Cult favorite director Takashi Miike’s next action adaptation to screen exclusively at upcoming AM2 Anime Con

The popular Ace Attorney manga and video game comes alive in the live-action feature film Gyakuten saiban, to be screened exclusively at the Anime, Manga and Music event AM2, which takes place from June 15-17, 2012 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Two screenings will be available-one exclusively for Passport holders and the second for Passport holders preferred, with general attendees as seating permits.

First released in 2001 for the Nintendo Game Boy, Ace Attorney was ported for the DS, PC, Wii. With four games in the series, Ace Attorney has sold over 4.2 million copies worldwide. The series has been further popularized and continues to build a new fan base via the advent of spinoff series Ace Prosecutor (gyakuten-kenji in Japanese) to the game appearing on GREE, Japan’s leading social networking service and in comic book form. In 2008, the Tokyo Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra performed a concert based on the game, and the following year, the Takarazuka Revue Company started their live musical performance of the series.

Set in a futuristic, fictional Japan courtroom where “bench trials” have been implemented to fight rising crime, the appealing amusement of Ace Attorney has to be its leading character, hot-blooded, sometimes 4th-down-and-long-Hail-Mary rookie defense lawyer, Phoenix Wright. The speedy storyline, filled with twists and turns of sheer enjoyment, unfolds as Phoenix finds the truth and wins his case. Rising from the ashes when the chips are down, he challenges the court with “evidence” collected through his own investigations and exposes the actual criminals and their pack of lies.

The story structure of Ace Attorney (Gyakuten saiban) is based on the characters and amusing story twists from the first work in the series. Penning the screenplay are none other than the cop and courtroom drama master Takeshi Iida (writer for Shinzanmono and Partners) as well as Sachiko Oguchi (KAIJI 2) who is popular for her fast paced scripts. The director is Cult Cinema Icon Takashi Miike, world-renowned for his talent and the pride of the Japan filmmaking world whose latest works always attract attention. In this film, Miike depicts a heated courtroom battle by evoking his novel visual sense with VFX and CG and his unique “Miike magic” directing of actors from films like the Crows – Episode 0, Crows and Thirteens Assassins. While most films set in courtrooms tend to offer low-key, pedestrian visuals, the courtroom scenes in this film are amazingly attractive for audiences.

Hiroki Narimiya, the talented young actor whose performances in Drop and the TV series Bad Boy & Good Girl resonated with a new generation of young people, plays the hot-blooded, rookie lawyer Phoenix Wright. His childhood friend and ultimate rival Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth is played by Takumi Saitoh (medical TV series Saijo no Meii), a younger actor in the limelight. Extremely popular, teenage actress Mirei Kiritani plays the damsel in distress Maya Fey, a spirit medium in training. Veteran actors from the Japanese film world and regular Miike Takashi film actors including Ryo Ishibashi (Audition, Ju-On The Grudge), Rei Dan (Kabei: Our Mother), Fumiyo Kohinata, Kimiko Yo (Departures), Akira Emoto, round out the cast. Court is in session for this “courtroom battle” entertainment film at theatres nationwide on February 11, 2012.

Ace Attorney takes pace in 20XX, and to prevent the rise of vicious crimes the government introduces “bench trials,” a new justice system where the defense and prosecutor go head-to-head in open court. Within just three days, a guilty or not guilty verdict is decided.

Talented attorney Mia Fey, who shows understanding for her junior lawyer, Phoenix Wright (Hiroki Narimiya), is murdered. Arrested for the murder is her spirit medium in training sister Maya Fey (Mirei Kiritani). Phoenix believes in Maya’s innocence and takes the case where he meets Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth (Takumi Saito), a level-headed, prodigy attorney and childhood friend. An intense courtroom battle unfolds as testimony and evidence are presented.

After the trial, Phoenix receives word that Miles has been arrested for murder! Phoenix steps forward to defend Miles. Opposing council is none other than Miles’s master, legendary prosecutor von Karma (Ryo Ishibashi) who has been undefeated in court for 40 years. As the trial goes on, the 15 year old DL-6 case, where Miles’s father Gregory Edgeworth was shot and killed in the evidence room, is examined closely.

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Check out the Japanese trailer for Ace Attorney, below.