The movie is Gyakuten Saiban, known in English as Ace Attorney, based on the first of the video game series. I've been a fan of the games' dramatic stories, suspenseful twists, engaging dialogue, great music, and profound and loveable characters for a few years now, so the announcement of the movie was extremely exciting. It actually hasn't been released in North America yet, (it was released in Japan back in February,) so I watched it online with unofficial subtitles. But rest assured, I will definitely purchase it when it becomes available here!
Since this is a visual art blog, I'm not going to focus on the clever adaptation and consolidation of the story, the complex and powerful acting, the beautiful music, and the new angles reflecting on characters that the movie gives. I'm going to talk about the production design and sets, which were also amazing, and downright gorgeous. The games have many memorable locations, and the look of them is usually like a scene one might find everyday. The movie, however, has a more fantastical look.
The sets have a sort of steam-cyber aesthetic; the architecture ranges from Neo-Classical to Industrial, looks like it might have come out of the 1930's of the future. From the shabby minor courtroom with laundry hanging over the defendant, to the Victorian-hotel style law offices where the hero is a junior partner, to the lakeside shop cluttered with both antique curiosities and cheap merchandise for kids, to the dilapidated swampy cabin where white feathers floating in the air--a motif often used by Japanese filmmakers to show heavenly beauty--add intensely to the atmosphere of creepy desolation, to the ethereal but bleak apartment of a tragic bailliff and his doomed wife, to the classically elegant law offices of the hero's ruthless rival and, ultimately, true friend, to the Neo-Classical imposing grandeur of the great courtroom where the crucial showdowns take place, the locations make a powerful impact on the drama of the story.