04/02/16 | by Chris Green
| Posted in
Movie/TV reviews, TV, TV reviews
Gyakuten Saiban (known as Ace Attorney in the west) is the hit courtroom visual novel series by Capcom which has, since its inception, produced numerous games, a manga series and a live-action film. And now the popular series has now gotten its very own anime adaption. Planned to cover both the first and second game in the series, the story follows rookie lawyer Ryuichi Naruhodou (Phoenix Wright) as he makes a name for himself in the courtroom as the “Turnabout Lawyer”.
This first episode covers the tutorial episode of the first game, which happens to be Naruhodou’s first ever case. Assisting him in the defense is his mentor Chihiro Ayasato (Mia Fey), and the two of them attempt to exonerate Naruhodou’s childhood friend Masashi Yahari (Larry Butz) of a murder charge.
The anime does an excellent job of capturing the quirks of the games, from the typewriter-style text to the over-the-top reactions that make a simple courtroom debate become a full-blown battle. The soundtrack even includes remixes of songs from the first game. As a longtime fan of the series, I was very pleased with how faithful the anime was to its source material.
The first case began and ended within the 20-minute episode which seemed a bit quick, but to be fair the first case is only a tutorial and really didn’t need too much screen time. Hopefully in future episodes, the pacing won’t be too rushed and each case will get enough time to satisfy viewers.
The animation is fitting for the series, and the style is reminiscent of the anime scenes from the games. It feels very familiar and each action, from the iconic “Objection!” to the comical reactions of each character, is perfectly rendered onscreen.
The teaser for the next episode shows the appearance of another major character in the series, Ayasato’s younger sister Mayoi (Maya), and the opening shows us Naruhodou’s longtime rival and friend prosecutor Reiji Mitsurugi (Miles Edgeworth). Considering the anime is planning to cover the first two games, fans of the series can expect many more familiar faces to appear over the course of the series.
While it might be tough for western fans to get used to the original Japanese names of their favorite characters, the anime is fun and provides all of the humor that the games are known for. The first episode admittedly felt a bit rushed, but hopefully future installments will figure out a good pacing so that veteran fans and newcomers can enjoy the turnabout action!
Story - 6.75
Characters - 7.5
Art - 7.5
Episode 1 stays true to its source material