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This page covers the fourth game in the series, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.

For other such moments in the series, see the appropriate subpages:


  • Accidental Aesop: Don't use your daughter as a pawn in a criminal scheme. In addition to the character who did this in the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, there are about four characters who do it in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Phoenix had his daughter give Apollo evidence that Phoenix had forged so that Apollo would present it in court; Drew Misham had his daughter forge paintings and evidence for money; Magnifi Gramarye arguably did this when he blackmailed his students with something they had done to his daughter while apparently not doing much to help her; and Zak Gramarye had his daughter help him escape from his murder trial. Phoenix's example is particularly noteworthy because he exploited the exact same trap that killed his own career, right down to using the same person from his own experience to carry it out.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
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    • This line in the middle of 4-3:
    Apollo: Lamiroir, fingering Daryan Crescend. Not only is he a guitarist, he's a detective!
    • This line from the MASON System in the final case, when Phoenix presents Apollo to Zak Gramarye to break his Psyche-Locks:
    Zak: You can show me pictures of strange boys all you like.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Phoenix's new, Anti-Hero persona is sometimes speculated to be the result of Suppressed Rage over years of Butt-Monkey moments — with Kristoph's petty Frame-Up of him simply being the final tipping point into Who's Laughing Now? territory.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: In Japan, it remains the highest-selling game in the series after the Updated Re-release of the first. While its reception in the west wasn't especially poor — its review scores on its first release weren't as good of those of the first or third game, but better than those of the second — it was by far the lowest-selling main-series Ace Attorney game, and ahead of only Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth as the lowest-selling Ace Attorney game overall, likely contributing to Capcom's pulling the plug on physical releases of the series in the west.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
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    • As great as taking down Kristoph in the final case is, the final trial day is practically an automated level, with only one part where you have to present something and only one cross-examination segment (Both at the beginning of the trial), which involves using the bracelet to spot one of the most obvious tells in the entire game. He gives a MUCH better fight in the first case, which says a lot. Heck, the Pursuit theme doesn't even play in the last trial day.
    • Valant Gramarye, who's technically the culprit in Phoenix's last trial- he didn't kill Magnifi but tried to frame Zak. After a conversation with Phoenix in which Phoenix breaks his two Psyche-locks, he shares some of his secrets, then turns himself in. His final fate is never revealed.
  • Arc Fatigue: Turnabout Serenade takes forever to finish, as Apollo is forced to rely almost purely on theories and hypotheses due to the small amount of evidence, all while contending with some of the most cryptic and unhelpful witnesses since Rise from the Ashes and endure lots and lots of displays of the new 3D modelling. Worse, the player, using basic logic, can point out that the crime the defendant is accused of is all-but physically impossible... but the case still goes on.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
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    • Apollo Justice's cast is either a fresh take on the Ace Attorney series after three games of Phoenix Wright, or replacement scrappies for not just Phoenix, but also most of the supporting cast from the original trilogy. It doesn't help that when some of them return in future games, Apollo himself is the most distant towards them (stemming from his insistence to be professional), and at the end of Spirit of Justice Apollo leaves the Agency to stay in Khura'in. There are also those who love Apollo but wish that he could have been given more Character Development rather than being sidelined in a game that bears his own name.
    • Trucy Wright. Many enjoy her interactions with Apollo and her ability to avoid getting in trouble every single game unlike Maya, while others feel instead that her chemistry with Apollo is a weaker attempt to echo the Phoenix-Maya duo. Despite her role as an assistant, she also has the recurring tendency to imply to Apollo that she's solved the mysteries behind the cases well before he has, and yet chooses not to explain them to him directly.
    • Klavier Gavin. Some dislike him for his much less harsh attitude toward the defense and what are seen as stereotypical Bishounen tendencies. Others like him because of his surprisingly helpful attitude and aversion of the Amoral Attorney trope, as well as his zany rock star attitude and career, and point out that (for the most part) the prosecutor isn't meant to be a villain; they're simply there to present counterarguments to the defense, something that was established in the Phoenix arc between Phoenix and Edgeworth. General opinion of him seems to have swung more positively since, with many lamenting that he was Demoted to Extra in both Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice.
    • Ema Skye, initially a fan-favorite assistant for the first game's bonus case. Her redesign is adored as she is one of the few assistant girls in the series to avert Not Allowed to Grow Up, but her newfound grumpy personality after her failure to qualify for the forensics unit has made her divisive. That being said, there are those who greatly appreciate this distinction from the other assistant girls. Her relationship with Apollo is another point of debate; some of Apollo's detractors tend to give her a pass for venting out at him for no reason at all while others feel that their bickering is more friendly and harmless than anything, particularly in the fourth case.
    • Wocky Kitaki. Many fans hate him for being an abrasive Jerkass who does nothing but berate his own defense attorney to the point of outright complaining about getting acquitted on murder charges, all because Alita, a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who openly admitted to using him for money, was outed as the killer, and who rarely if ever shows redeeming qualities of any kind. Others appreciate him for his moments of Hidden Depths and his relationship with his parents, as well as presenting the unique scenario of defending an unlikeable jerk who is still innocent.
    • Kristoph Gavin. He’s either a great final villain, or he’s one of the worst final villains. A lot of this is due to his motive, that being that Zak passed him over for Phoenix, in his eyes, because Phoenix won a poker game. As a result, he ruins Phoenix’s career by making him present forged evidence, kills Zak years later, and tries to kill Vera Misham. This, as mentioned below in Broken Base, either makes him hard to take seriously because of how petty he is or incredibly scary because of how petty he is.
  • Best Level Ever: The first case is probably the best-received in the entire game, and widely considered one of the best first cases in the series if not the best, in large part because of the surprising plot twist that your character's co-counsel is the murderer.
  • Broken Base:
    • Apollo Justice divided fans into a Phoenix Wright camp and an Apollo Justice camp. Some wished for Phoenix to be returned to his original role as a lawyer and the central protagonist, while others believed that Apollo was a good character in his own right who just needed another game or two to develop, pointing to Phoenix's own much longer stint as protagonist. This division was only exacerbated by the confirmation that Dual Destinies would be returning Phoenix to the central protagonist role and further pushing Apollo out of focus.
    • Some instead enjoy both characters but dislike the Time Skip and related case. Considering that the Phoenix Wright trilogy ended on an triumphant Earn Your Happy Ending moment, the way Apollo Justice opens can be something of a mood killer, to put it mildly.
    • The final villain’s motive. It’s either dumb because of how petty it is, or scary because of how petty it is.
    • While the final case, Turnabout Succession is near universally agreed to be a Disappointing Last Level, it’s debated just how much of a disappointment it is. It’s either a bad case all around, or just a disappointedly decent case. Some say it makes absolutely no sense, others say that it does once you analysis and/or replay it, then some counter that by saying that the case should not need to be analyzed to be enjoyed. In any case, it’s hard to find people who hate the case more than Turnabout Ablaze, the final case of the first Investigations game, but it’s also hard to find people who really love the case as much as most other final cases in the franchise.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: It's pretty easy to figure out that the amnesiac Lamiroir is actually Thalassa Gramarye due to their identical hairstyles.
  • Complete Monster: Kristoph Gavin is a seemingly-helpful mentor who is really one half of the diabolical duo said to usher in "The Dark Age of the Law" by disbarring Phoenix Wright. Kristoph did this out of a petty grudge for Phoenix being chosen as a lawyer for a high-profile client instead of him, and so murders said client and manipulates a shy artist and his own brother to enact his vengeance. Poisoning both the artist and her father, Kristoph intended for both to die, gloating to Apollo and Phoenix he knew their line of questioning would make her nervously bite her nails, where he had put the poison. Having started poisoning the artist when she was only twelve, Kristoph is happy to then sit back and watch her face conviction for her own father's murder committed by himself.
  • Contested Sequel: Some enjoy the new setting and characters. Others consider it to be the oddball of Ace Attorney for the way its plot barely connects to the first three games and how different the game’s tone is. How Phoenix and Apollo are handled is the biggest point of contention.
  • Disappointing Last Level: "Turnabout Succession" to some people. Aside from the final trial segment often being seen as a major anticlimax, due in part to having only one cross-examination and the decisive evidence being presented without player input, complaints about the case include the poor execution of the MASON system, which has two pieces of evidence seemingly travel backwards through time, Phoenix and Gumshoe acting decidedly more arrogant than normal during the flashback Gramarye trial, and Apollo being effectively sidelined as Phoenix takes center stage instead of giving his apprentice a chance to shine. While the case isn't hated like "Turnabout Serenade", and probably isn't even the most-disliked final case from the franchise — "Turnabout Ablaze" from the first Investigations game is nearly unanimously considered to hold that title — a lot of fans agree it's a mediocre final case.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Valant Gramarye: Zak was a jerk; almost definitely more of a jerk than Valant, but that doesn't excuse Valant for deciding to frame him for murder, especially when the main motives were jealousy and money. Nevertheless, Valant maintains a substantial following of fans.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Vera Misham is rather popular character despite appearing only sporadically in a single case and spending half of it comatose, owing to her heartbreaking personal story, being a surprisingly positive portrayal of a girl with a mental disorder, and just being plain cute. She is also unique in the game in being the only defendant who is genuinely sympathetic(even after she's revealed to be a forger) and not some type of Jerkass or another, earning her additional love from fans. Even the game's detractors often admit to liking her.
  • Epileptic Trees: There are some fans who believe that Trucy forged the bloody Ace of her own accord and Phoenix only took credit for it to protect her.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Kristoph Gavin, the Big Bad.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Some just can't accept the choices made with Phoenix's character in Apollo Justice, which is probably a large part of the reason Phoenix returns to his original role as main protagonist starting in Dual Destines. Another camp ignored the game entirely, aside from Trucy and Apollo's existence in the law office. It helps nothing that Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice went on to either quietly ignore or outright retcon large portions of the game itself.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Phoenix and Kristoph are portrayed as friends. The fandom quickly took it to the next level.
    • A more humorous example is Ema and Klavier. Despite the former claiming to hate the latter all time, they are frequently shipped together with Ema usually depicted as being a Tsundere towards Klavier. Even some official art give strong vibes of shipping between the two.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In the original game's bonus case, "Rise from the Ashes", Phoenix ended up facing an evidence-forging Corrupt Cop. Here — not only has he been disbarred for unknowingly presenting forged evidence, but his resulting cynicism even drives him to knowingly use similar evidence in retaliation against the one responsible.
    • In the first installment of the series, Mia's advice to Maya is to give Phoenix "three more years" before calling on his representation in court. The final trial of Phoenix's career happens during his third year.
    • During the MASON system present segment, when Valant gets Phoenix to guess who killed Magnifi Gramarye. Before realizing the truth that it was suicide, Phoenix wonders if there were more Troupe members who would kill Magnifi. Spirit of Justice's second case reveals there was indeed such a Troupe member who would kill a Gramarye, though he did not get the chance to kill Magnifi.
    • Players have noted that "The Guitar's Serenade"'s lines, "Burning on in my heart. Fire. Burn my love away. All away.", happen to be quite fitting given the reveal in Spirit of Justice of how Lamiroir's first husband died.
    • Near the end of case 3, Daryan mentions that "Lying must be a national pastime in Borginia. ...And wherever you're from, Mr. "Justice"." While it almost certainly wasn't intentional, that line makes a hell of a lot more sense when you learn in Spirit of Justice that that much of Apollo's childhood was not spent in America, and especially considering the situation in the country he did spend that time in.
    • The Dark Age of the Law. Over the last five games, Damon Gant was arrested and reformed the police department, Phoenix set a standard for attorneys to have genuine trust with their clients after getting Matt Engarde arrested, a decade-long feud between the Feys, the Hawthornes, and the Armandos was put to rest, and most importantly, Edgeworth got Blaise Debeste incarcerated to put a stop to corruption among prosecutors. However, these major accomplishments, especially the second and fourth ones in the way of attorneys and prosecutors, would end up being All for Nothing, as Kristoph Gavin getting Vera Misham to forge a diary page that would get Phoenix disbarred ruined the reputation of defense attorneys, while Simon Blackquill getting framed for the murder of Metis Cykes ruined the reputation of prosecutors. It speaks volumes to how much these past efforts were undone when it takes Edgeworth 6 years to become Chief Prosecutor, and even that doesn't put an end to the ruined reputation of the legal system.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The whole incident surrounding Phoenix Wright getting hit by a car and flung into a pole and only suffered a sprained ankle. With his inclusion in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, he had to contend with a variety of attacks, such as She-Hulk's Level 3 Hyper, which involves getting hit by a car (Sunday Driver, according to her), and her new attack in Ultimate swinging a lpole. The best part is that the hit and run incident in the game took place on a Sunday.
    • At the end of Case 2, one of the characters says simply, "Please understand." Remember that this game came out years before Nintendo started doing the Nintendo Direct series.
    • For players that thought that the game's story revolving around Phoenix instead of Apollo as the game's title would suggest was a bad idea, don't worry; Apollo returns the favour in Spirit of Justice.
    • Towards the end of the final trial, Apollo makes a comment saying that the justice system has to change and he'll be there when it does. Fast forward to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice where he actually gets to change the judicial system for the better, though it's in another country.
    • While talking to Valant, Phoenix asks if Magnifi had another disciple who could have killed Magnifi, which Valant thoroughly mocks. Come Spirit of Justice, it turns out there was another disciple who had a bone to pick with Magnifi: Mr. Reus.
    • Related to the above, Valant specifically says Magnifi has two disciples- Zak and Valant- in the previous case. Considering the aforementioned twist, it seems like a Suspiciously Specific Denial.
    • On a somewhat more meta note is Phoenix introducing a version of the Lay Judge system in the final trial. The Japanese court system the games are based on would follow a couple years after the game's release.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Many fans think this of Turnabout Serenade, in which the characters grip the Idiot Ball and assume that it's perfectly feasible for a prepubescent boy to use an incredibly powerful revolver without injury, carry a 250lbs man across an arena, and even for the boy to be a secret Interpol agent based on a bit of bloody writing, despite that having been used as a red herring as far back as Phoenix's second case. While Apollo does dispute the feasibility of the accusations early on, Klavier blows him off immediately. For this reason, the case is one of two (the other being case 2-3) that are generally considered to be among the worst in the whole franchise.
    • Another instance in Serenade comes from one of the witnesses, who fails to mention one vital detail in her testimony; she heard the crime take place during the second act and not the third, when everyone thought it took place. At the very least, this instance is lampshaded by Apollo and Lamiroir.
    • Worse yet, neither the accused nor the real perpetrator have ever worn gloves throughout the entire incident, meaning someone's set of fingerprints should've been all over the murder weapon. Still, no one on either side bothers to discuss fingerprint analysis, despite this usually being one of the first pieces of evidence brought up in a case.
    • The flashback sequence in which Phoenix presents forged evidence and ends up losing his badge has virtually everyone involved making uncharacteristically stupid decisions. Phoenix doesn't question why his client's daughter gave him a piece of evidence of unknown origin and presents it without question anyway. The judge and the bar association believe that Phoenix ordered the diary page forged despite the fact that Zak had only made Phoenix his attorney the day before the trial, leaving him no possible time to commission the professional forgery. Klavier doesn't seem to suspect anything's off about Kristoph warning him about Phoenix until seven years later. Zak keeps the genuine diary page to himself and never mentions it, apparently out of concern that the man who resented him and tried to frame him would be suspected.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: It would count as Surprise Incest, but some people ship Apollo and Trucy, who are half-siblings, though to date neither is aware of the fact. Kristoph and Klavier also have a sizeable amount of shippers, but many times it's portrayed at varying levels of unhealthy.
  • Iron Woobie: Klavier has to prosecute his bandmade and friend Daryan, and later his own brother Kristoph. Despite a brief Heroic BSoD while dealing with the latter, he ultimately takes it all in stride, doing what needs to be done to get justice served, and it's implied that he disowns the latter when it's made clear that Kristoph has no place in the big picture of a just court.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Because or perhaps despite its lack of resolution to this day, Apollo and Trucy being siblings and Thalassa being their mother are very well known.
    • Kristoph being the game's Big Bad, despite being Apollo's co-counsel in the very first case and appearing in promotional artwork, which usually never feature the Big Bads.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Wocky Kitaki is widely seen as the worst client Apollo gets due to his bratty personality. But still, almost getting himself killed and all, being lied to concerning this, and then learning the truth about Alita... He does start to cry at the very end, then abruptly returns to his "gangster" persona before exiting at top speed. It's implied he understands what his father has done for him and that the family will be okay.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Kristoph seems to be a bit... too chummy with certain people sometimes.
    • Daryan Crescend, with his infamous pompadour, which he loves stroking.
  • Nausea Fuel: Spark Brushel's nervous tic is a sweating armpit, which is what forms the detractors for the character and the Perceive mechanic overall.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • It's standard for the guilty one to go completely batshit crazy in fury or amazement that their plan has been ruined. However, it gets even scarier with Kristoph, who slams his hand into the desk, his hair flies up as if he's going Super Saiyan, and after that's done, his hair is in a complete mess, his face looks just plain demented, and a psycho-stare that is scarier then even Damon Gant's! And when you win the case, Kristoph snaps. With his hair still a complete mess, he puts a hand to his face, faces the sky, and just laughs. It's clear that he's gone completely insane when faced by the turn of events. He's lost everything by your victory; seven years of paranoia and planning, gone. And you don't hear anything. You don't hear a sound byte of the laugh, there's no box saying "ha ha ha". No, what there is is a text-based "voice-over" describing the aftermath of the case, and how the killer... laughed, all while you watch his final breakdown in utter silence.
    • Do NOT perceive Spark Brushel while he's smiling widely.
    • "Turnabout Succession"'s intro. The music abruptly shifts from Most Wonderful Sound to Race Against the Clock, you — the player — are all but warned to be careful about your decisions, and Kristoph Gavin's Sinister Silhouette stares you down with a sense of Near-Villain Victory.
  • Player Punch: Mixes with But Thou Must! in the flashback trial. Phoenix is blissfully unaware that he's about to present forged evidence, thinking he's riding the easy train to victory. Both the circumstances and the context of the rest of the game already make the player aware this will not end well, but they are dragged kicking and screaming into presenting the evidence to move the plot forward all the same. The entire scene really makes the player feel like they're responsible for Phoenix's disbarment.
  • Polished Port: The HD versions give the game a visual overhaul and make many quality of life improvements that make the experience much better overall. The tradeoff is that the iOS version has lesser sound quality, and the 3DS version doesn't go full HD with the visuals, but overall, both are very solid options for playing the game.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • To some, Apollo fits this for Phoenix. After playing three games spent playing primarily as Phoenix, many feel unable to grow as attached to Apollo.
    • While not outright hated, Klavier Gavin is not as well liked as some of the other prosecutors by the fandom, mostly because his Hero Antagonist status removes the antagonistic conflict that made the other prosecutors feel like true rivals. Others feel that a prosecutor who is openly honest, helpful, and non-villainous straight out of the gate is a refreshing change.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Perceiving Kristoph Gavin in the fourth case reveals that under his Scary Shiny Glasses is a rather intense Death Glare, giving a whole new meaning to the animation whenever it is used in the first case, such as after Wright suggests there may have been a fourth person in the room.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Zak Gramarye. Most agree that he is both a despicable human being and nonsensically and inconsistently written. At times, he almost appears to be written as if he and Shadi Smith aren't even the same person. Most positive conversation surrounding him focuses on the sheer comedic value there is in shining a light on how openly heartless his actions were.
    • Wesley Stickler, due to being an incredibly unlikeable, unfunny and all-around creepy Panty Thief with zero sympathetic traits, yet whom the player spends an entire trial phase being forced to cross-examine. Many consider 4-2 one of the series' worse cases purely thanks to him.
    • Spark Brushel thanks to a majority of the fans being put off by his Non-Standard Character Design and odd animations.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Many consider the various "scientific investigation" segments to be boring and guilty of needlessly slowing down the game's story. As a result, the games to follow dialed these mechanics back to only fingerprinting and Luminol-testing segments.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: This game reintroduces automatic health bar refills during trial sequences, which had been missing in the first two sequels, and lacks any occasions where it's possible to instantly lose the trial irrespective of your health level. Additionally, you don't have to mess around with Psyche-Locks during the investigation phase anymore, meaning that you're guaranteed to start every trial with a full health bar. On the other hand, you no longer have Mia to bail you out; the cases require you to tie everything together, and some elements of Moon Logic Puzzle remain. Your mileage may vary on whether or not the game is less difficult or just less frustrating.
  • Shocking Moments: Even series veterans were likely caught off guard when the murderer of the first case turns out to be your mentor.
  • Squick:
    • Trucy's frequent mentions of her "Magic Panties" throughout Case 2. It's even in-universe Squick for Apollo, something Trucy takes delight in exploiting.
    • "Director" Hotti, a blatantly mentally unstable, disturbing, perverse man, making sleazy remarks towards Trucy, a 15 year-old, in front of her father and brother, no less, although the latter would only be in retrospect.
  • That One Level: Case 3 (Turnabout Serenade) thanks to being a major Idiot Plot that both fails to make sense and makes actually arguing anything about it a challenge. And some of the logical leaps the player is called on to make verge on the nonsensical. It also makes the player watch a long unskippable video multiple times.
  • That One Puzzle: Perceiving Spark Brushel's nervous tic. He has so many tics (something he admits to later on) yet the one that has to be Perceived is among the least obvious ones.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: All three of the central characters get these reactions from some fans for varying reasons, including their handling in subsequent games:
    • Despite being presented as the new protagonist and having a personality that sets him apart from his predecessor Phoenix, Apollo is given very little Character Development of any kind throughout the game, with the player learning little about him beyond the fact that he used to work at Kristoph's law office and is Thalassa Gramarye's son, something almost completely irrelevant to the plot. This is compounded by his being heavily Out of Focus in the final case, barely interacting with the main story at all while it segues into a Whole Episode Flashback, and being reduced to an exposition device in the final trial who doesn't even take down the Big Bad through his own actions. Subsequent games would attempt to remedy this problem, with Spirit of Justice outright promoting him to the main hero of the final case, but even that is subject to a major Broken Base.
    • Trucy, despite being promoted as the new heroine, is given a similarly small role in the story, and unlike Maya almost never takes part in any major emotional developments over the course of the game. Notably, despite being the heir to the Gramarye name, she is completely absent from the parts of the story explicitly discussing the Troupe, and beyond certain very subtle hints in her dialogue, her status as using her performer persona as a mask to her real feelings is reduced to a single line in the game's final scene not even given by herself. While Spirit of Justice would attempt to remedy this somewhat with an A Day in the Limelight intended to give her some more explicit depth, the subsequent games would otherwise subject her to severe Flanderization, turning her magic obsession into her only character trait while at the same time reducing her role to that of a minor supporting character who seemingly only continues to appear because her status as Phoenix's adopted daughter makes her impossible to write out completely.
    • Of the three, Klavier easily has it the worst. While even the game's detractors admit that a genuinely supportive prosecutor has the potential to be an interesting change of pace, his character is left extremely underdeveloped, with his feelings on such events as his close friend and brother turning out to be dangerous criminals, his band disbanding, or learning he was an Unwitting Pawn in Phoenix's disbarment going largely unexplored, along with his relationships with Apollo and Kristoph despite the latter being the Big Bad, making him come off as a Static Character. Worsening matters is that he would be brutally Demoted to Extra in subsequent games, having only a minor supporting role in a single case of Dual Destinies, and then not even appearing at all in Spirit of Justice outside of two passing references and a non-canon gag DLC.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In Turnabout Serenade, the revelation that the Chief Justice tried to buy a Borginian cocoon from the culprit in order to cure his son's Incuritis turns out to be this in two different ways. First, it shows that while the ban on exporting cocoons due to them being able to be used to create poison is ostensibly meant to save lives, it also prevents people like the Chief Justice's son from getting life-saving medical treatment. Second, the fact that a high-ranking member of the justice system tried to illegally procure a cocoon would likely result in yet another scandal not unlike those that caused the "Dark Age of the Law." Neither of these possibilities is ever followed up on, and the fact that the Chief Justice is the buyer is merely shown as proof that the killer, who otherwise thought it would be too dangerous to sell cocoons on the black market, had a buyer who wouldn't betray him due to having more to lose should the scandal become public.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: The first case features a 3D diagram of the crime scene in the first case that you can manipulate in the courtroom to see possible contradictions. Despite being potentially useful, it sees only very limited use in Cases 2 and 3 afterward.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: Some people find Daryan Crescend's hairdo rather... phallic. With his abrasive, unpleasant personality, many players have taken to calling him a figurative and literal dickhead.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Zak Gramarye. Despite everything he's done — indirectly helping get Phoenix disbarred, abandoning his daughter by disappearing for seven years, and showing up again to attempt to ruin Phoenix's livelihood as a poker player — he's apparently still seen as the more sympathetic of Magnifi's two disciples.
  • The Un-Twist: You would think that a prosecutor in this series being this nice and friendly outside of court to you must have something to hide. Nope! Klavier Gavin has no dark secrets. He really is just a good guy who's genuinely dedicated to truth and justice.
  • Uncanny Valley: Lamiroir's 3D model in the concert video resembles a wax doll on the verge of melting, and Klavier's 3D model is colored very oddly and has a strange gangly-and-too-skinny look to it.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • A recurring fact throughout the game is that it's hard for civilians to acquire guns. This is true in Japan, which has strict gun laws, but in America it's relatively easy to acquire firearms.
    • The same goes for gambling, which is illegal in Japan but commonplace in the United States.
    • The Jurist System. The game goes out of its way to make a big deal of its introduction. In Japan, trial by jury hadn't been in practice for the past 50 years at the time of the game's release, instead implying trial by judge like in much the series. In the US, trial by jury is a fundamental right (in fact, loss of jury trials was one of the complaints in the Declaration of Independence) and it would require a change to the Constitution itself to remove it — which would be extremely unlikely to pass if the only reason was to speed up the docket.note 
  • Vindicated by History: Despite their initial divisiveness, Apollo, Trucy, Klavier, and the adult Ema eventually found love within the fanbase, particularly in light of Trucy being Flanderized, Klavier being sidelined into irrelevance in Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice, Apollo's abrupt replacement as central protagonist by the similarly divisive reinstated Phoenix, and Ema's Divergent Character Evolution setting her firmly apart from other pre-timeskip characters like Pearl and Maya, who would later be shown to have barely changed at all even after nearly a decade of in-universe time.
  • The Woobie:
    • Vera. Dear God, Vera. Being convicted of killing your own father is already an abysmal situation, but having her nail polish dipped in poison since she was twelve? Give the girl a break.
    • Possibly Trucy as well, if you take some lines from Phoenix at the end of the game into consideration.
    • Klavier. Poor guy has to see his bandmate and later his own brother indicted for murder charges. To make the gravity of these actions even greater, he is a prosecutor who simply sees prosecution as a means of seeking the truth rather than an excuse to antagonize defense attorneys.

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