Ryu’s Musings – Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Vol01

Posted on November 13th, 2012 by Ryu Sheng | 2 Comments

downloadLanguage: English
Direction: Right to Left
by: (Story) Kenji Kuroda  (Art) Kazuo Maekawa
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Type: Series
Genre: Shounen

Synopsis:

Objection to injustice!

Mystery and intrigue, crime and punishment, uncovering the truth—all in a day’s work for the ace defense attorney Phoenix Wright and his beautiful assistant Maya Fey.  Based on the hit game series, Ace Attorney brings new adventures to the games’ colorful cast.  Can Nick successfully swing the gavel of  justice or will he be crushed by the weight of incriminating evidence?

I picked this up ages ago, along with a few other of the Kodansha releases but something about the cover design and blurb just didn’t grab me. so it’s sat on my shelf until now, and part of me wishes it were still sat there.

The problem i have with this series, and granted this is based solely on the first volume, is that it already feels stale and dull. There’s nothing in the volume that reached out and grabbed my attention, though there were a few that irked me a bit.

Right off the bat i didn’t like the art on the cover, the character designs just made me cringe. Especially that of Maya Fey, her design made me just want to throw the book away for some inexplicable reason. I pushed on and did finish the volume, though it was a struggle. I probably could have gotten past the art eventually, IF the story had been engaging, but it wasn’t. I yawned my way through the volume and was glad when it ended.

Over the course of the volume i looked closely at the art, and at times it was okay, but mostly i found it sterile, as though drawn by a machine. There was no life coming from the art, and what’s more the art didn’t convey the story, it was simply there. There was very little atmosphere to the art, nor was there any feeling from the scenery. In fact there was very little in the way of scenery, a lot of the panels were covered by the faces of the characters, and a smidgen of background. For me this was a big issue, as I like to feel that the characters are alive and moving through the world, there’s none of this in this volume.

The art quality also took a significant nose dive towards the end of the volume, with only the main characters art retaining it’s look and feel. The rest of the art degrades rather rapidly, and towards the end it was as if Kazuo just didn’t care about the art anymore.

Story wise, so far it’s rather disappointing, as in there doesn’t appear to be a story. In this first volume we get a standalone case, and the start of another case, but there’s no hint of connection or undercurrents. For me, this is again a big flaw, i don’t mind individual cases so long as there’s some sort of connection or interesting under currents that make it interesting.

Even these two cases we get here just don’t have any sort of depth to them. The first is the worst, with plot holes so big you could drive a 10tonne lorry through them. The ending was so predictable and easy to figure out that there’s no need to read it through.

The second is slightly better, but again just doesn’t really have any sort of interesting element to keep the reader hooked. I’ve read it through twice now, and still feel like the story should have more depth and body to it.

Now, granted this is only the first volume and it could become the greatest manga ever made. however for me the first volume is the clincher, if it doesn’t grab me i won’t follow it any more. So for me this is one dropped.

Kodansha did a okay job with the editing, but they’ve got the experience to pull on. They did a good job on the SFX and the choice of fonts. the translations aren’t that great though, at times they don’t really flow very well. I was hoping that they would be a more faithful publisher, since they’re from Japan originally, but sadly they seem to be hopping onto the over westernisation of release prevalent in a lot of the western publishers, such as Viz. They sadly seem to have ignored the lessons learnt and implemented by Del Rey, whom they crippled.

2 Responses

  1. I did the same thing you did; Phoenix Wright sit on my shelf for ages, and when I finally read it, I felt the same way you did. I really didn’t grab me. I was looking for a good, straight mystery series, and hoped it could fill that hole in my manga reading, but it just didn’t hold up.

  2. Ryu Sheng says:

    Have to admit i’m tempted to pick up the next couple of volumes just to see if it gets better, but i also don’t want to cause i figure it wont >.<