Femslash is a subject near and dear to my heart. I love it, and I can never get enough. The Ace Attorney-verse is full of women -- not just women, but interesting women, with their own motivations and goals. Women who have a variety of meaningful relationships with other women. And on top of that, the series is set in such a way that it's perfectly reasonable that many of these women could meet, even if they're never seen together in canon. There is a lot to work with here, and so I'd like to take a look at some of the untapped femslash potential of the fandom.
Where to begin? I suppose Franziska/Adrian, which is generally agreed to be the most popular f/f pairing in the fandom, is as good a place as any. There's a decent argument for Adrian as a lesbian -- her codependency makes her very close to one person, and the only two examples we're given of people she's latched onto are both female, in spite of the fact that she has strong men around her, and she's drawn to strength. Franziska has apparently become her current pillar of strength.
The lighter side of this pairing, the kind where it works out and they're both the better for it (which is certainly possible, given how well Adrian seems to be getting along in 3-2) has been explored fairly well. Certainly there's room for more of that, but what hasn't been explored so much is the darker side, where it doesn't work out; the idea that it plays into both their weaknesses and ends up harming them both. A number of people have expressed dislike for the pairing based on this reasoning... why not have some fic exploring it? And I'd also like to see fic where Franziska is Adrian's pillar of strength, but their relationship is platonic, and Adrian is romantically involved with someone else.
And then there's Adrian/Celeste (or, more likely, Adrian->Celeste). There's a lot to explore there as well, in Adrian's feelings for her mentor, how they met, how Adrian felt through all of the heartache Celeste suffered at the hands of Matt and Juan, dealing with being "just a friend," even if she wanted more. I've seen some fic addressing this, but there's a lot to go over. I'd like to see the devastation she feels when Celeste commits suicide, the powerful emotion that drives her to make the attempt herself.
This is making me sound like an angst-whore. :P So let's move on to a lighter pairing that could do with more love: Franziska/Maya. One of the wonderful things about this pairing is that -- as someone else put it, and I can't remember who at the moment -- it allows Franziska to act her age. Maya is one of those people who can coax out the fun side in just about anyone, or at least force them to enjoy themselves. And it can also bring out Maya's maturity, the fact that she's at peace with herself and the world and what she wants out of life. It's role-reversal but not really, where Franziska isn't in control, and Maya is, but really that's how it all makes sense. I'd love to see more of these two doing pretty much anything.
Now, in my opinion, the f/f pairing with the biggest untapped potential (the ratio between "Wow, look at all there is to write about! :D" and "Where is the fic? D:") is Lana/Mia. Hoo, boy. Mia knows Diego for the better part of a year, from their first meeting to his poisoning. Without diminishing this relationship in any way, there's a lot of room for Lana/Mia. Most of what's out there is set during their college years (which makes sense), a short-lived fling or friends-with-benefits sort of thing. But there's so much potential post 3-1. There could be angsty, unhealthy attempt-at-comfort!sex too soon after Diego is poisoned. There's dealing with the effect of SL-9 on Lana's psyche and how it might ruin a relationship between the two women. There's the potential of facing each other in the courtroom post-SL-9, possibly working together (discreetly, in pursuit of justice of course :P) pre-SL-9. There's the effect of Mia's death on Lana, right in the middle of two years of holding her emotions completely in check (I've seen at least one fic about this, though not in a romantic context I don't believe). There's channeling, Mia saying goodbye to Lana, words of forgiveness post 1-5. And there's always the possibility of unrequited love on Lana's part, wanting her to be happy while angsting to herself (Lana's good at angst). SO MUCH POTENTIAL. WHY ISN'T THIS PAIRING MORE POPULAR.
Lana kinda came off as gaytastic anyway, even though she wasn't intended to be. She's easy to see in a femslash context even paired with women she doesn't have such an obvious connection to. Lana/Adrian's a good one. We don't know how long Lana spent in prison (and you could argue for a lot of different timespans to suit your needs, depending on the results of the forged evidence, how sympathetic the judge was, and whether, with her career stripped away and her sister overseas, she really wants to get out as soon as possible) -- which means she could potentially have met Adrian there. Two easily femslashed women, and Lana is the "strong" type to boot. Keep her in jail even longer, and she could meet Iris.
I love Lana/Iris. I call them angst-buddies. Dahlia is to Iris as Gant and Ema combined are to Lana. Add in some old feelings for Mia, and Iris's Fey background... there's common ground, there are potential conflicts. I think they could get very close, particularly since Iris has a strong spiritual side and Lana is likely doing some soul-searching during her prison term, trying to figure out how to get back on her feet.
And I'll definitely ship Iris around. As fanbeatsman mentioned in the comments on her post about f/f, it's really nice to reclaim a character who seems intended to just be "the girlfriend." And there's an argument to be made: if Phoenix could have grown and changed and found himself... less than 100% heterosexual, why couldn't Iris? There's Iris/Franziska -- which I don't think actually exists yet. Iris could be grateful for her rescue, and they could spend time together. Franziska might enjoy a more down-to-earth female presence, and much in the way Maya could help to Franziska's social growth, Iris could help her spiritual growth. And post 3-5, Iris has really found her inner strength. That could potentially contribute to a pairing with Adrian, and it provides a different dynamic than Franziska's overt strength.
And then there's Dahlia/Iris, which is a fascinating trainwreck. Iris, pining after her cold, determined, and adventurous sister; Dahlia, unable to understand love, hurting her sister because she can't bear to be loved. Or unrequited feelings from Dahlia to Iris, jealousy contributing even more heavily to her rage at discovering Iris was falling in love with Phoenix. They have a damaged childhood, Dahlia is really damaged, and it's surprisingly possible to see their sibling relationship twisted into something else. (Although after a while it gets so dark I end up wanting something unrealistically fluffy). And there's that tiny glimmer, the potential that Dahlia cares about Iris, shown through giving her a chance to get the necklace back. I don't think I've seen anyone explore their relationship at fourteen, planning the kidnapping, and Iris nursing Dahlia back to health after her plunge into the river. There's potential there, too.
Dahlia needs more love too, even if she is evil. In prison, she's potentially met all the other villains in the series (well, 1-3) -- she was only executed a month before 3-5. And she's fun to ship with Viola. I could see Viola taking an interest in her; I could see Dahlia enjoying the mafia. It's admittedly more unusual than most of the above, one of my personal crack-ships. And there's Dahlia/Alita. There are an awful lot of parallels to draw between them, the main difference being that Alita fails harder. Dahlia would probably enjoy pointing that out. I could also see her building Alita up to try again. And this series has repeatedly established that death is by no means an end. There's always channeling, canonically, and dream or ghostly communication honestly doesn't seem all that impossible in the wtf world of Ace Attorney. And, as I said in the other topic, I find the idea of Dahlia as a lesbian, able to manipulate men because she feels nothing for them, but conflicted when it comes to women, quite fascinating.
But enough of my personal bizarre shipping habits. GS4 Ema gives of gay vibes in much the way Lana does, for no real reason. Ema/Franziska is a pairing I think I've only seen twice (the second time just today!) and it makes a lot of sense, a detective/prosecutor pair, both stubborn as hell but enjoying a good fight once in a while anyway. And I can't believe there's not more Ema/Lisa Basil. It's science! Ema must prove -- scientifically -- whether or not Lisa is, in fact, human! Ema/Maya's yet another pairing I've seen, interesting because of their obvious similarities, and more interesting because of their differences. Spirituality vs. science, anyone? Is channeling scientifically possible? Can Ema take anything on faith?
AND ANGEL. Angel is a woman who is totally sure of herself as a sexual being. She's presented as straight, and that works just fine, but it's also possible that she's got The Girlfriend position lined up and ready. She seems like the sort who wouldn't bat an eyelid at finding anyone attractive, and who single-mindedly pursues her objective. Angel/Lana's a fun one. They probably had some mutual respect going back pre-SL-9, which got shattered to pieces. Maybe some reconciliation (of course, Angel's gonna make Lana earn it) post-1-5. They've got history of some sort; it'd be neat to see it explored. And Angel's yet another strong woman for Adrian. XD Then there's Angel/Franziska -- Angel wouldn't take Franziska's sass, no way. Angel'd put her in her place, and Franziska'd enjoy it. Or Angel/Dahlia -- Angel's the Cough-Up Queen, and Dahlia got away with a lot before getting pinned. What a match of wills that would be. And Angel/Ema -- showing Ema the upside of being a detective, and finding some satisfaction in potentially horrifying Lana. And my newest crack!ship, Angel/Iris, which I'm not even going to try to justify this late at night.
You can probably see the way this degenerated as it got later. :B
So, guys, tell us what you ship, what I've forgotten, what makes you like or dislike a certain couple, your personal unusual favorites and why you see them working! Tell us what pairings you wish had more fic, and the kind of themes and scenarios you'd like to see! Tell me I'm nuts and have too much time on my hands! Let's spread the girl/girl love.