Hello all! So, guess who saw the Ace Attorney movie not once, but TWICE? This girl! It was absolutely amazing, and for that reason, I wrote a review for you all. Please note that these are just my opinions, so don't judge me or anything! My latest one-shot is also at the bottom, something I started a long time ago, but never finished. Hope you guys enjoy it! Let me know your thoughts on the movie, etc.! I'd love to hear them
"The defense is ready, Your Honor."
"The prosecution…was born ready."
I recently had the pleasure of attending an anime convention called AM2. Although I went for many reasons, such as cosplaying for the first time (as Ema Skye) and seeing what anime conventions are all about, there was one main reason for choosing an obscure convention only in its second year of operation. What reason could possibly motivate a fangirl like me? The Phoenix Wright movie, of course!
Let's start with the basics. The movie follows the plot of the game we know and love with only a few minor changes. All four of the first game's original GBA cases are touched upon, but the first part of the movie is about case two (Turnabout Sisters) while the majority of the movie is focused on case four (Turnabout Goodbyes). Minor changes include the omission of characters (such as April May, Will Powers, and Wendy Oldbag), a change in the location of location of the DL-6 case (it took place in the basement evidence room, not an elevator), and a difference in Redd White's role in the overall scheme of things. Despite these minor changes, the writers flawlessly incorporate the quirky parts of the game that make it unique. Examples include Redd White's infamous "Splendiferous!", confetti in the courtroom, and Frank Sawhit's toupee hitting Phoenix in the face. But if I continue on about the plot, I'd be here for ages, so time to move on.
The actors play their parts exceedingly well. Hiroki Narimiya (Phoenix Wright) really captures the character of everyone's favorite defense attorney. His facial expressions are to die for, especially when talking to channeled Mia. He's just so adorably helpless in court that I wanted to give him a hug practically the entire time, although he has his moments of glory. He also interacts very well with Mirei Kiritani (Maya Fey). My only criticism of Mirei is that she seems a little old for the part of the energetic, rambunctious medium-in-training. I also was not a fan of the strange fur scarf/stole thing she was wearing the entire time, but that's not her fault. I regret not being able to see more of Rei Dan (Mia Fey), but she has some nice scenes in the first ten or so minutes of the movie before her tragic death. I know many fanboys in the audience were disappointed about her lack of cleavage, but I think it was nice that her heart was bigger than her bust.
Although I may be a little biased, being a fangirl and all, Takumi Saitou (Miles Edgeworth) absolutely made the movie for me. He is just so perfect for the role, combining stoicism with being a total badass. And he isn't bad-looking either, but again, that's probably just the fangirl in me. His mentor, Ryo Ishibashi (Manfred von Karma) also made a big impression. He captures the cocky and slightly creepy personality of the undefeated prosecutor…perfectly, if you'll excuse the pun.
Shunsuke Daito (Dick Gumshoe) plays the semi-incompetent detective very well. Although he was a little smaller than most expected, his devotion to Edgeworth is just as sweet as it is in the game. However, the best part about Gumshoe was his trusty sidekick: a life-size Blue Badger. It did everything from minor things like hold an umbrella for Gumshoe, to major things like stopping a trial.
Another actor who really stood out in my mind was Akiyoshi Nakao (Larry Butz). He expertly portrays the classic Larry while adding humor and style to the mix. Every other scene, he would be in the background, doing something hilarious, especially during the courtroom scenes. I could always pick him out immediately because of his crazy spiky hair and loud yelling.
The final actor who was really impressive was someone I never expected to even think twice about. Fumio Kohinata (Yanni Yogi) beautifully portrayed a man driven mad by grief and willing to go to any means to get revenge on the men who disgraced him. I honestly had never really thought about Yanni Yogi before, but the film presents a chilling backstory of his trial, his wife's suicide, and the events leading to the murder. And of course, he provides the animal necessary for everyone's favorite scene: Phoenix cross-examining Polly the parrot. It was very entertaining to watch Hiroki work with that parrot.
On a technical note, the technology portrayed in the courtroom of 20XX was very extraordinary. Apparently in 20XX, evidence will be displayed on holographic screens that can be summoned with a snap or a bang on the desk. They can also be thrown at hapless detectives.
On a completely unrelated note, the flashbacks of Phoenix, Larry, and Miles in grade school were SO CUTE. I seriously almost died. The kids were perfect and that's all that needs to be said. Just had to get that out, sorry.
However, there were a few things that bothered me just a little bit. The first was near the end of the movie. Manfred von Karma is going on this huge rant about prosecutors and guilty people and all this other crazy stuff… but I couldn't listen (uh, I mean, read the subtitles). Know why? There's this weird editing thing going on! It looks like von Karma is teleporting all over the courtroom. So either there was a strange editing job, or von Karma has magically gained the power of teleportation, which is not out of the realm of possibility.
Another thing that bothered me/made me laugh really, really hard was when this happened:
Phoenix: You said it was '30 minutes after midnight on Christmas Eve'?
Lotta: Yeah, so?
Phoenix: Wouldn't that make it… Christmas?
Cue everyone in the courtroom falling over. Everyone. Falls. Over. Why? I mean, don't get me wrong, it was hilarious, but so random. It happens again, with probably one of my favorite quotes in the movie. This is not exact, I'm just writing what I remember.
Yogi: [referring to Miles Edgeworth] It was that fluttery guy. He walked by my window. He said something.
Phoenix: What did he say?
Yogi: While fluttering, he said 'No way! Shooting a man is like…"
Edgeworth: OBJECTION! I said no such thing! *pause* And I don't flutter that much.
And everyone falls over again. It was very funny, but why?
Third thing: Redd White. His character is pretty much the exact opposite of how it is in the game. Instead of a pink suit, he wears a black jacket. Instead of the owner of an information business, he is a freelance magazine writer. My friend complained that he looked more like Ozzy Osbourne than Redd White. But his character still worked fine, it was just a little disconcerting.
Ok, almost done. The very ending of the movie was interesting, to say the least. It could just be my paranoid Edgeworth-and-Phoenix-will-never-be-together mind, but the very last line of the movie insinuated a little bit of… yaoi.
Edgeworth: My methods don't violate the law. But they seem to have violated you. Have you got a problem with that?
In conclusion, Ace Attorney was an amazing movie. If only someone could have taken a picture of all of the fans crammed in that tiny room, cheering when all of their favorite characters appeared on the screen, laughing as the parrot said "I'm hun-gry!" over and over as Phoenix tried to question it, and sighing about how attractive Miles Edgeworth was-wait, that probably was just me. Anyways, it was an experience I'll never forget. If you can get past minor changes to characters and plot, you'll have found an invaluable source of suspense and entertainment. I hope I can purchase it with subtitles somewhere and not have to listen to those people yelling "Kiss! Kiss!" when Phoenix and Edgeworth are having a nice handshake moment. I highly recommend this movie to everyone, even if they haven't played the games. I read that it's coming to more anime conventions across the U.S., so if you get the chance, by all means, go see it. All I could say when I got out was 'it made my life.' But don't just take my word for it. Go see it for yourself. You won't regret it.
"Where are we going, Mystic Maya?" Pearl asked her older cousin as they headed down the street.
"We're going to the movies, Pearl!" Maya said happily, taking the little girl's hand.
Pearl bit the thumb of her free hand, a habit she had when she was thinking. "Um, Mystic Maya, what is a moo-vy?"
"A movie is like a TV show, only longer," Maya told her cousin as they got in line to buy tickets.
"Then why are we waiting? Can't we just turn it on?" Pearl asked, blinking innocently.
Maya laughed. "No, Pearly, we have to buy tickets to get in to see the movie."
Pearl looked up at the sign above them, which showed movie times and ticket prices. "Oh! I remember Mr. Nick buying tik-kets when we went on the tray-en. Are they related at all?"
Maya thought for a moment. "Kind of," she said, arriving at the window. "We need two kids tickets for The Steel Samurai: The Evil Magistrate's Revenge, please."
The cashier gave Maya a doubtful look. "And how old are you, miss?" she asked, giving Maya a once-over.
"I'm seventeen," Maya said, grinning.
The cashier smirked. "Sorry, but our age limit for children's tickets is twelve years old."
Maya grinned apologetically. "Whoops! Ok then, I need one child and one adult ticket."
The cashier rolled her eyes and printed the tickets. "Enjoy the show," she said monotonously. Maya smiled and led Pearl toward the doors. Pearl was jumping up and down in excitement as they crossed the theater lobby. They stopped to buy concessions, where Maya had to be dragged kicking and screaming away from the counter by her younger cousin because the theater did not have burgers.
"Let's just go find where we're supposed to go, Mystic Maya," the small girl said quietly. Maya nodded, her cheeks still a little red, but she opened the door to the theater and found their seats. As the theater darkened, Pearl latched onto Maya's arm. "Mystic Maya, is this supposed to happen?" she whispered.
"Don't worry, Pearly. It's so we can see the movie better," he cousin whispered back and Pearl settled back into her seat. The movie was two hours long. Maya almost got thrown out for excessive cheering and attempting to use her Samurai Kick on the empty chair in front of her. Needless to say, the people around them were not happy, but Maya and Pearl emerged from the movie very satisfied.
"That was so much fun, Mystic Maya!" Pearl squealed, jumping up and down.
Maya nodded happily. "The Steel Samurai is so cool! I loved the finishing move: Samurai Slap! Samurai Slash!" She enthusiastically demonstrated a few moves on a bush as the two cousins headed toward the Wright and Co. Law Offices. As they walked across the street, still discussing the movie, Maya turned around and saw a familiar burgundy-suited prosecutor coming out of the movie theater. "Mr. Edgeworth!" she called.
The man looked up and tried to walk in the opposite direction, but no one was faster than Maya on a mission. The two girls quickly crossed the street again and followed Mr. Edgeworth. "Hi, Mr. Edgeworth!" Maya said happily, catching up with him.
"Hi, Mr. Ed-ji-werth!" Pearl said brightly, parroting her cousin. Maya thought she saw Mr. Edgeworth sigh before he turned around.
"Hello Maya, Pearl," he said, nodding.
"Fancy seeing you here, Mr. Edgeworth," Maya said teasingly.
"I was simply on my way home from work," he said quietly, beginning to walk again. Maya and Pearl fell into step beside him.
"So how are you today?" Maya asked, hiding a smile. She was going to try and trick Mr. Edgeworth into admitting where he had really been.
"Fine," Edgeworth said, giving her a slightly confused look.
Whoops, Maya thought. He's on to me!
"Why were you coming out of the movie theater?" Maya said, deciding to get right to the point. She raised an eyebrow and tried to look like Nick did when he was questioning witnesses.
Edgeworth started to look a little nervous. "I told you, I was heading home from work. I wasn't at the movie theater at all."
Maya's face fell. She really wasn't good at this. Pearl tugged on her sleeve. "Mystic Maya, isn't his office on the other side of town?" she asked quietly. Maya saw Edgeworth's face turn pale.
"Yeah, Mr. Edgeworth! And where's your car, too? I never see you just walking around!" Maya's eyes glowed. She knew she had won.
"Come here, you two," Edgeworth muttered, leading them to a bench and sitting down. They eagerly collapsed next to him, wanting to know what the prim and perfect prosecutor was hiding.
"The truth is… I was supposed to go see the Steel Samurai movie with Madeline tomorrow, but I… I just couldn't wait. You won't tell her, will you?" He looked so ashamed. What could the girls say?
"Okay, Mr. Edgeworth, it'll be our little secret," Maya said, winking.
"But you shouldn't have done that to your special someone…" Pearl said, frowning.
"Wait, hold on," Edgeworth said, standing up and shading his eyes, directing his gaze toward the doors of the theater, still visible from where they were sitting. "Is that…?"
A familiar-looking woman with black hair was exiting the theater, looking left and right quickly, as if trying to avoid someone. "It is!" Maya said excitedly. "Madeline!" The woman looked around, searching for the source of the voice before catching sight of Maya and Pearl. A grin lit up her face before she noticed Edgeworth standing next to them. A red blush appeared on her cheeks and she turned and started quickly walking away.
"Looks like she did the same thing, huh, Mr. Edgeworth?" said Maya teasingly.
"You two even sneak to the same moo-vys! You really are special someones!" Pearl continued, smiling and clapping her hands happily.
"Yes," Edgeworth replied distractedly, eyes on Madeline's back. "If you'll excuse me." And with that, he quickly crossed the street and jogged after her. Finally he caught up with her, and Maya and Pearl watched with excitement as they talked for a little bit, then they kissed and continued down the street, hand in hand. Maya and Pearl shared a quiet giggle, then started the walk back to Nick's office, Pearl thinking of the special someones they had just seen and Maya thinking of the impressive moves of the Steel Samurai.