justifiedAshe didn't interest me in the slightest when FFXII was first revealed. She was pretty, not wearing a lot of clothes, and a princess. This didn't add up to anything I was even remotely interested in. I've never liked your typical video game heroine, who usually ends up falling in love with the hero and compromising all ass-kicking aspects of her character to devote herself to him (or something like that). Plus, as a princess, I figured she'd have to be helpless and sheltered to some degree, and might even require some rescuing. And because I'm horrible and shallow, I didn't like her revealing outfit and the copious amounts of pink. My attempts at avoiding spoilers only left me with a few things about Ashe prior to playing the game: she's lost her throne and her husband, and somehow ends up traveling with sky pirates and street urchins while trying to reclaim it. But she never caught my eye as an interesting character. I was expecting your typical "kind yet determined" female lead, but I was obviously in for a big surprise.
When I first met Ashe (or Amalia), her personality shocked me. She was harsh, serious, and incredibly devoted to her cause. While still well spoken and dignified, she was nothing like the character I had imagined. Not even remotely sweet or docile, Ashe was strictly business when it came to the resistance and reaching her goals. This was something new to me for a female lead. And there turned out to be far more to her beyond that. She had her share of flaws and a good number of trials to endure, something that made her seem very human in my eyes. The concepts of vengeance, defying fate, and struggling to live and be free when you're not even supposed to be alive were incredibly interesting to me. Especially her struggle with coming to terms with the past; I think everyone can relate to that in some way. On top of that fact, Ashe still kicked a healthy amount of ass. And on top of that, Ashe managed to carry herself with a good deal of elegance. She never gave up, or gave in. Ashe underwent a great deal of change as a person, too. She even warmed up to those sky pirates and street urchins, of all people ;). Beyond her harsh persona is a compassionate person, I think. Needless to say, underneath the subtle characterization of FFXII there exists some wonderfully complex characters. After completing the game, Ashe had somehow become my favorite character. Everyone else can love those kickass sky pirates or badass Judges (with good reason, of course!), but I'll take the disgraced princess with the silly outfit, flaws and all.