I used to have a lot of BIG OPINIONS about FF characters I hated, and a lot of those have mellowed over time; so here's a couple of old opinions revisited. I actually wrote this in mid-October and was going to add to it but never got around to it, so I'm just going to post it.
Rinoa: still terrible
Rinoa goes to great lengths to pull Squall out of his shell. Fundamentally, I disagree with the premise that shells are things that people should be pulled out of. (For instance, I'm very happy in here!) I believe in boundaries and I believe in respect, and Rinoa understands neither. It's also very patronizing for her to think that she, a stranger, knows what Squall needs better than Squall does himself.
[note: have not yet played the remake]
Here's a character I used to despise, but am now largely neutral on.
(1) I used to hate her for what I characterized as "being mean to Cloud as a kid." In retrospect I think this was too entitled and too centered on Cloud's perspective. I had her built up in my head as this big mean bully and that's not really supported by the text.
It's true that Tifa was a popular kid, and Cloud really wanted to hang out with her, and she never invited him to join. It's also true that she laughs when he's pouring out his heart during the well scene. But I think most of Tifa ignoring Cloud can be chalked up to Cloud being too shy to approach her. She had no idea he wanted to be friends. Also, on a deeper level, I don't think that anyone is entitled to your friendship or your care. If Tifa didn't want to be friends with him or didn't care about his dreams of joining SOLDIER, that was completely her prerogative. (Snickering at him was mean. But not enough to hate her for.)
(2) I also used to hate her for being the character who knows everything but doesn't say anything. To be sure, it's an obnoxious trope. But these days I'm more inclined to ascribe it to plot contrivance than personal weakness.
(3) Finally, though I never articulated it at the time, I think I hated her for the fanbase; it felt really thirsty and pathetic. But, eh, it's not fair to blame a character for their fanbase. Also I feel like she's been heavily rehabilitated, at least in my corners of the internet. When the remake came out, I saw a ton of Tifa fanart on my twitter feed, and it was basically celebration of a kickass fighter and her bromance with Aeris. Which is cool.
For all that I've chilled out regarding her character, I still don't have anything positive to say about her (besides "she had a cool fight in AC"), so I guess she's a murky 5/10 instead of a burning 1/10. I hear the remake improves her substantially though.
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