What's the problem with Wakka/Rikku compared to Rikku/Nooj? Baralai/Yuna versus Nooj/Yuna? Logically, I'd have to say that the weirder pairings would be the more attacked. Maybe I - and the people I know - are just surrounded by a magical force field that protect us and our super crack ships... but I'm sort of getting curious as to why that curve seems to exist.
auronlu
Jul. 27th, 2006 05:13 am (UTC)
Re: Please note that I don't mean to sound, well, mean at all, and I apologize if I do:
Wow, crossed signals here! I'm sorry.

You're talking about the fandom being fervently anti-W/L, and I'm talking about, "Wow, the fandom is really pro-W/L!" having just discovered that the majority of fans who answered a pairing survey included Wakka/Lulu on their favorite pairings.

Fans are touchy. Pretty much all my A/L stuff gets attacked by random reviewers on the grounds that it defies W/L. Bottle_of_Shine reports the same problem on the W/R stuff she writes.

I guess... we all get tired of being poked at, eh? :)

But I am sorry-- I certainly don't think it's stupid to consider, or I wouldn't be reconsidering it! And believe me, I have a lot easier time with W/L than I do with Aurikku (where I want to scream, and just try not to rant about it) or some other things. There's a couple specific reasons I have reservations about W/L, but it I close my eyes on those, I can see where you're coming from. It's certainly not a drastic distortion of character the way some non-canon 'ships are.

But I like Lulu's and Wakka's rocky friendship a lot; it's one of the things about FFX I like most. So. There you are.

Peace? :)
:O - parron - Jul. 27th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Jul. 27th, 2006 03:48 am (UTC)
Hmmm. Okay, I guess I can see the different perspectives.

I still look back at my initial post, and still feel about the same on points two and three, and I'd just be repeating myself if I explained why. However, I can see different ways of interpreting the interactions between those two characters, different moments to emphasize.

I never said it would be selling out to give up a little of her independence if Lulu and Wakka had fallen in love -- marriage always involves such compromises -- what worried me was Lulu's "you don't need love" speech implying that maybe Lulu wouldn't marry Wakka out of love, but just to give Besaid something to celebrate, a new child. I find that almost possible (except Yuna's beating Sin accomplished that already), but depressing.

Going back to the original point of the top post -- I'm mainly just surprised it is claimed as such a popular canon pairing, because I haven't seen much written about it!

But if people are seeing them as a typical squabbling married couple with ups and downs and problems, as opposed to the idealized fantasy couple where everything's rosy romantic, okay, yeah, that makes sense .:)
lassarina
Jul. 27th, 2006 03:57 am (UTC)
I agree with you one thousand percent, really. I spazzed when I heard that they were married, and that was way before I learned to 'ship AuronxLulu. (Really, I 'ship ChappuxLulu cause I'm that kind of girl. I loves me the angst.)
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