Themis Legal Academy. A prestigious high school with alumni in the highest echelons of the legal world.
The intro shows the Themis Legal Academy building from the front, then one of the classrooms, full of students in blue and white uniforms. Outside, dark reddish clouds begin to form, and in a hallway, students begin to disappear. As the camera comes closer to three particular students, flashes of other scenes appear, including someone whispering to someone else, some monetary bills being tossed, and an eye. The final scene is of a seemingly blood-stained awl dropping to the floor beside a woman's dead body, with the three aforementioned students surrounding her.
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Event type / related incident
October 23, 2027
Constance Courte is murdered.
October 25-26, 2027
Trial of Juniper Woods for the murder of Constance Courte.
References to other cases
The 1st floor hallway contains a poster advertising "Guilty Dogs" with a picture of a hot dog. This is a reference to Turnabout Reminiscence, where a 13 year-old Franziska von Karma, unimpressed by the slogan of the hot dogs sold from a vending machine in the District Court ("When you're in hot water, you might need a hot dog" - Winston Payne entry in a public contest to choose a slogan), came up with the arguably equally poor replacement: "If you leave matters in a Von Karma's hands, everyone in court will be found guilty dogs!"
Juniper Woods's costume design for the festival concert is almost identical to that worn by Lamiroir in Turnabout Serenade. Neither Apollo Justice, Trucy Wright, nor Klavier Gavin make any comment on this, despite all three having met Lamiroir in said costume. Additionally, the song "The Guitar's Serenade" is the one that Gavin performs with Woods during the concert in said episode. The canon in-universe explanation is that Woods just so-happened to design the exact same costume by coincidence, whereas out of universe this was done as a way to tie into the sub-plot regarding Woods' crush on Justice (as it allowed the cutscene in which Juniper gains "brownie points" with Justice, who is a fan of Lamiroir's music).
If the academy newspaper is presented to Phoenix Wright, he mentions that he was an arts major at university. When Cykes asks how he became a lawyer instead, he responds that it was a very complicated situation, and she reads a lot of complex emotions from him. This is all in reference to the events of Turnabout Memories.
The object of art hanging from the ceiling in the art room is actually Phony Phanty, a piece of evidence in Turnabout Countdown. Additionally, when lamenting that Woods' script was chosen over hers, Scuttlebutt says, "My script had it all! A bum rap and phony evidence!" This is likely a reference to Phony Phanty and Bum Rap Rhiny.
Fulbright demanding proof that the clock in the art room, which appears to be running slow, was running slow on the day of the murder, hearkens back to Frank Sahwit demanding the same thing in regards to the The Thinker, in The First Turnabout.
References to popular culture
After investigating the body, Wright says to Cykes, "Nice work, Athena. Your face only turned five shades of pale. I was expecting fifty." This is a reference to the title of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey.
When Cykes and Justice are talking to Scuttlebutt, Justice says, "Myriam, wouldn't you feel better if you came out of the dark and into the light?" This may be a reference to the Falco album Out of the Dark (Into the Light).
There are numerous references to the Metal Gear video game series, in particular the cardboard boxes often used in the series as mobile disguises, which revolve around the cardboard box-wearing Myriam Scuttlebutt. The first is when Justice notices her box, and he says, "Don't let it be a SNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE," which refers not only to the code name used by the main protagonist of the series, but also to the phrase used in the Game Over screen in many of the games ("Snake? Snake? SNAAAAAAAAAAAKE!") The final reference is after Woods's acquittal, when Cykes thinks to herself, "Myriam's got this Tactical Espionage Action stuff down to a science..." This is a reference to the "Tactical Espionage Action" tagline commonly used for the Metal Gear series.
At the beginning of the second day of the trial, Cykes states that the "Cykes Brigade is psyched!" This may be a reference to the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise of visual novels and anime series, in which the titular character's club is named the SOS Brigade. Incidentally, Wendee Lee, the English voice actress for Athena Cykes, also voices Haruhi Suzumiya in the English dub of the anime adaptation.
While Cykes is rebuilding the Lady Justice statue, Justice asks what is she doing, to which she replies, "Don't stop me now. The artist inside me wants to get out and have a good time." This is a reference to the first two lines ("Don't stop me now, I'm having such a good time") of the chorus of the rock song "Don't Stop Me Now" by the band Queen.
While discussing the statues of Phoenix Wright and Klavier Gavin that she had created, Newman states that she is thinking about rebuilding them, but this time by simply dropping the two men into a big bowl of plaster instead. When Cykes questions the safety of this idea, Newman exclaims, "Full on YOLO is what art's all about!", referencing the acronym of the saying, "You only live once."
When asked about the "proof of friendship" in the beginning stages of the case, Newman is quoted as saying, "Proof?! We don't need no stinkin' proof!..." This is a reference to a well-known and widely (mis)quoted line that originally comes from the 1927 novel The Treasure of the Sierra Madre: "'All right,' Curtin shouted back. 'If you are the police, where are your badges? Let's see them.' 'Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don't need badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and chinga tu madre!' The film adaptation of the book says, "'If you're the police where are your badges?' 'Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!'"
Before the start of the second trial day, Cykes says, "Okay, all that's left now is to reach out to the truth!" This may be a reference to the song "Reach Out To The Truth" from the game Persona 4.
During the second trial day, examining Scuttlebutt in her box on the outdoor stage leads to Cykes commenting, "so this is the future cardboard box technology has afforded us, huh?". This could be a reference to the Level-5 franchise Little Battlers Experience (also known as 'Danball Senki'; lit. Cardboard War-chronicles). The franchise takes place in the near future, akin to Ace Attorney, and features the invention of super reinforced cardboard technology as part of it's backstory.
The "you-know-who" that Blackquill reminds Cykes that she must not let down is actually Blackquill himself, as revealed in Turnabout for Tomorrow.
After his guitar catches fire in Turnabout Serenade, Klavier Gavin swears that he'll never play "The Guitar's Serenade" again. However, it would appear that he wasn't very serious about this promise, due to his playing of the song at the resolution of Turnabout Academy.
In the Japanese version of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, Means does not have his staff during the first encounter with him, before the mock trial, because it was stabbed into Courte's body at the time. This was changed for unclear reasons in the 3DS English version, which depicts him with the staff (thus creating a plot hole), but corrected in the iOS English version.