|“||Night, night, alderman... Sweet dreams!||„|
|~ Florent L'Belle, just seconds before murdering Rex Kyubi.|
Florent L'Belle is a minor antagonist in the videogame Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, but the main antagonist of the case The Monstrous Turnabout. He is a flamboyant individual who serves as the aide of Mayor Damian Tenma. He is also the one responsible for the murder of Rex Kyubi, the alderman of Nine-Tails Vale.
Florent L'Belle created his own line of cosmetics called "Je Suis L'Belle". However, due to his extreme narcissism, after announcing his line and making contracts, he refused to actually sell of the products due to his belief that only someone as special and beautiful as he was should be able to use them. This resulted in him racking up a huge debt, and it created desperation to pay it all off as soon as possible. He heard of the Tenma Taro, a gold ingot at Nine Tails Manor in Nine-Tails Vale. However, Tenma Taro was also the name of a yokai rumored to steal the souls of all who look at him and tell others about him. L'Belle used this to his advantage.
He drugged Rex Kyubi and Damian Tenma while dressed as Tenma's wrestling alter ego, the Amazing Nine-Tails, to eliminate any witnesses. He then opened the chamber, only to find that the treasure had already been stolen. When he came out, he hit Tenma with a Fox and Demon statue to make it look like Kyubi had tried to resist the attack, and then donned Tenma's mask to make his daughter, Jinxie, think that her father had confessed to the crime when, in reality, he had done so to pin the murder on Tenma.
The plan had multiple dimensions to it. L'Belle had blackmailed Tenma into forcing a municipal merger between his town, Tenma Town, and Kyubi's town, Nine-Tails Vale, by using his identity as the Amazing Nine-Tails and threatening its exposure to the public. Then, after murdering Kyubi, he would pin the murder on Tenma to drive down the popularity of his wrestling alter ego, allowing the merger to occur seamlessly so that he could search for the treasure at his leisure. This was a plan that would have succeeded had Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes not figured out his crimes and exposed him in court.
L'Belle has one of the longer breakdowns among the Ace Attorney villains. As he is backed into a corner, he keeps spraying himself with cologne to calm his nerves. He sprays so much, a puff of yellow smoke covers his entire face. He then curses Apollo for exposing him, threatening to kill him like he did Alderman Kyubi, officially confessing to the crime. When the smoke clears, L'Belle's makeup comes off, revealing his real face: that of a prematurly aging man with graying hair and multiple wrinkles.
Just then, in the wake of his admission, the cellphones on his shoulders begin to ring excessively. The calls indicate that various contracts of which he has been part have either been pulled or canceled. He gets another call from someone who fires him as Tenma's aide. It is possible that the trial was broadcast on live television, and those involved with the contracts immediately opted to distance themselves from, and break all contact with, the now-confessed murderer. It is also possible that someone working in Tenma's office decided to fire him for the same reason.
In particular, one call tells L'Belle that he has been charged with severe damage to the ozone layer because of all of the cologne he was using, and now owes $100,000,000 in addition to the debt that he already has. Knowing now that his debt has increased even more and that he is officially "washed up," L'Belle begins laughing insanely and uncontrollably. Afterward, he is arrested for Kyubi's murder.
As mentioned, L'Belle is a flamboyant, egotistical, pompous, vain person who is shown to have a narcissistic nature. This is shown by the many times he sprays himself with cologne and talks about his makeup. It is shown that he cares very much about his physical appearance, as well, what with how he wears his hair in different colors throughout the Monstrous Turnabout case. However, none of these are necessarily the characteristics that make him a villain. In fact, they would normally make a person come off as more harmlessly annoying than actively villainous.
As the case goes along, it is clear that L'Belle possesses a darker and ruthless evil side. He is very smug, as demonstrated by the obnoxious way that he laughs at Apollo and Athena's attempts to pin Kyubi's murder on him while he is on the witness stand. He is also shown to be temperamental and ruthless in how he treats Apollo Justice, spraying the lawyer with perfume every time he is annoyed. He also has a lot of desperation, which drives his motive for murdering Kyubi so that he can get to the already-stolen ingot, as he is anxious to get out of debt.
Finally, he lacks the ability to think on his feet or deal with pressure, as shown by him only recovering from nervousness whenever prosecutor Simon Blackquill pokes any holes in Apollo's theories and eventually having his aforementioned breakdown once he is fully exposed as the culprit.
- L'Belle could be a homage to Redd White. Both of them are flamboyant businessmen who resort to murder and are driven by greed and vanity. While Redd White was a more dangerous antagonist, due to his status and wealth, L'Belle was a more cunning murderer, putting up a much harder fight than White.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
Gyakuten Kenji 2/Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth: Prosecutor's Path
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve