3. The Aftermath of Mia’s Death
Mia’s sudden murder at the beginning of the second case was a blow to pretty much anyone playing the game for the first time. But as heart-wrenching as it was, we didn’t really get to see how it affected Phoenix and Maya all that much since the focus immediately shifted towards Phoenix investigating the murder to help prove Maya innocent. And while it doesn’t get a tonne of focus in the anime, we do actually get to see the immediate after-effects on the two.
It’s brief but we get a scene of Maya alone in her prison cell. It’s not much but it highlights her pain almost perfectly. Not only is she dealing with the fact that her sister is dead, not only do the police think she did it but she’s also completely alone. There is no one in her corner. We also see Phoenix re-watching the news report about Mia’s death. While he may not be locked up, seeing him sitting alone in his small, dark room is almost as painful. He looks tired, lost and angry all at the same time, as he feels like he failed to protect both Mia and Maya.
Even though Mia’s death comes across as more of an inconvenience since Maya is able to summon her spirit, those early moments perfectly portray how horrible this situation really is and helps flesh out this key event in the series, giving it more weight and making sure it sticks in the audience’s head.
4. The Ending to Turnabout Big Top
The majority of the Ace Attorney fan-seems to unanimously hate Turnabout Big Top, the third case of the second game. I personally don’t mind it but there’s nothing about it I would say was definitely “good” aside from the revelation of the killer – the wheelchair-bound acrobat Acro – and his motive. But when it was adapted in the anime, its conclusion in court was handled extremely well to the point where I think it’s better than how it happened in the game.
Ultimately, nothing is really changed. The killer, Acro, confesses to his guilt in front of the court and his fellow circus members. Not only did he accidentally murder the ringmaster (his surrogate father figure) and framed an innocent man for it, he was actually intending to kill the victim’s daughter, Regina, because she in turn had accidentally caused Acro’s brother to wind up in a coma he may never wake up from AND didn’t understand the severity of her actions.
But the real change happens as Acro is about to taken to prison. Out of nowhere, Regina runs down from the gallery, tears streaming down her face and struggling to stand, demanding that she be taken instead. Despite having just learned that Acro hated her enough to try and kill her, she holds no ill will towards him and instead is just desperate to make amends, even if she has to go to prison in his place. Obviously, the law doesn’t work like that but after Moe the Clown tells her how precious peoples’ lives are, she swears to look after Acro’s brother until the day he gets out of prison. Though he doesn’t say anything, Acro lets out a smile that suggests that he may have forgiven her in the end, or at the very least is glad that she’ll be taking care of his brother.
While Regina made the same promise in the game, it’s the fact that she actually approaches Acro and the two manage to get it all out between them that adds that extra layer to the relationship and the characters and, much like the previous example, adds more weight, drama and tragedy to the scene. It’s one change I’m glad was made and just might redeem this whole case in the eyes of some.