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Anime / Ace Attorney
aka: Ace Attorney Anime

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Fifteen years after the first game's debut, an animated adaption of Ace Attorney—known as Gyakuten Saiban: Sono Shinjitsu, Igiari! (lit. "Turnabout Trial: I Object to Your Truth!") in Japan—was finally made.

The first season of the anime is based on the first two games of the series and first aired in Japan on April 2, 2016 as part of the Spring 2016 Anime season. The anime was produced by A-1 Pictures, directed by Ayumu Watanabe, and with music by Kaoru Wada. For those outside Japan, Crunchyroll officially streams/subs and near-simulcasts the series, with two alternative subtitle options for the characters' original Japanese names and the Americanized names from the original games. Funimation provides the show's English voice track, with Dub Name Change in full effect.

A second season, based on the third game of the series, debuted October 6th, 2018, with Crunchyroll returning to simulcast, and Funimation providing a simuldub weeks later.


The Ace Attorney anime provides examples of:

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  • 13 Is Unlucky: Dahlia Hawthorne makes her debut in the 13th episode of the second season.
  • Aborted Arc: The letter found in the safe is mentioned to be a sign that someone else masterminded Hammond's murder, but that plotline is never touched upon again. In the game, the letter identifies the plot's mastermind as von Karma, since Grossberg can recognize the handwriting — in this adaptation it's typewritten.
  • Accent Adaptation: The English dub gives Edgeworth with a vaguely German accent as opposed to the posh British accent he traditionally has in the localized games.
  • Acting Your Intellectual Age:
    • 10-year-old Edgeworth doesn't act much like a child. When he admits he wants to watch a silly samurai cartoon program instead of the news, his dad seems pleased to see him loosening up a bit.
    • As seen in Episode 13, Young Franziska is far more articulate than a two/three-year-old should be.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The smoother art style here (versus the original games' pixelated graphics) allow Lotta Hart to come across as underratedly gorgeous.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade:
    • Similar to the live-action movie before it, the anime expands on how DL-6 ruined Yogi's life, though not to the same extent as the film.
    • Inverted with Edgeworth, who does not suffer from his in-game counterpart's fear of earthquakes since this version of DL-6 did not involve one.
    • Also Inverted with Adrian Andrews. In the game, being accused of murder makes her break down in-court and beg for help in light of her dependency issues. In the anime, her issues were either not present or not forcefully exposed, and she managed to keep her cool most of the time.
    • The adaptation of "Recipe for Turnabout" drives home the point of how Viola genuinely trusted Tigre and plays up her feelings of betrayal at finding out he doesn't care for her.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • In the game, Vasquez ended up killing Hammer by pushing him over the stair railing and into the spiked fence. In this adaptation, she frickin' tossed Hammer-in-Steel Samurai-costume above her head, in spite of her claiming the 15kg Samurai Spear was too heavy for her to handle.
    • Compared to the game, Manfred von Karma's long vacations after the DL-6 Incident were reduced to a single day off job. Considering he had those vacations to heal off his bullet wound in the games, this means von Karma is Made of Iron in the anime.
    • Franziska von Karma now has the willingness to whip people like Morgan Fey.
    • Maya is more of a Plucky Girl in the anime — she risks a taser to retrieve a piece of critical evidence from Manfred von Karma, and when she is held captive by de Killer, she not only frees herself briefly (as in the games) but uses the time to swipe another critical piece of evidence, which she leaves behind for the police to recover. All of that is in addition to being the voice of encouragement driving Nick and others to have faith and keep fighting. And being a spirit medium, of course.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • Unlike the game (which waited until the fourth case to elaborate on Phoenix's motivations), part of the class trial from Phoenix's youth is shown from the outset as being a major part of why he became a defense attorney.
    • Likewise, Manfred von Karma briefly appears in episodes 2 and 5, whereas the game didn't introduce him until Turnabout Goodbyes.
    • A young Franziska von Karma appears in episode 13 before her formal appearance in the Reunion and Turnabout episodes.
    • The anime hints that Morgan Fey and Ini Miney are responsible for Dr Grey's death during the first trial. In the game this revelation did not come until the second investigation.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • While Grossberg was never a villain, he is more than happy to try and defend Maya in the anime until he gets a call from his blackmailer, Redd White, as opposed to the original case where he didn't even try to accept Maya's case. He also goes to Phoenix's office to willingly tell him about Redd White, whereas in the original case Phoenix had to interrogate him for it. Then, the first "Turnabout Goodbyes" episode shows how he deeply regrets his part in the DL-6 incident (leaking Misty Fey's involvement to Redd White, leading to her disgrace) and tearfully begs Maya to forgive him, while in the game he awkwardly told Maya that he "helped" her mother, never admitting he sold Misty out. Oh, and in "Turnabout Memories" there is no mention of hemmoroids.
    • Winston Payne, while still somewhat smarmy, is much less abrasive and more professional in the courtroom, not taunting Phoenix for being a rookie nor excessively mocking Larry for failing to notice his girlfriend's sugar daddies.
    • Oldbag of all people gets this treatment as well. While in the game, Phoenix had to press her about Hammer's accident five years ago for her to talk, in this adaptation, she overhears Phoenix telling Cody that "as a fan, he can't avert his eyes from what's right". She's later shown holding the five-year-old photo, having an internal conflict with herself. After Cody has another outburst in the courtroom, she shows Phoenix and Maya the photo on her own will.
    • Cody Hackins is not as abrasive or defensive as he is in the game. All it takes to get him to reveal the truth is for Phoenix to point out that he does not have a picture of what he saw.
    • Jack Hammer is less of an Asshole Victim in this anime. While he was still out to kill Vasquez and was trying to frame Powers by emulating his injured ankle, the plot points of his drugging Powers's lunch, his jealousy of Powers's rise to fame while he fell, and Vasquez's implying he killed another actor on purpose were removed. He also responded to a fan request nicely by posing for Cody, even if he got the pose wrong.
    • Sal Manella had nothing to do with hiding or moving Hammer's body; Dee Vasquez did all of that on her own.
    • Larry in the games actually stole Edgeworth's money; here, Edgeworth simply lost it and Larry found it. He even turned it over to the police and claimed it legally when no one spoke up for it. However, since he apparently never told Edgeworth that he had found the money or where he could pick it up, it arguably comes to the same thing.
    • Manfred von Karma, of all people. He's significantly closer to Faux Affably Evil here, being much less of a Jerkass than his original self and even invoking Pet the Dog more often than said original (not that it stops him from being just as ruthless as ever, of course).
    • Manfred's daughter, Franziska, is less violent than in the games — her whip (usually) strikes near her victims without actually hitting them (though the intent to startle and intimidate is clear), and when she suffered her first loss, she didn't go on a whipping frenzy and knock Phoenix out (although this is helped by Phoenix not taunting a defeated Franziska, which had led to his whipping). Some of her Amoral Attorney traits are also removed, such as hiding one of Lotta's photos.
    • Lotta manages to be less fiery and a little more on the warm side compared to the games. She's still got her moments, but she tends to team up more with Phoenix than cause him trouble. Particularly noticeable during the "Reunion, and Turnabout" episodes, where she helps Phoenix investigate the manor for evidence of Maya's innocence.
    • It was never Mimi Miney's intention to kill Dr. Grey; she had approached Morgan Fey to see if she could somehow manipulate the channeling ritual so that Dr. Grey wouldn't realize the truth about her sister. Morgan then used her knowledge of this secret to blackmail Mimi into the plan to kill Dr. Grey and frame Maya.
    • While he was never any villainous in any means in the original games, in "Turnabout Big Top", Moe's reason to participate in the final trial was to help Phoenix replicate the scene of the death of Russel Berry, instead of his Cruel to Be Kind purpose of directly showing Regina the consequences of her oblivious innocence.
    • Edgeworth's most controversial moment, threatening to reveal Adrian's psychological problems to force her to testify, was cut out.
    • In the games, Celeste's suicide note was a fake made by Corrida to discredit Engarde. Here the note was real and Corrida merely intended to publicize it.
    • Similar to the live action film, the teacher present during the class trial is a lot gentler with Phoenix in the anime, politely asking him to return Edgeworth's money, unlike in the game where she coldly orders him to apologize to Edgeworth.
    • Viola Cadaverini is a lot less creepy, and the running joke of her offering poisoned food to Phoenix and Maya is not present.
  • Adaptational Intelligence:
    • Redd White is not as incompetent in the final "Turnabout Sisters" court day as he was in the game, where he started getting nervous and falling apart rather fast. Overall, he's also considerably more frightening as a villain than in the game.
    • Manfred von Karma doesn't go for the Villain Ball like he does in the games: he moves the DL-6 evidence to his office before anyone thinks to go looking for it, sends a typescript letter with no identifying information to Yanni Yogi, doesn't taunt Phoenix into cross-examining the parrot, and sets a watch on his office just in case someone tries to get the evidence during the trial itself. Ultimately, he's brought down only because Edgeworth knows his ways and Maya is very, very brave.
    • To streamline the progression of cases and save runtime, Phoenix figures out the contradictions almost immediately, whereas in the game he stumbled in several spots.
    • Matt Engarde seems to be less of an airhead. Some of his antics of "contacting his agency" still exist, but he loses his Surfer Dude personality and seemed like he could speak normally. For his masquerade anyway. He also still has enough sense to keep up his "good guy" charade in front of the public court rather than openly showing his Obviously Evil self before Franziska delivers the final evidence, only showing it for his Villainous Breakdown afterwards.
    • Miles Edgeworth is no idiot in the games, but in the anime version of "Farewell, My Turnabout" he is in the courtroom and ready to prosecute Matt Engarde with almost no time to prepare. In the games he'd already done some research on the case and talked about it with Phoenix before he was called upon to replace Franziska.
  • Adaptational Late Appearance:
    • The DL-6 Incident gets this treatment. It wasn't mentioned at all in the Turnabout Sisters episodes, though Grossberg's involvement is alluded to.
    • The Lost Turnabout case was missing during the first season, which covered Justice for All. Instead, it became the first case for the second season which covered Trials and Tribulations.
    • Turnabout Memories, the first case of Trials and Tribulations is covered after the second and third cases of that particular game.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the games, Morgan Fey was merely Mimi's accomplice in the murder of Dr. Grey. Here, she is the one who comes up with the whole plan and blackmails Mimi into participating.
    • During the second trial, Luke Atmey acts much more Ax-Crazy than in the games.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Phoenix collapses upon catching the Samurai Spear (which, while certainly not light, is contrarily tossed at him by Edgeworth with relative ease).
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • The accident at Studio Two five years ago is pretty much glossed over in this adaptation, not even naming the dead actor. The game went into more detail about it, implying that maybe Hammer did it on purpose, and suggesting that Vasquez was close to the deceased actor.
    • In the game, Regina Berry was The Cutie to such an extent that everyone wanted to marry her, even Maya, and the rumor was that Max Galactica visited Russel Berry to discuss the prospect of marrying her (along with his salary negotiations). In the anime, only Bat and Ben/Trilo had any romantic designs for Regina.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Vasquez' shawl is slightly see-through in the game, but solid beige in the anime.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The first "Turnabout Sisters" episode slightly expands the way Grossberg refuses to defend Maya: he initially agrees to defend her, but he gets a call from Redd White shortly afterwards and is forced to give up.
    • While in the game Phoenix directly goes to Maya after Grossberg refuses to defend her, in the anime, he spends hours trying to find someone willing to take Maya's case. The result is just a notebook with all but two names crossed out; it really helps to bring across a feeling of hopelessness. This act of kindness touches Maya so much that she asks Phoenix to defend her.
    • The list of White's blackmail victims that Mia writes to take him down is more or less expanded in this adaptation. While the detail about his victims committing suicide is removed, the list is shown and stated to be the same piece of evidence that was inside The Thinker. This way, Mia writing that list has slightly more context than in the game, where it came across as a Deus ex Machina to most players.
    • Cody's encounter with Jack Hammer in Steel Samurai suit is a bit different this time around: Instead of Cody's stalking without a word, he eventually appeared and asked for a photo. Hammer actually complied, but got the pose wrong since he was so used to playing the Evil Magistrate. Phoenix and Maya, having binged the entire Steel Samurai series the night before in an effort to find something that might help their case, are able to recognize the pose as such, leading to the key deduction that the person in the Steel Samurai suit was Hammer instead of Powers.
    • The anime-original episode "Turnabout Promise" details how the classroom trial started. On the day of the trial, Edgeworth unknowingly dropped his lunch money after Phoenix bumped into him. Larry later found the money in the mouth of a stray dog and, not knowing who it belonged to, gave it to the police. Later that day, while skipping PE due to a cold, Phoenix picked Edgeworth's empty money envelope right when a classmate walked in on him. Ironically, once he gained legal ownership of the money after a three-month waiting period, Larry later used that same money to get himself, Phoenix and Edgeworth the Signal Samurai keychains that symbolized their friendship.
    • The season 2 episode "Sound the Turnabout Melody" is a Sequel Episode to "Turnabout Promise" that highlights Edgeworth's life with the von Karmas, including his once loving relationship with Franziska before she became a ruthless prosecutor, and the hand Phoenix unwittingly played in pushing him towards becoming a prosecutor by requesting a song on the radio that played at exactly the right moment. It also shows Manfred's thoughts towards Edgeworth during this time: after three years, he initially just wanted to send him off to an orphanage and rid himself of the Edgeworths' "curse", but seeing his potential as a prosecutor made him curious to see where his "karma" would lead him.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole:
    • Franziska's appearance in episode 13. She looks no younger than 4 years old, but she's supposed to be 2 at the time. This is corrected in Season 2, where she looks like her appropriate age in flashbacks depicting Edgeworth as a preteen.
    • In episode 17, when Phoenix explains how Mimi Miney posed as Maya to frame her, he reasons that when she put Maya in the clothing box, Dr. Grey shot at her, creating the bullet hole in the sleeve of the costume Mimi wore. In the game, the lack of a bullet hole in the sleeve of the woman in the second photograph is used to argue that she and Maya are not the same person. In the anime, the lack of a ceremonial headdress Maya was supposed to be wearing is used for this purpose instead, with Mimi and Maya having switched costumes when everyone not in on the plot was out of the room, but in that case the bullet hole should be in the sleeve of the costume Mimi was wearing in the photograph. It inexplicably isn't, even though when the picture taking is flashed-back to later the bullet hole is there.
    • During the Turnabout Samurai case, it is stated multiple times that the murder weapon is too heavy for a child or a petite woman to lift, and therefore the idea of either of them flat-out murdering the victim is completely dismissed. While in the game, it never goes into detail about the weight, the anime says the weight is 15 kg/about 33 lbs. While it might take a bit of effort, an elementary schooler could probably lift 33 pounds, and an adult woman would certainly be able to.
    • Inverted with the final bit of evidence that convinces de Killer to abandon Engarde. In the games, you present a videotape, even though he can't actually see it and no one has verified the contents. In the anime, the radio transceiver also transmitted video, so de Killer could not only see the DVD but also watch part of the playback, demonstrating beyond all doubt that someone had filmed him taking Corrida's life.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Celeste Inpax's name was changed to Celeste Andrews in this adaptation. Justified, as she was changed from being Adrian Andrews' mentor to her sister.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The anime skipped "Rise From the Ashes", though that was only a bonus episode in the DS port of the first game (and probably far too long to fit in the first season, seeing as it's more than twice the length of "Turnabout Goodbyes").
    • This is subverted with "The Lost Turnabout", which was the first case in the second game. It was skipped in the first season of the anime, which covered the first two games, only to show up as the case for the first episode of season 2, which otherwise covers the third game.
    • The Magatama sequences have been cut from the anime, likely to save on time. Psyche-Locks are shown breaking when Matt Engarde reveals his true colors, though.
    • Lotta Hart is completely removed from "Farewell, My Turnabout". Her role in the case is instead given to Larry.
    • "Director" Hotti appears neither in "Reunion and Turnabout" nor in "Farewell, My Turnabout".
    • Penny Nichole barely gets a few seconds of non heard screen time in a montage.
    • Blue Screens Inc and Lisa Basil are completely removed in "Recipe for Turnabout", giving her role to Gumshoe.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Luke Atmey's standard style of speaking.
  • Ambiguously Lesbian: Maya seems to enjoy the magazine with "rather scantily dressed" women and is visibly disappointed when Phoenix takes it away in Episode 21.
  • Americasia: For once in the Ace Attorney series, this is practically Averted by the English dub, which is firmly set in Japan instead of a Japanese-influenced Los Angeles like the games. This can be chalked up to the very first episode, which explicitly illustrates the victim's Japanese passport and a photograph of her overseas trip to New York, and the two-hour time difference between countries as a decisive plot point, all of which was only mentioned in the games. Thus, the dubbing team didn't have the luxury of glossing things over in translation. Despite this, however, it still retains the Dub Name Change for every single character.
  • The Anime of the Game: This anime is a retelling of the original trilogy, with the first season focusing on the first two games and the second season on the third.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Manfred von Karma after Gregory Edgeworth's death, or so Grossberg believes. Alas, the truth is more sinister.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Cody has a bigger role in the story of the third case. In the game, he pretty much disappeared after revealing he had seen the Steel Samurai being killed in Studio 2. In this adaptation, he has an outburst in the last trial day which prompts Edgeworth to start helping the defensenote  and convinces Oldbag to show the defense the photo from five years ago.
    • Grossberg's role is bigger in "Turnabout Goodbyes", compared to the game. He gets an appearance in the courtroom in Episode 11, whereas he only provided minor exposition in the game.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Giant versions of the Judge and Franziska attack Phoenix in the second opening.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Edgeworth and Franziska von Karma strike this pose in the second opening.
  • Badass Fingersnap: Courtesy of Manfred von Karma, just like in the games. He even manages to create a Dramatic Wind with it, knocking down Larry twice that way in Episode 10.
  • Battle Aura: Phoenix and Edgeworth give off ones with their respective colors during the first opening song in the courthouse.

  • Cheated Angle: An anime staple. The most obvious example is Detective Gumshoe's hair spikes.
  • Cheerful Child: Just like in the games, Pearl tends to shift between this and Adorably Precocious Child. Both are cute.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Phoenix, Edgeworth, and Larry are blue, red, and yellow-orange, respectively, and apparently they've been like that since childhood. Atypically, Phoenix (blue) is empathetic and passionate but a bit Book Dumb, while Edgeworth (red) is composed and intellectual but standoffish. Larry is just a lovable doofus.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Each 20-minute episode covers one or two game chapters. The anime manages to cover this much content in such little time by streamlining the progression of cases. In other words, the cases are shown without mistakes, and some pieces of evidence are taken out. In an example of Tropes Are Not Bad, "Turnabout Samurai" got reduced from a 3-day case to a 2-day case for this anime, which removed a Fetch Quest and overall made the case feel less dragged on.
  • Conspicuous CG: The courthouse layouts, the courtroom audience, and any moving vehicles are all clearly 3D models.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Trucy and a robot similar to Ponco appear in the first opening as chalk drawings.
    • At the start of "Turnabout Big Top", Phoenix wears the same pink sweater he wore as a college student in the first case of Trials and Tribulations.
  • Courtroom Antic: Being the anime of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, there are lots of gimmicks in the trials that Phoenix uses to win a case. One notable example unique to this adaptation is in the final part of "Turnabout Goodbyes", where Larry stalls for time by impersonating Edgeworth, the defendant.
  • Credits Running Sequence: The first opening has Phoenix-and then Maya, Larry, and Gumshoe-running down an (eventually) sunflower path during the daytime. Edgeworth, on the other hand, is walking alone on a beach at night.
  • Cruel Mercy: After revealing Matt Engarde's betrayal to Shelly de Killer, Phoenix goes for a "not guilty" verdict, knowing that if he goes free, he'll likely meet his end at the hands of the furious betrayed assassin.
  • Cry Cute: Franziska at the end of the final episode, just like in the games.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Jack Hammer, while disguised as the Steel Samurai, poses for Cody when asked on the day of the murder. But he accidentally uses the pose for the Evil Magistrate, which clues Phoenix in on Jack's initial ploy.
  • David vs. Goliath: Phoenix and Edgeworth's first meeting in the courtroom plays up the contrast as much as possible: unheralded rookie attorney with only one win vs. famous, unbeaten "guilty verdict machine." Naturally, we see Edgeworth make a splashy entrance in his red sports car while Phoenix parks his bike in complete anonymity.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • The Bellboy in "Turnabout Sisters", whose only involvement in the case is confirming Redd White was in Gatewater Hotel alongside April May. April herself also has a minor role compared to the game, only appearing in the first trial day.
    • Penny Nichols, already a somewhat superfluous character in the first game, is reduced to a non-speaking role in a single scene in episode 5.
    • Sal Manella as well, though not as much as the previous two characters. He really only appears to come up with the Pink Princess (while giving us a Fanservice shot of Maya) and deliver a script to Dee Vasquez. Most notably, he seemingly has no role whatsoever in covering up Dee Vasquez's accidental murder of Jack Hammer in this adaptation.
    • Missile the police dog only shows up in the ending credits of the JFA episodes, though it was possible to play through the first game without using him.
    • While Will Powers is as important in "Turnabout Samurai" as he was in the game, in the adaptation of "Farewell, My Turnabout", he only appears at the beginning, despite being an ally to Phoenix and a witness in the trial's second day in the game.
  • Dramatic Wind: Punctuates big "Objections" and thus doubles with Make Me Wanna Shout. Sometimes coupled with the objecting character's Battle Aura. Von Karma can apparently create some by snapping his fingers.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • We meet Franziska von Karma in a Whole Episode Flashback (Episode 13) as a child before she's shown as a prosecutor in court.
    • The second opening credits (which first played before the "Reunion, and Turnabout" arc) show the key figures from "Turnabout Big Top" and "Farewell, My Turnabout."
    • If you look closely at the opening credits for the first 13 episodes, you see Trucy Wright and Ponco as chalk drawings.
  • Eureka Moment: Phoenix has one of these nearly every case, where some little comment or a tip from Mia abruptly clarifies everything and gives him the insight to turn the entire trial around.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: If Phoenix is about to have a big moment, expect to see a glint off his attorney's badge. The big gold seal in the courtroom gets a lot of focus too when justice is about to go down.
  • Extra-Long Episode: Episode 13, the one where Dahlia makes her debut, is a double-length episode.
  • Face Fault: Maya and Gumshoe do one simultaneously in episode 9, when Phoenix sternly interrupts Gumshoe's testimony to ask what ballistic markings are.
  • Fanboy: Miles Edgeworth is not only one of the Steel Samurai franchise, as in the games, but it's more or less implied that he's been a fan of samurai series overall ever since Phoenix and Larry got him to watch The Signal Samurai.
  • Filler: Throughout both seasons, there have been only four filler stories not based on the original games. Notably fans like them due to them being original stories that expand on the background of the characters.
    • The first is "Turnabout Promise", the only anime-original episode of the first season, airing between the episodes adapting the first game and the episodes adapting Justice for All. It's a Whole Episode Flashback centered on the friendship of Phoenix, Larry, and Edgeworth following the class trial.
    • The second is "Sound the Turnabout Melody", which aired in the second season between "The Stolen Turnabout" and "Recipe for Turnabout". Its another flashback episode, this time focusing on Edgeworth during his middle school years and his life with the von Karmas.
    • The third is an original multi-episode case, "Northward, Turnabout Express", that features a trial conducted on a moving train.
    • The fourth is "Hear the Turnabout Waves", which expands upon the relationship between Pearl and Maya, and Maya and Mia, with flashbacks to their life in Kurain Village.
  • Finish Dialogue in Unison: At the finale of "Turnabout Goodbyes", Edgeworth and Phoenix deliver the fatal blow to Manfred von Karma in a single long statement which Phoenix begins, Edgeworth continues, and then they both finish together.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Two in "Turnabout Goodbyes".
    • Phoenix dreams about the class trial at the beginning of the case.
    • Edgeworth has a DL-6 nightmare while imprisoned. Doubles as Bad Dreams in his case, since until that moment he had been handling his situation with (apparent) aloof indifference.
  • Foreshadowing: Miles Edgeworth's involvement in the class trial is hidden from the viewer, initially painting Larry as the one who stood up for Phoenix at his darkest hour. In episode 1, attentive viewers might notice that the finger that enters the frame is wearing a sleeve while Larry is in a tank top.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Trucy Wright and a robot similar to PONCO can be seen briefly in the opening... as chalk drawings Phoenix jumps around.
    • The first "Turnabout Goodbyes" episode shows Phoenix always was a fan of grape juice.
    • In the episode about Turnabout Promise, when Edgeworth's money flies off, you can see that one of the bills has the judge's face.
    • In the credits of the JFA episodes, you can see Pearl with Missile the police dog. But you'll also see Ghost Trick's Missile the Pomeranian.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Redd White, just like in the Japanese version of the games. He randomly uses English phrases in his sentences. WHATCHA NAAAAYME?
    • In Episode 15, Franziska says "No problem" in English, as does the Judge right after her, and then Phoenix says the word "problem" in English when the Judge refuses to have the whip taken away. (The English translation keeps the flavor of the exchange by turning it into "No problemo"/"Big problemo.")

  • Hammerspace:
    • In episode 8, Maya pulls out a magazine talking about Gourdy (and later, the popper Larry gave her) out of her obi.
    • In the first "Turnabout Big Top" episode, Gumshoe pulls Max Galactica's hat out of his trenchcoat.
  • Heel Realization: Edgeworth briefly looks surprised/stricken in episode 7 when Cody interrupts the trial and screams about how it's not right for the villain to beat the Steel Samurai.
  • Irony: Morgan Fey rattles on Maya how the women of main Kurain family are embarrassment to the clan by mentioning how Misty and Mia broke the Kurain law by involving themselves with outsiders (the DL-6 case) during Waves of Turnabout. Later on, she gets caught for devising a plan to blame Maya for a murder involving outsider and then plotted an assasination attempt which involves her child daughter channeling her dead daughter who got executead after committing crimes after crimes, both of which indirectly dragging Kurain Channeling School's name to the mud because they got revealed on court. Really, who are the truly embarrassing Kurain family women?
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Wendy Oldbag in this adaptation is abrasive, but genuinely good-hearted.
    • Although this applied to him in the original game, Max Galactica is even moreso in the adaptation. While the plot points of him being egotistical and abrasive towards the other carnies stay in, the anime reveals that he only acted like that to encourage them to improve their acts. It also reveals that the massive pay raise that he asked for (which, in the game, was assumed to be for himself) was actually to be distributed among the other carnies as motivation to do even better.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Justified in many cases (defendants are in custody and have no chance to change clothes; Maya is in an acolyte's uniform; the lawyers are usually on official court business), but there's no obvious reason for someone like Regina Berry to walk around all day in full costume.
  • Luminescent Blush: Miles Edgeworth of all people blushes full red in Episode 5 upon being complimented by Oldbag, and in the "Turnabout Promise" episode because of his friends goofiness towards him and the whole ordeal of the abandoned puppy.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout:
    • The first trial shows Phoenix get blown off his feet after Frank Sahwit shoots down his objections. Phoenix's own objection when he has it locked up blows Frank back and knocks off his toupee.
    • In Episode 5, Oldbag's screeching apparently reaches supersonic levels.
    • Episode 9 has both Phoenix and Manfred von Karma raising objections strong enough to knock their opponent back (bonus Crucified Hero Shot for Phoenix).
    • In Episode 17, when Mimi Miney has been found out, she screams so intensely that she causes a mini nuclear explosion while inside the witness' stand.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Halfway through the second "Turnabout Goodbyes" episode, when Gumshoe tells Maya and Phoenix that he was in the lake with the metal detector due to Edgeworth, Phoenix remembers the moment where Edgeworth tells him he paid Maya's bail because she spoke out in court and kept his trial going. The heartwarming moment ends when Phoenix, in an Inner Monologue moment, wishes Edgeworth also paid his office's rent that month.
    • "Turnabout Promise" goes from Phoenix's contented musings on how his friendship with Edgeworth has been restored to the Wham Shot of "Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth chooses death."
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Maya's schoolgirl outfit on the JFA episodes' outro (and in a flashback in Season 2) is the same as the one she wears in a piece of concept art.
    • Phoenix finding out the truth about Matt Engarde in Episode 22 is met with the brief animation of several Psyche-Locks shattering.
    • In the second "Bridge to the Turnabout" episode, Gumshoe tries to console a crying Bikini with a handkerchief, who ends up blowing her nose onto Gumshoe's own tie. A similar scene happened during Turnabout Reminiscence, which involved Edgeworth giving a sobbing Kay his handkerchief, only for Kay to blow her nose on Edgeworth's cravat.
  • Nightmare Face:
    • Redd White gives us a rather disturbing one in Episode 4, complete with a toothy Slasher Smile.
    • Manfred von Karma gives one to the viewer at the end of Episode 8. With the shading on his face, it's pretty unsettling.
    • Gumshoe, of all people, while being rather smug about his assertions that Max must be the culprit.
    • Matt Engarde after his reveal in the last bits of Episode 22.
    • The closeup of Dahlia testifying in court.
  • Off-Model: The first version of the first opening had some animation errors. Most notably, the scene where Phoenix, Gumshoe, Larry, and Maya run together showed off really awkward run cycles. This was corrected a few episodes later.
  • Oh, Crap!: Matt Engarde becomes increasingly fearful of his situation the moment Edgeworth mentions de Killer's hatred of betrayal as he realizes that he is the infamous assassin's next target, eventually culminating in his Villainous Breakdown.
  • On the Next: At the end of each case's final episode, there is a minor hint at what the next case will be centered on, such as the Steel Samurai intro at the end of the final "Turnabout Sisters" episode.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Phoenix gets into this while lecturing Max about an attorney's need to believe in their client, and his refusal to defend Max if Phoenix can't trust him.
  • Origins Episode: The anime-original episode "Turnabout Promise" opens with a more detailed account of how the classroom trial started. It's followed by Phoenix, Edgeworth and Larry bonding over their favorite Samurai-themed television series, and ends with their final meeting before Edgeworth moved away to become a prosecutor. For extra measure, it even throws in an Early-Bird Cameo from Franziska von Karma.

  • Pet the Dog:
    • Jack Hammer is painted as even less of an Asshole Victim when he gladly agrees to pose for Cody Hackins while he's on his way to confront Dee Vasquez. Doubly so when you realize that he's playing the Evil Magistrate, when the fans would more likely cheer on Will Powers' character (Steel Samurai), but he's not playing grudges to Powers' fans.
    • Manfred von Karma is shown to have been fairly kind to Edgeworth while taking him in, giving him a scarf and permitting him to keep an abandoned dog he had as a pet.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: While the anime is very faithful to the games, some changes in the progression of the cases were made due to time constraints, and others to better suit the story's pacing. This results in some gags (Sahwit hilariously throwing his wig at Phoenix's face) and optional content (the ladder/stepladder debate) being cut out, changes in locales (Cody's interrogation taking place during the investigation), and characters being switched around (Larry Butz replacing Lotta Hart in "Farewell, My Turnabout"). However, not every change was completely positive: the stun gun scene in "Turnabout Goodbyes" was a huge shock in the game (von Karma attacked Phoenix and Maya to steal a critical piece of evidence) but is less so in the anime (Maya is tased by a random officer but manages to grab the evidence anyway).
  • Production Foreshadowing: Since the anime was produced way after the games came out, the production team took the liberty of adding some additional foreshadowing, to make the entire story more cohesive.
    • The pink sweater given to Phoenix by Iris can be seen in his apartment at the beginning of Episode 1. It shows up again in the first "Turnabout Big Top" episode, worn by Phoenix to a performance at the circus.
    • Edgeworth's office (with the King of Prosecutors trophy) and red sports car show up in "Turnabout Sisters," but in the games they didn't appear until they became relevant in "Rise from the Ashes." His connection to Manfred von Karma is also established earlier than in the games.
    • The first "Turnabout Goodbyes" episode briefly features the Blue Badger Panel from 1-5 and a newspaper article that shows Max Galactica from Justice for All.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • In the games, Mimi Miney can wipe her tears with her hat; in this adaption, it doesn't survive all the twisting and pulling.
    • Max does his "throwing cards" animation, twice, in the detention center. The cards just smack against the glass.
    • Acro's little birds don't follow him into the courtroom.
    • Matt Engarde did not bring A Glass of Chianti anywhere he goes from the detention center to the court.
    • In an episode, Gumshoe talks on his phone... while driving. Guess what happens?
    • Franziska is taken completely out of commission the day she is shot, and when she turns up for her Big Damn Heroes moment the next day she looks a bit shaky and her arm is in a sling.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The judge gives Matt Engarde one at the end of the first season.
    Judge: I can't think of you as truly innocent. You have done enough evil to drive a woman to suicide. But, at least on the charge of murder, it would appear you are not guilty.note 
  • Related in the Adaptation: In the games, Celeste is Adrian's mentor. In the anime, they're sisters instead.
  • Remake Cameo: When dubbing the second season of the anime, the studio secured Sam Riegel to play Furio Tigre, a Loan Shark who poorly yet successfully impersonates Phoenix. Riegel is the actor for the English dub of the video games, where he plays Phoenix.
  • Revenge:
    • Subverted with Franziska. She's after Phoenix, who destroyed Edgeworth, because she wants to beat him herself and thus surpass her brother. (And she believes Edgeworth isn't really dead).
    • Played straight with Adrian Andrews, who frames Matt Engarde for murder to get back at him for ruining her sister's happiness repeatedly and driving her to suicide.
  • Ring of Fire: Phoenix jumps through several of these during the second opening, chased by Regina Berry on a lion.
  • Santa Clausmas: Christmas is mentioned a few times, but since this is Christmas in Japan, it's an entirely secular holiday and apparently not taken seriously except by children.
  • Security Cling: Maya to Phoenix in "Turnabout Goodbyes" after she was scared by Polly.
  • Setting Update: Some of the technology in the game was updated to 2016 standards for the anime. For example, the courtroom has monitors to show off evidence, all computers and TVs now have flat screen monitors, Cody's digital camera is no longer described as a novelty, and Phoenix and Maya record a YouTube video ad. This, of course, makes sense, as the series is set by the timeline as taking place in 2016 to 2019 (same timespan the anime aired in real life). However, everyone still uses early-2000s cell phones.
  • Shaming the Mob: Edgeworth and Larry, as children, defending Phoenix in the class trial.
  • Shipper on Deck: As in the games, Pearls immediately believes that Phoenix is Maya's "special someone" and starts cheering him on to defend her because that's what a man does for his special someone. He's pretty embarrassed about it all.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Signal Samurai is basically a 'Steel Samurai' edition of two Super Sentai: Gekisou Sentai Carranger (themed about Traffic Safety) and Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan (Red-Blue-Yellow all-male roster)
    • The way Edgeworth finds the way back home in "Turnabout Promise" (throwing dog treats on the ground) is reminiscent of the tale Hansel and Gretel.
  • Show, Don't Tell:
    • Grossberg's painting. It's never verbally brought up in this anime, but attentive viewers will notice how it mysteriously went from Grossberg's office to White's office.
    • In episode 2, Phoenix's desperation to find a lawyer willing to defend Maya is demonstrated when Phoenix—drenched in rain and covered in flower petals after an unspecified amount of time searching—shows her a list of over 40 law firms he's visited, all but two of which are crossed out. Maya, who was convinced Phoenix didn't believe in her innocence, is moved to silent tears and asks him to defend her instead.
  • Shown Their Work: "The First Turnabout" shows the correct portrayal of an American CBP passport stamp on a Japanese passport page. (However, the passport itself is missing Cindy Stone's signature, and the serial numbers don't match up!)
  • Show Within a Show: The Steel Samurai show. Unlike the games, where it only gets described with some accompanying imagery, we actually get to see it in episode 5. There is also an earlier Samurai show called Signal Samurai, which Phoenix, Edgeworth and Larry watched together as kids.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Dahlia Hawthorne is nowhere to be seen in any of the preview trailers for Season 2.
  • Sleep Cute: Maya on Phoenix at the end of "Reunion and Turnabout".
  • Super-Deformed: By the time Season 2 rolls in, Adrian Andrews can end up in a downplayed form of this to show more of her new open and klutzy personality.

  • Thriller on the Express: The anime original "Northward, Turnabout Express" has Phoenix and Maya be invited to travel on the Silver Star, a luxury train, only for the train to be hijacked. The hijacker happens to be the train's owner, Avery Richman, who just happens to be a fugitive escaping a death sentence. He claims however he was falsely convicted, and planned the hijacking so he can hold a retrial on the train, with Phoenix as his lawyer.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: Young Edgeworth leaves a trail of dog food (twice) so that he can find his way back to his house.
  • Tranquil Fury: De Killer's tone barely changes as he states that his new target is his traitorous former client.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Episode 6 of Season 2 shows that Franziska was pampered as a little girl, and did everything she could to make the gloomy Edgeworth smile. Note that this is before she formally dedicates herself to becoming a prosecutor, leading to their bitter sibling rivalry and her contemptuous attitude towards everyone else.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Many breakdowns are shortened/reduced in the adaption due to time constraints; notable examples include:
    • Like in the game, Frank Sahwit foams at the mouth and faints when his guilt is proved. Instead of hilariously throwing his toupee at Nick's face, however, it comes off in the face of one of Phoenix's objections.
    • April May also appears to power-up and go in a full-blown angry rant while looking scarily manic, as she demands for Maya's death like in the game, though her reverting back and eventually crying is taken out.
    • Manfred still resorts to roaring in fury when he's been found out in Episode 12. However, he doesn't hilariously bash his head against the wall in this adaption, instead attempting to retort with a Badass Fingersnap and failing.
    • Like in the second game, Franziska still pounds the desk and yells "This Cannot Be!" when she loses; however, she doesn't go on a whipping fit and knock Phoenix unconscious.
    • Unlike the games, Ini Miney is given one where she rips her head through her hat, screams a Big "NO!", and combusts in a fiery explosion when it is revealed that she was really Mimi Miney.
    • Matt Engarde's breakdown where he claws at his own face was shown twice, compared to the game showing it once.
  • Vocal Dissonance: In the flashbacks to when the main characters were kids, Edgeworth and Larry sound like they're 17 years old when they're supposed to be only 9. In the sixth episode of the second season, slightly older Edgeworth has his present-day voice. Averted in the English dub, where female actors were cast for all three boys to give more age-appropriate voices.
  • Voice of the Legion: Dahlia speaks with this when she finally snaps.
  • Weapons-Grade Vocabulary: While this has always been a part of the franchise, the anime takes it Up to Eleven, with charracters being blasted backwards into the walls with each HOLD IT! and OBJECTION!. In fact, sudden gusts of wind blow in out of nowhere that everyone present in court can feel.
  • Wham Line: At the end of Episode 9, the parrot in the boat rental shop (Polly) says "Don't forget DL-6!". For those who don't know, DL-6 is a murder incident that has been unsolved for 15 years.
  • Wham Shot:
    • In a stark contrast from the game, in the final "Turnabout Goodbyes" episode, as Phoenix is about to prove von Karma killed Gregory Edgeworth in the DL-6 incident, the bullet is missing.
    • The note reading "Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth chooses death" at the end of "Turnabout Promise".
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • "Turnabout Promise" and "Sound the Turnabout Melody" are filler episodes set in the past involving Phoenix's friendship with Larry and Edgeworth, with the first being the event around and after the class trial, and the second being their middle school years, with a heavy focus on Edgeworth's life as a ward of von Karma.
    • "Hear the Turnabout Waves" is has a couple lengthy flashbacks to Maya and Pearl's childhood in Kurain Village.
    • As for episodes that were originally flashbacks in the original visual novels, only "Turnabout Memories" and "Turnabout Beginnings" retain their nature as flashbacks. "Reunion and Turnabout" lost its flashback nature when "The Lost Turnabout" was skipped over in the first season.
  • World Building: One of the anime's strengths is that, unlike the games, it isn't restricted to a few static backgrounds, and can show more in-depth the locales in Phoenix's world. For the first time in the main canon, we can see the exterior of the Wright & Co. Law Offices and many other places, and other locales that only appeared in the spin-off games (such as the interior of the courthouse and Edgeworth's office).

Alternative Title(s): Ace Attorney Anime


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