Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-01-24 14:11 JST)
The combination of Final Fantasy VII character Tifa Lockhart with Italian imagery has been gaining popularity online as a meme. While the two might not seem related at first glance, the origins of the meme stretch back to an incident at an Italian senate meeting.
Tifa is a popular character that’s been the subject of fanart for many years from all over the world. But lately, many posts have been combining Tifa with an Italian theme. The origin of this boom in fanart stems from an incident on January 17 where a pornographic video of the character was broadcast during an Italian senate meeting.
On the Italian television channel Senato della Repubblica (Senato TV), a channel that broadcasts the country’s senate meetings, a meeting between the political party Movimento 5 Stelle was being aired. Some participants were also attending via the video meeting tool Zoom, and during this meeting, a 3D pornographic video of Tifa suddenly appeared to all the participants.
Movimento 5 Stelle member Maria Laura Mantovani insists that the incident was due to hacking (DDAY). This same senate member also looks to have made the Zoom meeting’s ID and password public on Facebook. While the particulars are unknown, the result ended up with Tifa being broadcast live in a perhaps not so flattering way.
Since then, some fans have been having fun with the incident by posting Italian-themed Tifa fanart. Users in Italy have been seen posting fanart as well. Some examples include Tifa eating pizza and Tifa wearing clothing featuring Italy’s flag. There are even users commenting, “Tifa for president.” Tifa, who seemingly had no connection to the country, is suddenly being treated like an icon.
There’s also a lot of variation among the “Tifa x Italy” fanart. One user posted an image of Tifa riding a Vespa, an Italian scooter made by Piaggio, and another posted an image with a jealous Mario claiming he’s the gaming icon of Italy. While there is a lot of fanart being posted, some of it is rather graphic so be careful if you decide to search for it.
Thanks to this senate mishap in Italy, Tifa has found herself in the spotlight once again. Likely because Tifa was already a beloved character. Perhaps this is an opportunity for Tifa’s appeal to spread even further.