I’ve noticed that several people on Twitter have already made plenty of assumptions on Marisa and Manon, one of them being that they’re a couple based on their official bios:
Marisa – “An up-and-coming jewelry designer from Italy who claims ancestry to ancient Greek warriors. As a child, she was inspired by a vision of the Colosseum in its prime. Today, she seeks glory with a smile—and an eye for beauty.” https://www.streetfighter.com/6/en-us/character/marisa.html
Manon – “A super model and world champion judoka, Manon is an idealist, forever seeking self-improvement in the pursuit of beauty. She struts the catwalk of street fighting to become the world’s strongest model.” https://www.streetfighter.com/6/en-us/character/manon.html
The keyword in these bios is “beauty” – Marisa has an eye for it and Manon pursues it. Moreso, Marisa is a jewelry designer and Manon, being a supermodel, is heavy into fashion, each in a complimentary trade. They could very much be lovers in Street Fighter 6. It seems that Capcom is finally embracing LGBTQ+ culture for the Street Fighter franchise, if the inclusion of Eternity is anything to go by.
However, Marisa and Manon could also be business partners, rivals, or share no link at all. There isn’t a whole lot to go off of just yet, so speculating on this without more to go by makes this merely headcanon for the time being. That being said, what has piqued my interest more than the two being lovers is the possibility of who both women may be working for.
In Marisa’s bio, it states, “she was inspired by a vision of the Colosseum in its prime.” Marisa took this to heart, essentially transforming herself into a Roman gladiator. Her outfit, fighting style, and even her hair are all built upon this idea. In fact, having talked to @Matorangebookworm on Twitter, it was found there were multiple ties that Marisa had. Her win pose looked to be her sacrificing her opponent to the gods. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm9XDQcXSho
Mat discovered she was likely offering her opponent to the goddess of love, Venus. As it turns out, Marisa’s stage has a temple in the background that looks suspiciously similar to the Parthenon.
The Parthenon was a Greek temple located in Athens that was a tribute to the goddess Athena, who was known as Minerva to the Romans. The columns seen on the Parthenon were also utilized for the Temple of Venus and Roma, among other structures in Rome. Basically, Marisa utilizes both Greek and Roman culture to create her identity, which is similar to a group already in Street Fighter canon who does the exact same thing: the Illuminati.
Twitter user @ZANTETSUKEN_PC has an interesting thread going over some more ties that Marisa and the Illuminati have, and while most of it is based on conjecture, it definitely shows more than a few links that Marisa shares with the group. https://twitter.com/ZANTETSUKEN_PC/status/1601128002972438528?s=20&t=ixRXJ4X0jH4TMKOe__Vivw
However, there appears to be one very strong link shared between Marisa and the Illuminati that points to Marisa being in cahoots with them: their stages. Take another look at Marisa’s stage.
Now look at the Ring of Prosperity from Street Fighter V.
While there are some key differences between the two stages, with Marisa’s being the actual Colosseum vs Gill’s more modern replica, the stages are functionally and aesthetically identical. You can even see the temples behind the Ring of Prosperity that are dead ringers for the Parthenon. However, if this doesn’t convince you that Marisa and the Illuminati are linked, there is one more thing to consider: the Street Fighter 6 Announce trailer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1INU3FOJsTw
At the very start of the video, we see a collection of signs set in the heart of Metro City.
At the very left, we see Marisa’s picture on a billboard. However, right behind her is an ad that should be very familiar to Street Fighter fans.
That is taken verbatim from Yun’s ending in Street Fighter III: Third Strike. https://youtu.be/VyMs7KfuhW0?t=53
In other words, this is symbolic of the Illuminati’s control over Marisa. Considering she saw a vision of the Colosseum as a child, it could be that the Illuminati have been watching over her since day one – the Illuminati may have implanted that vision directly into her mind. If so, it’s clear they wanted her to rebuild the original Colosseum for their own purposes. Marisa, whether she knows it or not, is doing what the Illuminati wants.
So, what about Manon? There’s some evidence she’s connected to Marisa, but she has to be connected to the Illuminati as well, right? The thing is that while she may have a link to Marisa, there’s nothing really there to say she’s also a part of the Illuminati. However, there may be enough there to say she could be working with G.
The first link to G we see is in the Likes section of her bio. She likes the color gold, which is part of G’s aesthetic. G has a literal golden globe of the world rotating around his body, and there’s no question that Manon would take interest in something that mesmerizing. However, considering Manon is a world champion judoka, this could merely be stating she likes winning gold. So, I looked at the medal she wore to find any clues, and what I found was this:
She won her gold medal in Tokyo. As hard as I looked, there were no useful symbols on this medal, even though a design of the planet Earth is clearly on it. Also, it’s difficult to tell what other symbols there are, if there are any, from this picture. So, I had to move on and began to focus on something else: Manon’s stage.
Manon, being a flamboyant supermodel, fights at a fair on the Champ de Mars, just underneath the Eiffel Tower. What’s curious about this is that, while there is an antique carousel close to the famed landmark, this type of fair (complete with the swing ride Capcom is using to symbolize France) would actually take place at the nearby Tuileries Garden. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuileries_Garden
However, the developers of Street Fighter have taken many liberties with real world locations over time, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see them put a fair in the Champ de Mars out of sheer convenience and call it a day. However, there is one thing in Manon’s stage that is a bit unusual:
Yes, clowns do appear at fairs like this, but the thing is that this isn’t an ordinary jester. The design of this clown is much more muted than vibrant, more mime than clown. It’s aesthetics are more in line with the harlequin, the pierrot, or…
However, the symbolism here is just the tip of the iceberg, because while this clown is representative of G’s double-sided personality, it would be right at home at another event – the Carnaval de Paris.
The Carnaval de Paris has a long history, but there was a 45 year hiatus between 1952 and 1997 before it was relaunched. Because of it’s absence, it is actually one of the smaller parades in France; there is one in Nice that takes place in the same timeframe that is much larger. However, the Carnaval de Paris is important for two reasons.
The first is that it was once associated with an event in the Middle Ages called the Feast of Fools, a day where lower class people got together to essentially mock the ruling clergy. There was much debauchery during this celebration, as “dancing in a provocative style, wearing masks, and the community being generally more allowing of obscene acts was common place.” While the Feast of Fools doesn’t exist anymore, the modern Carnaval still embraces the original spirit of the ancient holiday. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feast_of_Fools
The second is that the Carnaval de Paris features an event called the Walk of Masks, where people dress up in disguise “in huge numbers, and the curious come to see them, at a given location at a given time”. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Carnival) While the clown in Manon’s stage would fit in, it wouldn’t be the only person associated with G who could sneak into the walk without a second thought.
The Walk of Masks would be a huge boon for Q, because everyone who showed up would find a metal mask-wearing man as relatively normal. Considering that the Carnaval de Paris happens at a time where the weather would be a brisk 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit (5-10 degrees Celsius), not even Q’s fedora and trench coat would be considered out of place. Multiply this by the hundreds of Q soldiers G already has under his control, and he can literally walk his entire army down the street during the Walk of Masks and no one would be the wiser.
Plus, if it does turn out that G and his Qs all share the power to turn people they touch into Qs, it would be the right time and place for G to make his move.
Of course, the big problem here is that Manon’s stage must be in the summer, which lines up with the timeframe of the Tuileries Garden fair and not the Carnaval de Paris. There’s no way the two could coincide at the same time. Right?
Everyone but two women are wearing long sleeves. While the argument could be made that this stage is on a cool summer night, I don’t think it really matters in the long run because, yes, the two events could conceivably take place at the same time in the Street Fighter universe, and it would happen just before Lent. Why? Because whether it’s the Carnaval de Paris, the celebration in Nice, or any of similar events around the world that take place around the same time, it all ends up being the same holiday.
You know it as Mardi Gras.
In the United States, there is no place more associated with the holiday than New Orleans, Louisiana, a city with a strong French heritage. Mardi Gras is the city’s biggest event, and uses many of the same elements as the Carnaval de Paris, including parades and masks. Much like in Paris, a group of masked men would blend in quite easily amongst the crowd. However, there’s one thing that separates New Orleans from every other city that celebrates Mardi Gras – I’ve stated that G is originally from New Orleans.
Even though his look is taken by Abraham Lincoln, Uncle Sam, and Emperor Norton, all of my research points to G being Cajun, and with this comes the likely possibility that G knows Cajun French and would be able to communicate with Manon in her native language.
So, what does all of this mean for Marisa and Manon? It would mean that they would be on opposing factions and any possibility of love or rivalry between the two would be tempered by this. Two young women with different goals in mind working for dueling villains.
And neither Gill nor G have even been hinted at yet.