Machi Tobaye (マキ・トバーユ (Maki Tobāyu) in Japan) is the defendant in "Turnabout Serenade", the third case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. He is the secondary antagonist, assisting Daryan Crescend in smuggling Borginian cocoons from Borginia to America. Prior to being exposed as a smuggler, he was Lamiroir's guide, pretending to be blind to cover up her blindness.
Events of the game
Machi was the pianist for Lamiroir during her performances. He also secretly guided her around, as she was blind and unfamiliar with her surroundings. Lamiroir's bodyguard was murdered during one of the shows and Tobaye was accused of the crime. Seemingly blind and unable to speak English, Apollo took his case to give him some support, as the odds were seemingly against Tobaye.
However, during the trial, it turned out that Machi Tobaye's blindness was an act and he could speak English, just not very well. This made his alibi fall apart, with the only factor supporting his innocence being the fact that the victim's body was moved after being shot with a gun that would incapacitate a man twice Tobaye's size. Lamioir was revealed to be blind and had really hired Tobaye as a companion and a guide, coming to see the boy almost like a son.
Things only got worse when Tobaye was revealed to be a smuggler, who was bringing in Borginian cocoons to America. This crime was treasonous in his home country, meaning he could be executed if he ever returned home. It came to light that Daryan was the real killer, as he was blackmailing the boy into keeping quiet, otherwise he would have him returned home to be executed. An ultimatum was reached, with Machi being promised sanctuary on the grounds that he testified against Daryan. He agreed to do so, proving Daryan to be the murderer beyond a shadow of a doubt. Machi was arrested, though for a far less serious offense, meaning he'd almost certainly be out of juvenile detention by the time he was an adult. While the outcome was bittersweet, Apollo and Lamiroir were upset that Machi would still lose his freedom for the next few years.
Machi came across as terrified and highly-strung, due to being in a country he was entirely unfamiliar with and having few allies to support him. Once the language barrier was broken, Machi's personality didn't change much, due to his terror being genuine. Him and Lamiroir got on well, with her even seeing him like a son, as the two of them travelled the world to perform. She even trusted him with her secret that she was really blind, something she refused to admit until it became crucial that she did. He came across as a fourteen year old far too deep in over his head, a realistic outcome for a young teenager involved in smuggling.
- Machi Tobaye is the second youngest character in the series to intentionally commit a crime (as Pearl Fey had no idea of what she was really doing), being fourteen years old. He is also the youngest character (one of only two teenagers in the series) to be arrested.
- Machi likely got a smaller sentence due to his age. It's unlikely if he'd ever be allowed to return to Borginia due to having committed a crime punishable by death there. It's never confirmed if double jeopardy laws apply in Borginia.
- Machi is one of the least evil criminals in the series, being a smuggler rather than a murderer.
- Machi is a rare example of a villainous defendant in the Ace Attorney series, the only other ones being Terry Fawles, Matt Engarde, Ron Delite, and Magnus McGilded. However, while Terry, Machi, and Ron are innocent of the crimes they were accused of, Matt and Magnus are not.
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