Anyway, I got to thinking about something else in regards to the female characters of Star Ocean throughout the entire series. Mind you, I still haven't played the first two games, either at all or all the way through at this point, but there is something quite formulaic going on with the female cast members.
There are very few close range fighters amongst the women characters.
In fact, I daresay there's maybe one female character per game that is a close range fighter. Ilia from the very first Star Ocean game is a fisticuffs fighter, if her little bio from the game manual is anything to go by. I'm not entirely sure on the second game - I'm guessing so for those of you who have played, please chime in on this - but I believe Precis is the only close range combat fighter in the game. Again, I could be wrong. My current play-through I've recruited Ashton, and he's not a well-liked character by other characters you haven't met yet.
Getting into the games that I have played and therefore do know, it becomes clearer that it is about one female character per game. Till the End of Time has Mirage but also might be the only exception to the one female close range fighter per game. The only symbology she learns is whenever you get the tomes that teach Common Attack Symbols and Common Support Symbols, if you so choose to do that with her. Otherwise, she is straight up fisticuffs on par with Cliff. Nel Zelpher and Peppita Rosetti are the other two that are close range fighters. Nel uses daggers, which can be short range or long range for attacks, and symbology. Peppita basically uses her acrobat skills. The difference amongst the three is you have a choice on whether or not to recruit Nel and Peppita to the party. Mirage becomes automatic after Styx. Other than that, well, Maria and Sophia are actual distance fighters. Their classifications in the whole questing party puts them at a great disadvantage after a certain point in a tight combat situation. (Sophia is basically classified as a mage, and, because we're going with classic Dungeons and Dragons style gaming with our video game RPGs, Sophia is unable to handle any type of weapon beyond a staff. She also has lower hit points compared to other players and thus makes her an easy kill if you have her out and are not paying a lot of attention to what it is she's doing. For some reason, Adray is the only one who gets to break the rule of a mages not being allowed to wield swords, going more Lord of the Rings style in that Gandalf carried a sword with no penalty. I digress.)
Star Ocean: Till the End of Time seemingly breaks the rule for close range female combat fighters, but The Last Hope and Integrity and Faithlessness resume it. Meracle Chamlotte and Anne are the only close range fighters of the female persuasion. The rest - Reimi, Lymle, Myuria, Sarah, Miki, and Fiore - they can fight close range, but, again due to their classifications, they're long range fighters.
This is kind of disheartening for me because, well, I love sword fighters. That is the truth. I love sword fighters. And to realize a series I love doesn't have the option for a female sword fighter is . . . boring and, well, not up to date with the types of warriors a person can play. Even in the old days of table top gaming, women/female characters could be sword fighters. After all, there are a wide range of blades out there that a woman can wield.
Maybe the game writers for Star Ocean will finally take the hint that the writers for Final Fantasy did when they went into production for Final Fantasy XIII. Female lead, female sword fighter, and no need for a love interest.
Those are just my thoughts, though.