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Susato Mikotoba
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Susato Mikotoba
If it's legal knowledge you need, just leave it to me!
Tokyo Game Show 2014 trailer

Susato Mikotoba was a judicial assistant who lived in Japan during the Meiji period. 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 travels in England.

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 Wilson. Kazuma Asogi, who was the attorney 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.

Spoiler alert!
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 Japan had not yet discovered. Due to this vital piece of evidence, Jezail Brett was revealed to be the true killer of John Wilson.

Before getting ready to accompany Asogi for his trip abroad in England, 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.


The S.S. Burya[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band
Spoiler alert!
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 Strand 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 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 assistant[]

First trial in London[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Runaway Room

Defending a fellow Japanese citizen[]

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

Return to Japan[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Unspeakable Story

Acting Defense Attorney[]

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.

Return to England[]

Main article: The Return of the Great Departed Soul

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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