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Manosuke Naitō was the revolver-toting second-in-command of Zheng Fa president Teikun Ō's hired personal bodyguards. He was present during the apparent assassination attempt that was made against the president during the latter's speech at Gourd Lake.
- Main article: IS-7 Incident
The man who would become known as Manosuke Naitō was born to the renowned French sculptor, Paul Holic. At school, the boy's best friend was the son of a pastry chef, Yutaka Kazami, and they were close enough that the two of them and their fathers shared a photo together. In December 2000, Holic, using the pseudonym "Isaku Hyōdō", collaborated with Kazami in order to participate in a dessert-making contest hosted by the famous television chef Issei Tenkai. Kazami would often rely on his son to taste his desserts, so when Hyōdō betrayed him, the latter forced his own son to tie up Kazami's son.
Holic's son bound his best friend's wrists and legs while crying and asking for forgiveness. The boy then went inside Holic's car with his friend and locked the doors. Due to the freezing cold, the door soon froze over, preventing both of them from escaping. Luckily for them, a passer-by named Ryōken Hōinbō rescued them. In the meantime, Kazami killed Hyōdō and fled the country, leaving both boys orphans.
The young boys were unaware of what had happened to their fathers, in no small part due to the memory loss that their near-death experience had left them with. Hōinbō thus took them to the Happy Family Home orphanage. It was presumably while they were at the orphanage that the pair obtained their new names of Manosuke Naitō and Sōta Sarushiro. Sarushiro eventually ran away, but the two friends kept in touch and played chess by correspondence. The police searched for an heir to Holic's possessions, and eventually found Naitō and delivered the Holic family ring that his father had used to sign his works.
As an adult, Naitō was employed as a bodyguard for a private security company. When Teikun Ō, the president of Zheng Fa, arrived in the United States, he hired the bodyguards. Naitō became resentful of living in the shadow of fellow employee Gai Tojiro, who was assigned to be the leader of the president's security team.
The staged assassinationEdit
- Main article: Turnabout Target
The president was due to give a speech at Gourd Lake on March 25, 2019. Back in Zheng Fa, Ō's approval ratings were abysmally low, so Naitō, eager to prove his usefulness, went to the president with a plan for a staged assassination attempt, which his friend Sarushiro had given him. Ō reluctantly agreed, but Tojiro refused to play any part in the scheme. The two conspirators pretended to call off the plan, but secretly went ahead anyway, leaving Tojiro in the dark.
As part of the plan, Naitō recruited the journalist Mikiko Hayami, who had appeared at the Zheng Fa embassy looking for a scoop. In exchange for information for her news story, Naitō asked Hayami to stand in the audience and point a laser pointer at the president at a certain part of the speech. Hayami was left unaware of the staged assassination attempt because Naitō planned to frame her as the "assassin". Naitō even left a used gun in a garbage can in front of the stage for investigators to find.
Two days before the speech, the infamous assassin Shelly de Killer infiltrated Ō's bodyguards in order to kill the president. Although Tojiro was able to detect the imposter, by that time de Killer had already managed to get close to his target. With his cover blown, the assassin made his move, overpowering Naitō by grabbing him by the throat. Tojiro proved far more formidable, as he quickly seized, twisted, and put a bullet through the assassin's left arm, forcing de Killer to escape. Naitō's injury from the altercation forced him to wear a neck brace, and left him unable to turn his head to the right. This discrepancy in the skill of the two bodyguards caused Naitō to resent Tojiro further, to the point that he became willing to murder him if the opportunity arose.
As a result of the attack, the bodyguard's plan was changed so that only Tojiro and Naitō would be guarding the president, and Naitō was moved to the right of the stage, so that he could execute his plan despite his neck injury. Later, as the president gave his speech, Naitō shot a balloon off to the side of the stage, using his bulletproof attaché case to hide what he was doing and make it seem as if someone was shooting at Ō. Naitō and Tojiro quickly took their charge into the presidential seaplane, where Ō made his way into a safe room. Left alone with the object of his resentment, and knowing that the president was cowering under a table and covering his ears, Naitō took the opportunity to shoot Tojiro dead. The fatal bullet went through Tojiro and into one of the security monitors, which Naitō quickly hid elsewhere inside the plane.
Naitō then emerged from the plane to find Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth (along with Kay Faraday and Detective Dick Gumshoe) questioning Hayami after having thoroughly investigated the crime scene. The bodyguard revealed that Ō was perfectly fine and lied that Tojiro had been shot while protecting the president. He then told Edgeworth that control of the investigation was being handed over to the Zheng Fa police, and that Hayami was being arrested as the assassin. However, Shelly de Killer, who had been posing as an ice cream salesman, suddenly grabbed Naitō and held a knife to his throat, demanding that Edgeworth be allowed to investigate the plane.
Left with no other option, Naitō led them all onto the plane with the assassin's blade still at his throat. Once on board, de Killer found that his target was still hiding inside the safe room. He attempted to make Teikun Ō come out by threatening to kill Naitō. When it became apparent that the president would not appear, de Killer, satisfied with the progress of Edgeworth's investigation, proceeded to escape before police surrounded the plane.
Ō then finally emerged and tried to claim extraterritoriality rights to take away control of the investigation from Edgeworth. He even had Naitō confiscate all the evidence the prosecutor had acquired. Naitō made sure to manipulate the evidence while it was in his possession by changing the number of bullets in both his own revolver and that found by Edgeworth at the crime scene (which Naitō had planted). However, since the incident had happened outside the plane, Edgeworth retained his investigative rights. He went on to prove that the assassination attempt was a fake.
Naitō continued to attempt to frame Hayami as the assassin and Tojiro's killer, but was no match for Edgeworth's logic. Forced to give back the evidence, Naitō took the opportunity to mock Edgeworth, who was surprised to find that the number of bullets in the gun handed back to him made it seem as if it were the murder weapon, rather than Naitō's own weapon. However, Naitō had not been wearing gloves when he had tampered with the firearms, meaning that his fingerprints were on the the bullets that he had transferred to throw off the shot counts. This was enough for Edgeworth to prove Naitō's guilt and he was promptly arrested. Edgeworth was to take the prosecutor's bench for the ensuing trial.
- Main article: The Imprisoned Turnabout
Naitō's crime made the news all over the country. He became a scapegoat for the president, who blamed him for the whole assassination attempt, not just the murder of Tojiro. While awaiting his trial, Naitō was incarcerated in the detention center. While he was being escorted to the holding cell, he and his escort were attacked by Shūji Orinaka, who stole the keys to the cell. Two days after the staged assassination, Naitō was visited by Sarushiro, who was working as an animal tamer for the Berry Big Circus and was about to perform a show in the prison. Sarushiro gave Naitō a portable chessboard.
After the visit, the prison director Marī Miwa, who also used to be the director of the orphanage where Naitō and Sarushiro had lived, took Naitō away for interrogation. She suspected him of being an agent of the now imprisoned Hōinbō. Hōinbō would frequently threaten Miwa that one of his "dogs" would come and kill her one day, and he had been using these threats to get her to deliver various goods to him and his fellow inmates. The frightened director had looked through Naitō's mail and believed that he was playing correspondence chess with Hōinbō. Miwa looked at Naitō's chessboard and found a chisel inside, like the ones that Hōinbō had. Driven to the brink of madness by fear, Miwa stabbed Naitō in the neck with a knife, killing him instantly.
Miwa moved the body into the prison using a secret route that had been established to deliver goods to Hōinbō. Inmate Frank Sahwit would turn off the power so that Miwa could reach the courtyard from her office. She sprayed perfume on Naitō's body, wrapped it inside a sheet to prevent a blood trail from being left behind, and tied it to a contraption that Sarushiro had set up for the circus show. When the contraption was set off during the show, the body fell into a secret tunnel, and the scent of the perfume signaled Hōinbō's dog Kuro to deliver it to his owner. Hōinbō was surprised to see a body being delivered and had the dog take the body to one of the workrooms, where it was soon discovered.
Sōta Sarushiro became the prime suspect due to being seen talking with Naitō and having the opportunity to murder him. However, despite interference by Hakari Mikagami and Yumihiko Ichiyanagi, Edgeworth was eventually able to prove Miwa as Naitō's killer.
Sarushiro's role in suggesting the staged assassination attempt would later be revealed, as well as his motivation for doing so: to have Naitō sent to the prison run by Miwa. He had then used Miwa's paranoia to push her into killing Naitō. Sarushiro had done all this as revenge for what Naitō had done to him 18 years ago, and for Miwa's role in the SS-5 Incident. Sarushiro's memory had been muddled, and he had believed that Kazami had been Naitō's father rather than his own. He had also manipulated the chess correspondence by having Naitō and Hōinbō unknowingly play each other, with each believing that he was playing Sarushiro.
This would all come to light when Edgeworth figured out that Sarushiro was behind a number of recent crimes, all with the aim of getting revenge, and confronted him. A delayed letter from Naitō helped prove Sarushiro's manipulation of the chess correspondence. Eventually, all of Sarushiro's plans were unraveled, and he was arrested for his crimes.
Naitō was an arrogant man with a love of chess. Such was his enjoyment of the game, that he would often use chess metaphors and refer to himself as a "knight" protecting his "king" (Ō). His arrogance was such that he resented, and ultimately killed, Tojiro due to being envious of the more skilled bodyguard. Another obvious quirk of Naitō's was his habit of playing with his revolver; he would often twirl it around his finger, reload it for no reason, and even point it at other people when talking to them.
It seemed that Naitō would always lose to his chess correspondence opponent. The delayed letter depicted him making a surprising move that would turn the game around and lead to checkmate. This mirrored the fact that the letter itself exposed Sarushiro's manipulation of the chess correspondence. Naitō was seemingly completely unaware of the resentment Sarushiro felt towards him.
- "Naitō" is the Japanese romanization of the English word "knight", while his given name contains the kanji for horse (馬). Both meanings refer to his love of chess, in particular the knight piece. He often compares himself to a knight in the game of chess, defending his king.
- Naitō's English name in the fan translation of Gyakuten Kenji 2 is "Horace Knightley". Both his given name and surname are references to the meaning of the original Japanese name; "Horace" is a play on "horse" (which the knight piece resembles) and "Knightley" is a play on "knight".
- Like a few other characters in Gyakuten Kenji 2, Naitō has design and personality parallels with a chess piece. With his mane-like hair, name pun, and desire to protect his "king", Naitō represents the knight.
- Continuing the chess theme is his tie, which has a checkered pattern reminiscent of a chessboard.
- During his breakdown, Naitō is struck on the head by a number of objects, many of which are references to earlier Ace Attorney episodes. The objects are: a horseshoe, a Blue Badger doll, the The Thinker clock from The First Turnabout and Turnabout Sisters, a Mr. Ifly piggy bank from Turnabout Airlines, the box of Samurai Dogs from Turnabout Ablaze that was the final evidence against Quercus Alba (complete with blood spot), a mallet, and the revolver that Naitō had thrown in the first place.
- Nobody who has ever been struck by the The Thinker clock survived though the game. However, Naitō is the only person who was struck by the clock, yet survived its impact.
- Naitō is the only culprit in Gyakuten Kenji 2 to lack a unique leitmotif.