A Character I Most Identify With (Or Wish I Was)

Yuna from Final Fantasy XToday I’m talking about a character again. This time, I’m naming a character I most identify with (or wish I was).

This task is a huge challenge for me, because one of the characters I really admire doesn’t come from a book. She comes from a video game. When I was a lot younger, I used to identify with characters more often — especially in high school when I read many coming-of-age novels. Now, though, it takes a lot for me to immerse myself in a character. I find there’s no better way for me to do that than through an RPG-style game or by watching a television series like Buffy: the Vampire Slayer or Doctor Who.

For the character I most identify with, I would have to say that honor goes to Yuna. It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Final Fantasy, nor that I enjoy watching anime or delving into Asian mythology. The illustration pictured here comes from Wikipedia to help you see what Yuna looked like during Final Fantasy X, before her character transformation in Final Fantasy X-2.

Yuna starts out by doing what is expected of her, no matter how much it hurts her or puts herself down. In the beginning, she is resigned to her fate. Through the course of the story, she finds her own voice through the support of her friends and the love of one of her guardians. The journey she takes transforms her from a passive female character to a strong one. Not only does she deal with tragedy, but she turns down the hand of a man she doesn’t love, watches her lover die, and fights back regardless of the odds. She is the character who never, ever gives up.

It is Yuna’s persistence and perseverance I greatly admire. Her travels aren’t easy, but with the help of her lover and her friends, she sees her task all the way through to the end.

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Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

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