Okayyy I've seen quite a few people on my timeline talking about the aa stage shows and musicals, so here is a thread: ALL ABOUT ACE ATTORNEY STAGE CONTENT based on my limited knowledge according to my digging around in everything I can find because I am desperate.
Let's start this off with the stage plays, because I like them more. There are right now, four stage plays (a fifth that was supposed to air this May but was cancelled for obvious reasons.) For the most part, these are original cases, starring major characters.
The first of the stage plays is Turnabout Spotlight. It has AA1 characters (Phoenix, Maya, Miles, Will Powers) investigating a case that occurs during a stage play (meta!) and kind of dives in to the allure of the stage and how it can corrupt.
... I think. It doesn't have English subs (yet, but very soon there will be... like in a day soon...) so I can't say for sure and probably should have held off on this thread until then? Anyways, you can find it on a common video streaming site that starts with y.
(I am not going to link to anything on here by the way because of the Fear Of Copyright Strikes, but you can find almost all of these easily, on a common video streaming site that starts with y and ends with tube...)
Anyways Turnabout Spotlight has the incident, but also a subplot about Maya considering getting into theater/stage stuff, and also a subplot about this original character girl with a huge crush on Miles, but is super shy so she has her friend impersonate her (it doesn't work.)
The next play released is an adaptation of Farewell, my Turnabout! I... haven't actually watched this one, but to my understanding it's an adaptation of that case with a few differences on account of it being a play and not having the context of the entire JFA game.
That's all I'll say on that. The next play is Turnabout Teleportation, which is a play based on the Investigations characters; the characters that show up in this are Miles, Kay, Gumshoe, Larry... tragically Oldbag. Oldbag shows up in ALL of these and it SUCKS.
Similarly to Turnabout Spotlight, it is pretty much an original case, though it was reportedly based on a scrapped case for the second investigations game. There's a murder discovered during the dress rehearsal of a show, presumably involving... teleportation?
Miles doesn't believe that and sets out to discover how the murder was actually committed - it focuses more as a "howdunnit" than "whodunnit" mystery. And this is also a stage play that has English subtitles on a certain streaming site, so if you can read this, you can watch it!
And the last released stage play is Turnabout Gold Medal, which is basically... the lawyer Olympics. This is a different company than the one who did the other three musicals (I believe?) so all the actors are different and the... general vibe is kind of different too.
This one is fun because it has lots of weird stuff in it: virtual reality animatronics, rap battles, dance battles. How any of these have anything to do with lawyer olympics, I don't know, and I don't care, because they're lots of fun.
This one for the most part has the trilogy cast: Phoenix, Maya, Miles, Franziska, Godot, Larry... Oldbag again... along with some original characters. This one is NOT available on the usual streaming site, but is on a non-English streaming site if you'll dig enough for it...
The final stage play hasn't been released yet. It's weird because it was announced in April, to air in May, and then didn't because of obvious reasons. It's also just a weird play in general. It's called Turnabout Parallel World... and it's pretty much an alternate reality.
It's very weird. Phoenix goes to an alternate universe, where alternate universe him is accused of being a serial killer. Franziska is a popular idol, Miles is the company's lawyer or something, Oldbag runs the company, Larry's a host, Maya's a fortune teller.
... This AU Maya ends up apparently getting a crush on real world Phoenix. In general, "When Franziska von Karma is a popular idol" seems to be the AA stage play's version of "when pigs fly". It's just supposed to be a WHOLE BUNCH of weird stuff.
It also reportedly contains a lot of trilogy characters that were either the culprits or heavily involved in the crimes, like Dee Vasquez, Furio Tigre, Adrian Andrews, Godot, Redd White, Manfred von Karma... which actually seems like it could be interesting.
Again, this stage play is currently on indefinite hiatus, so who knows if it will just be cancelled? It's like a very weird situation all around, there isn't even any promo art of it, just the actress for Oldbag streaming her playing AA games to fill the time.
Now that the stage plays are done, it's time to turn to (siiiiiigh) the musicals. These musicals are put on by Takarazuka Revue, an all-female theater troupe. As a result, all the male characters are played by women who have trained their voices to sound deeper.
I'm going to whine a lot about the musicals so I want to make it clear that I don't have anything against the troupe or the actresses or the musical quality of the shows themselves. I don't know enough about musical theater to form actual opinions. I DO know about ace attorney.
The musicals. Where to begin with the musicals. Despite being shown only in Japan, the characters have their English names -- supposedly for the "whimsy" of being in a foreign location. So they're all American in this. Which is pretty jarring to hear, honestly.
But I can get behind that. The problem I have is that the characters are just so far removed from the actual ace attorney characters that I find it difficult to accept it as even an adaptation of canon. These are OC's wearing the clothes of AA characters and their names.
The first musical is just called "Gyakuten Saiban: The Truth Reborn". It's VERY loosely based on RFTA plot-wise. It's the only one of the musicals with English subtitles currently on our unknown video streaming site.
Let's start with this: The plot is Phoenix defending his ex-girlfriend, Leona Clyde. She is like a mesh of Edgeworth and Lana Skye. She defended Phoenix in the infamous class trial, and he decided to become a lawyer for her (...) and then one day because of a murder, she left...
... only to reappear being accused of murder. The dialogue is like practically lifted from Turnabout Goodbyes. Her whole existence seems to just be to have a love interest for Phoenix, apparently, though I fail to see why that's necessary at all...
And like. Her being there rewrites Phoenix's ENTIRE backstory. They were apparently dating back in college, so guess what, no Dahlia. Mia never comes up in any of this, either, despite Maya being around (TOTALLY BUTCHERED, btw, she's like a bad caricature of herself.)
Larry gets completely shafted from the class trial. Though Miles does appear in the same role, Phoenix tends to focus more on Leona, given that she's... the female love interest I guess. The actual murder itself is pretty much a carbon copy of Rise from the Ashes, but...
... in contrast to the heart of the sister story in the real RFTA, the "Ema" equivalent doesn't show up until like two thirds of the way in. There's no real forging evidence scandal in there or anything, so Miles' character development is also neglected.
Instead of focusing on family or friendship, two core elements of ace attorney, the musical focuses on its forced female OC who exists just to be Phoenix's love interest, and their love story which rewrites most of the series. At least they have weird dance numbers I can enjoy.
Moving on from that: the second musical is The Truth Reborn 2. Original. And here's the kicker: Leona presumably dies between the last musical and this one. Because what better thing to do with a forced female love interest than kill her offscreen for Phoenix's pain?
This one doesn't have English subtitles so I can't verify that I'm being super accurate. But the first half actually has an interesting concept, I think - Phoenix has to defend his fourth grade teacher, the one who put him on the class trial all those years ago.
... Can't say how it goes because, again, don't know what's going on. The second half of the musical is pretty much just Farewell, my Turnabout. Like before, I don't know how truthful to JFA it is. Judging by the first musical, likely not very.
Miles' "choosing death" subplot doesn't appear to be there or at least not in a major role. He does have a few solos singing about like... what his path should be. Maya gets kidnapped but has no agency. Franziska is there, but she doesn't get a villain solo so what's the point?
(Miles got a villain solo btw in the first musical where six of him were dancing around Phoenix and lifting him up and stuff... it's Something to witness.)
Also... Phoenix's internal struggle is his Sadness At His Girlfriend Dying. He's Sad and there are many songs about how his heart is broken. Then he may have another love interest, but it's kinda hard to tell without knowing what's going on. so much for true love.
The third musical doesn't have Phoenix at all, because it's a Miles focused one. This one makes me the angriest. I will rage about it all day long. Here's the basics: Miles time travels inexplicably (with Larry) back to the time when his father was alive and defending.
But Gregory is corrupt and horrible and forging evidence! Which is just a spit in the face of his character. Manfred von Karma, by the way, doesn't show up and as far as I know isn't mentioned (so Miles' connection with Franziska in the second musical may not have been explored)
So Miles, shocked by his father being horrible, has an entire crisis on the truth. It's also important to know that Miles goes directly up to his father and says "I'M MILES... MILES EDGEWORTH" so, so much for trying to avoid altering timelines or something smh.
There is also (SIIIIIIIIGH) a female love interest for Miles. The... dubiousness of Miles getting together with a woman who was presumably in her twenties before he was even BORN aside, it just makes no sense. who is she. why her. why do you do this, musicals.
There's a lot of weird stuff in this and again I can't vouch for my own accuracy because of translation difficulties. But basically since MvK doesn't come up, I think it turns out that in this DL-6 Miles DID kill his father, or at least he still thinks he does.
There's a creepy nightmare sequence in there where it seems like he does, and if anyone who can understand Japanese wants to check it out and let me know if that's how DL-6 presumably goes, that would actually be super great because it's been bugging me.
Also Miles' Big Character Moment at the end of the musical when he decides to face his father and pursue the truth has him in...... his bratworth suit. Which is pretty much the EXACT OPPOSITE of what they're going for. I get big costume changes to signify character growth...
... but anyone who knows about Miles and his character arc should be able to point that out and go "hey??? hey????????" because that's just a character regression, honestly... (oops another limit hang on)
almost done I swear. So the romance angle is so weird. And the way they portray Miles in it I can't even really believe. Do you mean to tell me Miles would EVER look like this hugging anyone, much less a woman? Am I supposed to believe that, musicals?
If you're going to watch the musicals, just skip to the end where they have the weird flamboyant dance scenes because honestly they're the best parts of the whole thing. It's completely nonsensical, but at least it won't make you angry like it made me angry!
Anyways that's all I have to say on the stage shows, take the information on the non-translated ones with a grain of salt. I hope this helps some people learn a little more about them? I'm constantly grasping for AA content so I will watch these even though the musicals suck.
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