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Manfred von Karma

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Manfred von Karma
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Manfred von Karma

Aliases/nicknames

Papa*
Sir*

One-off nicknames

"A god of prosecution"*
Occupation Prosecutor (1976 - Dec. 28, 2016)
Names in other languages
Japanese* 狩魔豪 (Gou Karuma)
French Manfred von Karma
German Manfred von Karma
Spanish Manfred von Karma
Italian Manfred von Karma
Biological information
Born 1951
Died Sometime between Dec. 2016 and June 2017
Age at debut 65 (deceased)*
Eye color Dark green
Hair color Grey, but previously silver-blue
Height* 5'10"; 177 cm
Associates
Family An unnamed wife
An unnamed offspring*
An unnamed granddaughter
Phoenix (Granddaughter's pet dog)
Franziska von Karma (Daughter)
Miles Edgeworth (Student and adopted son)
Friends Ernest Amano
Affiliates Bansai Ichiyanagi (Chief Prosecutor)
Wataru Shirase (Police detective assigned to at least one of his cases)
Tyrell Badd (Police detective assigned to at least one of his cases)
Gregory Edgeworth (Rival defense attorney and nemesis; deceased)
Byrne Faraday (Fellow prosecutor; deceased)
Yanni Yogi (Accomplice)
Phoenix Wright (Rival defense attorney)
Actors
Japanese* Masakazu Sugimori
Film* Ryo Ishibashi
Miscellaneous
Debut episode Turnabout Goodbyes
Leitmotif "Great Revival ~ Franziska von Karma"*
Manfred von Karma
Wrong. There is only one thing you need to do here. You will slam down your gavel and say the word "guilty". That is your role!
Turnabout Goodbyes


Manfred von Karma was a renowned prosecutor who went undefeated for 40 years, earning him numerous "King of Prosecutors" awards, before finally meeting his match in Phoenix Wright. He was Miles Edgeworth's mentor, responsible for teaching him everything about prosecuting until 2016. He was also the father and mentor of Franziska von Karma. For all the cases he took on until Hammond's murder case, none were left unsolved, and all of the defendants were declared guilty.

The IS-7 IncidentEdit

Main articles: The Inherited Turnabout & IS-7 Incident
IS7missing
Edgeworth and von Karma discover the melted ice sculptures.
JmcdunceAdded by Jmcdunce

In December 2001, Manfred von Karma was put in charge of proving the guilt of Issei Tenkai, a television chef accused of the murder of Isaku Hyōdō; the case which would later known as the IS-7 Incident. Von Karma took to the scene to investigate, where he encountered esteemed defense lawyer Gregory Edgeworth, who was representing Tenkai. The two, naturally, were at odds over the course of their investigations, and on at least one occasion Edgeworth confronted von Karma over the facts of the case.

The fundamental truth of the murder, as explained by Edgeworth's assistant Tateyuki Shigaraki, was that the victim's body was never found over the course of the initial investigation. In order to ensure Issei Tenkai's guilt in court, von Karma developed his own theory as to what happened based on available evidence. To this end, he removed detective Tyrell Badd from the case, citing improper conduct, in order to prevent him from testifying in court. He then assigned Detective Wataru Shirase to testify in court so as to hide the fact that the victim's body was missing.

Furthermore, he was assisted by then-Chief Prosecutor Bansai Ichiyanagi, who, unbeknownst to von Karma, threatened the coroner Otome Itami into creating a falsified autopsy report that supported von Karma's theory.

Despite von Karma's actions, Edgeworth was able to prove that the victim's body was never found, and as a result, the autopsy report presented by von Karma had to be falsified. Without the exact circumstances of the victim's death known, von Karma was unable to convict Tenkai of murder. As a result, he pursued the lesser charge of accomplice to murder, of which Tenkai was ultimately found guilty. Despite getting a guilty verdict in the trial, Bansai Ichiyanagi was forced to penalize von Karma for presenting falsified evidence in court, partly in order to dissociate himself from the conspiracy to falsify the autopsy report.

The DL-6 IncidentEdit

Main article: DL-6 Incident
Manfred von Karma
You and your father are my curse! Your father shamed me with a penalty on my record! And you... you left a scar on my shoulder that would never fade! I... I'll bury you! I'll bury you with my bare hands! Death! Death!
Turnabout Goodbyes


Karmaenters
Von Karma enters the lift.
DaTorniAdded by DaTorni

Following the penalization, von Karma was shocked beyond belief; he had never been penalized before. The one thing he valued above all else was his perfect record. Soon after receiving his penalty, an earthquake struck the courthouse, leaving von Karma wandering in the darkness. He felt his way to an elevator and tried to use it, but nothing happened. Suddenly, a gunshot rang out and von Karma was struck in the right shoulder, causing him to utter a terrible scream. Then, the power came back on, and the elevator doors opened. To his surprise, von Karma found a pistol at his feet, along with three people lying unconscious inside the elevator from oxygen deprivation; the court bailiff Yanni Yogi, a young boy, and the man who had ruined his perfect record, Gregory Edgeworth.

When he saw that one of the passengers was Gregory Edgeworth, he picked up the gun and shot him in the heart, killing the defense attorney instantly. Von Karma left the gun and fled the scene, taking a "vacation" to heal his injury from the incident. Meanwhile, the case of Gregory Edgeworth's murder, known as the DL-6 Incident, was held against Yanni Yogi, who, at the insistence of his defense attorney Robert Hammond, plead temporary insanity to escape conviction.

Six months after Gregory's death, von Karma adopted Miles, the orphaned son of the man he had killed and the third occupant of the elevator, as his own, and trained him to become a ruthless prosecutor like himself. For the following 15 years, von Karma's almost demonic scream from the DL-6 Incident would haunt Miles, and he would believe that he had shot his own father.

The second KG-8 IncidentEdit

Main article: Turnabout Reminiscence
Manfred Smirk
Manfred von Karma in 2011.
Strabo412Added by Strabo412

Ten years later, Manfred von Karma and his daughter Franziska accompanied Miles Edgeworth on what was to be his first trial. The defendant had accused the original prosecutor on the case, Byrne Faraday, of being the Great Thief Yatagarasu, and Miles had been selected to replace Faraday. Manfred quizzed Miles on the details of the case and then told him about a connection between the case at hand and another case, the KG-8 Incident, to which few in law enforcement were privy.

However, the trial was canceled when Faraday and the defendant were found dead. Manfred assigned Miles and his daughter to lead the subsequent investigation, overriding the protests of Detective Tyrell Badd. When another detective was arrested for the murders, Manfred left the District Court; Miles and Franziska asked him to allow them to continue their investigation, arguing that it would be good experience, and he reluctantly let them proceed. The pair eventually uncovered the true culprit, although she managed to escape.

Revenge plot and defeatEdit

Main article: Turnabout Goodbyes
Phoenix Wright
(The horrible aftertaste of the evil he force-fed me is something I'll never forget.)
Reunion, and Turnabout
Sprite-karma
Manfred von Karma in 2016.
DaTorniAdded by DaTorni

Five years later, Manfred von Karma sent a letter to Yanni Yogi with a detailed plan to murder Robert Hammond (whom Yogi blamed for ruining his life by making him plead temporary insanity) and frame Miles Edgeworth. He instructed Yogi to burn the letter after reading it, but Yogi chose to lock it in his safe. On the night of "revenge", Yogi called Hammond and Miles to Gourd Lake. Hammond arrived first, and Yogi proceeded to kill him. He then put on Hammond's coat and waited for Miles.

Once the prosecutor arrived, the two went out on a boat, where Yogi fired a pistol twice with his left hand, both bullets intentionally missing Miles, and then fell backwards into the lake, as if he had been shot. He then put the coat back on Hammond and threw the body into the lake. Meanwhile, back on the boat, Miles picked up the pistol in his right hand, in shock at what had happened. On the shore, Yogi called the police, claiming to have witnessed the murder, and Miles was arrested. Manfred had chosen this time to frame Miles because it would be his last chance to get Miles convicted of the DL-6 murder before the statute of limitations expired on the case.

Manfred von Karma was the prosecutor in the resulting trial of Miles Edgeworth. Like most of Manfred's other cases, he had intended for this case to be a quick and clean guilty verdict, and laid his usual unbearable pressure on the presiding judge, as well as Miles's lawyer Phoenix Wright. However, quite unlike other the lawyers he had faced, Wright persevered through Manfred's increasingly desperate tactics with desperate tactics of his own.

Manfred later met Wright in the police department's records room, which contained the files on the DL-6 Incident. Wright had figured out most of what had happened and only needed the evidence to win his case; Manfred took out a stun gun, used it on Wright, and stole all of the evidence save the bullet that had killed Gregory Edgeworth, which Wright's assistant Maya Fey had managed to grab before being shocked herself.

Eventually, Yogi was unmasked in court. However, after the not guilty verdict was read, Miles immediately confessed to killing his own father in the DL-6 Incident. But Wright soon proved Miles wrong, as Manfred had been the real killer. Wright knew that Manfred would have left the bullet Miles had shot in his body and suggested that a metal detector be used to prove that the bullet that had been fired when Miles had thrown the gun at Yogi all those years ago had really shot Manfred. At this, Manfred screamed the same scream Miles had heard before passing out during the DL-6 Incident.

His plans exposed, Manfred started banging his head against the wall of the court. He had suffered two defeats at Wright's hand, the only two he had ever received. Manfred von Karma died soon afterward, possibly in prison or through a death sentence.[1]

PersonalityEdit

Manfred Mugshot
Manfred von Karma's mugshot.
DaTorniAdded by DaTorni
Manfred von Karma
Decisive evidence. A decisive witness. What more is needed?
Turnabout Goodbyes

Manfred von Karma was an arrogant prosecutor who believed himself better than others, especially defense attorneys, who he saw as nothing more than annoying flies to be swatted. This arrogance was so great that not only did he set his ATM card's number to "0001", because he considered himself "number one", but also openly advertised that it was such in court. He was also an intimidating man who held great sway over the courts thanks to his long win record, and he would often almost take over the judges' jobs during trials (such as sustaining his own objections or overruling those of the opposing defense attorney).

His authority was enough to override those of veteran detectives such as Tyrell Badd, and he could assign his students to any trial of his choosing. He had a habit of piercingly snapping his fingers when he wanted to help get his point across. Miles Edgeworth has referred to him as "legendary" and a "god" among prosecutors, while Kay Faraday simply thought him "scary" when she met him.

Von Karma was a great believer in perfection and demanded nothing less from himself and his students. In this quest for perfection, he would do whatever it took to win a case by using false evidence, hiding undesired evidence, rigging witness testimonies and even going as far as retraining a parrot, and attacking Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey with a stun gun at one point. He also considered other prosecutors, such as Byrne Faraday, weak for failing to get defendants convicted.

However, this "perfection" was his greatest weakness, as shown when Gregory Edgeworth created a penalty on his record. This small blotch on his "perfect" record led to a disproportionate response from Manfred: killing the defense attorney, taking on his son, Miles Edgeworth, as his student, molding Miles to be more like his father's killer than his own father, and then framing him for murder.

Despite his dedication to convicting defendants, von Karma cared only about criminals who were brought to court. He claimed that there was no point in dealing with criminals who were "above the law" in one way or another, because such matters were outside the scope of a prosecutor's job. As he once told Miles Edgeworth, "A prosecutor is a guardian of the court; one with no obligations to outside matters".

Little is known about what kind of father Manfred von Karma was to his children. It is known that Miles Edgeworth referred to him as "sir" and Franziska called him "papa". It's evident from Manfred's prosecution of Edgeworth that they had no true affection towards each other, and that he likely was nothing more than a tool for Manfred to get back at the man who had ruined his perfect record. Although Manfred pressured his children, much of the pressure that they felt was self-inflicted, especially with Franziska. Nonetheless, when Edgeworth was to take his place as a prosecutor for the first time, Manfred seemed almost proud of his adopted son.

NameEdit

  • In pronunciation terms, his Japanese surname "Karuma" (狩魔) is the Japanese romanization for "karma". In kanji terms, "karu ma" (狩 魔) means "a demon who hunts".
  • His Japanese given name "Gou" (豪) may come from the word "gouka" (ゴウカ), which could mean "the effect of karma" or "fires of hell". "Gou" comes from "erai", which means "great" or "excellent".
  • "Manfred" means "man of peace" in German, which is somewhat ironic considering his crimes and his questionable career. Although it is a common German name, "Manfred" may have also have come from Manfred von Richthofen in particular, more widely known as the infamous World War I flying ace, the Red Baron. Both men were feared in their lines of work, highly skilled, and achieved an impressive number of victories. Both were also finally defeated by a single bullet and by an opponent far less famous than they themselves.
  • "Karma" likely comes from the bad karma he had built up over the years from his questionable tactics. "Von" is a German preposition which approximately means "of" or "from". Also, German names containing a "von" are usually names of aristocrats.
  • Alternatively, his full English name could be a play on "man freed from karma".

DevelopmentEdit

  • Manfred von Karma's character design is a modified version of the original idea for Miles Edgeworth, that of an older rival prosecutor for Wright. Manfred's cravat also hints at the influence he had on Miles's upbringing.[2]
  • Both Manfred von Karma and Franziska von Karma lived and worked in the United States in the original Japanese versions of the games, as opposed to Germany in the North American localization.
  • Manfred von Karma gained an animation in the Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth series: during his appearance in Gyakuten Kenji 2, the game will sometimes show a "zoomed-in" sprite of him in the style generally reserved for protagonists and rivals. Further, his "shocked" sprite in Gyakuten Kenji 2 is a modification of the one seen in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney; he rears back in shock, but does not clutch his shoulder (likely as he has not yet been shot in that shoulder).

Sprite galleryEdit

Standard spritesEdit

Older (Turnabout Goodbyes)Edit

CourtroomEdit
Forward-facingEdit

Younger (Turnabout Reminiscence & The Inherited Turnabout)Edit

Full body spritesEdit

Cut-in spritesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. (He had a perfect win record for 40 long years... But now, he is gone from this world...) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations. Capcom. Episode: Bridge to the Turnabout (in English). 2007.
  2. (2009). "The Art of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney". UDON. ISBN 1-897376-19-7.
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