On a day known as #InternationalWomensDay, in response to a hashtag known as #IfWomenRuledTheWorld, I once tweeted that I'd be perfectly fine with a woman owner so long as she was akin to Lady Palutena's beauty and not some misshapen unsightly beast. Elements of danger such as the Power of Caging were considered a significant risk that came with the territory of being owned, but recently I played through the original Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney trilogy and was introduced to what the word "danger" truly means.
|Franziska "Danger" von Karma?|
...Or Franziska von "Danger" Karma?
(She'll decide when she's good and ready.)
Franziska von Karma and her whip have a way of not only dominating her relationships with Ace Attorney's characters, but also their relationships with each other. This is why the budding friendship between Phoenix Wright (some call him Nick) and Dick Gumshoe during Ace Attorney has little bearing in Justice for All when Franziska is always there leering over the latter. The same applies to the Judge, to the witnesses, and it makes you wonder what power she could have over her own creators at Capcom upon whipping down the fourth wall.
|Characters are literally begging for the antagonist to abuse them.|
Before anyone goes, "But why/how would Franziska von Karma punish her own company!?" Well, plenty of reasons, and there's also nothing barring video game characters from loathing who made them. The Lord of Games (some call him L.O.G.) pretty much insults Rare Ltd.'s entire 3D platformer catalog and feels he has to take matters into his own hands, resulting in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. (Other characters then comment on how Nuts & Bolts had already bombed at retail when the game hadn't even been released, much less developed.)
Franziska is clearly a less "powerful" character than L.O.G. in the strictest sense of the word, but compared to Rare and Microsoft, Capcom is a less-than-powerful entity as well. Rare develops software that doesn't move copies, but Capcom literally can't even spell its own name. For a lady so defined by ~PERFECTION~ or at least the pursuit thereof, who will whip some sense into these foolish fools if not Franziska von Karma herself? ...And the typos can wait, because there are greater areas that require her attention posthaste. Namely that Capcom -- along with their bedfellow Marvel -- have screwed two characters close to her.
|Pictured above is Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, and of course Nick isn't in it.|
Just when I get into the Ace Attorney series big-time, a new Marvel vs. Capcom appears in the form of Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, in which Phoenix Wright is sentenced to death while varmints like Rocket Raccoon stick around unopposed. Yeah, the latter is a Marvel and not a Capcom character, but so what? This is a Capcom-developed game and Capcom seems content with neglecting their own half of the roster (EXCEPT NOT EVEN HALF) to the non-game dudes. Granted, the "Marvel" in the title does come first, but perhaps this exists as a lesson for why crossovers between such different caliber companies are a bad idea -- because what will stop Marvel from funneling more and more of their Disney Star Wars money into the project so that it's one Capcom character to their 23? Not like Capcom is above selling out all of their characters if they can't even make room for Nick! (And not like Capcom is above not making room for Nick when they like making other companies completely responsible for him but then demand royalties if he's profitable.)
Justice is a two-way street. If Nick doesn't exist, Nick can't defend, and if Nick can't defend, Franziska can't prosecute. Well, she could, but it wouldn't be any fun -- not in Marvel vs. Capcom nor elsewhere. After all, who would she whip instead? GROOT'S STUPID ASS!?
And well, that brings me to my next point. The second character to be abused by these companies (and not in a constructive way unlike with Franzy), is, in fact, myself.
Not long ago yours truly decided he would try out for the film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, 'cuz why not. It turned out Marvel totally lied about how long just the waiting process would take (~1 hour) and I ended up waiting +4 hours with nothing eaten nor drank during the interim. That's what I call "Fake News", and that's when I say "Fuck Marvel."
|Get 'em, Franziska!|
Not only was I turned down for the role because I didn't look alien enough, but I was starving and thirsting all the while. I was also standing next to someone who had to secure a role lest he be sent back to prison (he was released only for this opportunity) so it's a wonder I wasn't stabbed. It turns out they also lied to everyone who did get parts by completely refusing to tell them that they would only appear in the end credits if they were somehow already a member of SAG-AFTRA. (What the ever loving fuck?)
Needless to say, I avoided watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 solely out of principle.
Combined with other bull drivel of which I'm not at liberty to speak, I think Nick and Me (not a sitcom) deserve playable roles more than most characters on the roster when you realize what these companies have put us through. Capcom banishes Nick from sequels/blackmails him by holding localizations of his games hostage and Marvel assaults me with Fake News and tries to end my life. It's like that 60's song "I Can't Get No Compensation", and it's why I propose Franziska temporarily lay off on us lowly plebs and start whipping the fat cats up above. There's a Ghoulies-bashing Kazooie in Franziska just waiting to be channeled forth, but compared to relatively aloof Rare characters Franziska knows what she wants and knows she's going to get it. She knows whipping those evil white devils will eliminate the competition when it comes to who's whipping us, and we know Franzy having all the whips will be for our benefit + her own. It's Trickle Down Whiponomics! And the world will be better off for it.
|Hey Capcom/Marvel, she's talking to YOU! ...And me.|
Rawk totally didn't write this article to indulge in casual fetishism while blaming entertainment studios for all of his problems. If you want to instead talk about how entertainment studios made your life better by bringing Ace Attorney to exist to begin with, check out the Ace Attorney guest article mini-contest KoopaTV is holding this and next month.
While there is no Ace Attorney representation in Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, there at least is some in... Puzzle Fighter?
Franziska gets some KoopaTV-driven representation in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a Spirit with a battle.