“The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles” was so fun to play from start to finish, and a lot of that was down to the charming cast of major characters – they each brought a bubbly and unique personality to the mix, and they made investigations and trials infinitely more entertaining.
So, I’m going to rank all of the major characters – but what does it mean to be “major”? I’m only going to look at characters who appeared in more than one case (except 2-4 and 2-5, as I count them as one case together), and they have to be common sense picks as main characters (I’m not going to rank recurring witnesses like Mr. Garrideb, or the gang’s pet cat Wagahai … sorry).
This will be a pure ranking from worst to best, so there’ll be no tiers like I usually do. So, with all that out of the way: how would I rank all 15 major Chronicles characters? Disclaimer – there may be SPOILERS ahead.
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15 – Prosecutor Auchi
Prosecutor Auchi is an absolute joke of a prosecutor, and as garbage as Ace Attorney characters get.
I know he’s designed to just be an easy push-over for a first case (once for both games, unfortunately), but he ends up being an eyesore and a huge pain in the backside.
14 – Soseki Natsume
This will come as a shock to every Chronicles fan, since Soseki is always among the “best characters” lists that I’ve seen, but I found him unbearably annoying.
His random outbursts were just too over-the-top for me, and the fact he kept coming back again and again frustrated me to no end. If he had just been the defendant in one case it would have been fine, but he appears in half the bloody cases!
13 – Detective Hosonaga
I didn’t think Detective Hosonaga really qualified as a major character, but since he kept popping up in cases across both games I felt I had to include him.
He’s very vanilla, and his only notable attributes are that he’s reliable and he has an unexplained bloody cough. I suppose they needed a Gumshoe equivalent for the Japan sections, but they could have come up with someone more memorable.
12 – Seishiro Jigoku
Even though I said I would be counting 2-4 and 2-5 together, let’s not forget that Judge Jigoku was the judge for both 1-1 and 2-1 – and I think his link to the overarching plot qualifies him as “major”.
He’s a very commanding presence, and a fun character to have as an ally (…for a while). He got a little cartoonish by the end, and his threat is sort of nullified by the other antagonists in the final two cases, but he was a serviceable enough villain.
Bonus points for being an actually competent judge that isn’t afraid to call out BS from witnesses and pursue the truth.
11 – Old Bailey Judge
Yep, the Old Bailey Judge is better than the Japanese Judge – and he’s also better than the regular judge we get in the mainline games. Fight me.
For once, he’s a judge that actually knows the rulebook and doesn’t look like a complete buffoon, and when he’s in disbelief it actually makes sense for a fully grown man. The more I think about it, the more I realise I don’t particularly like the usual judge from the main games …
10 – Inspector Gregson
Now we get onto the characters that I really liked, and Inspector Gregson was a perfect 19th Century replacement for Gumshoe.
He’s just as wacky and funny as his 21st Century counterpart, and when he becomes more plot relevant later on he turns into a far more interesting character.
9 – Professor Mikotoba
Professor Mikotoba is a very forgettable character for the first 8 cases, as he mainly just serves as a voice of reason during the Japan segments. Also, his relationship with his daughter Susato is a little harsh, but you can tell he cares for her.
That all changes in the final two cases, where it’s revealed that Professor Mikotoba was Sholmes’s iconic case companion all along. Watching them solve a case together was absolutely delightful, and his general helpfulness in the final case made him a true MVP.
8 – Kazuma Asogi
I’m a little on the fence with Kazuma’s character – on the one hand, he’s a fantastic companion and a badass friend, but on the other he’s a pretty standard prosecutor with questionable morals.
Initially, he’s the sort of Mia stand-in up until his untimely “death”, but when he returns as a prosecutor that’s where the problems start. He pales in comparison to van Zieks, and that knocks my appreciation of him down a peg or two. Still a badass though.
7 – Lord Stronghart
The big baddie of the duology, I’d be surprised if someone didn’t figure out that he was the Reaper just from the mere sight of him.
He wears his villainy on his sleeve, though, and as such he’s become one of my favourite Ace Attorney antagonists ever. While it would have been nice to be actually shocked by the final reveal, at least it still packed a punch.
6 – Gina Lestrade
One of the biggest diversions from the source material, I was astounded when this teenage girl was revealed to be this universe’s Lestrade.
Fortunately, Gina gets better with every appearance, and by the end of the game I considered her (and Toby, of course) to be a trusted extension of the core group.
5 – Susato Mikotoba
Chronicles’ version of the plucky assistant … and she may just be the best assistant we’ve ever had (sorry, Maya).
She’s intelligent and capable, and she even gets the spotlight on her from time to time to fully develop her character. While she never truly comes into her own as much as she maybe could have, I enjoyed having her around.
4 – Iris Wilson
Possibly even more so than Sholmes, Iris felt like the smartest character in the whole game – and the fact she was only a child made it even more hilarious.
She’s incredibly insightful for a 10 year old, and she had a much larger bearing on the cases and the legend of Herlock Sholmes than I imagined she would.
3 – Ryunosuke Naruhodo
The protagonist for Chronicles, and he rivals even Phoenix in likeability and screen-presence.
His arc of learning what it means to be a lawyer was one of my favourite Ace Attorney character studies ever, and his aptitude for law and justice made him a worthy hero I could get behind.
2 – Barok van Zieks
With every passing game in the Ace Attorney series you get a prosecutor who’s supposedly the best thing since sliced bread, but van Zieks is the first prosecutor since the original game to make me genuinely believe he’s the best in the land.
He’s one of the most fearsome antagonists we’ve ever had, and his pure hatred of Ryunosuke gave him quite the arc in the final few cases. When I look back on this series in a few years time, he may just rank as the best prosecutor of the bunch.
1 – Herlock Sholmes
The man that single-handedly carried the first game of the duology, it’s not an understatement to say I wouldn’t have made it through the first few cases if not for Sholmes’s glorious antics.
His unique characterisation of the famous great detective was a bit off-putting at first, but it soon became apparent that his childlike whimsy was a stroke of genius from the developers. He fills every scene he’s in with an infectious sense of fun and adventure, and there were countless times where him saving the day made me jump up with glee.
This might be me getting over-excited, but he may just be my favourite character in any of the Ace Attorney games – now I just need an Investigations-style spin-off with him and Mikotoba!
Aaaand that’s my list. You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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