Thanks to DiamondChocobos for the inspiration!
I get that she is all soft and friendly etc., but her canonical role is spelled out pretty clearly. She’s a dancer.
- She twirls and spins in all of her quickenings
- Her default weapon is a dagger
- She wears what looks like a one-piece leotard
- Her dream is to be a dancer
- Canonically, at the end of FFXII she becomes a professional dancer
- Her primary class in Revenant Wings is Dancer-WHM hybrid with the majority of her skills being Dance-based.
- Her UNIQUE job class in FFTA2 is… yup, you guessed it, Dancer
- Following on from that, here is her character description from FFTA2:
Vaan’s steadfast partner, Penelo sometimes gently—but more often severely—keeps him from straying too far off course. Already a famed sky pirate, she is also fast gaining renown as a skillful dancer.
So, tell me. What is Penelo’s canonical job class?
Answer: She doesn’t have one. You could make her any of the twelve jobs in the Zodiac job system. And of the twelve zodiac job classes, you can choose for her, the dancer isn’t one of them. In Final Fantasy XII, she wants to be a dancer but isn’t one yet. In Revenant Wings: Final Fantasy XII, she becomes a dancer.
She’s a “Street Urchin”, as one deleted user mentioned. But when it comes to the dancer’s profile:
Dancers are often characterized as female, and wearing revealing attire. Dancers have been present as non-player characters in several early Final Fantasy games (known as dancing girls), and are usually shown in pubs. Dancers most often equip daggers, such as the Dancing Dagger, which is usually associated with the Dancer class. Their ability, Dance, performs one of several actions chosen at random, and their stats are some of the lowest of all classes. Some Dancers are capable of White Magic.
DiamondChocobos is right. This fits Penelo.
I guess people refer to Penelo as a white mage because they confuse status enhancement as white magic. Other than that, I’m sure people would at least refer to her job as a dancer…
At least that was my thought. But I was thinking of ‘Bards’; dancers using cause status ailments and debuff the enemies. Yet, some dancers can cast white magic.
But there’s a hidden assumption that even I didn’t think of at the time. Why do we think white mages as being soft, kind, friendly, gentle, etc.? Wasn’t Garnet crafty? She was a white mage. Eiko was downright rude. Then again, both weren’t a purely white mage, they were summoners. How about Minwu? Well, he’s not a white mage per se. He has many white magic spells, but technically we could make him any job. He just happens to have all of the white mage spells. And he’s not exactly gentle.
Lenna’s kind and polite, but she’s not specifically a white mage; we can choose any job for her, despite her high magical aptitude. Same with all of the women in Final Fantasy VIII, who each seem to have high magical stats as well.
I can only think of three white mages who fit this profile: Rosa, Aerith, and Yuna. Knowing how popular Final Fantasy IV, VII and X are, it’s not surprising; white mages earned this reputation. Each of these ladies is nice, kind and sweet. But Aerith is fierce with a staff. Yuna becomes more assertive in Final Fantasy X-2. Only Rosa remains saintly.
Penelo is far from soft. She’s energetic, hyper, and childish, of course. But wow! Have you seen her in battle? She’s fierce…