Phoenix Wright is a defense attorney who proves his clients innocent in the court of law. The basic concept of the Ace Attorney franchise is simple enough–until the actual stories begin. There are many reasons to love Capcom’s series, with the biggest reason being the individual stories. Each one tends to surprise hard-core fans and newbies alike. The anime adaption is doing an OK job of transferring the exciting mysteries from the games to the anime.
The 15th episode begins with Maya in deep trouble as she stands trial for yet another crime. Her innocence is plain enough to see for both the viewer and the show’s protagonist, Phoenix Wright. Despite it appearing transparent that Maya should be cleared, it’s up to Phoenix and his new little assistant Pearl to find the evidence to bring the truth into the light. Reunion and Turnabout 2nd Trial has the makings of a decent TV mystery yet it doesn’t quite live up to its video game counterpart.
The Ace Attorney anime is a mix of well-adapted jokes and flat character designs. Villainous characters like von Karma are given softer facial expressions that lack the dark intensity that’s so familiar with the game series. Aside from the villains missing their dark-lined faces, the animation team chose to place focus upon Phoenix’s expressions. His face and movements mimic those of his original character design from the games, especially in the 15th episode. Phoenix’s dumbfounded look in the courtroom is accurately portrayed. Yet the bottom line comes to the consistency of the anime series is lacking severely.
Some scenes are given several minutes to be fully executed, while others are cut short. Franziska in past episodes was only given a few glimpses of screen-time until her main debut in this episode. Her anger and displeasure in the courtroom is transferred well especially with the effects of her whip. Disappointment wreaks havoc when her facial expressions only cover the bare minimum of those from the original games. Her gloating can be heard in the Japanese voice actress’ voice, who does a great job of conveying the von Karma’s family tradition of always being angry in court. Franziska stole the spotlight in this episode away from everyone–including Phoenix.
With Franziska’s strong personality, the judge’s submission to her whims and Phoenix’s confusion, the cast still remains the colorful characters millions of Ace Attorney fans fell in love with. Although Franziska has plenty to say in this episode, Maya’s silence is disappointing. She stares blankly at the court and barely seems to register what is happening. For having such a mystical and mysterious background, Maya’s outward self sure is failing to show it. This seems to be a running trend in this adaptation. Each time a character is accused of a crime they barely have anything to say and are portrayed as meek and silent beings. It’s bothersome to see them with such defeatist attitudes. Despite being disappointed over and over, the characters and story are engaging enough to keep viewers entertained and wanting more from this series.
We love to hear from you! Let us know what you think of the show and each episode by commenting below or by contacting us on Twitter @BagoGames. If you want to follow along with my review series then I’d recommend watching the Ace Attorney anime on Crunchyroll.