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|Issei Tenkai||Image Gallery||Sprite Gallery|
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|You did not kill Mr. Hyōdō. ...Can I take your word for it?|
|Yes. That is correct. I did not kill him. No matter what happens, I would never take another person's life.|
|..... (Those aren't the eyes of a liar.) I understand. I believe you.|
Issei Tenkai is a famous pastry chef who was widely considered to be number one in the world in his heyday. Alongside his adoptive daughter Tsukasa Oyashiki, Tenkai hosted a television program titled Dansweets, in which the pair would sing and dance while making confectionery goods. However, all this ended after he was falsely convicted for the so-called IS-7 Incident.
Gain and lossEdit
Tenkai was the heir to the Tenkai Group, a large pharmaceutical company. However, he instead wished to become a pastry chef, which his parents encouraged before their deaths. He achieved this dream and soon became widely regarded as the world's greatest pastry chef. He even had his own television program called Dansweets, which he hosted together with his adoptive daughter Tsukasa Oyashiki, whom Tenkai had found abandoned as a baby in front of his mansion back on a snowy Christmas Eve in 1984. The pair also shared an appreciation for the works of Paul Holic, a French sculptor.
Despite becoming a pastry chef, Tenkai was still the heir to the Tenkai Group. A "recipe book" of experimental drugs not yet available to the general public was left in his care, which included cures for both hypogeusia and ageusia. Knowing that the book was highly sought after, he decided that he would give it to someone he respected. To this end, he held a competition at his mansion to see who was the greatest pastry chef in the world, with the recipe book as the prize. The Tenkai Group disapproved of this and sent Delicy Scone undercover in an attempt to win the contest.
- Main article: IS-7 Incident
The finals of Tenkai's contest were held on Christmas Eve 2000, with only four contestants remaining: Isaku Hyōdō, Yutaka Kazami, Delicy Scone, and himself. Peculiarly, during the semifinals, the entries from Hyōdō and Kazami tasted exactly the same, despite the designs being different. The following day, Tenkai found that Scone's finals entry used inedible props, and confiscated two lamps made of rock salt and stored them in his room. Tenkai then had tea with Oyashiki and Scone at 1:30 p.m. while the other contestants finished their works.
Tenkai prepared a camera for the judging, but curiously, there was not enough film, so he had Oyashiki fetch more. When the judging started at 3:00, Kazami's entry (in contrast to the semifinals) was found to be lacking in both design and taste, while Hyōdō's entry, a set of frozen sherbet sculptures modeled after the zodiac, excelled in both. Disaster struck when Oyashiki found Hyōdō murdered in Tenkai's room, leading to his arrest for the crime. He contacted defense attorney Gregory Edgeworth, who agreed to take his case.
Tenkai's hair turned white from lack of chocolate and the mental stress of the relentless questioning by prosecutor Manfred von Karma. He found the salt beef and stew served in prison completely tasteless. When Edgeworth told him that part of Hyōdō's sculptures was salty for some reason, Tenkai realized that he had a form of hypogeusia that prevented him from tasting salt. Though Edgeworth ensured Tenkai that he would be able to secure an acquittal, Tenkai knew that he would not be around for Oyashiki forever, and told her to live her own life instead of doing everything for his sake.
Edgeworth claimed in court that Hyōdō's body was not under police custody, but had gone missing. However, despite his best efforts, the trial continued for a year due to the police continuing to claim that the body had not gone missing. Tenkai eventually broke when he was told that Oyashiki would be indicted in his place if he did not confess, and he falsely confessed to being an accomplice to the murder. Nonetheless, with the help of detective Tyrell Badd, Edgeworth proved that the confession had been coerced, and although Edgeworth was unable to acquit Tenkai, the trial left von Karma with the only penalty in his career. After his conviction, Tenkai lost the Tenkai Group's support and Oyashiki was kicked out of his mansion by Tenkai's remaining living relatives. The recipe book was also confiscated by the Group.
- Main article: The Inherited Turnabout
In the following 18 years, Tenkai endeared himself to both his guards and fellow prisoners by creating delicious confectionery items for them every day. Although Edgeworth was murdered shortly after the trial, his assistant Tateyuki Shigaraki took over Tenkai's case and visited him regularly. Oyashiki also visited Tenkai every day to bring him chocolate. She became an actress, with the aim of saving up enough money to buy Tenkai's mansion from his relatives.
Oyashiki succeeded in her goal after 18 years after Tenkai's arrest when she bought the mansion and turned it into the "Zodiac Art Gallery", an art gallery dedicated to the works of Paul Holic. However, part of her reason for doing so was to get revenge upon the true culprit of the IS-7 Incident. She set up a trap to kill the culprit with toxic gas, with Kazami taking the bait but managing to survive. Through this, Gregory Edgeworth's son Miles was able to figure out that Kazami was the true culprit and have him arrested. Oyashiki was also taken into custody for attempting to murder Kazami. With their roles now reversed, Tenkai promised to wait for her release as she had done for him.
Tenkai is reserved, polite, generous, and dedicated to his work. Although normally serious, he is not averse to the occasional spontaneous song. He knows that everything that Oyashiki does is for his sake, but wishes for her to instead live her own life. His favorite food is chocolate.
- His name comes from "Tenka Ichi" (天下一) which means "the best on earth". This matches Tenkai's reputation of being the best pastry chef. This seems to be one of the few cases where the pun in a character's name is openly acknowledged, as "Tenkai Ichi" is his in-game nickname.
- In term of kanji, Tenkai (天海) can be translated as "heavenly ocean", fitting his chocolate dessert theme of sea voyage.
- Tenkai's English name in the fan translation of Gyakuten Kenji 2 is "Jeffrey Master", which is a play on "Chef Master" or "Master Chef". His nickname of "Master Jeff" makes this even more obvious.