Le Chevalier D’Eon: Livre 1

Hawkeye

It is a time of queen and kings, a time of chivalry and politics, but what lies in the heart of France is much darker. Secret cults and alliances run rampant, mysterious mercury-filled corpses have been linked to high ranking officials, and the royal court has its own organization bent vanquishing this evil from the world.

imageD’Eon is a petite nobleman in 1742 France. He’s never cared for court life, and has always wanted to take a more straight-forward approach to improving the country. When his sister appears mysteriously murdered and filled with mercury, he vows to get to the bottom of her death, because the church will not allow her proper burial. This is because her body will never decay, and so her soul is trapped, unable to enter heaven. D’Eon joins the secret police in order to use it to his advantage in unraveling the mystery, and while it does point him in the right direction, it isn’t until they uncover more mercury-filled bodies that something much more sinister appears. Secret cults both good and bad, vicious zombies controlled by blood magic, and his sister’s dead soul emerge, pushing D’Eon and his companions to their limits.

There was an interesting blend of real history and fiction in this anime. Most of the characters were based on people who were alive in the mid-late 1700’s, but they took them and gave them depth, as well as tweaking their backgrounds to make an intriguing new tale. The extras on the disc include historical notes for the places and people they used, and it was a lot of fun to compare what all they had done to the real history. The story itself is just intriguing, offering a mystery that they slowly play out for the viewer. They really don’t give anything away that they shouldn’t, which is rare for a mystery anime.

imageThe animation was beautiful with breath-taking designs and details in everything from the background to the character’s clothing. They also blended 3D with 2D animation, which seems to be a fairly big trend at the moment, but they did it right. It was fairly seamless when a character was overlaid and interacting with a 3D background, and that’s not something that’s easy to do.

The sound was also excellent. with spot-on voice acting that suited the characters well. I also really liked the other extras that were offered. The Commentary with ADR Director and English Voice actors was hilarious, as it wasn’t so much as the two guys commenting on what was playing. It was more about the two guys getting completely drunk and going off on random tangents. I personally think that’s awesome.

I was skeptical of a historically-based anime, especially one that takes place in France. But I was delighted. You don’t need to know anything about the time period to enjoy it, and if you do then you’ll enjoy spotting all the little twists and turns they’ve put into the history. Still, this one probably isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a good mystery with murder, intrigue and twist of the supernatural set in olden times, this is an anime for you.

Entertainment: 9
This was a wonderful surprise to watch, I was truly impressed.

Technical: 10
Good art, good sound, good story, and good extras, good for them.

Overall: 9

DVD Features: Episodes 1-4, English 5.1, Japanese 5.1 with English Subtitles

DVD Extras: Booklet with Character Info & Relationships, Interviews and More, Historical Notes, Commentary with ADR Director & English Voice Actors, Japanese Promotional Video & Trailer, Clean Opening and Closing Animation

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