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In my very early gaming days, I'd mostly play as female characters, purely out of relatability on that very basic front.
And to be honest, this is pretty much the only reason I'd play as Amy Rose as much as I did (although not as much as Rouge overall) whenever she was an available character in a Sonic game. I really can't remember if I liked anything about her. I guess I thought her movesets as a fighter were cool, and her dedication to helping Birdie find his family in Sonic Adventure was rather touching. But nothing else stuck out to me as a redeemable quality; all I could focus on was how irritating her obsession with Sonic was.
Looking back, maybe the problem had to do with me and not her. I didn't have the patience to get to know her, understand why she is the way she is, and value the good qualities she does have—which are actually very good considering the minimal characterization you tend to see in these games.
Reading up on people's insights and watching YouTube videos definitely helped to open my mind when it comes to this topic. I won't talk about Amy's portrayal in Sonic Boom until a future post; for now, I'm sticking with the Amy we're familiar with in canon.
Now that I'm older, I can definitely find some appreciation in the character. She does have potential to be complex, but I'm thinking the problem is that she's mostly played as a joke, being known primarily as Sonic's main groupie and all. And the thing is, you can tell she genuinely cares for and wants to help others, not just Sonic; it's just that this usually gets downplayed in favour of her "fangirlism."
At least there's emphasis on her courage and strength. Not to mention, she has a lot of heart. True, she has a goal in mind, and that's to win Sonic's own heart, but that doesn't mean she's not supportive of others' goals and development (her interactions with Princess Elise, Blaze the Cat, E-102 Gamma, Cream the Rabbit, Shadow the Hedgehog, and Big the Cat are all examples of this). Nobody asks for her opinion, or for her to even take action—she chooses to do these things herself.
I think she's a little too aggressive to be considered a pacifist, but she nevertheless isn't afraid to speak her mind, and articulates herself in a rather mature way when the situation calls for it. I think if she were portrayed more as someone who is grateful to Sonic (maybe bringing some context and backstory into it, because there is a reason why she idolizes him so much, after all) but can nevertheless manage to exist as a character that doesn't always revolve around him, then maybe people will take her seriously.
We also have to consider the fact that she's a pre-teen; we all remember what we were like in those days, right? So the idea that she's bubbly and boy-crazy isn't that farfetched. But she's still fun to take along with, and we watch as she learns lessons (depending on the title) throughout the adventure, even in Sonic Battle, where she's depicted as having an eating disorder (it was scary stuff to read, I must admit). While I admittedly can't recall what resolution she comes to by the end of the game, the thing that we (and especially younger girls who might gravitate towards her) can take away from this is that we don't need to (or should) go to extremes to seem better as people, particularly for that special someone.
What's most important is that we be ourselves, continue doing the things we believe are right because we want to, and surround ourselves with like-minded, positive individuals. Amy has proven that she can be the better person (or anthropomorphic hedgehog) in this regard, and doesn't require validation from anyone. She just needs to realize that she's got her whole life ahead of her, and there are friends who truly admire her and want the best for her—even Sonic.
She's also not completely selfish when it comes to him, either. Sure, she might get jealous, but she isn't bitter towards other potential love interests (Elise is the one that immediately comes to mind). Though while we're on the subject, I want to quickly address the whole "Amy is a 'yandere'" debate. Guys, no. She's not a yandere. You clearly don't know what the term means if you honestly believe that. She's not a shy girl on the outside who's actually a psychotic killer on the inside. It hasn't gotten to that point, at least.
All things considered, Amy is probably one of the more realistic and relatable characters in this franchise. She has her flaws, but they're understandable, and her determination as well as her kindness could make up for it. Here's to hoping that Sega can take to Boom's example and expand on these traits, while also keeping the two renditions unique. I always like seeing different interpretations of characters anyhow.