Not too long ago, I read a Final Fantasy XV fanfiction one-shot of Noctis Lucis Caelum and Ignis Scientia. You don’t have to necessarily know who these characters are specifically for this meandering exercise, but know that they have been inseparable from a very young age (think six years-old or so) through their early twenties due to circumstances of their upbringing. These are two people who should know each other very well, if not intimately, having spent the majority of their lives together. At the very least, there is no one that they know better than the other. The story’s premise was that confusion — or some other status effect brought on by a fight gone horribly wrong — caused Ignis to not recognize that Noctis is, well, Noctis.
Instead, Ignis believes that Noctis is an imposter. In Noctis’ efforts to escort Ignis back to the rest of their group hilarity, as they say, ensues while Ignis is convinced the fake-but-actually-real Noctis is leading him into a trap. The story was charming, but also had an odd dark humor that I don’t know if the author intended. Some of Ignis’ genuine confusion could have been also read as heartbreaking. The story played with a lot of our deepest insecurities — primarily what happens if someone we love fails to recognize us for who we are. It actively hurts them both.
What makes others unrecognizable to us? What makes us unrecognizable to them? Is it a slow process over time or caused by a sudden catalyst? Is it due to societal pressures or natural personality shifts?
Can we return to a time where we felt like they recognized us?
Spoilers for the Sarazanmai companion manga, Reo and Mabu ~ Together They’re Sarazanmai.
-lyrics from the kappa’s song at the Field of Desires, Sarazanmai
There’s a lot of nuance in “supposed to be” or “should be.” “Supposed to be” or “should be” says that something is not right. Something should exist that does not. Should implies obligation, suggestion, or a likely event.