Misc. Post: Liking Litchi Faye-Ling

Hello, everyone. It’s ChrisX. And… well, this is not a normal blog post. I’m not even sure how to even call it. It’s not a Character Focus. But this feels more like… a confession. Not a confession of how much I like the character, but more like… a confession about my journey of liking a character.

And how much of a rollercoaster of liking, hoping and despairing that came along with it and how much I did something that made me a target of ridicule and bullying, if you can even call it such, or bottom line… “Someone very annoying.”

So you can consider it like me coming out of my closet and revealing a lot of my dirty secrets. It involves this character from the BlazBlue series.

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Yes, you may have noticed that I put Litchi Faye-Ling into my Top 10 VG Combat Staff experts. To this day, I still think she’s the best one. But that’s not our focus, nor how I think she’s still the best BlazBlue female character and why she’s more than just the fanservice machine she’s known for.

This is not going to be pretty. Are you ready? Click on to know more…

litchi3So I was first introduced to Litchi in Calamity Trigger. If anything, I was very much impressed with her in there. She’s kind and compassionate, yet in the same time super sexy and also dedicated. You know, usually sexy types are more reserved for villainous characters, but she’s not like that. She’s sexy, but she’s also the type of character you want as either your mother or sister, a protective and nurturing lady.

Continuum Shift was where everything started to fall into pieces.

See, I was one of those guys who didn’t mind spoilers. So I looked into spoilers back then. And when I saw that Litchi eventually turned towards the dark side, joining the bad guys’ team, what I saw back then were people badmouthing Litchi that all those kind personalities were nothing but fake, she was actually a manipulative bitch who doesn’t care about others. She did not deserve praises or sympathies. I kept telling myself and attempting to convince others or find reasons why she still deserved sympathies, OR it was just unconfirmed spoilers. Or if she did have to join the bad guys, she had sympathetic reasons. As it turned out, she DID join the bad guys and while she did have a good reason and didn’t look like enjoying it, the damage was done. Fandom could be so petty, so all they cared about was that she joined the bad guys, she deserved no sympathy or treatment like she’s a victim. Or that she still had the hero inside her, no, to many, all her positive attitudes were simply GONE at that point. All that time, I kept finding reasons to still like her as a good person… and they called me an obsessed fool who couldn’t accept ‘facts’.

But this is exacerbated with another thing. During the last legs of Continuum Shift, the game announced DLC characters. The first one to enter? The fan favorite Makoto Nanaya.

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Immediately after the announcement of Makoto, fans took a liking to her. Unfortunately, some of them got too petty without care of the situation. To promote and hype on Makoto, they began to talk shit about Litchi and think that she’s nothing but a wasted good, Makoto has pretty much kicked her away from the throne of “Good, but sexy” character and also praised as ‘The only good-hearted, moral characters in the game’ (let’s note that Noel, having her own destructive pulses that turned her into Mu-12, was considered not to have such). All these were widely accepted as an ‘okay’ move. I mean, if you insult Makoto, prepare to have her legion of fanboys defending her. Insult Litchi? Serves her effin’ right from turning away from the path of goodness and being stubborn as a mule!

And believe me, there’s some more issues I saw on how Makoto fandom could act, even when Litchi was not involved. But before I continue on, I should probably tell you something… I don’t REALLY hate Makoto. She’s an okay addition, I can see why a lot of people would like her, regardless if they either ignore or object to her fanservice outfit. But… perhaps after reading this whole thing, maybe you could understand that I had bad memories on Makoto, or more likely her fandom.

All right, let’s continue.

Yet, I still stood by Litchi. I still tried to believe in her. I tried to appeal to other places than my usual places to speak about it… which is, in hindsight, could be bad decisions too: GameFAQS and Dustloop. It was to the point that people became annoyed at the name ‘ChrisX’ and think of me as an ‘annoying Litchi fanboy’, whereas if I even tried to have a lengthy discussion about how Litchi may be more than what it seems, the mods forcefully put my discussion on halt, fearing that I would ramble nonsense and derail the topic.

And my other mistake in this? In my efforts to find a place to discuss on Litchi… I landed on a troll den, which I shall never mention by name. It looked innocent at first, a forum about BlazBlue. However, in my persistence in trying to show that Litchi has more dimensions… all I got was even MORE ridicules and even making me the ‘lolcow’ (AKA, the ‘laughing stock’ where people make posts specifically to trigger me). It is also worth noting that the place has one super favorite that was worshipped like they could do no wrong and others pale before them, any of their bad actions were twisted in order to make them more pimping… that favorite was Hazama.

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How many times did I hear that from them that Litchi was a fool for falling to Hazama’s offer, but what a magnificent person Hazama is for baiting fools like that. And that Litchi, for her mistakes, was considered someone with no redeeming qualities that only FOOLS could like her. Fools that are just too concerned with those big breasts she had, which was ALSO considered INFERIOR to Makoto’s somehow.

And even some people there who looked like they were reasonable to me ended up getting sick of me and saying “You are just asking for it yourself by trying to appeal her depth!” and eventually stopped going over.

Over time, it actually made me dig deeper into Hazama and concluded one thing… even without Litchi things, I would still dislike him, for standing for these elements that have been prevalent and destructive in the internet. He liked to troll people, these… trolls would’ve thought of him as an idol and he kept inspiring them. That’s a reason why I could never like him, to me, he kind of ‘inspired’ net bullies even further. And honestly, his development in latter games weren’t helping my stance. Yes, he’s supposed to be the villain you’re supposed to hate, he’s doing a good job at it, but I’m sorry… I couldn’t process that.

The bullying continued so much that I eventually got the clue and finally left the troll den for good. I decided to concentrate on playing with local people, but there was one incident when I was just playing… and I got a message through my PS3… From one of the members of that troll den, simply titled “Litchi is evil” and the message is “And not a good person.” That was my cue to block the person. And there was another site (not a troll den, though some people knew my antics in the troll den from there) where some people vandalized my profile page (back then, it was allowed with consent and I gave consent, now it was just not allowed) and giving messages like ‘I hope you’re happy with your marriage with a fictional character. Please be careful of electrocution when you put your ‘rod’ into the PS3.’ Or hijacking a BlazBlue discussion after presenting themselves as someone who looked like they would be reasonable, only to say that I really was a fool for liking Litchi, and once again, using Makoto as the symbol of greatness that she could NEVER surpass.

Things like that happened.

And somehow I managed to block it off. I still continued to play Continuum Shift Extend and awaited from Chronophantasma, with the belief that perhaps everything would turn out for better soon…

BOY, WAS I WRONG ABOUT THAT!

Because in Chronophantasma, as it turned out, Litchi didn’t even return to the good side. She looked like she returned and had regrets, but continued to be in the bad side anyway and even confirmed what I feared about her and people teased me about it: “She will toss the world to the grinder just as long as her selfish desire is fulfilled.” This is shown in the climax of the True Story. It’s so bad that when all those memories of bullying and ridicules returned to me, and it felt like those bullies were justified because of things like ‘Action Speaks Louder Than Words’…

If Rachel or Kokonoe were being stubborn and condescending in refusing her? That was considered righteous. Let’s take it to this perspective: People could bitch that Rachel was over the top and her treatment to Ragna at that time was worth calling out, Kokonoe likewise (and towards Lambda-11 as well)… but their dismissal towards Litchi, which was cold and it made sense that she snapped? Rachel and Kokonoe instantly got considered having the high moral ground, having the best interests, and Litchi was the stubborn idiot to not listen to ‘common sense’. All the time, that was what was said to me when it comes to her.

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It was to the point that I pretty much left everything about BlazBlue in disgust. I never touched Chronophantasma again despite my good take on Continuum Shift Extend. All I probably had was just Tumblr, but even then, I put every talks about Litchi at minimum. Liking Litchi became some sort of thing that I thought I had to hide, not to proudly speak of… with my history like that, I thought that those bullies would come and remind me on how much I made a fool out of myself in trying to appeal to her good side. And even the sane ones would get irritated eventually or immediately, once they know my past.

And it also didn’t help that even in the eyes of fandom, Litchi wasn’t exactly popular: She kept scoring low in popularity polls, she had no merchandises, she has the least fanarts compared to other younger girl characters. Everything was against her, and when I expressed how much of an uphill battle she’s facing, all that was said to me was I’m being annoyingly paranoid. How am I paranoid when the proofs about her lack of popularity was right there? That I would never get until today.

I should also mention about this one event in EVO 2014, where Galileo had one of the greatest comebacks by using Litchi. It was a great match full of hype and showed Galileo’s prowess. But if people said it would do anything good for Litchi’s stature? I… don’t think so. I separate the pro player and the character in entity, whatever the player accomplished with that character had nothing to do with how the character was perceived in-story. Galileo’s victory with Litchi to me made as much difference as how much in Street Fighter story, the greatest hype moment generated by Daigo Umehara had no effect in-story with Ken. Professional gaming and in-game story are two separate entities, to me that is.

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Still, there was a light at the end of the dark tunnel I walked after all. Central Fiction was eventually released and it was there that Litchi’s good morals began to shine once more and her more sympathetic side was highlighted and of course, she refused to go along with the bad guys again. But after all I went through… I was actually pessimistic beforehand. I had thought that she would just be thrown away, since nobody liked her. But I was surprised in the end, her arc got concluded, and while it was not the kind of conclusion everyone wanted, it was sweet enough for her and gave her peace. So the light was not a lie.

Even so, my reputation was there to stay, even if I got out of the light, that didn’t instantly cure the wounds I got from the dark tunnel. People has told me that I brought this upon myself, and that they will not forget that I was this “super annoying buggering fan of Litchi”, and that was how despite me finding peace on Litchi and still considering her ‘best girl’… I feel more withdrawn and pessimistic, not daring to declare in public that I liked Litchi. While people felt more free to declare who they like, including the female that was overhyped at cost of Litchi… all I could do was bite my tongue, suppress all those bad memories I had about her.

In a way, perhaps they did have a point. When I got passionate… I got too passionate that I would bugger the hell out of that person until eventually they got annoyed. I’ve lost a good friend this way because of this… Beforehand, we were like internet bros, discussing and having fun about things we liked. But he was one of the people that saw Litchi’s actions to be unforgivable for him, yet I mistakenly hoped he would understand me… so I buggered him to sate my own confused state. Our last experience was him calling me an annoying fool to stick with her, right in front of a forum which had nothing to do with BlazBlue. But even if I try to fix my way, by limiting my passion, I’m not sure if they would even recognize my change. But it was the only way, to ensure that the pain will not repeat again.

The pain of being ridiculed for thinking not like the majority.

The pain of losing a good friend.

The only pain I will have to endure is probably the pain of loneliness that I would be rather alone in favoring Litchi more than any other female in BlazBlue. And maybe the pain of being designated as a source of ridicule amongst the community because of what I did.

Most of the pains might be over. But, they were not out of my mind. They were there to stay, thanks to my insistence and not reading the situation.

But I cannot help it. Even with all these pain, I couldn’t take away my feelings and who to favor. All that I could learn is that it’s all right for anyone to like any characters, or that passion had its dangers if not kept in check.

So even until now, even after all those pains and bad memories I have experienced, I can still say some things about BlazBlue:

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It’s a good game. And no matter what… Litchi Faye-Ling remain as one of my top favorite characters in that game.

And regardless of what you readers would think of me, whether I’m justified or just plain annoying… I will not change just because of that.

Thank you for listening, and I’m sorry if I ended up not saying why Litchi had more dimensions than ‘fanservice’ and ‘stupid decision making’. That’ll probably going to take another blog post. And… I hope Makoto fans wouldn’t be too shaken with what the fandom did to propagate her hype… I don’t hate reasonable fans and there are lots of reasonable Makoto fans out there. (I just had the bad luck of meeting unreasonable ones)

And perhaps to some, maybe you may even think I’m just whining about something that should’ve been my fault alone and trying to play as a bully victim to gather undeserving sympathy, but… at the very least, I had to let it out instead of keeping it bottled up.

If any of you readers actually do have something to comment on this whole thing… well, you can just post your comments.

So until then, I’ll see you next time. This is ChrisX, signing out.

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