It is becoming a real challenge to see the good reasoning behind decisions in the anime adaptation of Ace Attorney. Episode 11: Turnabout Goodbyes 4th Trial has inconsistent animation that seems to be all over the place. The story is becoming choppy and ceases to flow smooth as it did in the previous shows. Last episode we saw the boat rental owner’s disappearance from the trial as a sign of guilt. Just as Phoenix and viewers began to see the truth, the one person who can prove it vanishes. Along with the disappearance of the mysterious boat rental grandpa is the art quality of the series.
Von Karma’s dark lined expressions that give off a terrifying and spine chilling vibe in the video game series appears in the eleventh installment of this anime. Most of the time his face is drawn in a simplistic-cartoonish style that downplays von Karma’s dangerous intentions. When he becomes enraged during the 4th trial, von Karma’s face darkens and the familiar evil glare comes alive for a brief few seconds. All too soon his cartoonish face returns and his threat disperses in the wind. This lack of intensity ruins the effect of an evil villain.
Another disappointment is the long-awaited flashbacks. We are privy to a small moment in Phoenix’s childhood that includes Miles and Larry defending Phoenix. And the second flashback is a dream of Miles that exhibits his father’s death. I truly understand the need for the memories to be mysterious and ambiguous. Yet I don’t see how using muddled color filters enhance Phoenix’s and Miles’ precious memories. The flashbacks are presented as either an awful gray scale or a yellow color scheme. Neither filters serve the anime in a positive way.
Before this episode the art direction was kept simple, not entirely smooth but still consistent. Now, sadly the art direction seems unstable and lacks foresight. My best explanation of this is the possible time crunch and pressure A-1 Pictures was under to merely produce the anime instead of taking time and effort to craft it into a believable standalone anime series. These past eleven episodes rely too heavily upon the audience playing the Ace Attorney games and remembering the plot details. The DL-6 Incident seems to be rushed and details from the games regarding the incident are omitted. Instead of diving deeper into the overall tale of Phoenix’s adventures as a defense lawyer, we are presented with only the game’s narrative. It seems unlikely the series will stray from the games’ scripts but there is a small possibility that new or elaborated bits of the Ace Attorney narrative will be given in the upcoming story arcs.
Follow along with my review series by watching the Ace Attorney adaption through Crunchyroll!