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Susato Mikotoba
Susato Mikotoba, judicial assistant to the defense.

Susato Mikotoba was a judicial assistant who lived in Japan during the Meiji era. She was an especially bright young woman with an interest in law and literature, and used this knowledge to assist fledgling defense attorney Ryunosuke Naruhodo during their trials in Britain.

First encounter with Naruhodo[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Great Departure

Susato Mikotoba first appeared to Ryunosuke Naruhodo alongside her father, Yujin Mikotoba, when Naruhodo was arrested for the murder of John H Wilson. Kazuma Asogi, who was the defense for the case at the time, had turned in the application for a change of defense attorney suddenly. It caused quite a bit of disarray. Because of this, Yujin had told Asogi to visit the Judge to clear up any lasting confusion. Susato accompanied Asogi to the Judge's chambers.

This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

Susato later reappeared when detective Satoru Hosonaga stated that there was no poison found in the bottle of carbonated water Wilson had drunk. She rushed into the courtroom, and before she could be thrown out, she gave Asogi and Naruhodo the research notes of Jezaille Brett, an exchange student of Wilson's who was testifying as a witness. They requested to look at the notes after finding out that Brett was researching a poison called curare that was not yet discovered in Japan. Due to this vital piece of evidence, Jezaille Brett was revealed to be the true killer of John Wilson.

Before getting ready to accompany Asogi for his trip abroad in Britain, Susato cleaned out her father's office. She saw a box with that said "Hound of the Baskervilles" on it, but when her father arrived, he told her she was never to tell anyone about what she saw.

End of spoilers.


Tragedy on the S.S. Burya[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band
This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

Susato later accompanied Asogi on the S.S. Burya to London for his study abroad so she could practice being a judicial assistant. But half a month into their voyage, Asogi was somehow killed. Susato was angry when Naruhodo was discovered inside Asogi's closet and accused him of murdering his friend. When the stowaway begged to plead his case and prove his innocence, she agreed under the condition that she would keep a close eye on him.

Meeting Herlock Sholmes with Naruhodo.

Eventually, the two met Herlock Sholmes, whom Susato recognized as the star of the short stories in Great Britain's Randst magazine. She was very ecstatic to meet the Great Detective as she was an avid fan of the short stories. But when Sholmes conducted his first deduction about Grimesby Roylott and was drastically off, Susato prompted Naruhodo to correct the detective's mistakes, which led to the revelation that Roylott was actually a runaway ballerina, Nikolina Pavlova. Later, after Sholmes made another wrong deduction, this time on Pavlova's "missing pet snake", Susato quickly pointed out the flaws, which led to her encouraging Naruhodo to help the detective again and found that Pavlova was missing her black cat. In the end, it was discovered that the ballerina was Asogi's true killer. When Pavlova reasoned that the attorney was about to call the sailor and that she would have been exposed, Susato disagreed with her, believing that Asogi was going to introduce her to Naruhodo as a fellow stowaway. After Pavlova was arrested, Susato and Naruhodo were informed by Hosonaga that they had to return to Japan as there was no longer an attorney to travel to London. When Naruhodo volunteered to take Asogi's place, Susato decided to help him study British law as much as he could before their arrival.

End of spoilers.


As Naruhodo's judical assistant[]

First trial in Britain[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Runaway Room

Upon arriving in London, Susato accompanied Naruhodo to the Supreme Court to meet with the Lord Chief Justice, Mael Stronghart, and to inform him of what happened on the trip. To prove to the chairman that Naruhodo was worthy to take Asogi’s place, they had to win a “Not Guilty” verdict in their first British case.

This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

When all six jurors quickly declared the defendant, Magnus McGilded, guilty, Susato brought up the summation examination that allowed the defense to examine the jurors' reasons for their verdicts and possibly overturn them. Although prosecutor Barok van Zieks revealed that a summation examination had not been used for decades, Susato replied that it was not formally disbanded. This gave Naruhodo the opportunity to continue the trial.

The duo ultimately won the “Not Guilty” verdict but in conflicting circumstances, as it was clear that McGilded had tampered with the omnibus evidence with help from pickpocket Gina Lestrade.

End of spoilers.

Defending a fellow Japanese citizen[]

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

The next day, Susato and Naruhodo learned from Stronghart that McGilded had passed away inside the omnibus as it had been set aflame, much to their horror. They were then immediately assigned a new case to defend fellow Japanese exchange student, Soseki Natsume, for the attempted murder of Olive Green. They received the facts of the case from Inspector Tobias Gregson, whom Susato recognized from Sholmes’ stories as the detective’s supposed rival.

This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

Upon learning that Sholmes was responsible for Natsume’s arrest, Susato eagerly suggested to Naruhodo that they visit the detective’s flat on Baker Street for more information. Arriving at the flat, Susato was completely in awe of the lodging and took her time to admire it. The pair then met Iris Wilson, whom Susato was shocked and dismayed to discover was Sholmes’ autobiographer. They were directed by Iris to find Sholmes at Natsume’s lodgings, where Naruhodo did another deduction with the detective about the landlord, John Garrideb, and what he was hiding. Susato stood by Naruhodo’s side the following day as he successfully defended Natsume and indicted Joan Garrideb as the true culprit. After the trial, Susato eagerly accepted Sholmes' invitation to set up their office at his flat, and then they celebrated with Natsume for his freedom.

Unfortunately, Natsume’s freedom was short-lived as he was arrested again for the attempted murder of William Shamspeare. Susato once again assisted Naruhodo as he took up Natsume’s defense. They successfully defended Natsume again by proving that the victim of the previous case, Olive Green, was attempting to murder Shamspeare to avenge the death of her fiance, Duncan Ross. Afterwards, Susato joined the search for the missing treasure that the convict Selden hid in the flat before Natsume moved in. The treasure turned out to be an expensive dog collar that was covered in blood, but before anyone could further inspect it, Sholmes had the collar confiscated by Gregson and forbade Iris from publishing her manuscript on the case.

End of spoilers.

Return to Japan[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Unspeakable Story
This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

Following two months without a case, Susato received a telegram with urgent news from her father. When asked by Naruhodo about the telegram, she tried to pass it off as irrelevant but to no avail. Later, it was Susato who discovered that Sholmes’ treasured violin was accidentally swapped with a viola, prompting them to travel to Pop Windibank’s pawn shop to retrieve the detective’s instrument. While at the shop, Susato learned from the pawnbroker that Sholmes had deposited an unpublished manuscript and was eager to learn about it. But then she and Naruhodo were caught in a heated argument between Lestrade and a man named “Eggert Benedict” over items that were deposited by McGilded two months ago, during the omnibus murder.

Back at Holmes’ flat, when Iris’ manuscript was brought up in discussion, Susato accidentally slipped that she somehow knew its title, “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, when Iris had not published it yet. Before Susato was forced to answer how she knew the name, Gina unexpectedly arrived and the five of them enjoyed a pleasant dinner and pickpocket lessons. During the latter, Susato managed to take the Cat-Flapomat and hid it in her sleeve. Later that night, Susato revealed to Naruhodo that the telegram was about her being summoned alone to Stronghart’s office the next day, though she stated she did not know why. She also could not bring herself to tell Iris of how she knew the title of the unpublished manuscript, though the young author understood and trusted her. But tensions are raised when Lestrade pointed out that Susato, a woman from Japan, should not have known of an unpublished manuscript in London, prompting the pickpocket to accuse Sholmes of selling Iris’ story without her consent.

Past midnight, Susato, Naruhodo and Sholmes followed Lestrade to Windibank’s shop where the detective was shot by an unknown assailant. While Naruhodo chased the attacker, Susato looked after the injured Sholmes. As she looked after the detective, Susato became worried about Lestrade and Windibank, so she quickly used the Cat-Flapomat that was still in her sleeve to create a peephole on the storeroom door. Sadly, she found that the pawnbroker was dead and the pickpocket was unconscious with a gun in her hand.

After being questioned by the police, Susato went straight to Stronghart’s office where she discussed with the Chief Justice about her return to Japan. When Naruhodo overheard the shocking news, Susato had to explain to him that it was because her father had fallen ill and she was to return home. She then accompanied him and Iris to visit Lestrade at the yard, and it was she who convinced the pickpocket to admit the truth about the trial two months ago as she did not want to leave her friends upset because they could not defend Lestrade. After a thorough investigation and Lestrade’s consent for Naruhodo’s defense, Susato gave the lawyer her notes on McGilded’s trial should he need them. Though they were parting ways the next day, Susato did not want to say good-bye to Naruhodo, going so far as to toss him. Later that night, she met with Sholmes at the hospital to ask him to deliver the Cat-Flapomat to Naruhodo, which would later prove to be the evidence needed to expose Ashley Graydon as Windibank's killer.

The next morning, Susato left the office long before Naruhodo woke up. This prompted Iris to take her place as assistant for the lawyer while she waited to start her journey home, though bad weather delayed the steamship’s departure by one day.

When she was about to depart, Susato was about to throw her encyclopedia of British law into the water but was suddenly stopped by Naruhodo, who had rushed from the Old Bailey after winning the trial. She admitted to him that she was planning to quit law due to tampering with the crime scene by making the peephole. Susato explained that after Windibank’s death, she was certain that the criminal would try to cover up their crime, just like McGilded two months ago. Susato decided not to tell Naruhodo so that he would not be complicit with her plan. Even though she was sure that she committed a terrible crime, Susato was reassured by Naruhodo that her actions saved Lestrade.

When the topic of the music disks were brought up, Susato and Iris discovered that they were playing Japanese Morse code, with the names of Asogi, Asa Shinn, Gregson, and John Wilson being mentioned. Before leaving, Susato promised Naruhodo she would return to be his assistant once again.

End of spoilers.

First and last trial as a lawyer[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Blossoming Attorney

When Susato returned to Japan, she found out that her best friend Rei Membami was accused of murdering Jezaille Brett, and because of who the victim was, no lawyer would take Membami's defense. Wanting to help her friend, Susato stood in court under the pseudonym "Ryutaro Naruhodo", to act as her defense attorney.

This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

With Yujin at her side as her counsel, she displayed an impressive defense for her best friend. Even though Rei hid the truth about the stolen poison from Yujin’s lab and was caught on camera pulling a knife out of Brett’s back, Susato put her doubts aside and believed in her friend again. Ultimately, Susato proved that the reporter Raiten Menimemo was the true culprit who not only killed Brett, but also stole the poison from the lab.

After the trial, Susato confronted Yujin about why she had to return to Japan, as he had supposedly fallen ill while she was in London but was actually in good health. But she did not get her answer as Menimemo confronted Yujin about Asogi’s missing body before he was caught by the judge, Seishiro Jigoku. As Yujin did not answer his daughter’s questions and left with his old friend, Susato was approached by Natsume, who revealed that her father questioned him about the second case he was involved in before immediately sending the telegram for Susato to return home.

End of spoilers.

Return to England[]

Main article: The Return of the Great Departed Soul
This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

Following Rei’s trial, Susato sent Naruhodo a telegram about what happened and urged him to read over Natsume’s second trial, as there might have been a clue as to why she had to return to Japan with the dog collar they found in the flat. She also met with Menimemo and learned that Asogi’s body never made it to Hong Kong after his supposed death. As Yujin was invited by Stronghart for the Forensic Science Symposium in London, Susato convinced her father to travel there as well so she could reunite with Naruhodo. Going on ahead before Yujin and Jigoku, Susato arrived in London around the time Naruhodo began his defense of Professor Albert Harebrayne for the murder of Odie Asman. As the lawyer was conflicted with either betraying his client’s trust for his absurd hypothesis or allow him to be declared guilty, Susato arrived in court just in time to toss Naruhodo and remind him of what he must protect.

After the first day of the trial Susato brought Naruhodo and Iris up to speed on all she had learned in Japan, including Brett’s real name, Asa Shinn, and the disappearance of Asogi’s body. She also revealed to Iris that she coincidentally learned of The Hound of the Baskervilles story while cleaning up her father’s study before her first trip to Japan, but he forbade her from telling anyone about the manuscript. Later, when talking with van Zieks at the Great Exhibition, Susato confronted the Masked Disciple by using Asogi’s name. Although the apprentice reacted to the name, Susato and Naruhodo were unable to confirm his identity before he left. This led them to confront Sholmes as he was the one to declare Asogi dead nine months ago but they did not receive an answer from the detective.

On the second day of the trial, it was discovered that Asman was killed by coroner Courtney Sithe as revenge for his blackmail over her and Enoch Drebber with their involvement in the Professor killings. After Harebrayne’s acquittal, Susato learned that van Zieks knew of her father when he and his friends visited Japan over ten years ago. The prosecutor then revealed to Susato and Naruhodo that the criminal who was called the Professor was actually Japanese. Suddenly, the Masked Disciple screamed in pain and then removed his mask, revealing himself to be Asogi. Susato was in tears when reunited with Asogi, but she and Naruhodo were further shocked that the Professor was Asogi’s father Genshin. After Asogi and van Zieks left, Susato revealed to Naruhodo that Asogi was her adopted older brother after Genshin’s death.

End of spoilers.

Revelation of the Professor Killings[]

Main articles: Twisted Karma and His Last Bow & The Resolve of Ryunosuke Naruhodo
This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.

A few days after Harebrayne’s trial, Susato and Naruhodo met with Yujin and Jigoku as they arrived in London and talked about their late friend Genshin. The pair also spoke with Sholmes and learned how he tried to have Asogi sent back to Japan back in January, but failed when the exchange student escaped the detective and made his way to London on his own. After trying to search for Daley Vigil on behalf of his wife Evie, they, Sholmes and Iris learned from Lestrade that Gregson was dead and van Zieks was arrested for the murder. Ultimately, Susato assisted Naruhodo in defending van Zieks while facing off against Asogi in the trial, much to her dismay. Also, the trial was top secret by order of the queen, all the people in the gallery were members of the nation's judicial system, and there were no jurors. The first day came to an abrupt end when Asogi forced Daley Vigil to recall the day he was fired as chief warder because the Professor was not properly executed ten years ago.

Following the first day, the pair was joined by Iris in their investigations. After learning from van Zieks that Shinn was an assassin of the Reaper organization, Susato relayed the information to Yujin, but kept Iris away from the conversation when Dr. Wilson’s name was brought up. The group was later shocked when Yujin asked Naruhodo to return to Japan with him as their homeland was in desperate need of a defense lawyer. This had a great effect on Susato, as she had traveled to London originally as Asogi’s assistant. As this was a sudden request, Yujin allowed the pair to take their time and think things through for themselves. After learning from coroner Maria Gorey that Klint van Zieks’ autopsy report was missing, Iris had to take her leave, much to Susato and Naruhodo’s confusion.

When they returned home, they found Sholmes’ suite in a mess with a silent Iris next to an unconscious man on the couch. After a dance of deduction, they were shocked that the man was Yujin, and that it was Iris who had stolen the autopsy report from Gorey to verify the handwriting. They learned that Iris compared the report to Sholmes’ original cases written by his partner, and Iris believed that the partner was Dr. Wilson. But after examining the report, Susato discovered that the report was only signed off by Wilson, and that it was really written by her own father Yujin. She and Naruhodo were then shocked with another revelation from Sholmes: his true partner who had written the original cases was none other than Yujin himself. Regarding Iris’ father, Susato mistakenly believed that it was Yujin, though put off getting her answer for later as her father had to leave with Sholmes for an urgent case.

The next day, Susato informed Naruhodo that neither her father nor Jigoku had returned to the hotel the previous night. At the trial, the duo were shocked to find that Stronghart had taken over as the new judge by order of the Queen, as facts of the Professor killings were brought up the previous day. When the trial was once again put on hold for the search of Jigoku, Susato felt disheartened that Asogi was to take part in an assassination. When they felt at their lowest, they used the good luck charm they had received earlier from Iris, which was actually a makeshift radio to contact Sholmes. They learned that he and Yujin were searching for Jigoku themselves in Dunkirk, and were assured that the judge would be found within thirty minutes. The trial was postponed so Jigoku could testify the next day.

After enjoying an elaborate feast at Sholmes’ flat, Susato and Naruhodo learned of an assassin exchange that involved Asogi killing Gregson, and that Sholmes faked Asogi’s death to prevent him from reaching London.

The next day, Jigoku stood at the witness stand, and Naruhodo proved that the Japanese judge killed Gregson on October 31. Much to Susato’s dismay however, Asogi demanded for the trial to continue as he accused van Zieks of being the Reaper. However, it was later discovered that Stronghart was the true Reaper who masterminded the assassin exchange. Susato stood by Naruhodo’s side as they kept the trial going to reveal all of the truth behind the Professor killings and the real nature of the Reaper organization. When it seemed like Stronghart was going to get away with committing his crimes, Sholmes revealed that the Queen was watching the trial through a hologram device, and stripped Stronghart of his powers and had him due to stand in court.

After van Zieks’ acquittal, Susato and the others learned a shocking truth from her father: that he helped deliver the child of Klint and a lady from the Baskerville family. That child was none other than Iris, named after Susato’s deceased mother Ayame. To protect Iris from the slandered name of van Zieks, Yujin entrusted the child to Sholmes’ care before returning to Japan. Back at Sholmes’ flat, Susato aided Iris in preparing a celebratory feast for them, Naruhodo, Sholmes, Yujin and Lestrade. Later that night, Susato overheard Naruhodo and Yujin’s conversation, which included the truth of Susato’s return to Japan and what Yujin did to prevent Iris from learning about her real father. Their talk ended with Naruhodo’s decision to return to Japan to start a career as a defense lawyer. After her father left, Susato revealed herself to Naruhodo and let him know that she heard everything. When he declared that she would be helpful for Asogi as his assistant, Susato promised that she would do her best.

A few days later, Susato appeared at the docks and declared to Naruhodo that she would be returning with him and Yujin to Japan to work as Naruhodo’s assistant, having received Asogi’s approval earlier shortly after van Zieks’ trial. With his acceptance, they returned home and set up a law office.

End of spoilers.

Personality[]

Susato accompanying Sholmes at a crime scene on the S.S. Burya.

Ryunosuke Naruhodo
Anyway, you have to believe me! I'm not the real culprit!
Susato Mikotoba
Trust me, it's not as if I don't want to believe you. But I can't think of any other way that this crime could have been committed.

In contrast to most characters of the assistant archetype, Susato is characterized primarily by a strong commitment to her role as a legal aid, and has trained to be throughout her adolescence. Where most assistants primarily give their partnered attorneys feedback when brainstorming in the courtroom, Susato not only teaches Naruhodo law, but often saves his cases by providing knowledge on British law. She's a very book smart girl, as she always carries around books inside her sleeves, and displays great curiosity towards unknown things.

Another thing distinguishing Susato from most assistants is her capacity to ignore previous personal feelings when suspicious of someone, displayed no more clearly than her behavior towards Naruhodo when her partnered attorney and adoptive brother, Asogi, was supposedly "killed" aboard the S.S. Burya.

Despite Susato's commitment to law, though, she's also displayed the capacity to go against the law when necessary. When Gina Lestrade was found unconscious, Susato took to tampering with the crime scene in order to trick the culprit. She achieved this through not only a natural proficiency in pickpocketing, as taught by Gina, but her sharp wit as well.

However, as a result of those same events, Susato began to develop ambivalent feelings towards the law; which, until she met Magnus McGilded, she didn't consider could be used by those in power to oppress people like those of the lower class and racial minorities. In direct contrast to her adoptive brother, Susato only recently began to develop distrust in authority, as she reacts with surprise when Asogi displays strong contempt towards those like policemen and prosecutors when assisting him. Similarly, when defending her best friend Rei, Susato also comments that up until then, she assumed that the news only reported the truth.

Outside of law, Susato displays a great proficiency for martial arts, contrasting greatly with Naruhodo, who primarily has a hobbyist interest in archery. She also has a strong interest in literature, specifically Herlock Sholmes novels. As a child, Susato took apart her father's watch in order to learn how it worked, a strong curiosity that extends towards unknown machinery in Britain, such as the stereoscope. She also has a love for sweets, and despite displaying a disdain for horror, has no qualms about discussing things such as preserving illness victims' organs using chemicals or killing animals in order to fabricate blood for the sake of tampering with a crime scene.

Susato is progressively minded, and is a supporter of woman's rights. She is saddened by the sexism of her time, particularly in Japan, and often points out noticeable instances of progressive attitude towards women in the west. When she was forced to pretend to be male to act as a defense attorney in the Japanese Supreme Court, which bars all female, she had never "felt worse about being born in [her] body". Ironically, however, while she was acting as "Ryutaro Naruhodo", Susato would go on to make a number of misogynistic remarks, so much so as to be called a "bigoted" and "weak little" man by Hosonaga. She attributed this to her getting "too into" her male persona.

Name[]

  • Susato's given name (寿沙都) was primarily chosen because Shu Takumi liked the kanji.
  • Her family name "Mikotoba" (御琴羽) is homonymous with the expression '御言葉' (みことば), which can either mean 'word of God' or to take someone at their word.
  • Her alias Ryūtarō is comprised of '龍' (Ryū) from Ryūnosuke and '太郎' (tarō), a common series of kanji for boys' names.

Development[]

  • Susato Mikotoba is designed around the yamato nadeshiko archetype, with a somewhat believable, but ultimately impossible, hairstyle. Overall, her design is fairly subdued to contrast with Herlock Sholmes and Iris Wilson.[4] It can also be noted that her outfit draws inspiration from the typical Meiji period jōgakusei image, which consisted of mainly a kimono, hakama, and boots.
  • When designing Ryutaro, much of her design direction was left to character designer Kazuya Nuri, with Takumi's main comment being that it would be alright if people noticed he was Susato. Had he not said so, Nuri states that he would have had to hide Susato's hair as cutting her hair short wasn't an option.
    • In the end, they decided to display Ryutaro's connection to Susato through things such as shared color scheme and similar mannerisms, but without leaving in too many elements directly tying Ryutaro to Susato.[5]
  • Susato is the third playable female (though posing as a man) attorney in the series, following Mia Fey and Athena Cykes.
  • At age sixteen, Susato is the youngest acting attorney to successfully acquit a client.
    • Relatedly, she is the youngest viewpoint character to date.

References[]

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