There's no getting around it. As much as I love Yuna, as strong-willed as she may be, there's no denying that Yuna is a textbook example of a damsel in distress. I mean, she gets kidnapped four times, for crying out loud! I don't think there's any way for me to say that Yuna "transcends the damsel in distress image" unless we talk about FFX-2.

First, she gets kidnapped by the Al Bhed Psyches team in Luca. Next, she gets kidnapped by her Al Bhed family at the Moonflow (off of a shoopuf, no less). Then, she gets kidnapped by Seymour and company to get married in Bevelle. And lastly, the party is split up and thrown in the depths of Bevelle, condemned as traitors. That's four times in one game. I'm not really sure how this works, since Yuna has a bunch of guardians and beastly aeons at her disposal. Sure, she can escape from a horde of angry Yevonites on her own, but she can't save herself from a measly bliztball team. When Lulu asks her if she beat up her Al Bhed blitzball kidnappers, she admits that, yes, she hurt them a little.

In FFX-2, her role is almost entirely reversed. Now, Spira's run amok and everyone is screaming for Yuna to come help them. Admittedly, her help is not so much help as it is just singing, which somehow magically makes everything better. Spira is the giant damsel in distress and Yuna is the shining white knight clad in armor.

Looking at this from a wider scope, it's also possible to say that Spira is perpetually the damsel in distress and Yuna is perpetually the shining white knight clad in armor. With help, Yuna saves the world twice. In both situations, Spira was looking to Yuna. The first time, they looked to her for freedom and salvation. The second time, they looked to her for guidance.

Even so, the FFX world has an annoying bias of sorts against female empowerment. True, FFX-2 has an pretty cool all-female party, but at the end of the game, Yuna goes back to Besaid to lead a quiet life with Tidus, and Spira is left in the hands of men. Not that Yuna doesn't deserve a quiet life after all she's done, but the Final Fantasy series really buys into male and female stereotypes. Not to mention the outfit designs for the party - their dresspheres can hardly be called conservative or gender-neutral. It's not often that you have a male white mage and you rarely see guys getting kidnapped. While this is to be expected, it's ironic and somewhat annoying that even in X-2, Square still adheres to gender stereotypes.