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|Wright? I hope you see the importance of evidence now. Also, hopefully you realize, things change depending on how you look at them. People, too. We never really know if our clients are guilty or innocent. All we can do is believe in them. And in order to believe in them, you have to believe in yourself.|
Mia Fey was a defense attorney known for her undying belief in her clients. She started out at Grossberg Law Offices, then eventually created her own criminal defense law firm, Fey & Co. Law Offices. She was Phoenix Wright's boss and mentor, and she left her firm to him after her death at the hands of Redd White. Her younger sister Maya served as Wright's assistant during his law career, and would sometimes use her spirit channeling abilities to allow Mia to assist Wright.
Mia was born into a prominent family of spirit mediums called the Fey clan. She grew up witnessing the rivalry between her mother, Misty Fey, and her aunt, Morgan Fey, who was next in line to be the Master of Kurain Village. Eventually, Misty usurped her older sister's position by way of her superior ability in the Kurain Channeling Technique. Mia did not want to have such enmity with her own little sister Maya, preferring a close sibling relationship. One day, she was caught trying to piece together the Sacred Urn of Ami Fey with Maya. A picture was taken of the event and placed inside the Kurain Talisman, which Misty wore as the Master.
On December 28, 2001, defense attorney Gregory Edgeworth was fatally shot while trapped in an elevator with his son Miles and a court bailiff named Yanni Yogi. Lacking in clues, the police resorted to having Misty Fey channel the victim, who pointed to Yogi as the killer. However, Yogi was found not criminally responsible in court. This incident disgraced the Kurain tradition, and Misty, having been deemed a fraud, disappeared.
Years later, Mia left the village and forsook her position as heir in order to become a lawyer and find out what had really happened during that incident. Mia left Maya under Morgan's care, along with Morgan's own daughter Pearl. Despite seemingly abandoning the life of a spirit medium, Mia continued to wear a magatama until her death. While in law school, Mia befriended Lana Skye, who would later become a police detective and then the Chief Prosecutor. After graduating, Mia became a defense attorney working under Marvin Grossberg. Eventually, by holding an audience with the dead, she learned that Grossberg had sold information about her mother's involvement in the DL-6 Incident to Redd White, who had subsequently leaked the information to the press.
- Main article: Turnabout Beginnings
Mia's first case was to defend the escaped convict Terry Fawles from the charge of the murder of Police Sergeant Valerie Hawthorne. Mia's co-counsel for the trial was Grossberg's best lawyer at the time, Diego Armando. The prosecutor for the trial, Miles Edgeworth, happened to be the son of Gregory Edgeworth, and was new to the court system as well. During the course of the trial, Mia managed to prove that the alleged eyewitness "Melissa Foster" was actually called Dahlia Hawthorne, and tried to prove that she was the real killer. However, Fawles took the stand and committed suicide by drinking a vial of poison.
The case emotionally scarred Mia, and she did not take another case for over a year. Meanwhile, she and Armando became a couple, and Armando began investigating Dahlia Hawthorne. Unfortunately, while Armando interviewed Dahlia, the latter slipped some poison into his coffee. Armando survived the attempt on his life, but fell into a coma.
- Main article: Turnabout Memories
Mia eventually returned to the courtroom, taking the case of a university student named Phoenix Wright, who was charged with the murder of a fellow student, Doug Swallow. She had taken the case because she had suspected the existence of a connection between it and Armando's poisoning. Mia was able to get Wright an acquittal by proving that Dahlia Hawthorne had killed Swallow to cover up the fact that she had poisoned Armando. Her defense shattered the confidence of the prosecutor, Winston Payne, leaving him a lesser man after the case. Marvin Grossberg remarked on her refusal to give up on her client, even when everyone else had. Hawthorne was later convicted and sentenced to death for her crime.
|One of the biggest names in the world of law, as I'm sure you'll agree.|
Over the next three years, Mia established her own law firm and hired her former client, Phoenix Wright. She also gathered information on Redd White and the DL-6 Incident, uncovering an entire career of blackmail and names of people White had blackmailed over the years. She enlisted Maya's help to safeguard evidence on more than one occasion, and told her to contact Grossberg if she ever needed a lawyer. After Wright passed the bar exam, Mia stood by his side in his first case, in which he represented Larry Butz for the charge of murdering Cindy Stone.
- Main article: Turnabout Sisters
One month after Wright's first trial, Redd White learned about Mia's investigation of him. He visited the Fey & Co. Law Offices and killed her with a clock shaped like "The Thinker", in which Mia had been hiding legal documentation against White. As Mia lay dying, White took some of her blood and wrote "Maya" on a receipt for a lamp which Mia had bought the day before. April May, an accomplice to White, "witnessed" the crime from her room at the Gatewater Hotel and called the police. Detective Dick Gumshoe discovered Maya and Wright at the scene and arrested the former for the murder.
Wright took Maya's case and took on April May and prosecutor Miles Edgeworth in court, exposing May as an accomplice. Wright investigated further, eventually learning of Mia's investigation of White, and then confronted him, only to have White use the connections from his blackmailing to get Wright arrested as Mia's killer. White then stood in court as a witness to the murder, and he and Edgeworth backed Wright into a corner, causing the rookie lawyer to lose all hope. However, Maya channeled Mia to help Wright, which initially caused him to faint in shock.
Mia told Wright that he had already won, and she instructed him to look at the other side of the blood-stained lamp receipt. The date on the receipt refuted White's claim that he had seen the associated lamp before Mia's murder. Edgeworth persisted and asked the judge to postpone the trial for further investigation. In response, Mia began to read out a list of White's blackmail victims and threatened to release the list to the press, forcing White to confess to the crime.
Channeled by Maya
Mia had Maya assist in Wright's investigations to support the law firm that he had inherited from her, partly so that Mia could continue to help the fledgling attorney. During Wright's investigation into the murder of Global Studios star Jack Hammer, he came across Cody Hackins, who, although he had witnessed the murder, refused to talk. To get around this, Mia used her charm to persuade Hackins to tell them what he knew. This information, along with Mia's help in the courtroom, helped to lead to the acquittal of Wright's client, Will Powers.
Wright's next case had him defend Edgeworth and take on the fearsome Manfred von Karma. Maya became unable to channel Mia, which shook her self-confidence, but Wright was able to win the case without his mentor. However, Edgeworth suddenly confessed to being the killer in the DL-6 Incident. Another trial was hurriedly prepared, and Wright took on Edgeworth's defense against von Karma.
Wright had noticed that there was a bullet hole other than the one on the victim, but no other bullet had been found on the scene. When the situation seemed completely hopeless, Wright began to see glimpses of Mia, who reminded him to think outside the box. Wright deduced that the killer had been shot shortly before the murder, and he implicated von Karma himself. Despite the veteran prosecutor's best efforts, Wright was able to solidify his case and close the books on the DL-6 Incident once and for all.
Channeled by Pearl
- Main article: Reunion, and Turnabout
Half a year after the second DL-6 trial, a doctor for whom Maya was performing a channeling was murdered, and Wright found himself representing her in court once again. Mia assured Wright that Maya was innocent, because Maya had a dream during the channeling, which would have been impossible had the channeling actually taken place. However, Mia was reluctant to tell Wright more about the case because of her aunt Morgan's possible involvement in the murder. Pearl took on the role of channeling Mia as Wright faced off against Manfred von Karma's equally ruthless daughter, Franziska. At one point, Franziska illegally revealed a secret photo that she had taken of Wright and Mia talking, solely to demonstrate the existence of the Kurain Channeling Technique without making a formal argument.
Later that day, Wright met Mia in Maya's body again and proceeded to figure out Mia's secret and break her three Psyche-Locks. Wright eventually learned that, while "Ini Miney" had committed the actual murder, it was with the help of Morgan Fey, who wanted Maya out of the picture so that Pearl could take the Master's seat. This drove Wright to ask Pearl to serve the channeling role again, to spare her the pain of watching her mother being indicted. After Wright and Mia revealed Miney and Morgan's plot and Maya's innocence, a tearful Maya was finally able to see her elder sister again, and the two shared a loving embrace.
- Main article: Farewell, My Turnabout
After the ceremony of the Hero of Heroes Grand Prix, an assassin, Shelly de Killer, kidnapped Maya and used her to blackmail Wright into fighting for Matt Engarde's acquittal in the Juan Corrida murder trial. To his dismay, Wright found that Engarde had hired de Killer to kill Corrida. Wright told Gumshoe and Edgeworth about his predicament, and both of them put the resources of the police department to work to confront de Killer at Engarde Mansion. However, the assassin managed to escape with his captive.
Maya and Pearl communicated with each other by channeling Mia. This was used to help Gumshoe with the search while Wright and Edgeworth tried to stall the trial until de Killer was found. Engarde had instructed de Killer to retrieve a videotape from his mansion, which he failed to do. This videotape was brought to court, and Wright told de Killer by transceiver that the videotape showed the murder, which Engarde had been planning to use as insurance, and possibly for blackmail. Feeling betrayed, the kidnapper broke his contract with Engarde and made him his next target. Engarde was thus forced to accept a guilty verdict, and Maya was freed and soon reunited with Wright and Pearl.
The mysterious Godot
Months later, Wright took on Ron DeLite's case against Prosecutor Godot, who wanted revenge on Wright for some reason that he refused to disclose. He questioned his ability to prove DeLite's innocence of the murder of Kane Bullard, but Mia's voice reminded him to trust in his client's innocence. When the judge called for an end to Luke Atmey's cross-examination, a channeled Mia objected and asked for Godot's permission for the defense to continue, to which he consented. Mia had recognized Godot as Diego Armando, awoken from his coma. With Mia's timely intervention, Wright was able to prove DeLite's innocence.
Mia was channeled again when Wright was investigating the death of Glen Elg at the Trés Bien restaurant. A witness to the crime, Victor Kudo, was being uncooperative, but Wright figured out that Kudo only visited the restaurant to look at the waitresses there. Wright fetched Maya, who had been shanghaied into a short stint as a waitress at the restaurant, but Kudo remarked that she was too young to be attractive to him. Mia, on the other hand, charmed the old man into giving them the information that they needed, including the restaurant owner's habit of stealing. Wright went on to face Godot in court again and win.
A legacy passed on
- Main article: Bridge to the Turnabout
|I think one day, you'll understand, too. Phoenix, I want you to remember one thing... You were as good out there today as any defense lawyer could ever hope to be. There's nothing more you can learn from me. [...] You've accomplished something I wasn't able to. I owe you a great deal. ...Thank you. [...] I'm sure we'll meet again... someday... Phoenix.|
Later on, Maya was pulled into another usurpation plot by Morgan. This plan involved channeling Dahlia Hawthorne, who had been executed a month prior, to kill Maya. However, Godot appeared and "killed" Hawthorne before she could finish Maya off. Maya next found herself inside the Training Hall and wrote to Mia for help. Mia told her to lock herself inside the inner room of the Training Hall, then channel Hawthorne to avoid having her channeled by someone else.
These events led to the discovery of the corpse of Mia's long-lost mother Misty Fey at Hazakura Temple. It turned out that Misty had channeled Hawthorne to prevent Pearl from doing so and unknowingly carrying out her mother's plan. Iris, a temple nun who happened to be Hawthorne's twin sister, was charged for the murder, and Wright took her case.
Maya was eventually freed from her prison, though she was channeling Hawthorne at the time. The scheming spirit pretended to be Iris and stood in court to frame Maya for the murder, much to the surprise of both Wright and Godot. Hawthorne was eventually found out, but she continued to believe that Maya had committed suicide after killing her own mother. Unfortunately for her, with Mia's help, Wright deduced what Maya had really done. Mia taunted her old nemesis on the irony of being so close as to be literally inside Maya's body the whole time. She continued that Hawthorne would always be a failure, a punishment that even death couldn't let her avoid, causing Hawthorne to leave Maya's body in anguish.
Godot then requested that Mia leave Wright to fend for himself and prove his worthiness as her successor. In the end, Wright defeated Godot, who revealed that he had blamed Wright for Mia's death. However, he had seen Mia's spirit in her successor, causing him to admit that he had really blamed himself all along. After the trial, Mia thanked Wright for saving Armando and said that he had learned everything that she could teach him. She then left, saying that perhaps they would meet again.
Personality and legacy
|What does it really mean to have a relationship of mutual trust with the client? Perhaps it is we veteran lawyers who have lost sight of this.|
Mia Fey could be described as clever and quick-thinking, contributing to her success as a lawyer. She was particularly known for her bluffing tactics and determination, stubbornly trying to find a way necessary to get the information that she needed to obtain control of her trials. She would take even the most hopeless cases if she felt that the accused was innocent, and never stopped believing in her clients, even when they had stopped believing in themselves. Her boss at the start of her career, Marvin Grossberg, noted that these qualities were lacking even in veteran lawyers. Mia was also known for her intimidating gestures, especially one in which she confidently smiled and flipped her hair.
Mia Fey was very diligent and determined in her legal studies as well. Before her first case, for example, she spent all night watching and studying court procedure videos. She also kept many law books in her office along with meticulous records of various cases and evidence. Wright does not appear to have inherited these character traits, as although he has kept his mentor's law books, they "make his head hurt" and once dropped a book on his foot, making his foot hurt as well.
Mia was a well-known name in the world of law up until her death, as even Miles Edgeworth was said to respect her abilities in the courtroom. Marvin Grossberg commented that Gregory Edgeworth was one of the greatest lawyers around, and that only Mia could match his abilities in court. Wright would come to adopt many of Mia's ideals and tactics to great effect during his own law career, and pass them on to his own protégés. Mia's method of providing guidance to Wright was by trying to get him to solve things for himself by asking him questions and pointing out flaws in his case that a prosecutor would exploit.
Despite being relatively level-headed and mature, Mia did show a couple of personality quirks. She had a problem with names, calling Phoenix Wright "Wry" and Larry Butz "Harry". She also kept an office plant named Charley, which she considers the office mascot and which was still being taken care of by Wright in 2028.
Mia has attracted the attention of a number of male admirers, including Dick Gumshoe and Larry Butz. Even when being channeled after death, Victor Kudo and even young Cody Hackins were enamored with her. Just a photograph was enough to trigger an interest from "Director Hotti" and Luke Atmey.
- Her Japanese given name, "Chihiro" (千尋), can mean "great depth", or "a thousand fathoms". Shu Takumi describes her name as being a pun, with the kanji together meaning "a thousand questions", as in "If I have to ask him 1000 times, I will!" The second kanji is also the first in "cross examination".
- Her Japanese surname "Ayasato" (綾里) is written with the characters for "twill" and "village". The reading of 綾 refers more broadly to cloth with full woven patterns such as twill or damask. It is possibly a reference to those fabrics being perceived as old-fashioned; alternatively, it could be chosen for its homophone 怪 which means "mysterious" or "suspicious". Taken together, it could be emphasizing the traditional and occult elements of her heritage.
- The name "Mia" is a pet form of "Maria", which is itself the Latin equivalent of "Mary". "Mary" is originally from the Hebrew for "bitterness". This could be a reference to her unpleasant death. Other possible meanings include: "rebelliousness" and "beloved-child". Her sister's given name, "Maya", is also a pet form of "Maria". "Mia" is also an anagram of "Ami", as in Ami Fey, the founder of the Fey clan. Additionally, her name shares the same letters as the acronym "MIA", which stands for "missing in action".
- "Mia" is also a pet form of "Amalia", "Amelia", and "Emilia". "Amalia" and "Amelia" both come from the Germanic word "amal", meaning "work" or "industrious" (which would fit with Mia's hard-working attitude, particularly with respect to uncovering the truth behind her mother's disappearance), and "Emilia" is believed to originate from the Latin word "aemulus", which means "to rival", "to excel", or "to emulate" (which could all fit her formidable abilities as a defense attorney).
- "Fey" comes from the word "fey" which can mean "magical", "fairy-like", "strange", "otherworldly" or "spellbound", in reference to her family's otherworldly abilities. An archaic meaning is "doomed to die". It may also come from Morgan le Fay, the sorceress from the legend of King Arthur.
- Her name in the unofficial Brazilian Portuguese fan localization is "Aline Sato"; "Aline" means "noble" and "protector", references to her position in the Fey clan and her job as a defense attorney; "Sato" is a common Japanese surname in Brazil, and means “village”, “homeland”, it also an abbreviation of her Japanese surname. Additionally, her name in the translation follows a pattern of naming main family members with "A" as their initial instead of "M".
Mia has long brown hair, brown eyes, and a beauty mark on her chin. She typically wears a black skirt-suit, a tan scarf, white heel loafers, white round earrings, and has her attorney's badge pinned to her lapel. She also dons a purple magatama around her neck, likely as a way to honor her spirit medium heritage. Her younger design is mostly similar, with a slightly different suit design, different bangs, and a smaller bust size.
When Mia is being channeled by Maya and Pearl, respectively, she has the same clothing and hairstyle as the medium channeling her, but retains her own body type.
- Originally, Turnabout Sisters was to be the first case in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, but this was changed to enable Mia to interact with Wright more as his mentor before her death.
- Mia was originally not meant to be Wright's mentor, but this was changed at the suggestion of character designer Kumiko Suekane.
- The design theme for Mia was that she was a "glamorous, beautiful big sister type". Mia's death was used to explore Maya's medium abilities.
- The mole on Mia's chin, along with her much larger bust size, serve to identify when Maya or Pearl are channeling her. Interestingly, she changes her fringe when being channeled by Maya so it bears a resemblance to her hair as a newbie defense attorney. Also, whenever she is being channeled by Pearl, her arms always obscure her cleavage, likely in an effort to keep Pearl's small clothes from exposing her chest.
- For Mia's design as a newbie defense attorney in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations, she was made to look more youthful by pulling her bangs down in front of her brow and slightly reducing the size of her breasts. Many of her motions were made to resemble Wright's, to show the strong effect she had on her protégé.
- In the Japanese version, she still has problems with people's names, calling "Naruhodō" (Phoenix Wright) "Naruhodo" and "Yahari" (Larry Butz) "Yappari".
- Mia Fey, Phoenix Wright, Miles Edgeworth and Franziska von Karma all appear as cards in SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS.
- In Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Wright has a number of alternative costumes he can wear, the color schemes of which are all references to other characters. Maya Fey appears as some of Wright's attacks and her costume also changes depending on the one Wright is wearing. One of the choices for Wright is based on the color scheme of Miles Edgeworth's outfit, while Maya's corresponding color scheme is based on the clothing worn by Mia while alive.
- Mia: "'I have tarnished the Fey name.' Leaving only these words, my mother vanished. I was determined to find the ones who had made my mother blame herself in this way. Using the E.S.P. that runs in my family, I held an audience with the dead. Finally, the names of two men surfaced. One was Marvin Grossberg, a lawyer who sold my mother's information for riches. The other was the man who sold that information to the press."
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Capcom. Episode: Turnabout Sisters (in English). 2005.
- Ash (2016-07-08). Turnabout Interview 1 - Suekane Kumiko (2005). Gyakuten Saiban Library. Retrieved 2022-02-02.
- (2009). "The Art of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney". UDON. ISBN 1-897376-19-7.