|Yes! Isn't it amazing? Ah, the power of science. It's my life.|
Ema Skye is a forensics-obsessed detective in the Los Angeles Criminal Affairs Department who was in charge of Apollo Justice's first few cases. As a teenager, nine years before she became a detective, she was Phoenix Wright's investigative partner and co-counsel in the murder of Bruce Goodman and also aided Miles Edgeworth in some of his cases.
Ema Skye is responsible for introducing forensic investigation techniques to Wright, Edgeworth, and Justice.
Ema Skye lost her parents in a car crash at a young age, so her elder sister Lana was her only family. Lana raised Ema alone while pursuing her detective career, resulting in Ema's interest in forensics. Lana gave Ema an allowance, usually in the form of money and bottles of luminol. Lana was known for being a cheerful and likable person at the time. Through her, Ema came to know many people in the police department, the Criminal Affairs Department and the prosecutor's office, including Jake Marshall, Angel Starr and Miles Edgeworth.
Ema also used to take organ lessons and was a fan of the popular children's television program The Steel Samurai: Warrior of Neo Olde Tokyo, even having the show's theme music as her ringtone while a teenager.
Involvement in the SL-9 Incident
- Main article: SL-9 Incident
During the events of the SL-9 Incident, Ema was waiting for Lana in her office so that they could go out for dinner. Suddenly, the serial killer Joe Darke, who had escaped from his interrogation, burst into the room. Prosecutor Neil Marshall soon came to the rescue, engaging Darke in a fight. During the struggle, Ema saw a man about to stab another with a broken knife. Thinking the attacker was Darke, Ema pushed him, knocking him out. She lost consciousness soon afterward. When she woke up, Lana was cradling her in her arms, Neil was dead, and Darke had been recaptured.
Detective Bruce Goodman interviewed Ema for evidence, but she could not remember anything clearly and was still in shock from the experience. A couple of days later, she managed to draw a picture of one man stabbing another on the back of a list of the evidence used to convict Darke. Subsequently, Ema decided to become a scientific investigator to prevent such situations from happening again. After the encounter with Darke, Lana suddenly became cold and more serious.
- Main article: Rise from the Ashes
|So, to scientifically analyze the data available so far... You, Ms. Starr, are a lunch vendor with an ulterior motive for coming here!|
Two years after the SL-9 Incident, Goodman was murdered and Lana was quickly accused of the crime. Before Lana was apprehended, she called Ema to tell her about the situation. Ema sought Mia Fey, a lawyer whom Lana knew from law school, to defend her, but she found Phoenix Wright in Fey's office instead. Wright informed her that Fey "no longer worked there", so she requested his services instead. They visited Lana in detention; Lana informed them that she had confessed to the crime and told Ema not to get involved, but her little sister insisted on helping her only family.
Wright and Ema investigated the scene of the crime; the parking lot at the prosecutor's office. They found the victim's wallet; Ema told Wright to examine the wallet and other evidence "scientifically", from all angles, for clues. The next day, Ema gave Wright a bottle of luminol and told him to use it to find blood. Wright did as he was asked and soon found blood in various parts of the in the evidence room at the police department headquarters, in which Goodman had allegedly been "murdered" at the same time that he had been murdered in the parking lot. After gathering their clues there, they visited Edgeworth, who gave Ema a jar of aluminum fingerprint powder for her to use on fingerprints they had found. Wright used the resulting fingerprint evidence to prove in court that the "Goodman" at the evidence room was, in fact, Jake Marshall, who had been "killed" in a scuffle with the overeager police officer Mike Meekins. Jake had wanted to take the evidence from the SL-9 Incident, and asked Lana whether the evidence was forged. Lana confirmed that she had forged evidence in that incident, sending the courtroom into an uproar.
As the investigation continued, it became clear that the murder had something to do with the SL-9 Incident, which had plagued Lana ever since it had happened. Wright found out about Darke's attack on Ema and the subsequent arrest. He convinced detective Dick Gumshoe to let them into the office of the police chief, Damon Gant, whom had been in charge of the investigation into the SL-9 Incident. Wright used the fingerprint powder to work out Gant's safe combination, and found hidden evidence from the incident, including a piece of cloth with Ema's handprint on it. Just then, Gant came in and told Wright and Gumshoe to leave, firing Gumshoe and telling Ema to stay with him for questioning.
On the last day in court, Lana tried to insist that she had killed Goodman, and Gant pushed for a guilty verdict as well, but Edgeworth defied them both and summoned Ema to the stand, despite Gant's threats. Ema testified about the SL-9 Incident, and the picture she had drawn came up. Eventually, Wright found out that Lana had believed Ema had killed Neil Marshall by accident, but soon proved that Gant was the real killer in both cases and that he had blackmailed Lana with the lie that her younger sister was the killer.
Closing the case for good freed Lana from her guilt and she became her cheerful self again. She apologized for the forgeries, saying that she only did it to protect Ema. Her sister immediately forgave her, as she had known that the old Lana would be back someday. Lana gave Ema the first book she had ever bought; a book on scientific investigation. Lana was going to be tried again for her crimes, so she sent Ema to Europe to live with a coroner friend of hers and to learn more about scientific investigation.
Two years later, Ema Skye returned to the United States for spring break. She was hoping to catch Miles Edgeworth at the airport, but she just missed him there. So, using a footprint analyzer, she managed to trace Edgeworth all the way to Gatewater Land, where the same device soon helped the prosecutor find the truth behind a kidnapping and murder that had taken place there. Ema believed she would be unable to meet up with Edgeworth again before she returned to Europe, for which she expressed regret.
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However, a few weeks later she reunited with Edgeworth at the Big Tower rooftop whilst the latter was investigating the apparent attempted murder of Kay Faraday. After receiving a call from Gumshoe about the case, Ema went to the building to assist Edgeworth, and used her forensic knowledge to aid him in his investigation. Although she was not allowed to be present at the committee's hearing of the case the following day, she was latter contacted by Shi-Long Lang at Edgeworth's request following another murder, and accompanied Lang to the Berry Big Circus to help the prosecutor confront a suspect there.
- Main article: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
|*sigh* I never seem to get a lucky break. Back after nine years, and they won't give me the position I requested... ...And then I hear he gave up the defense attorney life...|
After nine years, Ema returned to the United States to become a forensic scientist there and to meet Wright again. To her dismay, she failed to qualify for the job and was instead hired into the criminal affairs department as a homicide detective. Finding out that Wright had been disbarred only added to her disappointment. Adding insult to injury was the fact that she had to work with prosecutor Klavier Gavin, a "glimmerous fop" she couldn't stand.
- Main article: Turnabout Corner
|Quiet, please. It's snack time.|
When defense attorney Apollo Justice visited one of the crime scenes to which she was assigned, Ema ignored him. However, after some advice from Wright, Justice gave the detective a bottle of fingerprint powder Wright and Ema had used nine years earlier, which she immediately brightened at the opportunity to use. With her assistance and the use of shoeprint casting, Justice was able to find the evidence he needed to acquit his client of the crime and have the true killer arrested.
Witness to murder
- Main article: Turnabout Serenade
Later, during a Gavinners concert, someone stole Klavier Gavin's keys, so he called Ema to look for them. She met Justice backstage and then heard what sounded like two gunshots. They broke into a dressing room to find a wounded bodyguard called Romein LeTouse, who died shortly afterward. She later testified against Machi Tobaye in the bodyguard's murder, but Justice once again managed to clear his client's name and prove who the real culprit had been.
Involvement in the Jurist System test trial
- Main article: Turnabout Succession
Three months later, Ema and Justice participated in the trial of Vera Misham for the murder of her artist father, Drew Misham. At the crime scene they used an atroquinine indicator to find traces of the poison on a small picture frame. They also used a special X-ray machine designed to see through objects to read two letters that had been sent to the Misham residence.
During the trial, Ema appeared again, imitating the voice of Klavier Gavin's older brother Kristoph (who had been previously arrested for murder) to spook the prosecutor. Justice determined that Drew had sent a letter, using a stamp to do so; the stamp had been poisoned with atroquinine, which had subsequently killed the artist. Ema added that she could test for atroquinine on one of the letters that were in the Misham residence. When she did so, she found a small smear near the bottom of a letter, about the size of a stamp. This was crucial evidence for the defense, and, along with the investigative work of Phoenix Wright, all the unknowns of the case were solved and the jury declared Vera innocent.
Afterwards, Ema contemplated the idea of creating "Golden Snackoos" in order to "augment the crunch, or better yet, make them ding," but she also mused that the preservatives needed "might not be 100% safe." Trucy Wright later mentioned her during Phoenix Wright's first case after being reinstated, referring to her as a "detective friend" who had given her some items for forensic investigation. Additionally, Phoenix still owned the glasses for luminol testing that Ema had given.
|Let's be scientific about this, please!|
As a high school student, Ema Skye was cheerful and optimistic. She loved science, wanted to be a forensic investigator, and was set to go into forensics in 2020. She also deeply admired both her older sister Lana, and the prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, though she was not a fan of his office. Ema was somewhat lacking in common sense; when examining Wright's desk, she claimed to be studying for a history test and she inaccurately proclaimed George Washington to be "the first king of America." She also had a tendency to write down notes in her notepad, even if they were completely irrelevant to the case at hand.
Her personality underwent a dramatic shift when she failed to get her dream job in forensics, becoming much moodier than she was as a teenager and disliking talking to people unless they had something concerning forensics to discuss, otherwise, she would usually ignore them. She also developed a great liking for "snackoos", spending large quantities of time vigorously munching on them and ignoring those around her. The sound of her munching became an identifying signal for Justice, and she would sometimes throw snackoos at people who annoyed her.
Ema's disregard for other people extended to her coworkers. She cannot stand prosecutor Klavier Gavin, calling him a "glimmerous fop" (which Justice always tried to correct to "glamorous" in his head). According to Ema, prosecutors should be "simmerous" and "cool of wit and furrowed of brow" (likely referring to the more serious Miles Edgeworth). She was also resentful of Klavier for what happened to Wright, since he had been the prosecutor at the trial that caused his disbarment, and thus she held him personally responsible. Her love of forensics has not lessened however, immediately cheering up if the opportunity to implement it presents itself and sneakily investigating crime scenes when the assigned forensic investigators are not around.
- The kanji in her Japanese surname "Houzuki" (宝月) mean "treasured moon" or "jeweled moon".
- Her Japanese given name "Akane" (茜) may come from the phrase "akane sasu sora", meaning "a glowing sky". Her English surname, "Skye", may be a reflection of this.
- Director Takeshi Yamazaki's original idea for Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth was a detective spin-off game for the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney version of Ema Skye.
- Ema was modeled after Maya Fey, but given her own unique traits to make the two distinct from each other. This explains why her hairstyle is nearly identical to Fey's.
- In Rise from the Ashes, Gant wrote Ema's name in blood on a jar to frame her. This is another similarity to Maya Fey, since in Turnabout Sisters, Redd White wrote Maya's name on a receipt to incriminate her.
- The reason Ema was made more mature and moody in her Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice appearance was to prevent her role from conflicting with that of Trucy Wright.
- Character designer Kazuya Nuri wanted to keep her "cuteness" intact for her facial expressions as an adult, so when she is expressing anger it is more like an "adorable pout". His favorite Ema animation is when she is munching on her snackoos.
- During her appearances in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth and Gyakuten Kenji 2, she is seen holding a pink-colored gadget highly reminiscent of a pink Nintendo DS. This is likely a reference to the games' platform.
- Ema Skye and Mia Fey (during Bridge to the Turnabout) are the only Ace Attorney characters to date to have their forward-facing sprites used while acting as the player's co-counsel.
Ema's eye color is portrayed rather inconsistently across the games she appears in. This is even more glaring when even the sprites, official art, and mugshots for the same game don't appear to match up; in Rise from the Ashes her eyes are blue for her sprites, brown in her court record profile, and blue-green in her official art; in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney they are green, brown, and blue-green, respectively; and for *Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth & Gyakuten Kenji 2 they are blue, blue, and blue-green, respectively. For the purposes of this wiki, her eyes will be considered to be teal due to it being consistently portrayed that way in official art.
Ema wore three button badges on her lab coat as a teenager. One had a surprised face on it while the two smaller ones had angry faces. These badges bear a great resemblance to the molecular model used for water, with the larger badge representing an oxygen atom and the two smaller badges representing the two hydrogen atoms. When studying in Europe, she only wore the larger button badge with a surprised face on her lab coat. As an adult, Ema only wore the one small button badge with an angry face. The large button from her teenage years can be seen on Phoenix Wright's beanie hat, which proves important to the plot as it carries a small spy camera in its "mouth". Additionally, one of her blue badges can be seen on Apollo Justice's "Stylin' Street Clothes" outfit.
Ema also wears a pair of glasses with pink lenses, which she primarily uses to detect luminol when it reacts to blood. She apparently carries at least one spare pair with her at all times, even lending them for Wright to use during their time together. As of 2027, Wright still owns the glasses Ema gave him.