ACE ATTORNEY Press Notes
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a Japanese movie not yet released in the United States.
Internationally acclaimed director Takashi Miike is back with ACE ATTORNEY (逆転裁判, Gyakuten Saiban, 2012), the live-action feature film adaptation of the hit computer game series. Distributed theatrically in Japan by Toho, the movie opened nationwide on February 11, 2012. ACE ATTORNEY will makes its US premiere at AM², running June 15-17 at the Anaheim Convention Center, and also play at the New York Asian Film Festival in July.
SciFi Japan is pleased to present a look at ACE ATTORNEY with press notes and images courtesy of the film’s co-producer and international sales agent, NTV…
Director Miike Takashi’s Adrenaline Rush “Courtroom Battle” Extravaganza Evokes Novel Visual Storytelling!
By building on previous courtroom TV dramas, the computer game ACE ATTORNEY (the Japanese title literally means “Turnabout Trial”) creates a new “courtroom battle” genre pitting defense attorney versus prosecutor.
First released in 2001 for the Nintendo GAME BOY, ACE ATTORNEY was ported for the DS, PC and Wii. With four games in the series, ACE ATTORNEY has sold over 4.2 million copies worldwide. The series has been further popularized and continues to build a new fan base via the advent of spinoff series ACE PROSECUTOR (gyakuten-kenji in Japanese) to the game appearing on GREE, Japan’s leading social networking service and in comic book form. In 2008, the Tokyo Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra performed a concert based on the game, and the following year, the Takarazuka Revue Company started their live musical performance of the series.
Set in a futuristic, fictional Japan courtroom where “bench trials” have been implemented to fight rising crime, the appealing amusement of ACE ATTORNEY has to be its leading character, hot-blooded, sometimes 4th-down-and-long-Hail-Mary rookie defense lawyer, Phoenix Wright. The speedy storyline, filled with twists and turns of sheer enjoyment, unfolds as Phoenix finds the truth and wins his case. Rising from the ashes when the chips are down, he challenges the court with “evidence” collected through his own investigations and exposes the actual criminals and their pack of lies.
The story structure of the film is based on the characters and amusing story twists from the first work in the series. Penning the screenplay are none other than the cop and courtroom drama master Takeshi Iida (writer for SHINZANMONO and PARTNERS) as well as Sachiko Oguchi (KAIJI 2) who is popular for her fast-paced scripts. The director is hit-maker Takashi Miike, world-renowned for his talent and the pride of the Japan filmmaking world whose latest works always attract attention. In this film, Miike depicts a heated courtroom battle by evoking his novel visual sense with VFX and CG and his unique “Miike magic” directing of actors from films like YATTERMAN, CROWS ZERO, CROWS Ⅱand 13 ASSASSINS. While most films set in courtrooms tend to offer low-key, pedestrian visuals, the courtroom scenes in this film are amazingly attractive for audiences.
Hiroki Narimiya, the talented young actor whose performances in DROP and the TV series BAD BOY & GOOD GIRL resonated with a new generation of young people, plays the hot-blooded, rookie lawyer Phoenix Wright. His childhood friend and ultimate rival Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth is played by Takumi Saitoh (medical TV series SAIJI NO MEII), a younger actor in the limelight. The extremely popular teenage actress Mirei Kiritani plays the damsel in distress Maya Fey, a spirit medium in training. Veteran actors from the Japanese film world and regular Takashi Miike film actors including Ryo Ishibashi (AUDITION, JU-ON: THE GRUDGE), Rei Dan (KABEI: OUR MOTHER), Fumiyo Kohinata, Kimiko Yo (DEPARTURES) and Akira Emoto (GODZILLA VS SPACEGODZLLA, VILLAIN) round out the cast. Court is in session for this “courtroom battle” entertainment film… don’t miss it!
Hot-blooded, rookie lawyer VERSUS cool-headed, genius Prosecutor! Following the mystery of the DL-6 case which has been sealed for 15 years, a heated courtroom battle, where everyone’s reputation is on the line, erupts.
In 20XX, to prevent the rise of vicious crimes the Japanese government introduces “bench trials”, a new justice system where the defense and prosecutor go head-to-head in open court. Within three days, a guilty or not guilty verdict is decided.
Talented attorney Mia Fey, who shows understanding for her junior rookie lawyer, Phoenix Wright (Hiroki Narimiya), leaves a message that she has found new evidence in a case she’s been pursuing for many years. But later in her office, she is murdered by someone. Arrested at the crime scene and accused of the murder is none other than her spirit medium-in-training sister, Maya Fey (Mirei Kiritani). Phoenix believes that Maya is innocent and defends her in court where he meets Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth (Takumi Saitoh), a level-headed, prodigy attorney who always gets a guilty conviction no matter what it takes. The two attorneys are childhood friends. In elementary school, Miles defended Phoenix in a classroom trial when he was accused of stealing lunch money. Being rescued by Miles is what made Phoenix pursue the law as a career.
But Miles, whose childhood hero was his brilliant defense attorney father, has switched sides to become a prosecutor! The trial begins and an intense courtroom battle unfolds. As testimony and evidence are presented, the attorneys scream, “Objection! Take this!”
After the trial, Phoenix receives word that Miles has been arrested for murder! Attorney Robert Hammond was shot in a boat floating at night on mist-covered Lake Gourd. Phoenix steps forward to defend Miles. Opposing council is none other than Miles’ master, the legendary prosecutor von Karma (Ryo Ishibashi) who has been undefeated in court for 40 years. As the trial progresses, the 15 year-old DL-6 case, where Miles’ father Gregory Edgeworth was shot and killed in the evidence room, is examined closely. Amid the grandstanding in the courtroom, the past and the present collide as the truth, hidden for many years, comes out.
What will become of Phoenix, Miles and Maya? What dangerous truth lies behind this mysterious case?
CAST AND CHARACTERS
Note: Each character’s Japanese name follows their English name.
• Hiroki Narimiya as Phoenix Wright (Ryuichi Naruhodo): A hot-blooded, rookie lawyer.
• Takumi Saitoh as Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth (Reiji Mitsurugi): A calm, cool genius prosecutor. Phoenix’s childhood friend and fateful rival.
• Mirei Kiritani as Maya Fey (Mayoi Ayasato): Phoenix’s client. A spirit medium in training. Mia¹s younger sister.
• Akiyoshi Nakao as Larry Butz (Masashi Yahari): Phoenix’s childhood friend. A good-for-nothing loveable guy.
• Shunsuke Daito as Detective Dick Gumshoe (Keisuke Itonokogiri): A shoot-from-the-hip cop who places his trust in Miles’ ability to convict felons.
• Akira Emoto as The Judge aka Your Honor (Saibancho): A veteran judge who calls, “Order in the court.”
• Rei Dan as Mia Fey (Chihiro Ayasato): A talented lawyer. Phoenix’s boss and sister to Maya.
• Mitsuki Tanimura as Lotta Hart (Natsumi Osawagi): A would-be cameraman and witness to the alleged shooting. She speaks in an Osaka dialect which is translated as a Southern dialect.
• Takehiro Hira as Attorney Gregory Edgeworth (Shin Mitsurugi): Miles’ father and role-model reason for becoming a lawyer. He was a victim in the DL-6 case.
• Esuke Sasai as Robert Hammond (Yukio Namakura): The defendant lawyer in the DL-6 case who represented Yanni Yogi.
• Makoto Ayukawa as Redd White (Masaru Konaka): Freelance magazine writer, wiretapper, witness to Mia’s murder and possibly more.
• Kimiko Yo as Misty Fey (Maiko Ayasato): A spirit medium. Mother to Mia and Maya.
• Ryo Ishibashi as Prosecutor von Karma (Gou Karuma): Miles’ master, a legendary prosecutor who has not lost a case in 40 years. He turns out to be the true criminal behind the DL-6 case.
• Fumiyo Kohitani as Yanni Yogi (Koutarou Haine): Former court agent. A defendant in the DL-6 case. His wife Polly later committed suicide. He also has a pet parrot named after his wife.
ACE ATTORNEY CREDITS
World Premiere: January 27, 2012 (International Film Festival Rotterdam)
Japanese Theatrical Release: February 11, 2012
Running Time: 135 minutes
Director: Takashi Miike
Screenplay: Takeshi Iida and Sachiko Oguchi
Executive Producer: Hiroshi Miyazaki
Producers: Naoki Suganuma, Minami Ichikawa, Toshiaki Okuno, Hiroyasu Asami, Ken Hironaka, Fumihiro Hirai, Naoki Kitagawa, Masayuki Higashiyama, Naoto Hatakeyama, Shigeshi Maeda, Seiji Okuda
Cinematographer: Masakazu Oka
Editor: Kenji Yamashita
Sound Designer: Kenji Shibazaki
Music: Koji Endo
Theme Song: pornograffitti (SME Records)
Planning and Production: Capcom, D.N. Dream Partners, NTV, OLM, Sony Music Entertainment, Toho, VAP, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation
International Sales: NTV
© 2012 Capcom/ Ace Attorney Production Committee
For more information on ACE ATTORNEY, please see the previous coverage here on SciFi Japan: