Aerith Gainsborough

Aerith Gainsborough (Japanese: エアリス・ゲインズブール Hepburn: Earisu Geinzubūru), transliterated as Aeris Gainsborough in the English releases of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy Tactics—is a player character in Square's (now Square Enix) role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. She was designed by Tetsuya Nomura with influence from Yoshinori Kitase, Hironobu Sakaguchi and Yoshitaka Amano.

In Final Fantasy VII, she is a young woman who joins the eco-terrorist organization AVALANCHE. As the story progresses, AVALANCHE begin to pursue the game's antagonist Sephiroth, and the player learns that she is the last surviving Cetra, or "Ancient", one of the planet's oldest races. She has also appeared in the later-released Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and Kingdom Hearts series.

Her voice actor is Maaya Sakamoto in Japanese. In English releases, her voice actors are singer and actress Mandy Moore in Kingdom Hearts, actress Mena Suvari in Kingdom Hearts II and Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, and actress Andrea Bowen in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. The character and the events surrounding her death in Final Fantasy VII have met with an overall positive reception from critics and fans.

Aerith Gainsborough
Final Fantasy character
Drawing of a brown-haired girl with green eyes holding a large staff. She wears silver bracelets, brown boots and a shin-length pink dress that buttons up with the front with a red bolero jacket.
Aerith Gainsborough artwork by Tetsuya Nomura for Final Fantasy VII
First gameFinal Fantasy VII (1997)
Created byYoshinori Kitase
Hironobu Sakaguchi
Designed byTetsuya Nomura
Voiced byEnglish
Mandy Moore (Kingdom Hearts)[1]
Mena Suvari (Kingdom Hearts II and Advent Children)[2][3]
Andrea Bowen (Crisis Core, Dissidia 012 and Explorers)[4]
Japanese
Maaya Sakamoto[5]
Information
RaceCetra/Human Hybrid
WeaponStaff
HomeIcicle Lodge

Appearances

Final Fantasy VII

Aerith Gainsborough is first introduced as a flower seller, when she briefly converses with Cloud Strife, a mercenary working for the anti-government group AVALANCHE, who are fleeing from the bombing of a Mako reactor. The two later meet in Aerith's church in the Sector 5 slums, where she is faced with the possibility of capture by the Turks. Aerith asks Cloud to be her bodyguard for the cost of one date. She is eventually apprehended, but is ultimately rescued by Cloud and his allies. Aerith then joins them in the pursuit of Sephiroth, while also embarking on her own journey of self-discovery.

After a failed attempt to foil Sephiroth's theft of the Black Materia, Aerith ventures alone into the Forgotten City. Cloud and his companions give chase, eventually finding her praying at an altar. As Aerith looks up to smile at Cloud, Sephiroth appears and kills her by impaling her through the torso. Cloud carries Aerith's body out into a lake in the Forgotten City, and releases her back to the Planet. Reeve Tuesti, the head of Shinra Urban and Development, brings the news of her death to Elmyra Gainsborough, Aerith's adoptive mother. The party later learns the reason for Aerith being in the Forgotten City; through her White Materia, Aerith was able to summon Holy, the only force capable of repelling the ultimate destructive magic, Meteor, which has been summoned by Sephiroth.[6][7] Although Aerith successfully cast Holy before her death, it is held back by the power of Sephiroth's will. When Sephiroth is finally defeated and Holy is released, it appears that it is too late to function as effectively as it should, as Meteor has already come too near to the Planet's surface. While Holy clashes with Meteor, attempting to prevent its impact, the gravity of both Meteor and the Planet pulling on Holy in opposite directions weakens it. Aerith is seen praying with both hands interlocked whilst urging the lifestream to ultimately defend the planet. [8] The Planet's Lifestream then flows forth, intervening between Holy and Meteor, and acting as a battering ram while aiding in the destruction of Meteor.

Compilation of Final Fantasy VII

In Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, set several years prior to the events of Final Fantasy VII, Aerith becomes the target of the original incarnation of AVALANCHE, led by Elfé, who seek to prevent Shinra from acquiring the last surviving Cetra. Instead, AVALANCHE intend to use her to learn the whereabouts of the Promised Land for their own purposes, although a member of the Turks tries to protect her.

Aerith makes several appearances in the CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, as Cloud's spiritual guide, urging him to move on with his life and to forgive himself for the tragedies that were beyond his control, telling him that she never blamed him for her death. During their spiritual reunion, Aerith speaks to Cloud in an open meadow laden with flowers, cheerfully and kindheartedly poking fun at how he needlessly burdens himself with the past. However, she acknowledges his suffering and offers kind words of support.[9] One of Aerith's interactions with Cloud comes when each member of the original game's party helps in Cloud's final attack against Bahamut SIN; she appears as the last party member to assist Cloud. She appears again in the final scene of the movie, along with Zack Fair, where she gives Cloud more words of encouragement before she and Zack walk into the light.[10] Near the end of the film, it is discovered that water mixed with the Lifestream flows beneath the flowerbed in Aerith's church, which manifests itself as a cure for Geostigma.

The On the Way to a Smile novella "Case of the Lifestream – Black & White" focuses on Aerith and Sephiroth's respective journeys through the Lifestream after the end of the game but before the events of the film. The "Black" section deals with Sephiroth, the "White" section with Aerith.[11]

Aerith appears in the prequel game Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. At the age of 16, she meets Zack, for whom she develops feelings during his stay in Midgar.[12] Aerith and Zack develop a romantic relationship, but Zack is killed at the end of Crisis Core after being held in a Mako chamber for four years in the Shinra Mansion basement. During those years, Aerith helped her adopted mother earn a living by growing and selling flowers, a job that results in her meeting Cloud at the beginning of Final Fantasy VII.

Other appearances

Aerith's character has appeared in several games outside of the Final Fantasy VII continuity. In Final Fantasy Tactics, she appears as a flower girl;[13] when a group of criminals harasses her, Cloud appears and the player engages in battle with the group, letting her escape. Itadaki Street Special features a playable version of Aerith, as well as other Final Fantasy VII characters Tifa Lockhart, Cloud Strife, and Sephiroth. She also appears in Itadaki Street Portable with the same characters from Special, with the addition of Yuffie Kisaragi. While not playable, Aerith appears in the fighting game Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as an assistant character.[14] She is also featured in the rhythm game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as a sub-character representing Final Fantasy VII.[15] In LittleBigPlanet 2, Aerith is featured as a downloadable character model.[16]

Aerith makes an appearance in the Kingdom Hearts series as a member of a group dedicated to defeating the Heartless; the group also includes other Final Fantasy VII characters and Leon of Final Fantasy VIII. In the plot of Kingdom Hearts, Aerith suggests a method for defeating the Heartless to protagonists Donald Duck, Goofy and Sora, and gives advice to the player throughout the game.[17] She also appears in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as a perceptive figment of Sora's memories.[18] Aerith returns in Kingdom Hearts II, wearing a modified version of her dress from Before Crisis. She, Leon and Yuffie run a restoration committee for the town of Hollow Bastion.[17]

Hoshi o Meguru Otome (Maiden who Travels the Planet), a novel written by Benny Matsuyama which appears in the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Ω guide, follows Aerith's journey through the Lifestream immediately after her death in Final Fantasy VII.[19] Aerith is mentioned in a graffiti in the subway station early in the animated film Wreck-It Ralph; the graffiti reads "Aerith Lives".[20]

Concept and creation

Aerith was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, with influence from director and scenario writer Yoshinori Kitase and Hironobu Sakaguchi, whilst Yoshitaka Amano created conceptual artwork which too helped to influence her design. She has green eyes and long brown hair tied in a braid with a pink ribbon. She wears a long pink dress, a bolero jacket, and brown hiking boots. The long dress was designed to appear ladylike and as a contrast to Tifa Lockhart's miniskirt.[21][22] During development, Aerith was supposed to be Sephiroth's sister as both designs resembled each other,[23] but they were made former lovers with Aerith remembering Sephiroth when meeting Cloud as both are ex-SOLDIERS. Late during development, Aerith's first love was changed to Zack Fair.[24]

Her green eyes were meant to symbolize nature and also served as another contrast to Tifa's brown eyes. Nomura did not change much of Aerith's design for Advent Children, but her design was updated in Kingdom Hearts with the removal of her bolero jacket, which made her attire appear more as Amano had originally drawn her. Other changes included the addition of bracelets and a belt. Nomura modified her dress in Before Crisis, adding white and green colors, and this version was also used as the basis for her design in Kingdom Hearts II.[21]

Aerith's original Japanese name is エアリス Earisu, pronounced [eaɾisɯ] (listen). This was transliterated to "Aeris" in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy Tactics, but in later products has been changed to "Aerith". Both transliterations have basis, as the Japanese "su" (ス) is used when transcribing "s" (/s/) and "th" (/θ/) to Japanese. However, official Japanese material uses the spelling "Aerith",[25][26][27] and developers have stated that "Aerith" is a near-anagram of "Earth".[28] Prior to the game's release, Western gaming magazines, such as the May 1996 issue of Computer and Video Games, also referred to her as "Aerith".[29]

In early planning stages of Final Fantasy VII, Aerith was to be one of only three protagonists; herself, Cloud and Barret. During a phone call to Kitase, it was suggested that at some point in the game, one of the main characters should die, and after much discussion as to whether it should be Barret or Aerith, the producers chose Aerith. Nomura stated in a 2005 Electronic Gaming Monthly interview: "Cloud's the main character, so you can't really kill him. And Barrett... [sic] well, that's maybe too obvious."[30] While designing Final Fantasy VII, Nomura was frustrated with the "perennial cliché where the protagonist loves someone very much and so has to sacrifice himself and die in a dramatic fashion to express that love." He found this trope appeared in both films and video games from North America and Japan, and asked "Is it right to set such an example to people?"[31] Kitase concluded: "In the real world things are very different. You just need to look around you. Nobody wants to die that way. People die of disease and accident. Death comes suddenly and there is no notion of good or bad. It leaves, not a dramatic feeling but great emptiness. When you lose someone you loved very much you feel this big empty space and think, 'If I had known this was coming I would have done things differently.' These are the feelings I wanted to arouse in the players with Aerith's death relatively early in the game. Feelings of reality and not Hollywood."[31]

According to Nomura, "death should be something sudden and unexpected, and Aerith's death seemed more natural and realistic." He said: "When I reflect on Final Fantasy VII, the fact that fans were so offended by her sudden death probably means that we were successful with her character. If fans had simply accepted her death, that would have meant she wasn't an effective character."[30] From the original release of the game, rumors have circulated that Aerith can be resurrected in or that the original plan was to have her come back, but this was scrapped in development. Nomura has categorically stated that neither of these rumors were ever true; "the world was expecting us to bring her back to life, as this is the classic convention." A lengthy petition asking for Aerith's revival by Japanese players was sent to Kitase, but he dismissed it, pointing out that "there are many meanings in Aerith's death and [her revival] could never happen."[31]

Musical theme

Video Games Live 2009 FFVII 2
VGL performance in 2009

A leitmotif associated with Aerith is played several times throughout Final Fantasy VII; it is first heard during the flashback scenes with Aerith's mother at her house, and is repeated as she is killed by Sephiroth. It was composed by famed Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu.[32] The piece "Flowers Blooming in the Church" is based on it.[33]

"Aerith's Theme" is very popular among Final Fantasy fans, and has inspired an orchestral version, a piano version, and a vocal version performed by the artist Rikki (who also performed "Suteki Da Ne" for Final Fantasy X). A piano arrangement of the theme appears twice in Advent Children, and the track "Water" echoes shades of the theme: the opening phrase of "Aerith's Theme" appears just prior to the climax of the track "Divinity II", which shortly thereafter includes as its final line the Latin phrase "Sola Dea fatum novit" ("Only the goddess knows fate"), and is also featured during the end credits of the film.[34] It has been reinterpreted on the OverClocked ReMix Final Fantasy VII compilation Voices of the Lifestream.[35] In 2013, "Aerith's Theme" achieved the third place in the Classic FM Hall of Fame.[36]

Reception

Aerith has received an overall positive reception from critics. GamesTM referred to her as a "gaming legend."[21] RPGamer's Stuart Hoggan opined that although Aerith "represented the token damsel in distress," she "broke the mould in terms of personality," possessing "an admirable pluck that was not brassy nor off-putting."[37] In 2007, she was included in Tom's Games list of top 50 greatest female characters in video game history, for her death scene and the beauty of her appearance and personality.[38] That same year, she was named the fifth best character of all time in Dengeki PlayStation's retrospective awards feature about the original PlayStation.[39] IGN ranked her the number two in their top Final Fantasy VII character list – a rank higher than the game's protagonist, Cloud Strife.[40] GameTrailers ranked her at the top of their list of "babes who are out of your league" in 2010.[41] Heath Hooker of GameZone ranked Aerith as fifth on his 2012 top list of Final Fantasy characters and wrote she "has become an icon in not only the Final Fantasy series, but also in video game history."[42] Her relation with Cloud too has received positive response, including the two being listed in IGN's article about the best video game romances.[43]

FFVIIsephirothkillsaeris
Aerith's death scene in Final Fantasy VII is considered iconic by players and critics

Her death in Final Fantasy VII has received a great deal of attention. According to GamesTM, her death helped establish the popularity of Final Fantasy VII.[21] Players commented on message boards and blogs about the emotional impact the scene held.[44] Fans submitted a petition to Yoshinori Kitase requesting her return.[21] GameSpy numbers her demise as the 10th greatest cinematic moments in video game history,[45] while its readers voted it the second most cinematic moment.[46] GamePro considers her death sequence to be the greatest of all gaming moments.[47] Tom's Games called the scene "one of the most powerful and memorable scenes of the Final Fantasy series—or any other game, for that matter."[38] Edge called her death the "dramatic highpoint" of Final Fantasy VII, and suggested that reintroducing her through the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles "arguably undermines this great moment."[48] In 2005, Electronic Gaming Monthly listed Final Fantasy VII number six in their list of ten most important games, stating that without this game, "Aeris wouldn't have died, and gamers wouldn't have learned how to cry."[49] ScrewAttack has added Aerith's death to their top 10 "OMGWTF" moments, referring to it as one of the "touchiest moments in video game history."[50] In 2011, IGN ranked her death scene at No. 1 in its list of top video game moments.[51] In 2012, PlayStation Magazine included it among the ten most emotional PlayStation moments.[52]

The character is popular among gamers, especially Japanese and fans of the Final Fantasy series. Aerith has been included in most of GameFAQs' "Character Battle" contests, though she progressed only a few rounds each time.[53][54][55] In 2010, Famitsu readers voted Aerith as the 24th best video game character.[56] In 2013, Aerith was voted the second favorite female Final Fantasy character in an official poll by Square Enix.[57] That same year, Complex ranked her as the seventh greatest Final Fantasy character of all time.[58]

See also

References

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External links

Media related to Aerith Gainsborough at Wikimedia Commons

Aeris

Aeris may refer to:

Aeris (airline), a defunct French airline

Aerius of Sebaste, also known as Aëris

Andrea Bowen

Andrea Lauren Bowen (born March 4, 1990) is an American actress and singer. She began her career appearing on Broadway musicals, include Les Misérables and The Sound of Music. In 2004, she began playing the role of Julie Mayer on the ABC comedy-drama series Desperate Housewives, a role she played on regular basis to 2008. She later appear on recurring basis to series finale in 2012. Bowen later went on to star in a number of Lifetime television movies.

Barret Wallace

Barret Wallace (バレット・ウォーレス, Baretto Wōresu) is a player character in Square Enix's role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. Created by character designer Tetsuya Nomura, he has since appeared in the CGI film sequel, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children as well as other games and media in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series. As of Advent Children, Barret is voiced by Masahiro Kobayashi in Japanese and Beau Billingslea in English localizations.

Barret is first introduced in Final Fantasy VII as an eco-terrorist, leading the group AVALANCHE to bomb Mako reactors in the fictional city of Midgar, so as to avenge the losses dealt him by the megacorporation Shinra, the Planet's de facto world government, who operate under the pretense of saving the Planet. As the story progresses, Barret re-examines his efforts and focuses on pursuing the villain Sephiroth in an effort to protect the Planet and the future of his adopted daughter, Marlene. Elements of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII would later expand upon his character, detailing the character's history before and after the events of the original game.

The first dark-skinned playable character in the Final Fantasy series, Barret's appearance and sometimes profane speech has been heavily compared to that of actor Mr. T, earning much praise, but also criticism and accusations of racism by some.

Characters of Final Fantasy VIII

Final Fantasy VIII, a 1999 best-selling role-playing video game by Squaresoft, features an elite group of mercenaries called "SeeD", as well as soldiers, rebels, and political leaders of various nations and cities. Thirteen weeks after its release, Final Fantasy VIII had earned more than US$50 million in sales, making it the fastest selling Final Fantasy title at the time. The game has shipped 8.15 million units worldwide as of March 2003. Additionally, Final Fantasy VIII was voted the 22nd-best game of all time by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu in 2006. The game's characters were created by Tetsuya Nomura, and are the first in the series to be realistically proportioned in all aspects of the game. This graphical shift, as well as the cast itself, has received generally positive reviews from gaming magazines and websites.The six main playable characters in Final Fantasy VIII are Squall Leonhart, a loner who avoids vulnerability by focusing on his duty; Rinoa Heartilly, an outspoken and passionate young woman who follows her heart; Quistis Trepe, an instructor with a serious yet patient attitude; Zell Dincht, an energetic martial artist with a fondness for hot dogs; Selphie Tilmitt, a cheerful girl who loves trains and flies the airship Ragnarok; and Irvine Kinneas, a marksman and womanizer who uses his charm to mask his insecurities. Temporarily playable characters include Laguna Loire, Kiros Seagill, and Ward Zabac, who appear in "flashback" sequences; SeeD cadet-turned-antagonist Seifer Almasy; and sorceress Edea Kramer. The main antagonist is Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future who wishes to compress time.

Characters of the Final Fantasy VII series

Final Fantasy VII, a role-playing video game developed by Square (now Square Enix) and originally released in 1997, features a large number of fictional characters in both major and minor roles. VII has been followed by multiple sequels and prequels, grouped into the multimedia series Compilation of Final Fantasy VII: these include the 2004 mobile game Before Crisis, the 2005 movie sequel Advent Children, the 2006 shooter spinoff Dirge of Cerberus, and the 2007 action game Crisis Core. Other media include spin-off books and the original video animation Last Order. The setting of Final Fantasy VII is a world that has been described as an industrial or post-industrial science fiction setting. It is referred to as "the Planet" in most of the games, and was retroactively named "Gaia" in some Square Enix promotional material.VII follows Cloud Strife, a troubled mercenary who joins with an eco-terrorist group to stop Shinra from draining the life of the Planet to use as an energy source. As the story progresses, conflicts escalate and the world's safety becomes their central concern as new forces emerge to challenge the original group. Cloud and his team eventually face off against the game's antagonist, Sephiroth. Other important characters in the series include Aerith Gainsborough, a flower seller who becomes a good friend to Cloud; Zack Fair, Cloud's friend, a former soldier of Shinra and the protagonist of Crisis Core; and Vincent Valentine, a man made immortal by Shinra experimentation and the protagonist of Dirge of Cerberus. The conflict between Cloud and Sephiroth forms the core narrative around which many of the series' stories are built. Other characters include the Turks, a covert group which originally worked for Shinra.

The original characters were designed by Tetsuya Nomura, who had done monster designs for Final Fantasy VI and was chosen for the role after his designs impressed producer Hironobu Sakaguchi. Nomura was responsible for many of the characters and their stories. The scenario for the original game was written by Sakaguchi, Yoshinori Kitase and Kazushige Nojima. Nomura, Kitase and Nojima have been involved in other titles in the Compilation. The characters of VII have met with positive reception in contemporary and modern reviews, while their portrayal in the Compilation titles has been mixed: while Crisis Core was generally praised, the focus on secondary characters in Dirge of Cerberus drew mixed opinions from some, while their appearance in Advent Children was generally cited as confusing or poor for newcomers to the series. The entire cast, along with multiple side characters and villains, have remained popular among critics and series fans over the years, with many lists and opinion polls citing them as some of the best characters in the Final Fantasy series.

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII is a 1997 role-playing video game developed by Square for the PlayStation console. It is the seventh main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Published in Japan by Square, it was released in other regions by Sony Computer Entertainment and became the first in the main series to see a PAL release. The game's story follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins an eco-terrorist organization to stop a world-controlling megacorporation from using the planet's life essence as an energy source. Events send Cloud and his allies in pursuit of Sephiroth, a superhuman intent on destroying their planet. During the journey, Cloud builds close friendships with his party members, including Aerith Gainsborough, who holds the secret to saving their world.

Development began in 1994, originally for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. After delays and technical difficulties from experimenting on several platforms, Square moved production to the PlayStation, largely due to the advantages of the CD-ROM format. Veteran Final Fantasy staff returned, including series creator and producer Hironobu Sakaguchi, director Yoshinori Kitase, and composer Nobuo Uematsu. The title became the first in the series to use full motion video and 3D computer graphics, which featured 3D character models superimposed over 2D pre-rendered backgrounds. Although the gameplay systems remained mostly unchanged from previous entries, Final Fantasy VII introduced more widespread science fiction elements and a more realistic presentation. The game had a staff of over 100, with a combined development and marketing budget of around US$80 million.

Assisted by a large promotional campaign, Final Fantasy VII received widespread commercial and critical success and remains widely regarded as a landmark title and one of the greatest games of all time. The title won numerous Game of the Year awards and was acknowledged for boosting the sales of the PlayStation and popularizing Japanese role-playing games worldwide. Critics praised its graphics, gameplay, music, and story, although some criticism was directed towards its English localization. Its success has led to enhanced ports on various platforms, a multimedia subseries called the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and an upcoming high-definition remake for the PlayStation 4.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake is an upcoming action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4. It is a remake of the 1997 PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII, retelling the original story following mercenary Cloud Strife as he and eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE battle against the corrupt Shinra megacorporation, and the rogue former Shinra soldier Sephiroth. Gameplay is planned to be a fusion of real-time action similar to Dissidia Final Fantasy, and strategic elements, and the game will be released as a multipart series.

Rumors and demands for a remake of VII existed for many years, but multiple reasons were given for why the project was not being developed. Four key original staff members returned to help with Remake: original character designer Tetsuya Nomura returned as both director and main character designer, original director Yoshinori Kitase acted as producer, Kazushige Nojima returned to write the script, and composer Nobuo Uematsu is also involved. The decision to release Remake in multiple parts was taken so the team did not have to cut any of the original content. They also decided to add new content and adjust the original character designs to balance between realism and stylization.

Maaya Sakamoto

Maaya Sakamoto (坂本 真綾, Sakamoto Maaya, born March 31, 1980) is a Japanese voice actress and singer. She made her debut as a voice actress in 1992 as the voice of Chifuru in Little Twins, but is better known as voice of Hitomi Kanzaki in The Vision of Escaflowne. Other major roles in anime include Riho Yamazaki in Nightwalker: The Midnight Detective, Moe Katsuragi in Risky Safety, Princess Tomoyo in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Haruhi Fujioka in Ouran High School Host Club, Sayaka Nakasugi in Birdy the Mighty, Ciel Phantomhive in Black Butler, Shinobu Oshino in Monogatari, Shiki Ryōgi in the The Garden of Sinners film series, Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell: Arise, and Ruler in Fate/Apocrypha. In video games she voices Aura and Natsume in .hack, Lisa Hamilton / La Mariposa in Dead or Alive, Aerith Gainsborough in Kingdom Hearts, Aigis in Persona 3, Lightning in the Final Fantasy XIII games, Ling Xiaoyu in the Tekken series, and Alisa Ilinichina Amiella in God Eater.

She has also branched into singing, performing songs in both English and Japanese. She released her debut single "Yakusoku wa Iranai" in collaboration with Yoko Kanno under Victor Entertainment on April 24, 1996. Her singles "Tune the Rainbow", "Loop", "Ame ga Furu", and "Triangler" have all reached the top 10 Oricon singles chart: "Triangler" in particular charted at number 3 and remained charting for 26 weeks. Her albums have had similar success, with Shōnen Alice and Yūnagi Loop both reaching the top 10 Oricon albums chart; and her album You Can't Catch Me, released on January 12, 2011, became her first release to ever reach number 1.

She held a concert at the Nippon Budokan on March 31, 2010, her thirtieth birthday. In the Japanese localization of overseas dubs, she has voiced Padme Amidala as presented in the Star Wars films and cartoons, as well as being the dub voice for Natalie Portman on numerous films.

Mandy Moore

Amanda Leigh Moore (born April 10, 1984) is an American singer-songwriter and actress. In 1999, Moore signed with Epic Records and came to fame with the release of her debut single "Candy", which peaked at number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her debut studio album, So Real (1999), went on to receive a platinum certification from the RIAA. The title single from her second studio album, I Wanna Be With You (2000), became Moore's first top 30 song in the U.S., peaking at number 24 on the Hot 100. As of 2009, Billboard reported that Moore had sold more than ten million albums worldwide.

Moore's acting career began in 2001, when she made her feature film debut with a minor voice role in the comedy Dr. Dolittle 2, before co-starring as Lana Thomas in the comedy The Princess Diaries. In 2002, she had her first starring role as Jamie Sullivan in the romantic drama A Walk to Remember. Moore later voiced Rapunzel in the Disney animated fantasy musical comedy Tangled (2010). She went on to reprise the role in the short film Tangled Ever After (2012) and the Disney Channel television series Tangled: The Series (2017–present). Moore has starred as Rebecca Pearson in the NBC family drama This Is Us since 2016, and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role. The cast won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.

Mena Suvari

Mena Alexandra Suvari (; born February 13, 1979) is an American actress, fashion designer, and model. After beginning her career as a model and guest-starring in several television series, she made her film debut in the drama Nowhere (1997).

Suvari rose to international prominence for her roles in the 1999 romantic drama film American Beauty, for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and in three of the American Pie original films (1999–2001, 2012). Her other notable films include Slums of Beverly Hills (1998), Loser (2000), Sugar & Spice (2001), Rumor Has It (2005), Stuck (2007), and You May Not Kiss the Bride (2010).

Suvari played recurring roles in the fourth season of HBO drama series Six Feet Under (2004), garnering a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, and in the second season of Chicago Fire (2013). She also portrayed Elizabeth Short in the anthology series American Horror Story: Murder House and reprised the role in American Horror Story: Apocalypse and starred in the eight-episode series South of Hell (2015).

Suvari has been a model for Lancôme cosmetics and print ads for Lancôme Paris Adaptîve, as well as a long-time supporter and activist for the Starlight Children's Foundation and the African Medical and Research Foundation.

Motomu Toriyama

Motomu Toriyama (鳥山 求, Toriyama Motomu) is a Japanese game director and scenario writer who has been working for Square Enix since 1994. He initially worked on cutscenes in Bahamut Lagoon and Final Fantasy VII. Toriyama started directing with Final Fantasy X-2 and has continued doing so with large-scale projects such as Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Since 2003, he has been directing his own team of scenario writers at the company. He is currently directing Mobius Final Fantasy and is a member of Square Enix's Business Division 1, and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.

Parasite Eve (video game)

Parasite Eve is a 1998 action role-playing video game developed and published by Square. The game is a sequel to the novel Parasite Eve written by Hideaki Sena; it is also the first game in the Parasite Eve video game series. The story follows New York City police officer Aya Brea over a six-day span in 1997 as she attempts to stop the Eve, a woman who plans to destroy the human race through spontaneous human combustion. Players explore levels set in areas of New York while utilizing a pausable real-time combat system along with several role-playing game elements.

Parasite Eve was SquareSoft's first M-rated game, and the first major American and Japanese game development collaboration for the company. It was produced by Hironobu Sakaguchi and directed by Takashi Tokita. Music for the title was composed by Yoko Shimomura who was widely acclaimed for her work to create an "inorganic" and "emotionless" soundtrack that saw two album releases. Parasite Eve received positive reviews; critics praised the graphics and gameplay, but found the overall game too linear and with little replay potential.

The video game adaptation was part of a resurgence of popularity in Japanese horror sparked by the original book, and was released alongside a film adaptation and two manga comics; one based on the book, the other on the video game. The original title was also followed by two video game sequels: Parasite Eve II in 1999 and The 3rd Birthday in 2010, and was re-released on the PlayStation Network in 2010.

Star-crossed

"Star-crossed" or "star-crossed lovers" is a phrase describing a pair of lovers whose relationship is often thwarted by outside forces. The term encompasses other meanings, but originally means the pairing is being "thwarted by a malign star" or that the stars are working against the relationship. Astrological in origin, the phrase stems from the belief that the positions of the stars ruled over people's fates, and is best known from the play Romeo and Juliet by the Elizabethan playwright William Shakespeare. Such pairings are often said to be doomed from the start.

Supercouple

A supercouple or super couple (also known as a power couple) is a popular or wealthy pairing that intrigues and fascinates the public in an intense or obsessive fashion. The term originated in the United States, and was coined in the early 1980s when intense public interest in fictional soap opera couple Luke Spencer and Laura Webber, from General Hospital, made the pair a popular culture phenomenon.The term supercouple typically refers to fictional couples from television dramas and film, such as Gone with the Wind's Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara. With regard to real-life pairings, tabloids and the mainstream media have focused on wealthy or popular celebrity couples, and have titled them supercouples or power couples. Examples are the former pairing of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez (which became known by the portmanteau "Bennifer"), and the former relationship of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie ("Brangelina").

Tifa Lockhart

Tifa Lockhart (Japanese: ティファ・ロックハート, Hepburn: Tifa Rokkuhāto) is a fictional character in Square's (now Square Enix) role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. Created and designed by Tetsuya Nomura, she has since appeared in the fighting game Ehrgeiz and made cameo appearances in several other titles, as well as the CGI film sequel to Final Fantasy VII, Advent Children and related games and media in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series.

A member of the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE and owner of the 7th Heaven bar in the slums of Midgar, Tifa is the childhood friend of Cloud Strife, the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII. Convincing him to join the group to keep him close and safe, she later assists him in saving the Planet from the game's villain, Sephiroth. Installments in The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII later expanded upon her character, such as in the film Advent Children, where she attempts to convince Cloud to let go of his self-imposed guilt, and move on with his life after Sephiroth's defeat.

Named the pin-up girl of the "cyber generation" by The New York Times, Tifa has been compared to Lara Croft as an example of a strong, independent and attractive female character in video games. Media have repeatedly praised both the character's strength and appearance and described her as one of the best female characters in gaming.

Yuffie Kisaragi

Yuffie Kisaragi (ユフィ・キサラギ, Yufi Kisaragi) is a video game character from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series. Designed by Tetsuya Nomura, she was first introduced in the 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII as a young female ninja princess and thief. She can become one of the game's player characters after finishing a special sidequest. Yuffie reappears in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series, expanding her background and showing her after the events of the original game.

Yuffie has further been featured in other Square Enix games, most notably the Kingdom Hearts crossover series, voiced by Yumi Kakazu in the Japanese versions of the games. In the English versions, Christy Carlson Romano provides her voice for Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and Mae Whitman is Yuffie's voice for Kingdom Hearts II and Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. The character has achieved a high level of popularity in Japan, but the English-language media reception has been more mixed.

Zack Fair

Zack Fair (ザックス・フェア, Zakkusu Fea) is a fictional character first introduced as a non-player character in the 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII by Square (now Square Enix), and subsequently expanded upon in the metaseries Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.

In the original game, Zack is a late member of the paramilitary organization SOLDIER, the military wing of the megacorporation Shinra. During the game, Zack is revealed to have been Aerith Gainsborough's first boyfriend, as well as a friend of Cloud Strife, the game's protagonist. Zack ultimately died in the weeks leading up to the opening of the game protecting Cloud from Shinra's army after they had escaped from imprisonment and being the subjects of genetic experimentation. He is the second owner of the Buster Sword (バスターソード, Basutā Sōdo), and wielded it before Cloud, giving it to him as he died. Zack also appears in the Compilation titles Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and, most significantly, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, a prequel in which he is the protagonist.

Zack Fair was originally not a part of Final Fantasy VII. However, scenario writer Kazushige Nojima wanted to bring a sense of mystery to the title, and created the character to help complicate Cloud's backstory. He was designed by Tetsuya Nomura, and his name derived from "fair weather," to contrast with Cloud Strife's name. With Zack's conceptual backstory in place for Final Fantasy VII, the staff decided to use Compilation of Final Fantasy VII to expand upon his character. Zack is voiced by Kenichi Suzumura in Japanese and Rick Gomez in English. Suzumura was chosen specifically by Nomura for his voice, and was given the role without an audition. Western critics have praised Zack's character, commenting on his development since Final Fantasy VII.

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