Annotated Anime: Wizard Barristers, Ep. 4


You mean, sometimes lawyers defend guilty people?

After last week's logic-free affair, this was a pretty good episode of anime. Characters who had been lingering in the background until now got to distinguish themselves by doing interesting stuff, concerns actually relevant to the real-world criminal justice system were discussed, and the larger plot about Cecil's destiny is moving forward at a good clip. On the other hand, our alleged prodigy's level of idiocy reaches dizzying new heights. I wonder if there's some kind of inverse relationship there, where the more entertaining the show is overall, the dumber Cecil has to be. This episode was pretty solid, so our favorite badly-dressed barrister is dumber than a bag of rocks this week.

I will continue charting this correlation as the show goes on; expect a full report, complete with graphs, at the end of the season. As the world's foremost scholar on Wizard Barristers, I take my duties very seriously-- unlike, you know, Cecil. Who only just now learned that lawyers sometimes have to defend bad people. I don't know how they do things in your native Ottawa, Cecil, but here in Wizard-Japan, lawyers defend all kinds.

Serious meeting

Rei: "Yes, my brother is accused of murdering 15 people. Given the severity of these charges, I would like for him to be represented by a lawyer who doesn't wear silly butterflies in her hair like a little girl, or dress like a colorblind tramp."

Ageha: "I think you may have come to the wrong place."

This one starts off with Quinn and Stabler trying to subdue a Wizard murder suspect, as they do with surprising frequency. Quinn is prepared to kill the suspect (since he's flying around and wrecking shit and generally making a nuisance of himself), but a sudden gust of wind messes up her shot and Stabler manages to subdue the suspect in a non-lethal manner. So the two score yet another arrest, but Quinn knows something is fishy with the wind throwing her shot. Fortunately (and it's pretty rare that I can say this), this will all make sense by the end of the episode.

With the suspect, Tsukuji, in custody, his twin brother Rei pays a visit to Butterfly Law and asks Ageha to take on his brother's case. Cecil is flummoxed, because she doesn't understand the concept of defending a client who's actually guilty. Um, Cecil? Did you really study law all this time under the assumption that only innocent, pure-hearted people get legal representation? Hey, I'm not saying she has to be happy to defend Tsukuji, but the fact that defending a bad person is an alien concept to her is a stretch.

Cecil and friends go and see the suspect in prison, where he recounts in disturbing detail how he pulled the fingernails off one of his victims and then gutted her in her bath tub. Wow, that was surprisingly vivid and disturbing, Wizard Barristers. Let's not do that again, you aren't actually Law and Order: SVU. Tsukuji then asks to get a better look at Cecil's hair ornaments, and because she's a moron this week, Cecil actually leans right up against the glass and let's him check her out. Great idea, legal genius.

dat tongue

But all is not as it seems! Tsukiji has Dissociative Identity Disorder, which means he has multiple personalities that aren't conscious of one another. So there's a perfectly nice, non-psychopath Tsukiji in there, who in theory isn't responsible for Psycho-Tsukiji's crimes, since he has no knowledge of or involvement in them. Ageha arranges to have Tsukiji undergo a psych evaluation, hoping a diagnosis of DID will lead to a lighter sentence. Which is all well and good but...wouldn't they normally do a psyche evaluation on someone who killed 15 people anyway? Oh well, maybe she requested a special DID-focused eval.

Sidebar: DID, known alternately as Multiple Personality Disorder, is very controversial in real life, with some psychiatrists being of the opinion that it doesn't exist and patients pretend they have it to either get attention or avoid punishment. I've never studied psychiatry, but my layman's understanding is that there's a consensus of opinion that some degree of multiple-personality disorder is a real phenomenon, but the causes and extremity of it are open for debate. For example, some doctors would buy that Tsukiji could have multiple personalities, but the idea that the personalities have no knowledge of each other (and are thus like two different souls in the same body) would be rejected by many as a convenient lie.

To the show's credit, different characters show different levels of skepticism towards the idea that Tsukiji has DID; it's not accepted at face value. Ageha is all for it, but they've established Ageha as someone who will do whatever she needs to do to win a case, so her actions are in-character.

condiment hell

What is it with anime girls and stupid eating habits? Ketchup and whipped cream, together? Moyo is a lunch felon and should be in condiment jail-- and also she's a demon, but wait ten minutes on that one.

The Butterfly girls go to their favorite greasy spoon to discuss the case, where the normally pervy Sasori points out that even if a psychiatrist confirms a diagnosis of DID, that doesn't mean the court will accept it. I felt compelled to draw attention to that line, because that might be the most sensible thing anyone has ever said on this show to date. Question: Who the hell is the short-haired blonde chick? Four episodes in, I have no idea who she is. She's just kind of there.

The team is in luck when the psyche evaluation confirms the diagnosis, and Super Judge actually accepts it-- lowering Tsukiji's sentence from death to life-in-prison. I would call shenanigans on stuffy Super Judge accepting such a shaky defense, but remember: Tsukiji is on trial for killing Wizards, and everyone apparently hates Wizards. Maybe Super Judge thinks Tsukiji did the world a favor and is inclined to rule leniently. If the dude had killed 15 humans, you can bet he'd be right next to Cecil's mommy on Death Row.

So, case closed, and another victory for Butterfly Law...or is it? Because Tsukiji, while supposedly manifesting his "good" personality, repeats something about Cecil's hair thingies that his "bad" personality learned, meaning he doesn't really have DID and it was all an act. Because, again, and I really can't say this enough, Cecil is the biggest moron the world has ever seen this week, she agrees to meet Rei somewhere to discuss this. Alone. In what looks like an abandoned warehouse.

Like, how did that conversation go down? "Hi, Rei? I'd like to talk to you about the fact that your brother's psychological condition was a total act, and he should get the chair for his crimes." "Oh, how nice to hear from you, Cecil. Here, I'll give you an address where we can meet and discuss this in private-- and wear sensible shoes, there's a lot of concrete."

Brilliant plan, Cecilun

Of course it turns out that Rei is evil and the object of the whole murderous exercise was to get to Cecil, because EVERYTHING IS ABOUT CECIL, always. It's like she's Elena from The Vampire Diaries, but she doesn't have Nina Dobrev's awesome charisma to make that even slightly bearable. Anyway, Cecil can't summon her Diaboloid, and for a moment I thought there was going to be an awesome revelation that the warehouse was all made out of plastic and it was just like Magneto's "Plastic Prison!" from the first X-Men movie, but no, apparently there's just some general anti-Cecil magic field going on. You know, you'd think there would have been some easier way to get to Cecil than to murder 15 unrelated people, but what do I know? I'm not a lawyer.

Fortunately for Cecil, we learn that Sasori isn't useless and is in fact a talented seer; she can tell, through tarot card divination, that Cecil is in trouble and let's everyone know about it immediately. Apparently Sasori's predictions are always correct, and given Sasori's personality, she's probably constantly predicting which associates are going to bang each other-- which is irrelevant, but I'm just putting that out there. If you watch this show, you know I'm right.

So Hachiya, Ageha, and the whole crew descend upon the Plastic(?) Warehouse of Doom to save Cecil, only something unexpected happens: Rei freaks out at the sight of Moyo, who sports some pretty badass glowing red eyes when no one is looking. Obviously Rei is scared shitless of her, and it's pretty clear that our charming Moyoyon isn't just a paralegal. She's probably a demon or something. I thought that "Go To Hell" logo on the back of her jacket was meant to be a fashion statement, but maybe it's just directions to her house.



Of course, since EVERYTHING IS ABOUT CECIL, Cecil herself has to save the day by developing yet another superpower: sand magic. She uses her new powers to neutralize Rei, and Quinn is on hand, sans partner, to arrest the SOB. Can we just skip the parts where Cecil awakens to her power over every single element individually, and have her proclaimed Mistress of All Elements right now? It would be faster.

New day, new powers

Cecil has power over sand/earth now. Coming soon: water, wind, holy, dark and heart. YES heart is a real power.

But wait, there's more! This episode just keeps on giving! We see Rei and Tsukiji in jail and who's revealed to be their mastermind but Stabler, Quinn's supposedly-human partner! Apparently Stabler is all about forcing Cecil to develop her powers, so he's probably in cahoots with the Shark Law people to prepare her to become their queen/virgin sacrifice/whatever. See, now the bit with the wind magic from the very beginning of the episode makes sense, because Stabler's probably a WUD who's just been pretending to be human this whole time; I wonder if magic shows up in regular urine samples? I guess not.

But more importantly, NO, NOT STABLER! I trusted you!


Maybe I'll have to learn his actual name now? Nah he's still Stabler; an Evil Stabler.

Also, in lieu of absolutely nothing, Cecil drowns Bon in the bathtub for no reason at all. She is now a murderer and deserves the chair. I can only hope next episode will feature Cecil defending herself for the heinous crime of murdering Norio Wakamoto, using the defense that her stupidity is so all-encompassing, it's a kind of insanity all it's own. For once, her fashion sense will be an asset to her case.



[You can demand justice for Bon on Crunchyroll]

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Karen Mead
Karen MeadContributor   gamer profile

Hi, I'm a former newspaper journalist who got tired of having a front row seat to the death of print. There probably could be some interesting story there about a disenchanted reporter moving on ... more + disclosures


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