|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
(Eight episodes watched):|
I wasn't sure at first if this was a new, Spring 2016 series or an old one, because I recall hearing about an 'Ace Attorney' and 'Phoenix Wright' here and there for years. I was surprised to learn that that was a video game and this show will represent the character's first appearance in anime. Anyway, this is indeed a new series. It was OK, but I was not thrilled; the case seemed distinctly melodramatic, almost as if the melodrama had been heaped on as a joke--if it was a joke, I didn't get it. The jokes in general were pretty weak. The fact that we are shown right from the start who the guilty party is made it easier to deduce the weaknesses in the prosecution's case, but perhaps made things a little too easy. I was able to recognize two of the three critical contradictions without much trouble, and it didn't seem very challenging. I got the feeling that the legal profession, and courtroom cases in general, were being oversimplified and thereby made unconvincing and unrewarding to watch. The way the trial was presented almost made it seem like an episode of a game show. But at least Naruhodo seems like a nice guy who you can root for, so perhaps I will watch some more of Ace Attorney, to see if it gets any better with time.
I must admit that episode two drew me in somewhat better than episode one did. Satoru's boss is murdered and her cute sister is the main suspect, but he is confident that she's innocent. I can't help feeling that this is almost a children's anime, because trials are handled in such an undetailed, unconvincing, and slapdash manner. A murder trial is held just a couple of days after the crime was committed? Evidence appears in court which was never made available to the defense attorney? The defense attorney himself pulls previously unrevealed objects out of his pocket and they are accepted as evidence without a second thought? Evidence itself is extremely circumstantial and suspect? A man pleads guilty to murder to avoid being exposed as a blackmailer? I know that the legal system in Japan isn't identical to that here in the US, but this seems more like a poorly informed person's fantasy about what trials might be like than a realistic depiction of what they really are. The cases are riddled with absurdities which make them difficult to take seriously. As such, it disappoints me and makes me vaguely feel that I am being patronized by somebody who assumes that I don't know much about trials either.
Yet I can't deny that, in a way, I enjoyed this show. Perhaps it's the way Satoru is an underdog, just out of law school, held in contempt by his classic rival, only wants to do what's right, etc. As ridiculous as the show is at times, the writer did some things right, like create likeable characters we can root for. His aristocratic, stuck-up courtroom opponent makes our blood boil. And the absurdity has a certain charm as well. But the cases are too unsophisticated, too simplistic. This doesn't really feel like something that would happen in a genuine courtroom. A few episodes are OK, but I didn't want to become entangled in an ongoing stream of cases (24 episodes' worth) that are different in the details but similar in general. Ultimately, I quit watching.
Last updated Saturday, February 04 2017. Created Monday, April 04 2016.