Ace Attorney’s anime adaption is falling flat. The plot line understandably follows the game’s storyline yet precious little is added to the animation. Turnabout Promise is the episode the Ace Attorney anime adaption needed. Episode 13 conveys a story that has only been briefly mentioned in the game series. As a full episode, the short flashback has blossomed into a proper telling of childhood memories shared by Phoenix, Larry and Miles. This elaboration of the flashbacks is something, as a Phoenix Wright fan, I have been looking forward to experiencing.
This entire episode centers around the history of Phoenix, Larry and Miles and how their friendship began. The three friends were adorably drawn. Their distinct personalities are easily detectable in their child-forms both by their design and mannerism. At first Miles seems more like a shorter and chibi version of his adult self yet Larry and Phoenix are drawn as real children. It was difficult to see Miles as a child in grade school until he blushed and began to play along with his new friends. Admirably, the artists kept the personality of Edgey (as Larry likes to call Miles) intact and portrayed a realistic version of the prosecutor.
Just when Larry and Phoenix become best friends with Edgey, their lives are ripped apart when the villain von Karma whisks him away to a dark estate belonging to foreboding creatures who live in shadows. Yet right before Miles is taken away for good, he comes back to his old house and life to retrieve the Signal Samurai keychain that was so precious to him. The three children promise to always remain friends. This bond seems to be strong and practically unbreakable.
As happy as I am to learn more about these three friends meeting and about the bond they share, it was also sad for me to see this unfold in only a single episode. I would have preferred A-1 Pictures to extend this into a two-part episode special that commented more upon the friendship the three of them shared. The backstory Phoenix and his co-stars needed in this anime has been made a reality. There may be future episodes or at the very least scenes that exemplify the feelings and backstories for the audience to fully realize the weight of Phoenix’s past with Larry and Miles. Phoenix’s deep emotions towards those falsely accused has been explained in addition to the explanation of Miles’ choice of becoming a prosecutor.
Seeing the sweet and enduring side of Miles is refreshing compared to the usual cold and distant prosecutor. Larry’s goofy ways of getting himself involved in weird circumstances never grows out of him and Phoenix was just as passionate about friends as he is as a defense attorney. After such heavy and sad cases that have been presented in this series, seeing these friends (especially Edgey) happy and smiling is heartwarming. With such a nice emotional break in the story, the audience will feel refreshed before Phoenix takes on another intense case.
You can follow along with my review series by watching Ace Attorney through Crunchyroll.