31 Days of Final Fantasy - Day 1: Favorite Male Character
Final Fantasy has an amazing variety of male protagonists with vastly different personalities and stories that have shaped them to be the heroes that they became in the end. I honestly had such a difficult time picking out my absolute favorite. I knew beforehand that it was between Squall Leonhart, Zidane Tribal, and Tidus so I decided to refresh my memory a bit on my favorite aspects of each one. I eventually arrived at the conclusion that even though I had been thinking otherwise recently, there’s nobody who would take this title in my heart other than Tidus from Final Fantasy X.
"This is my story. It’ll go the way I want it…or I’ll end it here!"
Tidus is a rather controversial protagonist in the beloved Final Fantasy series. Although the protagonist of the well known and cherished X installment in the series, he is not often everyone’s favorite. And as my personal favorite protagonist, I dare say that this is completely understandable. Although it will trigger me into a defensive mode when I see people bashing on his character I am very aware of the reasons why and they are perfectly clear and valid. However, loving a character and viewing them as perfect is usually not in the sense that we truly believe they are perfect. It is loving them and their flaws, finding perfection in the imperfections.
This heavily applies to Tidus. Tidus at the start is rather of an extremely childish character. Star of the Zanarkand Abes, it is easy to see that he’s somewhat of a kid inside an adult’s body. He is childish. He dislikes it when things do not go his way and has a bit of a tantrum as he did when Auron informs him that his father Jecht is sin. He is not stoic or the conventional masculine type of hero. He acts childish and is not afraid to express it.
As the story progresses you see Tidus’ character develop and it is what I love about him so. His development is evident throughout the game as the events he goes through and his journey with Yuna change him from a childish and rather selfish guy into a man who was willing to sacrifice himself for the rest of humanity.
I have faced many people asking me why Tidus is my favorite protagonist in the series when he was an “annoying douche” in the beginning. Really? Come back to tell me that when you keep to yourself the horrible truth regarding your existence so that you can help your friends save the world, and you do so while giving your absolute best to reach that goal despite knowing full well that it means you will die! Bet you can’t do that, huh?
By the end of Final Fantasy X, Tidus became a selfless individual who overcame the struggles he faced with his father and who’s last words were that of an apology to his beloved that he could not keep his promise to her. We follow a protagonist’s story to see their development through the series of events that occur to them in the story. And in my opinion, Tidus perfectly exemplified the massive development a person can go through due to their hardships. Tidus grew up and he grew beyond. I will always love and admire whom he became by the end, along with his upbeat and cheerful nature, his little jokes, his sensitive heart, how he believed in himself and his friends, his optimism and his ability to encourage others. And not to mention his iconic laugh. He is a difficult character at first but it really warmed my heart seeing him grow and therefore growing alongside him. With Tidus, I felt that it was truly my journey because I saw him transform ever so clearly. And after thinking about why I appreciated each protagonist, you can see why I just had to choose Tidus.
Although I will not really ask of people to like him more, I do wish to ask that more people would see beyond the little kid that he is at the beginning and perhaps get around to appreciating his character, for all the flaws and virtues he holds. He is a character I truly appreciate for his absolute everything and he made Final Fantasy X as enjoyable as it was and is one of the reasons why it is my favorite installment in the franchise. I can only say that it was truly a magical experience to listen to and be part of his story.