The Fall 2018 Anime Preview Guide
Ace Attorney Season 2
How would you rate episode 1 of
Ace Attorney Season 2 ?
What is this?
How was the first episode?
This first episode is based on the first case in the second game, titled Ace Attorney: Justice for All in North America. The central conceit of Phoenix getting knock on the head with a fire extinguisher so that he can't defend his client (and uncover the real murderer, who is of course the guy who clocked him) allows the show to ease us back into the legalish shenanigans of the Ace Attorney world without going too far in some of the franchise's zanier directions. That's not to say that this is remotely believable, but it also doesn't indulge in too many of the weirder aspects of the court cases, toning down the Wind of Truth effect and other over-the-top effects.
Lest you be afraid that this is too staid, however, allow me to reassure you that it's still very much an episode of Ace Attorney as we saw in the first season. (I also suspect it will be even hammier in the English dub, which is a good thing.) One fun side effect of Phoenix's amnesia is the fact that he is able to see how ridiculous the trial actually is, from the fact that the evidence against his client is specious at best to wondering why he feels the need to showboat for the judge. He of course pulls a Perry Mason and gets the villain to confess on the stand, but the evidence leading up to that moment is impressively not crazy, apart from the fact that no one appeared to notice that the supposed murderer's name was spelled wrong in the “evidence” against her. But that oversight is part of this series' charm – we don't watch it because we're looking for the anime equivalent of Law & Order.
The major flaw in this as an opening sally is that it lacks both Miles Edgeworth and the new series villain, Godot, although I suppose we could see the latter's absence in this episode as us being made to wait for him. The prosecutor is pretty lame, but given Phoenix's compromised state, that does make sense, because we do still need him to win. But it's clear that the meat of the series will start next week, when the action moves back to Maya's home village (allowing for Pearl's return) and Godot rears his weirdly-visored head, which has nothing on Miles' exciting bangs. The opening theme indicates that Miles will be playing a role (and even smiling!) though, so perhaps we needn't worry on that front.
Simply put, this is setting up to be more of the same logic-bending fun that the first season was. While I personally prefer the dub, it feels safe to say that no matter which language you prefer, if you liked the first season, you'll enjoy this too.
SimulDub Update: If ever there was a series that required over-the-top cheesiness and extreme camp, it's Ace Attorney. Thankfully, Funimation's returning dub cast is more than up to the job with this episode, which features an amnesiac Phoenix trying to defend his client. Eric Vale's dumbstruck Phoenix is pitch-perfect as he tries to figure out what the hell is going on, and our villain is as hammy as they come. As with the entirety of the first season, Brian Massey's Detective Gumshoe is a major highlight – there's just something about the way he says “cops” that's funny every time. The dub really highlights the goofiness of the story, and that makes things even more fun.
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