You show him Mayoi!

Detective Keisuke and his team quickly locate the missing old man, along with a piece of evidence that seems to confirm Naruhodou’s theory: a letter inviting the man to “get his revenge on Mitsurugi Reiji”. Naruhodou reaffirms his determination to protect Mitsurugi by sharing with Mayoi the story of when he was accused of stealing money as a student, and was saved by Mitsurugi and Yahari defending him in a “class trial”.

When he returns to court, the man continues to act forgetful and absentminded, so Naruhodou calls Hoshikage to the stand instead. Hoshikage finally explains the DL-6 incident to the court (and the viewer) in detail. Using Hoshikage’s testimony, Naruhodou accuses the old man of being Haine Koutarou, a former bailiff and the third person trapped in the broken elevator with Mitsurugi and his father. Koutarou is believed to have become agitated by lack of air and shot Mitsurugi Shin; though he was later found innocent.

Small Mitsurugi is adorable

When the old man still denies his identity, Naruhodou resorts to an act of desperation: cross-examining the parrot Sayuri. To his initial dismay, he finds that Karuma has retrained her so that she no longer mentions DL-6. However, by pointing out that she shares a name with Haine’s deceased fiancee and the code to his safe was the date of DL-6, Naruhodou finally breaks through the old boathouse keeper’s lies.

Admitting that he is Haine Koutarou, the now-lucid man explains that he saw Namakura and Mitsurugi as having ruined his life. Despite being found innocent, public opinion turned against him, causing his fiancee to commit suicide. He has lived his life desiring revenge, and easily admits to receiving the letter and being the killer. The judge declares Mitsurugi innocent, but the celebration is cut short by a surprise objection – from none other than Mitsurugi himself. He claims that, while he may not have killed Namakura, he is the true culprit of the long-ago DL-6 incident, responsible for the death of his own father.

Meanwhile Yahari is…relatively unchanged.

We’re nearing the end of the the case, and this episode definitely showcased this. The pace was, in my opinion, even faster than usual, with three witness testimonies plus Naruhodou’s flashback. Despite how much they covered, it still appears that the entire DL-6 Incident will be resolved in a single episode (as next episode is subtitled “Last Trial”), so it appears this breakneck pace will continue.

This episode’s high points for me were the flashback to the class trial and the cross-examination of Sayuri. The first was really well done in muted flashback tones, with the show making a good use of perspective to convey young!Naruhodou’s feelings of isolation and attack. And the three characters kid versions are just absolutely adorable! It’s such a sweet moment that shows the development of a friendship that motivated so many of Naruhodou’s actions, so I’m glad the anime devoted some time to it.

As for Sayuri’s cross-examination, while brief, it’s one of the franchise’s defining and most memorable moments, and it was just overall a great experience to see it in animated form. It was also incredibly sweet that Naruhodou allowed Mayoi to take the lead in the cross-examination, because she had formed a closer bond with Sayuri. I also have to say that the anime made me like Koutarou a bit better. I initially found him a bit bland and convenint – more plot device than character – but his voice actor did an excellent job narrating his terrible experiences, and the images chosen to accompany the story, such as a sad (human) Sayuri and a cruel-looking Namakura, complimented it well.

 I just want to give him a hug!

My complaint in regards to this episode is, ironically, related to one of my least favorite characters in the entire series: Karuma. While he’s only a one-case character (not counting the Mitsurugi spinoffs), I feel like he’s gotten shafted in this adaptation. One of his most memorable scenes, where he threatens Naruhodou and Mayoi, seems to have been cut out (as there’s only one more episode and the scene occurred outside the courtroom). His dialogue has also been largely stripped down, reduced to generic “perfectionist who wants to win”. In the game, he actually had several very funny dialogue moments – for example, randomly announcing that his PIN number is “0001” because he considers himself number one. I always felt that, for all I dislike him, Karuma was a good example of Ace Attorney‘s ability to have characters make a lasting impression with limited screentime; unless next episode really delivers, anime!Karuma comes across as a bit of a generic prosecutor.

Still, a good episode, and one that got me even more excited than I already was for the case’s upcoming conclusion.

Out of 5 Dios:

diodio 1/2

Many games later and she’s still the greatest witness