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Hakari Mikagami is a judge and a member of the Prosecutorial Investigation Committee. She is tasked with observing the movements of prosecutors in order to determine who is unfit for the task, an activity the Committee calls the "Prosecutor Purge". Miles Edgeworth was one such prosecutor under evaluation; Mikagami attempted several times to replace him with Yumihiko Ichiyanagi, son of former Chief Prosecutor and head of the Committee Bansai Ichiyanagi. Following the death of her cousin Ami Aizawa, she adopted Ami's son Shimon as her own.
A cousin lost, a son adoptedEdit
- Main article: SS-5 Incident
Mikagami had a cousin, Ami Aizawa, with whom she was very close. As a Zheng Fa diplomat, Ami started a secretive relationship with Zheng Fa's president Teikun Ō, resulting in the birth of Shimon Aizawa. Ami eventually gave up her job as a diplomat and began working at the Happy Family Home orphanage. One night, Ami requested that Ō meet his then 1-year old son at the orphanage. However, the meeting never came to pass. Instead, the president was kidnapped, and a witness, Ryūji Kamei, was murdered. It was later revealed that the president was actually assassinated and that the president that returned was a body double who had been co-conspiring with the orphanage's owner and a corrupt chief prosecutor, though Ami, Mikagami, and the rest of the world were left completely in the dark of this fact.
Kamei's girlfriend, defense attorney Tsubasa Kagome, sought revenge and suspected Chief Prosecutor Bansai Ichiyanagi, who was in charge of the murder investigation, of being involved in the incident. Kamei had been following Ichiyangi's illegal activities (including fabricating evidence and selling evidence from past cases in black market auctions), and it was possible that he had been silenced. Mikagami, who was a friend of Kagome's, agreed to help her, and eventually both of them made it into the Prosecutorial Investigation Committee (P.I.C.), which Ichiyanagi chaired after leaving his post as Chief Prosecutor.
In 2014, Ami died, and Mikagami adopted Shimon as her own son. Shimon became the source of her strength during her time at the P.I.C., trying to find anything she could use to expose Ichiyanagi's corruption.
- Main article: The Imprisoned Turnabout
In March 2019, the P.I.C. sent Mikagami to a prison where inmate Manosuke Naitō had been murdered. Days earlier, prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, during an investigation, had entered the private plane of the president of Zheng Fa and ordered a search of president's staff. This had resulted in Naitō's arrest for murdering the bodyguard Gai Tojiro. Mikagami told Edgeworth that the P.I.C. considered his actions an unacceptable overstepping of his authority, and intended to transfer his investigative authority over Naitō's murder case to Yumihiko Ichiyanagi, son of Bansai Ichiyanagi. However, the P.I.C.'s true goal was to cover up the events surrounding Tojiro's death and blame Naitō for an assassination attempt on the president.
Mikagami's ideals of upholding the law clashed with Edgeworth's ideals of finding the truth regardless of what any law or authority said. Mikagami repeatedly threatened to relieve Edgeworth of his prosecutor's badge, but Edgeworth continued to investigate under Naitō's intended defense attorney, Tateyuki Shigaraki. Mikagami argued that Sōta Sarushiro, a friend of Naitō's, was the only person with the opportunity to murder him. However, Edgeworth eventually exposed Marī Miwa, the prison warden, as the real killer instead.
Conclusion of a cold caseEdit
- Main article: The Inherited Turnabout
Days later, Mikagami and Yumihiko were sent to investigate the attempted murder of Yutaka Kazami, where they once again encountered Edgeworth and Shigaraki. Mikagami again tried to get rid of the two, but Edgeworth was a witness to the crime and continued to prove useful to the investigation. This matter was settled when the body of Isaku Hyōdō / Paul Holic, the victim of the IS-7 Incident (which had occurred 18 years prior), reappeared. This revealed a connection between the case at hand and the murder that had been the subject of the last trial of Gregory Edgeworth, Miles's father and Shigaraki's mentor. It also revealed a conspiracy to cover up the fact that the body had never been found until then.
The P.I.C. began to meddle again and had Mikagami try to indict Tsukasa Oyashiki for both the IS-7 Incident and the attempted poisoning. In the end, she was only indicted for the latter, as she had done so to expose the true criminal of the IS-7 Incident. Kazami was indicted for the crime that he had committed 18 years ago. Mikagami warned Miles Edgeworth that the P.I.C. was planning on holding a hearing to try to get rid of him.
On the night of April 4, Mikagami entered the P.I.C. meeting room to retrieve documents on the IS-7 Incident. She found that Bansai had manipulated the case, but she still needed a good opportunity to make this known. Later, she met with President Ō at the top of the Big Tower. She brought him a bouquet of lion lilies, the flowers that he had given to Ami when they had first met, as proof that she knew about Shimon. Suddenly, the president heard something and told Mikagami to leave ahead of him, which she did.
Tsubasa Kagome's murderEdit
- Main article: The Forgotten Turnabout
The next day, Kagome was found dead, and Bansai tried to arrest Kay Faraday for her murder. This was the last straw for Edgeworth, and he relinquished his badge, saying that his title meant nothing to him if it would get in the way of finding the truth. Mikagami played along with Bansai's indictment, but she began to realize that Edgeworth was dead serious about his convictions. Edgeworth was eventually arrested for aiding Faraday and continuing to investigate. Meanwhile, Mikagami checked up on Shimon, who was playing a lead role for the movie The Great Monster Borumosu vs Gourdy. Shimon told her that he was at his hotel room.
Mikagami visited Edgeworth at the detention center the next day and realized that he was essentially doing the same thing that she was doing: fighting the authority that sought to obfuscate the truth and deny justice. Edgeworth used his hearing later that day to launch an accusation on Bansai as the real killer and the conductor of a black market auction of police evidence. Mikagami subtly helped Edgeworth by letting witnesses speak when Bansai tried to shut them down. She claimed that she was merely trying to destroy every possibility so that Edgeworth would never oppose the P.I.C. again. Eventually, however, she turned on Bansai and revealed her findings on the IS-7 Incident. This helped Edgeworth prove Bansai's guilt.
- Main article: The Grand Turnabout
Bansai was not done yet, however. He had his lackeys kidnap Shimon to blackmail Mikagami into acquitting Miwa. Edgeworth learned of this and located Shimon while Mikagami stalled the trial. Yumihiko prosecuted the trial and confronted his father after a connection was found between him and Miwa. This led to the trial ending with Miwa on the way to a conviction.
Immediately after the trial, Interpol agent Shi-Long Lang took Mikagami and Shimon to the film lot for Shimon's movie, where Teikun Ō's deceased body had been found earlier that day. The president had never returned down the elevator, making Mikagami a suspect. Despite this, Mikagami refused to explain her reasons for meeting with the president. Nonetheless, a connection was made between the president's death and the SS-5 Incident.
In the course of re-investigating the SS-5 Incident, the relationship between Ō and Shimon was revealed. It was also found that the president had really been killed by the assassin Ryōken Hōinbō during the SS-5 Incident, and replaced by a body double. This information led to the finding that Sōta Sarushiro had killed the body double and orchestrated the murders of Naitō and Kagome. Afterward, Hōinbō arrived to protect Sarushiro from another assassin, then offered Shimon an opportunity to exact his revenge. Shimon refused, saying that doing so would only satisfy him while hurting his mother. Mikagami later gave Edgeworth his badge back after he decided on his own path of saving people by confronting the contradictions in the law. Shimon later bought three lion lilies; two in memory of his birth parents, with the final one representing Mikagami, his adoptive parent.
Mikagami is remarkably well-spoken, polite, and calm, but also formidable and with a strong sense of justice. When challenged, she is a fierce and extremely calculating rival, able to adapt her theories easily to new evidence. She has an almost religious devotion to the law, often referring to the "Goddess of Law" and using many religious phrases. She is very protective of her son, and carries an assortment of photos from his acting career on her person.
Mikagami believed that emotions were a weakness and not befitting a judge, who had to be impartial. She used her stoic persona as a shield to protect her. However, this persona fell away when it came to protecting Shimon, which caused her to change her personality dramatically. She came to learn that emotions and personal bonds are not weaknesses, but sources of strength.
- Hakari (秤) means "scale", which reflects her career as a judge. It is also similar in pronunciation to "hikari" (光), which means "light."
- "Mikagami" comes from "kami gami" (神々), which means "[the] gods", as well as "kagami" (鏡), meaning "mirror" - a symbol of god-like wisdom in Japanese mythology and the basis for the badges that judges wear in Japan.
- Mikagami's English name in the fan translation is "Justine Courtney", likely intended as a play on "justice" and "court", as well as "court of justice", all reflecting her position as a judge.
- Instead of "Objection!", Mikagami uses "Overruled!" (却下!, "Kyakka!").
- Mikagami is a remarkably polite person, using "watakushi", the most polite Japanese first-person pronoun, and mainly using the "-sama" particle to address others.
- To date, Mikagami is the only female judge to appear in the Ace Attorney series, as well as one of only three judges to have a known name (with Hart Vortex and Seishirou Jigoku from Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken and Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Kakugo being the other examples).