Ernest Amano is the secondary antagonist of "The Kidnapped Turnabout", the third case in Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney: Investigations. While he first comes across as an affable and wealthy old man, he's really a powerful smuggler with ties to organized crime.
Ernest Amano was good friends with Manfred Von Karma due to the two of them both being powerful and wealthy men. Amano also had one son, Lance, as well as Colin Devorae, his assistant. Devorae took the fall for Amano's part in the smuggling ring, leading to Amano looking after Devorae's daughter Lauren Paups during the former's incarceration.
Role in the Game
Amano first appears calling Edgeworth to notify him of a serious problem. His son Lance has been kidnapped and a sum of a million dollars is required as a ransom. Seeing this as returning a favor, Edgeworth agrees to deliver the money, but this plan is foiled when he gets held hostage as well.
After breaking free, Edgeworth reunites with Ernest, who tries to reminisce with the prosecutor about Manfred Von Karma and his legacy. This quickly turns to Amano becoming desperate about his son's wellbeing when the corpse of Devorae (at this point referred to as Oliver Deacon) is discovered.
Lance Amano "escapes" captivity and reunites with his father. However, due to evidence piling up, Edgeworth and the other officers on the scene become suspicious of Lance Amano and suspect him as Devorae's killer. Not wanting his son to be arrested and wanting the case to be closed as quickly as possible, Ernest hastily buys the crime scene and kicks everyone out of it.
This fails when Kay Faraday, Edgeworth's recent companion uses Little Thief, a device of hers to recreate the crime scene. After evidence is found implicating Lance as the killer, Shi-Long Lang, an Interpol agent on the scene reveals his true reason for being here, a desire to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ernest Amano was involved in the smuggling ring. Not wanting to be caught, Amano throws his son under the bus and tries to have only him arrested, flaunting his position to try and get everyone to back off. This fails and leads to both the Amanos being imprisoned, with Edgeworth realizing just how corrupt Ernest really was.
Ernest is calm, distant, and outwardly friendly. He likes to avoid confrontation and is unfailingly polite, even if he can be inadvertently offensive. Behind this façade is a cunning and intelligent man who will betray his closest allies to save his own skin. While his friendliness is genuine unlike Quercus Alba, the game's main villain, Amano is extremely corrupt, seeing his wealth as a tool to manipulate and control those less powerful than himself. When he can't buy his way out of problems, he becomes far more aggressive.
He loves his son dearly, being willing to pay a hefty ransom to have him returned safely (even if this was just a ruse for Lance to extort his own father.) He only turns against his son when continuing to defend him could implicate him as a smuggler. He's less concerned with his son being a murderer than he is with him being a liability.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
Gyakuten Kenji 2/Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth: Prosecutor's Path
Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Kakugo