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 Yamazaki 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. 

Now, sometimes fancy is better, but sometimes there's something to be said for keeping things simple. This year we're going back to basics: in honor of Spirit of Justice, we ask that you create a single OC who could fit in SOJ, be that in Japanifornia or Khura'in!

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, January 29th, 2017 (US Pacific Time). The staff will weed through the entries to make sure they all fit the requirements, and then open voting will begin February 3rd (or sooner) and continue for the next two weeks. If all goes smoothly, winners should be announced February 18th or 19th.

As we extended the deadline, if you have already entered please feel free to revise your entry and update it on the site. Whatever you have submitted at end of day on January 29th will be the version of your entry used for voting.
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 three divisions: Fanart, Fanfiction, and Sprites.  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 reserve the right to 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 a Khura'inese one.)  Examples would be things like defense attorney, prosecutor, judge, detective, witness, or even victim (this is Khura'in, after all!)  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 you may create a character that fits in either "Japanifornia" (the standard AA setting) or Khura'in.

Spoilers for the games should be avoided as much as possible. Unmarked SOJ 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.


While the prize pool last year was an... interesting idea, it led to unfortunate delays in organizing and sending out prizes. This year we are returning to a standard prize set.

First place winners in each category will receive the AA6 artbook (Japanese unless an English version is announced before prizes are sent, in which case winners will have to option to wait for the EN release.)

Second place winners in each category will receive their choice of the Phoenix selection or Apollo selection OSTs.

Third place winners in each category will receive an AA6-themed 3DS card carrying case.

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


Judging will primarily be handled through public voting after the submission period. Submissions will be checked over by the staff for appropriateness before public voting begins. In the event we receive a large number of submissions in a category - e.g. to the point that public voting becomes infeasible - we reserve the right to select a set of finalists.

Unless something comes up, winners will be announced February 4th or 5th.

Entries will be voted based on three categories:

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.


The entry procedure is quite different this year, so read carefully!

Please register for the C-R 3.0 beta site (you can use your existing forum login) and post your entry using the fanfiction gallery (for fanfic entries) or fanart gallery (for fanart and sprites). Then provide the following form in the description field:

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

Finally, make sure you tag your work "occ2016" so that it can be easily found.

Registration is required to enter. If you can't register for whatever reason, please contact us (courtrecord [at] gmail [dot] com) and we'll try and work something out.

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.

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 AA6?

A: Yes, but that's a very broad 'yes'. Don't feel like you have to include specific AA6 references; we're just looking for characters that fit into the world of Spirit of Justice.

Q: What happened to the modeling category?

A: There was... not a lot of interest in the category last year, to put it mildly. We'd rather focus on these three.

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. 


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.
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 giving your sprite a sense of continuity with canon AA 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.

*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