Visual Novel / Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Bouken
aka: Dai Gyakuten Saiban

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A new age of law begins note 

A spin-off of the Ace Attorney series of games for the Nintendo 3DSnote , starring the Meiji-era Japan version of a defense attorney, Ryuunosuke Naruhodou, ancestor of Ryuichi Naruhodou/Phoenix Wright. The main writer is Shu Takumi instead of Takeshi Yamazaki, whose team was working on another Ace Attorney title at the same time.

It is the Meiji Restoration period of Japanese history (specifically, the beginning of the twentieth century AD); a time of great cultural shift towards a growing trend of westernization in Japanese lifestyle and architecture. Among those taking advantage of the new opportunities the era affords is one "Ryuunosuke Naruhodou", a second-year student at the Teito Yuumei University. Things suddenly change for the young man when he is accused of murdering a man in a restaurant. Forced to stand trial in the newly established court systems of the period, Ryuunosuke begins a long journey of justice that will take him well beyond the shores of Japan.

You can watch the original teaser trailer here and the Tokyo Game Show 2014 trailer here (both trailers contain English fan translations). A new five-minute trailer was released on April 1, 2015, which can be viewed here (trailer also contains subtitles).

The game was released on July 9, 2015 in Japan. There has been no announcement of release to other markets as of yet. A sequel, Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2: Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Kakugo ("The Great Turnabout Trial 2: The Resolve of Ryuunosuke Naruhodou") was released on August 3rd, 2017.

This work provides examples of:

  • Absence of Evidence: In the second case, the blank pages in report book suggest Stroganov was absent from his post.
    • Megundal gets a not guilty verdict partly because there's not enough evidence to tie him to the murder once Ryuunosuke discredits both key witnesses. Case 5 reveals that the lack of evidence was due to him tampering extensively with both the crime scene and the case's witnesses.
  • Alien Blood: In case 5 Ryuunosuke and Iris use a chemical invented by Holmes which changes the colour of bloodstains. When a vivid green stain is presented as evidence in court, Barok wonders if the defense is trying to prove that other species apart from humans were present at the crime scene.
  • Always Murder: Subverted in case 2, which turns out to be a case of accidental manslaughter, and completely averted for the first time in the series with case 4, as the crime is assault. And even then it turned out to be an accident.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: As with Dual Destinies, you can go to any point on the map wherever you are instead of having to go to certain locations to get to others and during the investigation phases, items you already looked at are given a checkmark.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: On one side, you have Cosney Megundal and Rubert Crogley leaking top secret British governmental information. On the other, you have Hart Vortex's machinations and schemes that have placed him in power as Chief Justice of London and spread the rumor of the "curse" of the "Death Bringer", Barok van Zieks.
  • Central Theme: Belief, in both yourself and others, is a major theme. Asougi believes wholeheartedly in both Ryuunosuke's innocence and his potential as an attorney, and Ryuunosuke himself spends most of the game trying to live up to the latter belief. The events of case 3 utterly shake Ryuunosuke's steadfast belief in his clients, and it takes until the end of the game for him to trust them completely again. Gina had previously spent her entire life lacking someone to believe in her and to believe in, but finds both in Ryuunosuke. And Barok's animosity towards the Japanese stems from being betrayed by a Japanese friend he truly believed in.
  • Child Prodigy: Iris Watson is 10 years old... and not only possesses a medical doctorate, but is also an accomplished novelist and inventor.
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: Jezail didn't need one.
  • Exact Words: Several instances occur in case 5:
    • The judge decides to suspend the second closing argument in the wake of new revelations being brought to light during it. Later, after Barok refuses to accept Holmes's coloured luminol test as proper evidence and is pressing for the trial to come to a close, Iris reminds the court that, technically, the suspended closing argument has yet to conclude. The jurors are then asked for their verdict, and the results are split enough that the judge orders the trial to continue.
    • The judge later suspends an ongoing cross examination so that the court can examine some recently found evidence. When said evidence (along with some new testimony from the witness being cross examined) causes the jurors to unanimously declare a guily verdict, Ryuunosuke demands that the suspended cross examination is allowed to continue instead of a verdict being handed down.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Some of the Randst episodes the viewpoint is from Asougi and Barok.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Several characters are openly racist towards the Japanese, and this would have been fairly normal at the time the game is set.
  • Downloadable Content: DLC includes character designs, short episodes, music and voice clips.
  • Dramatic Wind: Asougi's headband will flutter around even indoors.
  • Expy: Ryuunosuke Naruhodou looks like a mix of Phoenix and Apollo, might be on purpose though. With his hat on, he also bears a striking resemblance to Clay Terran.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: John Watson is the victim of the first case.
  • Gender Flip: Gina Lestrade is one to Inspector Lestrade of the Arthur Conan Doyle novels, even down to having an antagonistic relationship with Holmes. Despite all appearances, Iris Watson is not one - she's revealed to be the daughter of John Watson.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Iris Watson has her hair braided into two curly pigtails with heart-shaped knots at the end.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Natsume Souseki as one of the defendants.
  • History Repeats: This isn't the last time that a Naruhodou/Wright stands accused of murdering their own mentor.
  • Identical Grandson:
    • Series regulars would get no points for being able to guess who this fine gentleman would be related to in the modern era.
    • And, of course, Ryuunosuke basically looks like Phoenix but with a more sensible haircut (and de-aged by about five years or so).
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Unlike the main series' use of "Turnabout" in all its case titles, here all the case titles include "The Adventure of..."
  • Karma Houdini: Jezail. Due to the treaty between Japan and England, Jezail can't be tried in Japan. At best, they would be sent to authorities in Shanghai where maybe they go to court.
  • Kid Sidekick: Iris Watson to the great detective himself, and also to Ryuunosuke in case 5.
  • Left Hanging: These points weren't explained, likely due to the writer wanting to make a series.
    • Jezail's motives for killing Watson.
    • Why Yuujin knew to suspect the killer.
    • What Asougi's mission is.
    • Why Holmes was on the steamship in the first place.
    • Barok:
      • Why he left the court.
      • Why he returned.
      • The truth about his "curse".
      • Barok's traitorous friend and what exactly happened.
    • What was Megundal's plan with the government information?
    • Why can't The Hound of Baskervilles be published and why does Susato know the title despite it being unpublished.
    • How a known revolutionary and wanted man could appear in the jury, despite not even trying to hide their identity.
    • The meaning of the message stored on the disk that Crogray tried to sell to Megundal.
      • Why it was so important to keep secret that Gregson broke the law to keep it secret.
      • What the four names in said message mean, and the identity of the fourth name.
      • Why it was encoded using Japanese Morse code.
      • Who the recipient and sender were.
      • What it said past the first few words we got to hear.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: Iris Watson is the author of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in this universe.
  • Locked Room Mystery: Most of the cases, but special mention goes to Case 2, in which the victim is found dead behind a bolted ship door. The whole case is a shout out to the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." But the solution is completely different.
  • Martial Arts Headband: The headband Kazuma Asougi wears resembles one.
  • A Protagonist Is Ryu: Ryuunosuke Naruhodou (which makes sense since they're trying to draw a line between this guy and Phoenix, whose Japanese name is "Ryuuichi Naruhodou").
  • Public-Domain Character: Sherlock Holmes appears in the game, along with a girl called Iris Watson, and the real Watson is the victim of the first case.
  • Recycled In SPACE: It's Ace Attorney during Meiji Era Japan, in the first case, before becoming Ace Attorney in Victorian London.
  • Running Gag: Witnesses assuming that the victim of case 4 is dead.
    • In Case 5, referring to Gregson as the third Tinpillar brother.
    • Mocking Ryuunosuke's uniform.
    • A witness from Ryuunosuke's previous case being on the panel of jurors in his current one.
  • Sadistic Choice: Ryunosuke is faced with one in the second game's third case. He has a lead that could prove the defendant innocent of the murder, but it requires exposing his teleportation experiment as just a magic trick. So either he proves his client's life's research is all a lie, or he goes to jail for a murder he didn't commit. No matter which choice you make Susato returns to give Ryunosuke a Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!, via Susato Drop.
  • Say My Name: Megundal bellows an outraged 'ATTORNEY' after Ryuunosuke backs up Barok's theory that he arranged for the crime scene to be staged.
    • After Holmes collapses at the witness stand in case 5, Ryuunosuke yells out his name.
  • Sequel Hook: A lot of them. The game has a lot of unresolved plot points and Foreshadowing, which is quite unusual for an AA game, and the writer of the game has even stated that they do, in fact, plan to make this a series.
  • Sherlock Scan: Holmes retains his nigh-supernatural deductive abilities, but in an added twist, he is less than concerned about whether what he deduces is actually true. It falls to Naruhodou to consider the evidence and decide whether his deductions hold weight.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Sherlock's dog design in Dog Gyakuten Saiban looks like a reference to Sherlock Hound.
    • The game itself is filled with reference to Sherlock Holmes canon, most notably in case 2 with the similar setup to The Adventures of the Speckled Band story. A full list of the many references can be seen Here .
    • The omnibus in the third case is called the "Phoenix Wright Omnibus", which is a reference to the English name of Ryuunosuke's descendant, and main character of the main series.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, in that the game again features a defense attorney and his female assistant going to England and teaming up with an English gentleman and his young assistant. Naruhodou can cross examine multiple witnesses at once, just like that game. Even the box art is similar.
  • Translation Convention: It's presented as Japanese, but from case 2 and onward (barring some exceptions like the meeting with Souseki) the characters are speaking English.
  • Wham Episode: Case 3. The trial ends with a Not Guilty due to lack of evidence and without finding a killer. But by that point, it's heavily implied the defendant is the killer and he tampered with the omnibus/crime scene, however, neither Barok nor Ryuunosuke is able to prove it. And then the case ends with the omnibus burning with somebody inside.
  • Wham Line: The ending of Case 5, when the characters are wondering about the contents of the state secret Morse code message: "A... SO...U...GI..."
    • At the start of case 5, Susato drops one when she refers to Holmes's unpublished manuscript - the Hound of the Baskervilles - by its full name.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Iris Watson's hair is a strawberry shade of pink.

Alternative Title(s): Dai Gyakuten Saiban

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