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Ace Attorney Part 1 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 28, 2018 by  



“Ace Attorney” is no doubt an entertaining anime series.  For those who never played the video games or those who have and don’t remember the storyline (as it has been over a decade since the first video game was released), will find “Ace Attorney” to be an enjoyable anime series.

Image courtesy of © 2018 Funimation. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Ace Attorney Part 1

DURATION: (13 Episodes) 325 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9), Japanese and English Dolby TrueHD 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Funimation

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: January 23, 2018


Directed by Ayumu Watanabe

Series Composition: Atsuhiro Tomioka

Music by Kaoru Wada

Character Design: Keiko Ota, Koji Watanabe

Art Director: Eiji Iwase

Anime Production: A-1 Pictures


Featuring the following voice talent:

Masashi Tamaki/Christopher Wehkamp as Miles Edgeworth (Reiji Mitsurugi)

Yuuki Kaji/Eric Vale as Phoenix Wright (Ryuichi Naruhodo)

Aoi Yuki/Lindsay Seidel as Maya Fey (Mayoi Ayasato)

Yuu Sugimoto/Anastasia Munoz as Wendy Oldbag (Oba Kaoru)

Akio Ohtsuka/Bill Jenkins as Manfred von Karma (Karuma Go)

Masami Iwasaki/Bryan Massey as Dick Gumshoe (Itonokogiri Keisuke)

Chie Nakamura/Colleen Clinkenbeard as Mia Fey (Ayasato Chihiro)

Saori Yumiba/Jessica Peterson as Franzisa von Karma (Karuma Mei)

Tooru Nara/Josh Martin as Larry Butz (Yahari Masashi)

Ben Hiura/Kent Williams as Judge (Saibancho)

Reiko Takagi/Whitney Rodgers as Lotta Hart (Osawagi Natsumi)


As a brand-new defense lawyer, Phoenix Wright is learning what it means to be a true defender of justice. But when his mentor is murdered, things go downhill fast! With all evidence pointing to the victim’s sister Maya, it’s up to Phoenix to use all his wit and powerful shouting to prove her innocence. Which is easier said than done when up against Miles Edgeworth, the genius prosecutor.


In 2001, “Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney”, a visual novel adventure video game developed by CAPCOM was released for the Game Boy Advance.

But the video game wouldn’t become super popular until 2005, when the game was released for the Nintendo DS in Japan and North America (note: The title of the game in Japan was “Gyakuten Saiban Yomigaeru Gyakuten” and the characters names were different in the US (protagonist’s name is Phoenix Wright) and Japan (protagonist’s name is Ryuichi Naruhodo).

Since then, there are a total of eleven games with only a few that were released in the west.

But with the popularity of the “Ace Attorney” series, A-1 Pictures would create an anime adaptation of the first two games in 2016 and a total of 24 episodes were created.

The series is directed by Ayumu Watanabe (known for his work on “Doraemon”) and series composition by Atsuhiro Tomioka (“Danboru Senki” series, Inazuma Eleven” series). Music by Kaoru Wada, character design by Keiko Ota and Koji Watanabe and art direction by Eiji Iwase.

(Note: Because of the different names between Japanese and the English version, I will use the English version of the names)

The series revolves around rookie defense attorney Phoenix Wright who works for his mentor Mia Fey.  His first trial is to defend his childhood friend Larry Butz, who is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Cindy Stone.

While Phoenix was able to win his case, he would run into tragedy not long after.  As Mia calls her younger sister Maya to come and hold onto some evidence, when Phoenix arrives back to the office, he finds his Mia murdered and nearby, her sister Maya.

Maya is accused of murder and Phoenix must prove her innocence, but he must go against his childhood friend, renown attorney Miles Edgeworth.

And now Phoenix Wright must take on even more difficult cases and take on the best attorneys in the city.  Will he be successful?


VIDEO:

“Ace Attorney” is presented in 1080p High Definition (16:9). The series may not be very detailed but it has a type of animation that should suit most fans of the video game series.  Background art is well-detailed but for an A-1 Pictures anime series, it has animation feel to like a children’s anime series, not heavily detailed in terms of character design or shading but for the most part, it works for the overall anime adaptation.

AUDIO:

“Ace Attorney” is presented in Japanese and English Dolby TrueHD 2.0.  Crystal clear dialogue and music through the front channels.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Ace Attorney” comes with the textless opening and closing songs, Ace Attorney Outtakes: Part 01 and Episode 12 audio commentary by Kyle Phillips (Director), Eric Vale (voice of Phoenix Wright), Tyler Walker (script writer) and Lindsay Seidel (voice of Maya).

EXTRAS:

“Ace Attorney” comes with both the Blu-ray and DVD of the series.


As a big fan of the “Ace Attorney” video games, one of the things that I often look forward to is the thrill of taking on a case and at times, feeling the onset pressure that you only had so much time to ask the right questions and win the case.

The games were thrilling and suffice to say, I was looking forward to the anime series adaptation.

And finally watching it, the series is good but for those who played the video games, it doesn’t really add anything new to the storyline.  If anything, the anime series will captivate audiences who never played the game or never played it completely.

Cases included in this Part 1 features Phoenix Wright as an attorney for his friend Larry, the second case features Phoenix Wright defending his mentor Fay’s sister Mayu (accused of murder), the third case features a popular samurai actor found dead, the fourth case revolves around Phoenix defending his Miles Edgeworth.

And what we do see sprinkled throughout each episode is the young friendship Phoenix had with Edgeworth and Larry when they were children, which is focused on in episode 13.

As for the anime series, the animation was good but not great.  Character designs of course are different from the original CAPCOM video game, which can be expected.  But I wish there was a bit more detail, as more of the design was focused on the computerized designs (backgrounds and Phoenix’s pin).  The lossless audio is both in stereo and both soundtracks are well-acted.

But once again, if you played the video game, the anime series may not be for you because it’s more or less an animated version of the story many known and played in the video games.  So, it’s not exactly new content unless you haven’t played the first “Ace Attorney” video game.

Overall, “Ace Attorney” is no doubt an entertaining anime series.  For those who never played the video games or those who have and don’t remember the storyline (as it has been over a decade since the first video game was released), will find “Ace Attorney” to be an enjoyable anime series.






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