This covered the first trial and second investigation entirely, which was interesting. I've been curious how the anime planned to really snap down on the pacing for this series when they had so much to go through. This episode seems to suggest that it will largely involve shaving down less important areas, notably the witness-only trials. A lot of contradictions were cut out of the April May testimony to focus in on the main point, and it got the point across decently; they skipped things like "you'd focus on what she was wearing" and "she ran to the right, no, the left" and the like to mostly focus on the clock and the wiretap. I'd have liked April May to get some more time as a whole but I understand her screentime being cut since she's not really much of an important character otherwise. The bellboy didn't actually appear in trial at all but he got in a cameo long enough to give the information of who was with May and to have a face, voice, and even quick titlecard, so hey props for sneaking in the nameless character. The investigation cut a lot of fat, too, and narrowed in largely on finding Redd White once Grossberg told Phoenix his deal. It feels weird watching this stuff go by so quickly with the games in mind but I guess it does make most sense to ignore the process and focus on the set pieces.
So with character interpretation thus far:
Phoenix is consistent with himself in the show still. Not exactly the Phoenix from the games but a good enough interpretation, and an effective and enjoyable protagonist. I enjoy his moments of sass a lot, like when he mimics Redd White's Engrish when accusing him. Nothing else too new to report on here. It's funny having a protagonist mostly smarter than the game version now that a player doesn't have to figure things out, though.
Miles may be even more smug than in the games and I kinda love it. He still updated that autopsy report like a champion and was a total asshole the whole trial and I loved it. His voice actor is quickly growing on me, too. Also his reaction to Maya's phone was gold. It took his already funny upset sprite and added to it; his face while threatening Gumshoe was amazing.
Gumshoe probably won't get much screen time until Samurai at the earliest but he's still mostly in character. He bumbles on the stand, is confused about arresting Phoenix, etc. Pretty much just Gumshoe, really. I like that he reacted as if physically hurt by the Objection.
Maya is my MVP of the show still and she showed off a bit of her energetic and teasing side we'll be expecting to see more of. She's probably cuter and maybe even nicer than game Maya but she's still bubbly and supportive and sassy so I'm happy. She also just straight up shouted HOLD IT in court to point out a contradiction and that's actually pretty badass by Maya standards. This show has been doing her a lot of favors and I'm definitely enjoying it.
Mia is still dead.
April May got far less relevance than in the game but also served her entire purpose to the plot much quicker and still went through her main gimmicks. She impresses the male audience, is warned not to wink wantonly, is super innocent and cute, and then snaps and is terrifying. GG on the terrifying bit, by the way, her face is a bit scarier in the games what with the semi-realism the first game's art had but her acting is basically perfect. April got snubbed of relevance in the show but her personality is intact and she served her purpose. She was effective.
The Bellboy, as previously mentioned, essentially cameo'd rather than made a full appearance. He acted a little jealous of Redd and gave the required information and then wasn't seen again. He's really not a relevant character like...at all, so him not getting screen time was expected, but I'm glad they at least threw him in with a title card to at least cover their bases and leave no character unacknowledged. In a race for time I'm glad they're at least stopping to address what they can.
And Redd White oh my goodness. I guess his original gimmick must have been a lot of English phrases because every other thing he says is the brokenest Engrish and it's great. The actor totally doesn't know how to say these words and it kinda makes it better, I love it. "WHAT'S THE MATTAH?" It's great. His introduction is rushed but his personality is so fun that I can't help but love it. He pretty much fits his character in the game past localization quirks and the lighting in his room actually does a good job at making him a bit more threatening in spite of his silliness. I'm excited for the next episode, which will likely focus on his trial portion, where we'll get to see a lot more of him.
Disappointments with the episode, the animation's no better than before and there's not really any particularly visually impressive bits this episode to contrast that. The witnesses definitely got less time than they could have had, and Redd was introduced too quickly. And Redd never punched Phoenix in the face which is sad because that'd be hilarious but in fairness it was out of the blue in the games anyway. Countered by the inclusion of the updated autopsy report, though, because there'd be a riot if that was cut. Or a celebration. Not sure.
Anyway while it wasn't as good as episode 2 I enjoyed the episode. I think it's an important point of reference for how the pacing will have to be at times. With such little time and so much to cover, less important bits will involve a lot of abridging to work in the grand scheme of things (Poor Penny will be like 5 seconds of screen time huh). And I think "Ace Attorney Abridged" is the best way to approach the series anyway, as abridging the series to its most memorable setpieces and adding some spice her and there to make up for it seems to largely be what the show is going for. It was an episode to transition point A to point B and it did that fairly well with fun moments to enjoy along the way. Episodes that have time to focus on an aspect definitely look to be the more interesting ones, but AA is fun enough to have something enjoyable even in the "Gotta get through this part" episodes, so I enjoyed it thoroughly.
ALSO TINY MIA AND MAYA OMG