FUN FACT: Santa uses parkour to be able to visit every house in the world in just one night

The face of satisfaction. [x]


when ya hair game on point



Red XIII. FFVII character remix #finalfantasy

FFX HD Liveblog: The Sending (Kilika Sunset)
Oh, wow. In-game graphics give a boost to what was already a powerful scene. The improved water dynamics, sky and sounds set the mood as Tidus walks from the ferry to the Sending area. In the background are the glowing clouds of sunset, the rippling water reflecting the sky, and the sound of lapping waves and gulls: all heartbreakingly lovely in the somber light of a symbolic setting sun (an image even more meaningful in Japan).
The Sending. In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful cinematic in all of Final Fantasy, seen in early concept art and in the game’s logo. While it’s been adapted for a fictional fantasy setting, Yuna’s sending dance probably derives from the Shinto practice of kagura ritual dances:

In late medieval Japan, two forms of kagura seem to be widespread. The first focused on the figure of the miko, a female (but after the seventeenth century, more and more often male) medium. In this kind of kagura a miko went into a trance and became possessed, either by a protective spirit blessing the villagers in an oracle, by a demon who had to be driven out from the human domain to the hills beyond, or by the spirits of the dead who had to be guided to a Buddha-land (Iwate 1994). A second common type were so-called “boiling water” dances (yudate kagura)…

—A New History of Shinto. 
In general, Shinto has a lot to do with the spirits of the dead and of natural or elemental forces. It’s easy to pick up those themes in aeons, fayth, unsent, even Sin as a “demon” of sorts (or rather, a very large “fiend.”)
But to the dance itself. With a huff of impatience, Lulu has now accepted Tidus at least enough to decide that this “clueless” person needs instruction, and she lectures him soberly on how “the dead need guidance” and how the unsent are liable to become “fiends that prey upon the living.” “Sad, isn’t it,” she says, and in retrospect her words are chilling: she knows that her failure to protect another summoner may have led to such a fate. Lulu almost never speaks of what’s really eating at her, so one has to read between the lines of her distancing lectures.
Yuna finishes conferring with the town elders (her “ghost” has disappeared, for those who know the old game’s glitches too well), and FMV mode kicks in. It’s moving just to watch, but this time I paid more attention to the ritual’s structure. The coffins are decorated with Yevon’s sign, garlands of flowers — a worldwide symbol of resurrection —(chrysanthemums?) and red shrouds. For what it’s worth, red in Japan symbolizes expelling demons and disease, in other words, purification (and perhaps in this context, expelling the negative emotions and grief that could turn unquiet spirits into fiends).
Yuna displays her Ninja powers (!) of walking on water (yes, I know, Jesus), gathers herself, and begins to twirl, calling spirits out of their shrouds and towards herself in a counterclockwise spiral (omote manji, Buddhist symbol of mercy and love). When the spirits converge on Yuna, the torches around the area suddenly turn blue, as if spirit energy has posessed them. Does Yuna get posessed, too, at that point? I’m not sure, but once the spirits converge at her feet, their pyrefly-energies form a spinning cone that carries her aloft. They rise up through the spiralling water and continue upwards, dissipating into heaven as if channeled by her staff and arms. Assuming you accept the premise of spirit-energies made visible, it’s possible to interpret what’s happening.
Of course, the nitty gritty details are irrelevant to the weeping villagers, who are using the ritual for the more human purpose of venting grief. It’s painful to watch. The stoic aloofness of Kimahri and Lulu, acting as impassive and impressive guardians, makes the villagers’ pain stand out more by contrast.
Eventually all the dead are sent, and Yuna comes back down, returning to shore.
Tidus has his little natter about how tough it is being a summoner, once again empathizing with Yuna. Lulu gives another ominous non-answer: “All we can do is protect her along the way… until the end.” If we accept the Ultimania Guide’s timeline, Lulu has spent two years trying to head off Yuna’s pilgrimage, first forbidding her to train as a summoner, then trying to defeat Sin with another summoner first. Twice, Lulu failed. So now all Lulu can do is protect Yuna until the end, accompanying her on the pilgrimage she had fiercely opposed. Lulu can’t stop her best friend from sacrificing self, so she’s going with her, possibly into death. This is what Lulu will later admit was “too hard to say.”
Tidus, oblivious to Lulu’s subtext, finds it horrible how everyone’s staring at Yuna — in direct contrast to his own positive experience, in which he used to have stadium crowds staring at him. However, blitzball is a ritual of life, not death.
Yuna runs into Lulu’s arms for comfort — we will see this level of intimacy between them less and less often as the pilgrimage proceeds — and asks for approbriation. Lulu fusses with her hair, as usual, while gently instructing her to hide her tears… something Lulu probably learned to do at a young age. Yuna has to learn to wear the same mask. A great deal of priestly duties boil down to morale raising via performance art.