Date with Tifa (art by @pikalovechu-danielle) This took me hours to make cause well I love these two and I wanted to make something touching and beautiful…(also hands are the devil lol. ) ✨Kiss the princess ✨
Just a moment, squad! This is about Cloud’s smile at the end of Advent Children. I am not ashamed to say that analyzing films and director’s actions is a hobby of mine. I am an avid film-goer and an even more avid fan of directing. I’ve always analyzed films, why they chose certain shots and why certain songs were chosen, etc. And Nomura is possibly one of my favorite directors there is, not just because he’s such a HUGE Clerith but because his directing skills are actually quite brilliant (the opening scene where Cloud’s on his motorcycle, flips the phone close and we hear that eerie music start… BRILLIANT!).
Anyway, it’s my first time taking a moment to analyze Cloud’s ‘smile’ in Advent Children. After seeing another post I decided I wasn’t going to let people just make up whatever they want about this important scene (yes I said important, because Cloud Strife is an important character to me for many reasons and I am not ashamed of admitting this).
This is his face when he 'looks’ at Tifa (yes Tifa is the same woman who enjoys feeling like a mother to Cloud, as stated in Case of Tifa);
Look at the video yourself, Cloud’s 'smile’ is a flat line and then fades into nothing right before he starts to turn to the children.
This is his face when he turns to the children in celebration;
His smile is faint, but it’s a bigger reaction than what he gave to Tifa.
Now this is him right before he notices Aerith;
He hasn’t quite noticed Aerith yet but he’s getting there.
This is him as he begins to sort of see Aerith walking away, not quite sure it’s her for real or not;
^That is his facial expression directly as he sees her walking away.
This is his face as he first realizes that it REALLY IS Aerith walking down the isle;
(It’s like Nomura did it on purpose… I have a feeling this was nomura’s 'clerith wedding’ scene that Square always wanted!)
Please notice how his mouth is a “ ( ” shape and his eyes are kinda squinty, as if he’s focusing on something intently.
Now THIS is what the viewer sees next; notice how Cloud’s mouth has literally fallen open in this next panel, you can see his top teeth which means CLOUD’S JAW JUST DROPPED FOR AERITH.
His eyes are wider, too. Been two years since he saw those 'innocent’ 'radiant’ eyes and that 'flower-like’ smile… Cloud was CLEARLY overwhelmed with emotion!
Next we see Aerith looking back at Cloud and she says ’You see, everything’s alright’ (side note: in the French Advent Children she says ’SMILE’ to Cloud… which proves it’s Aerith who makes Cloud want to smile)
Notice how Zack is out of focus, too! Also, at this time, the song 'Cloud Smiles’ has reached its climax, the director has even slowed down time in this particular moment as Cloud begins to 'see’ Aerith (which only happened one other time in the film–which was the hand reach scene between Cloud & Aerith).
Then, after hearing the music reach a very loud but gentle climax, with time still in 'slow motion’ as Aerith speaks to Cloud, this is what we see immediately after;
Cloud’s mouth goes from being DROPPED OPEN to being closed with the corners of his moth turned upward.
To make this easier to compare;
Not good enough? Fine, let’s see it in GIF format;
That is a smile, ladies and gentlemen. That is why the song 'Cloud Smiles’ reaches its climax just as Cloud first sees Aerith’s face. This is a director’s touch to get you to pay attention to the scene, to feel fully emerged into what Cloud was feeling. The director slowed down time and made the music reach its climax to emphasize CLOUD’S emotions as he sees Aerith. To fill you with the same awe and overwhelming love that Cloud was feeling as he saw the woman he loved materialized in the living world.
'Climaxing music’ and 'slowing down time’… These are the typical scenes in every romance movie there is, it’s overused (maybe) but it conveys the romantic undertones nonetheless. Cloud is in shock and awe, his dropped-jaw and wide-eyed gaze proves she has completely bewitched him body and soul just at the mere sight of her.
Cloud’s smile is for AERITH, no one else. This is the 'smile’ that Square Enix/Nomura/Nojima find so impressive and important. That is why the music reaches its peak right when Aerith is seen from Cloud’s point of view, that is why time slows down as Cloud sees Aerith.
This beautiful smile is because of Aerith, and that smile is FOR Aerith.
And remember, at this moment Cloud realizes he’s not alone and his 'suffering in loneliness’ ends, as stated by Square Enix. It’s realizing that Aerith is always with him that ends Cloud’s 'suffering in loneliness’. So of course Cloud’s smile would happen immediately after seeing Aerith, she is the one that ends his 'suffering in loneliness’ after all.
One has to also remember that, in canon, Square Enix has said that Cloud’s first and only smile was with Aerith during FFVII.
When talking about the “rare smile” which Aerith brings out in Cloud during the game, the FFVII Ultimania Omega says that “there seems to be something between them”. [Aerith’s info page, FFVII Ultimania Omega]
& this quote reiterates the same thing;
CLOUD’S RARE SMILE: [ In Church of the Slums, after getting rid of Reno and his Shinra soldiers, CLOUD LAUGHS WITH AERITH. ] “In the beginning of FF7, Cloud is known like a “cool SOLDIER”, this can be detected only through his behavior. Although it’s been distinguished as a lie afterwards and he seems to plan to act like one, he rarely shows any emotions. His smile in FF7, while still being controlled by the story basis of Jenova’s consciousness, is only seen during the conversation with Aerith. After that, even though he brings himself back and tries to lead a new life, the bond of the awareness of sin makes him almost always keep a somber face. Considering this, his smile in the end of AC is quite impressive.- taken from FF7 10th Anniversary Ultimania
Square admits that Cloud’s first and only smile during the game was 'brought out by Aerith’. Square then says that his smile is ONLY seen during the conversation with Aerith.
And in FF Brigade, we even had an extra scene where Cloud tells Aerith ”Aerith…I finally smiled“ ("……エアリス,最後にほほえんだんだ.”)
So if–by some chance–you still missed the director’s goal with the ending of Advent Children, it is safe to assume that the smile at the end of Advent Children is because of and for Aerith… after all, every other smile Cloud has given was because of Aerith…
Cloti Week Day Six: Why do you love Cloti? (Late Entry)
Boy oh boy, where do I even begin? Cloti is unlike any other couple I have ever seen. They’re relationship isn’t some “Hollywood Love Story” where they guy and girl bump into each other and fall in love at first sight. It takes a more realistic approach. A young man falls for this girl and tries to get her attention. Well, in the midst of trying to get her attention everything just falls apart and they get separated; some how someway though they reunite years later. The young lady ends up falling for him and start to go through real problems. See this is what’s wrong with Hollywood romances show only the good times, when do they show the bad times? Almost never. But no, Cloti is different Nomura and Nojima put realism into their relationship. This couple has been through hell and back but in the end they end up closer than ever. Not only that, but they’re young and you change so much before you turn thirty so for them to stand by each other’s side through thick and thin is why I love them so much. They’re truly amazing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. :)
one of the best things about my otp cloti, is that even though ffvii is a love triangle, some of the most romantic dialogues in the compilation are Cloud –> Tifa specifically.
You can make Cloud “like” whoever in Disc One but it isn’t the real/true/full Cloud, just a fragment filled with lies. After Disc One, there is no need for the illusion of a Love Triangle. So I use Cloud’s own words for my otp tags, because I can and it’s so important to me to use the Real Clouds own words when it comes to his long lasting romantic feelings for Tifa Lockhart.
“Stop running! I know. Even if you find the kids you might not be able to help them. Maybe something will happen that can never unhappen, that scares you, doesn’t it? But you need to think about it now, really take it in. Look at you, you think you’ve got it so damn hard. Well you hate being alone so let people in. Sure you might not answer the phone, but I don’t see you throw it away either!”-Tifa
Its hard to choose my favorite scene because there are so many cloti scenes to chose from, all equally important to the next. What I love about cloti is that none of their interactions are meaningless, every interaction they have is pure and genuine, and means something. Be it character-wise or story-wire.
And so in choosing my favorite scene, I’ve decided to go with the lifestream scene, because I feel it is the most meaningful cloti scene of all (runner-ups would be the hw scene and dissidia 012)
The reason I loved the lifestream scene so much is how you see not only Cloud’s mind, but it is in Cloud’s mind when Tifa herself is being honest and true to herself as well.
The lifestream scene shows the amount of devotion and loyalty Cloud has for Tifa, and the amount of devotion and loyalty she has for him as well.
When Tifa was a child, Cloud also admired her from afar, and she was always surrounded by friends. What I find interesting about all that is her friends were three boys she was always with, and Cloud who wasn’t even in her group of friends. When Tifa needed them most, they all abandoned her. They left her to go alone on a dangerous trail all by herself, but not Cloud.
Cloud was the only one who stuck with her, silently protecting her on her journey. Cloud’s want to protect Tifa didn’t stem from the promise, it was always there. Cloud always wanted to be a hero to Tifa, always wanted to be seen as different from her friends, he wanted to be amazing even before hearing about Sephiroth.
Cloud risked his own life for Tifa, this girl he barely talked to. He put his own life at risk for the sake of her well-being, and when she fell he wasted no time rushing to her side and catch her from falling.
Cloud then became so angry at himself for what he believed failing Tifa. If he was strong, then he could have saved Tifa, if he really was a hero, he could be her knight in shining armor.
When he heard about Sephiroth and SOLDIER he saw his chance, and he mustered up courage to ask Tifa to the well, this girl who he assumed hated his guts and blamed him for the accident.
But you know what? She never did. Instead, she asks Cloud to protect her. This was the start of Tifa’s devotion to Cloud.
Being so touched at how he promised her such a thing, that he would be her hero, she begins reading the newspaper in hopes of seeing his name. She begins training in martial arts so she won’t have to be saved all the time, so she can hold her own and because of this, she ends up protecting Cloud which we see at the beginning of the lifestream.
The tables have turned, and now Tifa is the silent protector, who is watching over a Cloud that doesn’t even realize she’s there. She risks her own life for Cloud, she doesn’t leave Cloud behind in a hospital full of strangers but instead stays with him, even if it means taking care of him the rest of her life. She also won’t leave him behind as everyone evacuates.
Within the lifestream, we learn all of what happened. We see deep into Cloud and Tifa’s personality, and just see the amount of devotion they have. That their love is selfless and unconditional. That Cloud had feelings for Tifa she didn’t even know about, and that Tifa had feelings for Cloud he didn’t even know about.
I love the lifestream scene because of the amount of depth it shows of these characters’ emotions, and also expands upon the deep unconditional love they feel for one another, where they risk their lives for each other.
Dissidia 012 reinforces this point, that they will give up their life for each other.
But Dissidia is just repeating what we saw in the lifestream. This is the scene that really showed us in depth who these characters are, and how they are eternally bonded to one another.