Because we live in a society, the biggest gaming news of the month alongside Microsoft’s unparalleled acquisition of Activision Blizzard is Tifa Lockhart being impaled during an Italian Senate meeting. Our girl is following in the footsteps of Julius Caesar and I can’t help but applaud her for being so bold. She wasn’t having sex with Aerith though, which is sacrilege.
If you haven’t been paying attention, last week saw someone invade a Zoom meeting held by the Italian Senate only to share a video of Tifa doing the nasty for all to see. It was an incredible moment of cultural significance for both Italy and Final Fantasy, an occasion I have no doubt will be recorded in the history books so scholars several decades from now can look back at where it all changed, when we all began to embrace hentai as the art it truly is. I’m only slightly joking, but the fallout from this random prank has been so damn lovely.
As a society we can often view any form of art that includes nudity or sexual intercourse as immediately profane. I mean it is filthy, but I’ve always had the perspective that there’s a beautiful intimacy to sex that goes far beyond a one-way ticket to bonetown. Now don’t get me wrong, the Italian Senate was subject to some absolute filth, top-tier hentai of a JRPG heroine being subject to a Buster Sword unlike anything we’d ever seen before. Yet the internet – or at least large portions of it – didn’t view this as an infantile prank to be written off as a dirty joke and nothing more. They turned it into a meme, an aspect of Tifa’s character that will now be ingrained into her history, and there’s something brilliant about that.
While some fanart I’ve seen builds upon this piece of news in an equally naughty way, most of it plays on the fun fact that Tifa of all people was hurled into an Italian senate meeting. I doubt any of these public servants knew who she was, it was just a cartoon lady having sex while they were trying to talk about legislation, or whatever a senate does – I’m honestly not that sure. Some of the creations are just so wonderful, whether it’s a cutesy doodles of Tifa donning a moustache like Super Mario, hopping about the place in chibified form because it happens to fit the Italian motif, or a darling illustration of Avalanche crowded around a laptop as Tifa covers herself in a blush, presumably because they're all watching the infamous clip in question. Aerith’s shit-eating grin in this particular piece gets me everytime, because you just know she wouldn’t let Tifa live it down.
It’s a testament to the Final Fantasy community, which I can assure you is very horny indeed, but is still able to see the undeniable humour in a situation like this and turn it into something worth celebrating. Final Fantasy 7 Remake saw these characters return to the modern zeitgeist in a way none of us could have predicted, and seeing them embraced continually through fanart, memes, theories, and other materials means that as a fan I am constantly delighted by it all, even if it plays on the weird news of Tifa being railed in a parliamentary meeting. Seriously, it’s like someone accidently popping up a gif of Lady Dimitrescu's face sitting in the middle of Prime Minister’s Questions.
The internet is a terrible place much of the time, but seeing a collective reaction to a silly piece of news like this with an explosion of playful art and memes gives me hope, and showcases how wholesome Final Fantasy has become and how much these iconic characters mean to people. Tifa Lockhart is now being celebrated as an Italian icon, a girl who should run for President and wear this accidental explosion of her intimate side on her sleeve as she and the rest of the Avalanche play it for laughs. Everyone has sex, everyone is a little naughty, and it doesn’t always have to be viewed as needlessly promiscous. It can just be a bit of fun, especially when its genesis is as absurd and nonsensical as Tifa taking it in a super official Zoom call.
Get it, Tifa – Final Fantasy’s unstoppable bisexual queen.
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