5. Turnabout Promise
This may seem like hyperbole to some but I consider Turnabout Promise to be, without a doubt, the best episode in the entire show for one very simple reason – it’s completely original. This episode actually goes further in-depth to an aspect of the series that the games didn’t touch upon – Phoenix, Edgeworth and Larry’s childhood friendship. Without having a specific set of scenes that they had to follow, the writers were able to do something new; something that didn’t feel rushed or condensed and actually interesting to watch.
We got to see the three of them actually hanging out and bonding over Phoenix’s class trial, they’re attempts to reunite a dog with its owner and an old TV show that they were all fans of. In the games, we were just told that the three of them were close but here, we actually got to see that for ourselves and, as a result, it felt more believable. Plus, it was just adorable to see the normally prim and proper Edgeworth actually trying to act like a normal kid. They even made the effort to explain where his love for the Steel Samurai came from, complete with a brief look at his home-life and how cool his dad was, before his subsequent adoption by von Karma following his dad’s death.
Aside from further highlighting the bond between the three and helping give extra detail to the Ace Attorney universe, it showed how, despite the criticisms people had for the show, there was clearly some potential there. Maybe if the studio had been allowed to come up with original story-lines or focus more on underdeveloped/overlooked aspects and characters, we could’ve got something much better.
I honestly don’t think we’ll ever see the anime continue to adapt later games (sorry Godot fans) but should Capcom ever decide to give it another shot, I personally hope they give the writers and animators more freedom to create stories and characters that they can call their own and that fans would be happy to accept into the overall series.