Reinventing Sexuality: The Transhumanist Subtext in Final Fantasy VII

Oh, the scene with the risqué line of dialogue? […] The original idea was more extreme. The plan was to have Cloud walk out of the Chocobo stable on board the Highwind, followed by Tifa leaving while checking around, but Kitase turned it down.

—Nojima, April 5 2009

A more careful approach toward an “exegesis” scrutinising these newfound canon is, of course, as precious as they are difficult to carry out — for which I shall not blame any party. Yet if one instead opt to invest their time to actually observe in closer details, this revelation might as well rise a new suspicion: could it be that the works of Kitase and Nojima, unconsciously or otherwise, display hostility on the ways we lust for passion and intellectual accomplishment?

My imaginary transhumanist might pose an objection; we cannot, according to the discipline, have it both ways so conveniently. Our vast arrays of technological might would sooner lead us to a kind of de-evolution, as they might disrobe us of our less sophisticated behaviours, which, ironically, are all the more essential to human psyche even when compared to our perverse longing for a glorious intellectual triumph that is technological might. It is therefore, as I would presume that our contemporary thinkers like Zerzan and Tucker would attest, a requisite for us to relinquish either.

It would be another low to ignore the importance of this matter:

A queer turn of events: why did Kitase reject such proposition? The aforesaid interview suggests nothing. What it does suggest is, however, that these two writers apparently disagreed with each other in the process of weaving the narrative. Kitase’s view emerged victorious, and therefore we, readers, were forced to immerse in the tale by using his magnifying glasses. Critics like me might disagree with each other on whether it worked, but nevertheless, this gives us an idea; that there was another manner in which the literature can be seen. My reader might be provoked at this point as to question as for which interpretation is the valid one, but pray save that for another time for the sake of convenience.

We have all seen Kitase’s, but indeed, it is Nojima’s that is the more enigmatic. Why the chocobo stable? I have my views, which we shall visit.

The particularly unorthodox choice of venue is not arbitrary, but rather quasi-metaphorical — a manner in which the writer playfully attempted to explore the meta side of postmodern literary traditions. It is arguably intended to reflect the primal and raw nature of the happenings, a subtext pertaining to human sexuality deliberately made elusive. Such, perhaps, is Nojima’s fashion of throwing a ridicule at the anticlimatic progress of sexuality and technology.

We might accuse the personas playing their roles here of deviancy; but according Foucault (1961), it is not so much that deviants are deviant in a universal sense, in which light they are commonly put under scrutiny, but rather arbitrarily — therein lies the irony. The scene is therefore a masterful case in which Nojima toys with our civilised and primal senses at once: it is a paradox of “manner”, in the sense that a paradox of “time” is anachronism and “place” anatopism. Additionally, it might be even more interesting is to try and guess whether the usage of a chocobo stable has another meaning — for Nojima could have used any other kind of breed. It is a thrilling experience to start deconstructing the frustrated nature of chocoboes, a flightless fowl, in the light of Freudian traditions, in which I do not have the right to claim expertise.

As we have all familiar with, the lead character’s signature possession is that of a grotesquely sized sword, an instrument with a glaringly obvious phallic nature — with the fashion in which it was decorated further exhibiting a taste of exuberantly stylistic poverty (and therefore “beastly”). The sheer “amannerism” displayed by Nojima’s draft was therefore all the more disturbing, for the resulting scene were cobbled with a smorgasbord of semiotic signs randomly supporting and contradicting each other, effectively obscuring the auteur’s intended meaning. Add that too, of course, with the “unchaste” wrapping utilised — yet another mockery, perhaps in the form of a snicker abundantly presented to the distorted, unhealthily idealised image of modern sexuality.

Then, the sight (or the lack thereof) of the lead characters violently making love was crafted into quite an exquisite, yet enigmatic imagery; rich with metaphors and self-parody. Staggering how a thing as mundane as the bed on which they knew each other (either bundles of hay or the open air, a curious dichotomy between living bushes and their corpse counterparts) could run amok and liberally alter the tale. Thus I felt quite the regret that Nojima chose not to force his idea down Kitase’s poisonously conservative throat — it has deprived the narrative of an idiosyncratic element of sheer black comedy genius.

15 thoughts on “Reinventing Sexuality: The Transhumanist Subtext in Final Fantasy VII

  1. Such a great and enlightening analysis.

    However, I am a tad disappointed that the writer failed to take into account the possibility, and the significance thereof, of the Golden Chocobo itself claiming any participation during the rather roguish exercise within such a claustrophobic chamber. In that light, the decision of choosing the specific species would certainly contain much severe weight, both figuratively and literally.

  2. @ S. mcduck

    It is not that the idea is brilliant in itself, but the sheer symbolism that it might pose is indeed staggering.

    But that would of course require that the player possess a golden chocobo in the first place, which raises into question again about Ebert’s objection that video games as a medium allows too many possibility to be considered art.

    In that light, the decision of choosing the specific species would certainly contain much severe weight, both figuratively and literally.

    Splendid. I figure that its literal value is the more interesting bit — mayhap it’s a symbolism for samsara, eternal torment, or both.

  3. Sokalism run rampant… ^^;

    BTW, OOT though. I often think that symbolism and all that may well only exist in the fans’ mind. Consider one of my pals’ saying (in Indonesian):

    “Sampe segitunya? Gw curiga, jangan-jangan kalo pengarangnya baca, dia bakal kaget sendiri: “HUANJRIT!? GW AJA GAK KEPIKIRAN!”😯

    So… well.😆

    Of course in Nojima’s case above it’s considerably Word of God. But then we have overenthusiastic fans whose interpretations can be easily jossed

    [/TVTropes linking whore] xD

  4. ^

    …slip of mind. But then if I mention “Jesus in Purgatory”, I couldn’t link to “Jossed”, “WMG”, and “Word of God”. Perhaps it ended up being more informative to readers unfamiliar with TV Tropes. (haha)

    One possible comment using that link though:

    Jesus in Purgatory? (ninja)

    P.s. Plurk meme FTW. (dance)

  5. *baca ulang*

    Then, the sight (or the lack thereof) of the lead characters violently making love was crafted into quite an exquisite, yet enigmatic imagery; rich with metaphors and self-parody. […] Thus I felt quite the regret that Nojima chose not to force his idea down Kitase’s poisonously conservative throat — it has deprived the narrative of an idiosyncratic element of sheer black comedy genius.

    Come to think of it, it may have something to do with *ahem* marketing strategy. One glance at the corresponding wikipedia entry:

    Rating(s):

    ELSPA: 11+
    ESRB: T
    OFLC: G8+
    PEGI: 12+
    USK: 12+

    At least, hey, what? 12+ for God-know-how-much original sexual overtone? Revenue-cut maybe.😆

    Though, yes, I’d like to see a darker-and-edgier FF7. including one entertained in a doujinshi where Aerith got raped by Sephiroth. But then we know those corporations have their own ideas…

     
    P.s. Anybody cares for lesbianism deconstruction featuring Tifa-Aerith?

  6. @ sora9n
    😕

    Your replies were not pretentious enough reflecting much understanding of contemporary aesthetic matters; hence I provide no responses.

  7. @ sora9n

    P.s. Anybody cares for lesbianism deconstruction featuring Tifa-Aerith?

    I find it offensive that you masquerade your plebeian lust for profundity. Me and my readers do not indulge in pornography; we believe educated people should exhibit a taste beyond stooping so low as that. (nottalking)

  8. @ sora9n

    To speak the truth, I was re-reading EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory yesterday — everything was downhill from there.

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