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|I find the defendant, Ryunosuke Naruhodo... guilty!|
Seishiro Jigoku was a Japanese judge during the Meiji period. He presided over Ryunosuke Naruhodo's trial for the murder of John Wilson and Rei Membami's trial for the murder of Jezaille Brett. He later traveled to England with an old colleague of his, Yujin Mikotoba, where he was a witness to the murder of Tobias Gregson.
- Main article: Professor Killings
Seishiro Jigoku went to England with Genshin Asogi and Yujin Mikotoba, as part of a program to study abroad. Six years later, when Genshin found out that chief prosecutor Klint van Zieks was being blackmailed by Mael Stronghart to continue his serial killing as the Professor, he took matters into his own hand via duel. After this, Stronghart pinned the Professor's murders on Genshin, Jigoku was a witness but he overdid it at the secret trial so much trying to lighten the punishment that he smashed the witness stand. He was arrested for bringing words of humiliation to England. Ultimately, Genshin was found guilty of all the murders and was subsequently given the death sentence.
However, Stronghart got the idea to secretly send him back to Japan to keep Klint's will a secret. After Jigoku escaped his own trial and paid to have the stand repaired, Stronghart got him to join in on the jailbreak plan on the promise that he would become the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stronghart needed someone from Japan to send him back. So Genshin was alive when buried, but when Stronghart saw that someone has already dug Genshin out of his grave, he forced Jigoku to shoot and kill Asogi. Jigoku argues that Stronghart made him a promise but eventually complies, after the witness fled Jigoku and Stronghart reburied Asogi. Jigoku went safely back to Japan with Yujin and despite the plan being ruined, Stronghart kept his promise and Jigoku became the minister. Using the position, he helped out with the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Friendship and Navigation.
Trial of Ryunosuke Naruhodo
- Main article: The Adventure of the Great Departure
About ten years later, Seishiro Jigoku presided over the trial of Ryunosuke Naruhodo when he was accused of murdering university professor John Wilson. Although Genshin's son, Kazuma Asogi, was originally going to act as the defense attorney for the case, Naruhodo opted to defend himself against prosecutor Taketsuchi Auchi. Ultimately, Wilson's actual killer was revealed to be an exchange student named Jezaille Brett. Jigoku subsequently acquitted Naruhodo. England called for the right of consul and told Jigoku to send her to Shanghai, China so she'll never be tried in Japan. He was the one who went to the negotiation and coordination to hand her over.
Unknown to anyone else, judge Jigoku actually knew what was really going on. Jezaille Brett was actually Asa Shinn, England's most notorious assassin, and she was sent by Mael Stronghart to keep Dr. Wilson from talking about the Professor incident. Jigoku had to send a Japanese man so the same would happen with the consular courts except with vice versa countries and assassins, or else Stronghart would reveal the truth about Genshin Asogi's death. Jigoku had initially sent Genshin's son, Kazuma, to murder detective Tobias Gregson as part of a greater plot to cut all loose ends regarding his murder a decade ago. Stronghart even sent a telegram with the names of the two assassins and victims as a kind of contract to seal the deal. However, when the lawyer was seemingly killed, Jigoku felt he had no choice but to visit the country to handle Gregson himself, he couldn't send a replacement assassin when Naruhodo replaced Asogi as the exchange student.
Trial of Rei Membami
- Main article: The Adventure of the Blossoming Attorney
About nine months later, Seishiro Jigoku presided over a similar case, where Brett was murdered a week after her extradition arrangements were finalized and university student Rei Membami was accused of the crime. Auchi acted as the prosecutor for this case, and Membami's defense attorney was her friend Susato Mikotoba; a judicial assistant disguised as "Ryutaro Naruhodo". Jigoku actually knew that she pretended to be a male attorney but he let her do it anyway. The actual killer of this case was eventually revealed to be journalist Raiten Menimemo, and Membami was subsequently acquitted. Jigoku later appears to throw Menimemo to the bailiff before the journalist could say anything about Asogi's true mission. After formally introducing himself to Susato, he leaves to discuss something with Yujin.
A fatal confrontation
Seishiro Jigoku contacted Mael Stronghart to give Tobias Gregson a fake mission to kill him on the last day of October aboard the SS Grouse as it headed for France for escaping his trial ten years ago, then he'd go to the international scientific investigation symposium and represent Japan. The assassin sent with Gregson was Kazuma Asogi but he quit and left for Dunkirk after hearing what really happened to his father. When Jigoku returned to his room at 9 PM, he found Gregson there with his gun. He performed an ippon seoi nage on Gregson, which choked and knocked him unconscious. As first class cabins are surrounded by guards, he decided to wait until the emergency drill later that evening to do the final deed via strangling. Unfortunately, just as that time arrived, Gregson woke up and started attacking Jigoku in a frenzy. In a moment of panic, Jigoku used the gun the English government had given him in the exchange program sixteen years ago and shot detective Tobias Gregson killing him.
He took Gregson's coat off, which dropped his fish and chips, and hid his body in the large refrigeration room trying to buy some time and fake Gregson's time of death. He then put Gregson's body in his own suitcase and waited to take him off the boat, as there was no chance to throw the body overboard due to all the guards. In the Great Waterloo Hotel, Jigoku and Yujin met up with Susato and Naruhodo. They discussed the Professor Killings and how Genshin was convicted, this was when he found out that Kazuma is actually alive. Then Susato had a bellboy take a group photo of the four of them.
Jigoku had heard about Gregson’s secret apartment on Fresno Street with "Hugh Boone" from Stronghart, and went to drop the body off there. He put on Gregson's red colored wig (that was used during his investigation the red-headed league) as a disguise and bought some firecrackers from "Venus", he used that with the candles as a makeshift timer that would go off sounding like a gunshot. He placed he body nearby that and moved Gregson's bulletin board to cover him. That way, when "Boone" came to visit, he would be framed. Unfortunately, Klint's younger brother, prosecutor Barok van Zieks, who prosecuted Jigoku's trial, showed up when he was investigating detective Gregson regarding his Death Bringer curse and he took the fall instead. Maria Gorey noticed during Gregson's autopsy that the fish and chips were moldy in his coat pocket meaning someone tampered with him, this was Jigoku's mistake, they had already spoiled due to the heat in the cabin.
It was only in the subsequent trial that Seishiro Jigoku was finally brought to justice for his crimes and arrested. He tried to escape on the Grouse by bribing Tchikin Strogenov and hiding in his large trunk but he was found by Yujin Mikotoba and his old partner, Herlock Sholmes. During the trial, he kept calling Naruhodo a murderer despite the fact that he's the one acquitted him for the murder of John Wilson. After failing to blame Kazuma Asogi as Tobias Gregson's killer, Jigoku smashed the entire witness stand just like he did a decade ago and said this was the end of him. He signed a confession but didn't say anything about Mael Stronghart. Stronghart, being the current judge, declared him guilty for Gregson's murder and said he'd probably be executed at a later trial.
Seishiro Jigoku is a typically jovial man, but is quick to anger. He has a tendency to be absent-minded, such as when he put on Tobias Gregson's red wig in an attempt to disguise himself on Fresno Street. He often lets his outside relationships weaken his authority in the courtroom; he allowed Kazuma Asogi to make several disrespectful remarks about the Japanese government without penalty, allowed Ryunosuke Naruhodo to stand as his own defense last minute, and even allowed Susato Mikotoba to defend Rei Membami despite being a woman. He places great value on those in positions of power, as shown in his relationships to Mael Stronghart and the current Attorney General. He often boasts about his own credentials, such as his role as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Jigoku is a brash individual, willing to directly approach Kazuma in public with his plans to send him on an assassination mission. He often lets his emotions get the better of him, such as when he first broke the witness stand in his attempt to defend Genshin Asogi in the Professor trial. Although he was coerced into shooting Genshin and blackmailed into cooperating with Stronghart's assassination exchange plot, he also spent his years in London studying under Stronghart as his student.
Jigoku has a boisterous laugh and a keen sense of humor. He loves taking out his gavel and shouting "GUILTY!" in a humorous way. He loves martial arts, especially the ippon seoi throw, and is strong enough to smash entire witness stands and knock Gregson out with a chokehold. According to Yujin Mikotoba, Jigoku is partial to all things large.
- "Jigoku", when written as "地獄", means "hell".
- His surname (慈獄) uses a different kanji - specifically "慈" which means "mercy".
- His given name, Seishiro (政士郎), is comprised of the kanji for government (政) and samurai (士). This could indicate that Jigoku comes from a former samurai family like Genshin.
- Seishiro Jigoku is one of the three judges in the entire Ace Attorney series to be named, the other two are Mael Stronghart and Justine Courtney.
- Jigoku is the third character in the series to receive an onscreen "Guilty" verdict that wasn't later overturned, following Matt Engarde and Patricia Roland. Unlike the previous two characters, however, his verdict does not end the trial owing to the fact that he was not the defendant at the time.
- Jigoku is the first, and so far only, judge in the series to be guilty of a personally-committed murder.
- Jigoku is the first judge to be arrested for murder, and the only one to date who had passed down a verdict in a previous episode.
- Jigoku is the only named judge in the series to pass down a verdict for the client of the player-controlled defense attorney.
- He is the third culprit in the series, following Olive Green and William Shamspeare to debut in a game earlier than the one in which he is caught.
- Of any culprit with this detail, he is the only one who personally and intentionally murdered his victim.
- "The Great Ace Attorney - Court is Now in Session" plays when speaking with Jigoku in the defendant lobby in The Adventure of the Blossoming Attorney and during the events of Twisted Karma and His Last Bow, which are two of only a few instances in which a Court is Now in Session theme plays outside of a courtroom; the only other instance to date is during Turnabout Revolution, when Apollo Justice tells Dhurke Sahdmadhi about his legal career.