Franziska von Karma
Series Overview
Phoenix Wright/Ace Attorney, known as Gyakuten Saiban (meaning Turnabout Court) in Japan, was originally a series of three games for the Gameboy Advance. All three games were remade for the Nintendo DS, then later ported to the Wii, then iOS and Android, then the Nintendo 3DS. The fourth game in the series, Apollo Justice (Gyakuten Saiban 4), was made for the Nintendo DS, and will be ported to iOS/Android. Two spin-off games, Gyakuten Kenji (Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth) and Gyakuten Kenji 2, were released exclusively for the Nintendo DS. Subsequent Gyakuten Saiban/Ace Attorney games were made for the Nintendo 3DS, and the main series games will apparently be ported to iOS.

The first three games (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Justice For All, and Trials and Tribulations) focus on Phoenix Wright (Naruhodou Ryuuichi), a young new defense attorney, and the cases in which he becomes involved. Your role as Phoenix is to investigate the accusations (speaking with witnesses, gathering clues, and uncovering the truth) and to defend your clients in court. The games are very text-heavy, with not much action or animation - they're visual novels with interactive portions. Although my description of the games may not sound very interesting, the series has gained a cult following due to its colorful cast of weird, eccentric, amusing, intriguing, and crazy characters, as well as its snappy dialog and bizarre cases.

Apollo Justice (Gyakuten Saiban 4) takes place seven years after the third game, and it involves a mostly different set of characters. However, some characters from the first three games do make an appearance. Dual Destinies (Gyakuten Saiban 5) is a direct sequel to Apollo Justice, and is followed by Spirit of Justice (Gyakuten Saiban 6). Phoenix is again the main character of both games, though other characters take the lead of several cases.

The two Gyakuten Kenji (Investigations) spin-offs focus on prosecutor Miles Edgeworth (Mitsuruji Reiji), Phoenix's friend-turned-rival-turned-friend-again. The first Investigations game takes place a month after the third Ace Attorney game, Trials and Tribulations. Due to poor sales of Investigations in the West, the second Gyakuten Kenji game was never released outside of Japan, though there is an English fan translation.

Another spin-off game, Dai Gyakuten Saiban, was only released in Japan and follows the adventures of Phoenix/Naruhodou's ancestor during the Meiji period. A sequel to this game has been announced, but it is unlikely to be published internationally.

In 2006, a Gyakuten Saiban manga series ran for 5 volumes, loosely covering the first two games but including a lot of original material. In 2016, an anime series aired for 24 episodes and adapted the first two games.


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