Manfred von Karma
|Temporary nicknames||"A god of prosecution" *|
|Japanese name*||狩魔豪 (Gou Karuma)|
|French name||Manfred von Karma|
|German name||Manfred von Karma|
|Spanish name||Manfred von Karma|
|Italian name||Manfred von Karma|
|Age during debut||65 (deceased)|
|Height*||5'10"; 177 cm|
|Eye color||Dark Green|
|Hair color||Grey (previously grey/blue)|
|Died||Sometime between Dec. 2016 and June 2017|
|Occupation||Prosecutor (1976 - Dec. 28, 2016)|
|Family||Franziska von Karma (Daughter)|
An unnamed daughter
An unnamed granddaughter
An unnamed wife (Possibly deceased)
Phoenix (Granddaughter's dog)
Miles Edgeworth (Student and adopted son)
|Affiliates||Yanni Yogi (Accomplice)|
Gregory Edgeworth (Rival defense attorney, nemesis, deceased)
Phoenix Wright (Rival defense attorney)
Tyrell Badd (Detective)
Byrne Faraday (Fellow prosecutor, deceased)
Bansai Ichiyanagi (Chief Prosecutor)
Wataru Shirase (Detective)
|Debut episode||Turnabout Goodbyes|
|Character theme track||"Great Revival ~ Franziska von Karma"|
|He is a god of prosecution, Wright! A god!|
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. In all the cases he has taken on until Hammond's murder case none were left unsolved and all of the defendants were declared guilty.
The IS-7 IncidentEdit
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In December 2001, von Karma was put in charge of proving the guilt of Issei Tenkai, a television chef accused of murder. 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 Gregory confronted von Karma over the facts of the case. The case was later known as the IS-7 Incident.
The fundamental truth of IS-7, as explained by 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 the murder 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, and assigned Wataru Shirase, a different detective to testify such that the fact that the victim's body was missing would not be heard.
Despite von Karma's actions, Gregory 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!|
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 afterward, 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 from oxygen deprivation.
When he saw that one of the passengers was Gregory Edgeworth, he picked up the gun and shot him in the heart, killing him instantly. He 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, one of the other people on the elevator, who pleaded temporary insanity to escape conviction.
The third person in the elevator was Gregory's son Miles. Six months after Gregory's death, von Karma adopted Miles as his own, and trained him to become a ruthless prosecutor like himself. For the following 15 years, von Karma's demonic scream from the DL-6 Incident would haunt Miles, and Miles would believe that he had shot his own father.
The second KG-8 IncidentEdit
- Main article: Turnabout Reminiscence
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 Edgeworth had been selected to replace Faraday. He quizzed Edgeworth 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. Von Karma assigned Edgeworth and his daughter to lead the subsequent investigation, overriding the protests of a veteran detective at the scene. When another detective was arrested for the murders, von Karma left the District Court; Edgeworth and Franziska asked him to allow them to continue their investigation, arguing that it would be good experience, and von Karma reluctantly let them proceed.
Revenge plot and defeatEdit
- Main article: Turnabout Goodbyes
|(The horrible aftertaste of the evil he force-fed me is something I'll never forget.)|
|—Reunion, and Turnabout|
Five years later, von Karma sent a letter to Yanni Yogi with a detailed plan to murder Robert Hammond 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 Edgeworth to Gourd Lake. Hammond arrived first, and Yogi proceeded to kill him. He then put on Hammond's coat and waited for Edgeworth.
Once he arrived, the two went out on a boat, where Yogi fired a pistol twice with his left hand, both bullets intentionally missing Edgeworth, and then jumped into the lake. He then put the coat back on Hammond and threw the body into the lake. Meanwhile, back on the boat, Edgeworth picked up the pistol in his right hand, in shock at what had happened. On shore, Yogi called the police, claiming to have witnessed the murder, and Edgeworth was arrested. Von Karma had chosen this time to frame Edgeworth because it would be his last chance to get Edgeworth 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 von Karma's other cases, von Karma had intended for this case to be a quick and clean guilty verdict, and laid his usual unbearable pressure on Edgeworth's lawyer Phoenix Wright. However, quite unlike other lawyers, Wright persevered through von Karma's increasingly desperate tactics and met von Karma with desperate tactics of his own.
Von Karma eventually met Wright in the evidence room containing the DL-6 files. Wright had figured out everything and only needed the evidence to win his case; in desperation, von Karma 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 take before being shocked herself.
Eventually, Yogi was unmasked in court. However, after the not guilty verdict was read, Edgeworth immediately confessed to killing his own father in the DL-6 incident. Wright proved Edgeworth wrong, that von Karma had been the real killer. Wright knew that von Karma would have left the bullet Edgeworth had shot in his body and suggested that a metal detector be used to prove that Edgeworth had really shot von Karma, whereupon von Karma screamed the same scream Edgeworth had heard before passing out during DL-6.
His plans exposed, von Karma 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 afterwards, possibly through a death sentence.
|Manfred von Karma|
|Decisive evidence. A decisive witness. What more is needed?|
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 he 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.
His authority was enough to override those of veteran detectives such as Tyrell Badd, and he could assign to 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 called 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 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 von Karma: 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 father, and then framing him for murder.
Despite his dedication to convicting his 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 Edgeworth, "A prosecutor is a guardian of the court; one with no obligations to outside matters".
Little is known about what kind of father von Karma was to his children. It is known that Edgeworth referred to him as "sir" and Franziska called him "papa". It's evident from von Karma's prosecution of Edgeworth that they had no true affection towards each other. Although von Karma 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 prosecutor for the first time, von Karma seemed almost proud of his adopted son.
- In pronunciation terms, "Karuma" (狩魔) is the Japanese romanization for "karma". In kanji terms, "karu ma" (狩 魔) means "a demon who hunts".
- "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" comes from the bad karma he had built up over the years (forging evidence, illegal investigations, false testimonies, etc). "Von" is a German preposition which approximately means "of" or "from". Also, German names containing a "von" are usually names of aristocrats.
- His name could have come from that he is a Man Freed (Manfred) of (von [see above]) Karma (Karma). This would explain his actions of forging evidence, killing Gregory Edgeworth in the DL-6 Incident, and his many other dastardly deeds or on the flip side, as a prosecutor he could be considered the karma coming to the defendants he found guilty.
- Manfred von Karma's character design is a modified version of the original idea for Edgeworth, that of an older rival prosecutor for Wright. Von Karma's cravat also hints at the influence he had on Edgeworth's upbringing. 
- 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.
- Like Dick Gumshoe, 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.
- In Daft Punk's music videos, such as High Life, there is a character that bears striking resemblance to Manfred Von Karma. He wears the purple suit, a bowtie, and his hair is arranged in a way that is similar to Von Karma's.
- Manfred von Karma's piercing finger snap also appears as a sound effect another of Shu Takumi's games, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective.