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August 12, 2010 Comments (0) Views: 13943 Videogames

Are They or Aren’t They?: Oerba Yun Fang and Oerba Dia Vanille

Fang guarding Vanille from Hecatonchier

Since entry number seven, the Final Fantasy series has been the poster child for pretty, androgynous boys in jRPGs. I don’t know when it was but videogame critics decided they had to mention how androgynous the male characters were every single time the series was brought up. Ironically, the official art by Yoshitaka Amano for the games prior to FFVII (which is when most of this “FF males=girls” nonsense started) is a lot more similar style-wise with the Yaoi/Boys’ Love genre (side note: Amano’s version of Zidane is positively beautiful). It’s usually the men in the series who mess around with the gender lines, at least by Western standards.
The women of Final Fantasy are a lot more gender-typical in their presentation. Partly this is a consequence of the requirement that most of them take on the role of love interest. Final Fantasy XIII freed its female characters by: (1) making the main character a woman uninterested in romance and (2) outsourcing the love interest duties to her younger sister, who’s thankfully MIA for most of the game. The men in your party are either taken, tragically widowed or twelve. Of the six permanent party members, Fang and Vanille remain romantically unaccounted for. So what are two hot-blooded young women like them to do? Hook up with each other perhaps? Let’s find out.
Note: Spoilers ahead!

Why they might be gay: They’re close friends. Very, very close friends. So close in fact that upon reuniting after a long separation, Fang feels no qualms about lifting up Vanille’s skirt and checking out the condition of her friend’s thighs in front of everyone. She made up some excuse about checking if Vanille’s magical L’Cie brand had changed but that’s about as believable as Details pretending its audience was ever straight men. There’s also a bizarre exchange between the two when you’re exploring Gran Pulse. Snow was the party leader at the time and the great FF Sapphic duo brought up the rear. With the camera facing away from them, Fang grunted and Vanille said, “Not here, Fang.” For more concrete evidence, look at the game’s logo. Those two women? That’s Fang and Vanille embracing. It’s the last scene you see in the game. There’s also this:

Fang and Vanille sharing a perfectly regular embrace.

Why they might not be: Maybe they’re just really, really close friends. Women have a much easier time expressing affection for each other in our world. Maybe it’s the same way on Pulse, except with even fewer inhibitions. They are certainly devoted enough to each other to be sisters. Being the last Pulsians may also have served to drive them closer together. But yeah, I got nothing.
Why they should be gay: Because after fourteen main titles and countless spin-offs, the Final Fantasy series really needs some gays. Some actual homosexuals and not just pretty men who homophobic critics decide are gay without any evidence either way. Square Enix has already annoyed its gay and gay-friendly customer base by not allowing gay weddings in FFXI and they need to make amends. Honestly, this isn’t a question of should. They already are.
Why they should stay in the closet: Square Enix hardly gave these girls the coming out they deserved. Their romance was pretty under-the-radar even by asexual Final Fantasy standards. The pioneering gay couple in a flagship videogame franchise deserves better than a half-hinted at love story. The coming out might also attract the attention of Focus on the Family which has so far mostly ignored Final Fantasy games. If they started paying attention and releasing press releases about how Vaan is turning young boys gay, I might have to go on some sort of Hulk Smash rampage.

Fang checking out Vanille's...brand. Yeah, that's it.

Let’s talk about this in the forums!

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