It won't come as a surprise to many of you, but I'm actually a big appreciator of "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic." As both a critic and, generally speaking, a fan of animation in all of its incarnations throughout the history of cinema and other media, I do find that particular show to be a satisfyingly well-written, above-average cartoon that also manages to present itself charmingly with its flash-based technique.
Now, admittedly, I'm not all that familiar about the "Ace Attorney" series (aside from its obvious memes and the fact that the greatest director alive has made a movie out of it
), but even I could see that merging a mystery murder/courthouse thriller franchise smitten in appealing over-the-top anime easthetics with a colourful fantasy environment that features magic mini-horses and occasional "Escape from New York" cosplay numbers
, might not be the best idea ever. Surprisingly, this particular brand of YouTube madness (titled "Turnabout Storm"), seems to pull out a fairly appealing (and hilarious) mash-up/visual fanfiction out its befuddling premise.
Don't worry, you won't be seeing this pony version
Basically, Phoenix Wright is summoned to Equestria in order to act as Rainbow Dash's attorney for her upcoming murder trial - actual comedy and gripping storyline ensue.
It's funny because that's how many fans might have felt about this existing...
It's rather baffling at first seeing the Ace Attorney himself interact with all your favourite ponies from the show, but it's undeniable the genuine production value this project has managed to put together. All characters are fully voiced with a certain amount of capability (all the ponies do sound like their actual actresses, for that matter) and the chemistry between all them works shockingly well. On that regard, it's especially fun watching Phoenix having to deal with Pinkie Pie's exuberant zaniness, or having him cross-examine little Applebloom during the actual trial - to name a few.
Classy, real classy...
Speaking of which, the story itself is reasonably good, with the investigative style of the "Ace Attorney" games applied to the inhabitants of Ponyville and the local laws of physics - which make for an entertaining experience to say the least. The jokes are generally jaw-breaking and the thrilling murder mystery itself makes perfect sense in the specific context of the animated show.
"Ace Attorney" fans may find themselves a bit irritated when the pony-version of a certain beloved character appears in the story, but other than that, this crossover is good enought to get non-fans of the Capcom's franchise actually interested in it - at least, it worked on me.
With three episodes (out of four) released as of now, each with an average length between 40 minutes and one whole hour, there is some fun to be had. By the time you reach the terrific twist at the end of episode two, you might be completely enthralled by this little web-xtravaganza.
You can find the show here.
Next time, I shall take a look at another fascinating crossover. A CGI one, no less.