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The alderman's murder
- Main article: The Monstrous Turnabout
Filch worked as the caretaker of Kyubi Manor. Part of his duties included manning the security room of the manor, though he would usually slack off and watch wrestling matches on television instead.
On the day of Apollo Justice's visit to Nine-Tails Vale, Filch took part in a show organized as part of a goodwill event between Nine-Tails Vale and Tenma Town, dressing up as Tenma Taro. Some time later, still dressed in his Tenma Taro costume, he attempted to steal the gold ingot that was locked in the manor's Forbidden Chamber, not knowing that it had already been stolen years ago. Filch was forced to abandon his search when the door to the Forbidden Chamber was opened by Florent L'Belle; by this point, the alderman, Rex Kyubi, had been murdered. In a panic, Filch escaped from the chamber, leaving feathers and footprints in his wake, and ran to the main foyer, but not without being seen by Jinxie Tenma, who was trying to call the police.
Relying on his knowledge of the security cameras, Filch avoided getting caught on tape and threw away his costume through a nearby window, which sailed through the air. The costume was sighted "flying" through the air, giving the impression that the demon Tenma Taro had arrived and murdered the alderman. L'Belle later approached Filch and coerced him into lying in his testimony, so as to hide both men's involvement at the scene of the crime. Filch was to testify that he had been at the security room the whole time.
During the police investigation, Filch stole two police-drawn maps of the mansion, and even managed to pilfer Detective Bobby Fulbright's shoes without the latter even noticing. When Justice arrived on the scene with Athena Cykes, Filch stole Justice's bracelet and Cykes's Widget, but he was caught in the act and ran off, leaving the maps and shoes behind. Later, the mask of the Amazing Nine-Tails washed up on a nearby riverside. Filch's testimony the next day was problematic, and Justice was able to show that he had really been watching a wrestling match during the time of the incident, so he could have missed Tenma Taro's escape.
Justice was later able to investigate the Forbidden Chamber himself, and found enough evidence to expose Filch as the Tenma Taro figure and L'Belle as the killer. It also turned out that L'Belle had also been after the gold ingot and had concocted an elaborate scheme involving Kyubi's murder to obtain it. However, both he and Filch had already been beaten to it by Filch's grandfather, Azuki Kozo.
After the resolution of the case, Filch claimed to have been made the new alderman of Nine-Tails Vale, but his cover was quickly blown once the police yelled at him for trespassing and he ran away.
Overall, Filch is a coward who often looks out for his own interests, resorting to flattery to get on the good side of people he thinks he can steal from, but is easily intimidated when threatened by figures of authority. Filch has a tendency to steal objects that he wants or likes, including Apollo Justice's bracelet and Athena Cykes's Widget. He claims that he can't help being a kleptomaniac as his grandfather was a famous thief, and Filch is notably proud of this heritage.
Although Filch is a long-time resident of Nine-Tails Vale, he does not believe the superstitions surrounding Tenma Taro. He pretended to believe them at first but later admitted that L'Belle had told him not to talk about Tenma Taro. Like the other villagers, he gained an interest in masked wrestling due to the arrival of the Amazing Nine-Tails. Filch is considered to have a monster-like appearance by others, however he is proud of this, and takes it as a compliment.
- "Kumabee", his Japanese given name, is a conjunction of the Japanese word for bear ("kuma" (熊)), and the English equivalent.
- His Japanese surname refers to the "azukiarai" (小豆洗い), a Japanese yōkai that creates a mysterious noise likened to the sound of azuki beans being washed. The "azuki" in the name was replaced by "zeni" (銭), an old form of Japanese currency which is sometimes used as another word for "money".
- "Phineas" means "the mouth of a snake", which may refer to his deceptive nature.
- His English surname comes from the British slang "filch", meaning "to steal". Characters have made a few references to this, including one instance of mentioning that Filch filched something.
- Filch's appearance and pickpocketing habit comes from the tanuki, a raccoon dog that features in Japanese lore, where it is said to be mischievous and have a habit of stealing things. Characters, such as Simon Blackquill, refer to him as a tanuki several times.