Opinion: Folks, It’s Time to Admit that Bowser Has a Point

King Koopa may be a war criminal, a mass murderer, and a literal monster, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong.

Ever since Koopa and his children launched their invasion and declared war on the Mushroom Kingdom, politicians and the media have portrayed Bowser as a power-hungry pariah who thrives on death and destruction. Sure, he’s murdered thousands, but look closer you’ll see what I see: a devoted father and canny ruler who’s simply trying to make the world better for his family and his people.

Bowser’s better qualities only became more obvious after Bowser kidnapped Princess Toadstool and revealed his demands for her return. His methods may be unconventional, but his requests are, in this columnist’s opinion, entirely reasonable.

After all, why shouldn’t the Darklands be recognized as an official kingdom by the Kings’ Council? The Koopas have worked hard to unite the warring monster tribes under a single banner. Bowser is a good head of state, too. His ambitious airship program created jobs and gave the Darklands’ residents some much-needed stability, and while you may quibble with his army’s methods, it’s hard to deny King Koopa’s effectiveness as a military leader.

That sounds like a real king to me.

No, Bowser isn’t perfect. No king or queen is. King Toadstool’s legacy will be defined by his botched negotiations with the Goomba Confederacy, which drove the Toads’ long-time rivals and distant relatives into Bowser’s arms. Princess Peach seems more interested in baking cakes and playing tennis than actually governing.

In fact, let’s contrast Peach with Wendy O. Koopa, who Bowser put in charge of Ocean Side after conquering it. Wendy is running a country without help from a chancellor or a High Court. Her throne might be stolen, but the Koopaling’s duties are undoubtedly teaching her some real responsibility — unlike our own princess, she seems to take her job seriously. I suspect that the difference between the two comes from one thing: superior parenting.

This isn’t to say that we should let Koopa off the hook. Bowser has done some horrific things, and he’s likely to do more before this war is over. All I’m saying is that he has a point. The Kings’ Council would be well-served giving him the credit he deserves before the Mushroom Kingdom blows him and his children into smithereens. You may not like it, but it’s the right thing to do.