Friday, August 19, 2016

Gyakuten Saiban Blog Entry 11: Every Meeting Is Fleeting Yet Precious (1) (2001)

Title: Every Meeting Is Fleeting Yet Precious (1) / 「一期一会 (1)」
Source: Gyakuten Saiban official site (down)

Summary: In the eleventh blog post for the original Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney 1 GBA) for the Game Boy Advance, Takumi looks back at the official disbandment of the Gyakuten Saiban development team and decides to take a look at all of the members in the team who contributed to the game. Which he can do, because it was a very, very small team. He first starts off with the graphics team, consisting of Suekane Kumiko and Iwamoto Tatsurō. Suekane left Capcom some time after this game, but is still known for having a big influence on the characters in the game, not just visually, but also in terms of their story background. Iwamoto would stay on as a designer for both the Gyakuten Saiban series and the Gyakuten Kenji (Ace Attorney Investigations) series. This interview with Suekane is definitely also recommend material to read with this blog entry.

Every Meeting Is Fleeting Yet Precious (1)

June 29, 2001. Somewhere in Umeda, Osaka, there was a little party. Nine participants, including the producer and the division chief.

It was this team that managed to complete Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney GBA). The ideas and opinions of everyone reside within everything that makes up this game, and I still remember each and every word of what they said (of course, I don’t remember the things I don’t want to remember.) If there had been different team members, Gyakuten Saiban would have turned out very differently.

In my mind, this game is basically all I had imagined it to be. This is the first time this has ever happened to me. This might be the only time I will experience this in my life. That is why I am very grateful to everyone. I really, really want to thank all of you.

…After the party ended that day, the Gyakuten Saiban team was disbanded.

Well. As this is a special occasion, I want to introduce all of you to this wonderful gang. There are few of them anyway. You could read this while looking at the credit roll.

Let me first introduce you to the people behind the character designs and the graphics. Ms. Suekane, who is the only member of the fair sex in the Gyakuten team, and Tatsurō. These two made all of the graphical assets for the game.

I especially can’t describe in words how much Ms. Suakane helped me with the backgrounds of the characters. Her biggest achievement is Mitsurugi Reiji (Miles Edgeworth). The Mitsurugi I had originally envisioned, was a forty-year old guy. He was a beat-down Dracula. It was she who made Mitsurugi young and placed him firmly in the position of Naruhodo (Phoenix Wright)’s rival. That alone is definitely worthy of a special decoration placing her in the top 3. …You dodged a bullet there, Mitsurugi.

“A cute spirit medium, and her sister.”
“A hero called Tonosaman (The Steel Samurai)”

… If she hadn’t been there to work from these dry descriptions of mine and give birth to characters that managed to capture the hearts of people, we never could have made Gyakuten Saiban.

Tatsurō is new in the company, and this game is his worthy debut. There is nobody who comes even close to him when it comes to drawing middle-aged men. Throwing toupées and making their rings spark and sweating and snapping their fingers… he showed off his immense talents there. The idea with the toupée in particular has grown out to become an iconic moment for the whole game, and I’m a bit jealous of that. That alone is definitely worthy of a special decoration placing him in the top 3.

In general, I’d say I’m very bad at writing “characters.” These two however really helped by looking after that. It was a difficult battle though, lectured by Ms. Suekane, being frowned at by Tatsurō…. But the conclusion is that they were right on every aspect.

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