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Monday, June 2, 2014

Rummaging Through The Phoenix Wright Files!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Official Casebook: Vol. 1: The Phoenix Wright Files.

If you follow me on Miiverse, you'll know that I took out that thing in the sub-title from the library. Well, I have to return it by tomorrow, so might as well review this manga for KoopaTV. Sure, it's not a videogame. But it's based off one! Loosely. Fortunately, it's based off the KoopaTV-favourite Ace Attorney franchise.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Official Casebook: Vol. 1: The Phoenix Wright Files is a "doujinshi", which means the fact that it reads like a collection of drawn short fan-fiction is intentional, because that's basically what it is. There are 20 "cases" in the book (having diverse plots such as Maya Fey needing to find a waterfall for training, to Maya Fey begging Wright to let a stray cat live in the office, to Wright, Maya, Edgeworth, and Franziska von Karma competing to win free noodles) all written and drawn by different people with different styles. It's sponsored by Capcom, and brought over here by Del Rey Manga, a division of Random House. In 2008.

Maya Fey adorably eats a noodle.
Every (well, almost every) artist competes to make Maya Fey look cute.

The stories pretty much take place during or after the timeline of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations. Which means there is a lot of Phoenix Wright, Maya Fey, Pearl Fey, Miles Edgeworth, Franziska von Karma, Detective Gumshoe, and a bit of Godot. Larry Butz makes a surprisingly high amount of appearances as well. The whole thing is under 300 pages of right-to-left goodness, since it's a manga, after all. None of the stories connect to one another, and although everyone is remarkably in-character, these aren't retellings of in-game events. They're all new whimsical silly stuff.

The art ranges from okay to awesome. Some of the stories rely on visual gags (such as giving Phoenix Wright a new costume to make him more interesting, since he's a straight-man main character with no gimmick in a world of crazy people) and these end up pretty nicely. There are even some exact drawn scenes taken from the games, like Edgeworth's car from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney with the note stuck in the muffler.

Wright and Edgeworth are astounded by these two lovers... But who are they? Well, I know who they are. Since I read it.

The stories are written in the quality you'd see in the upper-echelon parts of The translation? You think I know how the quality of that is? I'm assuming it's pretty good. There are translation notes in the back that explain some decisions there. The dialogue stays true to the game, with Godot referring to girls as kittens and Marvin Grossberg referring to the scent of fresh lemon. There are a lot of references to small details about the games, of course, like Missile the dog and Coldkiller X. They make me feel happy that I can recognize them! A lot of the stories break the fourth wall, too. That's fun.

If you aren't already a fan of the Ace Attorney series, don't pick this up until you are. Through the games. Which are fantastic, as you know if you're a long-time reader of KoopaTV. This manga is fun for fans of the series. There are other volumes of it... but I don't have them. Neither does the library. But I definitely don't regret borrowing this!

Ludwig is not a well-read individual. He doesn't read manga in his free time. Other contributors to KoopaTV do, though. Regardless, he's still a huge Ace Attorney fan. Follow him on Miiverse at NNID PrinceOfKoopas as he's the Judge of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies community!

KoopaTV's first review was actually a book based off Pokémon Gold. Check it out here.

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