Hello all Nasties! Mod Aria with a Character Spotlight today. Since I had a lot of Kingdom Hearts on my mind after this year’s E3, I decided to take some time this week to talk about my personal favorite character: Aqua.
Aqua originally debuted in the Kingdom Hearts PSP game Birth By Sleep. She was shown as a companion to Ventus and Terra; all three were students studying under a Keyblade Master named Eraqus. While Ven was still a young student, both Aqua and Terra were tested in the beginning to see whether or not they could have the title of Keyblade Master as well. Though Terra did not make the cut, Aqua passed her test and is technically the first Keyblade Master among the Kingdom Heart’s protagonists.
An adept mage and a kind soul, Aqua is the bane to her enemies and beloved by her friends and comrades. She herself holds Ventus and Terra close to her heart, as she wishes for the both of them to succeed. Protecting them comes second nature to her, and she enjoys encouraging them to fight for their dreams. I appreciate that about Aqua, but I also find it a bit frustrating.
I can admit the concept of Aqua’s character is a bit confusing to me. I do enjoy her; I find that she is a refreshing female character in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. However, I also find myself unsatisfied with her characterization. Aqua’s skill as a Keyblade wielder is evident, but I feel as though she was made as a mere afterthought in comparison to Terra and Ventus. It’s obvious that Terra was meant to be taken by Xehanort, and that Ventus is the connection between Sora and the Keyblade. But Aqua’s goals and aspirations about her own Keyblade talents hasn’t really been touched on.
Who is Aqua outside of Terra and Ventus? What is it that drives her forward? If it’s just her own relationships, I can’t help but call her a bit of a one-dimensional character. And that idea saddens me. Female characters suffer so much in large gaming franchises because they are often made as support and/or complimentary characters, not characters in their own right. This way of thinking will never allow female characters to have stories of their own. Female gamers struggle to connect with characters like this, and you would think these game developers would understand that by now.
The questions about Aqua’s goals are the questions that I wish Square Enix would allow us to know more about her. Kingdom Hearts 0.2 was not enough detail. Though I did like seeing that Aqua had a hand in the final outcome of the first Kingdom Hearts game. Perhaps the next Kingdom Hearts might shed some light on all the characters, but I have low expectations.
Until next time! Thanks everyone!