Sunday, June 21, 2015

Is Marluxia's Element Death?

This is a post addressing the debate about Marluxia, number eleven in Organization XIII in the Kingdom Hearts game series, and whether his element is death or flowers. Now, the honest answer, is no, his element is not death, it is indeed flowers, however, I personally consider his element to be nature or plants and thus, phrase it as so. Anyone who has played the game or is a big fan, might remember that the Proof of Existence shows the names and elements of all the members of the Organization, save for Xion. Here, it clearly shows Hana as his element, meaning "flower". Amusingly enough, in Korean, it means "Number One" which may have been slipped in on purpose considering he is the Lord of Castle Oblivion, and on top of that, wishes to overthrow the Organization and probably become the new Number I. So, the mystery is solved, right? Well, not yet. Or at least, not in this blog. I'm going to entertain the thought that his element may be death, or even, that he may have dual elements. First off, let me talk about why many people think his element may be death in the first place: his weapon. Marluxia uses a scythe named Graceful Dahlia. Considering even his weapon is named after a flower, I feel like that's the first hint that this theory is incorrect, but I shall continue. In America, as well as other parts of the world, the scythe is associated with the death because of the skeletal Grim Reaper who uses the tool to collect souls in mythology. However, the scythe did not originate with the Reaper of Souls, and is in fact, a gardening tool. Invented in about 500 BC, the scythe was used as a means of cutting crops such as wheat or grass, and eventually replaced the sickle in farming. As far as I know, the Japanese do not associate the scythe with death, and though it is not uncommon for them to slip European or American symbols into their games and anime/manga, I am more inclined to believe that his weapon was chosen for the latter reason. Now, before recently, I had never even entertained the thought that his element was anything besides plants or flowers. Then, when I was replaying the games and looking up some cut scenes on YouTube, I noticed something. This is what made me reconsider. "Your heart shall be judged!" I searched the internet extensively, and I seem to be the first person mentioning this. Why on Earth (or rather, in the World that Never Was) would he say that? It seems to random! Now, I understand that he says other things that are similar, such as "Your heart is in shackles!" but the first quote really stopped me in my tracks. Seriously, I died because I stopped fighting for a moment; I was surprised. My first thought about this quote was Anubis (and Thoth, Ammit, and Osiris of course) during the weighing of the heart in ancient Egyptian mythology. Of course, this game in Japanese, not Egyptian, and it's not like Yu-Gi-Oh where they merge the two cultures together, but then I was thinking, Enma is a Japanese deity very similar to the Egyptian Anubis. Both of them are often associated with death for obvious reasons. Then there are the flowers. The majority of people in the fandom who have actually paid any mind to the nature of the plants which surround him, like myself, have always assumed them to be petals of a cherry blossom. Now, cherry blossoms sort of represent death in the Japanese culture, but not quite, and this is what many people don't realize. In a way, cherry blossoms represent life more than they do death. The fragility and beauty of the flowers is a reminder of how life is beautiful, but also painfully short and easy to break or lose, thus is the nature of life and death. Honestly, if the petals were to symbolize anything having to do with Marluxia, I'd be more inclined to say he probably has some sort of tragic backstory, a life of heartache, thus being easily broken just as the flowers are. That being said, I don't even think that's the case. It is more likely to me, that the flowers would almost symbolize Nobodies in general. Their lives were fragile and broken and were taken away from them. They lost themselves too soon, and a short, painful life was what they had, yet their lives were beautiful and filled with emotions and passions. All of that was stripped from them. Like the cherry blossoms that drift through the spring breeze, they fell and essentially died. Still, we're not even sure the flowers he has are cherry blossoms. Personally, I think it would make sense for the flowers to be Lumaria petals because the word holds all of the letters of Marluxia's name, minus the X, twisted around, meaning it could also be his Somebody's name. And before anyone tries to correct me, no I do not mean Lunaria, though I know that's a type of flower as well. Anyway, at least one person I saw proposed the idea of a dual element, basically meaning his attribute is flowers or plants, but also death. An interesting idea, but unlikely. Why would he, of all characters, have two elements? Xemnas, the leader of the Organization, only has one, so does second-in-command Saix, and Number II Xigbar. Sure, he's Lord of Castle Oblivion, but other than that, he really doesn't have much power in Org. XIII. The only other reason I can think of that a Nobody would wield two attributes, is if his first one was particularly useless, but that's clearly not the case either. If anyone has a useless element, it's Roxas (light), or better yet, Xion who doesn't have one. All of this is fine and dandy, but where does that leave us? Well, as I mentioned in the beginning of this post, his element is officially "flowers", not only according to the proof of existence in the game, but also all official sources by the creators of the game. I doubt they are wrong about the attribute of their own character. In other words, it's an interesting idea, but just doesn't hold up. Marluxia wields flowers, not death.

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