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2014-12-14 03:57 am (UTC)
In the Persona Arena games, all characters have their own titles. Most of the time they poke fun at the characters by exaggerating their traits for laughs, such as Yu's (the main character) "The Sister-Complex Kingpin of Steel" or Teddie's "The Beast in Heat". However Marie's title, "The Antisocial Poet of the Hollow Forest" actually fits quite well. One of Marie's most obvious traits is probably how distant she seems when compared to others. In fact when you first meet her, before she introduces herself, the game merely labels her as "Unfriendly-looking girl". This title seems to fit her quite well in the early stages of the game, but you
or should I say Yu
find out pretty quickly that there's more to Marie than just a grumpy exterior.
The first time Yu meets Marie is near the train station in Inaba. At this time, she lacks her trademark hat and purse, which were both gifts from Margaret, one of Igor's assistants. He drops a piece of paper on the ground, which she picks up and hands to him. A very helpful gesture that's immediately met by a response that wouldn't be out of character for a brick wall to make. Yu then encounters her again near the gas station, where he speaks to her once more. She doesn't seem to fully remember their first meeting despite it being like an hour ago, if even that, but she does state that she doesn't really have anywhere to go. She was just at the station because that's where she was.
Which brings us to a major trait of Marie: that she is an incredibly honest individual, as well as a very blunt one. Because she speaks her mind freely without censoring herself or sugarcoating her words, she tends to be put at odds with more formal people who demand respect. Or most people, really. She tells people like it is rather than what they want to hear, though it's not as if she does it out of spite or dislike. It's just who she is. Though sometimes she isn't the best at putting her feelings into words. Weird for a poet, huh? An example of this comes from a part of her Social Link where she encounters Yu's friends Chie and Yukiko. She calls them by a nickname, like she does with most people, except their nicknames are "Green" and "Red", as they (or at least Chie as far as she knows) constantly wear those colors. They mistake it as an insult, but she explains it's just an observation. It's not necessarily a bad thing, just that she considers it a waste that they chose to wear the same color every day despite being human and thus having the freedom to wear anything.
Before this event, Yu encounters Marie once more in a place called the Velvet Room--where dream and reality meet. It is the place where he crafts his Persona to battle Shadows, among other things. Marie is a new resident of the room, and apparently her fate is tied to the fate of the protagonist. Her job in the room is to manage Skill Cards (think TMs from Pokemon), but despite being a worker she's quite...rambunctious. As mentioned earlier Marie can be put at odds rather easily with anyone who demands respect or thinks very highly of themselves. Despite Igor and Margaret being powerful individuals, Igor especially, she refers to him as "The Nose" constantly, even while he's sitting right next to her. She also talks about how boring the room and its inhabitants are, as neither of them ever says anything. Mostly Igor, though. He's pretty chill. She just spouts off in his limo about how much it kinda sucks and he just does not give a single crap. Margaret does try to get her to behave more, but it's mostly in vain. It's hard being so professional. Though it is fair to note that Marie does always call Margaret by her real name. She treats her with a decent amount of respect, but she still very much acts like a grumpy teenager. They appear to have a sort of sisterly relationship, as Margaret was the one who took her in, gave her a place to stay, extra clothes to wear, told Yu to take her out every now and again, and lets her run off on errands when she gets bored.
The errands are mostly so she can snatch her poems out of Marie's back and leave them on the floor of the Velvet Room for Yu to read, though. Marie freaks out when people read her things. Margaret finds it hilarious, though. So much for being professional.
But I digress. Marie has a strong dislike of being bored, alone, and being bored
alone. Fair enough for someone who spent the majority of the time they can remember wandering around from place to place. During one of the early Social Links with her, Yu discovers that Marie has amnesia and thus cannot remember anything about her past such as who she is, why she is here, or whatever even is she. It seems that Marie is aware that she's not human with how she refers to other humans, but everything else is best summed up as "???".
Thanks to her lacking of a memory, Marie comes across as very naive despite her grumpy exterior, mostly because she is very naive. A running gag in Golden is when she encounters a new word or phrase, such as "salad dressing", she'll butcher it by pronouncing it as it's said (though slightly off). For example, salad dressing ends up being called "sallah drezzing". Since no one ever bothers to correct her, she calls it that (as well as the other things she's misremembered) whenever she refers to it. Definitely something that can be poked fun at. In fact Marie in general is really like that. If you tell her something, chances are she'll believe you and accept it as truth. This is shown when she asks you what the word "steak" is short for. If you pick "beefsteak" she'll make a reference to the hiimdaisy P4 comic by saying it should be called "fsteak", but if you go with "steaaaaaaak" she'll actually refer to it as that
after the fact. So not only is she naive, she's a bit gullible as well. Her lack of experience and knowledge is the world is something she's aware of, so she constantly spends time in the Velvet Room studying things and listening to Margaret (who taught her about Television), but sometimes she misunderstands things. She gets sayings wrong, and even mistakes "playing around" in the city for the protagonist being a "player", as in picking up girls. That gets her into a bit of a huff.
Normally Marie is a very calm and collected person, but she can be quite emotional at times. She expresses her inner thoughts in poetry (though she calls it the screaming of her pathos). As her thoughts are private (and possibly because she's aware it's not the most stellar of writing) she absolutely
other people reading it. When particularly emotional, she has a habit of talking so fast that her words string together like one massive word (Ihateyouyoustupidjerkdon'treadmystuff). When overly happy she can try to calm herself down soon afterward and act more normal, but it's pretty obvious how she's feeling. The girl really does wear her heart on her sleeve. Of course not knowing how to act around people and being somewhat shy around them doesn't help this, so her usual grumpy exterior acts as a shield. Though I wouldn't go as far as to say it's faked. As mentioned before, Marie's too blunt to lie to herself that well.
Generally speaking, Marie isn't a bad person. She's capable of being helpful and even friendly at times, though because she kinda sucks at dealing with people she can come off as rude (well that and because she's blunt as all hell). However, her niceness has become more recent as she's regained her sense of self with the return of her memories. But before I talk about that, I'd like to talk about an aspect of Marie that plagued her for a long time. You see, when Marie was lacking in her memories she believed the concept of "truth" to be an illusion. That it wasn't real. She couldn't remember anything so figured it wasn't worth worrying about (though she did worry a bit), and even after she decides to try it only makes her feel worse as it ends in failure regardless of the amount of effort she put in. Yu ends up helping her realize that her past isn't all that important, so long as she still has a future to reach out and grab. He helps her realize that she has memories of him and their friends, and that they can make more so she won't feel so empty. Finally accepting this, she gives him the only thing she had that tied her to her old "true" self: a comb made of bamboo. The very same item she had been using to try and remember who she was by looking around town.
The moment she whipped it out was probably when everyone familiar with Japanese Mythology went "She's Izanami"
So anyway, once she finally decides to put her past behind her and look towards the future she regains her memories and realizes that her destiny pretty much sucks, as she has to die in order to destroy the fog that's screwing with humanity, but she resigns herself to it without telling anyone, hoping that she can die quietly and not hurt any of her friends. Of course they show up and knock some sense into her head, helping her realize that she really does want to live her own life free of her awful fate. Once they save her, she admits that she doesn't understand any of them (Yu and his friends) at all (which, judging by her tone, upsets and even frustrates her, both because she doesn't get it and because it was insanely reckless of them). Naoto tells her basically she should get to know them since she doesn't, and her words actually ring deeply in both her head and her heart. After this point Marie does become a bit more open and friendly, but during her point in canon she still seems very much like old Marie. Just without the angst about who she is and what is truth. It's a work in progress for sure.
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