The Ace Attorney series owes much of its success to its cast of colorful, unique characters.  But do YOU have what it takes to pit your own creativity against Takumi and his team?  Court Records wants to find out!

This contest was created to give everyone a chance to show off their Ace Attorney original characters, in the form of either a fanart, a fanfiction, or a custom made sprite. 

This year, we travel back to foggy London - or Meiji Japan - and ask the fandom for its take on characters themed around Dai Gyakuten Saiban! Don't worry - you don't need to have played the game to participate. Just make someone who could be at home in a Holmes story (or restoration-era Japan) as well as Ace Attorney, and you're on the right track!

You can read the rules below, but if you want to get an even better idea of what the OC contest is about, be sure to check out last year's winners.

General Guidelines




All entries must be received by 11:59 PM, November 29 (US Pacific Time). The longer-than-normal entry period is to account for most of our likely entrants having school occupying their time. The Judges will weed through the entries to make sure they all fit the requirements, and then open voting will begin December 5 and continue for the next two weeks. If all goes smoothly, winners should be announced December 19 or 20.
Eligibility:  Everyone is eligible.  Court Records does not disqualify anyone based on their age or location.  However, you MUST be willing to disclose your address to Bolt in the event that you win.  (Via secure email, of course).  Otherwise, how can we send you your prize?  Only the winners will be asked for this information.

If you have an original character but are not willing to accept a prize, we ask that you refrain from formally entering.  But feel free to share it anyway on the forum!
Requirements: The contest will be split into four divisions: Fanart, Fanfiction, Sprites, and Models.  Entries in different divisions will not be judged against each other, unless there is a low sprite and/or fanart count, in which case we may combine those categories.  Each division has its own set of requirements, so make sure you read up (scroll to the bottom).
Restrictions: This is an Ace Attorney contest, and as such your characters must somehow fit into the context of an Ace Attorney court of law (even an old British one.)  Examples would be things like defense attorney, prosecutor, judge, detective, witness, or juror.  If the judges aren't convinced that your characters have a close enough relationship to Ace Attorney (through playing one of the aforementioned roles or being somehow connected to a canon character) they may be disqualified. Note that your character must fit either Victorian London or Meiji Japan this year.

Spoilers for the games should be avoided as much as possible. Unmarked DGS spoilers are not allowed, period, so if your entry really has to spoil something from that game, please mark it clearly when submitting.

You are not allowed to submit different incarnations of canon characters (if you had invented "Hobo Nick" he would not be eligible).

Each participant is allowed ONE entry of one character. You can not submit characters that you have submitted to the OC Contest previously, even if it was in a different category.

If you submit sprites, you cannot also submit a fanart.  Choose wisely!

Your work must be yours and yours alone. No collaboration allowed. If you and your friend have created characters in the same canon and wish to enter, you can NOT use each other's characters in your entry. It's okay if you mention other OCs in the description portion, but they cannot appear in your art or fic (since characters should stand on the strength of their own entries).

There will be a first place, second place, and third place winner in each category.  Do not submit joint entries.  Do not hire someone to do your entry for you.

If you are caught submitting an entry you did not create, or using a character you did not create (such as spriting a character from a different game) you will be disqualified and banned from all future CR contests.  We do not take plagiarism lightly. If you suspect someone is stealing work, please contact us immediately.

It IS okay if you have posted your character elsewhere before participating in this contest.
Appropriateness: Because this contest will have open voting among fans, all entries should not feature any excessive violence, nudity, or graphic sexual content.  Keep it at a PG-13 rating or lower, please.


Unless the 3D model category doesn't get enough entrants, we have twelve sets of prizes this year! Regrettably, some of the prizes this year are things we don't have four of. As such, we are letting winners pick from a pool of prizes. The winners of first place in each category will get first pick (which category goes first will be determined randomly), then the four second place winners get to pick, and then the four third place winners.

First place winners in each category will have their OC immortalized in a piece featuring the winners, drawn by Eisner Award-winning artist (and former CR contest winner!) Nina Matsumoto. If the winner is interested, they can also receive a print of the work, OR something from the prize pool.

Second place winners in each category will get to choose a prize from the prize pool.

Third place winners in each category will get to choose a prize from the prize pool, after the second-place winners.

"The prize pool" is:
1x Mini-DGS artbook
1x Mini-DGS soundtrack
6x DGS Print cards (pick one) (see the upper-right here)
1x Holmes' business card
1x DGS-themed notebook
1x XXL GS5 T-shirt
1x Blue badger handkerchief
1x Kay Faraday handkerchief
1x Plushie Phoenix keychain accessory
1x Plushie Edgeworth keychain accessory
1x Tonosamanjuu (Japanese Samurai Dog) keychain accessory
1x Godot coaster
1x Mia coaster

In addition, all first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive an attorney's pin from Fangamer.


Judging will be handled in two ways: a panel of judges for each division, and also an open poll on the site.

One to three judges will be chosen for each of the four divisions (thus, up to 12 judges).  As the entries come in, they will be passed between the judges to make sure they fit the requirements of the contest.  The judges will score each entry, and once all the scores are tabulated, ~10-15 entries from each category will be selected (depending on number of entries submitted).

Once the finalists have been picked, a poll will be created on the site for everyone to vote on.  It will be open for roughly 10 days.

Once the popular votes have been tallied, the judges will cast their votes as well.  The reason for this is to help counterbalance "friend-voting" in the open poll.  We will also be keeping up a vigil for improper promotion, which will be better explained when the poll goes up.

Unless something comes up, winners will be announced December 7th.

Entries will be judged on:

Originality:  Is the entry unique?
Continuity:  Does it seem like a character that could actually fit in the Ace Attorney universe?
Execution:  Is the work well made and technically impressive, and are the characters interesting?

Remember that the AA universe is very diverse, but don't go overboard in the strange department.


Now that you've read the rules, here's how to enter:

Fill out the following entry form and post it in the appropriate OC Contest entry topic on the forums (fanart, fanfic, sprites, 3D models).
Forum registration is required to post. If you can't register for whatever reason, please contact us (courtrecord [at] gmail [dot] com) and we'll try and work something out.

Entrant's Name:
Entrant's Website: (optional)
Character's Name:
Brief Physical Description:
Brief Personality Description:
Connection to canon characters (if applicable):
Brief Background:
Link to entry:

Be sure to provide enough detail that your voters will be able to get a good sense of what makes your character unique, especially the details that won't necessarily show in your work.  This contest is first and foremost about creating imaginative characters.

You may either link to an off-site entry, or make a topic dedicated to your entry in the appropriate subforum. (We recommend the latter so people can give dedicated feedback.)

If opting to post your work on the forum, please thumbnail large images.

Make sure you've read all the rules and division requirements before submitting your entry, or you may be disqualified and unable to re-submit!


Q: Do I have to theme it around DGS?

A: Yes, but that's a very broad 'yes'. Don't feel like you have to include specific DGS references - all we're looking for is "Victorian London" or "Meiji Japan" as the background.

Q: Can I create an ancestor of a canon character?

A: Yes! Just be a bit creative - they should be more original than “canon character in a top hat”.

Q: Can I adapt an existing Holmes character not featured in DGS?

A: Yes, but again, originality is key! To use DGS itself as an example: Iris and Garrideb would be fine, as they take only light inspiration from their canon counterparts. Gregson would be much more borderline. If you’re concerned, reach out to us and we’ll make a call.

Q: Do I have to be 100% period-accurate?

A: No, not really. While you should of course try to make your character fit in to either Meiji Japan or Victorian London, we won’t be going over entries with a fine-toothed comb for slight anachronisms.

Q: I’m not very familiar with the setting, since I haven’t played DGS. How can I enter?

A: In addition to the spoiler-free profiles, try poking around the Japanese DGS site to get a feel for the aesthetic of the game! It’s a world of cultural upheavals in Japan as Westernization begins to show, and of pride and technological advancement in Britain. And for those looking for an exact date, DGS takes place sometime in late 1899/early 1900 (give or take a year).

We’re very aware DGS is less accessible than some other games in the series (cough cough Capcom cough cough), so we really aren’t looking for lavish canon-complicity. Again, you don't need to use specific DGS details to make a character.

Category-Specific Guidelines


As we know how difficult it can be to show the full range of a character in just one piece of fanart, entrants to the fanart division are allowed to submit up to two separate pieces, if they wish.  Your fanart may be a simple character design or depict a scene.  It may have writing on it and feature other canon characters, as long as your characters are the focus.  You can even do a collection of different facial expressions, as might appear in an artbook.

Your fanart must be a polished work.  Any medium is fine, but do NOT submit a scan of a pencil drawing scribbled on line paper you did in your math class.

Your fanart may not depict graphic violence, nudity, or sexual content.  PG-13 is the rule of thumb.

Comics are not eligible.  Do not split your fanart into panels.

Fanart may NOT be animated. 

There is no size limit for fanart, but if you're posting it on the forum, please be courteous and use a thumbnail to avoid stretching the page.


Entrants to the fanfiction division are allowed to submit one piece.  It must be complete and it must be at least 1,000 words and no more than 40,000.  Multi-chapter stories are welcome, but do not use that as an excuse to slap two separate fics together.  Whether you add canon characters is up to you but it must be connected to the Ace Attorney universe to be eligible.

If your fic is multi-chapter or especially long, we may make a note when it's posted which chapter(s) the character appears in.  Keep in mind not everyone will have or take the time to read through very long fics, so be precise about your editing.

Make sure your story is properly formatted and has been proof-read before submitting it.

Your fanfiction may be of any genre as long as it does not depict graphic violence, nudity, or sexual content.  PG-13 is the rule of thumb.


If your entry is animated, it must go the sprite category.  Entrants to the sprite category may submit one or all of the following:

A sprite sheet of their characters
A single sprite placed on one of the game's backgrounds (text optional)
A single or collection of animated gifs

Entries can be in .png, .gif, or .svg format.  We are NOT allowing Flash based entries this year. 

Sprites can be hand drawn using a graphics program or created using parts from existing sprites (please disclose which sprites you used in your entry).  However, if you choose to piece together existing sprites, you must use at least three different sprites to do so OR combine two sprites with some extra degree of editing (so that it looks enough like someone else).  Here's a handy chart to demonstrate:

Likewise, straight recolors are not acceptable.

If your sprite falls into the "C&P + Recolor" category, it is acceptable, but without some extra edits it stands a greater chance of being cut out of the finalists.  Of course, the skill of your C&P will also play a part (a very well done sprite made of only 2 characters will be placed higher than 5 characters slapped poorly together).

Do not try to piece together sprites and pass it off as being from scratch.  we're all VERY familiar with these sprites by now, and we will disqualify you.

If you use sprites from other games in your splicing, you are also required to disclose which ones.  Please keep in mind that part of the continuity score given by the judges includes whether or not the sprite looks like it could pop right into a PW game, so do attempt to keep the PW style.  This includes the size of your sprite.  The DS screen is 256x192 pixels.  If your sprite exceeds that it will not be disqualified, but we are looking for Ace Attorney style sprites above all else.

Your sprites may not depict graphic violence, nudity, or graphic sexual content.  PG-13 is the rule of thumb.

Sprite comics are not eligible.

Like in the fanart category, if you are submitting only a sheet, you might want to create a thumbnail. 

3D Models

3D models are a new category for us this year! Depending on turnout, there's a small chance this won't advance to public voting.
Publicly, you need to only share a render of the model. However, we need access to the file to ensure no plagiarism is involved and so our judges can judge the model's technical aspects, so please host the file somewhere and send a link to courtrecord [at] gmail [dot] com and title the message "OC Contest 3D Model File." Alternatively, you could share the link publicly if you don't mind doing so.

You may make a model from scratch or incorporate elements from other models. If you use elements from other models, please specify what models were used. If we find evidence that you used part of someone else's model without saying as much, your entry will be disqualified for plagiarism. Simply using an existing model and applying a different texture to it is not acceptable. The same holds true for just slapping something from one model onto another model.

If you're looking for some AA model work, take a gander at the AA5 model thread on the forums.

Your models may not depict graphic violence, nudity, or graphic sexual content. PG-13 is the rule of thumb.
*Submitting your entry to this contest will be seen as consent for us to add it to the OC Archive, or possibly use to promote the contest in future years.  If you're not comfortable with this please let us know when you submit your entry.

Good luck everyone!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, direct them to courtrecord [at] gmail [dot] com