Title: The Origin of Spirit Mediums
Source: Takumi Shū 's Twitter
this tweet) posted on July 22, 2016, Takumi Shū explained how he came up with the idea of using spirit mediums in the series. While the concept had been around since the first game, Takumi only started using it in the second game for the mystery plots and many have wondered why he used spirit mediums, a seemingly non-realistic and non-logical element, in a mystery story. The explanation is surprisingly simple, but also pretty surprising on its own.
In the translation below, each paragraph is a seperate tweet.
Good evening, everyone. I met with Sugimori, who created the music for the first Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney) for the first time in six years, and we had a meal together. We talked about the good old days...but as the years pass by, we all become rounder and less edgy. In both personality and body build... Takumi here.
The anime Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney) is right in the middle of a never-before-seen trial about spirit channeling at the moment. When I made the game, they often asked me: "How did you came up with such a strange trial!?" It's been a while, so I thought I might talk a bit about that.
By the way, I also made a game Ghost Trick, with "the power of the deceased" as its theme (Sugimori also made the music for this game), so a lot of people think I have a fondness for the occult or the spiritual... but I am actually very bad with scary stories.
Anyway. Before I talk about the Spirit Channeling Trial, I need to explain why a spirit medium appears in Gyakuten Saiban in the first place. Actually, when I first plotted the story, there was not even a sign of any spirit mediums there...
The vague idea for Gyakuten Saiban (← it had a different title back then) I first had, was a story about three characters of a law office: a defense attorney (the protagonist), the assistant and the mentor. I wrote that down in my proposal and showed it to my boss back then, and he said one thing.
"Three is too many. Ya can lose one of them." By the way, my boss back then was my great mentor in game creation, and I couldn't even imagine going against his wishes. I didn't even dare question him. So his obedient disciple retreated with his proposal and thought.
"How can I reduce the number of characters without losing the set-up?" And so the obedient disciple came up with the idea of a "spirit medium". If the assistant was a spirit medium, they could just channel the mentor's spirit. A fake reduction of characters! ...I probably just didn't feel like rewriting the whole set-up...
Putting the question of whether the disciple was really obedient or not aside, this is how spirit medium Mayoi (Maya Fey) was born. With this Gyakuten Saiban was complete. But back then, spirit channeling was just one part of the whole story, and I kept it seperate from the mystery plot on purpose.
And why spirit channeling took center stage in the mystery plot in 2 (Ace Attorney 2 - Justice for All)? This has become a long story all in all, so I'll save that for next time. It appears I was able to use my "last trump" again this week.