22.04.2012 at 12:00 am

Ludicrous Ace

逆転裁判 (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney) is fun, but messed-up.

There's accusatory finger-pointing, constant courtroom interruptions by counsel and prosecutors objecting to/over each other, ultra-flamboyant characters, witnesses berating the judge (which normally renders you liable for contempt of court), and a near-impossible concoction of the adversarial legal system.

The protagonist's description as an 'ace' attorney is also... contentious.

The Difference

Still, just to be sure, I checked Wikipedia.

Lo and behold, the courtroom differences between the game and the real-life Japanese legal system:


The court system featured in the game has diverged significantly from that of the present Japanese court system since the 2000s; for example, through the "Joshin System", which is the game's most characteristically distinguishing feature, and a host of other differing points: The wooden mallet in the hands of the judge, which is not used in real Japanese courtrooms, and the "Objection!" cries made towards witnesses, where in actuality, counsels and prosecutors mutually plead/forward questions and inquiries to the presiding judiciary. However, the part where a person himself stands trial in absence of counsel or prosecutor, that remains true for "special defense counsels", where quasi-/household/district courtrooms are concerned.

The Trial System

An additional note on the Joshin trial system:


The Joshin system appears from the 2nd chapter of the 1st Gyakuten Saiban episode. In the world of Gyakuten Saiban, criminal trials come in two parts: first, "Joshin", where the accused is prosecuted and determined to be guilty or innocent within a time span of only three days, then "Honshin", where after guilt is ascertained, a separate trial takes place to determine sentencing. The "Joshin Trial System" is the general appellation for this, established as a speedy method of disposing cases in response to the increasing crimes. Within the game, all trials that the protagonist participates in come under this system. Naruhodo (the protagonist) himself explains, "To put it easily, because crime has been increasing as of late, it's a quickie system (for disposing cases)", though from the 4th episode he begins to cast doubt upon the system.

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