Ace Attorney: Elements of Justice is a channel on YouTube that continues the spirit of a brilliant piece of fan content based off of My Little Pony and the videogame Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright called Turnabout Storm… or at least the channel tries to. It certainly tries hard in the art department, making the animations for the ponies very appealing. However, to fully grasp the level of disappointment and disgust I have felt in the story thus far, we need to explore the original project, Turnabout Storm, at least briefly. Then we will look a bit into the first chapter of this new story as it is fairly anti-climactic and hardly has anything to do with the much larger story up until recently. Finally, I will cover the absolute disaster that was the second chapter with the conclusion that was released just two days ago.
I must immediately declare my inexperience with the franchise of Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright and the subsequent sequels. I have watched some videos of both the original game being played and some content about the nature of the world, but only casually. I have yet to experience any content with the other characters the franchise introduces as main defense attorneys. I have no great understanding of the nature of the games or the characters outside a couple of details. This might impact some of my understanding of the entirety of the work, but I still believe that I am capable of forming a decent assessment without this knowledge because of the nature of the projects being so long and doing the hard part of introducing ideas that originate in the game, working them into this world.
Beginning with Turnabout Storm, this work was formed so quickly in relation to the show’s start that it is almost head spinning. However, as with all things with these types of projects, it too would have a long wait time between episodes. The last episode of this project was October 25th, 2013. It isn’t out of the ordinary going forward to have such a wait time, but it does show that a mastery needs to take place to connect the parts during that period to make certain that continuity is not broken, and the ending is satisfying, which it pulled off with flying colors.
Spoilers ahead if you wish to watch the works before I continue. I highly recommend watching the entirety of Turnabout Storm as it is such a fun experience despite some audio issues throughout the experience. https://youtu.be/yUDfoZGhLjE
Moving into the spoilers, the work sets up Rainbow Dash on trial for murder by storm cloud. Immediately we have intrigue because, following an intro “cutscene” in the style of the game series, we get to see a shrouded occurrence of the crime, confirming that Rainbow Dash encountered somepony, did indeed hit a cloud with intent to send lighting down, and this leads into the investigation regarding the crime. It works wonderfully as both set up and after full knowledge of the case becomes known, as the events were true in the opening, but it is our assumptions of what that scene implies that reveal it to be misleading. I certainly hope they keep that up and not retcon an opening shot in the future. That would be embarrassing.
The trial needs a lawyer and a panicking Twilight summons Phoenix Wright, the main character of the Ace Attorney games, who she claims is the greatest lawyer ever in existence as the spell called for such to be summoned. Of course, as the series continues, this was revealed to be a lie in the moment but perhaps held more truth than what was intended as the trial becomes ever more complex, revealing evidence that seemingly proves Rainbow Dash as a murderer and impossible odds are overcome with great suspense build up. Ultimately, it is exaggerated court room drama and only works as well as it does with great personalities to bounce off of each other and build an energy of rivalry, desperation, and eventually cooperation towards the truth.
The personality that makes this work the most is Trixie who is playing the part of prosecution against Rainbow. This works on so many levels. First, she has canonical investment in the outcome of the trial. In real life that would probably get the lawyer taken off the case, but in a fictional setting, which this is doubly so, this makes the situation ever more engaging. The view is treated to a very intelligent antagonistic force that comes prepared… for the most part… against the protagonists as the trial goes on. She effortlessly parries away every advantage, every theory, and every attempt to make progress. It feels like a worthy foe for the project, and it shines through especially in the end. Trixie then teams up with the protagonists to a significant degree to defeat the supposed villain behind the murder.
But even that conclusion has a twist for the better. The conclusion of this project is that no murder occurred, keeping the stated murder free Equestria at relative peace. Bizarre happenstance killed the pony who was corrupt and intended to murder as well. A happy ending as the villain reforms, is still punish though not severely, promises to make a recovery and begin work on the side of Equestria, and a wonderful closing happens for well over an hour that just spends some time with all the characters, including Trixie, who begrudgingly becomes your friend. I don’t know how anyone could top it.
And it hasn’t been topped, unfortunately.