This particular Ace Attorney game goes back in time to the Meiji Era, or around the Meiji Era. I really need to figure out exactly when the Meiji Era is. Athena says it started in 1868. But the important thing is it takes place around the time Sherlock Holmes was active, so like the 1890s to 1900 or so. I seem to remember one Holmes story saying something about 1926, which is kind of wild to think about, because it means our grandfather could have been reading Sherlock Holmes books as they came out for the first time ever! Assuming he was interested in Sherlock Holmes as a teenager.
Anyway, the important thing about that is the costumes! It's got lots of lovely costumes from the turn of the century Japan and England, because one of the main plot points is that Japan and England are developing a relationship. And so this is the story of a Japanese university student (he goes to Yuumei Daigaku; we imagine it's very famous) who accidentally finds himself studying to be a defense attorney, and there are English people. Including, of course, THE Sherlock Holmes!
And now for the things that might be more spoilerish.
When we started playing this game, we loved it so much, because Ryunosuke (the hero) had to defend himself in a murder trial, and it was his first case ever (he wasn't even a law student), and he was so cute, because he would slam his hands on the desk like Phoenix Wright (aka his descendant Ryuichi), and he'd look all professional, but then it didn't make as loud a noise as he expected, so he'd glance at his hand to make sure it was in the right place. And his eyes were constantly darting back and forth because he was so unsure of himself and it was adorable.
On the other hand, there was his friend Asogi, who was supposed to be the defense lawyer but wasn't because that's how the story went (it makes more sense when you have details), but he was helping Ryunosuke because he actually knew stuff about lawying. And it was great, because sometimes Ryunosuke would say something really ridiculous, and Asogi would give him this Look, and it was the best! But the real best was getting to see two good friends working together.
And the other best thing was that Auchi (Payne's ancestor) was wearing traditional Japanese clothing, and so was the assistant, Susato, and she's adorable, too.
And then as the story goes on, so many sad things happened! First of all, we find out that we won't get to see Asogi for a while, and then Holmes shows up! And the appearance of Holmes is supposed to be a happy thing, but it took a while to warm up to this particular version of him, mostly because I like Sherlock Holmes and this version is more like Gilderoy Lockhart--he acts like he knows what he's doing, but he's really kind of clueless. But he's not a coward like Lockhart, so that's good. We like to think of him more like Shawn Spencer (who I think is also based on Sherlock Holmes), but at least Shawn is usually right when he starts going off about his crazy theories.
Here's the fun thing about it, though: the Sherlock Holmes stories always have the big reveal, where Sherlock dramatically explains how he solved the case, and! they made that a big part of the gameplay! YOU get to be Sherlock Holmes, explaining the case! Only not really, because what happens is, Holmes makes up some cockamamie story about what happened using his observations, which aren't very good, so Ryunosuke steps in and gently guides the observations in the right direction. So on the one hand, it's awesome, because they make it super dramatic with spotlights and dramatic camera panning and Holmes snaps his fingers and does a little hand wavy thing that's really cool looking...but on the other hand, Holmes! What have they done to him!?
Still, he's a fun character, so as long as we're not hung up on all that, we can enjoy it.
But here's the other thing they did! In one of Holmes's explanations, he pretty much explains the entire case of the Adventure of the Speckled Band, the actual story written by Arthur Conan Doyle. But then! then! Susato comes along and says, "Um...none of those things can actually really work, scientifically." It's not zoologically feasible. And I was like, "What! It was WRONG!?" And I was mildly traumatized, but I managed to convince myself that he might have done the best he could with the science that was available to him at the time, and besides, I should have known that Doyle wasn't the most meticulous researcher as soon as I read A Study in Scarlet. (Although it's likely he read the biography of Ann Eliza Webb Dee Young Denning, who was a popular anti-Mormon of the time, which might sort of count as research, but not from a very good source.)
So that about sums it up for now. It's fun, just like all the other Ace Attorney games, and we highly recommend buying it! I think they're planning to release it in English, but who can say? There are so many things in it that make us go, "How would they manage to localize that...?" But surely they can come up with something!
Today I'm thankful for making good progress on Noragami today despite a slow start, new and interesting(?) portrayals of familiar characters, finally getting that new software to work (we had a very small assignment today that we had to do on translation software that was new to us), that little project not taking too too long, and getting to translate another fun chapter of UQ Holder!.