|The Official Artwork
|Cloud and Aerith appear together in official artwork by Yoshitaka Amano. Some people try to argue this point by saying that Amano had "nothing to do
with FFVII", which is completely untrue. Amano was the character designer for all of the Final Fantasy games until Tetsuya Nomura took over for
FFVII. Amano still did much of the visual design for FFVII and much of the artwork, even though Nomura's was also used.
So, yes, he was involved in FFVII and his artwork is considered official. This should be obvious when looking at Amano's designs for the characters
of FFVII. Many of the FFVII characters resemble the original Amano designs.
Amano's artwork is still considered appropriate and significant today, as it is displayed with all of the official FF artwork, right alongside that of
Nomura. Amano's pieces are typically used in all types Final Fantasy media, including that of Final Fantasy VII. Obviously, Squaresoft (now
Square-Enix) still considers his work important. Some examples of repeated use:
* Amano's art of Cloud with Aerith ("Tranquility") was used as the cover of the booklet included with the FFVII Original Soundtrack....
|So, my question for you Cloud and Tifa fans is: If Amano's art is considered canon for all of the other Final Fantasy games, then why would you claim
that his art of Cloud and Aerith is not considered canon???
Take a look at all of the artwork I have posted in which Amano portrayed the canon couples for FFVIII, FFIX, and FFX. If you look long enough,
you'll notice that many of them are similar. Squall has Rinoa in his arms in both of the official Amano arts for FFVIII, while Tidus is also portrayed as
embracing his love (above left). In another piece of art from FFX (above right), you'll notice that Tidus is clearly protecting Yuna, standing in front of
her with his sword ready, one arm blocking her from getting involved in a dangerous situation. The piece from FFIX is similar. Zidane is guarding a
fallen Garnet, whirling to attack his opponent, his sword ready to slash. And, finally, in the last piece of artwork here from FFX, you'll see that a
peaceful scene of comfort is portrayed; Yuna is resting her head in Tidus's lap, who watches over her as she rests. The common themes here are
pretty simple- embrace, protection, comfort, peace... love.
Now, take a look back at the artwork in which Aerith appears with Cloud. You'll notice that these same themes appear, not just in the art itself, but in
some of the titles (hover your mouse over them; I didn't have the titles for the art from other games, sorry...)- "Protection", "Calmness",
"Tranquility".... You'll notice that Cloud is standing protectively in front of Aerith in both "Shivery Light" and "Challenge". In fact, Cloud and Aerith in
"Challenge" have the same positions as Tidus and Yuna in one of their pieces (above right). Tidus and Cloud are both wielding their swords while their
intended love interests are behind them and just to the left. You'll notice that Cloud is even holding Aerith in the piece titled "Protection" in which Aerith
appears to have fallen in battle and is either dead or dying. In the other two pieces ("Calmness" and "Tranquility"), Cloud is shown being in a peaceful
reverie with Aerith, much in the same way Tidus is with Yuna in the artwork of her resting on his lap. The same themes apply here- embrace,
protection, comfort, peace... and, yes, love!
So, not only does Cloud appear with Aerith in a staggering SIX pieces of official artwork by Yoshitaka Amano, but their artwork shares similarities and
themes with artwork of the canon couples from other Final Fantasy games. I'm not sure how much more obvious I need to be on who the intended
pairing of FFVII is.
Oh, and for all of you CloudxTifa fans who claim that Amano's art means nothing... why, oh, did you ask for a Cloud and Tifa picture from Amano?
Yep, that's right. Cloud and Tifa fans actually made up a petition in which they pathetically begged Square for proof of Cloud and Tifa's "love".
Unfortunately, the petition no longer exists, which is a shame, because it was really funny (and there were a LOT of signatures on it, too).
What was amusing in the petition is their request for a "romantic picture" by Yoshitaka Amano (and yet they've claimed all these years that Amano's
CloudxAerith art isn't romantic). Now, why would he want to do that when Cloud and Tifa are not, and were never meant to be, the true couple of
FFVII? He already has art of the true couple of FFVII, in case you hadn't noticed, silly CloTis. Oh, that's right, it doesn't count unless he draws Cloud
with Tifa, right? This is typical CloTi hypocrisy right here, folks. Amano's art of Cloud and Aerith means nothing, and yet they begged for Amano art
of Cloud and Tifa to prove that Cloud and Tifa are canon. Gah! I think I just pulled something rolling my eyes....
So do Cloud and Tifa have any official artwork?
Yes, they do... sort of. They have a sketch done by Tetsuya Nomura for the Case of Turks novella...
|You'll notice Cloud and Aerith appear together in official artwork no less than SIX times. Why would Amano spend so much time on portraying Cloud
with Aerith if she were not his intended love? As with the official commercial, these artworks were done during FFVII's infancy, prior to the birth of
any fandoms for either pairing. So, truly, we are seeing the creator's true intentions in an untainted form, before they started catering to every whim of
So, how many Amano artworks does Cloud appear in with Tifa? NONE. And, yes, Amano was quite aware of the changes to the storyline, including
the death of Aerith and the addition of Tifa (added late in the game). However, he still did not draw Cloud and Tifa together. Tifa is actually portrayed
alone in Amano's works.
Amano will also draw the antagonist and protagonist (villain and heroine) together, portraying light and dark. Some examples of Amano art with the
villain and heroine together are his art of Seymour with Yuna, and Sephiroth with Aerith. Some people claim that Amano's art of Sephiroth with Aerith
is romantic. I am sorry to burst your bubble, but since when do romantic couples threaten each other? That's right... in Amano's art of Sephiroth with
Aerith, Sephiroth is holding his sword to Aerith's throat....
|Some more of Amano's works for other Final Fantasy games....
|The OST was released after FFVII. So, why use this artwork with the OST if it is not appropriate? I'd also like to point out that "Tranquility" is the
front cover for the SonMay version of the OST. You can see it here.
* "Tranquility" was also used as an Easter egg in the game Parasite Eve (it's hanging on the laboratory wall).
* Here is "Tranquility" being used again, this time in the Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary Ultimania:
|So, why does Square keep using this piece of artwork? It's simple. It portrays exactly what was intended-- CloudxAerith.
Some examples of Amano's CloudxAerith pics...
|Tifa looks fine in this picture, but, honestly... Cloud looks like something I would draw with my left hand. :-/
Cloud and Tifa fans were happy to get it. I guess it's something, considering the lack of any official artwork for them. However, this does not even
begin to compare to the Amano art of Cloud with Aerith.
First of all, the execution is poorly done. Amano's work, on the other hand, is gorgeous and ethereal. There really is no comparison of Amano's delicate
paintings and a sketch that looks like it took all of 30 seconds to complete. It honestly looks like someone threw the CloTis a bone to get them to stop
Second of all, the placement of both Cloud and Tifa are about as unromantic as you can get. Tifa is facing away from him, not even looking at him.
And Cloud is looking guilty and unhappy. Compare this with the Cloud and Aerith paintings by Amano in which Cloud is shown fiercely protecting
Aerith, Cloud is shown holding Aerith tenderly, or Cloud and Aerith are shown together in a peaceful scene of tranquility. Again, there really is no