From now on, I will be reviewing the even-numbered episodes of Ace Attorney, and Moeronpan the odd-numbered ones. Also, as this is a mystery series, this and most future episodes will contain SPOILERS for anyone not familiar with the games.

HE’S HEEEEEEEEEEERE!


Chihiro calls her younger sister Mayoi and asks her to hold onto the Thinker clock (full of top secret papers). Naruhodou is invited to meet her, but when he arrives at the office, he finds Chihiro murderered and Mayoi in tears.

While investigating the scene, Detective Keisuke Itonokogiri finds “Mayoi” written in blood and arrests her. Believing Mayoi to be innocent, Naruhodou visits her. Mayoi explains that she is a spirit medium in training, but lacks the strength to contact Chihiro’s spirit and talk to her about the murder. She asks Naruhodou to contact a lawyer named Hoshikage, an old associate of her sister’s. Hoshikage eagerly agrees to defend Mayoi.

Glad to see them pay tribute to one of the game’s most iconic images, even if it is a sad one

Alone at the office, Naruhodou reminisces about Chihiro. He runs into Detective Keisuke, who informs him that the prosecutor in charge of Mayoi’s trial is none other than the legendary undefeated Demon Prosecutor (and Naruhodou’s former friend), Reiji Mitsurugi.

Naruhodou goes to interrogate a witness, Shochiku Umeyo, who supposedly witnessed the crime from her hotel room. He is scared off by Umeyo, who turns out to be an overly flirty woman, but finds some interesting evidence in her room, including a screwdriver and a wiretap. He then gets a call from Hoshikage, who suddenly refuses to defend Mayoi for undisclosed reasons, leaving Naruhodou himself as her only hope. Remembering a time in his childhood when he was accused of being a thief, he resolves to defend her – even if that means facing the Demon Prosecutor himself!

And then Naruhodou was a shoujo anime protagonist

Wow. That was a HUGE improvement over Episode 1. Not that Episode 1 was bad, necessarily – it’s just that this was better. A less cut-and-dry case, multiple important character introductions, some great moments both funny and sad, and a noticeably improvement in art/animation all contributed to an overall incredibly strong episode.

Ace Attorney‘s biggest strength has always been its characters, with their punny names, colorful designs and larger than life personalities. This episode introduced three major characters: Mayoi, Detective Keisuke (his last name is too long so let’s call him Keisuke), and Prosecutor Mitsurugi. While that seems like a lot, the episode managed to give each of them scenes and moments that clearly established their personality. This episode was just littered with great character moments. My favorites were Naruhodou and Mayoi bumping their heads when they tried to bow to each other and Naruhodou and Mitsurugi seeing each other in court for the first time. Minor characters, such as weak-willed lawyer Hoshikage and witness Umeyo (or at least, her bare leg) delivered some funny moments as well. And how could I not mention Chihiro, who made such a huge impact even being tragically killed off in Episode 2. This episode has a brief flashback of her and Naruhodou working together, which was great. Their time as partners pre-first-case is not covered much in the games, so I’d love to see some more of that!

look at these absolute dorks I love them

Admittedly, this episode was a little bit over-the-top dramatic. We got a scene of Naruhodou crying in the rain much like in the OP. While his flashbacks definitely contribute to the overarching plot – I’m sorry, Naruhodou, but being accused of theft as a child and being accused of your sister’s murder are NOT even remotely close to the same thing. And the constant cuts to Mitsurugi staring broodingly at things, while personally appreciated by a fan of his, admittedly weren’t the most relevant of scenes.

But, overall, the positives of this episode outweighed the negatives by a long shot. It’s starting to look quite nice, a major improvement over Episode 1’s lackluster animation. Mitsurugi’s car and the scene in the rain looked especially nice. Small call-forwards to future cases continue to be present (that gray-haired man shaking hands with Mitsurugi? We’ll be seeing him again). And the music continues to be a nice mix of original stuff and pieces from the original games – this episode gave us “Steel Samurai Ballad” during the scene of Naruhodou in the wake of Chihiro’s murder.

Hopefully, the middle of the road first episode didn’t turn anyone off this show, because this was a MUCH stronger showing and makes me even more excited for what’s to come. (Especially because “what’s to come” includes “more Mitsurugi”. He’s one of my favorite characters of all time!)

Out of 5 Dios:

diodiodiodio

angelic

He even manages to look gorgeous while brooding

Eyes that could see into your soul….

Moeronpan will kill me if I don’t include some caps of other characters so here. Have a Keisuke!

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