Amber Michelle (myaru) wrote,
Amber Michelle
myaru

Xenogears designs = character background? Faulty logic ahead.

So, I was just thinking about Xeno characters, and what their hairstyles say about their character background. A long and twisty road led me to this. In summary:

1. Considering a TAL oil blend
2. Body has adverse reaction to the very idea of a blend that's supposed to be ah. For ritual use.
3. Boggle. I believe in aromatherapy to a degree, but not magic.
4. Thought about "intuition" as a friend calls it, re: characters I just know I'll like.
5. Consider that characters I like probably share certain visual characteristics. See: Elly, Shitan. Cue Xeno-themed contemplation.

Anyway, my back is killing me, so I'm going to sit here and write this and hope it isn't what I think it is.

I don't even remember how I got onto the topic of characters as portrayed by hair style. It had something to do with--oh! Right, Shitan.

It's safe to consider Solaris a modern society, as far as their sensibilities go. The earth dwellers, on the other hand, are at all levels of primitive culture. It's interesting, looking back, that they have moderately advanced technology in some ways (trains, sand cruisers, scavender ships and underwater technology, gears), yet in others are completely inferior (no personal transit, limited plumbing, no highways that I remember seeing outside of Zeboim, no washers or dryers, no refrigerators to my memory). Although I don't remember the level of medical technology available, I do recall there was a huge gap between the capabilities of Solarian versus land facilities, and that the Ethos (a Solarian front) rated highest on the scale of technology. They were the ones doing the excavating; Nortune as well I believe, which was more reliant on technology than Aveh or Nisan as I remember.

Someone should correct me on that. I tried so hard to forget Kislev that I think I succeeded.

All of this rambling is to get at one thing: despite the severe polarization of social class in Solaris, I think Ignas's character is impacted more by differences in economic and social class. (It took me five minutes to remember how I wanted to say this. Don't expect much from the following. :P) My focus was drawn to this by hair style, but it also shows in fashion... if you can call it that when we're looking at tiny sketches of townspeople from the PW.

Solaris does it all by law. If you're born third class, you're third class. Doesn't matter how hard you work, how smart you are, you're a peon. If your block is good and works hard, you get promoted, and suddenly you're second class, and it doesn't matter how stupid you are, you still have access to all of the niceties of priviledged life. It's like there's no need to denote social class there - you are or you aren't, you wear a uniform or you don't, and that's about it. Your appearance doesn't seem to be heavily impacted by that beyond the obvious.

Look at the difference between Shitan as he was in Solaris, and as he is in the game. (That's what originally inspired this line of thought.) The length of one's hair doesn't seem to matter much in Solaris; long or short, it seems to be a matter of personal preference, although military men seem to wear it short by default (Ramsus, Erich, Hyuga, Sigurd, etc.). By all rights Elly's hair should've been chopped off, or at least bound in some way. So I asked myself why Shitan would have grown his hair long when his hobbies aren't hair-friendly, and my brain's answer was: because he's supposed to be part of the monied class. I mean, he has a huge house on a mountain, and a ton of electronic junk sitting around. His bathtub was apparently legendary, and let us not explore the reasons for that in this post.

I guess the concept of doctors making a fortune in their profession is a modern, 20th century idea, but at the same time I think that life in the Xeno world might have made the same thing possible. They're obviously familiar with technology, but not everyone has the same conveniences, and not everyone knows how to handle it. Shitan could make a fortune off of Lahan - in trade, if not in real money.

Bart and Sigurd came to mind when I was thinking about this too, and also Maison. In fact, Maison is the epitome of Aveh nobility, if you ask me. XD Bart wears his hair long, and Sigurd, though I think he cut it short in the back (?), still has that wealth of silvery goodness framing his face. And Maison - need you ask? They see their share of action, but they're not out in the fields (or, well, whatever Aveh's equivilent is) farming, sawing down trees, working mills, or anything a commoner would have to do to maintain daily life.

I actually wonder what passes for food production and storage in the Xeno world. The only national profile I've read is Solaris, and that's a very special case. I don't think anyone outside of the aerial cities had mass production capability, did they? Maybe Nortune. I don't remember evidence of that in Aveh or Nisan though, whether it's there or not.

Billy doesn't have long hair, Stein does. (Forget Shakhan, we don't know - he probably went bald at 18 and thanked his genes for it.) I could make up an explanation about Aquavy's slightly more tech-savvy reputation + possible dress code for Ethos priests, but I have even less grounds for that than the rest of this ramble. Then again, it makes sense for Billy to chop his hair off for other reasons. I mean, he does snipe Wels. Let's not have our hair blowing in our faces at inopportune moments, you know?

I consider Shevat equivalent to Solaris, although I get more of a feeling of tradition there. The higher-ranking people (Zephyr, Balthasar, Maria and Nikolai), who are really all we see, all seem to confirm the trend of longer hair as a sign of priviledge. This is hard to say though, because I remember less about the NPCs there than other places. Astounding, since I like Shevat so much. All I remember is the color scheme of their costumes and the frigging Chuchu room.

Fei is the odd man out, but isn't he always?

Emeralda, Chu Chu, and, er. Well, they don't fit. They also have special circumstances. I guess using Zeboim's news reel wouldn't be any less reliable than my faulty memory and sleep-deprived logic.

After saying all of this, I really don't see a clear relationship between hair style and class. It's kind of implied, but only kind of. I have to pull too much of this out of my ass to make a point, so oh well. At least my back feels better. :P Time for sleep.
Tags: public: xenogears
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