Manella found success at Global Studios with the massive popularity of the action show The Steel Samurai: Warrior of Neo Olde Tokyo, with himself as the director, Dee Vasquez as the producer, Will Powers in the titular role, and action show veteran Jack Hammer as the Steel Samurai's nemesis, the Evil Magistrate. The show spawned a loyal following and plenty of merchandise, including trading cards, balls and "Samurai Dogs". A Steel Samurai-themed amusement park was even opened.
During a board meeting at Studio Two, Hammer, dressed as the Steel Samurai, attacked producer Dee Vasquez. However, Vasquez, in self-defense, pushed her attacker onto a spike-tipped fence which killed him. Manella helped to cover up the crime by cleaning up the crime scene. They then incinerated the bloodied Steel Samurai costume and dressed Hammer in the Evil Magistrate costume. The head of a giant caricature of the Global Studios mascot, Mr. Monkey, had broken off during a storm and blocked off the only path out of Studio Two, trapping Vasquez and Manella. However, once the path had been cleared, they moved Hammer's body via a studio van to Studio One and planted the Samurai Spear nearby to make it look like Powers had killed Hammer with the prop.
Lawyer Phoenix Wright took on Powers' case. Wright, along with his assistant Maya Fey, soon met Manella. Fey, who was a massive fan of the show, was upset to hear that Hammer's murder would cause the show to end, but her spirit medium clothing inspired Manella to create concepts for a sequel to The Steel Samurai, which would become The Pink Princess: Warrior of Little Olde Tokyo. Eventually, however, Wright uncovered Manella and Vasquez's guilt in court, and Powers was found not guilty.
Despite being an accomplice to manslaughter and lying in court, it appears that no severe charges were brought against Manella, as two months laterThe Pink Princess was a hit television show. Not only that, but two years later, Manella himself was seen at an airport happily eating some food and talking to himself about his next television show, including plans for a Steel Samurai film.
Manella has a penchant for speaking in L33T and reciting internet memes. He has been seen referencing Yakov Smirnoff's "Russianreversal" jokes, as well as the "It's Over 9000!" meme. Once under pressure, however, he speaks normally. He sweats a lot and comes off as a little creepy due to his "nerdy" personality, which is perhaps typified by his habit of drooling when meeting attractive members of the opposite sex. He also has a great liking of food, salivating as much at the mention of food as at the sight of a pretty girl. Manella was submissive to Vasquez, who treated him like dirt, although Wendy Oldbag thought that he actually liked being treated that way.
"Uzai" (宇在) means "annoying" in Japanese, while "Takuya" (拓也) comes from the word "otaku"; therefore, his name literally means "annoying otaku".
Although "Sal" is a nickname for the male given names "Samuel", "Salvador", and "Salvatore", the full names of "Sal Manella" and "Sal Monello" are plays on the name of the bacteria genus "Salmonella", likely as a reference to his less-than-attractive personality.
Manella's design was based around the geek/otaku stereotype, with the designers hiding a number of icons within his clothes.
He is the only non-incarcerated witness to be absent from the original closing credits at the end of Turnabout Goodbyes, only mentioned as being involved in The Pink Princess: Warrior of Little Olde Tokyo. While April May was imprisoned for wiretapping, Manella appears to have completely avoided jail time, despite assisting Vasquez in handling Hammer's body.