Hypothetical question: if someone were to make a Tsubasa tarot deck, would Fai be the hanged man or the magician? Both??
I don’t pretend to be an expert of Tarot, but I adore the symbolism behind it all, so I love questions like this. For me, both Arcana match my view of Fai, but at two different stages of the story.
The Magician would be Fai at the start of Tsubasa. It has a lot to do with energy and actions directed towards a specific goal (ie, escaping Ashura). As far as I understand it, the Magician is like an “illusionist” that tries to charm everyone around them and will use everything they can to their advantage - and if that’s not Fai’s personality that I don’t know what is. At the same time, The Magician is not flawless, and mistakes they make can unmask the Magician as a liar (which, again, Fai to a T). They can also do things the “easy” way rather than the “right” way, and can get caught stubbornly channeling all their energy into the wrong thing (such as Fai continuing to lie over and over again despite already being caught out).
The Hanged Man,on the other hand, is where I see Fai headed towards in the near future, or perhaps Fai’s life overall. This arcana seems to come with feelings of entrapment and restriction, but also the need to let go and surrender circumstances. There’s this whole thing about indecision and delaying things in order to reflect on your previous bad habits and break them to move towards a better solution.
It’s the place where I see Fai right now in the story, as he’s confronted with the fact with his previous lies have run their course and he actually needs to make a decision about what he’ll do in the future - and this is a decision he does not want to make. Which is kind of perfect, because the Reverse Hanged Man is a type of, just, putting off a decision forever and hoping it will eventually sort itself out without you having to sacrifice anything. But he will have to sacrifice something, and make a choice, and Fai needs to reflect on himself before he can surrender to this reality and actually choose what he really wants.
Or that’s how I see it anyway! It might be different when you know Fai’s full backstory. But TLDR: YES BOTH.