Lightning Has Boob Jiggle, World Unsurprised
Kotaku apparently lives in a different world than I do. When it came out in recent interviews that the creators of Final Fantasy: Lightning Returns made Lightning’s breasts larger and added “boob jiggle” Kotaku, and the commenters, acted as if this was the first time Final Fantasy had added in blatant pandering to the straight male sexual gaze- fan service, as they call it, undermining the value of their female characters as positive role-models.
We can argue all we want about whether or not their female characters are good, but let’s not kid ourselves here. Final Fantasy has had a ton of ridiculous fan service for a long time now. This isn’t really new.
I won’t argue that giving Lightning larger breasts (what, did she hit a growth spurt between XIII-2 and Lightning Returns?) and making them jiggle isn’t absurd. It is. It’s an obvious pander to the straight male gaze, and it does imply some creepy things about the creators of the game and the respect which they afford Lightning as a character. We’re in agreement. But to pretend that the post Final Fantasy VII era of Final Fantasy hasn’t had fan service as an almost constant part of the marketing or character design is just ignoring the evidence in front of you. (With the exceptions of IX, XI, XII, and even those games weren’t particularly good about fan service.)
If the images above aren’t enough proof, let’s go through the games one by one, yeah?
Final Fantasy VII- Tifa, the woman whose sprite is most notably distinct by her ridiculously large breasts. Her outfit emphasizes her breasts, and even in the CGI movie her outfit is directly calls attention to her breasts. See also Yuffie, who wears the ninja version of a bikini the entire game.
Final Fantasy VIII- Quistis, or the dominatrix teacher. She uses a whip, she domineering, she wear glasses, she acts seductive the entire game. Or maybe Selphie, the girl whose skirt stops just below her ass? Maybe Riona, who has another absurd boob emphasizing outfit?
Final Fantasy IX- Generally okay, but they oddly emphasized Garnet’s sexuality at times. Her wedding dress was blatant as hell fan-service.
Final Fantasy X- Or as I call it, the Game of a Million Asses. They loved showing off Rikku’s ass. And Tidus’, to be fair. And just look at Lulu’s breasts! How they don’t explode from her dress belt is beyond me.
Final Fantasy X-2- The game of a million fan services. Rikku apparent;y became a big fan of thong bikinis, and Yuna loves boy shorts. Paine is Quistis taken to the goth extremes. Nope, no fan service here.
Final Fantasy XI- I didn’t play it, but I bet it’s there.
Final Fantasy XII- About as bad as IX, though the skirts are oddly short and Fran is pretty much just straight out of an Otaku’s wet dream. Half-naked sexy bunny girls? Yeah, okay.
Final Fantasy XIII- Nothing like a 14 year old girl running around half naked, right? The rest of the women in XIII could be fully clothed and Vanille alone would be fan servicey enough to make XIII creepy. But Fang, Serah, and even Lightning to an extent have absurd clothing that serves no real practical value.
Final Fantasy XIII-2- The “let’s dress Serah up in sexy costumes” game.
Final Fantasy: Lightning Returns- The “let’s dress Lightning up in sex costumes, now with enhanced boob jiggle!” game.
Stop acting like fan service is something new in Final Fantasy. It isn’t. It’s a problem, yeah, but your nostalgia is blinding you to the fact that Square-Enix has been doing this for as long as they could get away with it.