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Ryunosuke Naruhodo
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Ryunosuke Naruhodo
I will become a lawyer. I have to.

Ryunosuke Naruhodo was an ancestor of Phoenix Wright who lived in Japan during the Meiji era. While he was a second year student at Imperial Yumei University, Naruhodo was put on trial for a murder he did not commit. After successfully defending himself in court, he traveled to London where he became acquainted with the Great detective Herlock Sholmes. Naruhodo went on to defend clients in the British courtroom with his judicial assistant Susato Mikotoba.

Early life[]

While a young boy, Naruhodo slipped and sprained his ankle while playing with a crutches. Additionally, at age five, he caught a cold, the only one he would have up to the trial that would change his life.

Prelude of adventure[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Great Departure

On November 19 in the late 19th century, Naruhodo met and talked with his friend Kazuma Asogi at the La Carneval restaurant. After his friend left, he saw John Wilson sitting nearby, recognizing him as a British professor at his university. Naruhodo walked up and greeted Wilson, talking with him for a bit. Afterwards, he was preparing to leave when he noticed a handgun on the floor. When he picked up the weapon, Naruhodo heard a nearby gunshot and found Wilson dead. Because he was holding onto the gun, the witnesses nearby believed that he was the murderer and he was promptly arrested, by one Detective Satoru Hosonaga.

Three days later, Naruhodo was put on trial with Asogi as his defense attorney. However, when he learned from Yujin Mikotoba that his friend's chance to study abroad in England was in jeopardy, he decided to represent himself and Asogi stood as his assistant. Despite being heavily nervous at the beginning of the trial because of his lack of experience with the law, Naruhodo was able to stand firm against Prosecutor Taketsuchi Auchi. He figured out that the witnesses, Kyurio Korekuta and Iyesa Nosa, were concealing the important fact that Wilson was with a British exchange student, Jezaille Brett, at the time of his death, so he suspected that she was connected to the murder. When she appeared in the courtroom, Brett repeatedly denied killing Wilson, but Naruhodo was able to hold his ground against her. At one time when the witness had the upper hand, he and Asogi were assisted by Mikotoba's daughter, Susato, who gave them Wilson's research documents on curare. Naruhodo prevailed against all odds and proved that Brett poisoned the professor with curare and framed him by shooting the corpse with her hidden handgun. Thus, he was able to prove his innocence, and he and Asogi won the trial.

Naruhodo was congratulated for his victory and acquittal, but soon learned from Yujin and Detective Hosonaga that Brett would be heading for Shanghai and not be put on trial in Japan due to the invocation of the “trial consul's authority.” Naruhodo was given a compliment by Asogi on how he had the making of an attorney. His friend then stated that he had a request for him.

A stowaway tragedy[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band

Asogi's request was for Naruhodo to join him on his journey to London and study law alongside him. His friend not only wanted the two of them to revolutionize the law in Japan, but also let Naruhodo realize his true potential as an attorney. So Asogi smuggled him onto the steamship, and Naruhodo hid in the closet to avoid the sailors. But a month after they left Japan, Asogi was found dead in his cabin, and Ryunosuke was found and charged for murdering his friend. Wanting to clear his name, he asked Susato if they could try to figure out the truth together about Asogi's death, to which she allowed under her supervision. It was during their investigation that they met Herlock Sholmes, the great detective of London, who was also looking into the murder case.

With Susato and Sholmes' help, which involved two dances of deduction, Naruhodo figured out that Asogi's murderer was Nikolina Pavlova, a Russian ballet dancer who was seeking asylum and snuck onto the ship. With his friend dead, Naruhodo was informed by Hosonaga that they had to return home since there was now no attorney. But he declared that he would take Asogi's place as an attorney and study law on the ship, even though they had forty days left until they reached London.

Unbeknownst to Naruhodo and Susato, Asogi was in fact alive and had only suffered a broken neck and memory loss.

As an exchange student[]

The Realm of the Reaper[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Runaway Room

Arriving in London, Naruhodo and Susato met with Lord Chief Justice Mael Stronghart in order to prove to the man that he was worthy of taking Asogi's place, Ryunosuke was immediately assigned to take on a case and win a "Not Guilty" verdict at the Old Bailey, he and Susato meet their first client: Magnus McGilded. Although he was a well-liked businessman, nobody took his case because the prosecutor was the "Reaper of the Bailey," Lord Barok van Zieks. It was during this trial that Naruhodo learned about the jury system, and how he could use the summation examination to continue the trial should all six jurors decide on a "Guilty" verdict.

As the trial progressed, Naruhodo nearly had his victory until van Zieks pointed out that someone had tampered with the carriage and had created fake evidence. He indicated that the ones responsible were McGilded and Gina Lestrade, a pickpocket who caused a smoke explosion earlier. It was here that Naruhodo began to question McGilded's innocence, but the trial could not continue because McGilded pointed out that the prosecution lacked decisive evidence that the crime scene was tampered. Thus, Naruhodo won the "Not Guilty" verdict, albeit conflicted on the truth of the case. Soon after the trial ended, McGilded said he was being summoned back to help the investigation on the carriage, but the carriage caught fire and McGilded's burnt body was found within.

Ghosts of Briar Road[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Clouded Kokoro and The Memoirs of the Clouded Kokoro

The next day, Naruhodo and Susato met with Stronghart, who congratulated the former on his victory and acknowledged him as an attorney. Naruhodo admitted that he wasn't satisfied with the trial, but was informed by Stronghart about McGilded's death. The pair was further shocked when they learned that Scotland Yard did not arrange for him to inspect the carriage. Shortly afterwards, Stronghart assigned the pair to a new case, with the trial happening the next day. After meeting with Detective Tobias Gregson, they learned that Naruhodo was to defend Soseki Natsume, a fellow Japanese exchange student who was accused of stabbing Olive Green in the back.

As they started to conduct their investigation, Naruhodo and Susato met Sholmes' assistant and autobiographer, Iris Wilson, and the owner of Natsume's flat, John Garrideb. Together with Sholmes, Naruhodo deduced that John's maid was actually his wife, Joan, and they had a heated argument during the time of Green's stabbing.

On the following day, Naruhodo and Susato were shocked that Joan was the fourth juror. Throughout the trial, whatever advantage they found was countered by van Zieks and they were put at a major disadvantage. However, Naruhodo found his turnabout when he figured out that the patrolman, Roly Beate, moved the crime scene from his patrol area so that he could spend time with his wife, Patricia. After indicting Joan as the criminal, Naruhodo found that she threw the knife during her fight with her husband, unintentionally causing it to fly out the window and stab Green as the victim was picking up John's book on the street. Thus, Naruhodo won the case in a fair fight.

Afterwards, Naruhodo and Susato were invited by Sholmes to live at his home, and the three of them and Iris had a celebration with Natsume on his acquittal.

Natsume's freedom was short-lived, however, as he found himself once again being arrested for the attempted murder of William Shamspeare. As he took up the defense once again, Naruhodo proved that Shamspeare was trying to get Natsume out of the flat with a gas leak to get a treasure left behind by Selden. Naruhodo also revealed that Green, the victim of the previous case, wanted to get her revenge on Shamspeare for her fiance's death by poisoning the lamp pipe he used to cause the gas leak, making her the true perpetrator of the attempted murder.

After Green and Shamspeare were arrested for their crimes and Natsume was acquitted once again, Naruhodo and his friends searched the flat for Selden's treasure and discovered that it was an expensive dog collar. But to everyone's surprise, Sholmes forbade Iris from publishing a story based on the case, and also allowed Gregson to confiscate the collar.

Fleeting farewell[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Unspeakable Story

Following two months without any cases, Naruhodo and Susato accompanied Sholmes to the pawn shop of Pop Windibank. As they were taking a look around, they were caught in a fight between Lestrade and "Eggert Benedict", who were both trying to claim the same items: a coat and music disc. After a dance of deduction with Sholmes, Naruhodo and Susato discovered that the items in question once belonged to McGilded, who left them at the shop before his trial and death. Naruhodo was then held at gunpoint by Benedict for the disc, but was saved by Gregson's timely arrival. After Benedict's escape, Naruhodo was asked by the inspector to give McGilded's disc to the Yard as evidence and the shop was closed for inspection.

Returning to the flat, Naruhodo enjoyed a relaxing evening with Susato, Sholmes, Iris, and unexpectedly, Lestrade. But things turned for the worse at around midnight when there was a break in at the shop. In the ensuing chaos, Sholmes was hit by a gunshot, Windibank was found dead in the shop's storeroom, and an unconscious Lestrade laid next to the corpse with a gun in her hand.

The next morning, Naruhodo took Iris along as his assistant in his investigations, as Susato had to return to Japan the next day due to her father's illness. Although Stronghart was certain of Lestrade's guilt, Naruhodo gained his permission to be the attorney for the trial because the pickpocket refused to have one. Afterwards, the three headed for the gaol where Lestrade confessed to lying during McGilded's trial, and how the businessman truly killed Mason Milverton and blackmailed her into becoming his accomplice. Although he found out that he was betrayed by her and McGilded two months ago, Naruhodo still believed in Lestrade and was set on defending her in court. That night, he received from Susato a binder containing her notes on McGilded's trial as her last duty as his assistant. Before he could say anything to her, Naruhodo was tossed by Susato, who begged for him not to say goodbye.

At the trial, Naruhodo was joined at the defense bench by Iris, who wanted to support him in place of Susato. Once again, the attorney found himself immediately at a disadvantage as van Zieks easily convinced the jurors and the crowd that Lestrade was guilty. Naruhodo had to win two summation examinations to continue the trial after concluding that someone intruded the shop with the Skulkin brothers to retrieve McGilded's disc. After the recess, Naruhodo cross-examined Ashley Graydon, who went by "Eggert Benedict" two days earlier, and Lestrade. In the process of cross-examining the latter, he admitted to falsely acquitting McGilded two months ago, making Lestrade guilty of perjury and Naruhodo himself guilty of involuntary presenting of forged evidence. Nevertheless, Naruhodo pressed on to prove that McGilded's pledged items were a music box and two discs that played a message in Morse code. Naruhodo also figured out that Graydon was Milverton's son, and that the two of them stole government information to sell it to McGilded.

After Naruhodo indicted Graydon as Windibank's killer, he later found himself cornered when tests on McGilded's coat found splattered blood on the front, prompting the jurors to give a “Guilty” verdict to Lestrade. But when Sholmes unexpectedly arrived in court, Naruhodo found his turnabout when the Great Detective gave him Iris' “Cat Flap Maker,” as requested by Susato. With this evidence, Naruhodo broke down Graydon and Gregson's lies and they were finally exposed for their crimes. After Lestrade was given a “Not Guilty” verdict, Naruhodo had a talk with van Zieks, earning the respect of the prosecutor.

Before Lestrade was taken back to the prison, Naruhodo exchanged gratitudes with her, and then learned from Iris that Susato's departure was delayed due to the rainstorm. They, along with Sholmes, rushed to the port where they spotted Susato throwing a book on British law into the ocean. Learning that she was quitting law due to her tampering with the crime scene, Naruhodo assured her that her actions were what saved Lestrade. When they suddenly heard Iris saying Asogi's name, Naruhodo and Susato were shocked to find that McGilded's discs were giving a message in the Japanese Morse code, Iroha. It contained four names, which were Asogi, Gregson, Dr. Wilson, and an "A. Shin." Before Susato boarded her ship, Naruhodo made her promise to return as his legal assistant, to which she happily agreed to.

Return to court[]

Main article: The Return of the Great Departed Soul

Following Lestrade's trial, Naruhodo was punished with a legal license suspension and was forbidden from defending clients. During the suspension, he kept himself busy by further studying British law, submitting reports to Stronghart, reading Sholmes' past cases, and going over Natsume's second case with Iris. Six months later, Naruhodo's suspension was lifted by the Chief Justice and was immediately assigned to defend a scientist named Albert Harebrayne, who was accused of murdering Odie Asman during his experiment. While on a visit to Esmeralda Tusspells's wax museum with Iris and Sholmes, Naruhodo came to learn of the Professor Killings, and that the last victim was van Zieks older brother, Klint.

Naruhodo managed to stand on his own as he faced off against van Zieks in the trial. But by the end of the first day, Naruhodo was unexpectedly reunited with Susato and continued his investigations with her. While meeting with van Zieks, they found that the "Masked Disciple" reacted to the name of Kazuma. This led them to doubt Sholmes as he was the one to declare their friend dead nine months ago. In the end, Naruhodo proved that Harebrayne was framed by coroner Courtney Sithe, who was working with Enoch Drebber to get their revenge on Asman. After the presiding judge acquitted Harebrayne, Naruhodo and Susato learned from van Zieks that the "Professor" was a Japanese exchange student. Then, the "Masked Disciple" revealed his identity as Kazuma, and the man accused of being the "Professor" was his father, Genshin.


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

About a week after Harebrayne's acquittal, Naruhodo and Susato were reunited with Yujin and Judge Seishiro Jigoku and learned more about their deceased friend Genshin Asogi. They also confronted Sholmes about their friend's death being a lie, with the detective replying that he knew that Asogi was just unconscious but did not expect him to escape and head to London on his own. After Naruhodo and Susato looked into the disappearance of Daley Vigil, they, Sholmes and Iris received the tragic news from Lestrade that Gregson had been murdered, and van Zieks was arrested for the inspector's death.

Despite being initially rejected, Naruhodo later came to defend van Zieks. The trial was far from a standard one however because it was a top-secret case by order of the Queen, as Asogi took the prosecutor's bench, there were no jurors, and the people in the audience were only those who were part of the judiciary. With Gregson's watch as a vital clue, Naruhodo was able to prove that the time of the inspector's death was thrown off and that he died at an earlier point in time. Then, using Gregson's missing ID and the picture of Evie Vigil, Naruhodo revealed that the inspector caught by Fabien de Rousseau and Peppino de Rossi was the missing Daley, also known as “Gossip” and “Hugh Boone”. But the trial had to be halted when the former chief jailer was forced by Asogi to recall his memories from ten years ago and collapsed as a result.

When Iris later joined Naruhodo and Susato in their investigations, they gathered more information about the Professor Killings and Genshin's final moments, and learned from van Zieks that Gregson was part of a “Reaper” syndicate, alongside the assassin Asa Shinn. Later, Naruhodo was shocked when Yujin requested for him to return to Japan after the trial. As he explained that there was a severe lack of defense attorneys in Japan, Naruhodo was allowed time to consider because it would mean that he would have to part ways with the friends he had made in London. He later met with Asogi, and found that his friend has become ruthless in punishing van Zieks for sentencing his father to death.

When they returned home, Naruhodo and Susato discovered that Iris had stolen Klint's autopsy report from coroner Maria Gorey, to verify the writing of her father. But to their shock, the report was actually written by Yujin, who was also Sholmes' true partner who helped the detective in solving cases until the Professor Killings.

The next day, Naruhodo and Susato were shocked to find Stronghart on the judge's seat, as facts of the Professor killings were brought up the previous day caused the Queen to give the Chief of Justice authority over the trial. The day was spent by Naruhodo arguing against Asogi about Gregson's role in the Reaper's syndicate, and finding out that his friend was on the same steamboat as the Inspector on a mission to assassinate Jigoku. As the trial had to go to recess to locate the Japanese judge, Naruhodo and Susato used the good luck charm given to them by Iris, which turned out to be a makeshift radio to Sholmes and Yujin who were tracking Jigoku in Dunkirk. When the trial resumed, Naruhodo requested for the trial to be on hold for one day to allow Jigoku to testify the following day.

During an evening feast with Sholmes, Iris, and Yujin, Naruhodo learned of an assassination plan that involved Asogi killing Gregson, and that Sholmes lied about Asogi's death to prevent him from reaching London while having Naruhodo replace him. The next day, Naruhodo returned to court the next day to question Jigoku and ultimately proved that the Japanese judge was the true killer of Gregson. But then the attorney had to go on to defend van Zieks from Asogi's accusations of being the Reaper and the mastermind of the assassination exchange program.

It was later revealed that the true Reaper was Stronghart, who was trying to end the trial to save himself until Sholmes arrived at court to rally the audience for the trial to continue. The detective's actions gave Naruhodo the opportunity to cross-examine Yujin, Daley, and Barry Caidin. Their testimonies proved that Klint's autopsy was fabricated, and that Genshin's “final weapon” was Klint's will. But the biggest revelation was that the true “Professor” was Klint, which prompted Stronghart to admit to his secret dealings with Genshin to admit to Klint's crimes in exchange for a fake death and escape back to Japan, as well as killing off all the defendants that were declared “Not Guilty” in the trials which van Zieks stood as prosecutor for. When the Chief Justice tried to end the trial, Naruhodo found Klint's will hidden inside the handle of Karuma, proving that the Professor was being blackmailed by Stronghart. However, exposing all of the findings to everyone would cause chaos in London, which left the advantage still in Stronghart's favor. At that moment, Naruhodo used Iris' good luck charm to contact Sholmes, who revealed that he and Iris made a transmission device to show the Queen the full trial and Stronghart's role as the Reaper. After Stronghart was stripped of all of his titles and power, van Zieks was given a “Not Guilty” verdict by the regular judge of the Old Bailey.

After the trial, everyone learned from Yujin that he fulfilled a final request from Genshin: to help Klint's wife in delivering their child. That child was none other than Iris, as Yujin named her after his deceased wife, Ayame. Naruhodo then exchanged words of gratitude with Asogi and van Zieks, and then enjoyed a celebratory party with Susato, Sholmes, Iris, Yujin, and Lestrade. Later that night, Naruhodo announced to Yujin his decision to return to Japan as a defense attorney; as he had originally traveled to London as Asogi's substitute, he felt that he was no longer needed anymore and needed to follow his own path as an attorney. He then asked Susato to help Asogi as his assistant.

A few days later, Naruhodo was surprised to find that Susato was returning to Japan with him and Yujin, as she requested it to Asogi the evening after van Zieks's acquittal. He accepted Susato's return, received Karuma from Asogi for safekeeping, and vowed to his friend to face him in court again one day. After saying their goodbyes to their friends, Naruhodo decided with Susato to open their own attorney's office back in Japan.


Ryunosuke with his hat on.

Tobias Gregson
You're... You're mad... If you let that secret information out into the public domain... you'll... you'll be makin' an enemy of the entire British government, you idiot!
Ryunosuke Naruhodo
Objection! Let's not forget, Inspector, that you - a Scotland Yard officer - leaked confidential case details to a witness! That you continue to lie in court! And all because, by fair means or foul, you're determined to do your duty. Well... by fair means or foul, I'm prepared to do mine!

When Naruhodo is first introduced, he's shown to be a somewhat uptight young man that lacks confidence in both his skills and identity. He is initially characterized by his strong desire to meet people's expectations of him as Asogi's substitute following his supposed "death", including his own. This is shown through him learning British law in only forty days under Susato for the express purpose of making sure that Kazuma's "mission" doesn't end prematurely.

In spite of his inexperience, Naruhodo takes to defending quickly. Due to his pre-existing skill in speech and debate, he's able to take advantage of his right to a summation examination, a method that's widely considered obsolete in British law, in order to turn his trials around. This, combined with his determination and people such as Susato, Iris, and Sholmes's assistance, nets Naruhodo multiple victories in court in only a small matter of time.

Naruhodo seeing Susato off on her voyage back to Japan.

However, it's important to note that Naruhodo's identity is strongly tied to his role as a substitute, as shown by how his most notable accessories (those being his armband and katana) are both "inherited" from Asogi. This all ties into one of Naruhodo's most significant flaws: that being his idolization of Asogi. When the pair are first introduced, Naruhodo, while commenting about things such as Asogi's temper and secret keeping, never truly parses that his best friend is anything more than the ideal he holds him to be. Such is only exacerbated by his supposed "death" and Naruhodo's subsequent substitution, causing him to act as a textbook unreliable narrator when discussing his best friend.

Naruhodo is shown to be a rather intense person, which is both a strength and weakness of his. As a strength, this makes Naruhodo a very courageous young man, as he's not only willing to chase after two armed robbers when Sholmes is shot, but make an enemy out of anyone or anything that attempts to harm his client in the same case. However, as a weakness, this causes Naruhodo to be surprisingly violent in his internal monologue, as he threatens to "shove evidence down [Gregson]'s throat" in a fit of frustration, along with cooperating in Asogi's plan to forcibly recover Daley Vigil's memories.

In stark contrast to Asogi or even Barok —two people repeatedly shown to dislike and actively oppose authority— Naruhodo displays a surprising lack of awareness towards social issues. When Asogi brings up defense attorneys' bad reputation in Japan, Naruhodo confirms his guess that he doesn't read the newspaper. Furthermore, it was only after his trial did Naruhodo begin to consider that authority figures such as the police or government could be corrupt. He also doesn't consider that someone like Lestrade does immoral things out of necessity, where someone like McGilded does immoral things due to his privilege, placing the two's actions on the same moral ground.

Tying into his natural talent for defending, Naruhodo is also a surprisingly theatrical person. Outside of speech and debate, Asogi states that he has an interest in rakugo and vaudeville theatre—two very comedy-centered types of theatre—and is quick to correct Sholmes' deductions with enthusiasm.[5] His previous anxiety and stiffness gives way to dramatic confidence, with his sprite animations becoming much more "hammy" and vivacious.

In terms of hobbies, Naruhodo displayed a proficiency with tongue twisters, archery, and shogi puzzles. He also had a fondness for keeping prawns and anemones as pets, and was not fond of the taste of onions.

He only knew of three types of flower: plum blossom, peach blossom, and cherry blossom. Phoenix Wright, his descendant, would come to show a similar lack of knowledge of flowers.


  • Like his descendant Phoenix Wright, Ryūnosuke Naruhodō's Japanese surname "Naruhodō" (成歩堂) is a reference toward the Japanese expression "naruhodo", which roughly means "I see", "I understand", or "indeed", and is usually used to agree with other people's ideas.


  • Ryunosuke is written similarly to his descendant Ryūichi (Phoenix Wright), with the different setting providing enough to distinguish them while still making the former easy to get used to by series veterans and new players alike.[6]
  • Ryunosuke was given a student uniform designed to distinguish his look from Phoenix Wright's. Art director Kazuya Nuri had the most trouble with the hairstyle due to the limited selection of plausible hairstyles of the period.[7]
  • Ryunosuke's sword is "Karuma", the exact same sword owned by Kazuma Asogi before his apparent death. Ryunosuke also wrapped Asogi's headband around it in memory of his friend.
  • Ryunosuke is one of two protagonists who have multiple animations for the same actions. During his first case, he nervously slams the desk. This animation is kept in later cases, however, a more traditional desk slam animation is used to show his growth. Up until the end of his second trial, Ryunosuke's "document animation" shows him nervously shuffling through documents. This is replaced with him confidentially tapping on a document during the middle of his third trial. Athena Cykes is the second attorney with more than one animation for multiple actions, with several desk slamming variants.
  • Ryunosuke does not say "Objection!" until partway into the first case. At first, he uses "Yes!" for everything. ("Hai!" in the Japanese version, which is typically said in Japanese to mean something akin to "I have an opinion".) This is to reflect the fact that he was not supposed to be an attorney and feels out of place.
  • Of the speech bubbles used in the series so far, Ryunosuke has used 6 of them (Objection!, Hold it!, Take that!, Got it!, 'Scuse me!, and Yes!), which is more than any other character in the series to date, though he shares this distinction with Phoenix Wright, who has also used the same speech bubbles, (As "'Scuse Me" is the same speech bubble as "Hang on!" in Japanese) except for "Yes!", as he uses "Welcome!" instead.
  • Ryunosuke is the only protagonist in the series to date who canonically won an onscreen acquittal for a guilty defendant. However, said defendant did not get to enjoy his freedom for long, being incinerated alive before he even had a chance to exit the courthouse.