The Ace Attorney anime adaption of Capcom’s video game franchise is more of a collection of the cut scenes featured in the games rather than a proper anime series. For the most part A-1 Studios’ adaption offers little to engage an audience who have never experienced an Ace Attorney game. Yet, every so often a glimpse of hope breaks through the bland retelling. Reunion and Turnabout – Last Trial is one of the hopeful glimpses that make watching the anime worth the time. At the seventeenth episode, Maya Fey is still on trial for the murder of Dr. Grey. He was killed during a channeling of a nurse’s spirit who was killed in a mysterious car accident. The young prodigy prosecutor is Franzeska von Karma, who’s recently returned from working in America. Keep in mind that within the game and anime universe even young teens can become attorneys and weld a whip in court.
As silly as this may seem in words on a screen, the cast of characters is what drives the Ace Attorney storylines. From the slow-witted Detective Gumshoe to cold Miles Edgeworth to the peppy Maya Fey and Phoenix Wright, these imaginative people are what make this franchise so great and unique.
Episode 17 mainly focuses in Ini, the sister of the deceased nurse. She takes the stand as a witness who heard the murder’s commotion in the channeling chamber. With Phoenix and the help of Pearl channeling her older cousin Mia, Ini’s true form is revealed at last. She was in fact Mimi, the nurse accused of the deaths of 14 hospital patients. Mimi is shown as a complete villain aside from Aunt Morgan’s involvement with the case by blackmailing the nurse who asked for Dr. Grey’s channeling session to be rigged. Morgan’s jealousy and evil intentions are barely revealed. More time should have been given to showcasing how awful a person she really is to frame her young niece Maya. Instead the writers choose to have more blame upon Mimi who in the original game was overworked and tired when she mixed up the patients medication.
Another avenue that should have been explored more within this story was the impact of Morgan’s crime affecting the Fey family and the Kurain School of Channeling. Morgan’s arrest was quickly brushed aside as the episode panned over to little Pearl’s act of true love. The eldest member of the Fey family betrayed the house, her linage and the school yet this is never discussed by the characters. They merely accept it as if it was a fate decided and Morgan had little choice in her actions. It is almost infuriating to watch a show whose characters have little emotion outside the courtroom. Maya and Pearl should be devastated to learn of Morgan’s treason.
In spite of the awful way Morgan and Mimi are portrayed in the anime, Reunion and Turnabout’s last episode is the warmest of the series so far. Pearl wants to see her cousin succeed as the head of the Kurain School and in her love life. She physically pushes Maya onto Phoenix’s train so that they can return to the city and work together even when it means being left behind at the school in a country village. The bond between these two girls is adorable to see play out in the animation. They both are working towards their futures in their own way. When Maya was asleep dreaming of her sister when she was drugged by Mimi, she was in fact asleep in a basket containing Mia’s old channeling robes. This part brings tears and warmth. Practically everyone can relate to loosing a loved one and appreciate the bond the sisters still share.
Based on the ending of this episode, the future ones may explore more of their personal stories. It is a possibility that even short scenes and dialogues will reveal more about these colorful characters. With the use of emotional direction, Ace Attorney anime adaption is on it’s way to becoming a little more relatable and a complete story on it’s own. Perhaps as an entirety, the anime series can stand on it’s own and not rely upon the audience being players of the game series. At this point, the audience can keep looking forward to a bright future along with Maya, Pearl and Phoenix.
Follow along with this review series and watch Ace Attorney through Crunchyroll.