Gyakuten Saiban

February 11, 2017

After several video games, a handful of spinoffs, a live action movie and countless of parodies, Gyakuten Saiban (or better known as Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney in the west) finally receives its anime adaptation. Albeit the 24 episode anime series is only adapting from the first 2 games of the series. So if you ever dream of ever becoming a lawyer but couldn’t just because your understanding of the law sucks, you can draw inspiration from this series to be one. Or at least satiate your obsession of watching courtroom dramas. Or maybe we just wanted an excuse to say “Igi ari!” (“Objection!”). Yeah, that felt good, doesn’t it?

Episode 1
A man kills a woman. In order not to be suspected, he plans to pin the blame on somebody. Ryuuichi Naruhodo is a rookie defence attorney and is about to make his first court case appearance after getting his badge 3 months ago. Chihiro Ayasato is his boss and wouldn’t miss his first case which is homicidal for the world. The suspect is Masashi Yahari who is Naruhodo’s best friend. Because the media accused and painted him as a killer, this was a reason why Naruhodo became an attorney. He knows he is a good man but has the worst luck. And worst attitude. Takefumi Auchi is the prosecutor as he presents evidence of 22 year old model, Mika Takabi in her apartment. She was killed by a blunt object which is a sculpture made by Yahari given to her as a gift. Naturally his fingerprints are all over it. It doesn’t help with Yahari acting like an uncivilized idiot and making it even more suspicious is the accusation Yahari may be jealous of Mika’s current boyfriend and killed her in a fit of rage. He was after all at her apartment on the day of her death. I wonder why the defence attorney didn’t speak on his behalf and let Yahari just rant his mouth like that. Auchi calls in an eyewitness who is no doubt that real killer, Hoshio Yamano. As a newspaper subscription seller, he accounts how he saw Yahari left the apartment before he stumbled upon the body. Naruhodo cross-examines him and holes in Yamano’s story surface when the difference in time contradicts his story. He said he found the body at 2pm when the autopsy report listed it as 4pm. There was no other way to tell the time since there was a temporarily blackout. The time is told from the sculpture since Yahari created an in-build clock inside that can tell the time once you turn the head. However Naruhodo’s cross-examining comes to a halt when he cannot prove if the clock was running slow on the day of the murder. He thought he has lost when Chihiro hints to him to think from a different perspective. Naruhodo comes back with proof from Mika’s passport that she recently returned from USA. That time difference was enough to indict Yamano as the culprit and free Yahari. The real story goes as Yamano is a thief who robs from his subscribers when they are out. At that time Mika had just came back and he took the sculpture and whacked her head. Yahari is grateful to Naruhodo. He gives the sculpture to Chihiro as gift. That murder weapon? He thought Mika never loved him but on the contrary they think she did because why bother bringing something bulky all the way overseas?

Episode 2
Chihiro invites Naruhodo to dinner at the office since her little sister, Mayoi will come visit her. When he comes at the appointed time, he finds the office in a mess and Chihiro’s body lying slumped against the wall. He sees Mayoi cowering in fear in a corner. Detective Keisuke Itonokogiri and his police force arrive. They see a blood written word that spells Mayoi’s name on the back of the receipt. He is convinced she is the culprit and arrests her. Next day, Naruhodo talks to her at prison. He learns she was visiting her sister because she wanted to show her the sculpture. Her odd outfit is because she is a spirit medium although just an apprentice. Her family has always been well known in the spirit arts especially the women. Of course since she is still a trainee, she can’t really contact her dead sister yet. She wants Naruhodo to contact her lawyer, Soraonsuke Hoshikage because Chihiro said to contact him if anything happens. Although Naruhodo wants to defend her, she doesn’t think he can because when she first saw how he looked at her at the murder scene, she was convinced he saw her as guilty. Naruhodo agrees to contact Hoshikage for her and that lawyer accepts the case since Chihiro was his student. Naruhodo returns to his office to find Mayoi’s dropped handphone. It has the conversation with Chihiro the other night. Itonokogiri thinks Naruhodo is Mayoi’s defence lawyer and wants him to give up. There is no chance for him to win since the prosecutor is Reiji Mitsurugi. He has never lost a case ever since becoming one at the young age of 20! After hearing the only witness, Shouchiku Umeyo is still living at the hotel opposite, Naruhodo sneaks in to find some clues and discovers a strange screwdriver, a cufflink and a wiretap. He gets a call from Hoshikage that he can’t take up the case anymore and can’t even refer to another defence lawyer. He knows he can’t give up on Mayoi because she is in the exact position as he was when he was young (kids finding him guilty without proof). Naruhodo informs Mayoi who knows she has been abandoned. But she sees how hard Naruhodo has been trying for her. His notebook contains many numbers of other lawyers. All do not want to take the case except for a couple. He is going to try contacting them. Then they just screw all that complication and hire each other. It works, right? At the court, we see the vast difference between the lawyers. Mitsurugi is swamped with reporters, arriving in a sports car and has tons of reputation behind him. Naruhodo arrives alone on his bicycle and is basically a nobody. Yeah, David versus Goliath. The duo come face to face in the courtroom and it seems they know each other not because of media coverage.

Episode 3
Mitsurugi calls Itonokogiri to the witness stand and testify how the sculpture was used as the murder weapon and it was Mayoi who did it because of her name on the receipt. DNA lab proves it was Chihiro’s blood. However Naruhodo counters that with the contradiction in his police report that states Chihiro died immediately so there is no way she was alive to write it. Mitsurugi says his report is outdated as a second report this morning amended that she was almost nearly dead. WTF?! Umeyo is called to testify. She saw the murder happen from in her hotel room. Although she testifies the time of the murder, Naruhodo has the sculpture examined that inside is empty. But how could he tell it wasn’t removed after the murder? Mayoi’s handphone has a conversation that Chihiro states she removed the clockwork on the morning of her murder. Umeyo panics and slips out she was hearing on the conversation. Naruhodo shows the wiretap and she mentions she was doing it on somebody’s orders and has nothing to do with the murder. Naruhodo takes out the cufflink to confirm if her hirer wears this. This is when Mitsurugi asks for permission for the case to be adjourned to tomorrow since there have been new evidences surfacing and need time to investigate. After Umeyo is arrested for wiretapping, Hoshikage comes to see Naruhodo personally. He feels sorry for running away and shows a picture of Masaru Konaka. The cufflinks match so could he be the man? As explained, he is the president of Bluecorp, a company that collects information but in reality digs up dirt and then blackmails you to keep it a secret. He is not arrested since he owns businessmen, politicians, the police and judiciary. Man, it’s like he owns the country! Hoshikage can’t go defy him either. Chihiro has been on his tail for many years now. Naruhodo returns to office to find files on Konaka but they are missing. So he goes to see him at his office (faking an American accent?). Konaka is trying to pain Umeyo his secretary as passing the buck to him so Naruhodo deduces he murdered Chihiro on that night and stole all the files on him. That is when Konaka decides to testify at tomorrow’s court and give juicy details. He is going to make Naruhodo as the one who killed Chihiro! Dumb Itonokogiri was called in to arrest Naruhodo. Mayoi is set free but is shocked to see Naruhodo now swapping her place in prison.

Episode 4
The court resumes as Naruhodo defends himself. Konaka takes the witness stand to testify he was in the hotel room with Umeyo and saw how Naruhodo killed Chihiro. But Naruhodo catches his contradiction when he said he heard the lamp dropped and smashed to bits during the murder. Because based from the hotel’s view, he couldn’t have seen the lamp at the corner and if he had never visited the office before, how did he know what was there? He only knows it because he murdered Chihiro and the lamp was in his sight. Konaka is cornered but Mitsurugi breathes new life by mentioning about the wiretap. Somebody must have entered the office to place it there. Konaka chances his story that he did enter to place the wiretap and thus knows where the lamp is. Of course Konaka’s actions were wrong but will be tried for this another day. As Naruhodo further cross-examines, he cannot break the deadlock and is in danger of being given the guilty verdict. Mayoi prays so hard for help that Chihiro now possesses her body to give Naruhodo a little push. She points to the receipt. Naruhodo presents this old evidence and has everyone look at the date of its purchase. It was bought a few days ago and if Konaka claims he wiretapped weeks ago, he couldn’t have because the lamp wasn’t there. Cornered, Mitsurugi wants to postpone the trial again to perform another inquiry but Chihiro scribbles something and throws at Konaka. It is the list of all the people he blackmailed. She remembers it all in her head and can read them out if he wants. He stops her. Anything but that. He’d rather admit he killed Chihiro than to have the list known. The judge declares Naruhodo and Mayoi not guilty. As Mayoi’s power is not strong, Chihiro will have to go but before that he tells Naruhodo to meet at the office. There, he finds Mayoi ready to work for him since she heard her sister’s last voice to take care of the place.

Episode 5
Mayoi is a big fan of the famous Steel Samurai series. However one morning on the news he has been arrested for murder. The one who played the main antagonist in the show was killed, Takeshi Ibukuro. How ironic. The superhero killed the super villain. Naruhodo and Mayoi go visit Saburou Niboshi (the actor who plays the hero – doesn’t he look like Wolverine?). He states on the day of the murder he had morning practice, then lunch and fell asleep. He overslept and by the time he arrived for rehearsal, the body was there. He is suspected because his samurai spear was impaled in the victim’s body. The duo visit the studio but are stopped by this grandma security personnel, Kaoru Ooba. She is a fan of Ibukuro who played the villain so it says a lot… Itonokogiri is also here investigating and believes Niboshi is really the culprit because from the map, Niboshi had to pass through this security post in which Ooba confirmed only he did as she was keeping watch all the time. As she can’t stop her nagging, a boy trespasses the area. The guys fail to catch him as he escapes but drops a scrapbook. It seems he is a big fan of the series too. After all the investigating, the court is in session with Mitsurugi as Naruhodo’s opponent again. Ooba is called to the stand but she rants about everything that we couldn’t care less to hear. She has photographic proof from the security camera that Niboshi passed the post to commit the murder. If it really shows him, Niboshi is done for. However it is somebody in Steel Samurai’s outfit and how could she tell it was him beneath that costume? During morning practice, Niboshi sprained his ankle and the picture shows him walking limp. Naruhodo notices this is the second picture taken. The first picture taken was deleted by her as suspicious. It is believed to be that trespasser kid. Seeing a kid can’t hold that spear which is quite heavy, he is ruled out from the suspect list. Niboshi is in danger of being declared guilty so Naruhodo takes up Mayoi’s advice to suspect someone else first so he suspects Ooba as the killer. Because she is watching the footage, other than Niboshi and Ibukuro, only she knows Niboshi sprained his ankle. During Niboshi’s nap, she might have donned his costume to hide her identity from the camera. This earns the case to be adjourned tomorrow as the judge tasks Mitsurugi to interrogate Ooba. Naruhodo feels bad for implicating Ooba but the old woman blows her top and will speak the truth. She was told not to mention there were other people at the studio on that day.

Episode 6
She was told her not to reveal those stuffs so obviously. Naruhodo views that in light of such, he obtains permission to adjourn the court and look for more evidence. Talking to Niboshi, he too knows there were other people but was also told to keep quiet. He also knows that boy sneaking around the set a lot since he is a Steel Samurai fan. Though, Niboshi didn’t tell him his identity to not ruin his dream. Revisiting the studio, they see a nerdy guy who turns out to the director. He brings them to the scary producer, Sakura Himegami who tells them no one here could have killed Ibukuro since everyone was trapped here on the time on his murder as the head of the studio’s mascot fell and block the path. Investigating the head holds true as there was a time stamp. As they leave, Ooba is back and berating Naruhodo for accusing her. She was quickly released because when they fit the Steel Samurai costume on her, it didn’t fit. Naruhodo calms her down by pretending he is also a fan of Ibukuro’s movies. Ooba won’t say an accident happened on studio 2 involving Ibukuro 5 years ago. But the boy, Kyuuta Ootaki sneaks in again and Naruhodo catches up to him. Mayoi returns his scrapbook as Kyuuta brags about Steel Samurai and all the photos he took at his events. This means he saw the murder but gets upset to see Steel Samurai killing the bad guy. Naruhodo realizes photos on the murder day are missing. Kyuuta deleted it. But he recounts meeting Steel Samurai and shows the pose he did for him that day. However Naruhodo can tell that is not Steel Samurai’s pose but the villain’s. It is then Naruhodo understood what happened. It is actually the bad guy defeated Steel Samurai. That’s why Kyuuta deleted the photos. Naruhodo explains it was Ibukuro who was wearing Steel Samurai’s costume that day. He knew of Nibushi’s injury and faked it. On his way, he saw Kyuuta calling out to him and accidentally gave his villain pose out of habit. Naruhodo mentions Steel Samurai’s catchphrase of justice to help Kyuuta reconcile with the fact as a fan, he cannot avert his eyes from the truth. He admits he deleted all but one photo. With this photo, Naruhodo confronts Himegami and believes she killed Ibukuro at studio 2. However she refutes him because Ibukuro was killed with a heavy spear that she is unable to carry and why would she kill her main star that brings in the money? See you in court tomorrow.

Episode 7
Himegami is called to the witness stand. Despite Ibukuro’s murder happened during the meeting time, there was a 15 minute break in between. Then they examine the spear. If Naruhodo cannot even carry it, how can Himegami? Naruhodo objects that the spear isn’t the murder weapon because it was broken and thus stabbing it through that thick costume is not possible. However Mitsurugi counters that if he cannot produce the real murder weapon, his case is as good as over. When all seems lost, Kyuuta suddenly barges into the middle of court to emotionally rant about justice. While the guards restrain him, Ooba quickly gives a photo of that accident at studio 2 five years ago to Naruhodo. Ibukuro accidentally killed a co-star and worse, a paparazzi took a photo. Himegami of course covered it up and had Ibukuro work under her with low pay. After Kyuuta is ushered out, Naruhodo resumes by presenting this new evidence. The picture shows the dead co-star being impaled by the fence’s spear, implying Ibukuro may have been killed in the same way. Ibukuro has had enough for being used so on that day he borrowed Steel Samurai’s costume to go kill Himegami. A struggle ensued and he died that same way. But how can she move the body and do everything in just 15 minutes? Especially that mascot head blocking the path? She hid the body and did it in stages. Although Himegami concedes to Naruhodo’s theory, unless he can show proof how, he still hasn’t won. That’s the rule of this court game. With no more proof, she is about to leave. Surprisingly Mitsurugi calls her back to testify again about what happened after the body was found. She called the police, she went back to her trailer and went home. She didn’t bring her script along for rehearsal because she didn’t think it was going to happen. Not after the murder. Again Mitsurugi objects and finds her claims odd because like as though she knew there was a murder. She claims Ibukuro was injured and thus a reasonable reason why she expected there was going to be no rehearsal. Naruhodo bounces back that she wasn’t there and how would she know he was injured. The director told her. Unfortunately he was at the rehearsal and knew who was injured. And that was Niboshi. Himegami gives up and admits she murdered Ibukuro. Niboshi is declared innocent. In the aftermath, Niboshi thanks Naruhodo who in turn thanks Mitsurugi for his actions. However Mitsurugi did not expect to see him again after all these years and is now saddled with unnecessary feelings of uncertainty and confusion. He hopes never to see him again.

Episode 8
Naruhodo thought he would have a big case for Christmas. Santa is going to grant his wish. It might seem normal on the news that a body by the lake was found. Till they announce the suspect is Mitsurugi! Obviously Naruhodo sees him and wants to defend him. Mitsurugi dismisses him and views him as an amateur with beginner’s luck. Well, he won all his 3 cases, right? Mitsurugi will not hire him and tells him to stay out of this case. At the lake investigating, they meet Itonokogiri and his team collecting evidence. Itonokogiri is not pleased sin the police has settled for Mitsurugi as the killer. The story has it that around midnight, 2 men rowed to the middle of the lake. A gunshot is heard. 5 minutes later the police came and since Mitsurugi was around the vicinity, he was arrested. Apparently there was a witness so that is why the police came quickly. However any more information is classified. Itonokogiri hopes Naruhodo can help Mitsurugi because no lawyer dared defend him. Also, Itonokogiri heard Mitsurugi praising Naruhodo after his handling of Steel Samurai’s case. Also nearby is Yahari setting up some bun stall. In this dead place? Yahari is shocked to hear Mitsurugi as a suspect because they were all classmates. His father was a defence lawyer but is stumped why Mitsurugi became a prosecutor instead. This lake is also famous for a monster like Nessie. They call it Hyosshi. It is no surprise there is this photographer, Natsumi Oosawagi is camping there with her hi-tech camera and equipment to snap the elusive creative. She took a couple of pictures during the night of the murder but won’t show it to them and gives excuse she needs to report it to the police. Naruhodo sees Itonokogiri to get the autopsy report. The victim died instantly with a point blank range shot. Mayoi has seen this guy before since she saw him at Hoshikage’s office before.

They go visit Hoshikage and he confirms Yukio Namakura once worked under him but left a long time ago. This might be related to the DL-6 incident 15 years ago. The victim was Mitsurugi’s father, Shin who was shot to death. He was an excellent defence lawyer who could go head to head with the greatest prosecutor of all time, Gou Karuma who never lost a case in his 40 years of service. On the night of a trial, that murder happened. Mitsurugi was also there witnessing his father’s murder. After the murder Karuma adopted Mitsurugi and became his mentor. The culprit was taken to court and Namakura was the one who defended him and proved his innocence. With no leads on the case, the case went cold and unsolved for 15 years. It may be Mitsurugi’s motive to kill him. This case alone also ruined many people’s lives. Including Mayoi’s mom, Maiko. The police was desperate and used a spirit medium to channel Shin’s spirit to find the culprit. However Namakura exposed this secret and Maiko was labelled as a fraud. She disappeared from the public eye later. Hoshikage apologizes he was the one who leaked this secret because Konaka threatened his firm. (Remember, Bluecorp collects information). This was the reason why Chihiro decided to become a lawyer and despite knowing all this, she still worked under him. She built a steady case against Konaka but was unfortunately killed. They go back to talk to Mitsurugi again. Seeing Naruhodo is this far in the case, he lets him know what happened. Namakura wanted to meet for the first time in 15 years and agreed. They set out by boat and after hearing a gunshot, he realized he was alone. He doesn’t know who did it and picked up the pistol without thinking. After Mayoi’s plea to find the truth, Mitsurugi relents and allows Naruhodo to defend him. But he must be careful because the prosecutor is no other than Karuma.

Episode 9
Court is in session. Karuma is so powerful that even the judge is afraid! Uh huh. It’s like we don’t need the judge at all because Karuma calls the shots! First he calls Itonokogiri to testify what happened. Further proof shows Mitsurugi’s right hand fingerprints on the pistol and the ballistic markings of the bullet matches the gun. Making Mitsurugi even more as the killer is that he is exercising his right to silence. Next is Natsumi as she testifies she heard a gunshot and then another one shortly. She also shows a picture as proof. Two men on a boat with one of them having a gun in hand. Karuma declares this case as over and wants the verdict handed down but Naruhodo wants to cross-examine and agrees with Karuma’s condition to ask only a question. He asks what she saw and not what the photo shows but Karuma ends his cross-examining. Mayoi objects and claims the lake was foggy that night and the photo is unclear and she refused to elaborate whether she saw the 2 men. Natsumi then asserts she clearly saw Mitsurugi because she had binoculars. This changes her testimony as Mayoi is thrown out of court for contempt. This at least gives Naruhodo a lease of life to continue cross-examining her. Because the judge overrules Karuma’s objection. Naruhodo argues that Natsumi’s equipment takes a photo if react to loud noises. So when she heard a loud bang, she was looking for Hyosshi instead of a boat. She also has an enlarged version of this photo. Although still unclear but Naruhodo can tell Mitsurugi isn’t the killer because it is seen shooting with his left hand. The judge adjourns the court for them to continue investigating. Mayoi is bailed out thanks to Mitsurugi. Back at the lake, Naruhodo sees Natsumi who realizes being on the stand wasn’t as fun as she thought it would be. When they see a tank floating up, Naruhodo has a hunch about Hyosshi. Because it belongs to Yahari’s stall (has his name on it), he believes he was using the tank to pump air into his balloon. But it pumped too much air and the whole thing became a rocket landed in the lake. Thus the mistaken photo of it being Hyosshi. Natsumi is shocked that her dream is deflated. As she packs up, she gives them the first photo she didn’t submit to court. It is all dark and nothing but the lake. She also tells them the one who called the police was the old man who lives in the boat rental.

Episode 10
They visit the old man who thinks they are his children. Because of his failing memory, he shows his parrot, Sayuri who remembers things for him by repeating words it was made to remember. The old man recounts he heard a loud bang and looked out his window to see 2 men on a boat. He couldn’t see clearly but when the boat returned, the culprit walked by his window. As he is relapsing between naps, Naruhodo can’t get a good statement out of him. It is then Sayuri keeps spamming not to forget DL-6. Naruhodo visits the police station to get the case files on DL-6 but it seems Karuma has just borrowed them. Luckily the Itonokogiri has copies. The trial resumes with the old man called to testify. But this time he remembers and sees clearly the culprit’s face who walked past and he is no other than Mitsurugi. Naruhodo argues the gun proved his innocence but Karuma argues he might have worn a glove then. With the judge already giving the guilty verdict, suddenly Yahari leaps in. The judge reverses his verdict because it is his duty to prevent an inaccurate verdict. Yahari testifies he was also out on the boat that night to find his inflatable. He returned to the dock and heard one loud bang. However he isn’t sure how gunshots he heard because he was listening to the radio. However Naruhodo realizes from Yahari repeating the radio lines, it occurred 10 minutes before midnight. Unlike Natsumi’s photo, the time showed was 10 minutes after midnight. This means there were 3 shots fired that night. Naruhodo explains the truth behind this case is to frame Mitsurugi. The one Mitsurugi was on the boat wasn’t Namakura but the real murderer. He was killed prior to that (thus the first gunshot). Then he dressed up as Namakura and pretended to meet up with Mitsurugi on the boat. The second shot was to draw other people’s attention. After the third shot is fired (which is also a fake shot), the killer pretended to be shot and dropped into the lake, therefore making it look like Mitsurugi had done it. So does this mean Naruhodo knows who the killer is? Sure, but not his name because he never told anybody. He is that old man. They want to bring him back but it seems he has already fled the court house.

Episode 11
The judge adjourns the trial to tomorrow as he cannot hand down the verdict like this. Back at the office, Naruhodo tells Mayoi why he wants to help Mitsurugi so bad. He was once accused of stealing the class’ lunch money since he was the only one sitting out of PE. Even the teacher believed he did it. Mitsurugi told them off for accusing without evidence. Yahari also supported his decision. Ever since, they became close friends. But after Shin’s death, Mitsurugi transferred away and Naruhodo at that time didn’t understand. Many years later his name popped up in the newspapers. Naruhodo tried hard to contact him because he is now a prosecutor when he clearly remembered Mitsurugi wanted to be a defence lawyer like his father. So the only way to get to know the truth is to enter the same field as him. Itonokogiri calls to say they have caught the old man at his boat rental shack. They examine his place and the only thing suspicious is his safe (thanks Sayuri for the code). They see a letter addressing to get revenge on the 2 men who ruined his life. Naruhodo is very sure there is a mastermind behind this. Short flashback shows Mitsurugi, Shin and an officer trapped in a lift. Running out of air, the police officer is panicking and threatens Shin to stop breathing his air! Mitsurugi didn’t like what he saw and picked up a gun… The trial resumes with the old man brought back. He claims he was buying food for Sayuri and didn’t mean to run. Naruhodo shows the letter but since there is no name of the sender and recipient, Naruhodo is going to link it to DL-6. He calls Hoshikage as the witness.

On that day, there was a blackout and 3 people were trapped in a life. When the power was back on, Shin’s body was found dead. The officer, Koutarou Haine was a court bailiff and accused of shooting Shin. He pleaded not guilty. When the case hit a dead end, the police resorted to Maiko. Shin’s spirit said it was Haine who shot him. Namakura defended Haine and claimed that although he fired the gun, the severe lack of oxygen in the lift made him unsound of mind and cannot be held responsible. Haine was acquitted. However he was vilified by society and a year later his fiancée committed suicide. If Haine was innocent, he must have also resent Shin for accusing him of murder. Naruhodo believes this old man is Haine but he is not saying. They can take his fingerprints but he has burnt them many years ago. That is when they bring Sayuri in. Mayoi cross-examines the parrot. Testing it could answer questions, everything goes well until the important part where it stays silent. It might be that Karuma had retrained it? But Naruhodo points out several evidences. From the records, Sayuri is the name of Haine’s fiancée and the code of the safe corresponds to the date of DL-6. As Karuma tries to overthrow and object Naruhodo’s case, that is when the old man gets up and admits he is Haine. He has already achieved what he wants to. 15 years ago when Namakura was his attorney, he refused to listen to what he said. He wanted him to plead guilty in shooting the gun despite he did not in hopes of saving his fiancée and the only way of getting him acquitted. However it did not change a thing as everyone still treated him as a murderer and Namakura washed his hands off everything, not wanting to be bugged again. Sayuri couldn’t take all the pressure and killed herself. Ever since he lived his life away from the public while dreaming he would get his revenge someday. As for why he targeted Mitsurugi, ask that man himself. With Karuma even agreeing that Mitsurugi is innocent, the judge declares him innocent. Before he adjourns the court, suddenly Mitsurugi objects. He reveals he is the true culprit of DL-6.

Episode 12
Mitsurugi explains his recurring nightmare. Dark, hard to breathe, a gunshot heard and a terrible scream. During the court’s recess, Mitsurugi tells Naruhodo why he became a prosecutor. Because of Namakura’s forced shady acquittal, he started hating criminals and defence lawyers. Karuma was the one who reached out to him and taught him that justice should be perfect, cold hearted and a merciless hammer to be used upon all. So he made up his mind to become one to make criminals atone but perhaps he was just escape the sin he committed. However Naruhodo still believes in him and not his ‘nightmare’. The court resumes as Naruhodo argues Mitsurugi was just describing his recurring dream. He was at the court on that day to observe his father taking on Karuma in a court case in which the latter won. When the blackout occurred, help didn’t arrive for hours and the air was running thin. When Haine attacked Shin, Mitsurugi picked up and threw the gun at him. A gunshot was heard and he blacked out. He doesn’t remember clearly what happened after that. If Haine said he didn’t shoot the gun, it could only mean Mitsurugi was the one who fired it. Photo evidence on that day shows 2 holes. One in Shin’s body and the other in the door. Although the report said the gun was fired twice, there was only a bullet and it was lodged in Shin’s body. Naruhodo claims the second bullet was taken away by the real murderer. It is because the bullet hit the murderer and if he was shot at the time of the crime, he would’ve been forced to take the bullet. Records might say nobody else was shot at the court that day, but what if that person was injured? That person is Karuma because Hoshikage told him he took a day off after Shin died as shock. It was the only day he took off in his entire career. But what if he was forced to take a day off like a bullet was lodged in him? But it would take more than a day to recover from a surgery to extract the bullet. So the bullet is still inside his shoulder! Wait. 15 years?! No infection?! Using a metal detector, it is confirmed there is something lodged in his shoulder. But how can he link it to DL-6? Naruhodo can compare the bullet in Shin using ballistic markings. However the evidence is gone!

That is when Mitsurugi fakes a collapse to stop the verdict. Sneaky… He knows Karuma hides disadvantageous evidence in his office so they have to sneak in to get it. Because the office door has retinal identification, he can only help Mayoi go that far as he needs to reappear in court. It isn’t enough time actually. Because Yahari is impersonating as Mitsurugi! Nobody buys this imposter stuff! Throw him out! Mitsurugi returns in time and Mayoi shortly after as she presents the bullet. With the evidence at hand, Naruhodo orders the bullet to be extracted from Karuma. He starts screaming and that is the scream Mitsurugi remembers. Karuma explains what happened that day. He was at the court’s record room which was near the elevator. A bullet was shot through the door and lodged into his shoulder (when Mitsurugi threw the gun, it went off once). When the power got back on, Karuma saw 3 people unconscious and seeing Shin was one of them, the thought of getting revenge on someone who could taint his reputation was great. He picked up the gun and shot Shin knowing that nobody would knew the killer. That’s why Shin’s spirit thought it was Haine to protect his son. Karuma laments he was pierced by the bullet a second time but Naruhodo says it was the truth that pierced him. Mitsurugi is acquitted as he thanks Naruhodo for sticking with him. He says it is to repay that lunch money incident. Then the real culprit for that is also revealed. Yahari stole it?! No wonder he was on his side… I guess Naruhodo is going to become a prosecutor and sue him! In the aftermath of this case, Mayoi decides to leave and train to become a full-fledged spirit medium.

Episode 13
A flashback to Naruhodo’s past with Mitsurugi and Yahari. Although Mitsurugi was in the same class, Naruhodo never talked with him. One day when Yahari found a stray dog, it had money in its mouth so he exchanged his snacks for it. It was the same day Naruhodo was sick, exempted from PE and saw the envelope funds that belonged to Mitsurugi on the floor. A classmate saw him and that is when they accused and started the class trial. You know the rest. With the dog following Yahari around and since none can take it in, Mitsurugi uses his detective skills to locate the owner since the box has partial address. However the owner feigns ignorance and doesn’t care a bit. Nobody is going to take a kid seriously despite citing the law. As they cannot just abandon it, Mitsurugi asks his father if he could keep the dog. Of course he can. The trio continue to become best friends and as explained, Yahari gave the money he found to the police but Japanese law states that if nobody claims it in 3 months, it is his. Thus Yahari treats his friends to play games where he won keychains of Signal Samurai. They commemorate their friendship with this. Shortly after DL-6 happened, Mitsurugi moved away with Karuma. Karuma didn’t want him to bring the ugly keychain and threw it away. Naruhodo and Yahari were too late to reach him but saw the keychain on the dustbin. Yahari took it as a sign Mitsurugi was no longer friends with them but Naruhodo continues to believe Mitsurugi wouldn’t do something like that. Yahari also wants out and throws away his keychain. The same night, Mitsurugi ran back to his old home to get his keychain. You mean Naruhodo was waiting there for him to show up?! I know he believed in him but he actually waited?! What if he never showed up? But anyway the friends reconcile (including Yahari) and they get their keychains back. In present time, Naruhodo is glad their friendship has never changed and their case has finally reached a closure. However it might be the beginning of a second goodbye because Mitsurugi leaves a note in his office that he chose death.

Episode 14
Naruhodo accompanies Dr Tetsurou Kirisaki to Kurain Village, Mayoi’s hometown. The case is about his nurse misdiagnosing his patients and causing all of them to die. However she died in a car accident and this leads the press to believe he killed to silence her. So he is going to use a spirit medium to make her confess that she did it. Wait. What?! How is that going to work? And he brought a gun just in case? At the village, they are met with Kimiko (Mayoi’s aunt) and Harumi (Kimiko’s daughter and thus Mayoi’s cousin). As they wait in the room, Natsumi is also there since she believes there is going to be a big scoop in this case. When Mayoi is ready, Kirisaki follows her into the channelling room whereby Kimiko warns nobody is to enter and disturb the ritual. While they wait in another room, they hear gunshots. Running back and breaking the locked door open, they see Kirisaki dead and what it looked like a possessed Mayoi shot him. Kimiko will handle this and wants the duo to quickly call the police. When Itonokogiri arrives, Naruhodo wants to see Mayoi but as said by Kimiko, she is unconscious after the channelling ritual ended. Gathering all the related parties, there is another guest around when the murder happened. She is Nodoka Hanaka, the one who referred Kirisaki to this place and is also the younger sister of Mimi, Kirisaki’s nurse. After the police is done with their investigation, Naruhodo and Natsumi check the crime scene. It is learnt that Kirisaki was stabbed and shot. Noticing a hole in the wall, Naruhodo wonders if a shot missed since he heard 2 gunshots. Kimiko further explains when a weak and inexperienced medium is in possession of a higher level spirit, tragedies like this can occur. Naruhodo then talks to Harumi (who pretty much believes in him because she heard so much from Mayoi and got the wrong idea he is Mayoi’s ‘special someone’). She gives him a key she found in the incinerator. It is believed this is the only key to the channelling room and Mayoi was the one in possession. Bad news when Mayoi is taken into custody by the police. Naruhodo believes she is innocent since she isn’t the kind to kill. But can the law believe that a spirit possessed her and killed the doctor? Just like the first time they met, it is déjà vu again when Mayoi seeks Naruhodo’s help to defend her. At the courthouse, Harumi was so worried that she came alone to help. How is she going to help? Itonokogiri warns Naruhodo the prosecutor is Karuma’s successor. Another prodigy who has never lost a case? Yeah, until they face off with Naruhodo, right?

Episode 15
Mei isn’t only the daughter to Karuma, she might be worse than him. How the f*ck can she bring a whip into the courtroom?! Is the judge a masochist to allow it? And what the f*ck she just whips anybody she doesn’t likes?! Anyway Mei calls Itonokogiri to give his witness testimony as he describes how the murder probably took place. The gun and knife has Mayoi’s fingerprints on it and it is confirmed Kirisaki was shot point blank as there is gun powder on his forehead. Mei gives Naruhodo a chance for his client to plead justifiable self-defence. However he rejects it since it still means Mayoi committed murder. Mei has Itonokogiri continue his testimony with a damning evidence that Kirisaki’s blood was all over Mayoi’s ceremonial robe. Naruhodo notices a bullet hole on the robe’s sleeve. It proves that Kirisaki tried to shoot Mayoi. However Mei points out since Naruhodo rejected her self-defence plea, this means this evidence bears no relevance in this case. But wait. If both were struggling at close range and a shot was fired, there should be gunpowder on the sleeve. Since there is none, it means Itonokogiri’s statement has contradictions. Natsumi is called as the next witness. She explains after hearing a gunshot, she rushed to the room and snapped a photo. It shows a different person in Mayoi’s robe and Kirisaki’s dead body. But as explained when Mayoi is acting as a medium, she will take on the form of the channelled spirit. Since Naruhodo knows how Mayoi works, he cannot lie and thus the picture is not Photoshop or whatsoever. Naruhodo points out a contradiction in the photo. Mayoi was wearing a headband but this person was not. Could it have fallen off? Harumi is certain the headband fits 100%. This means a different person committed the murder. But if that is the case, where did Mayoi vanished too considering nobody could get in or out of the room during that time. A locked room mystery. Naruhodo is in a pinch. Harumi prays hard enough for Chihiro to possess her and hint to Naruhodo about the proof that someone enter or leave. Naruhodo brings out the key he found at the incinerator. If Mayoi only had this key and if he is in possession of it, this means Mayoi might have left the room before the murder took place. If Mayoi committed the murder, there was no way she would have time to throw it away as Kimiko quickly ushered her away. With this impasse, the judge adjourns the court. As Mayoi praises Naruhodo and Harumi, Naruhodo feels that Kirisaki’s death and Mayoi’s framing has been a planned setup. You don’t say because it looks like Kimiko has got a hand in this…

Episode 16
Naruhodo accompanies Harumi back to her village as there is also something he wants to investigate. He asks her whereabouts during the murder. She is reluctant to say but eventually reveals she was playing near the hallway but accidentally broke an urn containing the village founder’s ashes. She pieced back the entire urn until the gunshot was heard. She never told anybody in fear she would be kicked out. Kimiko mentions about Maiko who went missing after that incident. She believes she will never come back and in a few more years she will written off as dead and a new head will be chosen. Naturally Mayoi is supposed to be the next head but with the murder charges… The way she says it makes it more suspicious. She warns Naruhodo not to come close to her daughter again. Naruhodo investigates the incinerator. He finds a piece of Mayoi’s cloth in it and realizes the key wasn’t intentionally thrown in there. Since Mayoi kept the key in her robe, the culprit threw the part of that robe into it. Naruhodo sees Natsumi lurking around and catches her. Why the heck is she hiding in a box? Naruhodo also notices a similar bullet hole there. Natsumi talks to him that she mainly suspects Nodoka. She learnt Nodoka was hospitalized for 6 months and was supposedly in the same car as Mimi. While Mimi was burnt to death, Nodoka managed to escape alive but was badly burnt. She underwent a major surgery to reconstruct her face and the doctors used her driving licence as reference. Naruhodo wonders if Nodoka could pull this all off alone.

He then talks to Nodoka about that night in the car with Mimi. She was asleep and when she woke up, the car was in flames and in her reflex she opened the door and jumped out. Harumi is shocked to see the police take away Kumiko. She assures she is just going with them to help them with the case. Naruhodo tells this to Mayoi who feels bad for bringing trouble to her clan. She lets him know that it is tradition for the eldest daughter of the clan to become the head. However Maiko broke this tradition. Although she is the younger sister to Kumiko, her spiritual powers were greater and thus became the next head. Naruhodo pleads to Harumi to channel Chihiro during the trial. His plan is so that she wouldn’t have to hear what happened what comes next in the courtroom. As the trial resumes, Mei changes her statement by claiming Mayoi left the room after murdering Kirisaki. She can proves this by calling Kumiko to the stand. She testifies that after having Naruhodo call the police, she tried to take Mayoi and sever the spirit’s possession but was attacked and left unconscious. She saw last Mayoi leaving the room. This proves Mayoi fled the crime scene. She never said this because she didn’t want to bring shame to the family but finally decided to bring the truth out to the light. It is believed Mayoi ran and talked to another person. Mei calls in her second witness to testify: Nodoka.

Episode 17
Nodoka testifies she was sleeping in the room when she saw her sister (remember, Mayoi was still possessed). Mimi told her she didn’t die in an accident and was murdered by Kirisaki, that’s why she came back to take revenge. After that Nodoka took her back out pass the hallway. Naruhodo cross-examines and finds holes in her story because Harumi was fixing the urn during the entire time. She could not have missed her since she was occupying the entire hallway to fix it. Naruhodo claims Nodoka was inside the channelling room all the while. She already hid there before the murder took place. There was a box behind the folding there before it was moved to the storeroom. Natsumi’s photo of Mimi with blood on her clothes is the real Nodoka and not a possessed Mayoi. This was how it went. Nodoka hid inside the box and when the ritual began, she drugged Mayoi and stabbed Kirisaki. While she is trying to move Mayoi into the box, Kirisaki with his last ounce of strength fires a shot. Since he missed, the bullet hole from the angle he shot corresponds to the folding door, sleeve and box. Panic, Nodoka used the gun and finished Kirisaki off. That is when the rest come in. Of course Nodoka couldn’t have pulled this off by herself. She had an accomplice who is no other than Kimiko. How else would she get the ritual clothing? When the murder happened, Kimiko ushered the rest to call the cops so that Nodoka could move the box to the storeroom and Kimiko throw the clothes into the incinerator. Nodoka then used the back way bypassing the hallway into the room where she pretended to sleep. Mei objects why Nodoka would go to such complicated lengths to do this. Besides, there was no proof Kirisaki set up the accident.

After Chihiro encourages Naruhodo to believe in himself, he cross-examines Nodoka again but this time during the crash. She claimed Mimi was sleepy while driving and why didn’t she drive when she too had a valid licence? Because Mimi didn’t want her too since it was her precious American car. That itself is a dead giveaway because American cars are left hand drive and since Nodoka mentioned she exited from the left, it could only mean she was in the driver’s seat. Naruhodo further claims the person here is not Nodoka but Mimi. The public believed Mimi is dead but was she? Because Mimi was badly burnt, the surgeons used Nodoka’s driving licence to reconstruct her face. As Mimi was responsible for the medical negligence, Kirisaki’s spirit channelling would have failed because Mimi wasn’t dead in the first place and thus exposed she is alive. That is why she had to go through this complicated procedure to silence him. Mimi admits her real self. She was close to discarding her old identity. The burden of medical negligence and killing her sister was too much to bear. When she first stepped into Kurain Village, she sought Kimiko’s help to fake the channelling. However Kimiko had a better idea and suggested this murder. The judge will have Mimi and Kimiko go on trial for another day but this case proves that Mayoi is not guilty. There goes your perfect record, Mei. Kimiko tells Naruhodo that she intends to have Harumi inherit the head of her clan and she is not going to give up yet. With Mayoi cleared, she returns with Naruhodo.

Episode 18
Naruhodo and Mayoi attend a circus act and are awed by the top magician’s performance, Maximilian “Max” Galactica. Next day, the morning news reports the ringmaster has been murdered and Max is arrested. Mayoi being a big fan of Max wants to go defend him. Seeing him at prison, Max explains he is probably suspected because he was the last person who saw the ringmaster. They were discussing about his salary since Max is the one drawing the crowd. The ringmaster left shortly but never returned. Naruhodo has doubts whether he should take up this case since he doesn’t fully trust him, much to Mayoi’s dismay. They investigate the site whereby the meet the ringmaster’s daughter, Mirika. She is not distraught with her father’s death because she believes he is now up there with the stars as with their beloved pet lion. Then they investigate the crime scene as Itonokogiri explains the ringmaster’s body was slumped over a heavy wooden box that is currently being investigated. However they realize that only his footprints were in the snow. If the perpetrator killed him at close range and left no footsteps, could it mean the killer can fly? And the only person who can do this is Max. They interview the other circus members and everyone seems to hate Max because of his obnoxious attitude. None side him. They are about to talk to Ben the ventriloquist but he is looking for a ring can can’t talk thanks to a pain in his head. That is when Tommy the clown reveals it was Max who smashed a bottle on Ben’s head. Tommy has been in this industry for 20 years and founded the circus with the ringmaster. He too suspects Max.

Checking the ringmaster’s office, they see a document pertaining to Max’s salary increment. Then they go back and question Max about it. The document was dated last week which means he already has an increment. This trust issue has Naruhodo unable to defend Max. But the magician becomes desperate and starts pleading not to be abandoned. He tells the truth that the ringmaster called him to discuss about his attitude and not to fight with others including his recent hurting of Ben. Max knows everyone hates him and he too looks down on others as they have no ambition and staying in their comfort zone. Max has spent 10 years perfecting his magic and won the magic championship last year. Naruhodo decides to defend him. Going back to the circus, a monkey steals his shiny badge. He chases it to a room, puts up a monkey fight till it escapes. They see the room has lots of valuables including a bust of Max and a ring. When they leave, Rilo (Ben’s puppet) requests the ring back. After giving it to him, Rilo lets them know he was at the crime scene and saw Max and only Max passing through. However Naruhodo finds contradiction in his statement. Because if he had been there at the crime scene, he should have seen another person passing by: The ringmaster. His statement proves that there is someone else went to the crime scene. His eyewitness account is not enough to declare Max guilty. But Rilo isn’t throwing in the towel as there was an eyewitness who saw something crazier who will be appearing in tomorrow’s trial.

Episode 19
The trial begins. Itonokogiri is called to give his testimony. We already know what happened but the additional info is that inside the box is just a small bottle of pepper. Tommy is next to give his statement. He recounts seeing Max flying. Max argues he was ‘flying’ only because of the thin wires. As the scene was not set up for magic tricks, the judge postpones the trial for them to get more evidence. Naruhodo talks to Max again and it seems on that night, the ringmaster offered him to wear his clothes since it was pretty cold outside. So could it be Tommy saw the ringmaster who was actually Max. Naruhodo returns to the crime site. He notices the building and room above it is where he faced off with the monkey. Talking to the person who lives in that room, Acro was once the acrobat but had an accident a few months ago and is now wheelchair-ridden. Mei then comes in to take in Acro as he will be tomorrow’s witness. Mayoi wonders why Mei is being harsh with Naruhodo. Her aim is Mitsurugi. She accuses Naruhodo of ‘killing’ him. Although he left a death note, she believes he is still alive. She is certain that if she defeats Naruhodo, Mitsurugi will come back. Naruhodo goes to talk to Tommy who on the morning of the murder saw the ringmaster very mad since there was an odd memo on the board. As the memo is now missing from the board, Naruhodo searches the office and finds it in the trash bin. There are no names but it is addressed to the murderer and called him out to meet. Showing this to Tommy again, they believe something happened here that is connected to the murder. Tommy reveals Bat, Acro’s brother and acrobat partner who was in love with Mirika. He’d do anything for her. While they were fooling around with a lion stunt, it went awry. Acro tried to save him but to no avail. The ringmaster shot the lion. Bat is in coma and Acro was hospitalized. When Mirika sees the memo, she recognizes it. Actually she found it in her pocket and is unsure how it got there and thus put it on the board thinking the owner lost it. Naruhodo now understands this tragic mystery. The trial resumes the next day and Acro appears to give his statement. He was sleeping and saw Max flying up outside his window. Naruhodo cross-examines him since there is contradiction. Because Max’s hat was found at the site, there was no way Acro could have seen it with him. Naruhodo accuses Acro as the mastermind behind this crime and murder.

Episode 20
Naruhodo with the help of the rest re-enact the murder scene. The ringmaster’s target was the box. Since it was too heavy to be lifted, he squatted to try and lift it back. But that is where the murder weapon was dropped directly on his head and killed him. The only one who can do this was Acro who was living directly in the room above the murder scene. The murder weapon is a bust of Max which he won in last year’s championship and thus the mistaken identity that Tommy saw that night. But if Acro is wheelchair ridden, how did he setup all this. It is his pet monkey who has a penchant for stealing shiny things. Mei is surprised that the circus members are now siding with Max when they were so against him. Previously Naruhodo showed them the salary negotiations letter. Max wasn’t just seeking his own increment but he wants everyone else to have a similar increment too. This shows how much he cared for the circus. Despite proving everything right, Naruhodo has yet to prove the motive for this murder. Why would Acro kill somehow whom he treated as his father? Naruhodo didn’t want to do this so he shows the memo. Bat was wearing a scarf that Mirika gave to him that contained pepper. So when Bat did the animal trick by putting his head into the lion’s mouth, the lion sneezed and that was when the tragedy happened. Therefore Acro’s real target was Mirika. As Mirika often took care of Acro and brought food to his room, that was when he slipped the note into her pocket. Since she is unaware of what that note meant, she posted it on the board. The ringmaster probably knew about it and went there in her place. Because of Acro’s condition, he couldn’t ascertain if he killed Mirika that night.

However Acro counters that he doesn’t have the proof linking him to the murder weapon. Is there proof that Acro dropped the bust on the ringmaster. Mei even argues that the police searched and catalogued every item in the circus they searched but found no bust. Naruhodo knows where he hid it. It is underneath the blanket of his wheelchair. Because the police was searching the place, all personnel was removed and because Acro and other circus members were sent away during the search, the bust has also gone along with Acro. Acro removes his blanket and there it is, the bust. He admits to the murder. He further explains Bat and Mirika were very close. Bat played a pepper trick on Mirika and she sneezed nonstop. So she too wanted to play that trick back on him that day but tragedy struck. Acro became mad when he heard Mirika unconsciously made an insensitive remark on Bat (something about becoming a star in the sky) and that’s when he hatched his murder plot. Mirika is very sorry and apologizes to him. But Tommy tells her the reason why Acro wanted to get away with murder instead of disappear is because Bat is still in coma and wants to be there when he wakes up. Mirika promises to be by Bat’s side till he wakes up. The circus gets back on its feet and everyone is surprised that Max is back with them. Since the circus is aiming to become the best and everyone has forgiven him, there is no reason to go their separate ways. Lastly, we see Mitsurugi just off from a phone call with Itonokogiri. Looks like it is time for him to come back.

Episode 21
Naruhodo, Mayoi, Harumi and Niboshi attend a hero show award at a hotel. Nickel Samurai beats Jammin’ Ninja for the coveted award. Also at this show are Yahari working as a reporter covering the event and Ooba as the security. Oh my, this old hag now doesn’t stop talking! There is supposed to be a show by Nickel Samurai after the awards but the announcer announced its cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances. After Mayoi leaves to answer a phone call at the front desk, the rest snoop around and thanks to Itonokogiri’s blunder, he reveals there has been a murder. Ironically it is not Nickel Samurai who got killed but Jammin’ Ninja or more accurately Isao Fujimino, the actor who played him. Again the hero is arrested for murder? More accurately Shingo Outorou who plays Nickel Ninja. Shortly after, Naruhodo receives a call from a person known as Koroshiya. He claims to have kidnapped Mayoi and his demand is a no guilty verdict on Outorou to guarantee Mayoi’s safety. Naruhodo speaks to Outorou to represent him but that his agency already has called some big shot lawyer. After hearing about Koroshiya, Outorou agrees to let Naruhodo represent him. He claims he and Fujimino are rivals but in a healthy way so there is no way he would kill him. When asked about the confession he was supposed to make at the show, Outorou isn’t sure what he is talking about since he left most matters to his manager, Kirio Kamiya.

Naruhodo speaks to Kirio who found Fujimino’s body. She was in his room to remind him the show is going to start soon as he was to be part of Nickel Samurai’s act. Ooba is also doing her own investigation and she believes Kirio is a vile woman who sets up scandals to make Outorou’s rivals lose face. There was a case before. In short, Ooba is a fan of Jammin’ Ninja. Examining the murder scene, a knife is stabbed in Fujimino’s chest and Outorou’s fingerprints are over it. Mei is also there but she is more concerned in whipping her whip around and blaming Naruhodo for smashing her perfect prosecution record. Just do your job, lady. Afterwards, Koroshiya calls Naruhodo that he will be giving him a ‘present’ for tomorrow’s trial. As Mei leaves the police HQ, she got sniped in the shoulder! Everyone is shocked when Itonokogiri barges into the courtroom to report this. Koroshiya calls Naruhodo again if he likes his ‘present’ and of course it is his turn to get a no guilty verdict. Naturally the judge will postpone the trial. However Mitsurugi returns! He has memorized the facts of the case and will prosecute Outorou by his own method. Naruhodo doesn’t look too happy that he is back. What about him choosing death over a year ago? He admits his past self is dead. Well, lawyers have a way with words… He went to do soul searching and asked himself questions like why he wanted to become a prosecutor, why is he standing in court. Well, duh. You’re a lawyer, right? He also points the same question for Naruhodo. The trial will resume.

Episode 22
Itonokogiri testifies that based on the autopsy, Fujimino was strangled to death. The knife was only stabbed later. Of course Outorou was arrested since his fingerprints were on it. Mitsurugi argues the murder was premeditated since the knife was from Outorou’s missing and the crime scene shows the knife in his room is missing. Mitsurugi also calls Ooba who was the witness. As she is clearly a fan of Fujimino, she believes Outorou was the one who did and saw it with her own eyes that he left the room although it is stated that Outorou was sleeping in his room wearing the costume. She even has photo evidence of it. Did she stole Yahari’s camera?! But it seems the person in the photo is dressed in Nickel Samurai. Yup, she is damn sure it is him. Naruhodo objects to it because he realizes a different person is wearing the suit thanks to the height. The pants of Nickel Samurai is sagging on the floor. He believes the only person who fits this description is Kirio. She is called to the witness stand. She testifies that there were 2 Nickel Samurai costumes prepared. The one who gave the press conference and the confession teaser was Fujimino in that suit. She didn’t tell Outorou about it so clearly he is unaware. Because Fujimino was going to reveal Outorou’s secret if he didn’t win the award, Kirio refuses to further testify since it will incriminate her. Even when Naruhodo pinpoints all evidence that she could be the one who took the knife and implanted Outorou’s fingerprints on it, she still refuses to testify. Because of that, the judge is going to put off the trial for today and Naruhodo becomes desperate. Unfortunately it gets adjourned. Luckily Koroshiya gives him a last chance to win tomorrow’s trial.

Before Naruhodo leaves, Outorou gives his keys to his house so he could feed his cat. Mitsurugi sees Kirio and wants to know a certain card she is having. She found it next to Fujimino’s body. Mitsurugi then talks to Naruhodo and wants to know what is going on because clearly he is not acting like himself. He tells what happened to Mayoi. Mitsurugi believes this card has some connection. Sazaemon Koroshiya is a top assassin that special forces have been pursuing for a long time. He leaves his card by his victim to make it known he was responsible. There is another reason he does this: His duty to his clients. He dislikes his clients being accused of murder more than anything. So this could mean that Outorou is Koroshiya’s client who killed Fujimino. Mayoi is trapped in some room and uses her ingenuity of a card to open the door. Unfortunately she is caught by the butler. Naruhodo is at Outorou’s house but his butler assures the cat is fed. He feels strange Outorou didn’t mention about this. He goes back to the crime scene where Itonokogiri becomes clumsy and trips over one of the large bear plushie present. To everyone’s surprise, there is a hidden camera in it. It might have recorded the murder. So when the source of the camera is traced, Naruhodo is in shock as he sees Outorou again. The one who sent the bear present was Outorou because of his credit card receipt. The bear is a rare imported luxury. Naruhodo then asks if Outorou knows Koroshiya because he believes it is him who contacted Koroshiya to kill Fujimino and then filmed his murder with this camera. Naruhodo hopes he is wrong but Outorou starts laughing like a maniac. It’s like he has an evil split personality.

Episode 23
Outorou confirms he hired Koroshiya to kill Fujimino. The camera was insurance so if Koroshiya betrayed him, he will release footage of him doing the killing. Naruhodo knows Outorou is equally as guilty but Outorou warns if he doesn’t get acquitted, you know what will happen to Mayoi, right? Naruhodo feels lost so he sees Mitsurugi for advice. Yeah, only he can decide. Just like how Mitsurugi left a year to seek the truth, it is his turn to decide. Still fretting over saving everybody? Mitsurugi tells him they are not superheroes but just humans. Koroshiya calls Naruhodo one last time. Naruhodo hears a cat in the background and knows where he is. By the time police swarm the place, he is already gone. So is Mayoi. Naruhodo realizes too late that butler is Koroshiya. In the room where Mayoi was held captive, they see a picture of Yurie Kamiya, Kirio’s late sister who was also Outorou’s manager. Next to the picture is a note left behind by Mayoi. It’s like she is saying goodbye and won’t forgive Naruhodo if he acquits Outorou. The trial resumes with Mitsurugi presenting facts about Koroshiya as a hired killer. Naruhodo argues that Kirio might be the one to hire Koroshiya. Mitsurugi presents a teddy bear that was found at the crime scene to be in Outorou’s house. Naruhodo objects that it might be from Kirio’s orders to frame him because why would Outorou bring back Fujimino’s stuff? Mitsurugi calls Kirio to testify on this teddy bear so the court gives 10 minutes recess to prepare. During that period, Chihiro possesses Harumi to relay news that Mayoi is being held captive at a circus. There is only a circus in town…

When Kirio is back on the stands, Mitsurugi ask about the teddy bear. It’s a souvenir Yurie bought while on holiday and gave it to Fujimino whom she was dating at that time. As previously she was Outorou’s manager, she was also in love with him. However that love is one-sided. When the media got wind about their relationship, he dumped her to prevent any scandal. Because of that she was fired but Fujimino’s agency took her in and literally saved her. They were also engaged but it was called off as Yurie killed herself. It seems Outorou told Fujimino about their relationship and he didn’t like it. She left a suicide note after taking her life. The confession Fujimino wanted to make public was this suicide note. Kirio didn’t want it to go public and searched his room but to no avail. She got an idea to frame both men as revenge for Yurie so she dressed up as Nickel Samurai, took the knife in Outorou’s room with his fingerprints on and stuck it into Fujimino’s body. The suicide note is inside the teddy bear, that’s why she couldn’t find it. Naruhodo objects Koroshiya doesn’t know about it but Mitsurugi shows the hidden footage Koroshiya does. He was watching Fujimino all the time. Creepy. Naruhodo tries to buy more time to verify if the note is really written by Yurie. With the court granting more time, Itonokogiri calls back to say Koroshiya has already fled again but this time Mayoi has left an invaluable clue and he is on to it. The court resumes and tough luck as the handwriting belongs to Yurie. Mitsurugi then seemingly helps to stall for more time as he calls a new witness to the stand: Koroshiya! WTF?! The killer going to testify himself? He called Mitsurugi a while ago to do so. So he is testifying from a phone?! Can a mere phone take the stand?!

Episode 24
The judge wonder is Koroshiya taking the stand is credible. How do we know he is the real person? Koroshiya lets Mayoi speak. It is him alright. Koroshiya admits he killed Fujimino. But before he can testify his client, he tells everyone about his code of confidentiality and how he hates traitors the most. Then he reveals his client is Kirio. This is of course a lie but how to proof? This also puts Kirio in risk of being wrongly accused and sentenced. Naruhodo cross-examines him and Koroshiya made a simple mistake when he explains how he went to meet his client. He thinks Kirio is a man. Naruhodo catches him there and this proves they never met. But this doesn’t change Naruhodo’s fate because at this rate Mayoi will be killed. Koroshiya even changes his stance that he remembers making an exception accepting Kirio’s request via email. The judge is going to announce Outorou not guilty when Mei comes in to throw a CD to Naruhodo as evidence. However the judge rejects it because the murderer is already known so this evidence is useless. Chihiro hints to Naruhodo that if the judge doesn’t need it, guess who needs it? Naruhodo then shows this disc to Koroshiya. It seems this disc was duplicated by Mayoi during her captivity so she wasn’t just being a useless hostage. The footage belongs to Outorou as it films Koroshiya killing Fujimino. It seems Koroshiya also had a same exact duplicate but was told not to watch and he kept his word. After Naruhodo reveals Outorou’s untrusting behaviour, Koroshiya decides to change his target since he feels betrayed. You better watch out, Outorou. That guy now is panicking like mad. Before the judge can hand down his verdict, Outorou screams in protest. He wants to be declared guilty seeing that if he is a free man, Koroshiya will kill him! Okay. You’re guilty. Feel better? It was between the devil and the deep blue sea anyway.

In the aftermath, Mei is not happy that despite Naruhodo lost, he looks so happy. Mitsurugi is here to explain he was once lost. As a prosecutor he thought of raking up victories till he met Naruhodo. He opened his eyes to what he really needed as the truth. When he lost for the first time to him, he lost everything. He realizes the importance of relying on each other for the truth, the reason why defence and prosecutors exist. It is also the reason why Naruhodo couldn’t forgive him when he left and felt betrayed. The reason Naruhodo wanted to become a lawyer was because of what he said and when he betrayed his own words, he put aside their symbol of friendship. Naruhodo then realizes he was wrong because Mitsurugi pushed himself to find the truth. Mei still cannot accept this because it feels like both losers licking each other’s wounds. Mayoi is reunited with everyone. The sisters reuniting brings tears to the guys’ eyes. How touching. At the airport, looks like it is Mei’s turn to run away? Mitsurugi sees her off. After all that has happened, she just cannot throw everything away. Being the daughter of Karuma is hard. She still considers Mitsurugi her rival and it got harder when Naruhodo beat him. Mitsurugi respects her decision and if this is the case, they’ll have to part ways since he intends of moving forward. Mei lets out the most emotional cry we’ll ever see as she proclaims never to walk in his shadows. Naruhodo continues practising law but he is still a big rookie having Mitsurugi and the judge telling him off to rethink his argument again. Objection!

No More Objections, I Rest My Case
I certainly have not played any of the games and although I do watch the parodies that fans and random people make just for fun, something tells me that the anime adaptation isn’t as greatly adapted. In short, a little bit poor quality. I don’t know, it just feels like that. I’m not sure if they’re trying to capture the essence of the game because there are some very familiar poses from the game like Naruhodo’s trademark objection but the overall execution just seems to not live up to a decent expectation. At least my expectations. So should we vouch for another season to adapt the rest of the games or would you object and igi ari to that?

Firstly, the plot of each of the cases. I am sure that they are following faithfully to the source material but somehow I feel that the execution of trying to make the cases interesting isn’t there. What I mean is that I could actually easily guess who the damn culprit is. Because from a small pool of characters in that certain arc, who else could it be? They can’t just throw a random character we have never seen before as surprise. That will defeat the whole purpose of this setting. So a big part of the trial seems to be trying to figure out how the culprit did it. That’s right. It isn’t so much on who did it because from the various clues and testimonials, if you use your grey matter a little harder and observe the body action of some characters, it is clear who the perpetrator is. Thus most of the deductions go into unravelling how the culprit did it via the most logical cause. And once you’ve nailed and cornered, the culprit, you’ll see how many of them will be blown away by a strong gust of wind! It’s like as though a comet flew passed by and they are caught in its turbulence. Oh yeah. Great special effects. Sure, for funny moments. It made me laugh. But hardly funny anymore when you try to compare it in real life. What the f*ck am I doing this in the first place comparing?!

Next, the art and animation seems pretty mediocre. Sure, it looks like the game itself but somehow it just doesn’t cut it for the anime. The characters look a little bland and some of the character designs feel a bit outrageous. Like Naruhodo’s hairstyle I thought his hair is made out of car engine inlets or something. No kidding! I thought for him to have a hairstyle like that, his hair needs to be made out of steel. And have you seen Kimiko’s large plume of hair? I thought she can have an ecology of birds living inside it. Even the animation itself isn’t that smooth but since this isn’t an action genre, who cares, right? Oh, did I mention that there is a bit of CGI employed? Why the f*ck do you need CGI when you only relegate them to the jury (or at least the people sitting at the sides)?! That’s right. Unless they are shown up and close, you’ll notice the jarring difference and poor CGI effect of those people on the side.

I know very well that real court cases are not like this. Of course you can say that this is a game and not reality but I can’t help feel inclined to always remind myself that such as being portrayed here isn’t so in real life. Because you must have realized how lax everything is. First of all, almost everyone is such a happy person. See in the opening credits animation of Naruhodo and his team? Everybody’s smiling! Everybody’s cheering! Hooray! Oh come on. Who the f*cks would be happy to come to court unless you know you’re going to win a billion dollar lawsuit. But even so, nobody is going to be this f*cking happy like as though all this is just a game. Oh wait. This is just a video game.

You know how unrealistic the courtroom is when you have witnesses and other people fooling around like as though they’re on some variety show. For example, Ooba keeps fawning over Mitsurugi and isn’t embarrassed to hit on him right in front of everyone! If you do the slightest foolish thing and trying to be just a little funny in court, you can even be charged with contempt of court! So do you see how lax everyone is here? Hey, if Mei can bring a whip in, does this mean I can bring my rare demon slaying sword in too? Then there is also how the lawyers argue and present their cases. Because the entire court case feels like a big show and tell presentation. Uh huh. You bring in a witness to testify, then you show the court the object in contention, then you argue your points and see who has the better contradiction. That’s it. And yeah, what the f*ck are those jury for? Assuming those people at the sides are the jury because why do you need them when it is the judge who makes the verdict? Oh, also notice how these attorneys don’t carry stacks of files? In view of all this, don’t you think the court of law is pretty much lax? So long the truth matters, right?

As for the courtroom layout, I believe it is apparent in some countries that the defence and prosecution don’t face the judge on opposite ends but face each other. I’m fine with that. But notice there are no seats for them? So you expect them to stand there the entire trial duration? Looks like it because that is what they have been doing. You don’t sit down when the other attorney is questioning or explaining. You stand there and listen. Man, don’t you get tired? And to think Harumi needs a box to step so that everyone can see her. And I believe this is the biggest offender of all if you noticed. I understand how longwinded and complex each court case is so the game and this anime might want to simplify it for fun. That’s cool. But do you not notice that the attorneys do not cite a precedent case? There is none! I’m not even a lawyer and somehow I noticed this strange thing that precedents are not quoted anyhow in cases to prove a suspect’s guilt or innocence. Man, if real life courts were this easy, I think I can even feel safe if Naruhodo is my lawyer. No, seriously.

There is a personal peeve that I didn’t like when I watched the anime. I am referring to the localization of all the character’s names. Apparently when the game is adapted to the west, I suppose white people have problem pronouncing Japanese names. So they changed everybody’s name to have a more westernized names. That is why Ryuuichi Naruhodo became Phoenix Wright, etc. If the westernized names sound funny and weird itself, it is because the names in its original Japanese are also weird and mostly revolve around puns. Many people of the western side I heard welcomed the use of localization because these are the names they are used to when they played the game so it makes sense to retain them. However for me who doesn’t play the game, it was confusing at first. Because reading the subtitles and then hearing the original Japanese language of the name complicated my already simpleton mind. It’s tough on my ears and my mind because I’m hearing one thing and then I’m seeing a different thing. And since I am so biased to my Japanese side, all the names in my blog are reverted to the original Japanese names. Hah. Take that! Yeah, I have to Google each time when they introduce a new character just to find out the original name. Heh. Hearing Naruhodo sometimes pronouncing his own name was pretty funny because it means “I see…”.

I’ve talked about everything now let me talk about the characters. Naruhodo as the main titular character is a big fail as a defence lawyer! Like I said, this is a game and simplified court case versions of real life but the way Naruhodo handles each case it makes you wonder if he is well prepared. You see, when the prosecution counters and objects his claims or evidence and Naruhodo has no clues left to counter, you can see him struggling in vain to think. Think, damn it! I know it is to enhance the dramatic effects because it won’t be fun if Naruhodo has all the answers, right? So we see Naruhodo trying to crack his brains for a contradiction or something. Like as though he is praying to God to give him a sign. Yeah, sometimes God descends in the form of his beautiful but dead mentor. If it is not her, then even his rival Mitsurugi later on might point out and give a few hints. But even if Naruhodo manages to salvage it, this won’t be the last time because there will be many times and I mean lots more of similar cornering cases he will have to endure. That is why I am saying if this guy is really prepared for this job and has done his homework.

And sometimes it almost feels like Naruhodo has lady luck on his side but one with a whim. Sometimes when trying to find evidence to ‘get out of a corner’, he looks around and thinks back harder. Conveniently he finds the solution! It shows that he doesn’t know it in the first place! For him to come back like this many times it’s like he has absolutely good luck that is also fickle, right? Yeah well, when you consider Naruhodo who comes to office riding a bicycle (I guess to show us how poor he is) and wearing a mini backpack on his back, don’t you think he looks like an oversized elementary school kid in a suit?! Holy cow! It’s true! No wonder he will always be a rookie.

Mitsurugi feels like a better attorney and although he seems arrogant but I suppose that is why he is the top of his game. But I still don’t understand about him wanting to find the truth in the end. Isn’t that his goal the entire time? So in the end, if Naruhodo and Mitsurugi team up, you can be sure you are screwed. Which is what the final case felt like. It’s like the defence and prosecutor teaming up against you. But that’s the thing. You either do your job or you find the truth. And seeing how lots of things turn out in favour for our heroes eventually, I guess there isn’t going to be any fear of the lawyer profession being tainted. All lawyers here are righteous! Yeah. That will be the day in real life. Then there is Mei whom is more of a b*tch thanks to her constant compulsive habit to crack her whip. She either becomes a lion tamer or go into S&M porn. Haha! With so much anger and focusing on defeating Naruhodo, it’s no wonder why her record fell, right? And even the god of all prosecutors like Karuma will one day fall. To show Mei isn’t some cold hearted angry b*tch and still human underneath that exterior, they reduced her to tears in the end. Ugh. Was it necessary? The biggest irony for all these great lawyers who have never lost a case is that they lost to a rookie who has only recently got his lawyer licence. Yeah, lady luck is really with Naruhodo. Even if Naruhodo lost his first case at the end technically, it was still a big victory because his conscious is still clear.

Mayoi feels predominantly like a useless character because not only she was indicted once for murder, but twice! In almost every arc, she is in some sort of trouble like the one involving the assassin she is kidnapped instead. Man, this girl is trouble. Trouble is her middle name. If she manages to not get in trouble and stay by Naruhodo’s side, she doesn’t do anything much. Sure, Naruhodo is the lawyer and should be the one speaking most of the time. So why the f*ck does she need to be by his side for company in the first place? I know, an excuse to channel Chihiro sometimes. That is just the courtroom. What about outside during on-the-field investigation or just in office? This girl is seen having too much fun. Just because the cases they take up has her favourite character or TV show, yeah I suppose it gives her a reason to frolic around. After all, she is still a kid technically, right? They try to enhance her reputation by making her do something useful in the final case instead of being a useless hostage but if you think about all the things she did, it would be impossible. I mean, how did she know what to record and where the resources are? Come on. I thought she was locked in a single room but she was made to wander about? And the computer is such a vital piece of information you’d think the culprits would at least lock it or not have other files or important documents on it. I mean, how do you hide your porn files on your computer? Am I right?! Seriously, they left it out so openly that Mayoi could even do such an easy job and give our lawyers a clear victory? They deserve to lose then. Harumi doesn’t fare any better but she is not as bad since she is younger and at least less annoying than Mayoi. Maybe it is her cute loli factor…

You have got to agree with me that the judge feels like a joke character. He feels like Santa Claus is having a part time job when Christmas season is out. Haha… I know they want to make him partial since he is after all the judge but I can’t help that sometimes they make him look so silly. And in a way cute. You should see some of his old man facial expression when he is surprised to hear a shocking revelation. Or the pitiful tone he puts up when he hears the witness’ sad account. He does look kinda innocently cute for a bald guy when he looks dumbfounded. If that is not bad enough, seeing him being pushed around by Mei was hilarious enough. I mean, the highest ranking person in the courtroom allows this whipping happy woman get what she wants? Who is she? Does she remind him of Mrs Santa Claus?

But the one that takes the cake of how the judge is just a silly joker is when Chihiro makes her appearance by possessing Mayoi or Harumi. I guess this is the only reason why they bring Chihiro back. For fanservice. Those melons feel like they’re going to bust out any time of that small tight suit fit only for Mayoi. Thankfully Mayoi and Harumi’s clothes are made of stretchable rubber like the Hulk’s pants so it won’t be ripped and can revert back to normal when she leaves without having to outrage the modesty of the minor girls. Anyway, the silliest part is that Mayoi and Chihiro look very different in terms of height and even boobs (duh!). So when she physically takes over somebody’s body, the judge wonders who this busty babe is. Chihiro’s reply? Just your imagination. And he believes it! OMG! OMFG!!! Yeah, must be having a hard day at the court listening to arguments, huh? And yes, who aren’t anybody else bothered that Mayoi ‘transformed’ into Chihiro? Shouldn’t they be shocked and call some paranormal investigators? Oh f*ck. Who cares? Case solved is all that matters.

Another joker character is Itonokogiri. This guy easily falls into the dumb detective category as you can see how sloppy he sometimes do his job. Although he is a good cop and his intentions are always good, you can’t help wonder if he is incompetent seeing the way he does some of the police work. It is amazing he hasn’t got fired probably because he hasn’t made any major blunders. Thank goodness for him. Adding to the running joke of this character is that many people will have the tendency to mispronounce his name because of how longwinded it is. At least by Japanese standards. So they tend to mispronounce it as something else which makes his entire name sound funny and weird. Yahari can also be a joker character but his presence is so minor and forgettable, it makes you wonder why the heck he even bother to show up. I know it’s to support Naruhodo but really, he is forgettable in that sense.

And speaking about lawyers, judges and detectives, at this point when you have watched the end of the anime series, you might have wondered and even asked yourself if the town has no other lawyers, judges and detectives other than them! It’s so true! Because every court case our Santa Claus judge presides them. Because every crime scene that occurs Itonokogiri will be there. Because every other damn suspect needs to have Naruhodo to defend them (so okay, he is the star so it is only right to focus on him) and either prosecuted by Mitsurugi or Mei (or previously Karuma). Are there no other people taking up these professions in this city?! Jesus. Heck, it’s a small world after all when they even had to call the same witness for different cases (Ooba and Natsumi).

Voice acting is pretty decent with Yuuki Kaiji helming the titular character Naruhodo and sounds like any other Yuuki Kaiji character he voiced. Same goes to Aoi Yuuki as Mayoi with her typical cutie pie voice. The rest of the main casts are Masahi Tamaki as Reiji (Reiji Aoi in Kindaichi Shounen series), Saori Yumiba as Mei (Kyouka Iburi in Engage Planet Kiss Dum), Ben Hiura as the judge (Kazuya’s father in Gosick), Masamu Iwasaki as Itonokogiri (Iemitsu in Katekyoushi Hitman Reborn), Chie Nakamura as Chihiro (Sakura in Naruto), Misaki Kuno as Harumi (Serara in Log Horizon), Tooru Nara as Yahari (Nishida in Chihayafuru) and Akio Ohtsuka as Karuma (titular character of Black Jack).

The opening themes are sung by an all-male idol pop group, Johnny’s West. Personally, they sound so gay to me. Well, somehow I think the singing style is pretty much similar to one of the opening themes of Inu Yasha, Change The World. But hearing Gyakuten Winner as the first opening theme and Jinsei Wa Subarashii as the second one, I can’t help feel that they sound almost similarly the same like in the beat and pace. And still gay. At least the ending theme sounds better, Message by Rei Yasuda as the first ending theme is a pop ballad. It’s back to pop idol group for the second ending theme but an all-female one. Junai Chaos by Tokyo Performance Doll sounds energetically decent but nothing that attracts my attention.

Overall, this anime might be cheesy but it is still fun to watch. Because where else are you going to find lawyers who are as easy going as them and making evidence collecting and arguing statements in court look so cool and easy. Not even American legal dramas like Ally McBeal can match them. Not only that, they can prove your client’s innocence or send the perpetrators to prison in no more than 3 trial days! OMG! F*cking record time! So f*cking efficient. Well, that’s because it is part of the game world settings whereby the court has to reach a verdict within 3 days otherwise the backlogs. Which is what is happening in our world, right? You wait like sh*t and then you pay like sh*t. Time and money, that is. It really want to make me go out and shout out to the court systems of the world to follow this style. Objection to the current world’s court system! Matta! Igi ari! Heh. I just felt like saying that for fun.

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