Ah episode 4 begins the true Cross examination of the case and ends the first section of the Ace Attorney games. As it stands, Ace Attorney has thus far only covered the less climactic cases of the series. While the death of Chihiro / Mia was one of the most sad things to happen, it is very abrupt in the games and her killer and the case surrounding it are far from the most impactful of the series. (In fact, the most important cases to reminding us why we loved Chihiro and why it’s a miserable awful thing she is gone happen in the third game, so here is hoping the anime makes it that far.) For this case being one of the lesser dramatic cases it is very important to note the anime did a very good job handling a lot of what went on in the cases. I will say there is one thing this episode really lacked for me: intense atmosphere. While it is not enough to make me lose respect for the show, lets face it the game just uses music to play up events and hardly much else, it can be slightly frustrating to see no change in color or background from moment to moment.
This episode is focused on clearing Phoenix’s name. I will say this about the anime: once again, seeing the witness testimony as if it really happened is a little traumatic. Seeing Naruhodo actively assault Chihiro is jarring. This might serve as a good indication of what the onlookers of the jury feel, or even the judge. The judge can’t possibly know all details and therefore must infer based upon the things he has heard: meaning he might need to picture it exactly as told to make sure it is feasibly sound. Still, the judge can be a freaking quack. If you aren’t familiar with Ace Attorney the entire system is corrupt and stupid, with Naruhodo taking evidence without a warrant being the most honest and legitimate practice of any legal authority in the game.
The real show stopper of this episode is to introduce something you will be seeing a lot more from now on: use of the magatama. Mayoi uses the magatama in order to channel her psychic power, and in this episode used the magatama in order to channel her sister to help Naruhodo. You see aside from the corrupt legal system what makes Pheonix Wright an interesting game is the fact that you’re typically getting information from people using a system of special powers. Each game uses some different aspect, with the most notable being the psyche-locke system (you won’t be seeing that until the later seasons, if they get them) which uses evidence to force special witness testimony out of people who are hiding things. The most consistent, however, is Mayoi’s power of channeling which is usually done in order to return Chihiro into play long enough to point out something fun that saves the day. In this episode, Chihiro points out a consistency error that wins the case. . . until Edgeworth plays dirty and Chihiro-in-Mayoi’s-body proceeds to read the list of blackmailed individuals that Chihiro was hiding inside of the thinker. Not wishing to be shanked in prison, her killer confesses to keep his information secret. Which is ironic, because his whole shtick is blackmailing.
I wish the animation had been a little cleaner, as Chihiro looked awkward in Mayoi’s body most of the time, but some of the scenes with her managed to hold more atmosphere than most of the episode. Still, I am excited. There are only funnier and more interesting cases ahead, and we can’t really judge the consistency of how well the emotions are portrayed until we get to see the heart of the first game: a case that might have something to do with an incredibly evil antagonist and someone we already know. Overall, this was an average episode and the ending was very touching as we have now officially formed the Wright and Co law offices. . . or Naruhodo, if you want to laugh as you think about someone driving by and going IS THAT SO repeatedly.
On that note CHIHIRO IS TOO PURE FOR THIS WORLD ;W;