OP: 「逆転Winner」 (Gyakuten Winner) by ジャニーズWEST (Johnny’s WEST)
「はじめての逆転」 (Hajimete no Gyakuten)
“The First Turnaround”
It’s like a childhood dream come true. I feel like I’ve been the designated writer to blog all the childhood flashback/remakes lately. It’s definitely a trend and since a lot of these games/anime were such a big part of my younger years, I feel a rush of nostalgia when I’m asked to comment on them. Ace Attorney or Gyakuten Saiban was one of the few games that I was addicted to on my NDS. Actually scratch that – I was addicted to many games – but very few that had a captivating plot like Ace Attorney or Professor Layton! For those of you who haven’t played the game, I highly recommend it because the game play just adds so much more to the experience as opposed to watching it in anime form. Part of the fun of Ace Attorney was being a “lawyer” yourself and trying to spot the holes and gaps in peoples’ tales. The anime doesn’t nearly give that same experience, but it tries and it does include all the same antics and exaggerations that made the game so memorable.
The gameplay for Gyakuten Saiban is actually very simple – which makes the anime very easy to follow initially as well. It’s about a young lawyer that gets his first big case defending his good friend from murder charges. Narahodo Ryuuichi (Kaji Yuuki) (also known as Phoenix Wright) gets his chance to defend his friend, Yahari Masashi (Nara Tooru) from going to jail and does so by challenging the key witness that puts him at the scene of the crime. Our key witness, Yamano Hoshio (Takahashi Shinya) gets cross-examined by both the prosecutor and Ryuuichi – only to stumble on his own testimony. Throughout the episode, Ryuuichi continues to ask Hoshio more questions and countering all his arguments to finally – place Hoshio at the scene of the crime and point him as the murderer. The actual case is rather simple and serves to act as a “tutorial” for the game-players; hence why it’s quite direct. There were parts in the middle and especially at the end that build on the actual underlying story of Gyakuten Saiban. Things like Ryuuichi’s childhood and his relationship with Ayasato Chihiro (Nakamura Chie), whom ends up murdered at the end of the episode. We’ll see more of that next episode so I won’t go too deep into who our main heroine is.
As someone that was a huge fan of the game, I thought the anime was really refreshing to watch. It was like having someone play the game for you; but you’ll always win and there’s no scoring! The downside though – is that half the fun of Ace Attorney was playing the game and actually figuring stuff on your own. Having someone play for you isn’t as fun – plus, as an older and more mature audience member, some of this stuff may be very obvious. The cases do get harder, but keep in mind, the general audience is younger so there’s nothing that’s deeply thought-provoking or psychological. I would say that the most satisfying feeling from the game came from getting everything right in the first try and the anime doesn’t give you that gratification. It kind of just speeds by with things happening one after another.
One thing that I noticed right off the bat too, is the how the anime really shows the “age” of the Ace Attorney game. The game has been around for quite a long time and thus, the art style and character designs look dated. The first game came out in 2001! So while I can see that there might be complaints about the animation and style, this was the original look to the game and they probably didn’t want to change it. The anime has the same crazy over-exaggerations in facial expressions and actions so for anyone complaining, that’s just how the game was looked and felt. About the only thing I wish they did was pause for effect. The memorable Objection! scene went by quickly but it’s exactly like how I remembered it to be. Yes, the episode is rushed but hopefully that’s because people generally played the first part of the game quickly anyway to get to the good stuff. Seeing as the next episode is numbered, maybe the next few trials will take their time. Remember that you’re not a 20-year-old watching this… you’re a 10-year-old. That’s what I had to keep reminding myself when I was blogging Sailor Moon Crystal.
I have no intentions of blogging this show on a weekly basis, but so far, I’m enjoying this adaptation. It’s faithful to the game and even though the animation isn’t updated or as sleek-looking, I feel a lot of nostalgia just seeing the characters again. For new viewers, this might be considered a bit juvenile or dated, but that’s what I warn you that it is intended for younger audiences (it doesn’t air at midnight like most anime!). I’ll certainly be following along to see how well it does and hopefully it’ll encourage other games to be animated as well.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: ACE ATTORNEY!!! Finally gets an anime! #アニメ逆転裁判 Omg it’s like I’m actually playing! Follows the game so on-point! I love it! It’s like watching my childhood come to life
ED: 「Message」 () by 安田レイ (Yasuda Rei)