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The Adventure of the Blossoming Attorney
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TODO: Comment here and possibly also in Menimemo's article about him inadvertently screwing himself by claiming to have seen the entire crime

Susato Mikotoba
Tomorrow, I shall be standing in court. For the only time in my life...as a lawyer.

Episode I: The Adventure of the Blossoming Attorney was the first episode of The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve. Susato Mikotoba, under the guise of Ryutaro Naruhodo, takes the defense attorney's bench to defend her friend, Rei Membami, who was accused of murdering Jezaille Brett.

Crime[]

Dead Brett

Isn't that...

Susato Mikotoba stood in front of the grave of Kazuma Asogi, remarking on the adventures she shared with Ryunosuke Naruhodo in London. She adds that she wishes he was by her side now, given present circumstances, with the corpse of Jezaille Brett in a beach house briefly shown. Thus, Susato prays to Kazuma to lend her strength, for she would stand in court as an attorney for the first and final time in her life.

Before the Trial[]

Getting ready[]

8:26 AM

The next morning, Yujin Mikotoba discusses the case with Susato, the latter in disguise as a male student from Yumei University. The defendant, Rei Membami, comes over to greet them, only to be surprised to learn that the "gallant, dashing" lawyer defending her is in fact Susato. Yujin and Susato share that Membami is not only Susato's best friend, she's also Yujin's assistant at his research laboratory in the university. Since women are forbidden from the courtroom in Japan, Susato had to disguise herself to pass off as an eligible lawyer. Yujin is pleased that Susato's guise should be convincing enough, but privately, father and daughter discuss the nature of the case: no lawyer agreed to take up Membami's defense, forcing Susato into her current position. They agreed to keep this a secret from Membami so as to not worry her further.

Former session[]

"Ryutaro Naruhodo"[]

9:00 AM

In the courtroom, Susato Mikotoba announced herself as Ryutaro Naruhodo, cousin of Ryunosuke Naruhodo. After successfully answering a couple of questions, the judge brings up the secret trial nine months ago where a professor named John H. Wilson was murdered for unknown reasons, right after Japan signed the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Friendship and Navigation with England. The culprit of that case was the victim of this current one: Jezaille Brett. Japan couldn't pass judgement on Brett due to Great Britain exerting their right of consul, forcing Japan to keep Brett surveilled until she could be escorted to Shanghai, China to be tried in a British consul office there. The day before she was to finally be sent there on a steamship, she ended up murdered.

Brett's corpse

Jezaille Brett dead.

The prosecutor, Taketsuchi Auchi, then gave the opening statement for this trial. The incident happened midday on August 11th in a seawater bathhouse on a beach near Tokyo. Brett was stabbed through her lungs in the back with a small knife, causing her to bleed to death from the injury. As Rei Membami was the only one in the hut aside from the victim at the time, the police arrested her upon arrival. Upon Susato pressing him for details, Auchi said that Brett had been granted permission to continue her research on poisons at Yumei University under strict surveillance. Japan was to accede to her requests within reason, and Brett had requested to visit a Japanese beach for her last request before leaving for Shanghai. As for Membami's motive, Auchi claimed that Membami had previously worked under Professor Wilson and deeply respected him; she killed Brett out of revenge for Wilson before Brett could be extradited to Shanghai.

Auchi submitted a photo of Brett's corpse in the hut as evidence, and called on the two witnesses who witnessed Membami at the critical moment of the crime. Auchi gloated, saw this as a perfect opportunity to exact his revenge on "Ryutaro Naruhodo" through his cousin, having been humiliated at the trial nine months ago by the student, as well as Kazuma Asogi who cut his hair. Indicating a small tuft of hair that miraculously appeared on his bald forehead, Auchi vowed revenge on the Naruhodo clan.

Cross-examining Hosonaga & Natsume[]

Yujin Natsume newspaper

Yujin & Natsume in the newspaper.

The inspector turned out to be Satoru Hosonaga, wearing the same bathing outfit he wore at the time of the incident. The other witness was the author, Soseki Natsume, who got famous due to the success of his book, I Am a Cat. Natsume was invited to a lecture at Yumei University that day and subsequently spoke with Yujin for a newspaper article. A reporter following him was giving complete coverage of Natsume, and gave "Ryutaro" one of the newspapers featuring the article in question. Following Brett's request to visit the beach, Natsume decided to join her but Yujin declined, citing that he had work to do.

Hosonaga and Natsume testified that they heard a scream, and they ran to the hut and saw the two women. Brett was dead and Membami was seen standing over the body with a bloodstained knife, and they concluded that Brett had been stabbed multiple times. Auchi then added a fountain pen that Brett was holding in her hand when she died. It had the initials R.M., the same initials as Membami. Susato wouldn't give up, declaring with the shout of her first "Objection!" that the coroner's report clearly stated Brett was only stabbed once. It would also be impossible for the blade to be stained with blood if the two witnesses had seen her raising the knife. Susato proposed that Membami was merely pulling out the blade. Auchi countered this by saying Membami was probably going to stab her again even if that didn't kill Brett, and the judge noted that the fact that the murder weapon was in Membami's hands was damning enough to make her guilty. Susato suggested Membami was trying to save the victim by pulling the murder weapon out of her back; as a medical researcher she could have felt obliged to try and save Brett's life, but nobody bought this explanation.

Hosonaga requested a testimony on forensic medicine. He declared that the knife would have formed a stopper over the stab wound on Brett's back; if the blade was carelessly removed, the wound would bleed even more and surely lead to death. Membami would have known this as a medical student and not removed the blade, unless she was intentionally trying to kill the victim. Undeterred, Susato examined the evidence she had on hand more closely; upon reading the newspaper Natsume gave her, Susato found out that a potent poison being developed under government orders had been stolen from the University, shocking Yujin as even he didn't know about the theft from his laboratory. Susato presented the article, suggesting that the reason Membami had removed the blade was because she suspected the knife had been poisoned with the stolen toxin, and believed that removing the knife would have saved Brett from death by poison. Auchi argued that there was no reason to suggest that the poison was relevant to the case, but Susato pointed out that the coroner's notes mentioned that Brett's pupils were highly constricted: the same symptom exhibited by victims of the poison. Hosonaga agreed that the pupils normally dilate after death, suggesting that Brett had died under suspicious circumstances. At this, Auchi was forced to concur the defense's point, but found it strange that even Yujin wasn't aware of this theft.

Mamemomi's picture

Auchi's surprise evidence.

Membami suddenly took the stand to take the blame for not telling the professor about it. She had noticed that a small quantity of the poison had disappeared after Yujin's conversation with Natsume, but she was afraid of the repercussions as she was tasked with managing the toxin's project. Membami believed Brett had stolen the poison and confronted her at the bathing hut about it. Brett coolly denied stealing the poison and she stood up, only to collapse moments later with the knife sticking out of her back. She didn't know how that knife got there, but Brett's pupils were tiny, so Membami tried to pull out the knife herself. She apologizes to everyone present not saying any of this earlier.

Auchi pointed out that Membami's confession doesn't change a thing, and submitted a new photograph of inside the hut showing Membami holding the knife sticking out of Brett's body! Susato declared that whoever took this picture must also be a witness, but Auchi admitted that this picture reached the Police Force via express mail only the previous day with no name attached, thus the person who submitted it could not be identified. Thinking it over, Susato noticed the photograph had strange, white branch-like markings on the side, which happened to be an identical match to markings on the picture of Yujin and Soseki's interview in the newspaper. She announced that the person who anonymously submitted the crime scene photo must be the same person who covered the university interview. Soseki Natsume identified the witness as journalist Raiten Menimemo of the Shoyu News, who had been hounding him ever since he became famous. The judge called for recess while the bailiffs brought Menimemo to court; he also wanted the police to test the bloody knife for poison.

10:41 AM

Recess[]

Rei Membami once again apologized for not telling Yujin about the missing poison, admitting that she lacked faith in Susato and thus doesn't deserve Susato as a lawyer. However, Susato admitted that she had also, for a brief moment, lost faith in Membami's innocence upon seeing the photo Auchi submitted. But she knew a defense attorney should always believe in her client no matter what, especially if it's her best friend. Membami confirms her account of events, and has no idea how Brett was stabbed with just the two of them present. Yujin gave Susato a reagent from Yumei University used to detect traces of the poison, which had also been submitted to the police to use on the knife. The Mikotobas are at a loss on how the information on the poison was leaked in the first place, to which Membami blamed Brett for suddenly asking Yujin about the poison when he was talking to Soseki, obliging him to show it to Soseki, explaining how the reporter got a hold of that information. The bailiff subsequently summoned the defense back to the courtroom.

Latter session[]

Cross-examining Menimemo[]

11:30 AM

With the trial back in session, Auchi announced that no poison was found on the knife, thus disproving Susato's theory. Raiten Menimemo introduced himself as a journalist who follows his own philosophy called Menimemoism, focused on getting the biggest scoops. The judge makes him confirm that he took the crime scene photo. Yujin confirms that Menimemo was the one who interviewed him and Soseki, but remarked that Menimemo was supposed to head back to Shoyu News headquarters. Menimemo revealed that he had secretly trailed the group to the beach, indignant that Brett was allowed to wander freely despite of her crimes, and decided that interviewing her would be a huge scoop.

Menimemo testified that he watched through a gap between the reed screens of the flimsily built shack. Rei Membami came in, had a heated argument with Brett, then stabbed her with a knife she produced from her person. Being a reporter, he parted the wall and took a photo of the scene. Yujin commented that despite this, it's strange that Menimemo didn't release an article about the killing.

Upon being pressed, Menimemo explained that he saw the entire scene play out, using with a plan of the shack that Auchi provided. Brett was seated in the middle of the shack's back when Membami entered, and the two began arguing; they met in the middle, at which point Brett tried and failed to strike Membami, allowing Membami to go behind her and stab her. Menimemo added that he neither entered the shack nor talked to Brett, which Yujin requested be added to his testimony. Susato presented the fountain pen that Brett was holding at this new statement: while the pen's initials R.M. were thought to refer to Membami, she argued that they could also stand for Raiten Menimemo. Menimemo responded that he only uses pencils, but both the Mikotobas pointed out the large inkstain on his right hand. Menimemo and Auchi protested that the monogram could refer to anyone with the same initials, but Susato pointed out the emblem on the pen, which matched the Shoyu News logo on Menimemo's armband, identifying him as the owner of the pen.

Cornered, Menimemo claimed to have conducted a short interview with Brett, minutes before she was killed. He insisted that it didn't yield much worthy news, but the judge demanded that he testify about the interview. Menimemo agreed, but set a condition: Soseki Natsume had to testify alongside him, as Menimemo claimed Natsume had something to hide.

With Natsume back on the stand, Menimemo testified that Brett refused an interview. So he left, then saw the murder through the gap, and that's when Natsume and Satoru Hosonaga came in. Hosonaga felt a pulse through Brett so he went to look for help. Menimemo then claimed that Natsume asked a question to Brett but failed to testify about it earlier, and Menimemo claimed that Brett's answer to Natsume's question implicated Membami. As Susato pressed the two, Natsume confirmed that after Hosonaga left, he heard a weak moan from Brett, prompting him to ask her, "Who did this to you?" Too weak to speak, Brett simply pointed towards the back of the hut with a trembling finger before collapsing. Natsume added that Membami was the only one standing there, but Brett wasn't pointing at her directly; despite this, there was nobody standing where Brett was pointing. Auchi argued that Nastume's testimony, though unclear, was damning enough to implicate Membami, and the judge was inclined to agree.

Thinking over Membami's statements, Susato proposed an alternative theory: Brett had in fact been pointing to the back of the hut because whoever killed her was standing outside the hut and stabbed her through the reed wall. As proof, she presented the original crime scene photo, pointing out a thin gap in the wall at the back of the hut, formed as a result of a blade being forced through it. Susato argued that the only one who could have committed the crime was the only person who had admitted to standing outside the hut: Raiten Menimemo! Auchi argued that Brett's corpse was found in the middle of the shack, but Susato noted that Membami said she was sitting all the way in the back when she came in; indeed, a stool was visible under the uneven reeds. Susato concluded that Brett stood up when she was stabbed and then fell.

The judge prepared to declare Membami innocent, but Menimemo suddenly recovered. He declared that where and how Brett was stabbed wasn't important, because Brett's true cause of death had been the poison stolen from Yujin's laboratory, which the defense had inadvertently proved by their own investigation. The judge asked how the poison got into Brett in the first place, and Yujin suggested that Brett most likely drank it, given the presence of a bottle and glass at the crime scene. Menimemo added that based on what the defense had proven, he couldn't have fed Brett the poison, and the judge asked for his testimony.

The Final Cross-Examination[]

Menimemo he admitted he stabbed her, which wouldn't have needed to do if he'd already poisoned her. He was just enraged by the argument Brett had with Rei Membami, and the fact that Japan had willingly let a known murderer walk free. Menimemo claimed that Membami had simply got to Brett first by poisoning her instead, which means that he couldn't be charged with Brett's murder as he didn't deliver the fatal blow. Despite being discouraged that the truth had escaped her once again, Susato reminded herself that Naruhodo and Asogi would have continued finding a way forward. She pressed Menimemo about the argument between the two women, and Menimemo claimed that Membami had asked Brett about John Wilson's murder, only to be mocked. At this, Membami suddenly came to the stand, declaring that Menimemo's testimony was a complete lie and that he was a Peeping Tom. Susato asked that Membami be allowed to testify, and despite Auchi's protests, the judge permitted it.

Membami testified that her argument with Brett was over the stolen poison, declaring that usage of the poison would end up implicating the Japanese government and military, but Brett had claimed no knowledge of the toxin, albeit in English. Yujin brought up the article mentioning the toxin's theft, accusing Menimemo of having listened in on this conversation and published the article with what he'd heard. Confirming that the details in the article matched her conversation with Brett perfectly, Membami accused Menimemo of lying on the stand to cover his eavesdropping. Menimemo countered that it still didn't give him a reason to stab Brett if he'd already poisoned her.

Presenting Menimemo's article, Susato started to list out the facts: Menimemo had learned about the poison's effects from overhearing Membami and Brett, and since Membami had started talking to Brett as soon as she entered the shack, she had no opportunity to poison Brett's drink. Menimemo had also not testified that Membami was seen slipping Brett the poison, meaning the only logical conclusion that the poison had been given to Brett prior to Membami's arrival. Susato added that from what Menimemo overheard, he realized that the poison was a new substance being developed as the result of a top secret government project, for which only a few people would have access and had extremely tell-tale signs when used. Yujin added that none of his laboratory staff, including Membami, would have been foolish enough to use it for murder as it would immediately implicate them. Susato thus concluded that the only person who could have used the poison was a layperson, and Menimemo was the only one who fit the bill. She accused Menimemo of stealing the poison and using it on Brett, only realizing too late that it would be easy to track who had used it, which is why he had to stab Brett to kill her before the poison could, and thus mask the cause of death.

The judge was fully convinced by this logic, and Auchi couldn't come up any counterarguments. But Menimemo had one final argument himself: there was no way for him to steal a sample of the toxin undetected, and even Yujin had confirmed earlier that all visitors to the laboratory were thoroughly searched. Looking through and examining the evidence, Susato discovered that Menimemo's fountain pen had an empty ink reservoir, save for a small amount of liquid. Presenting the pen, Susato proposed that Menimemo had used his fountain pen to siphon away a small quantity of the poison during Natsume's visit to the laboratory, and used it again to eject the poison into Brett's drink. Yujin confirmed that Menimemo's fountain pen was not searched during the visit for fear of offending Brett and Natsume. Susato also reminded the court that the pen was found clutched in Brett's hand, meaning that Menimemo must have dropped it at the crime scene. Menimemo insisted that Susato had no decisive proof that he used his pen in such a way, and the fact that the pen was found devoid of ink was coincidence, but Susato presented the University's reagent as her final piece of evidence. All they needed to was use the reagent on the tip of the fountain pen to prove it was used to siphon poison.

Defeated at last, Raiten Menimemo swung his camera around really fast, ranting about his disgust at how Japan constantly capitulated to the demands of foreign powers. Before he could go any further, Membami grabbed him by the arm, and with Susato standing opposite, the two of them flung Menimemo up backwards with a "Ryutaro Takedown".

Brett and Mamemomi

Brett & Menimemo.

A subsequent test of the fountain pen nib proved Susato's logic to be correct. Miserably, Menimemo confessed that he had decided to steal the poison when he saw it in the laboratory, emptying his fountain pen of ink so he could do so. The fact that it was being developed as a top secret project was too big of a scoop for him to resist. He subsequently followed Brett's group to the beach to interview her about her situation, but Brett simply laughed in his face, calling him a plebeian who eavesdropped for his journalism, and mocked Japan for its failure to emulate the Western ideals of a justice system and a free press. Consumed by anger at a woman who had no remorse for the crimes she committed, Menimemo remembered the poison in his possession and used it to spike Brett's drink.

Susato reminded him that as a journalist, Menimemo should have found other means to arrive at justice, but Menimemo glumly responded that there was no justice, a fact he realized after looking into the murder of John Wilson nine months prior. The only possible explanation for why Brett had been allowed to free was because a deal had been struck between Great Britain and Japan, and the murder of John Wilson was being covered up for the same reason. Despite his research, the editor of Shoyu News refused to publish Menimemo's exposé, likely under pressure from the Japanese government. Menimemo declared that he was forced to take justice into his own hands, but Susato reminded him that killing Brett and attempting to frame Membani for his crime made him no better than Brett, and that he had no right to speak of justice at all.

The judge was quite impressed with "Ryutaro Naruhodo's" performance as an attorney, just like "his cousin", Ryunosuke. Taketsuchi Auchi, having been humiliated by "another" Naruhodo, announced that, rather than living on in shame, he would end it all now with the blade he held, as that is the true path to "Auchiism". He recited a death poem and, with crying hesitation, cut off the tuft of new hair on his forehead and let it blow away. The judge proceeded to give Rei Membami her not guilty verdict.

Aftermath[]

2:38 PM

The trial had finished, but Susato still felt her heart pounding. She reflected on the burden borne by defense lawyers as Membami thanked Susato profusely for saving her life. Susato complimented Membami on her courage to take the stand, saying that she needed to be congratulated as well. Yujin expressed his pride over Susato's performance, though Susato lamented that she would be shedding her persona as Ryutaro Naruhodo for good. This caught the attention of Satoru Hosonaga and Soseki Natsume, who were surprised to learn the truth about "Ryutaro Naruhodo", prompting Susato to recount her experiences with the two men over the course of her adventures.

Hosonaga lamented that now that Jezaille Brett was dead, the truth of why she murdered John H. Wilson was lost forever. Susato thought back to the adventures of Herlock Sholmes, recalling that they mentioned that Sholmes had a partner called John Wilson, and wondered if it was more than coincidence that they shared the same name. Privately, she realized that Iris Wilson would never see her father again. At this, Yujin started to speak: he mentioned that he traveled to Great Britain around the time Susato was born, and took up his role as a professor in Yumei University upon his return. However, he also took up the role of advisor to the Japanese government on diplomatic affairs, and thus was unable to shed any light on the questions Susato had about the matter. Susato, however, had one lingering question: she had been summoned back to Japan via telegram under the impression that Yujin had taken ill with a high fever, but upon her return Yujin was completely healthy. She suspected that Yujin summoned her back from Great Britain because he had perceived that something in Great Britain would inconvenience or harm her.

Before Yujin could begin his explanation, Raiten Menimemo suddenly appeared, having fought his way out of custody. He accused Yujin of having a hand in what happened to Kazuma Asogi, after he'd left Japan as a transfer student, and that the news of Kazuma's death had been suppressed. But before Menimemo could continue, the judge of the trial suddenly appeared and flung Menimemo over his shoulder for the bailiff to take away. The judge introduced himself to Susato as Seishiro Jigoku, an old friend of her father's. He revealed that he knew that "Ryutaro" was a girl all along, and Yujin admitted to letting Seishiro in on the secret to protect Susato. The two men would now have to address various diplomatic issues in the wake of Brett's murder. As they left, Susato wondered what other secrets her father was keeping from her, and resolved to bring up the issue with him privately.

Separately, Natsume suggested that him and Susato meeting like this must have been fate, as he had a message for her which he believed was related to why Yujin called her back from Great Britain. Following his experiences in England, he submitted a report on his time there to the government, after which Yujin visited him to ask him about the report. In particular, he quizzed Natsume over one part of the report, and sent the telegram summoning Susato the very next day. Susato asked Natsume about that part of the report, but Natsume was unsure of the details, only starting to tremble as he recalled the not one, but two terrible cases that he was embroiled in, with the second case being of particular interest to Yujin. Susato remembered that Sholmes forbade everyone from talking about the case in public, musing that she initially thought the case to be over, but now realizing that it was perhaps only the start.

In a letter to Ryunosuke, Susato wrote about her experiences and how it felt to be in his shoes as a defense attorney. She mentioned the second incident with Soseki Natsume, recommending that Ryunosuke look through the files she compiled on the incident back in their office at Baker Street, suggesting that it may unlock a great, unsolved mystery. Feeling that summer had finally arrived in Japan, she expressed her wish to see him again.

Development[]

  • Kazuya Nuri proposed the beach as the crime setting so that the characters could be redesigned in an immediately noticeable way, by having them wear bathing suits.[1]
  • In the Japanese version of the case, Taketsuchi Auchi said "Take that!" when he presented the incriminating photograph. However, there was no Speech bubble when this happened.

Continuity[]

Cultural references[]

  • In the Japanese version, Taketsuchi Auchi states that his loss to Ryunosuke Naruhodo marked the end of his Bakumatsu era; Bakumatsu is a term used to refer the end of Japan's Edo period, which marked the end of the Tokugawa shogunate before the transition to the Empire of Japan and the Meiji era in which the The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles takes place.
  • Since his return to Japan from his time in London, Soseki Natsume found fame with his novel I Am a Cat. I Am a Cat was written by the real-life Japanese author Sōseki Natsume upon whom the Ace Attorney character is based. The work itself is a satirical novel about Japanese society during the Meji period written from the point of view of a supercilious house cat.
  • When Natsume tells the court about Raiten Menimemo, he says: "A camera to the left of him. A notebook to the right. There I am stuck in the middle with... Raiten Menimemo!" This is a reference to the Stealers Wheel song "Stuck in the Middle with You", specifically the chorus: "Clowns to the left of me! Jokers to the right! Here I am stuck in the middle with you."
  • While speaking about how he screamed after seeing Brett's body, Natsume says, "In more literary terms, you might say it was a scream that could have pierced the heavens." This is likely a paraphrase of "Your drill is the drill that will pierce the Heavens!", a recurring catchphrase in the 2007 mecha anime Gurren Lagann.

References[]

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