Home > Anime, Manga and Games, Film, Reviews > DVD/Blu-ray Review: Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva

DVD/Blu-ray Review: Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva

The Professor’s first movie and his toughest puzzle yet!

Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva‘First it started with a Game’ as the intro goes it was the vast popularity of the game series following the gentleman Professor Layton on his quests to solve puzzles with his apprentice Luke. What made the game stand out against competitor titles was the slick animation between puzzles. People were so charmed by the character designs it shortly after became a movie.

The movie begins with an introduction about the series for new watchers and I know quite few people who indeed picked up this title from conventions for the art alone, not surprising as it was produced by and animated by P.A.Works, the same company that develops the animated cut scenes for the professor Layton games.

It contains an original story, independent of the game series, and taking place after the events of The Last Specter (fourth game in the series). It all starts with a trip down memory lane after finding an old record by their friend Justine a famous Opera Singer. One day she writes the Professor a letter about a girl telling her she is reborn as Justine’s dead friend Mileena. The Professor finds the resurrection story fishy and makes haste with Luke to check out Justine’s story. On the way he bumps into this assistant Emmy, quite knowledgeable he knows of some background to the opera they have been invited to watch and they both go about doing background research on Mr Whistler (Opera writer) and his deceased daughter Mileena. She leaves Layton and Luke to resume investigation about kidnapped children from London with Dr. Schrader. Ironically Dr. Schrader is quite pivotal to the story due to having an item in his possession and we barely see him despite Layton being HIS apprentice.

Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva

The film has so many in the background cameos from many characters from the first trilogy of the Professor Layton game series including Flora Reinhold, Don Paolo, Inspector Chelme, Constable Barton, Spring and Cogg, Stachenscarfen, Sammy Thunder, Mr. Beluga, Granny Riddleton, Babette, Claudia the Cat, Dorothea and Dr. Andrew Schrader. The Elysian Box (Pandora’s Box) also makes an appearance on Dr. Schrader’s office. Sadly we do not get much interaction but seeing them is enough to make game fans happy!

Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva

The story is split into two plots the missing children and the bizarre Opera house, where there is more than meet the eye than just the opera performance (and Luke’s school boy crush). I really loved how each character important or not was given defining attributes, whether it be Inspector Clamp Grosky and his ridiculous chest hair to the Pierre Starbuck massive nose. Most of the characters coming to the opera are in search of Ambrosia and eternal life so they all have a sentence of backstory.  Through solving puzzles people get terminated from the ‘chase’ and well to be honest most of them are only doing so for selfish reasons apart from Amelia.

Something about Amelia was a little off and upon closer inspection the movie did bring to attention what was her purpose looking for Ambrosia? How could a school girl afford a ticket either? She was in fact invited by Mr Whistler… but why? We are thrown off track by Jean Descole the annoying bloke who is commentating the tasks and generally being a loud nuisance, he is in fact a scientist but what’s his involvement with the opera? Greed is one reason and experiments another. Singing turns out to be a powerful key for solving the big puzzle.

Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva

It is when puzzles come into play I was a little disappointed we as the audience don’t get a chance to look at things and figure things out, professor Layton takes 30 seconds, a clock ticks and he has solved it and something fast and momentous happens.

So now the main story is split into three parts but are all connected and we have an abundance of characters to suspect. Will this case be too much for Professor Layton and Luke to solve? Of course not but the film gives you lots of twists to keep you on your feet. The audio has options of Japanese or English – I highly recommend the Japanese dubbing for one you do not have the annoying over the top British accents from Luke, instead you have older sexy Luke- which makes no sense as he is approximately 10 but is more pleasing to the ear. The soundtrack is comprised with re-hashed music for the first trilogy of games but all performed with real orchestra which is a treat. You also have some separate songs by Justine. This movie can be enjoyed by fans and people new to the series.

Details:

Label: Manga Home Entertainment Ltd

Release date: 18 Oct. 2010

Certificate: 12

Running time: 99 Minutes

Genre: Anime/Fantasy

Director: Masakazu Hashimoto

Stars: Oizumi,Maki Horikita, Saki Aibu, Nana Mizuki, Atsuro Watabe, Houchu Ohtsuka, Iemasa Kayumi

Author Profile:

Aisha Anime is a journalist who can be found wearing Lolita or Cosplay at Japanese events, conventions and tweeting live because selfies are an important part of life! When she isn’t out she is playing her Vita and 3DS hitting up all the streetpasses she can find whilst playing Disgaea or Suikoden.
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