First Look: Ace Attorney

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Alternative titles: Gyakuten Saiban, Ace Attorney: Justice For No One
Video Game Adaptation by A-1 Pictures
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Ryuichi Naruhodou Phoenix Wright is a rookie defense attorney in the near-future Japan Los Angeles (like seriously, the first game is set in this coming year), where trials are only given three days to find a culprit. With the help of his mentor Chihiro Ayasato Mia Fey, he starts his legal career clearing the name of his scoundrel of a best friend, Masashi Yahari Larry Butz.

Marlin’s verdict: If Something Stinks, It’s Probably This Anime.

Ugly CGI, really terrible animation, and just an all around lack of effort seems to have been put into this production. So much of it seems to want to ape the game that I just kept thinking “If I wanted to see this, why wouldn’t I just play the friggin’ game and save myself ten minutes”. Dragging is a big issue when these tutorial sections of the game were usually something you get through quickly to move on to the meat of the title. Even worse, they apparently couldn’t hire anyone worth their salt to spice up the classic Phoenix Wright soundtrack, and thus we get this obnoxious bastardization of the classic themes that were better even as GBA midis. Overall just a disappointing mess that made me realize just how flimsy of a basis Phoenix Wright’s accusation of Hoshio Yamano Frank Sahwit really was. Like the Danganronpa adaptation before it, I really don’t see the audience for this show. People who love the series should hate this thing for bastardizing something that didn’t need an anime adaptation, for whose cases would hold no mystery. People who have no knowledge of the series I could only see being bored, and would be much better off just playing the games on the like five different services you can play them on. Forget about this show.

objection

Iro’s verdict: The Boring Turnabout

This is about as straight of an adaptation of the Ace Attorney games as you can get, which isn’t really a good thing. The basic story elements all still more-or-less work, but since the original was all in visual novel / adventure game style, it ends up like watching a somewhat dull explanation of how to beat the game. The actual gameplay of Ace Attorney is all about puzzling out the contradictions yourself, so having the show just explain each one ten seconds later feels like it defeats the entire purpose. If you’re actually interested in Ace Attorney, either play the damn games or give Takashi Miike’s live-action film version (which is actually fun) a shot.

sides

Artemis’ verdict: Is This Even Attempting To Be Good? Because My Instincts Say No.

Despite the actual content, this show looks and feels like it’s being marketed to 10-year old boys. The first case could certainly have been resolved by one — seriously, did nobody bother to read stuff like the autopsy report before going into court? — even if we hadn’t already been told who the culprit was beforehand, and the visuals look incredibly cheap and clunky. Needless to say, there’s zero realism of any kind here, and while I’m sure that’s completely beside the point, it still doesn’t endear me to the show. I can only assume that Ace Attorney is aiming to cash in solely on already-existing fans of the game franchise, because not only does it look and sound exactly like a bunch of game cut scenes strung together, but I find it hard to believe that the story, such as it is, will be picking up any new audience members aside from the chronically bored.

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