+1 for Why Not Both
I think Lolo's treatment in the games is a product of the era that the games were released in. In the 90s and early 2000s it was common for the Hero to have a damsel to save. It was Peach. It was Amy. Crash had one. Spyro had one. DK had one. Kirby of all wholesome things had one. And for Klonoa it seemed to be Lolo as the series progressed. Lolo's latest outing in the Noticis Sol comic seemed to be aiming to make her more of a character that can stand on her own. I'd guess/hope that the movie will do more to modernize her character.
I have more hope they'll do her than Guntz right, at least. /shrug
Now, let me see if I can find my Notes.
Yep. I see Lolo's relationship with the High Priestess to be a parrael to Twilight Sparkle and Princess Celestia. Leorina was Sunset Shimmer in that dynamic.
I was working with a collab with some people that fell apart. Going to only get into Lolo's role in this.
There, I suggested that Lolo's clumsiness was a physical disability. Her righting mechanism similar to a cat's was damaged when she was young and she literally cannot maintain balance. After the people of Lunatea are forced into a corner by their Divine World allies (long story) Lolo becomes the Grandmaster of the Divine World Egg Army. The Big Bads decide to make her more useful by correcting her physical limitation with a cybernetic prosthetic. This and the promise that she can become even more "useful" seemingly win her loyalty, but in truth is a double agent leaking information to our Heroes. Once her righting is fixed Lolo proves to be extremely agile, like a cat, and is better able to hone her spiritual power. Ultimately, Lolo loses the fix at the end of the adventure when her body is purified so she can re-enter Outer Heaven. Next time we see it we learn that she has trained hard to incorporate her limitations into her fighting style which is inspired by martial arts drunken stance.
Sometime later I started working on a Character Bible for the hypothetical series; Klonoa and the Dream Team.
The one shots I wrote a while ago were based off the Character Bible.
I have a draft of Lolo's story. Lolo decides to become a Priestess after witnessing a Priestess use her power to save one of her friends. Naturally, she has a lot of shortcomings which the other priestesses dog her about once she arrives at the Sky Temple. High Priestess Claire, who is still mourning the loss of her former student Leorina, is reluctant to take on another student and possibly drive them away. Lolo's determination in the face of her fellow priestesses catches the High Priestess' attention, however, and she suspects that Lolo is an incarnation of the Goddess of Persistence.
When she regains her title she is known as Lolo the Persistent.
If Klonoa is the Heart of the Team then Lolo is the Soul. What is the difference? Klonoa encourages his friends who are quite different from one another to get along and love each other. Lolo encourages her friends who are different from one another to love themselves. Loving yourself helps draw out your inner strength. Lolo shows understanding of this concept by allowing her inner strength to manifest as physical spiritual power that she uses to assist her friends. At first, she uses this power similar to the Web Comic to power up her friends and their weapons. As things progress and she becomes more comfortable/confident she uses them to hold her own.
Lolo's clumsiness never goes away. It is a character trait for her. Over time, she and her friends learn to anticipate and work around her limitations. Flying and Spiritual Projection in particular help by keeping her off her feet and allowing her to phase through objects that would otherwise harm her. As she comes into her powers as The Persistent, she continues to fudge things up -- only to immediately rectify the problem.
It becomes less "Aw, feel sorry for me" or "Aw, save me" and more "Aw, I messed up. Here's how I fix it"
Shortlist of Lolo's Powers:
Dream Streaming - Like all of Klonoa's friends Lolo has the ability to travel across Phantomiles.
Flight - Lolo has mastery of controlling her spiritual energy which allows her to push it under her to fly. Shares this ability with Popka and Huepow.
Wind Bullet - Lolo can attack with a burst of spiritual energy. Shares this ability with Klonoa (who's bullet is weakest) and Huepow (who's bullet is strongest).
Energy Shields - Lolo can protect herself and others by generating an energy shield. This is taxing, however, so she can only keep it up for short periods of time.
Spiritual Boost - Lolo's signature ability. She can 'manifest' in weapons and other Lunateans to significantly increase their power. In time, she uses this on herself.
Spiritual Projection - Lolo can transform her physical body into a spiritual form that allows her to pass through some solid objects. Shares this ability with Huepow.