Naruhodou wakes from a nightmare about being accused of a crime in his childhood. He hopes for a big case in time for Christmas, but his wish is granted in the worst way – a murder has occurred, and Mitsurugi is the prime suspect! He visits Mitsurugi with an offer to be his lawyer, but the prosecutor refuses.
Despite that, Naruhodou goes to investigate the lake where the murder occurred. He finds Detective Keisuke, who also believes Mitsurugi to be innocent, on his side for once and more than willing to help. They also run into Naruhodou’s old friend Yahari, who is working as Santa Claus. Yahari was working the previous night, but insists he did not see anything. He also tells Mayoi about his grade school friendship with Naruhodou and Mitsurugi, who at the time wanted to be a defense attorney like his father.
Mayoi hopes to see “Hyosshi,” a giant monster who supposedly lives in the lake where the murder occurred. The pair encounter Osawagi Natsumi, a photographer who is also in search of Hyosshi. Natsumi claims to have witnessed the murder and taken two photos with her high-tech camera. Detective Keisuke explains that, despite all the evidence gathered so far, they have not identified the victim. To her own surprise, Mayoi recognizes the victim as a man she had met while her sister was working for the lawyer Hoshikage.
Naruhodou pays a visit to Hoshikage, who identifies the victim as his former employee Namakura Yukio. Unfortunately, Hoshikage reveals that Mitsurugi had a motive for the murder. Namakura was the defense attorney in a fifteen year old case called DL-6: the murder of Mitsurugi’s father, defense attorney Mitsurugi Shin. The case was never solved, with Namakura proving the only suspect to be innocent. Hoshikage shares one last interesting piece of information with Naruhodou: after DL-6, the orphaned Mitsurugi was adopted by his father’s rival, the undefeated prosecutor Karuma Gou, who raised the child to be the “Demon Prosecutor” Mitsurugi of today.
To Naruhodou’s surprise, Hoshikage points out that Mayoi and Chihiro were also involved in the DL-6 incident. Their mother, the spirit medium Ayasato Maiko, was employed by the police to channel the spirit of Mitsurugi Shin in order to help solve the case. The defense attorney, Namakura, called Maiko a fraud and ruined her reputation, causing her to disappear and abandon her children. This was Chihiro’s reason for leaving her spirit medium training to become a defense attorney.
Her resolve strengthened by the memory of her sister, Mayoi begs Naruhodou to visit Mitsurugi a second time. Mitsurugi admits that he did meet Namakura on the night of the murder, but continues to assert his innocence. Mayoi’s impassioned speech about her own desire to know the truth behind DL-6 causes Mitsurugi to have a change of heart, and he asks Naruhodou to defend him. Naruhodou promises to prove Mitsurugi’s innocence – even after he learns that his opponent in court will be the still-undefeated Karuma Gou.
We are now entering into my favorite case in the entire Gyakuten Saiban series, so I apologize if I seem a little more critical than usual. I just really hope that justice is done (pun fully intended) to the case that made me fall in love with the series and with Mitsurugi in particular.
So far….my reaction is a bit mixed. First, this episode had a lot of scenes that were adapted very well. All the interactions in the detention center brought a smile to my face, and I especially loved it being Mayoi’s impassioned speech that encouraged Mitsurugi to accept Naruhodou’s offer. I also appreciated that Natsumi’s scene was cut down, as it did get kind of exhausting in the game to have another incredibly talkative character who gives a lot of extraneous information so shortly after Ooba. And how can I not mention the scene of Mayoi “training under a waterfall” using a sink and a hose – just another perfect adorable Mayoi moment!
However, one of my fears going into this show was realized in that this episode turned out to be primarily a huge information dump. Not only did we get the facts of the case at hand, we got both Yahari telling Mayoi about his childhood friendship with Mitsurugi AND Hoshikage explaining DL-6. It’s been a while since I played this case, but I feel like the information was more spread out originally. I was also disappointed that DL-6 was (so far) shown mostly via still images. I felt that the anime was a good opportunity to have some actual flashbacks, especially now that Shin has been a playable character in a later game and we know more about him, but they seem to not be going that route so far.
It was an overall good episode, but I’m forced to admit that it did have its slow moments and threw what I would guess is a pretty overwhelming amount of information for a viewer not already familiar with the story. Let’s hope the case picks up as we head into court next episode!
Out of 5 Dios: