||[Jun. 30th, 2007|01:13 pm]
FF7 is not fantasy. That much is obvious. FF7 is steampunk. The city of Midgar itself gives off a Roppongi/Shibuya-esque slum feel. With the big city Tokyo-style billboards and Japanese scribbled all over, assuming you're Japanese or are familiar with the culture, you can really get sucked in. Unfortunately, to an English speaker, it comes off as scribbles. Whee.|
Midgar can be seen as an appropriation of what could happen when corporations are given too much power. Japan is hugely a consumer society, moreso than many other first world nations. The prospect of a single corporation rising to the top of the economic pyramid and controlling an entire city probably isn't entirely beyond their realm of possibility. The various culture references in the background only feed the sense of immersion that this city could possibly exist sometime in the near-future. But to gaijin, all that immersion is lost. All we see is fantasy.
There are a huge amount of issues touched on during the Shinra HQ scenes. Experiments on live animals, the devaluing of humans, the salaryman philosophy, greed (President Shinra has all the money in the world, but he still wants more - the Promised Land), retribution (Sephiroth's murder of Shinra), government expirements gone wrong (Jenova)... all this points towards Shinra as being the evil Big Brother. But much of this gets lost. I have no idea why. Maybe I was just blind to it when I was younger. Or, it could be the dialogue.
The dialogue in FF7 is strange. It's not quite speech, and not quite script, but some decent balance in between. It doesn't overuse dialogue markers, which is common for scripts, and gives them a more artistic feel. This can't be done in English.