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Kazuma Asogi
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Kazuma Asogi
I am determined to bring about change in our legal system.

Kazuma Asogi was a student at Imperial Yumei University studying law, while also serving as a defense attorney. Due to his exemplary academic achievements, he was also chosen to study abroad in the British Empire towards the end of Japan's Meiji era. After his best friend Ryunosuke Naruhodo was put on trial for the murder of John H. Wilson and subsequently acquitted, Kazuma requested that he accompany him to Britain.

Early life[]

This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

Sins of the father[]

Main article: The Professor Killings

As a child with his father, Genshin.

Kazuma Asogi was born as the only son of Genshin Asogi and hails from a well-known martial arts family. When he was eight years old, his father participated in an exchange student program and departed for the Great British Empire.

Over the course of his visit, Genshin would, however, be arrested for a series of murders known as the Professor Killings. Mael Stronghart approached him with a proposal: should he consent to being framed as the Professor, he would be allowed to return home to his family; to which, Genshin agreed, and years later Stronghart would describe son Kazuma as his "only weakness."

Genshin was allowed to compose his will, and of which he wrote three pages. However, one page would contain hidden instructions to find the evidence that could resolve the Professor Killings; and as such, Kazuma would not receive the last page of his father's will at the time.

But Genshin was betrayed and murdered by Seishiro Jigoku after Enoch Drebber stumbled upon his still living body, Kazuma's mother would soon die due to an anxiety related illness. He was then taken in by Yujin Mikotoba, who told him his father died of an illness, and raised alongside his daughter.

One day though, he received a letter from one of the victim's sibling of the Professor Killings, something that Mikotoba was not privy to until years later. Such would ultimately motivate him towards becoming a defense attorney.

End of spoilers.


Meeting Naruhodo[]

Kazuma met Ryunosuke Naruhodo during Imperial Yumei University's speech competition in the summer the year before the latter's trial. Naruhodo gave a speech that, while shallow, wound up winning the audience over with ferocity and passion. That speech kindled a spirit of rivalry in Kazuma. Kazuma's persuasive speech about how the Japanese social system needs to change went perfectly until the end when he has to say "men and women of all ages" (老若男女 "rou nyaku nan nyo"). Kazuma could not speak that final tongue twister, failing for five minutes until he collapsed to his knees on the stage and the audience booed him off.

Humiliated, he caught up with Naruhodo later and asked how he overcame tongue twisters. Naruhodo replied that it was his hobby and taught Kazuma one: "red headband, blue headband, yellow headband" (赤鉢巻 青鉢巻 黄鉢巻 "aka hachimaki ao hachimaki ki hachimaki"). The shame of the failed speech and the equal desire to overcome his weakness prompted Kazuma to practice that particular phrase until his tongue bled. He began wearing a red headband as a symbol of the hardship he had overcome. Kazuma also developed a grudge against the Japanese language for having many difficult-to-speak expressions, which Naruhodo suspected might have factored into Kazuma's decision to become an exchange student in Britain. Kazuma and Naruhodo became best friends afterwards.

Naruhodo's trial[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Great Departure

Months later, Kazuma learned that Naruhodo had told him the tongue twister incorrectly. It was actually "red paper roll, blue paper roll, yellow paper roll" (赤巻紙 青巻紙 黄巻紙 "aka makigami ao makigami ki makigami"). Kazuma was unable to say this new tongue twister and had a breakdown out of sheer frustration in the court lobby.

He then returned the favor for the speech by standing by Naruhodo's side when the latter was put on trial after being accused of murdering John H. Wilson.

This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

Kazuma invited Naruhodo to travel to England with him. Kazuma seemed to have some mission that was of international importance. Unknown to Naruhodo, that mission was actually to kill a detective as part of a program. Kazuma agreed to this in hopes of learning the truth about his father.

End of spoilers.


Tragedy aboard the SS Burya[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band
This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

Kazuma smuggled Naruhodo aboard the steamship SS Burya as a stowaway to London. Kazuma hid Naruhodo in his cabin's closet and they shared the meals meant for Kazuma. This left both of them hungry. There was a power outage on the ship and Naruhodo took the opportunity to steal a single steak from the kitchen. Herlock Sholmes spied Naruhodo fleeing back to Kazuma's cabin. When the theft was discovered, Sholmes asked Kazuma for permission to search his room. Kazuma could not dissuade Sholmes, who heard Naruhodo sneeze. Sholmes searched the closet where Naruhodo had been hiding first, but discovers no one inside. However he did find the bones from three steaks. When the sailor Bif Strogenov accused Kazuma of the steak theft, Sholmes explained that Kazuma couldn't be the thief because his stomach would not be growling from hunger if he had eaten the steaks. Satisfied, Strogenov left. Sholmes then warned Kazuma to hide the "animal" under his bed better. When everyone left, Naruhodo confessed his theft to Kazuma and explained how he moved from the closet to the bed when everyone was distracted. Kazuma then realized that Sholmes had stolen the other steaks and had dumped the bones in his closet.

One night, Kazuma encountered a ballerina named Nikolina Pavlova and learned that she was trying to escape from Russia. Realizing that she was smuggled onto the ship, Kazuma decided to let her meet Naruhodo, who was sleeping in the closet. But when he turned to his right, Pavlova panicked because she thought he was looking at the calling bell nearby and was going to call the captain. When her cat began to circle around him, she suddenly pushed him and killed him by accident when his neck broke when hitting his bed post. Pavlova and Strogenov tried to cover up her apparent crime, but Naruhodo and Sholmes caught her and she was arrested. Naruhodo then continued his friend's dream of becoming a worthy defense attorney so that he could change Japan's justice system for the better. Naruhodo inherited Kazuma's sword and wrapped his departed friend's hairband around it.

Kazuma's name was one of four names mentioned on a morse code disk stolen by Ashley Graydon, indicating he had a connection to an international incident of some importance along with A. Shinn, Tobias Gregson, and John Wilson.

End of spoilers.


Time in Britain[]

Main article: The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve
This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

In actuality, Kazuma survived the events on the steamship. However, the ordeal rendered him amnesiac, with his only clue to his past being an intense desire to reach England. He escaped from the steamship, and gradually made his way to his destination by acting as a crewmember aboard cargo ships. He eventually reached England, but because he had no identity and no memory, he was taken to Scotland Yard, where he met Mael Stronghart for the first time. Using his remaining knowledge of law, Kazuma impressed Stronghart enough to instate him as the disciple of Barok van Zieks. However, Stronghart ordered that he must wear a mask at all times, causing him to adopt the identity of the "Masked Apprentice".

Revived[]

Main article: The Return of the Great Departed Soul

Removing his mask.

Under the guise of the "Masked Apprentice," he assisted van Zieks in his prosecution against Albert Harebrayne. During the course of the investigation, Naruhodo and Susato deduced that the Apprentice was in fact their friend, though he was in no shape to confirm or deny the fact. After the trial concluded, he regained his memories upon seeing a wax sculpture of his father, Genshin Asogi. Naruhodo, grateful to see he was alive, returned Karuma to him, to which Kazuma proceeded to use to slice his father's wax figure in half. Declaring this was not the time to talk, Kazuma departed from the courtroom.

Reborn[]

Main articles: Twisted Karma and His Last Bow & The Resolve of Ryunosuke Naruhodo

When Mael Stronghart decided to give Tobias Gregson a "Reaper" mission for the date of October thirty-first aboard the S.S. Grouse as it headed for Dunkirk, France, Kazuma was sent with him as the assasin. The target was Seishiro Jigoku for escaping his own trial after the Professor Killings, but this was actually a trap to kill Gregson. However, Kazuma's insistence made Gregson reveal the truth about Genshin’s trial resulting in Kazuma growing incensed and attacking him. Although he hit the trunk instead and chipped his blade, Kazuma decided to leave it at that, he disembarked at Dunkirk harbor and signed the guestbook at the inn to stay for the night. Although Gregson tried to kill Jigoku all by himself, the judge managed to shoot Gregson dead. Then he froze his body and tried to pin the crime on Daley Vigil when the ship returned, but Barok van Zieks took the fall instead.

Kazuma Asogi would later be the one to prosecute his mentor facing off against his friend, Naruhodo, in the trial. He saw this as an opportunity to get his revenge for his father's conviction. His case was that van Zieks was the head of the Reaper of the Bailey conspiracy, an organization originally thought to be a curse where Gregson and Asa Shinn, the assassin who killed John Wilson, would plan the deaths of each of the defendants that escape his trials. Their headquarters was an abandoned apartment just outside of London. The most recent mission was to kill Seishiro Jigoku, but since Gregson failed at this mission, Kazuma believed was that van Zieks shot him on Fresno as a result when he came back. Originally, his theory was that Gregson was merely investigating van Zieks who shot it to silence. But Naruhodo eventually proved that Gregson's killer was Jigoku himself so he could complete Kazuma's mission.

Despite this, Kazuma still wanted to convict van Zieks of being the head Reaper. He requested that van Zieks give testimony about it, he denied any reason to plot the assassin exchange. But then Naruhodo remembered Klint's autopsy report causing Kazuma to reveal what happened with him and Gregson before he left for Dunkirk. He concludes that since Barok van Zieks was the prosecutor for his father's trial, only he could've had detective Gregson and Dr. Wilson make that autopsy, then he had them killed to keep them from talking. But to his surprise, Kazuma found out that Mael Stronghart was the original prosecutor in charge, van Zieks only became it at the last minute to avenge his brother due to his insistense. Judge Stronghart denies this and that there was no way to prove that what Gregson told Kazuma was true because he's dead now. After denying Yujin Mikotoba's testimony, he tells Kazuma to surrender himself and that his "little play at revenge" is over, this makes Kazuma Asogi slam his fists on the stand and scream.

However, Herlock Sholmes soon appears and convinces the gallery that the trial must continue, giving Kazuma one more chance. It is revealed in the following testimonies that Genshin was targetted by Gregson's men in order to steal his ring and frame him for the crime; Barok believed he was the target at the time. Kazuma still struggled to believe that Barok had nothing to do with framing his brother, until Naruhodo snapped him out of it. He told Kazuma that unless he lets go of his hatred, he would never be able to find the truth. Seemingly enlightened, Kazuma decided to let go of the past and help his friend. It was eventually discovered that the true identity of the Professor was that of Barok's brother, Klint van Zieks, as well as the deal Stronghart had made with Genshin. It was subsequently revealed that Stronghart was also responsible for the killings of the Reaper, the assassination program, and ultimately behind blackmailing Klint to commit his killings.

Stronghart was almost able to get away with his crimes, as no proof existed that he acted directly, and due to the nature of the secret trial, everything was to remain classified. Kazuma almost lost his last change at revenge, until Sholmes appeared through hologram, and revealed Queen Victoria had been watching the whole trial, and had stripped Stronghart of his powers. At last, Kazuma was able to achieve the justice he had looked for for so long.

After the trial, Kazuma declared he would never forgive Barok, but admitted he was a man who saught for justice. When Barok declared he would have to leave the country when word of his brother got out, Kazuma chastized him, claiming that now that the reaper had gone, his work had only just begun, to which Barok begrudgingly accepted. Later that evening, at the prosecutor's office, Susato approched Kazuma, asking if it would be okay for her to return home with Naruhodo, to which Kazuma accepted, asking her to watch over his friend.

Farewell to friends[]

Asogi and Naruhodo say their goodbyes.

As the day came when Naruhodo was to leave, Kazuma approached him and thanked him for everything. He revealed that during his confrontation with Gregson he had felt a murderous rage, and understood that there was still a darkness within him that he had to defeat. He also told his friend he would be studying under Barok as a prosecutor in order to be able to conquer the darkness within others as well. Believing he was not yet deserving to hold the sword, he entrusted Karuma to Naruhodo until the day he could overcome his faults. Declaring the two would meet again in court one day, Kazuma watched as his friend departed for their home country.

End of spoilers.

Personality[]

Mugshot.

Kazuma Asogi
In other words, our feeble government is scared of upsetting England’s policy makers. And you’re a convenient and expendable scapegoat to blame for this crime.

Kazuma is introduced as a composed, yet hot-blooded and outspoken youth with a strong sense of justice. He's well-known around his university for his accomplishments as being skilled in both academics and martial arts; and, despite his young age, had been chosen to participate in an exchange program to travel to the Great British Empire and earn the qualifications to become a defense attorney.

He possesses a sharp tongue, and is quick to challenge or defy authority figures; a point of contention from local bailiffs and later, Mael Stronghart. This extends to a strong hatred for corrupt authority as well, as Kazuma displays contempt not only for the Japanese government attempting to use Naruhodo as a scapegoat, but for the British government having done the same thing to his father Genshin.

He can overdo things to a fault, as displayed by how he practiced the tongue twisters he struggled with until his tongue bled. Kazuma is also willing to go to great lengths in order to help his friends, even if it means risking his career and aspirations; and, despite his acerbic nature, is deeply respectful to those he cares about, and will never fail to encourage them. It is because of these traits that Kazuma is set up to be an ideal, one that his best friend Ryunosuke Naruhodo would think to in times of need.

This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

As the "Masked Apprentice".

As a prosecutor.

Following his return, however, his presented image of an ideal is heavily deconstructed. What were traits initially presented as positive are now taken to a harmful extreme, with the most glaring being his determination. Even without memory, he was so determined that he traveled to the Great British Empire through working on steamships while relying on his knowledge of the English language, along with his skill in lawyering. As Naruhodo later discovers, this is all done in the name of avenging his father, displaying a strong dedication to filial piety.

However, said determination and loyalty leads him to go to extreme lengths, which can harm both others and himself. Such is shown by how Jigoku used this determination against him, as his condition to participate in the exchange program was to murder Tobias Gregson; and, later on, how he forces Daley Vigil to recall a traumatic memory in order to find the truth. His anger and determination towards van Zieks for the apparent use of forged evidence also leads Kazuma to be set on convicting him of Gregson's murder along with the Professor Killings.

Kazuma is also noted to be very closed-off about his problems and past, which becomes more apparent after the regaining of his memories. This is displayed by his closed-off body language in his sprites, along with his eventual breakdown: trying, and failing to keep himself composed. That aspect of his has also been a long-running one, as Naruhodo notes that he has brief moments where he has a dark expression regarding his mission, yet says nothing; furthermore, Yujin Mikotoba states that he never knew that Kazuma had known about the Professor Killings and his father's involvement, which ultimately motivated him to travel to Britain.

However, Kazuma still retains his strong sense of justice, along with his love for his friends. He is ultimately able to see past his anger thanks to Naruhodo's words, and assist in exposing the truth behind the Professor Killings. He also displays strong consideration towards them, as he encourages Susato to accompany Naruhodo back to Japan in order to aide him in his work.

End of spoilers.

Kazuma is also noted to struggle with tongue twisters; and, although not revealed to be his least favorite food, he appears to have a strong dislike for chicken. In terms of hobbies, he's stated to practice archery with Naruhodo alongside other martial arts, speech and debate; and, as his conversations in the Prosecutor's office show, is implied to have an interest in arts and crafts.

Name[]

  • Kazuma Asogi's surname '亜双義' is homonymous with the term '阿僧祇' (あそうぎ) meaning 1056 or one hundred septendecillion. However, '阿僧祇' can also refer to the term asaṃkhyeya from Buddhism. Asaṃkhyeya refers to the Hindu/Buddhist name for the number 10140 as described in the Avatamsaka Sutra. In religious translations, this term means 'incalculable'. In Sanskrit, asaṃkhyeya can also mean 'innumerable' or 'infinite' and is a title of Hindu deities Vishnu and Shiva. In the Sanskrit hymn Vishnu Sahasranama, "asankyeyo-aprameyaatmaa" also means "one with infinite forms."
This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.
  • The sounds 'そうぎ' are also homonymous with the term '葬儀', meaning "funeral service", which may reference both Kazuma and Genshin Asogi's roles in death; with Kazuma as an assassin in pursuit of revenge, and Genshin as a murderer in pursuit of justice, with both men ultimately "dying" for their goals and "returning" from the dead.
End of spoilers.

  • Asogi's given name, Kazuma (一真) is comprised of '一' meaning "one", and '真' meaning "truth". This is in contrast to his father Genshin, whose name contains the kanji '玄真', with '玄' containing connotations of being mysterious or occult.

Development[]

His clothes were designed with more of both western and eastern influences than Ryunosuke Naruhodo's were. His headband is animated to flutter in the wind even though he is mostly seen indoors. This animation was only doable in 3D and was something that art director Kazuya Nuri really wanted.[4]

References[]

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