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Tear Jerker / Ace Attorney Anime

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This page is for tear-jerking moments from the 2016 anime adaptation of Ace Attorney.

For poignant moments from the games in the series, see the appropriate subpages:


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Notably sad moments in the 2016 anime adaption include:

    Season 1 
  • The entire segment of Mia's death is a lot harder to watch animated. Plus, unlike the game, there is a brief scene of the day after Maya's arrest where both she and Phoenix are shown to be noticeably affected by her death.
  • The scene where Cody tearfully admits to having seen his beloved hero, the Steel Samurai, being killed.
  • The scene where Grossberg tells Phoenix and Maya about DL-6 and tearfully apologizes to Maya for having leaked the information about Misty to White. It's even accompanied by the new versions of the Steel Samurai Ballad and the DL-6 Reminiscence theme.
  • Yanni Yogi's confession. To put it briefly, we see how much the incident ruined his life, first by being manipulated by Robert Hammond in pleading not guilty out of insanity, being hounded by society and later his fiance committing suicide, all while trying to fight back tears. It really shows how much revenge can consume a person's soul.
  • In Misty Fey's channeling seance, Gregory Edgeworth asks if his son is okay.
  • Edgeworth wincing at the photograph of his father's dead body.
  • The second opening has two:
    • About halfway through the opening, Phoenix and Maya are swung by Acro and Bat, showing both acrobats performing at their height before the accident that left one paralyzed from the waist down and the other in a coma.
    • The ending shows a preview of the characters and setting for each case, with all of them smiling and laughing - including the victims. Knowing that at least one of the characters involved wants another dead, and succeeds, puts quite the damper on the cheery mood brought upon by the song. The scene featuring the cast of Turnabout Big Top, specifically, feels downright tragic in retrospect, with Regina hugging her father Russel, and Acro and Bat standing in the background together.
  • The scene where Phoenix and Larry try to give back one of the Signal Samurai pendant to Edgeworth (Which was of course thrown away to the trash can by Von Karma), they reach the point in which Larry gives up and he's even willing to crush the pendants, all because he believes that Edgeworth really threw away their friendship. Phoenix of course, would have none of it and decides to return to its house in case he returns. Thankfully, it's all settled in the end but the sight of Larry feeling betrayed can be really heartbreaking with people who had the same experiences.
  • Maya shaking and terrified in the visitor room, so sure that she is the perpetrator.
    Maya: Help me, Nick...
  • Pearl's tears when Maya is lead away in handcuffs.
  • Sure, she may be a ruthless prosecutor, but in this version, Franziska doesn't whip Phoenix into unconsciousness. Instead, she just stands looking down in shock, unable to believe that she lost. Yes, she was prosecuting an innocent person, but it did look bad for Maya, and Franziska was only doing her job as prosecutor. She didn't even resort to cheap tactics like coaching witnesses or concealing important evidence.
    • In the same episode, Maya and Mia's reaction to the revelation that Morgan Fey was plotting to remove Maya and put her daughter in place as the Master of Kurain. Maya is blindsided; Mia seems to be in Tranquil Fury mode, like she suspected it all along. It's easy to see why Phoenix didn't want Pearl to hear any of this.
  • The fact that everybody at Berry Big Top seems to hate Max. Doubly so when you know that the magician act is exactly that: an act. Underneath all of that, Max is a hard working illusionist who just wants to see his colleagues grow rather than staying in their comfort zones.
  • Moe's flashback when he and Russel successfully made their first show a hit, and promising that they will make the Big Berry Circus a success. Now with Russel gone, and the tragedy of Acro and Bat, Moe is genuinely sad about what to do.
    • Acro sheds quite a few tears himself; some when talking to Phoenix and some in Moe's description of his visit to his brother.
  • When Maya asks Franziska if she's being so mean because of her Papa, Franziska is genuinely puzzled for a moment, and then points out that victory won't bring her Papa back. She goes on to explain that her goal is to crush Phoenix the same way he "crushed" Edgeworth, to bring her brother back from wherever he's hiding.
  • Moe shouting at Acro to tell the truth. When Acro doesn't respond, Moe's eyes go wide, the betrayal utterly evident.
  • Regina's tearful apology to Acro and begging to be arrested in his place because she feels that everything that happened was her fault. Moe gets this as well as he points out that human lives are important, and that that is why she needed to know and understand what happened.
    • Adding to that scene is that Regina is dragging herself against a wall during that, trying to reach Acro before he's gone. It seems the guilt is literally weighing her down but she wants to at least get to Acro before he's gone for who knows how long.
  • When Pheonix finds the clues that tell him that Matt Engarde was the one who hired de Killer, he confronts him in the waiting room, begging Matt to tell him he's wrong in his thoughts. For one fleeting second, Matt looks at Pheonix with what looks for all the world like sympathy... before smirking and showing his true colors.
  • Phoenix struggling as he realizes he can't stop the first trial day from ending. Sheer terror gives way to tears, and soon, even Pearl is crying, because if anything happens to Maya... And unlike the games, there isn't even the Hope Spot of Edgeworth objecting to keep the trial running when he notices Phoenix's distress.
  • Maya's loneliness while locked up in Engarde's basement. Poor girl isn't even being fed, so she resorts to the candies she kept in her obi.
  • Pearls tearing up when Gumshoe goes for the third cup of ramen and Gumshoe's effusive apologies. Nobody's having a good day.
  • The letter Maya leaves at Engarde's when she is spirited away by de Killer. That she ends it with, "goodbye", as if it's the last time she'll ever talk to or see Nick...
  • Nick breaking up in Edgeworth's office: his voice is shaking, and he's plainly terrified and in very deep turmoil about the path he needs to take.
  • In an Awesome-slash-Tear-Jerker moment, when Phoenix is wrestling with the decision to go for Guilty and convict Engarde or go for Not Guilty and spare Maya, he seems on the verge of tearing his badge off (as if to say "Screw justice, save Maya") but stops himself and straightens up with a terrible look on his face, wreathed in a Battle Aura. It's subjective, but the implication is that he was about to make the sacrifice and go for Guilty before Franziska interrupted him.
  • The stricken look on Franziska's face when she sees Phoenix celebrating his first loss. She doesn't understand why Phoenix would celebrate and believes she doesn't have what it takes to be a lawyer, tossing her whip aside. As antagonistic as she was, it's clear that the pressure of being a Von Karma and beating Edgeworth pushed her over the edge. It takes a very stern talk from Edgeworth at the airport and Franziska crying to get her resolve back, but if that hadn't happened, she would've given up her entire career.

    Season 2 
  • In Season 2, Maya explains why Pearl is so obsessed with seeing them together romantically. Turns out that due to Kurain Village being run by women, men are usually looked down upon and often leave the place, thus the divorce rate there is pretty high. Pearl's father is just one among many of those.
  • The sixth episode of Season 2 brings a bit more of the life of Phoenix, Larry and Edgeworth during the time they were separated. Phoenix and Larry are clearly very sad over the fact Edgeworth left without leaving any means to contact them, and wonder if he's doing alright.
  • The Recipe for Turnabout arc, even if it's mostly filler for the main arc, managed to portray Viola Cadaverini as much more sympathetic than in the games. For starters, her design makes her look less creepy, but also we get to see a scene where she overhears Tigre saying "It's all because of that creepy woman!" She gasps in shock because she knows he's talking about her.
    Tigre: This is that gloomy bitch's fault!
  • Hear the Waves of Turnabout, despite being a filler episode, is filled with sad moments. During the flashback in the Kurain Village, Morgan Fey scolds and insults Maya because she took Pearl to see the ocean for the first time.
    Morgan: Unbelievable! What were you thinking!? As a candidate for the head of the family, you should know better than this!
    Maya: I'm sorry Aunt Morgan, I shouldn't have-
    Morgan: Good grief! Obviously the rotten apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Think about what befell your mother! I mean when she broke the rules and got involved with outsiders, how did that turn out for her? After she almost ruined the Kurain school's reputation she vanished and left me to take care of you!
    Maya: But the only reason she left was to make thing better for-
    Morgan: Not to mention Mystic Mia! She left the village saying she wanted to become a lawyer! Can you imagine the selfishness?
    Maya: No! You're wrong! She left because she's trying to find leads on what happened to mom!
    Morgan: You woman of the main family are an embarrassment to the entire clan!
    • It gets even worse when you realize Morgan's comments about Misty and Mia Fey were all references to the DL-6 incident. Her scathing remarks about them departing shows that she is more concerned on how they violated the Kurain rules rather than how the incident affected the entire Fey clan. Adding to the crimes she was later involved in really rubs in how horrible of a person Morgan Fey is.
  • The death of Terry Fawles - a sad moment in game - is even sadder when animated. Mia actually falls to her knees, screaming his name and begging him to open his eyes as he dies on her lap, while Dahlia smiles in triumph. Diego Armando's words of 'comfort' ("The only time a man can cry is when it's all over.") happen in the vacant courtroom afterward, where a young Edgeworth happens to overhear. There's no question how deeply all of them have been affected by Dahlia's scheming.
  • Godot admitting to everything after Case 3-5 has been deduced by Phoenix gets taken up a notch when Godot cries. In the game, a stream of red runs down his cheek, making Phoenix believe his wound opened. Godot says that it must be his tears, echoing from an earlier case that a lawyer can only cry when it's all over. The anime makes Godot's tears appear reddish at first, but then they become clear, suggesting that he's actually crying and his tears were merely running down his wound.

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