Games usually ignore the years of training needed to use a bow properly and just assumes any girl who isn't a dedicated mage or a melee fighter can use one. Even years of study as a mage doesn't stop a girl from using one, if Rydia and Rosa are any indication.
So... is Serah a flawless, gentle Mary Sue or a ditzy moron? These seem to be mutually exclusive characterizations. --- "Just for reference, a Radeon 7950 with "only" 3GB of GDDR5 memory retails for about $300 USD. That's about $100 per gig." - Alaster111
Even years of study as a mage doesn't stop a girl from using one, if Rydia and Rosa are any indication.
If I recall, Rydia was god awful with the Bow. And Rosa only if you used Aim would she hit something. As someone who spent a couple hours with a bow once, if you are just going center mass on a big target, it's possible. But I think more of their problem would be drawing it back depending on the pressure.
Bow and arrow is bugged and considered a melee attack for row purposes, so you get the 1/2 damage and 1/2 hit rate penalties if you are trying to shoot from the back row. This is why Rydia seems to suck with the bow and arrow but Rosa with Aim hits more (Aim sets hit rate to 255, penalized to 127 by back row).
They'll die a lot if you put them in the front, but that's a different problem than bow/arrow proficiency. --- "Just for reference, a Radeon 7950 with "only" 3GB of GDDR5 memory retails for about $300 USD. That's about $100 per gig." - Alaster111
Personally, I didn't really like Serah much as a character. But man, she gets a ton of character development in the game, going from screaming for Lightning to telling Caius that she doesn't care if she dies to save the world.
I can understand why they chose Serah as the protagonist and not Lightning. They probably could have done a large segment of Lightning's entry and whatnot into Valhalla, but it wouldn't have lasted long. And by choosing Serah as a protagonist, we get to know her better. After all, in FFXIII, Serah was pretty much just a name.
As for Serah's lack of combat experience, it's not exactly a first. Recall how Tidus took about five seconds to get the hang of a sword in FFX with no prior training with swords. Also, Serah's weapon isn't exactly a normal weapon. After all, it's a freaking moogle-turned-weapon. You could easily conjecture that Mog is aiding Serah with the bow stuff. And for the hack-and-slash, there's Noel, who's clearly very experienced with handling swords.
You know, I don't get all the Lightning-Hate. I thought she was okay. Though her beating up Snow probably helped. A lot. God, I couldn't stand that guy.
And Serah, she's just shallow. But that's it, she's way to focused on finding her sister and fixing the timeline. And overall just your generic heroine, without any depth or anything. I didn't even got any Mary Sue Vibes. Sure, there's that farseer thing, but it never worked to her or anyones advantage and in the end this ability kills her. I found Estelle from Tales of Vesperia to be a much bigger (and worse) offender, than Serah.