Sympathy for the Devil
Or "The Misunderstood Monster"
Has anyone noticed how Bowser's popularity seems to be on the rise lately? Of course, there have always been villains that were considered my many as cool, stylish, impressive or attractive. If a baddie puts on a good act he/she will recieve a flock of fans eventually, but it in Bowser's case, it's more than just that. Bowser has managed to become an all-round beloved character. I have yet to hear of somone who actually hates him. In fact, I have hardly ever come accross a person with even a slight inmity towards Bowser. He has "killed" us a million times when we were playing the Mario games, yet for some reason we've all decided to like him (or maybe we've liked him all along?) despite that. Something a little unusual is clearly going on here...but what could it be? What reasons are there for liking Bowser at all?
Well, first off, he does quite well as a father-figure. Allright, so he's more or less the only father-figure in the Mario universe, but still....he raises and supports no less than seven children, on his own if you please, and all seven of them seem to be quite happy and healthy (if a little odd-looking in some cases). So you can either admire him as a single parent who does remarkably well (not surprising given that he must own stashes of money -_-;), or as a real "family man" who goes to great lengths for his children.
Also, the image of seven brothers and sisters of royal blood who seem to have the freedom to do whatever they like and get to command whole armies and own entire fortresses at a very young age seems to be quite an appealing one (it worked with the six Mitford siters, after all). Proof: around 70% of on-line Mario fanfics centre around the Koopalings.
Another thing is that the presence of these chidren is proof that Bowser has been through the process of love affairs, probably marriage and early parenthood and that he has had some kind of sex life. It proves that Bowser is perhaps not so evil, since he is capable of loving a person, be it in a father-child sense or a husband-wife sense (unless the Koopa race has some kind of very innovative reproductive system...o_0). It makes him a more accomplished character than some others, and makes it easier to relate to him and sympathise with him.
And I'm sure that if you could have him as a father, you wouldn't be able to refuse, am I right?
Of course, he's dense as a brick, seeing as how he still hasn't grasped that he won't be able to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom, but somehow this is endearing rather than annoying. Even after so many defeats he keeps on trying. Well, his heart's in the right place and you can't help but wish him a bit of luck every now and then.
And he does manage to be impressive every now and then: the eigth world of SMB3, his levels in SM64, and so on.
So, Bowser definitely has something going for him, and it's a something that seems to appeal to many. I suppose it's all true, then, that love and hate are two very closely linked emotions...
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