Gyakuten Saiban S2

June 15, 2019

Matta!!! Wait a minute!!! You mean after that cheesy and mediocre first season, nobody said “Igi ari!!!” for another season?! Nobody objected to it?! Maybe somebody did but objection was overruled. I guess not because Gyakuten Saiban S2 went on air in late 2018. I suppose the game that this series is based on is still popular as this second season adapts the third chapter of the game. Oh well. Time to find more contradictions and truths. And how cheesy and mediocre they go about it. Can’t argue with that. It’s the court of law we’re talking about.

Episode 1
Naruhodo is about to review his case for his trial when he is knocked out. When he wakes up, officer Mako Suzuki pins her hope on him to set her free. However, Naruhodo has lost his memories! In the courtroom, Mako is accused of killing a fellow officer who is also her boyfriend at the park. Yeah, the case must be coming as a shock to Naruhodo as he learns everything on the spot! Not bad for a guy who just had amnesia. With Itonokogiri giving his witness testimony, Naruhodo is guided by his instincts to cross-examine. Even if his brain doesn’t remember, his body does. So he notices the discrepancy in the evidence like how her boyfriend spelt out her name wrongly and using his right hand when he is a left hander. This would have set her free if not for the prosecution calling another witness, Moroheiya Takamasa. Hmm… Isn’t this guy the one who knocked out Naruhodo? He claims to have witnessed Mako killing her boyfriend. However it soon proves his sight is in doubt as he can’t see well without his glasses. Earlier on, he lost his handphone but Mako was the one who picked it up and agreed to wait and give him back so he must have misheard her name. Even if Takamasa’s glasses were found on site, what motive did he have to kill her boyfriend? Before Takamasa walks free, here comes Mayoi with evidence. A name list of conmen that Naruhodo told her to put together. Yeah, he can’t remember all that. Because Takamasa’s handphone contains info of other fellow conmen, when he saw Mako, he thought she called the cops (her boyfriend was still in uniform) and panicked. Takamasa claims his handphone is still with him and it is just coincidence it looks like the same model as Naruhodo’s. Just then, Naruhodo conveniently gets his memories back and remembers him knocking him out to take back his handphone. So he has Mayoi call his number and the handphone in Takamasa’s hand rings. With that Takamasa is found guilty and arrested while Mako is declared innocent. You know, Takamasa must be so dumb. He killed a cop but couldn’t do the same to a lawyer and at least give him some time to run and avoid this mess? Yeah, his own carelessness that’s what got his ass caught. Not Naruhodo’s skill. Oh Naruhodo, you’re the one who has all the luck, not Mako who claims herself as the goddess of luck.

Episode 2
A phantom thief named Kamen Mask has been stealing rare artefacts. One of them being the urn from Kurain Village which is being exhibit at a local exhibition. You bet Mayoi and Harumi want Naruhodo to turn detective and get this important urn back. At the exhibition, Kirio is working to manage the place. She reveals she did receive a calling card 10 days ago that a priceless exhibit will be stolen. She never thought it would be the urn because the appraiser appraised it at zero value! Then comes in the supposedly world famous ace detective, Aiga Hoshiidake whom Kirio also hired. He rants about being Kamen’s arch rival and even confronted him last night when he was here to steal the urn but let him get away to lure him into a false sense of victory. A call just come in. Kamen has turned himself in?! This guy, Yuusaku Amasugi is pathetic, weak and lame?! And what’s this? He claims he lost the urn?! WTF?! Plus, he has a wife, Mareka?! She claims her husband is a big fan of Kamen. Because of his timid nature, he looks up to such ‘heroes’. She knows he is being framed and hopes Naruhodo can defend him. This doesn’t sit well with the sisters as they claim they are the victims. They think Mareka is lying but Naruhodo believes she might not. So they go their separate ways to investigate. The sisters try to believe in Mareka and head to her house to investigate. Meanwhile Naruhodo visits Aiga’s office but he isn’t in. So why let himself in and despite knowing it is against the law to go through his belongings, he is going to do that???!!! But Aiga returns. Knowing Naruhodo will defend Yuusaku, he tells him he will also be taking the witness stand and put an end to Naruhodo whom he thinks is Kamen’s accomplice. Because you see, the prosecutor is a prosecutor whom Mitsurugi acknowledged as the best in the country, Godot.

Episode 3
Is Godot being disrespectful drinking coffee and even questioning the judge? Yeah, he claims he hasn’t lost a trial but this is his first trial! Technicalities. The trial begins with Yuusaku taking the stand and he wants to be proclaimed guilty! However Naruhodo is here to proof he isn’t Kamen. That is where Mayoi comes in to bring Yahari as a witness. He is working as a security guard and can proof that Yuusaku was also an ex-worker of the security firm, KB Security. Based from the access card, Yuusaku went to his previous employer’s building the night the urn was stolen due to a blackmail letter Mayoi found at his place. With the KB Security being 30 minutes away from his home, hence Yuusaku cannot be at the exhibit at that time. Even with Godot admitting that, now Naruhodo thinks the only person who can steal it is Aiga. He is called in as a witness as Naruhodo accuses him of being Kamen. Wait a minute. He did that without any evidence?! And he admits it too?! Thank goodness for Mareka bringing in the urn supposedly from Aiga’s office. However can she prove it was from there? Naruhodo believes he can. His own fingerprints are on it. Because Kirio cleaned the urn to make it look valuable, Naruhodo might not have looked inside the bag that contained the urn but he did touch it. Before the judge could ask the bailiff to dust for fingerprints, Aiga starts laughing like a madman. He also admits he is Kamen and doing this to find a worthy rival. I guess you can’t rival that sort of genius by creating one yourself. With Yuusaku declared innocent, however real sh*t is just about to begin. Because Godot comes in and claims the CEO of KB Security, Kurobei Busujima is murdered at the same time Yuusaku went there. Yuusaku is detained again on grounds of murder. Everyone is left in shock as Naruhodo could sense some sort of calm and deep hatred from Godot.

Episode 4
Although the urn is back, Mayoi noticed the writing on it has returned to its original position. Harumi will take it back to Kurain Village to ask her aunt. Then Kirio comes in to confess that she was the one who broke the urn. She tripped on some paint and tried to put it back afterwards. She moved a statue to cover the paint but on the day Naruhodo came to investigate, the statue was moved. The only person who could move it was Aiga but why did he did it? They head down to KB Security to investigate. Itonokogiri points out Busujima’s body was found in the safe. There is also a button on it that would send an emergency buzzer to the security room but that night no buzzer was heard. Apparently Busujima dabbled in some shady job of selling info too, probably why some want him dead. Heading to the security room that Yahari was supposed to be on duty, on that night he snuck out to go hit some chicks. Checking the log again, there was indeed a buzzer that went off on the night of the murder. Yahari is so getting fired… Next they visit Yuusaku to get his statement. He claims after getting the blackmail letter, he went there. I am surprised an ex-employee still has the access card. But upon entering the room, someone knocked him out and the next thing he knows, Busujima’s body is lying there. He hid it due to his panic and turned himself in hoping the theft incident would be his alibi. Yuusaku admits that all other Kamen incidents were his doing. However after his first job, somebody must have spotted him and continued to send him blackmail letters. Those letters also tell him his next raid and you could say the heists are all planned. After he deposits the heist, he waits for the money to be delivered. Yuusaku did all this for the money as Mareka loves to spend. With that kind of wage he earns, stealing is the better option. He once told her he is Kamen but she didn’t believe him. But definitely he didn’t kill Busujima. Next they talk to Mareka. They learn she fell in love with Yuusaku at first sight. She was working at the bank when a robbery happened. Weak Yuusaku who was a security guard somewhat (pathetically) saved her. With Harumi returning, Naruhodo seems to have pieced the puzzle together. But tomorrow’s trial is a battle of speed as Aiga is facing his own trial next door. He must drag Aiga here before his verdict is handed down.

Episode 5
Godot explains Yuusaku’s motives. In order to get money for his wife, he stole confidential data from KB Security. He was caught and fired by the CEO. Hence he murdered him. Yuusaku maintains he was knocked out upon entering the room. Everyone hears for the first time he was in Kamen’s disguise during that night. How could he forget such important detail? Naruhodo argues that only because Yuusaku/Kamen was out cold, he could not have heard the very loud buzzer. Because he would have run away instead of placing Busujima’s body in the safe. All to frame Yuusaku. Naruhodo believes the killer is Aiga. If he is accused and found guilty of theft, he cannot be charged with murder. The key is to drag him here before his verdict is passed. Aiga is summoned to this trial as Naruhodo shows the picture proof of Kamen stealing the urn that night. However this was taken a few nights before the incident. The picture shows the time but not the date. Furthermore, when Kirio moved the statue to cover the paint, Aiga panicked and moved it back so as to line up with his alibi. Even so, Naruhodo cannot prove he is at KB Security that night. Oh my. Is Aiga going to walk free and be charged with a lesser crime? I guess Naruhodo must be praying hard for a miracle. That miracle is Chihiro! Time for his ghostly mentor to motivate him to think harder. She hints Aiga said too much that proved his downfall. Because Aiga praised Yuusaku as Kamen’s biggest fan and even went to meet him on that night, Naruhodo points out that nobody knew Yuusaku was in Kamen’s outfit until today. Aiga praises this brilliant deduction and as a reward, we now need to know the whole story. I don’t know why Aiga was hiding in the dumpster when Yuusaku did his first gig as Kamen because Yuusaku went to the back alley to toss away his outfit. Aiga then devised a brilliant plan to blackmail him. Part of his bigger plan for an ace detective to fight a phantom thief and captivate the world. One night he got a bit careless and stole a ring from Busujiuma. The CEO discovered it and blackmailed him. Hence Aiga decided to use Yuusaku and frame him with Busuhjima’s blackmail letter. Once Aiga is done bragging, it’s the slammers of despair for him. With Yuusaku not guilty, he might be a free man but laments he has lost everything. Don’t worry. Mareka forgives him. She finds him brave for admitting to his crimes unlike that detective who was a coward and being sneaky. All’s well, ends well. Until Harumi thought Naruhodo was trying to flirt with Mareka. Loli power knocks out a lawyer!

Episode 6
Naruhodo and Mayoi are trying to do an ad for their firm. Lame… Samurai lawyer?! WTF?! Anyway, this is a flashback episode on Mitsurugi. 3 years after his father’s death, he is now living under Karuma’s household. Mei was more of a cute loli than a sadistic b*tch. With Mitsurugi unsure of following his father’s footsteps, Karuma is contemplating of sending him to an orphanage home! I guess he doesn’t need a useless adopted son. But after watching a few of Karuma’s victories in court, Mitsurugi did find some inspiration albeit not enough to make it his life’s ambition. One day at the shopping mall, his dog simply ran off. Mitsurugi listens to his radio for some hints. It seems his dog chased another bitc-, I mean female dog. Then this fat cow woman claims this lost dog is hers. However it is growling at her. Mitsurugi doubts she is the owner but she mentions about some of its traits. With no further evidence, Mitsurugi releases it to her. Of course we could tell this sneaky b*tch just wants to claim the reward for the lost dog. But she made a mistake by humming a song from Signal Samurai. Mitsurugi questions where she heard that song. Because it was just recently played over the radio. If she claims she has no kids, how did she know it was from a children’s TV show? Because Signal Samurai ended 3 years ago! And if she is the owner, she should pay him the reward as he was the one who found it. Fatty is mad and wants to get violent but thankfully Karuma is here. Do you want to settle this in court? Think not. This event made Mitsurugi firmly want to be a prosecutor. Karuma cancels that orphanage plan and realizes when he took him in 3 years ago, it wasn’t just out of guilt. It was to see what path this would lead to. Mayoi uploads the lame video online. Yeah, Americans think Japanese lawyers are crazy! However the video has only 1 like! It is hinted Mitsurugi saw it and liked it. So this dude is in USA now?

Episode 7
Itonokogiri barges into Naruhodo’s office to claim a phony has been using his name to defend clients and lost! It’s right here in the magazine?! It happened a month ago! WTF?! Nobody verified this for so long?! Not even Naruhodo knew about it?! They go see the accused and to their surprise it is Mako! At first she is mad at him for his amateurish defending but soon realize how different the phony was. You mean she never realized it then?! Anyway she relates her story. After quitting the force, she worked as a waitress at a café. There was a table with2 customers. She saw one of them lacing a cup of coffee with poison that killed the other. She was so shocked that she fainted. However everyone testified that there was only 1 customer at that table and that the poison was found in Mako’s apron. Mako is sure there were 2 of them as she served them. Naruhodo will get her a retrial. First they visit the café in which the gay French chef, Kaoru Hondobou. His testament is the same except for the fact he forgot to mention a medication bag of the victim in the previous trial! As the retrial begins, the victim, Takao Oka is a programmer and it is believed he was hearing a radio that announced the lottery ticket’s winning numbers. Hence Mako is accused of killing him to steal the ticket that was found in her possession. Also, Godot has examined the medication to be applied as cream and not eaten. Because the day before he got into a fight and busted his left ear. The judge doesn’t see any reason to prolong this trial but Itonokogiri won’t give up (because he’s in love) and has arranged a witness to be cross examined by Naruhodo. Shouhei Igarashi was the only other customer there and testifies the same. However Naruhodo believes he is an unreliable witness because he claims Oka used his left ear to listen to his earphone and left hand to drink from the cup (evidence shows he used his right thanks to the coffee lip stains). Even more so when he couldn’t describe Mako from the front and only from her back, which is very ambiguous. He also can’t identify the ketchup stained apron Mako was wearing that day. The judge postpones his verdict for both sides to find more evidence. As they leave, Naruhodo notices a messed up scooter. Then this hooligan threatens him not to touch it and takes off with it. So this guy is the phony Naruhodo?!

Episode 8
Checking the café again, in the kitchen there seems to be bottles of aromatherapy. But one of them stinks so Itonokogiri will take it back for testing. Naruhodo hears Hondobou talking to Urami Shikabane outside. From what is deduced, it looks like she is from a loan shark company and he borrowed money from her. Then at the park, they see Igarashi sitting around. Since he was pretty annoyed at the retrial, time for Chihiro to pop up and make this pervert talk again. He maintains what he said and also when the murder happened, Hondobou told him to call the cops. So he left the café and looked around for a phone for about 10 minutes. He also knows Hondobou has borrowed money from a loan shark. Naruhodo and Mayoi head there and are greeted by Urami. As they wait, they rummage through the stuffs. No warrants whatsoever. They find a CD and an invoice by the Shikabane Group worth 1.5 million Yen. Also there is this suit that looks like Naruhodo and it is confirmed this phony is the one, Toranosuke Shibakuzou. He is quite the ruffian but is very lovey-dovey with Urami who claims he saved her from a car accident and she owed his life to him. They are forced to leave. Returning to Itonokogiri, he reveals Urami is the only granddaughter of Gonta, the head of Shikabane Group who controls the black market in Japan. Also, Oka had also taken loan under them and as a programmer if he can’t pay back that loan, he would have used his skills as repayment. The CD contained a virus. Going back to Mako, now she reveals there was another customer other than Igarashi: Urami. They go ask her stuffs and even though she claimed Shibakuzou paid her operation in full out of love, Naruhodo can tell he was only doing it because he cannot defy Gonta. His messed up scooter proves he was the one who banged into the car and the expensive invoice, most of it was ‘compensation’. Urami sadly admits she knew it all but wanted to believe it was truly love. Because a person’s life is hanging on this case, she gives Naruhodo a medical papers. As they leave, Shibakuzou returns. He wants to pick a fight with them when conveniently Itonokogiri tackles him. He will handle this ruffian and wants Naruhodo to go save Mako.

Episode 9
Itonokogiri returns with the lab results. The bottle is the ear cream medicine but has unknown fingerprints on it. Trial resumes with Hondobou being called to the stands. As he testifies, Naruhodo calls his bluff. Because of the lottery radio programme Oka was listening it couldn’t possibly ended so soon. Because Igarashi wouldn’t have witnessed the crime then as he was not in the café yet. Naruhodo claims that Mako and Igarashi’s contradicting statements are both true because they both witnessed different events. This means Igarashi witnessed a re-enacted scene. Hondobou admits he helped hide the body but did not kill Oka. However he will not name his employer or he will be finished. Naruhodo believes it is Shibakuzou since Hondobou took out a loan with his company. Shibakuzou is called to the stands and is shown the medical papers. Behind it is written his appointment time with Oka. After Oka was killed, Mako fainted. Oka’s real body was hidden as Shibakuzou pretended to be Oka while Urami pretended to be Mako just to re-enact the scene to Igarashi before putting everything back in order. All this elaborated setup just to frame Mako. Godot argues if Oka had won the lottery, there is no reason for Shibakuzou to kill him as his winnings is more than enough to cover his loan. But Naruhodo points out that it isn’t the money Shibakuzou is after but the virus programme. You see, he also owes Urami’s medical bills that amounts to millions. If Oka won, this means his debts are cleared but this will leave Shibakuzou in a lurch. Had Oka lost, he would have given his virus CD as collateral and this is worth millions! Thus he poisoned Oka and stole his CD. To cover this, he pretended to be a lawyer to frame Mako. But even if Itonokogiri returns with fingerprint evidence it belongs to Shibakuzou, it doesn’t prove his anything because they are supposed to meet and hence the fingerprints are given. But when Naruhodo tries to explain the poison bottle containing his fingerprints, Shibakuzou foolishly denies the one in hand and describes the bottle. How does he know what bottle the poison was in? Even if he claims he saw it in the last trial, this forces him to admit he pretended to be Naruhodo. This stupidity brings an end to the trial and Mako is declared a free woman. Shibakuzou is taken away. He wonders why Urami betrayed him. As a Shikabane, they always get their payback.

Episode 10
I guess they wanted to make a spoof of the Murder On The Orient Express. Naruhodo, Mayoi, Itonokogiri and the judge are invited to ride Silver Star. It is a luxury private train made by Avery Richman from Goldstruck Republic, the typical foreigner who loves Japan that he bought up their railways and made his dream come true. Naruhodo and Mayoi are served by Rick Steam as he explains all the workers on this train are from Richman’s country. The train departs. Mayoi and Itonokogiri are on the same childish level to play some bomb squad game with their toy communicator. Is this allowed? Oh well, dinner time. A blizzard builds up and the train suddenly stops in its tracks. Itonokogiri sees a fireball and is shocked to think it is some human soul. The train starts moving again and it seems they have picked up Richman himself. All the employees now brandish machine guns to take away any communication devices from the passengers. Some are confined to their rooms and those in the dining hall have the ‘honour’ to meet Richman himself as he explains things. You see, he was convicted for murder in an American trial a year ago and is sentenced to death. Gee, how did they go ahead with this Silver Star thingy then without knowing this?! Anyway, Richman conveniently just naturalized as a Japanese and was hence being transported but managed to escape with the help of his people. What he wants is a retrial as all the evidence against him during that trial were false. You mean right here on this train instead of a proper court? Yeah, this train even has a court room! That is why he invited all those related to his case for this ride. He heard of Naruhodo’s heroics and he will be his defence attorney. The prosecutor is Yusaburou Saiga, an American prosecutor. This retrial will be broadcasted to a certain place and in the event if Richman is still found guilty, he will accept the verdict. Mayoi excuses herself to the toilet to contact Itonokogiri who is being grounded in his compartment. After learning everything, he tries to get to the courtroom but a clumsy employee shoots and a stray bullet grazes his arm. When he tries to get to the dining coach, it is missing.

Episode 11
Saiga fills in the details of the trial. Yendol Kanesky was the secretary general of America’s trade federation and was killed on stage while giving his speech at the yearend ceremony. It is believed Richman shot him since Kanesky saw Goldstruck Republic as a threat to America’s economy and wanted to kick him out. When police restrained him, they found the pistol with him. Richman insists he did not have a gun then and although the murder weapon was registered to his name, he claims someone had stolen it. Other witnesses mention a waiter with bandages on his right hand dropping an ashtray before the gunshot was heard. Before that, he also spilled champagne on an old lady in wheelchair. Suspiciously, he followed Richman to get the cloth to clean. That waiter is Gale Gaelic and before they could call him to the stand, a fire breaks out in one of the rooms. After putting it out, to their shock, Gale’s dead body lying there! Meanwhile Itonokogiri is being treated by Regina Locomoti who apologizes for accidentally shooting him (Richman gave specific orders not to harm anyone). He needs her help to contact to the outside world and gives his word he will not tip off the Japanese police who are looking for Richman. Hence he sends a message to Mitsurugi. Saiga insists in preserving the crime scene but lets Richman in since he needs to identify the witness. Upon opening the door, the body is gone! Is the retrial going to be postponed? Naruhodo and Saiga talk. Saiga might be a prosecutor but he prepares cases for indictment and doesn’t stand in court. Learning that Mitsurugi is Naruhodo’s rival, this brings back memories how Mitsurugi was the only one who could defeat him during his law college days. Because of that he ran away to America?! He only came back for a vacation but got this invitation. Mitsurugi is researching the records of Richman’s initial trial when suddenly agents tell him to come with them to see the chief prosecutor. Mitsurugi can see that there are malpractices of Richman’s trial including strange cross examinations and unnatural evidences. So if they claim America’s justice system is perfect, why summon him here when he is just looking up the records? Actually it is to show the live broadcast of the retrial. Meanwhile as Itonokogiri waits for Mitsurugi’s reply, he hears a thud outside. It is Gale’s body!

Episode 12
Itonokogiri connects to the trial room and shows Gale’s corpse. Teleportation? When he mentions about that fireball soul, Naruhodo and Mayoi remember seeing something like that. When the train went dark, it was to celebrate granny’s birthday. However one of the candles fell and burnt the cloth but was luckily put out. That was probably the fireball. Itonokogiri could only see it because they were at a path where there were several tracks. It was at that moment the coaches changed positions and hence the dining coach is not missing but went to the back. Saiga calls all this pointless but Naruhodo points out he is able to pinpoint Gale’s murderer. It is Saiga. The one they saw in the room is fake and somebody was just pretending to be Gale. When the fire broke out, Saiga went to inspect it first. When they re-examined it later and the corpse gone, the perpetrator was hiding behind the door while everyone was in shock before sneaking. The only person who appeared after that was Rick. With Naruhodo calling out Rick, he apologizes for this betrayal and admitted he was cooperating with the American law enforcement. He was asked to buy a gun with Richman’s fingerprints on it. The killer who shot Kanesky was indeed Gale and he did near Richman to frame him. Even the cops were in on it as they planted evidence in Richman when frisking him. Rick was once again put up to do this as he was threatened by Saiga or else he will expose his betrayal. Although Naruhodo believes Saiga killed Gale during dinner time when nobody was at the passenger coach, what evidence does he have to show Saiga’s motive for killing him?

This is where Mitsurugi comes in. He shows the report that Saiga’s name in charge of building this case. Gale was a key witnessed but during the American trial, he was cancelled by Saiga as an unimportant witness. This is to hide the proof that he was at the centre of the conspiracy. Even America’s chief prosecutor is disappointed at Saiga for dragging their good name through the mud. Even if Saiga says he did as the top brass ordered him to, that is precisely the reason why he will be severely punished. You see, Gale was an assassin hired by the federation. Hence there is no justice in this but only blood money. Cornered, Saiga is forced to tell the truth. When he was invited for this ride, he didn’t expect to see Gale too. They talked and it seems Gale had this idea of turning this into some blackmail stint. However Saiga didn’t want to himself to be exposed and quickly hatched a plan to kill Gale in another coach and hid his body. Gee, this assassin must be pretty rusty to be killed by a lawyer. Because Saiga didn’t foresee this retrial and others would be suspicious of Gale’s disappearance, that was why he wanted some time to prepare and that was to blackmail Rick into partaking in this plan of his to pretend to be the fake corpse. Now that Saiga is apprehended and Richman is pronounced innocent, it’s not over yet because Richman has put bombs on this coach! He has everyone evacuate but will go die himself in this explosion. This is why he rearranged the dining coach to be the last. He is resolved to do this no matter what the verdict was. Although this retrial proves his innocence, he thinks it will change nothing. However the chief prosecutor apologizes for the mistake and vows to give him a fair retrial. Oh my. Another retrial? At least this one is official. And with that, Richman realizes he needs to live and evacuates with the rest. With Itonokogiri is now a train driver and speeds up before the dining coach explodes! I guess we have had enough twists and drama for today.

Episode 13
This 1 hour special tells how Naruhodo became a lawyer. Yeah, he was accused of murder when he was a university student. Kikuzou Nonda warned Naruhodo about the girl he is dating, Chinami Miyanagi. Yeah, she’s Kikuzou’s ex. An argument broke out and Kikuzou ended up dead. Chihiro was tasked to defend Naruhodo and ironically she’s pretty nervous while Naruhodo being quite the chirpy lad. Amazingly, Chihiro devastatingly lost a case a year ago and never set foot in court until today. Man, she sure took a long time to recover. Naruhodo is accused of killing Kikuzou by way of shoving since the latter was holding his cough medicine (Naruhodo is currently sick). But can a fall kill a man? Turns out actually he was killed via electrocution by a nearby broken cable and this is supported by the university lab losing power at that time. Since this doesn’t prove Naruhodo’s intent to kill, the prosecutor then calls Chinami who witnessed the event. I guess she’s so cute that any guys would not hesitate to believe her. Anyway Chihiro finds flaws in her testimony. Because she said everything happened so fast, there is a discrepancy in the time of Kikuzou’s death (since amazingly his watch stopped at the same time). Hence there is a 10 minute gap from the electrocution and time of the stopped watch. Chihiro further accuses Chinami of wanting to frame Naruhodo. Apparently this isn’t their first meeting and Chihiro met her before. Plus, half a year ago, Chinami was in a trial that accused her of poisoning a lawyer. However she was set free as the supposedly poison was not found anywhere. But dumb Naruhodo interjects. He remembers that trial was the day they first met and he fell in love with her. She even gave him a weird pendant. Yeah, this guy wouldn’t shut up about his love and that’s where Chihiro has got Chinami cornered. Chinami poisoned the lawyer and then gave the poison in the form of a pendant to Naruhodo. Because as one who is not related to the case, he was not searched at all. Dumb Naruhodo objects to it all as he can’t believe his love cannot do all this. Especially obtaining very specially made poison. Oh yes she can. Her ex was a pharmacology student and hence had access to all sorts of poison. Dummy lover boy can’t believe it that he runs away!!!! WTF?! Can he do that in court?! Of course the bailiffs brought him back.

Chihiro wants the pendant handed over to be analysed. Guess what? Lover boy swallowed it!!! WTF?! WHAT THE FFFFUUUUU???!!! However, Chinami is b*tch laughing because since he is still alive, this proves it isn’t poison. So did the poison lose its potency after 6 months? Chihiro now desperately telling Naruhodo to tell the truth. So I guess no more evidence so taking his word as the truth? Naruhodo feels bad for acting this way when Chihiro has gone out of her way to defend him. Hence he is going to tell the truth, something he has not told the courts. I see only now his conscious prevails over his boner. When Kikuzou told him to stay away from Chinami, he warned him about some poison she stole. And last night he found some poison stolen too. Naruhodo didn’t believe this and shoved him. He ran away soon after but got worried and returned. He saw Chinami by his body and she told him to keep this a secret. With this, Chihiro puts together the pieces. Because Naruhodo did not want to give her the pendant back, she planned to poison and kill him. It’s the reason why she dated him. To get close to him and poison him. Chinami in b*tch mode now admits she is the killer but without evidence, she cannot be thrown into the slammer. That is when Chihiro shows the definitive evidence of the cough medicine bottle. This is where the poison is. Chinami’s testimony as witness for the 2 guys was a lie. She was the one who cut the cable. It took her some time to move the body and this explains the time discrepancy. She was about to put in the bottle that she stole earlier from Naruhodo but that dummy came back. No choice but to hide the evidence, she left it in Kikuzou’s hand. If she is so certain that there is no poison in here, drink it. At that moment, Chihiro is about to turn into some evil vengeful spirit???!!! But she goes back to her nice girl mode and admits her defeat. She is taken away but warns this isn’t the last she will see of her. Naruhodo is declared innocent and although sad about his love live, he has to move on and is motivated to become a lawyer to help a friend. Chihiro pays a visit to her senior lawyer in coma in hospital. She is glad she has finally avenged his poison case.

Episode 14
Oh no. Not again. This time Harumi broke a giant conch seashell that Mayoi gave her. So she pleads for Naruhodo to help her find this special seashell that seems to be available only at this certain beach and not tell Mayoi. Flashback shows that Harumi and many other women of Kurain Village are forbidden to step outside of the village. Harumi saw a photo of the sea and wanted to see the real deal. Even when Kimiko warned Mayoi not to do it, she secretly took Harumi there. Of course Kimiko found out and was reprimanded, giving Kimiko more reason to badmouth her mom and Chihiro who did the same thing and look what misfortune it brought to the village. Harumi regretted causing her trouble but Mayoi didn’t mind and gave her the seashell to remember this day. As Naruhodo and Mayoi continue to search, they stumble upon a little shrine. Oh look, it’s Mayoi taking a break from whatever ceremony. She relates how her first view of the sea was also here when Chihiro brought her here. Yes, this seashell was from Chihiro to her to commemorate that day. This only makes Harumi feel guilty. So they let the loli run off like that? As they eat ramen, Naruhodo realizes the uniqueness of the seashell is because it is actually a bowl! Hence they buy this bowl and give it to Harumi. However she prefers this old broken one since it holds lots of memories. Cue for cousins to emotional reassure their sisterly love. I wonder if they can get a refund for the bowl. More flashbacks after Chihiro gave Mayoi this seashell. Yeah, she was clumsy and dropped it. Although it was only broken in half. After that Chihiro told Mayoi that she wanted to leave the village and become a lawyer to find the truth about their mom. With a heavy heart, this means she had to throw the village head’s responsibilities to her but Mayoi accepted and will support her.

Episode 15
Going back more in time to witness Chihiro’s first trial. She’s nervous as hell as rookie and it doesn’t help her senior, Souryuu Kaminogi (definitely Godot) leaves teasing hints for her to think through. Anyway, Chihiro is to defend an escaped convict, Michiru Onamida. He is on death row for killing a girl (Chinami?) by throwing her off a bridge into the rapids 5 years ago. He claims he was framed but the policewoman who arrested him then, Yuki Miyanagi testified so. A few days ago, there was an accident transporting the convict. He escaped and wrote a note to Yuki to meet and cleared things up. However she is instead killed. The meeting place was at the same bridge where the murder took place. With Mitsurugi as the prosecutor, Chihiro has a hard time but manages to decently hold her ground. She argues Yuki who was stabbed in the back and bundled into the car wasn’t wearing a white scarf as per instructed so as Onamida could identify her. But Mitsurugi points out a damning photo of them meeting on the bridge and she is wearing a white scarf indeed. He calls the witness who took this photo. Chinami? However she goes by the name Satoko Mukui. Chihiro argues from her point of view, she wouldn’t have known Onamida put the body in the trunk. Hence she accuses her of being the murderer. Because Onamida says he drove off and had no time to put the body in the trunk, this only means that Satoko killed Yuki beforehand and planted her body in the trunk. She was also impersonating as Yuki as in the photo (the camera was on timer) as Onamida could not recognize Yuki and that’s why he wanted her to wear a white scarf as identification. If Onamida had killed her, why not just dump the body in the rapids below? So much easier. This is Satoko’s plan to frame him. Satoko uses her girly innocence to score some points. But what motive does she have to frame Onamida? Kaminogi then points out the girl he killed 5 years ago, Chinami was Yuki’s sister. However her corpse was never found and if she was alive today, she would be around Satoko’s age.

Episode 16
From what Satoko says, it sounds like as though she knows what the memo between Onamida and Yuki states. Because the memo also pinpoints Chinami’s name and to go public with the truth, Chihiro is fully certain that Satoko is Chinami. Chihiro requests Onamida to testify and tell the whole truth. 5 years ago when he kidnapped Chinami, it was actually a setup staged by the sisters. Onamida was Chinami’s tutor and was very much in love with her. As Chinami’s family had an expensive jewel, they thought of staging this kidnapping. The plan was for Yuki to make the transfer but she betrayed him. After Yuki shoots at Onamida’s arm, Chinami herself dives off the bridge with the jewel. Onamida passed out from the shock. He was then tried and sentenced to death thanks to Yuki’s lies. Onamida spent these years wanting to know why she betrayed him. That’s why he broke out to find the truth before he dies. He insists he didn’t kill her. Hence Chihiro points out that Chinami too had a motive to kill Yuki because they were going to go public with the truth. So with her silencing Yuki, it is a trap to frame Onamida and keep the jewel to herself. For the past 5 years, this guilty conscience must have weighed heavily on Yuki’s mind too. So right after Onamida called, she panicked and called Chinami. This had Chinami came out with another devilish plan that sealed Yuki’s fate. Chinami laughs it all off. He calls Onamida’s testimony a lie and that she changed her name because as a kidnapped victim once, she went into hiding. At this point, Chihiro has no evidence to prove the kidnapping was staged. Kaminogi hints to her even if there is no evidence, someone’s testimony can be used. Hence Chihiro needs Onamida to tell the whole truth. First he asks if Chinami betrayed him. Chinami says this only to him: Her life is in his hands. With that, Onamida testifies the person he met on the bridge was Yuki. As for why he came 30 minutes earlier, it was to go to a special place. He and Chinami made a promise 5 years ago and she brought a memento to represent their vow. He went there to get it. At this point, Onamida starts coughing blood. He has swallowed the poison from the memento. How the f*ck did he even bring this into court?! The promise was to trust each other till death. If not, drink the poison. Onamida fears he cannot keep the promise and might kill Chinami. Onamida’s death left a deep scar in Chihiro’s heart. It was a day nobody won nor lost. Maybe for Chinami because she gets to strike again…

Episode 17
Naruhodo accompanies Mayoi and Harumi to the mountains to Hazakura Temple where the latter duo will undergo training to boost their spiritual power. They meet the head nun, Bikini (yes, that’s her name) as well as another trainee, Elise Tenryusai. She is a fortune teller who is also a famous children’s picture book writer. Harumi is a big fan of hers so she is delighted to do stuffs with her. Elise has an apprentice, Mathis who is out painting. Naruhodo and Mayoi then check out the area. Hmm… The bridge looks like a familiar suspicious crime scene… At the inner temple, they stumble into another meek nun, Ayame. Naruhodo is puzzled that she knows him. Mayoi then notices a hanging scroll and is shocked to see her mom’s image. Wait. If she says she recognized it because of the Kurain symbol, what makes she think that’s her mom since she herself said she couldn’t recognize her? Then they meet Mathis. Yahari?! So he dislikes himself and is trying to find a new personality via painting? That night, Naruhodo bumps into Ayame again. He requests she take off her hood. OMG! Chinami???!!! It could be just coincidence since Chinami is still serving time. She gives him her hood as good luck. Naruhodo has a feeling that she definitely knows him and will ask her more tomorrow. However in the middle of the night, a scream is heard. Naruhodo rushes out only to see Elise stabbed by a sword in the back. Thankfully Bikini isn’t another corpse. Just passed out from the shock. She tells him to call the cops. A landline phone near the bridge? But the bridge is on fire. He believes Mayoi is stuck across due to her training. He runs across but the wood gives way. He falls down into the river. Don’t worry, he is still alive and somehow in hospital. Just caught a cold. I don’t know why but he has been looking at Chihiro’s case of this. It seems Ayame has been arrested for murder. But surprise! Mitsurugi returns! Yahari called him and told him (and everyone) that he is dead. Naruhodo wants Mitsurugi to defend Ayame on his behalf. The prosecutor now playing the defence? Mitsurugi sees her in detention. She maintains she has never met all of them before as she has never left Hazakura. She explains she saw Bikini and Elise together after dinner. After that, Ayame didn’t leave her room until the incident happened. Mitsurugi still believes she knows Naruhodo because he acts strange whenever her name comes up in their conversation. Ayame tells the truth that she deceived him 5 years ago and is doing this nunnery as repentance. She might not want to see him again but Mitsurugi points out he is still hurting. Until she tells him the truth. She promises to tell him the truth and Mitsurugi agrees to defend her.

Episode 18
Mitsurugi visits the site and with Itonokogiri’s assistance, he learns the bridge caught on fire because lightning struck it. Elise’s body had bruises, consistent from the fall from her room. Then interviewing Bikini, her statements are in line with Naruhodo. At first she was accompanying Mayoi but because of her bad back, Ayame brought her back to the main temple to rest. When she came back out, she saw the murder incident. Next, Mitsurugi interviews Yahari. However this painter is obviously hiding something and won’t tell. So he runs away. WTF. Also, Harumi has been missing and was last seen in Elise’s room. The trial starts and Mei is the prosecutor. Because a prosecutor can’t be a defence lawyer, hence they changed the judge. WTF?! Can they easily fool him like that?! Isn’t Mitsurugi famous?! Yeah, just say it’s your imagination. WTF???!!! Bikini gives her witness testimony but is quickly overruled by Mitsurugi since it contradicts about Ayame not leaving her room after 10pm and hence never been to the inner temple. Bikini is very sure she saw Ayame because of her usual getup. Again overruled because she gave her hood to Naruhodo. With a warning to tell the truth, Bikini explains at about 11pm she saw hoodless Ayame stabbing Elise from the back. While this might sound like a guilty verdict for Ayame, Mitsurugi objects. If Ayame truly stabbed Elise with the sword, the entire sword would be covered with blood instead of just the tip. This could mean the sword wasn’t the murder weapon and despite Ayame’s fingerprints on it, doesn’t prove her as the murderer. Although Bikini believes in what she saw, she didn’t actually see the murder being committed. She already saw the sword was already in Elise. As for the real murder weapon, Mei argues that there were snowmobile tracks near the river and it could have been thrown in here. The rapid currents make it hard to retrieve. Bikini testifies that only Ayame had the keys to the snowmobile. Because Ayame will not confirm, her silence is confession. But before the judge can hand down the guilty verdict, here comes Yahari to object! He is going to save his beloved Ayame. WTF?! Can he do that?!

Episode 19
Yahari says the snowmobile wasn’t to commit murder but to inform everyone about dinner. Mitsurugi notices a 45 minute gap when the lightning struck the bridge and Yahari calling the police. So Yahari was so inspired by the bridge on fire that he was sketching it?! Yahari reluctantly shows them what he was drawing. The bridge on flames and somebody flying over it?! That’s supposed to be Ayame?! That’s why she didn’t need a snowmobile?! Unbelievable! Yahari also picked up a crystal believed to be from Ayame’s hood at the foot of the bridge. It has bloodstains on it and he thinks Ayame fell and injured herself. Mitsurugi objects to his testimony. Because his drawing indicates Ayame was wearing her hood, unfortunately she gave it to Naruhodo. Also, the crystal is too big to fit on her hood and proof shows it was from Elise’s staff. Mei argues Elise didn’t leave her room that night so Mitsurugi points out the possibility that the murder didn’t take place at Hazakura. She was killed somewhere else, her body brought back to the temple to make it look she was killed there. Sure, it might take 10 minutes from the bridge to the temple but that’s what the snowmobile is for… With this deadlock, this is what Mitsurugi has been aiming for. Due to the inconclusiveness of the case, the judge has to adjourn this session and order a new investigation. With Mitsurugi’s job over, he passes over the baton to Naruhodo. Is this guy okay to do the job? Mitsurugi updates him about the case while he goes investigate Ayame. He felt he has seen her somewhere before. With the bridge fixed, Naruhodo and Itonokogiri head across. Naruhodo finds a new lock at the inner temple. And then Harumi pops up. She feels guilty for what happened and then runs away again?! WTF?! Naruhodo notices curry on the hanging scroll. If that is not bad enough, Godot returns since he will be facing him as the prosecutor. He explains the trick lock can only be open by the person who set it and that was Ayame. Godot then explains how he died once but it took a lot of effort to bring him back. Read: Hospitalization. He hints that without his mask, he cannot see. Investigating the stone lantern, there is no snow around the base and it is believed this is the murder scene. With Mayoi still missing and possibly stuck inside the inner temple that temperatures could reach below freezing levels, Godot accuses he will send another woman to her death. He accuses him of killing Chihiro. Despite the baddie was prosecuted, this will not bring Chihiro back. Godot believes Naruhodo who was there was the only one who can protect her. He hates it when he calls Chihiro his mentor but he robbed his life. That is why he will never accept Naruhodo. Oh Naruhodo, not the time to be in despair now. Then he sees Mayoi’s name on the stone lantern.

Episode 20
Itonokogiri explains because Mayoi’s name was written backwards, it could mean it was written from the victim’s point of view. Hence the police believes Mayoi is the killer. More discoveries as Naruhodo picks up Elise’s pendant and realizes the mark of Kurain on it. Also, an almost burnt note that spells out this crime in detail! Talking to Bikini, he notices her strange way of addressing Elise. Bikini reveals that Elise is actually Maiko! She came here a week ago because she was worried about the bloodline of the main family is dying and was here to stop it. Because only the main family can become the head, there are assassination plots from branch families. Like last year’s case that involved Kimiko. With this revelation, here is another one: Ayame is also Kimiko’s daughter! Not shocking enough? Ayame is the younger twin of Chinami! Damn, it feels like they’re making this up. When Kimiko’s husband realizes they cannot become the family head, he took the twins and left but decided to give one up to look after Hazakura. A short earthquake occurs. Worried Naruhodo heads to the inner temple only to see more locks! Ayame decides to try and unlock them but it will take some time. Come back tomorrow. That night, Mitsurugi returns. He is investigating Elise’s staff and what do you know? There is a hidden sword in it! It’s covered with blood! You mean he never tampered with the staff like he did now with Naruhodo? Off to the forensics. He has also researched about Ayame. However he tells Naruhodo the heart breaking news that Chinami cannot be implicated in this case. Because she was executed last month! Is Naruhodo confused or sad?

Naruhodo then returns to talk to Ayame. Because he knew he talked to her before the bell rang and that she was also seen at the inner temple, this could mean there were 2 Ayames! WTF?! He explains actually somebody channelled the spirit of Chinami by a medium. Impressed with his deduction, she knew about this but never said a thing because as a traitor who was supposed to be part of that fake kidnapping, she was afraid to be implicated and hence don’t want to get in Chinami’s way. This kidnapping was supposed to be Chinami’s revenge against her father who abandoned mom because she couldn’t be the head. Naruhodo asks one last question. Did Chinami say anything about a guy she dated after that poison case? Yes. She hates him. Oh well. The truth hurts. Let’s hope he can get over it for good. Naruhodo then sees Harumi hanging out with Yahari. He thinks she channelled Chinami. The note was written by Kimiko for her. Because her vocabulary isn’t that good, she misinterpreted a line and hence threw curry on the hanging scroll. Harumi reveals she visited Kimiko the last time and was told about this to help Mayoi. Damn, Kimiko planned all this even before being put in prison? However she claims the seal on the note was already broken. Meaning, somebody else read it first. More revelations as Harumi says after dinner, she didn’t go to Elise’s room but went to the inner temple. She was supposed to help channel Chinami’s spirit but couldn’t summon her no matter how much she tried. The only explanation is that somebody else channelled Chinami’s spirit already. Meanwhile Kimiko in prison is relishing that Harumi has done her bidding well without knowing the truth (how does she know? Did Chinami’s spirit report to her?). Once this is over, Harumi will become the next head.

Episode 21
If Ayame will be testifying today, who will be trying to unlock the locks? Mei?! Can she do it?! The trial begins with Godot pointing out Ayame would like to confess to the crime. She admits to being an accomplice of covering the crime up to cover for Mayoi. She lied about not heading to the inner temple that night. When Mayoi was getting ready for her training, Elise showed up and attacked her. She took out a small knife to stab Mayoi but Mayoi stabbed her back in self-defence. Naruhodo objects to her testimony as lies. He shows the staff that has a hidden sword. Also, Elise is Mayoi’s mother. What intention does she have to kill her daughter whom she has not seen for 17 years? Naruhodo is puzzled why Ayame is trying to frame Mayoi. However Godot also shows the small knife with blood on its tip as the murder weapon. The blood is currently being analysed. However Godot panics when he cannot see that blood writing on the stone lantern. Ayame claims she moved the body to the main temple via snowmobile. However Naruhodo points out another contradiction. The bridge was on fire. He has proof that the corpse was ‘flown’ over. Remember Yahari’s drawing? It’s a complete contradiction. Huh? Describing Yahari’s drawing of the bridge is slightly different, it is because Yahari was drawing it upside down as he was sleeping when he saw the incident. This means the ‘flying’ body was actually being swung under like a pendulum. Where to get a string that long? The wires of the suspension bridge is long enough. Furthermore, bruises on Elise’s body as well as her crystal being knocked off from the landing impact proves this. However, who is to receive the body? Ayame. Wait a minute, if she was sending the body, somebody has to be there to move it? That’s right. It’s Ayame. Remember, she was seen by Bikini at the main temple. Are you confused? Naruhodo points out there were 2 Ayames. Hence he claims the Ayame here is not Ayame but Chinami! She might be dead but this is not impossible for those in the spirit channelling trade. Also, Ayame gave her hood to him that night. But at the same night at the inner temple, she was seen wearing it. Showing the burnt note that was written by Kimiko, Naruhodo points out Ayame switched place with Chinami during that short period of earthquake before the addition of multiple locks. That is when Ayame drops the act and reveals herself to be Chinami. Remember me, boys? I’m back.

Episode 22
Chinami doesn’t even try to hide her identity. She’s dead after all. What can they do? When Chinami was in prison, it was easy to see Kimiko as she told her the plan. This entire plan was to kill Mayoi and install Harumi as the next master of Kurain. Chinami agreed to help as she too had a personal agenda against Chihiro. However she died and the only way to get her revenge was on Mayoi. Chinami tells the whole truth. She was materialized about 9.30pm, put on the hood and switched places with Bikini. Taking the dagger from the store, she cornered Mayoi at the stone lantern and tried to kill her. Strangely, she had no memories after that but knew Mayoi stabbed her because she was the one who wrote Mayoi’s name on the stone lantern to cast suspicions on her. The next time she wakes up, she is inside the inner temple’s cave. She couldn’t get out because of the lock and it took her hours. When she finally did, Ayame came by. Chinami forced everything out of her, tied her up and put multiple locks after that. At that point Chinami realized she was under the assumption that Harumi was the one who summoned her. However it then dawned to her it was Elise. How else to explain Elise’s body lying at the stone temple? Mayoi must have felt so guilty of killing her mom that she killed herself by jumping into the river. Naruhodo objects that Mayoi isn’t the person to do all this. Godot receives a call that the locks have finally been removed. They only find Ayame inside. No Mayoi. With Chinami screaming victory, Naruhodo realizes there is 1 possibility where Mayoi is. Who is channelling Chinami now? Definitely not Harumi because she is here in court watching. Therefore Chinami is possessing Mayoi’s body. Chinami is distraught because who could have told her such a plan? Nice timing for Chihiro to return! Via Harumi of course.

Although Chinami claimed she was stabbed by Mayoi, Chihiro says that Mayoi passed out before her. Hence the real killer was the one who stabbed her. Chihiro left a note for Mayoi what to do and the best way to protect herself from Chinami is of course to channel her. She had to do it fast because otherwise it would be Harumi who would have channelled Chinami and it would be very tragic if the loli killed Mayoi. Naruhodo calls Chinami a failure since all her plans ended up that way. Yeah, it happened so many times that it is not funny anymore. They used her own quote against her. Even though it is impossible to punish the dead, Chinami will forever be a weak loser and she lost that chance to redeem herself when she was executed. Chinami is mad but Naruhodo and Chihiro shoo her out of Mayoi. That was easy. The judge is about to hand his verdict to Ayame but Godot objects. Elise’s killer is still unknown. This means putting Mayoi on trial but since she is unwell, the court will take a short recess until she is ready. Naruhodo tries to get Ayame to tell her the truth. She admits she did receive orders to take the snowmobile to move Elise’s body but refuses to say the killer’s name. Naruhodo talks to Chihiro one last time before the trial resumes. They know the killer knew the plans all along and was on the side of the inner temple as the bridge was not crossable then. The rest is up to Naruhodo to think. The judge discloses the blood on the weapons. It is the staff. As for the knife, at least it is not the blood of Elise. The trial resumes and Mayoi is back on the stands. Again.

Episode 23
From what Mayoi says, Naruhodo believes she knows who the real killer is but is trying to protect him. But how can she identify him clearly when there is no light? There are some things you can identify clearly in the dark. Naruhodo has the courtroom off the lights. What do you see? Godot’s visor’s lights! He also deduces that Godot cannot see red colours on white backgrounds, that is why he cleared the snow around the stone lantern. As for his motive to kill Elise, it is rather he protected Mayoi. She is after all the younger sister of his love. Time for Godot to tell his side. He was smitten by Chihiro because of always putting in the effort. It all began going downhill when he got poisoned by Chinami. When he came out of coma, Chihiro was already dead. Hence he only had 2 reason to live. It was to see what kind of man Naruhodo is and to protect Mayoi. After Kimiko got arrested, Godot knew it wasn’t over by a long shot. He went to Kurain and eavesdrop and found that note. He could have destroyed it right away and end it there but he wanted to play along with Kimiko’s plans. That is when he contacted Ayame and Elise to cooperate. The plan would have worked well had Harumi be with Elise that night but instead she went to the inner temple. Hence Elise had no choice but to summon Chinami first. Godot hid himself there just to make sure Mayoi was safe. The rest he leaves up to Naruhodo to finish. Even with Mayoi pleading not to, is she trying to obstruct justice?! Anyway, Naruhodo points out the knife has Godot’s blood. Mayoi objects since he was trapped on the other side, how could he have changed his clothes or hide his wounds? It won’t be impossible if that would is behind that visor! Because Godot saw Chihiro in Naruhodo’s vigour, so he is admitting defeat?! Godot now admits that he doesn’t really hate Naruhodo but himself as he was the one who failed to protect Chihiro. Instead of facing the truth, he ran away and hid behind a mask. Him becoming a prosecutor perhaps wasn’t just to save Mayoi but his own broken soul. He isn’t sure of it now if it was the motivation to protect Mayoi when he stabbed Chinami with the sword and in return Chinami slashed him with her knife. Godot praises Naruhodo for never running away from Chihiro’s death. Is Godot crying blood?! Oh, must be his wounds opening up.

Before the judge hands down the verdict on Ayame, he gives her a chance to say a few last words. She apologizes to Naruhodo about her twins’ despicable act. After all, they only met twice. The first time she gave him the bottle and the second was when she killed Kikuzou. So the 6 months they’ve been dating was actually Ayame taking her place! She didn’t want Chinami’s soul to be further tainted and hence offered to do the job to get the pendant back. However she became impatient when Ayame couldn’t accomplished it. Ayame feels guilty for deceiving and hurting him but Naruhodo has always believed in her. Even now. Damn this episode trying to make us feel the feels with people crying? Mayoi, Godot and now Ayame. So the case ends with both lawyers drinking to a cup of coffee? Cheers! The judge declares Ayame not guilty. Good for Naruhodo, even Mitsurugi congratulates him. Mayoi is reunited with Harumi and Naruhodo’s confidence boosts even further with the voice of Chihiro praising how he saved everyone. Something that she couldn’t. Damn, I hope this doesn’t mean he is the next Jesus Christ! Because if so, igi ari!!!!!!!!!! And Chihiro hoping they would meet again? I hope she didn’t mean when he dies! But don’t you worry. With more court cases coming up, you bet Chihiro will materialize from time to time to deceive the judge help Naruhodo out.

Hung Jury: Verdict Not Returned
May those dead souls rest in peace. I suppose justice is served. Even if God doesn’t bring divine retribution to you, Naruhodo and the Japanese justice legal system will! Even if you’re dead! Haha! Damn, I sure love it if reality really operated in such a way. I suppose Godot won’t be facing his trial in killing Elise because you know, he killed her in self-defence. And because he cried tears of blood that suddenly turn into normal tears (is something spiritual messing with our vision?), I think this gives him a free pass to say that he isn’t guilty of whatsoever and absolve him of his crimes. Yeah, he convinced us enough not for him to think that he would be convicted. Godot sure played everyone. Damn, I sure love if the courts use emotions and feelings to decide!

I wonder why this season had such an odd number of only 23 episodes but I figure that if they split up that one hour special, they would still end up has 24 episodes just like last season. This season feels more like, uhm, how should I put it, like as though everything is related. Especially with many of the characters in many of these cases. We also get a few flashbacks on the past of our main characters and to our surprise, Naruhodo had a girlfriend? Last time I said how this world is so small that some witnesses were recalled twice in separate cases. It also feels the same here with Mako being accused of murder twice! Same detective to work on the case. Same judge. Same defence lawyer. Same verdict. Wow. Is this what you call a precedent?

Hence just like last season, it follows the familiar pattern of how the trial proceeds. You wonder why they can’t bring out the damning evidence and explain it all and instead they present whatever evidence they have now and then one thing leads to another. I know it is for entertainment purposes because everything that has been said or shown will have some sort of consequences that is evident as the next lead in the case. No red herrings. Or at least every dead end clue has a reason to it. Otherwise it’s like wasting your time with unrelated facts. Everything presented is somewhat related, I suppose. I guess it is only logical if you want to get from A to C, you have to get through B first. So once all the evidence and the circumstances are presented in a way that the guilty party has no way out, then comes the verdict. Wow. If only real life cases were this simple and easy.

And I’m starting to see the power of igi ari. Because when you nail the person giving testimony, you can see such superb special effects that blow the person away! Yeah, everyone has their own special unique reactions but I guess the more damning your counter evidence to the lies, the greater the effects will be so much so that a hurricane can blow and destroy the courtroom! And then be fixed back to normal in the next scene like as though everything never happened. Must be all imagination, huh? No wonder the lawyers are waiting for this chance to point out igi ari. Yeah, but it gets unbelievable with spirit mediums now trying to cheat the law. Are there law provisions for the dead?

Chinami feels like the biggest link and factor linking to almost everything that had happened this season and what probably led to her ultimate defeat. She feels like the ghost of the past that keeps haunting you forever. Hence she is this season’s biggest antagonist and thorn in the side of justice since the final arc is the longest trial in the series, spanning 7 episodes (most trial arcs only last the most at 4 episodes). How convenient. She had a twin to fool us and pull a fast one. But I saw it coming from a mile away when Mayoi went ‘missing’ in the last trial arc and it wasn’t really Ayame on the stands. Uh huh. If I was the lawyer, that trial would have only lasted 1 episode as I would have pointed out Mayoi was being possessed by Chinami who isn’t Ayame on trial. But then again, I would have been chided for lack of evidence for that conclusion. I suppose my guts aren’t conclusive evidence enough. I wonder if Kimiko the great mastermind has another plan up her sleeve seeing this one failed. Like as though she saw her first plan failed and quickly made this backup plan just in case. And what if Plan B also failed? Maybe she too thought of having Plan C… Yeah… Please don’t let her be executed and come back as another vengeful spirit as the ultimate move. We’ve had enough of that this season already.

But you know, it really gets a bit silly with the final trial that they bring in spiritual factors as evidence but then again, logic isn’t supposed to be the strongest evidence here. Get what I mean? Remember, in the court of law, evidence is all that counts and most important. Therefore whoever has the evidence and the better logical argument of it has a better chance in winning the case. So with such spiritual factors being hauled into the trial, not to say it is all BS, crap and illogical. At least in this world’s setting, the existence of spirit mediums and channelling are valid. All that is left is to connect the dots. Yup. Going by this logic, you can still charge a ghost with murder so long you can present your evidence and convey your points. After all, this isn’t the weirdest thing that has happened in the courts for this series.

Having said that, I still feel the courts here are somewhat of a joke. So much so that people don’t really take this seriously and the courts feel more like a place where people come in to discuss what happened. Uh huh. We see almost everybody acting so disrespectful while the court is in session that you wonder if the circus is in town. Uh huh. Witnesses (AKA clowns) who can even tell off the judge or barge into the middle of a testimony, Mei still whipping everything, Godot even drinking coffee and getting his cuppa like as though some hidden bartender slide it into his hands. All this would never fly in reality and you would be charged with contempt of court! And everything in the end looks like a spectacle, an entertainment. For us viewers, of course. But if you put yourself in the shoes of these characters, you would soon understand why the courts all look like a big farce. I guess now the judge has seen spirits possessing and leaving a body, why is he not surprised about Chihiro? Oh yeah. Spirits are eternal. Can come back temporarily via medium. Okay. Cool with that. WTF?! As long as you are assertive enough, you can really control the court. Not the judge. Yeah, you be the judge of that. You can fool him all the time if you’re convincing enough.

The biggest slap in the face was my understanding that when you are accused of both crimes and if you are found guilty with a lesser one, you cannot be charged with the other. WTF???!!! Haven’t they heard of the rule of being charged with multiple accounts and crimes?! So they’re saying that if I kill somebody but have no proof to charge me for it and instead charge me with damning evidence that I stole a little boy’s wallet, I cannot be charged for murder? Are they saying I can get away with murder?! Oh my! No wonder we see perpetrators being so confident in courts because they think they can get away with it! And they would if it’s not for that meddling Naruhodo…

Lady luck must be smiling on Naruhodo so many times because he has been freaking lucky to have won all his cases so far. And that lady luck takes the form of Chihiro. Case in point when he lost his memories in the first episode! Damn, he fumbled his way successfully! I dare say he has not lost any cases at all. At least not the very important ones. With his impeccable record, this guy’s reputation would have soared and many would have sought his services. I don’t know about his wealth status but he still looks pretty same. I mean, I don’t really see him riding his bicycle and wearing his mini backpack. But thank goodness his sense of justice is still so great so I suppose he isn’t blinded by money and greed. But overall, Naruhodo mainly remains the same. In the sense that he still panics and looking around thinking hard for clues when the prosecutor corners him. Sometimes Chihiro helps him but more than often, he manages to figure out the contradiction. Yeah, the courts also feel like a big game of objection. This season feels personal since Naruhodo has to deal with his former lover who turns out to be one scheming b*tch whether dead or alive. Thank goodness his sense of justice is strong, eh?

The last time I said Mayoi felt like a useless character. She still is. Still the happy go lucky girl who is always at her own pace and sometimes the way she nonchalantly does things, you can say it might put Naruhodo in jeopardy. If he ever loses a case, there is a good portion that Mayoi is to be blamed. And so Mayoi in this season once more feels like a damsel in distress. Last season she was accused of murder and even kidnapped in that season’s final arc. Now, she went missing and is still accused of murder! Do you not agree with me that trouble should be her middle name? WTF Harumi trying to set up Naruhodo and Mayoi as a couple? I think that would be the greatest disaster ever! Their romance better not happen! Igi ari! I’d rather see the cheesy romance between Itonokogiri and Mako. Hopefully the latter is slowly opening up to this clumsy guy. By the way, since it was the real sweet Ayame that dated Naruhodo, are there chances of them getting back together again? I suppose everyone has moved on. It would have been a different battle and a more complicated one that the law doesn’t cover… ;p.

With Mitsurugi and Mei missing sorely this season, it felt that their temporary return was only so to satisfy fans that they are still around. I mean, these are important characters too, right? Last season saw the rivalry between Naruhodo and Mitsurugi going head to head on opposing sides. This time, Mitsurugi has to abruptly return from his trip to America to side with Naruhodo in a few cases. Yeah, they should already join forces already. At least Mitsurugi had a reason to make his cameo but Mei feels just forced. She was really unnecessary and only for some slight variety. Because if Godot was the prosecutor Naruhodo faced every time, that would be so suspicious. Like as though there are no other prosecutors in the land. Sure, there are but they aren’t as famous or even noteworthy.

Godot as the other new main character, yup another weirdo. Like what I said about almost everything about this season feels related. So Godot is on a grudge mission to defeat Naruhodo because he couldn’t save his junior. That’s very grand of him blaming Naruhodo for something that he could have a slight chance of preventing but how is Godot himself any different? Because for him to let his guard down and got poisoned by Chinami, that says it all. He is no different. Now he looks like some sort of robo knight with those strange visors that supposedly gives him sight. Sure, he finally admitted his mistakes and made his peace with Naruhodo. Was he just playing the villain? Because while I thought of mostly seeing him as one who just wants to get in Naruhodo’s way, but what if all those objections are just a way for him to ‘teach’ Naruhodo to think harder? As I’ve said, Naruhodo still feels like a rookie lawyer and probably that is what pisses Godot off so he has to tell him off he hates his guts for him to improve. I mean, it’s not like Godot is a bad person. Just bitter. Like his coffee. Haha! Oops… Damn, can he still drink coffee in court? Just act a bit tough and scary and the judge will be too afraid to question you. Besides, that other judge we have for ‘variety’, is his brother???!!! Damn, I thought he looks like some bearded troll! Not kidding! Santa guy and troll guy as judges… This is really some f*cked up justice system. Trivial note: I have a theory why Kaminogi chose Godot as his new moniker. As I know kami is Japanese for god. And ki is the general word for tree. Hence, god of tree. God of t. God-of-t. God-o-t. Godot. Geddit?!

This season with Rina Satou helming as the voice of Chinami and Ayame, she really sounds sweet and devilish both at the same time and even depending on which mood she is playing. Next time when I remember her other gentle anime characters like Minami-ke’s Haruka and Sunohara-sou No Kanrinin-san’s Ayaka or her tsundere type character like a certain biribiri character in a certain scientific railgun series, I’d be sure to remember this very devilish and sly character that may send shivers down my spine. And Hiroaki Hirata as Godot, I figured he needs a break once in a while as that Straw Hat Pirates’ cook. As for the art and animation, still weird as usual with some character designs really weird. Like Aiga being some sort of nightmare Pinocchio. And the worst offender of it all: The horrible CGI of the observers.

This season’s first opening theme, Never Lose by Tomohisa Yamashita feels more like some mild techno dance music. Not to say that it is appealing but I guess it is much better than the second opener, Reason also by Tomohisa Yamashita. Because this techno dubstep song sounds so gay! I know the singer’s voice is soft and the first opener also sounds a bit gay but it isn’t as bad as this one. It has gotten bad enough that some of the English words and tune are now stuck in my head!!!! GET IT OUT!!! Even odder, we see all the main characters doing that trademark objection finger pointing pose. IGI ARI!!! MAKE IT STOP!!! Halca sings Starting Blue, the first ending theme. A lively tune with some synthesizer effects. Come to think of it, much better than the gay openings. But I suppose the best one and the biggest shocker is the second ending theme, Beautiful Days by Coala Mode. This is quite a beautiful slow ballad and even though it doesn’t match the frenzy and illogical pace of the series but after all that court madness, I think this is a great song to listen to and wind down.

My overall sentiments for this season mainly still remains the same as last season. Lots of cheesy but fun moments especially how the court systems and the lawyers arguing and duking out feel more like a big showpiece to show how cool you can object. At least they know how to entertain and amuse us with their legal rhetoric and style. Sadly, it wasn’t the contradictions and the truth that awed us ;-). I would want to object to another sequel should the producers decide that another season should be in the works for being an insult to the legal system (heck, like I know anything about it) but I figured my objections would be overruled anyway. Besides, it could be fun to see more igi ari moments from Naruhodo and the bunch of clowns lawyers taking their stand and day in court in the name of justice. Are they making a mockery out of the justice system? Goes to show how complicated the legal system has become. Igi ari!

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.