By that time we had already started watching Bro.Morita's Talking-Laughing (it's just too fun a title!), so as soon as we saw the guy in the sphere, we were reminded how much we love Tidus (though I don't remember loving Tidus all that much, except when listening to our Japanese FFX vocal CD), and were happy that he looked just like Morita-oniisan♥. (It probably helped that he didn't really say anything...)
So of course we started paying extra attention to the way the characters moved. And we noticed that Gippal moved a lot like Zell and Tidus, and were a little sad that Gippal's motion model wasn't credited (though all the other main characters' were, so we suspect it really was Morita-oniisan♥). Then we started wondering, since Squall is so sexy, who his motion model was. And so we wanted to play FFVIII again, but we had Xenosaga, Phantom Brave, and Lunar2, all of which not only postponed the playing of FFVIII, but put our quest to get 100% on X-2 on hold (we did manage to get to 91% though).
Or, to make a long story short, you could say it started about summer of 2004, when we were playing FFVII again (to refresh our memories for Advent Children), and Athena thought, "Hm, I would like to play FFVIII again, too."
Maybe I should start using Arabic numerals for less confusion. But Roman numerals are so much more classic.
And so we've been playing FFVIII again. This time, I've been paying a lot more attention to the animation, because my small brain can only take in so much at once, so the first couple of times I was trying to figure out the story, which is pretty confusing for FFVIII (and VII... I wonder if that's why I like IX so much...).
But wow, the details they put in this game. Like when you go to the inn at Balamb, how the receptionist is going over something on her desk, but once you get into the room she notices you and stands there all business-like. And when you go to look out the window to see the back alley in Timber, how the one kid is standing on his head, for no reason, and you can see him shaking as he tries to hold himself up. I'm curious to see if they keep that kind of stuff up through to the end of the game, or if deadlines made them leave those minor things out more later on.
Zell is really fun to watch. He just can't sit still! I liked when Cid was congratulating all the new SeeDs, and they're all standing at attention and Zell just keeps twitching. So cute! And you can tell he's trying really hard to be good, because he's standing the straightest of everyone. I wonder if they have the motion models act out the entire game, or if they leave some things to the animators' imaginations.
Playing through for the third time, I think I'm seeing the characters a little better, too. I'm falling in love with Seifer. I don't know if I'd like him in real life, but he seems to be a pretty deep character, though I really don't know what it takes to be a deep character. Also, he sounds like he's played by Michael Rosenbaum. I wish they had had more time to go into his inner conflicts and stuff. Especially watching (SPOILER ALERT!!) the scene where he meets Edea. They hint, with all his talking to Squall about wanting to be a hero and stuff (and we know later on he talks about always wanting to be a knight), that he's got this dream. Athena says he's like this little kid who feels neglected, being an orphan and all (they didn't much like him at the orphanage, either, did they?), and he wants to prove himself, not only to the people around him, but to himself. He knows he's worth something, but he doesn't know where that worth is--which is why it really sucks for him that his name is cipher. Wow, Tetsuya Nomura is mean.
Anyway, back to the scene where he meets Edea. That's where you're supposed to be able to see his inner conflict getting the better of him, and you can tell that Edea is saying something that's hitting a nerve, but you can't really see where she finally hits the switch that gets him to change from, "Get away from me!" to, "Okay, I'll go with you." At least I couldn't, but I'm not very smart sometimes. And that makes me sad.
Squall is another enigma for me. We all know he's a jerk. Or at least, he acts like a jerk. I was thinking about it the other day and I thought he's probably just scared of people, like we are. This theory was proved pretty well in the dance scene, when he and Rinoa bump into the other couple and Rinoa's all like, "Hey, watch where you're going!" and Squall's all like, "Oh no! I'm sorry!" He seriously looks very frightened.
But then he started really being a jerk, and I'm like, "Dude, if you're so scared of people, why aren't you nicer to them?" Athena has been coming up with various theories like, "Maybe it's because he's a boy, and his fight or flight reaction is more to fight." This makes a lot of sense, because he's trained to be a fighter. She also suggests that he's not trying to get to close to people, because the one person he got close to left him and he doesn't want to get hurt again. Also, he's only seventeen, so he hasn't quite learned yet that if you don't have friends, you will literally go insane. He's also got a lot of other things to occupy his mind (first school, then SeeD stuff), and when we were in school we didn't realize how much we needed friends either. Although I really hope we weren't as horrible as Squall is.
The other theory is that Squall wasn't terrified (when they bumped into the other couple) because he was afraid they'd hate him, but more because he's a SeeD--he's not supposed to mess up on anything!
It's also interesting to compare Rinoa to Yuna, since they also share a motion model. Rinoa is so much more assertive than Yuna. I wonder what Mayuko Aoki is like in real life.