Cloud's coldly dismissive behavior and Empathy issues are keys signs of a particular mental disorder, that being disassociation, which Cloud not only has due to his identity issues, but is also drastically exaggerated because of his Mako experiments giving him Zack's memories.
Yuffie is the first and quickest one to welcome Vincent into the group despite his Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant tendencies. Of course she would be, both her and Vincent are an Optional Party Member in the game proper who can be skipped, potentially for the entire game but were made fully canon due to their popularity. Not to mention that in Dirge of Cerberus it's shown that Yuffie seems to be the most concerned for Vincent and determined to keep being his friend.
In a similar vein, this troper used to be confused why Aerith was so much more willing to let characters like Cait Sith and Vincent join the party than she was with Yuffie. And then it hit me- the difference is Yuffie is a girl, and thus a possible competitor to Cloud's affection. Heck, Yuffie even kisses Cloud if they go on their date in the main game. Aerith doesn't want her to join so she can keep Cloud to herself.
When Aerith and Yuffie first hear Vincent's "special" way of saying Hojo's name, Aerith first suspects that it was a Zombie, and Yuffie argues that it sounded like a Werewolf. One of Vincent's transformations is a werewolf like creature, and two are based off popular zombies in horror (Frankenstein and Jason Voorhees). And Aerith is ultimately correct, as Vincent really is a reanimated corpse who's retained his intelligence and memories.
Aerith's Clingy Jealous Girl traits have some basis in canon. The mechanics that determine who Cloud goes on a date with at the Gold Saucer come from his relationship with each girl (and Barret) and while Aerith starts the highest, her score is most likely to go down any time Cloud talks about/to another girlnote For example, if Cloud isn't chosen as Don Corneo's date, telling Tifa they have to go save Aerith improves Tifa's score but telling Aerith they have to go save Tifa decreases Aerith's score.
When the party travels on the world map, Aerith's portrait is positioned to be at the center of the square formed by everyone's portraits, probably to emphasize her status as The Heart of the group. When she dies in Episode 25, the space is left empty to emphasize the hole she left behind.
Why do all of Zangan's attacks sound like sex acts? Because, judging by Cid's comments, he also works as a dom.
When Tifa asks if she would ever lie to Cloud all the way back in Episode 1, Cloud responds with a yes and Tifa says "Second time, shame on you." What was the first time? Agreeing that Cloud returned to Nibelheim 5 years ago.
Cloud's fear of heights makes sense when we see Cloud's memories where he and Tifa fell hundreds of feet due to a bridge failing. Even though Cloud was only slightly injured, an incident like that would be enough to give anyone acrophobia.
The sheer amount of Adaptational Jerkass all around is given more meaning because of Aerith's ending monologue about choosing empathy and kindness and caps off this retelling's Central Theme: being ego-driven, abrasive, abusive, crass, foolhardy, or any of those does not make one badass, let alone a hero.
Incidentally, it further highlights why Cid's character arc has been excised due to his Adaptational Nice Guy status: compared to his original domestic abusing version, he chose love, empathy, and kindness by presumably working out his issues with Shera and coming up with their BDSM arrangement with her as the dom, so he can air out any frustrations toward her without legitimately hurting her.
It also ties into Safer Sephiroth's Humans Are BastardsHannibal Lecture: If everyone was as much of jackass as a stereotypical abridged series would be, like most felt the series started out as, then what's proving Sephiroth wrong? Answer: the cast's Character Development, overcoming what made them poor excuses for functional people.
Also, Sephiroth's character has always been a a dark mirror to Cloud's. While Cloud put up the self-delusion of his ideal image of what SOLDIER or mercenary was like, Sephiroth deemed Jenova a superior lifeform to even the Cetra, and thus was superior to them too, and that was enough for him to believe he was worthy of godhood. Here, the exaggerations made to Cloud's character, of appearing as an ultra-cool badass to be respected by all, Sephiroth's god complex is likewise exaggerated to use his belief of Humans Are Bastards as proof that Jenova was divine punishment incarnate, and therefore, as her son, divinity is his birthright, as is the "responsibility" to Kill 'Em All and cleanse the Planet.