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Shu Takumi is a Japanese video game designer, director, and writer at Capcom. He created the Ace Attorney series, directed many of its games, provided the original voice for Phoenix Wright in the Japanese versions of the first four games, and composed the song "The Guitar's Serenade" in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.

Outside of the Ace Attorney franchise, Takumi was the director for Dino Crisis 2 and created the Nintendo DS game Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective.

Early life[]

In second grade, Takumi was playing alone at the garbage disposal area in the schoolyard and found a handmade "piggy bank": an empty can with origami stuck on the outside. Taking the single 5 yen coin inside, Takumi gave it little thought and went home, only to be called in front of another class and accused of being a thief the following day. Not understanding what was happening at the time, Takumi was told by a teacher he didn't know to apologize to a girl he didn't know, which he did again and again. It wasn't until later that Takumi deduced that what had probably happened was that someone had taken the piggy bank made in handicraft class and left it it at the disposal area as a prank. Coincidence then led to Takumi picking up said piggy bank and someone witnessing his theft of 5 yen. This incident stuck with Takumi, leading to the inclusion of the class trial incident so formative to the character of Phoenix Wright in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.[1]

Takumi was introduced to detective fiction as a child with the Kogoro Akechi short story "The Psychological Test" (心理試験, Shinri Shiken, February 1925) by Edogawa Ranpo. After that, he grew up reading detective fiction exclusively. He also played several famous mystery games, but was not fully satisfied with any of them, wanting more to experience the "fun" rather than the "form" of detective fiction in a game.[2]

Career[]

Takumi originally wanted to work at a book publisher as an editor. He wanted to do work in mystery fiction, but was not confident enough to try to become an author himself. After being rejected everywhere, a friend of his told him about opportunities at Capcom.[3] Takumi joined Capcom in 1994 along with Hideki Kamiya (who would eventually provide the Japanese voice of Godot in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations). He performed a magic trick during his job interview.[4]

Gakkou no Kowai Uwasa & the seeds of Ace Attorney[]

Takumi's first game was Gakkou no Kowai Uwasa: Hanako-san ga Kita!! (学校のコワイうわさ 花子さんがきた!!; lit. "Here Comes Hanako: Scary Stories of Your School!!), a 1995 video game adaptation of an anime of the same name and one of the first PlayStation games Capcom made.[5] Despite being new and knowing little of the game's concept, Takumi was designated as the planner. However, as the director was busy with other projects, Takumi had some freedom in his role. In the years that followed, Takumi came up with various ideas for video games, including music, educational, and detective games, the latter of which was the prototype for Ace Attorney, although nothing came of it at first.[6]

Dino Crisis[]

After his boss at the time quit, Takumi was picked up by Producer Shinji Mikami of the Biohazard team to join what was then Production Studio 4, and began work on Dino Crisis. However, in early 1997, the Dino Crisis team was temporarily redirected for three months to help development of the prototype version of Resident Evil 2 as they were understaffed. Development was then halted, before being completely remade; the part Takumi and his team worked on was not preserved.

Takumi was then made director of the Dino Crisis project but, due to his lack of experience he was demoted to planner, being responsible for the stages in the first half of the game. He was then made director of Dino Crisis 2, and was able to maintain his position throughout the game's development.[6]

Ace Attorney[]

After the release of Dino Crisis 2, Mikami gave Takumi the opportunity for half a year to make whatever game he wanted with a small team of seven people; it was common at the time for such projects creating new games with small teams and budgets, to act as training grounds for younger staff. Takumi conceived of a detective-themed visual novel that would allow the player to input their deductions in some way. He thought of two ways to achieve this, one being a "joint reasoning" system in which the player would correct the deductions of a detective, and a court system in which the player would point out contradictions between witness testimony and evidence in the role of a lawyer. His team subsequently began work on Surviban, a realization of the latter concept. A disastrous internal demo led to a drastic rework that would eventually become Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.[7]

The game was originally intended for the Game Boy Color, but after being shown a demo of Mega Man Battle Network on a prototype Game Boy Advance, development moved enthusiastically to the then-upcoming handheld. Despite being such a small project with only two programmers and two graphical asset developers, with Takumi taking on the roles of planner, director, and scenario writer, the team managed to finish the game in ten months, although this was longer than the six months he was originally given.[8] Producer Atsushi Inaba was so impressed with the game that he requested that it be made into a trilogy.[6] Thus, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations were produced in 2002 and 2004, respectively, followed by Nintendo DS ports of the three games, which were released internationally.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney in 2007 was the last entry in the main series made under Takumi, who went on to create the standalone title Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. After the release of the Nintendo 3DS, Takumi came back as scenario writer for the crossover game Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.[9] As Takumi was focused on said crossover game at the time, he was too busy to be involved in the development of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies.

The Great Ace Attorney & the Ace Attorney anime[]

Takumi went on to create The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve (released in Japan in 2015 and 2017, respectively), a spin-off duology of Ace Attorney games set near the end of Japan's Meiji period and starring Phoenix Wright's ancestor, Ryunosuke Naruhodo, who crosses paths with the renowned detective Herlock Sholmes in Victorian London. The games incorporate the "joint reasoning" system that he had conceived prior to development on Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.[10] The two games would not see a Western release until 2021, when they were released together as the The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.

Takumi also acted as a script supervisor for the Ace Attorney anime series, which ran from 2016 to 2018.[11]

Post-The Great Ace Attorney[]

After working almost exclusively on the Ace Attorney series for two decades, Takumi contributed to the 2020 mobile game Monster Hunter Riders as a questline writer.[12]

Works[]

Year Game Role
1995 Gakkou no Kowai Uwasa: Hanako-san ga Kita!! Planner
1998 Resident Evil 2 Planning cooperate
1999 Dino Crisis Main planner & event director
2000 Dino Crisis 2 Director
2001 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Director, concept, scenario writer, planning, & Japanese voice of Phoenix Wright
2002 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All Director, scenario writer, planning, & Japanese voice of Phoenix Wright
2004 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations
2007 Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Supervisor, scenario writer, & Japanese voice of Phoenix Wright
2010 Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Director, scenario writer, & game design
2011 Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Supervisor
2012 Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Ace Attorney director, story/writing, & series editor
2015 The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures Director, scenario writer, & game design
2017 The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve
2020 Monster Hunter Riders Quest writer

Miscellaneous[]

He enjoys singing, and seemingly prefers Wii Sports to real-life sports. He has also stated that he likes Puzzle de Pon! and Ico. If Maya Fey were to channel someone for him, he would like to talk to Mia Fey.[13]

References[]

  1. Ash (2016-06-24). Takumi's Class Trial. Court Records Forums. Retrieved 2021-02-10. English translation of a tweet from Takumi's Twitter regarding the incident that inspired Phoenix Wright's class trial.
  2. Ash (2016-07-07). "The Development of the Locked Room in the 21st Century - Video Games and Locked Room Mysteries (2010)". Gyakuten Saiban Library. Retrieved 2023-06-22.
  3. Ash (2017-04-17). "15th Anniversary Gyakuten Saiban Special Talk Session: Gyakuten Saiban Up Until Now, And In The Future - Takumi Shū X Yamazaki Takeshi X Eshiro Motohide (2017)". Gyakuten Saiban Library. Retrieved 2023-06-16.
  4. Ash (2022-06-10). "Producer Matsukawa and Director Takumi Shū talk about Gyakuten Saiban 4!! (2006)". Gyakuten Saiban Library. Retrieved 2022-11-17.
  5. Takumi, Shu (2007-03-20). Gyakuten Saiban 4 Official Blog - Greetings. Capcom (Japan). Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ash (2015-07-23). Takumi Special Interview. Court Records Forums. Retrieved 2015-09-09. (English translation of interview from Dai Gyakuten Saiban website.
  7. Ash (2016-07-20). "Gyakuten Saiban Entry 7: Breakdown At The End Of The Year (2001)". Gyakuten Saiban Library. Retrieved 2023-06-14.
  8. Castle, Matthew (2013-10-24). "Interview: Shu Takumi on the making of Phoenix Wright, Ghost Trick and more". The Official Nintendo Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  9. Gantayat, Anoop (2010-10-19). "Layton and Ace Attorney Team Up on 3DS". IGN. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  10. Ashcraft, Brian (2014-02-13). "Capcom Is Making a New Ace Attorney". Kotaku. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  11. SATO (2015-12-29). "Ace Attorney Creator Shu Takumi Is Readying Up For His Next Project In 2016". Siliconera. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  12. Gamer editorial department (2020-04-22). "「モンスターハンター ライダーズ」巧舟氏完全書下ろしのライダーストーリー「ジョヴァンニ」&イベント「青空料理教室へようこそ!」開催". Gamer. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  13. Ash (2023-06-19). "Celebrating the Release of Gyakuten Saiban 4 - A Discussion with 4 Members of the Team (2007)". Gyakuten Saiban Library. Retrieved 2024-03-31.

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