In the twentieth episode of the Ace Attorney anime adaption, Turnabout Big Top – Last Trial the real murderer is revealed along with a pile of emotions. Max is still on trial for the murder of his boss in spite of the supernatural evidence presented by Franziska von Karma. The explanation given by Franziska is ridiculous even by her standards. It just further proves she does not really care about the truth; her main concern is winning the case quickly. Phoenix with encouragement from Maya is able to reveal the truth behind this violent crime.
Acro and his brother’s lives are completely altered forever after the incident with the circus lion, Leon. This is the reason why Phoenix has been suspecting Acro to be the culprit for quite some time. Phoenix does prove how the lion’s attack was, in fact, an accident since Regina meant the scarf with pepper sprinkled on it to be a prank to make Bat sneeze uncontrollably. Instead, Bat’s scarf caused Leon to sneeze just as Bat placed his head inside the lion’s mouth. Regina’s proclamation that she will be by Bat’s side in the hospital in place of Acro shows off her dedication to him. It’s Regina’s way of reconciling with Acro since Leon’s sneeze is what hurt the brothers.
The display of how the murder was committed is exactly what was needed to match the circus theme of the Turnabout Big Top mystery. One major complaint I find with the adaption is the opening theme song seems to overestimate the amount of excitement to be found within the three episodes. In the opening, Phoenix is seen participating in the circus and the heart-pumping music gives the impression that the mystery will place Phoenix and Maya in some sort of danger or in a way that will personally alter their lives. Instead, all of the emotional baggage lies within the realm of the Berry Big Circus.
The main cast is cast aside as the circus characters are the main event for this entire mystery. The characters are toned down from their game’s counterparts and are more sympathetic. However, the audience is missing the Ace Attorney’s main characters’ story. Backgrounds and development are almost to a halt which is sorely a mistake for an anime series.
This case does change the lawyer’s life in a way. It took twenty episodes and now Phoenix has progressed into a self-assured defense lawyer. I am surprised how quickly Phoenix has grown as a professional. The last episode he was making too many mistakes and almost lost the entire trial. This time, Phoenix is standing tall and holds onto his confidence as he presents the evidence to support his suspicion. The progression happened rapidly yet the point to make is that it at least happened.
Turnabout Big Top – Last Trial is an excellent ending to the Big Circus mystery. This story arc feels much more like a complete tale because the character’s emotions are exhibited more visibly than in previous arcs. Arco’s personal reasons for accidentally murdering the wrong person almost provokes the viewer’s empathy to emerge. As this series is coming to a close, it will be interesting to see how far the last case will go to round up the anime adaption.
You can follow along with this review series by watching the Ace Attorney anime adaption through Crunchyroll.