Retro Review: Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations (Volume 2)

Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations volume two is the second installment in the Ace Attorney series that features the new detective/prosecutor/know-it-all Miles Edgeworth. This entry is exactly what you would expect from the manga, visually and from a story telling standpoint. The investigations are wide-open and intriguing, but how does it stack up in comparison to Volume One?

Content

Naturally, volume two of Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations starts out with Dick Gumshoe bursting onto the scene of a hostage standoff that began after a suspect stole some valuable gems and fled in a getaway car only to be pursued by a police officer. In short, the police officer is dealt a wound while the kidnapper is fatally injured, and the hostage is safe and sound. Unfortunately for Miles Edgeworth and Co., the investigation isn’t that cut and dry.

The great thing about this particular episode, which is aptly named The Turnabout Bullet, is that it hits the ground running and gets readers into the plot quickly, keeping them on the edge of their seats and turning the page to find out what’s to happen next. The action is kept at a pace so brisk that pulls readers in and makes them wonder exactly how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together. This episode is broken up into several different parts and takes up a good portion of the book itself. The storyline, albeit not original, did enough to keep us entertained all the way through the investigation — and that is usually pretty tough to do.

The second episode of the novel is called The Turnabout Museum. The story starts off with Edgeworth picking up a world-renowned art scholar, named Amadeus Seal, from the airport. Upon his arrival, Edgeworth takes the scholar to a nearby museum in order to view a painting oddly dubbed “Officers”. Sure enough, Dick Gumshoe is already at the establishment when they show up, and is in the company of several museum workers who are considerably worried about a group of art thieves known as “The Handsome Gentleman Thieves”. Essentially, the employees are concerned that the group is planning on stealing the “Officers” painting, thus providing the reason why they’ve enlisted the help of Dick Gumshoe in the first place. Of course, in the end the painting gets stolen and the security officer in charge of guarding it winds up murdered. The twists in this particular episode are very well-written, actually — considerably more so than those in The Turnabout Bullet. Consequently, readers will regularly second-guess themselves about what has happened and who is responsible for it, creating a fun reading experience that feels interactive and genuinely exciting.

Characters

If there was ever any doubt about what role Dick Gumshoe plays in these stories, besides that of the bumbling, idiot sidekick, then it was put to rest in these two episodes. It’s sad to think that the majority of readers are actually better at Dick’s job than he himself is, but why this ultimately is forgivable is due to the fact that he makes Miles Edgeworth shine brighter as a character. Therefore, it’s important to understand that Gumshoe’s role in these episodes isn’t to solve any cases per se, but rather to be a perfect counter to the intelligence of Edgeworth. As a result, his comedic relief is actually warranted and appreciated at times, as it simply integrates a fun dynamic that would probably be missing if he weren’t around.

The other characters in the two episodes are developed well and support the stories tremendously. Kenji Kuroda does a fantastic job once again with this manga in terms of putting certain characters out there and forcing readers to feel one way or another about them. Moreover, he has an uncanny ability to connect readers to his characters, getting them to think about the cast and their individual stories with a type of critical eye, which is fantastic given the mystery and problem-solving elements of the Ace Attorney series. It just goes to show that strong character development and interaction can lead to great stories, and even though the characters in these two episodes specifically are developed in a very short time span, they have are developed with a excellent impact nonetheless.

Adaptation

Much like the first volume of the Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations, the translation is very well done. If there is an item that doesn’t translate well, there is a glossary in the back of the book that explains what it actually is. The verbiage can be a little weird sometimes, though, so be mindful of that. Additionally, and just like I talked about in my review of the first volume, there are moments when the reader will undoubtedly question if what is written is actually translated correctly, mainly because some of the verbiage can be quite childish. Other than those minor qualms, however, the story is well translated on the whole, and because of this, the reader will rarely feel confused.

Visuals

The visuals overall are what one would expect from an Ace Attorney manga drawn by Kazuo Maekawa. Maekawa again does a great job of accentuating details, which really allows readers to “see for themselves” if you will. Also, he does a good job of capturing emotion on the characters’ faces during key events; although, a couple of times the dialog does not jive exceptionally well with the look of the characters in a certain frame.

Closing Comments:

Overall, Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations volume two offers a pair of great investigations that will keep readers intrigued and entertained from front to back. It’s a step up from volume one in a big way and flat out contains better stories. Although its dialog lacks refinement at times, it’s nonetheless a great manga and deserves to be recognized for it. If you’re looking for a read that will keep you flipping pages, then Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations volume two is definitely on the list of ones to grab.
score35
Publisher: Kodansha Comics