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Why We Love Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney


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Engineering Nerd



Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 826
Location: Southern California
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:35 am Reply with quote
Thank you Jacob for writing this article. As an anime-only audience for this franchise, now I finally understand the core problem of this adaptation: It tries too hard to be "faithful" that it ultimately becomes a water-downed version of gameplay video.

In other words, the "soul" that makes ace attorney franchise so "magical" is clearly missing


Last edited by Engineering Nerd on Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 12958
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:41 am Reply with quote
Yeah, I like the games more for their quirkiness and over the top nature. The anime has yet to reach the cases where that aspect shines through.

But I'd agree that it's perhaps too faithful. It doesn't capitalize on the opportunities to show us something new that we can only see in animated form.
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Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
Posts: 916
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:47 am Reply with quote
Whew, I really was scared that this would go on a side review of the anime. But glad that this dwelves on the charm of the games.

However, I must say that as a player of the games, I'm fairly pleased with the anime. I know how bland the animation tends to be (the first half of the third episode can kill me anytime), but it's the little touchs that expand a little of what we can see in the games (Phoenix, namely, since we never see when on investigations) that I like about it. "Out-of-Phoenix" scenes are pretty good too, like seeing Edgeworth in his office, which, in the game, we don't see until the latter cases. Phoenix and Maya's encounter was pretty cheesy too but I loved about it, they are pretty cheesy, anyway.

I am really looking forward to the fourth case (one of the best in all of the franchise without having played or watched Dual Destinies), so they focus on the "heart-wrenching" part of the series, since some shenanigans aside, it's a pretty bitter case. And I actually hope it manages to do well and have a second season with better production values for the Justice for All and Trials and Tribulation games. And who knows, maybe even Apollo Justice and Investigations (the best for anime form) could make it too.
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Yogshi



Joined: 05 Jul 2015
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:52 am Reply with quote
That was a great read. Eloquent summation of why Ace Attorney is a good series. I haven't gone back to the franchise since AA 4 came out. I think I'll head back to the courtroom now.
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FireballDragon



Joined: 17 Nov 2014
Posts: 571
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:04 am Reply with quote
This is quite a sound summation of why AA is so great; you're not just watching Phoenix struggle against unfair and nigh-impossible odds, you're struggling WITH him.

hat sort of emotional connection is inherit to video games, but with anime, there's NO audience input aside from suggestions in fan mail or whatever, so you can't exactly capture that feeling with anime as opposed to a video game.

And it seems the anime staff settled for leaving that out, and not even trying to create a new feeling to add on to the experience. Yes, I agree with everyone else regarding the anime; I like it, but I don't LOVE it because it's TOO faithful. It's almost robotic in a way.

There's a difference between adaptation and copy-and-pasting, but it seems the AA anime's staff didn't care for that at all.
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MajorZero



Joined: 29 Jul 2010
Posts: 358
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:11 am Reply with quote
Why I love Ace Attorney? It's a good question. It's funny, light-hearted, pretty easy to crack for adventure genre veterans, packed with great, fleshed out characters and just full of pure fun. But what really made me a fan in a first place was a sense of justice. When you know how judicial system works in real life, it's hard to not feel disdain for it. Ace Attorney is a perfect escapism, it presents good-hearted lawyers, honorable prosecutors and clueless judge. Every case you solve, you solve to restore justice. Every defendant - glorious fool. Every criminal - magnificent bastard. Prosecutor Payne - best introductory opponent ever. In other words, I love it precisely because it's so naive and black and white. Sure some cases were a bit edgier than rest of the game (especially true to final villains), but still, Ace Attorney is always about one thing and one thing only - Justice For All.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 12958
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:17 am Reply with quote
Valhern wrote:
like seeing Edgeworth in his office, which, in the game, we don't see until the latter cases.


About that, we see he has a statue of the Steel Samurai... But doesn't Maya give him that later on? He shouldn't have it yet.
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meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 414
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:20 am Reply with quote
I find it a tad weird how much people complain about Ace Attorney's animation, mostly because there was a time when terrible animation was practically a defining feature of anime, but we loved it anyways. Sure, good animation is nice, but honestly, having watched and loved plenty of poorly animated shows, I don't really notice or care if animation isn't very good, as long as it isn't ridiculously bad (like full of animation errors level bad.)

As the article points out, animation is a different medium from video games, and video games can be so much better for manipulating your emotions when you have the personal stake of trying to win the game. It's a feeling a non interactive medium just can't recreate. I'm honestly not sure what people were expecting the Ace Attorney anime to be, and I'm just getting the impression the expectations were so high that people would have been dissatisfied no matter what.
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Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
Posts: 916
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:38 am Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
Valhern wrote:
like seeing Edgeworth in his office, which, in the game, we don't see until the latter cases.


About that, we see he has a statue of the Steel Samurai... But doesn't Maya give him that later on? He shouldn't have it yet.


If I recall correctly, Edgeworth has always been a Steel Samurai fanboy, and the one that gave it to him was Wendy Oldbag.
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Parsifal24



Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 950
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:49 am Reply with quote
This is one of those franchises I missed out on this article helped explain why it is so beloved by fans of the games sorry to hear the Anime is seemingly so bad.
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zawa113



Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 7296
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:20 pm Reply with quote
I think my favorite case is probably 2-4, Farewell, My Turnabout. Notable for being the only case where spoiler[you want to have a guilty verdict], seeing things unfold in that episode I seem to recall being particularly exciting.

My overall favorite thing about the Ace Attorney series is just seeing things unfold and the ensuing drama. And the puntastic names, I'd be lying if I said I didn't like those too.

Also, if anyone hasn't played Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective on the DS, it's from the same people, and it's every bit as good as Ace Attorney, if anything, I think I like it better. It has all the twists and turns you might expect and more, since the gameplay is more puzzle based and requires solving instead of just "click on everything in the background and hope you found all the clues" thing that AA does. But man would I love a crossover! Here's the trailer for Ghost Trick, it's still not too late to play an awesome game. At least the spoilers aren't as all over the place as AA's are.
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 1794
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:59 pm Reply with quote
While the animation isn't THAT good, I've seen FAR FAR worse than that, so I personally don't find the animation to be a problem. Speaking as someone who's played the games, I personally love the anime, even if it does try a bit too hard at points. I do like some changes they did make, such as Grossberg wanting to defend Maya at first, not showing April May until the actual trial (God, I hate her!), and Phoenix going out of his way to find lawyers for Maya despite Grossberg telling him no one will take her case. I think we should judge the show based on its own merits rather than constantly comparing it to the game. Let's face it, nothing can compare to the original, but that doesn't mean the anime doesn't have anything to offer or contribute.
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johnnysasaki



Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 646
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:06 pm Reply with quote
classicalzawa wrote:
I think my favorite case is probably 2-4, Farewell, My Turnabout. Notable for being the only case where spoiler[you want to have a guilty verdict], seeing things unfold in that episode I seem to recall being particularly exciting.

My overall favorite thing about the Ace Attorney series is just seeing things unfold and the ensuing drama. And the puntastic names, I'd be lying if I said I didn't like those too.

Also, if anyone hasn't played Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective on the DS, it's from the same people, and it's every bit as good as Ace Attorney, if anything, I think I like it better. It has all the twists and turns you might expect and more, since the gameplay is more puzzle based and requires solving instead of just "click on everything in the background and hope you found all the clues" thing that AA does. But man would I love a crossover! Here's the trailer for Ghost Trick, it's still not too late to play an awesome game. At least the spoilers aren't as all over the place as AA's are.


Ghost Trick is also avaliable for IOS devices,it's pretty cheap and it was a pretty good port too (the graphics look better and the only change was a slightly alteration to the birthday song,likely due to copyright reasons. ).However,DO NOT get the Ace Attorney Trilogy for the IOS devices,it was a pretty bad port (the 3DS Trilogy is MUCH better.Either go for it or the original DS versions).Dual Destinies,though,was actually better than the 3DS version,so i recommend getting that one for the IOS (they even fixed a mistake that was in the 3DS version that actually gave you away a spoiler earlier than it should if you pay attention to it.)
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Spleen



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:11 pm Reply with quote
I've never played the Phoenix Wright games but found this an interesting article.

But it's not hard to guess why it makes a terrible animé. I would quite happily tell you why Doom was such a great game and I'd make a pretty persuasive case. But an animé which faithfully reproduced the events of e1m1 would be terrible. You can't just turn a game into an animé word-for-word and expect it to be any good, even if it's a visual novel.
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1906
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:29 pm Reply with quote
Spleen wrote:
I would quite happily tell you why Doom was such a great game and I'd make a pretty persuasive case. But an animé which faithfully reproduced the events of e1m1 would be terrible. You can't just turn a game into an animé word-for-word and expect it to be any good, even if it's a visual novel.

Note the creative approach the "RIP AND TEAR" comic adaptation of Doom took.
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