Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil Episode 2: Hard Case
Even though I knew what to expect this time round, I was still blown away by the pace of this show – it can get difficult to catch your breath with all the short, abrupt scenes featuring radical changes in setting. But this is my only real issue with what is otherwise a really engaging show – I’m liking how they’re blending courtroom drama with fast-paced action scenes (particularly that impressive sakuga metamoloid battle). There’s a good mix of both, as if they can’t quite decide which one to prioritize – and I don’t mind if it stays that way.
One thing that was reinforced from last week was the absurdity of their legal system (which Cecil and her cosplay didn’t really get off to a great start with). I mentioned this last week, but the death penalty for a single murder is pretty damn harsh, considering that Kohinata decided to plead guilty. What’s even worse is that the judge was about to sentence him based on circumstantial evidence – there wasn’t even any concrete proof, yet they decided to go ahead and do it anyway. I do admit that the prosecution made some convincing arguments though – in particular, the way they twisted the evidence provided by the defendant’s co-worker was very sly indeed. Standard fare from lawyers.
This legal system operates at the other extreme, too – there are issues with Kohinata being acquitted on self-defence. That’s probably what Mitsuhisa (the white haired dude) was talking about when he mentioned that Kohinata was not innocent. Sure, he had justification for his actions, but self-defence shouldn’t be something that absolves you from all responsibility – after all, you still killed a guy regardless of the circumstances. So I was actually rather surprised he was fully acquitted… I would have gone for a conviction of manslaughter or something. That’s another thing – as the police lady said, Article 10 really is convenient. I know Cecil and the others did it for the greater good this time, but I’m foreseeing an awful lot of people claiming “social justice” in the future, leading to a whole lot of issues.
Putting that aside, it’s great that Cecil won her first case, albeit through acting rather rashly. For better or for worse, it’s gotten her recognized by the Supreme Court Chief Justice, who will no doubt play a greater role later on in the series. It’s also amplified the animosity Hotaru has against her – I get that she’s jealous of her fellow newbie, but it seems rather baseless for now. I’m also wondering why the No Face gang member Cecil captured was so willing to give his testimony in court – I’d have expected him to ask for something in return for backing the defendant (although it’s possible he had no idea he was actually helping Kohinata). And as for the shady people who attacked Cecil last week, their presence in court does seem to imply that they’re from a rival law office of some sort, who are scouting out Cecil for whatever reason. It might be a long shot, but could they have been the prosecution team responsible for her mother’s death penalty?