So I received a generally positive bit of feedback in regards to last weeks post so I suppose I’ll pick up where I left off there. This week we’ll take look from the Lovers down through the Wheel of Fortune. I hope you enjoy the ride.
May Contain Spoilers.
In the story of the Fool’s journey the Lovers represents the Soul Mate, the one who finishes his sentences, who completes him without ever needing to be told why. It also shows the Fool’s willingness to diverge from his planned path for her. In tarot readings however it stands for love, union, sexual passion, desire, choice, and temptation. Three little ladies have represented this arcana. Yukari Takeba, Lisa Silverman, and Rise Kujikawa.
Lisa Silverman was the first so we’ll start there. It’s funny because taking a clear look at the Lover in the story I would have sworn that it would be Jun, but instead they chose Lisa. More so then the story she does a decent job of being the tarot rep, love she loves Tatsuya to appoint bordering on obsession, a love so strong she’s still interested in him once she’s forgotten even his name. Sexual passion and desire, she tried hard to get him to notice her, desperately so, to the point where joke or no she tried using the power of her thoughts to make him fall in love. Temptation. how many people reading this remember the words of her shadow? “Like swindling money from perverted old farts.” Temptation right?
Yukari Takeba is probably the worst of the three lovers, not because she’s a bad character, but she doesn’t really fit anywhere. She’s not a very sensual character, she’s not passionate, or desirable, she’s just Yukari.
Rise Kujikawa like Lisa wants to be the Lover, badly. She clings to Yu Narukami’s arm like she’s desperate which in some essences she is. Love, I don’t think Rise really understands the concept of love, before anyone jumps down my throat on that let me explain. From the moment you save her Rise is attached to Yu’s arm like seriously she’s always there, not like a friend is there but like an attachment. It’s not love it’s a bipolar disorder. Sexual passion and desire though she has in spades, when we go rescue Rise from the tv world her shadow is trying to kill her….while stripping if that doesn’t say enough the girl is freakin cock tease. Temptation? Just reread the last paragraph please.
The seventh arcana is the Chariot, this card is represented by a brave warrior beset with a chariot and two steads at the ready. He offers advice to the Fool about how to win your battles without destroying ones elf. Dark and Light must be drawn in harmony. The chariot represents honor, victory, energy, self confidence, discipline, bravery, and pride. Masao Inaba, Aigis, and Chie Satonaka are the three reps for the seventh arcana.
I think Masao is a good representation of harmony, but not necessarily in teaching about achieving victory. Though unless I’m mistaken he gave me my very first gun. 🙂 Mark does have energy, self confidence, and bravery in spades though.
Aigis is a little bit more fitting, she’s a machine created for the purpose of fighting battles and if you take a look at Metis it’s a great look at the harmony between light and dark. Aigis is honourable, brave, disciplined. She’s extremely proud of herself and she’s virtually a symbol of victory and overcoming all odds.
Then there’s Chie…..on the surface Chie is a great rep of bravery, discipline, honour, and all that jazz. Scratching the surface though she comes off as really petty and kind of juvenile. She is however extremely proud, and does show off a superb amount of self confidence. If I had picked a spot for her though it wouldn’t have been the chariot, she’s strong but far too selfish to really shine here.
The defining trait of Justice in the Fool’s journey is being able to solve problems while seeing both sides of the issue and thus dealing with it in a cool and rational matter. The Justice card in tarot readings means: impartiality, distance, coldness, criticism, insensitivity, realism, logic and reason.
Hidehiko Uesugi (Brown san) couldn’t be further from Justice if he tried. I’ll grant you that he’s fairly insensitive but there isn’t a single other trait listed up there that this guy qualifies for….at all.
Katsuya Suou is perfect! Well as far as the tarot traits anyway, not so much for the story. Distance? Coldness? In spades baby, how else could you so casually push your family issues off to the sidelines? Criticism, you betcha, everything, in one form or another this guy has critiqued everything from health and beauty to the legal system. No I’m not joking. Then there’s realism, who else could look a demon in the eyes and deny the existence of magic? Could you get a better look at Justice? I don’t think so.
Ken Amada, oh god Ken….I don’t know if I’ve ever hated another character in a game as much as I hate this kid. He’s not a good representation of Justice in my eyes. He can’t see, the other side of the picture, for that matter he doesn’t even try. So I guess that gives him insensitive points at least. He’s not impartial because he only sees himself and his cause, which does show a nice heaping helping of severity, but even then he’s far too much of a bleeding coward to go through with his plans in the first place. Sorry I think I got a tad rant-tastic there for a minute.
The Hermit, is the Fool himself, at the mid point of his journey. He’s had a long life of building, creating, loving, hating, compromising, failing, and succeeding, and now he needs to rediscover himself. Who he is and why he started in the first place.
Jin Shirato, is a member of the Anti S.E.E.S. group known as Strega. He’s and experienced Persona user, perhaps that means he was formerly a Fool, and this is simply where his journey led him? Regardless the wonderful folks at Atlus didn’t even scratch the surface with most of the members of Strega so it’s all just conjecture on our parts.
The Wheel of Fortune is exactly what it sounds like. A blessing that can be both given, and thereby also taken away. In tarot readings this is read as: Turning Point, opportunities, fate, and surprises. Three characters have dutifully represented this arcana: Jun Kurosu, Takaya Sakaki, and Naoto Shirogane.
As a representation of Fortune Jun is spot on. He starts the story as someone hell bent on taking everything from the party, life, love, hopes, and dreams. Then near the end of the story the Wheel turns and with him he brings power, intelligence, and hope. He gives the IS cast a strong reason to keep fighting. Jun also represents not one but multiple turning points for the casts of both Is and EP. The first being when he goes mad, he turns there lives completely upside down and changes everything they knew, the second is when they realize Jun was an old friend, bam now they have a reason to keep fighting, something to try to save and protect. Three is when they do save him, when the party pulls Jun back to them they suddenly lose one ally and gain another, they rekindle their hope and continue their fight, and the fourth time and oh so subtly is on the blimp in EP when Tatsuya realizes that even if he’s fighting on his own, his friends are still there. Hell yeah! Pretty good for a character that I just cannot stand.
Takaya Sakaki is also an antagonist, this one though doesn’t randomly decide to turn friendly. You know that point where you are starting to feel like your the only one who can do something? Well Sakaki is the person that comes around to smack you back down again. Turning points with Sakaki? 1: Realizing there are Persona users out there who aren’t a part of S.E.E.S. 2: Killing Shinjiro, involvement direct, this pulls the party together and makes them man up about what’s been going on.
Lastly is Naoto Shirogane, her shadow encompasses the concept of change to the fullest degree. Man or woman, child or adult, looks can be deceiving after all. When Naoto joins the investigation team a long series of events begin. It’s with her rescue that Adachi begins throwing out threats to Yu Narukami. Naoto is the one who brings a sharp serious turn to the investigation, the one who brings information to the party.
Next week we’ll cover the next five Arcana: Strength, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, and The Devil. See ya then.