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Yumihiko Ichiyanagi is a rookie prosecutor. He was assigned to take over a number of Miles Edgeworth's cases by the Prosecutorial Investigation Committee, which was headed by his father Bansai. Although he graduated at the top of his class, he was very incompetent to the point of being ridiculed by the likes of Kay Faraday, Dick Gumshoe, and Larry Butz. It would often fall to judge and Committee member Hakari Mikagami, who acted as his assistant, to argue Edgeworth's logic.
Yumihiko Ichiyanagi was raised by his prosecutor father Bansai Ichiyanagi, who would often verbally abuse him. His mother "disappeared" at one point, and since Bansai frequently made people "disappear" as a euphemism for being thrown in jail, kidnapped or worse, it is not unlikely that something along those lines happened to his wife. Yumihiko attended Themis Legal Academy, where he took the prosecutor course. He received many awards and graduated at the top of his class, earning him a special red jacket. However, unbeknown to Yumihiko, all of these accolades were only due to the influence and manipulations of his father.
Yumihiko's "shining logic"Edit
Yumihiko's supposed prowess was soon put to the test when Bansai sent him to be in charge of the investigation into Manosuke Naitō's murder at the local prison, accompanied by judge and Prosecutorial Investigation Committee (P.I.C.) member Hakari Mikagami. They searched the entire prison for the murder weapon, to no avail. Despite taking over the case from Miles Edgeworth, Yumihiko had trouble following the details of the case, resulting in the former easily rebutting his arguments. Nonetheless, Edgeworth eventually found the murder weapon and indicted Marī Miwa as Naitō's killer. The evidence was handed over to Yumihiko, who decided to give it to his father for safekeeping.
A few days later, Yumihiko and Mikagami were sent to Issei Tenkai's mansion, which had become the scene of an attempted murder via poison gas. Yumihiko encountered Edgeworth once again, but again had little grasp on the information that he was supposed to have gathered. The young prosecutor practically faded into irrelevance after a failed attempt to indict Larry Butz. He watched as Edgeworth connected the poisoning to the IS-7 Incident, found the culprit behind the poisoning, and exposed the victim, Yutaka Kazami, as the culprit behind the IS-7 Incident.
- Main article: The Forgotten Turnabout
Three days later, P.I.C. member Tsubasa Kagome was found dead in the P.I.C. meeting room at Big Tower. Bansai moved to arrest Kay Faraday for the murder, but Edgeworth defied him, to the point of resigning. During the investigation, Yumihiko met Franziska von Karma, who had no qualms with giving, both verbally and with her whip, her opinion of Yumihiko's competence.
Edgeworth eventually accused Bansai of Kagome's murder. During the ensuing arguments between the two, it was revealed that the killer had a burn mark on his face. It was then that Yumihiko realized that his own father was the killer. Yumihiko tried to deny this truth as Bansai's other allies turned on him. His father then revealed to Yumihiko that all his good grades and awards that he was so proud of were due to his influence, and said that Yumihiko was not even worthy of being called his son. Completely humiliated, Yumihiko ran from the meeting room in tears. Bansai was then arrested for the murder.
Confronting his fatherEdit
- Main article: The Grand Turnabout
Yumihiko ran outside the Big Tower, where he encountered two men in black. The men asked him whether he knew Mikagami, and when he said that he did, he was suddenly bound, gagged, and placed inside a box. He was left at the Ichiyanagi residence, near the back door of the garage, and told that Bansai had ordered the kidnapping. All Yumihiko could do until he was found was to reflect on his own uselessness and confusion as to why his own father had him kidnapped.
Edgeworth and Faraday discovered him while searching for Shimon Aizawa, whom Bansai had supposedly kidnapped to coerce Mikagami to acquit Marī Miwa. Yumihiko was in a terrible emotional state and on the verge of a mental breakdown, unable to trust anyone. To his surprise, however, Edgeworth showed that he was willing to listen to him. From the information that he managed to get out of Yumihiko, Edgeworth deduced that Bansai had meant to kidnap Aizawa, but his men had accidentally kidnapped Yumihiko instead. Yumihiko also realized that his father had betrayed him and thrown the evidence against Miwa in the trash.
Edgeworth then offered his support, but said that Yumihiko would have to decide his path for himself going forward. Yumihiko decided that he wanted to continue as a prosecutor, but he would be different from his father and would overcome him. Now knowing what to do, Yumihiko bolted from the house and unlocked a safe owned by Bansai at the Big Tower's 51st floor. He then ran to the dump and searched through the piles of rubbish for the discarded evidence, but could only find a bell wrapped inside a newspaper.
Yumihiko hurriedly returned to the courtroom where Miwa was being tried. Von Karma, who had been acting in Yumihiko's stead, saw the young prosecutor's resolve and agreed to give the prosecutor's bench back to him. Bansai laughed at his son for his apparent failure to produce decisive evidence. Despite everything, Yumihiko was still reluctant to convict his own father but, with Edgeworth by his side, he regained his determination and connected an oily handprint on the newspaper to Bansai's biker gloves. Bansai was finally defeated and broke down in court while screaming his son's name in anger. Despite his mistreatment, Yumihiko still thanked his father for all that he had done for him and bid him goodbye.
Yumihiko was obsessed with being better than everyone else in the things he did. Even mentioning the word "first" was liable to make him want to do whatever was being talked about before anyone else, a fact that was sometimes taken advantage of by others. This rash tendency would also cause him to indict people without any real basis. While he was often very arrogant and condescending, as he considered himself the best in all things, Yumihiko would break into tears rather easily when proven wrong. He also had few qualms with taking credit for the hard work of others, claiming to have found various pieces of evidence when police officers had found them on their own.
As an investigator, Yumihiko was not very competent. His logic was full of holes and frequently made no sense, and he would sometimes present incorrect evidence (or even forget the name of said evidence) and not even realize it until corrected by Mikagami. Additionally, he would frequently lag behind everyone else in what was happening in a case (or even a conversation) and would often use the wrong word in a sentence. This meant that it was often left to Mikagami to gently push Yumihiko in the correct direction or to combat Edgeworth's logic on her own.
Yumihiko had a very childish and naive view of what it meant to be a prosecutor; he believed that his purpose as a prosecutor was to defeat his rivals. Much of this attitude is attributable to his father, whom he admired and whose approval he sought. As Yumihiko's "achievements" stemmed from his father's influence rather than his own merit, he was ill-prepared for the realities of criminal investigation. In a bitter irony, the first time he actually found the truth before anyone else was when he realized that his own father was a criminal.
Other people tended to show Yumihiko little respect, if they acknowledged him at all. Although Edgeworth and Mikagami usually employed some throat-clearing before ignoring Yumihiko, Franziska von Karma would instead whip him. Even Larry Butz referred to him as an idiot, which is quite the achievement considering Butz's penchant for foolish antics. However, the person who showed Yumihiko the least respect was his own father. Bansai frequently called him an idiot, openly lamented having such a foolish son, and later showed great satisfaction in telling Yumihiko the truth about his grades and awards.
After his father's arrest, Yumihiko felt betrayed by everyone. However, Edgeworth lent him a helping hand and gave him the resolve to face his father, who had betrayed him the most. He learned to rely on himself rather than to try to gain approval from others. Despite everything, he did not hate his father, but acknowledged that Bansai helped shape who he was.
- His compulsive desire to be "first" and "number one" is reflected in his surname. The kanji character "ichi" (一) means "one" and the character "yanagi" (柳) has the alternate pronunciation "ryuu". This gives the alternative reading "Ichiryuu", meaning "first class", which Yumihiko uses as a nickname. If the second character is replaced with the homophone "龍" and placed in front of "一", the result is Phoenix Wright's Japanese given name "Ryuuichi" (龍一).
- The kanji "弓" (yumi) in his Japanese given name means bow, as in the weapon. This parallels Edgeworth's Japanese surname "Mitsurugi", which is a play on the word for "sword". Additionally, the full name creates the expression "pulling a bow without an arrow" (ichiya naki yumi hiku), which accurately describes the quality of his deductions. His given name has another possible meaning, referring to rising up against someone else, a possible reference to Yumihiko's conflict with his father.
- Yumihiko's full English name in the unofficial fan translation of Gyakuten Kenji 2 is "Sebastian Debeste". "Sebastian" is a Greek name that roughly means "adored" or "revered". "Debeste" is a play on the phrase "the best" (with "de beste" also being Dutch for "the best"), which is used as Sebastian's nickname to replace Ichiryuu. "Sebastian" may also be a reference to Saint Sebastian, who is often depicted in art and literature having been shot with arrows, paralleling the "bow" connotation of his Japanese given name (incidentally, his father's name in the fan patch, "Blaise", was the name of a saint who was a bishop in Sebastea (modern-day Sivas, Turkey); "Sebastian" means "someone from Sebastea", thereby linking the names of Blaise and Sebastian Debeste). Finally, "Sebastian" could be a reference to the classical composer Johann Sebastian Bach, owing to Yumihiko's habit of waving a baton about like an orchestra conductor.
- Yumihiko was apparently by far the most popular character introduced in Gyakuten Kenji 2 with the female staff at Capcom. He is also Takeshi Yamazaki's favorite character introduced in Gyakuten Kenji 2.
- Underneath his coat, Yumihiko wears a blue Themis Legal Academy uniform. It was confirmed by the Gyakuten Saiban 5 Official Complete Guidebook that he studied there, and that the blue uniform he wears was previously the uniform for students taking the prosecutor course until it was changed in later years to the red uniform seen in Turnabout Academy.
- Yumihiko and his father are the only prosecutors to date who actually openly wear their prosecutor's badges.
- He has a noticeable slim forelock of hair that sticks up from from his head, usually reminiscent of a question mark, but changing to an exclamation mark in some of his reaction sprites. This type of hair is known as ahoge (lit. "idiot/stupid hair") in Japanese culture, a term that suits his character well. According to head illustrator Tatsuro Iwamoto, Yumihiko carefully styles his hair this way every morning.
- Yumihiko conducts in 3/4 time, which is the same time signature as his theme "Yumihiko Ichiyanagi ~ First-Class Reasoning". The song itself is a waltz, a style of dance music that is always in 3/4 time.
- Yumihiko shares some similarities with Franziska von Karma; both were prosecutors constantly chasing after their fathers' approval, had obsessions with being the best, and had to deal with the shock of finding out that their fathers were criminals. Additionally, in both cases it was the positive influence of Miles Edgeworth that set them on a better path.