In the world of Final Fantasy, Rikku is my bae, my pride and joy, my waifu. But if I had the piece of mind to bother and then the ability to get a mistress, Yuna’s right there as well. If you read my first few Top 10s, you saw that Rikku was the top Final Fantasy girl on the list of video game waifus at #4, while because of Rikku, Yuna had to be relegated to #1 on the video game girl “sleep with” list, simply because I can only be faithful to one girl per universe. So unfortunately, there can only be one waifu, but it’s not to say Yuna isn’t an awesome girl with a ton of upside.
I was never truly a fan of Final Fantasy X’s version of Yuna, aka “Boring Yuna”. And that’s not just because of Rikku owning that #1 spot with me, Yuna just wasn’t all that enjoyable throughout the game. Was she pretty? Yes. Could she be adorable too like Rikku? At times, yes. The problem though was that she hit two major snags with me.
One, being the super religious, following every word she’s told by the Teachings and what the Maesters say, all that nonsense. As an atheist, even at the age I played the game the first time, I had trouble attaching myself to someone who was so brainwashed and following by the letter what the Teachings said, including what would have eventually been sacrificing herself for really no good reason in the end. I don’t have a problem with religion so to speak, but I do take issue with those who are all the way in with it, because those are the ones you cannot reason with and those are the ones who you should be the most worried about.
The second thing was honestly like the name “Boring Yuna” represents, she was boring as hell in the first game. She had little to no personality for the majority of the game, she was a soft-spoken, pretty girl, that’s all she had going for her. She had zero intensity, zero quirkiness, nothing of note to grab my attention. Hell, I’m not sure I can recall a point in the first game where I can say she truly changed her personality to something more interesting to me, it may have been the sequel when she first displayed this.
From the very moment Yuna was not singing in the intro of Final Fantasy X-2, I could see the change in her. She had a bit of spunk to her, she wasn’t doing things because she was told to or because some ancient texts said she should, she was doing things because she wanted to. She had independence. That alone was more than enough for me, but there was still more to her in this game. She had a sense of humour now, her smile didn’t come off somber to me anymore and she seemed genuinely happy at times, rather then putting on happy face for everyone at the worst times. For the first time to me, Yuna was genuinely interesting to me.
Most importantly though, she had a “Fuck you!” side too, as she would on several occasions display towards Shuyin, in particular when she screams “I’M NOT LENNE!!!” at him while guns drawn and pointed at the jackass. Her independence was shining through, she wasn’t taking shit from anybody anymore, yet she could balance that calm, happy side of her and the quirky, bouncy side she’d gained through her adventures with Rikku and Paine. She was multi-layered now, instead of the boring religious pretty girl in FFX.
Now admittedly, another major part of why I started liking Yuna a little more was indeed her change in attire. Now she didn’t have to wear super tight hot pants or a top with the chest completely opened up, that wasn’t necessary. But what the new outfit represented was her pushing away from her past life where she was that cute, perfect girl that everyone looked up to. No longer was she that boring girl, she had something unique going on, she was taking freedom of her own body and putting it out there however she saw fit. It just happened to show her boobs and butt off a lot more than I think 99.9% of us were expecting when we heard a sequel to the original game was coming out. And I suppose the hot spring scene helped a bit too, though I’ll never understand how Rikku changed out of a bikini and into a one-piece, I’m still confused from that.
Yuna is a memorable character and an important one in the Final Fantasy universe. Because she’s the only character I can think of in the history of that series that went through an actual character change over the course of the storyline. Characters may change hairstyles and outfits, maybe even colour schemes, but Yuna is the only character I can think of whose personality actually changes. I love her FFX-2 version leaps and bounds above her FFX version and I think she’s a fantastic female character in video gaming because of that.
Seriously though, it’s not because of the hot pants!!!