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Tobaye was an orphan until he met Lamiroir and they began to perform together, with Tobaye accompanying Lamiroir on piano. Lamiroir herself was blind, but Tobaye pretended instead to be the blind one in order to preserve her image as a singer of "sight-seeing music".
- Main article: Turnabout Serenade
Tobaye was involved in the smuggling of a Borginian cocoon to Los Angeles with Detective Daryan Crescend at the request of the Chief Justice, whose son was inflicted with incuritis. Lamiroir and Tobaye were to perform in a concert for the Gavinners, of which Crescend was a member. However, during the second segment of the concert, Interpol agent Romein LeTouse confronted Crescend. In the ensuing struggle, Crescend stole LeTouse's .45-caliber pistol and shot him in the shoulder.
Crescend then told Tobaye (via headset) to press a switch to ignite an inflammatory device inside Klavier Gavin's guitar, in which the cocoon had been hidden. During the third segment of the concert, Apollo Justice and Ema Skye heard what they believed were gunshots, though they were actually firecrackers, and found LeTouse, who died of blood loss soon after. During the investigation, the body disappeared, only to be found at the pedestal with an unconscious Tobaye. Tobaye was arrested and tried for the murder. Justice took on Tobaye's defense, and eventually revealed the smuggling plot involving Crescend and Tobaye. With no decisive evidence linking Crescend to the murder, Justice convinced Tobaye to admit to his involvement in the smuggling so that he would be tried in an American court and avoid the death penalty, the punishment for Borginian cocoon smuggling in his homeland.
Machi Tobaye is generally fairly quiet and withdrawn as a person, although this may have been at least in part due to being in a foreign land where he was not fluent in the language.
- His Japanese given name, "Maki", when written as a kanji character, can mean "roll" (like a roll of paper or a sushi roll, but not like a bakery roll) or occasionally "Chinese black pine".
- His English name comes from his Japanese one, presumably to make it sound foreign. It may also be a play on "much to buy", in reference to his need for money which led him to smuggle the Borginian cocoon.
- "Kashkash" comes from "cache-cache", the French term for "hide and seek".
- His tornado-shaped pendant is meant to be the hiragana "ma" (ま).
- The bangs of his hair are in the shape of a wing.
- Tobaye is the only defendant in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney to not appear during the closing credits.
- He is the third defendant in the Ace Attorney series, after Iris and Lana Skye, to be an accomplice to the real culprit and charged with a crime related to that role.