|“||Thank you for calling this disciple of the Toneido School of rakugo back for an encore! It's me! The balloon artist you all know and love, Geeeiru Toneidooo! Onnne, twooo... BLOOOON!||„|
|~ Geiru Toneido|
|“||When the truth's revealed... it'll be yer balloon or mine that goes POP! Got it?!||„|
|~ Geiru after "transforming" into her more abrasive persona upon Athena indicting the murder onto her.|
Geiru Toneido is an antagonist in the videogame Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice. Specifically, she is the main antagonist of the game's fourth case, Turnabout Storyteller. She is a balloon artist, the former student of Taifu Toneido, and the one responsible for his murder. She hopes to become a famous rakugo performer, just like her late father.
Prior to the Case
Geiru was the daughter of a famous rakugo performer, and was childhood friends with Uendo Toneido. She dedicated herself to following her father's footsteps and becoming a famous rakugo performer herself. At one point, she became a student of Taifu Toneido, but unfortunately was not skilled in rakugo. Instead, her teacher suggested doing balloon art. Geiru disliked the job, but took it, anyways, hoping her determination would eventually have Taifu pass her father's stage name to her.
That hope would be crushed, however, when Taifu passed the name on to Uendo instead, despite him having less experience than she. Ever since, she secretly held a grudge against her teacher and her friend.
Getting Her Revenge
Geiru decided to have her revenge on the day of Uendo's naming ceremony. After her performance, she visited her teacher, as it was common courtesy for rakugo performers to visit their teachers both before and after performance, and found Taifu and Uendo (who suffered from dissociative identity disorder and, at the time, was currently being controlled by Owen, one of his other personalities) asleep. She also found soba-making equipment, which led her to believe her teacher was making soba, to which she was allergic (as she would even have been at risk of having a stroke or even death). In reality, however, he was making udon noodles for her, hoping that this would be a sign to move on and discover her own talent.
Taking this opportunity, she grabbed an uncut udon dough, pinned her teacher on the floor, and suffocated him. In retaliation, however, Taifu grabbed the knife he was using to cut the noodles and cut her on the forehead. This caused her to bleed on the dough, but it was not enough for Taifu to save himself.
After the deed was done, she set up the crime scene to make it appear that Taifu had drowned facefirst in a bowl of soba noodles. First, she cooked up some prepared soba noodles from her teacher's refrigerator. In the process, however, she accidentally touched it, causing an allergic reaction on her left arm, which she hid under her gloves.
Next, she set up Taifu's body to make it seem that he had drowned in the bowl. Then, she rearranged the karuta cards on the table to spell out "OWEN 4TH," indicating Uendo's fourth personality as the murderer. When Uendo came to, he noticed the cards and realized what it meant. He quickly rearranged the card to spell out "WHET NO 4" to blame the murder on Bucky Whet, the case's defendant, instead.
Finally, she turned the dough onto which she'd bled into dumplings, then fed it to her dog, Jugemu, an act Simon Blackquill, a frequent visitor of Taifu's, witnessed. The dog was unable to finish all of the dumpling due to the quantity, so he buried his leftovers in the yard.
Geiru was the second witness to be called to the witness stand. Upon entrance, she immediately captivated the judge with her balloon talent. She first testified that she was in the hallway in front of the dressing room along with Simon, and that during the time before Taifu's body was found, Bucky was the only one who entered the dressing room. She also stated that Jugemu was barking before Bucky showed up. When questioned who Jugemu was, she revealed that he was her dog that she kept at the theater (and made a balloon art of him). When questioned why he was barking, Geiru stated that it was his feeding time, so she went to the yard to feed him.
Bucky's defense attorney, Athena Cykes, asked if someone could possibly sneak into the dressing room while she was feeding her dog, which Geiru denied, saying that the yard's door was wide open, putting the dressing room in sight. Athena proved this false by showing the map diagram of the theater, showing that if the door was indeed wide open, it would have blocked her view of the dressing room. When Athena pressed her further, however, prosecutor Nahyuta Sahdmadhi intervened and allowed Geiru to leave the stand.
When Owen testified about the killer wearing perfume, however, she was called back to the witness stand (much to the dismay of Nahyuta), as Geiru herself was wearing perfume. She admitted that she knew of Owen, having played with him under Taifu's request. Athena insisted on the possibility of Geiru being the murderer, but Nahyuta argued that the defense didn't have proof of her guilt and allowed Geiru to leave the stand. Before she was able to leave the stand, however, Simon cut the balloon she was holding, causing it to deflate and push her bangs up, revealing the bandaged cut on her forehead. With her characteristics consistent to Owen's testimony, Athena indicted the murder onto Geiru.
Upon being accused of the deed, Geiru's personality changed to be more abrasive, and she made a balloon sword, which she swung around threateningly. She testified that she did go to her teacher's room after her performance, but found her teacher and Owen asleep. Upon seeing the note, she left so as to not disturb them, and insisted that Owen smelled her perfume after she left.
When questioned if she saw anything else strange or out of place, she said that besides the sake and half-eaten manju on the table, there was none. She was then questioned if she moved anything while she was in there, which she denied. Athena counterclaimed that Geiru had switched around the cards to leave the "dying message," as Geiru, Taifu, and Uendo himself were the only ones aware of Uendo's multiple personalities.
At this point, she took off her glove, showing her left hand all red and swollen. That was when she revealed that she was allergic to buckwheat, out of which soba noodles were made. Under those circumstances, it would make it impossible for Geiru to be the murderer as she could not even have stayed in the room for very long, as being in there would have killed her.
Athena then claimed that Taifu was not making soba noodles, but instead was making udon noodles. To prove this, she insisted Taifu's note did not mean "I am resting. Do not disturb," as assumed, but instead meant "This dough is resting. Do not disturb it," which would have made no sense, as one could not let soba dough rest.
After some thinking, Athena concluded that the murder weapon was the udon dough made by Taifu. She demanded a search for the dough. Nahyuta questioned how it would prove Geiru's guilt, to which Athena reminded him that Geiru had been cut on the forehead, causing her to bleed onto the dough. When questioned where the dough was, she stated that the dough was in the yard, fed to the dog earlier by Geiru. She asked for a search party to find the leftovers.
Realizing her defeat, Geiru went into a total breakdown (detailed below). Afterwards, she removed her costume, revealing that she had been wearing a wig all of that time, and confessed to the deed. The guilt of her actions caused her to break down crying. She was then arrested for Toneido's murder off-screen. Shortly after the trial, Bucky admitted to Athena and Simon that Taifu had only denied Geiru the promotion that she had sought because he'd wanted her to find her own calling in life, especially because being a rakugo artist was not it. Now feeling pity for her, Athena asked Bucky to deliver an udon meal to Geiru.
Like most Ace Attorney villains during the 3D era of the series, Geiru has two breakdowns during the trial and is the first female villain to have that distinction. The first occurs when Athena officially requests the judge to indict her as a suspect for Toneido's murder. Realizing that the fight is now on to throw off any suspicion that has now been placed onto her, she ties a balloon together into a sword and brandishes it toward Athena, now sporting a sinister and almost psychotic smile on her face, all the while promising that either her balloon or Athena's will pop by the end of the trial.
Her second breakdown occurs at the end of the trial. Once Athena cements her defeat, Geiru begins swaying at the witness stand in a daze, disbelieving that she has been found out, all while muttering that she should've been a rakugo artist and thus inherited the name Uendo. Then, her balloon arts begin to pop one by one, starting with her birthday cake, her cat, her sword, her dog (modeled after her actual dog), her hat, and finally, her nose. She then becomes temporarily insane and begins calling out for her father and asking if she is in trouble due to being a bad girl. Then, she pulls up her suspenders, screams, and then snaps them down on her breasts (which are then revealed to have had their size enhanced by balloons, as they pop upon contact). Finally, she collapses to her knees in a daze as the screen whites out.
Afterwards, Geiru removes her wig, confesses to her crime, and is arrested off-screen for Toneido's murder.
When first met, Geiru acted like a normal, if not overly perky young woman. She was bright and bubbly, and she seemed to act friendly toward Athena, Simon, Nahyuta, and the judge. For the most part, these were her true traits, as she seemed like a nice and pleasant girl to anyone who wasn't Taifu or Uendo, at least when she was in a normal situation.
However, when starting to be backed into a corner, the other side of her personality would come out. That side was brash, abrasive, and almost psychotic in nature and would not take anything from anybody. She also proved to be quite impulsive and spontaneous, as her murder of Taifu was actually done on a whim (despite having been planning to kill him, she hadn't planned on when or how she would do it). She was not necessarily evil like most other Ace Attorney villains, but she was definitely troubled and disturbed by clinging so heavily to her father, his memory, and her desire to honor it. For this reason, many fans of the series have agreed that Geiru was not a bad person, but an otherwise good person who was driven to do a bad thing out of grief and regret.
- Geiru is the first female Ace Attorney villain to be defeated by Athena, who had only defeated a male villain (Aristotle Means) before that point.
- Geiru is the third culprit in the Ace Attorney series to show true remorse in confessing to her crime, the first being Acro and the second being Marlon Rimes, and, thus far, the first and only female culprit to do so.
- Geiru received a large increase in popularity online due to her presence in a comical Ace Attorney fan-animation Disgraced Attorney: Phoenix Wright by the animator and YouTuber Speedoru, mainly due to people finding her attractive.
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