Oh Togami, always the charmer.

It’s time for the trial of the most ridiculous case in the whole game – the double murder of Ishimaru and Yamada, by…someone cosplaying a robot. Or so the ridiculous clues would imply, as well as Hagakure being found inside said cardboard Justice Robo costume. Being inside the costume of the murderer means he’s the murderer right? Of course not, the murderer never even wore the robot costume and instead constructed the whole damn thing to frame Hagakure. But if Hagakure is innocent, why did Yamada say his (last) name, Yasuhiro, before dying?
Throughout the trial the mystery of the moving bodies is solved – the order of the ‘justice hammers’ being used was not what the others had originally deduced and in fact it was Ishimaru who was killed first, slain by Yamada on the orders of a certain someone under the promise that they would escape together. Unfortunately, said certain someone then murdered Yamada. The true culprit of this case is thus Yamada’s murderer; ie the one who orchestrated the plan. And she’s found out by another dumb slip of the tongue. Farewell, Celestia Ludenburg, or should we say, Taeko Yasuhiro, her real name.
Kirigiri is starting to notice that Naegi is pretty damn good at this whole Choosing the Right Culprit thing so lets him know about what she’s discovered in her own secret investigations around the school – there’s a hidden room in the closet in one of the toilets with no surveillance cameras. When Naegi goes to check it out, he learns the hard way that the contents of the room were not meant for his eyes.

This cap is hilariously awful and that’s why I’m including it.

Monobear really makes these scenes.

Man Celes it’s like you’re trying to look suspicious.

That’s the Mondo-Butter isnt it Monobear, you monster.

I’ll be blunt, this chapter is my least favourite in the game (besides the things early in the chapter like Alter Ego and ‘Ishida’ (aka Super Saiyan Ishimaru). The murder method is silly, the culprit obvious and the motive ridiculous. It’s probably the least satisfying to solve. And it’s even worse in anime form, mostly due to the anime’s usual flaw of nowhere near enough time to focus on the characters. It was bad enough with Chihiro, but I think it’s even worse with Celes because man, she probably got even less screen time than he did and even less time to establish her personality. What made the case in the game was the fact that it tore down Celes’s nigh-flawless facade that she had been holding up pretty well until now – the facade that she was perfectly content with living in the school for the rest of her life. In the game, she states this many times, as well as continually letting the other students know that if they wish to survive they need to adapt to life changes. (She also says it after Junko gets speared before the first trial, stating that she only died because she ‘didnt want to adapt’ While they kept this in the anime’s second episode, they did leave out Celes warning her with those same words before it happened.). So it was actually kind of surprising to learn in the game that her true feelings were the exact opposite – she actually wanted to get out of the school more than any of the other students. In the anime, however, there isn’t much hint of that facade so there’s no real surprise when it comes down. Actually, Celes has got so damn little screen-time besides her spazout at Yamada over the milk tea that I would imagine an anime-only audience was already perceiving her facade to be weak, so her being the culprit was probably even more obvious. Celes isn’t among my favourite characters but she has a lot of interesting quotes in relation to the ‘mutal killing game’ that were completely left out, so she’s just been reduced to a token goth loli character that does nothing except get angry about milk tea, orchestrate a complicated double murder and then get executed.  Her reason for wanting to escape has also been shortened down to just wanting to live in a giant western-style mansion; whereas in the game she goes on to specify that all her butlers would be vampires, which just gave it a charmingly ridiculous flair. (But seriously, murdering for that?)
The evidence used in this trial was skimped over a lot in the previous episode, but its even dumber here because there’s important evidence that isnt even mentioned until late into the trial, as a kind of ‘oh by the way!’ (For example, the presence of the blood bags in the infirmary, and the fact that one of the hammers found was freshly washed) The fun of murder mystery games is figuring things out yourself, and, since its not a game, the fun of an adaptation should be to at least give the audience some time to figure things out. They cant possibly do this if you dont even give them all the damn clues.
Speaking of characters again,  Celes and Chihiro getting shafted is one thing, but Kirigiri? This is a problem the anime has had all this time. Kirigiri has been getting hardly any attention whatsoever which is a highly confusing choice to make. I don’t even think they’ve even specified that she cant remember what her SHSL talent is, which is incredibly important to the plot. Also gone are the places were Kirigiri slowly starts to bond with Naegi, so by this episode they’re just kind of suddenly…chummy? I really hope they start giving the poor girl more focus in the coming episodes because so far she’s really just been kind of…around.

Courtroom breakdowns aren’t supsicious at all.

…Since the anime left out the explanation that the butlers are vampires, it’s kind of funny to have them all with glowing red eyes for apparently no reason.

At least Celes still has the most stylish of the executions.

Hey Naegi, behind you!

Out of 5,
melon1/2 because lets face it rushing a murder mystery case that wasnt great to begin with makes it a whole lot worse.

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