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Le Chevalier d’Eon – Psalm of Vengence (Vol. 1): Anime DVD Review

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Next up on the review block is Le Chevalier d’Eon, the anime about that French crossdressing spy whose name I can’t pronounce!

DVD Blurb:
Paris, 1742. A coffin floats in the shimmering Seine. On the lid, a word written in blood-Psalms. Inside, the body of a beautiful woman. Lia de Beaumont.

Now her brother, D’Eon, seeks the reason for her mysterious murder, and uncovers an evil that shadows both the palaces of kings and the dark alleys of Europe. A power wielded by spell-casting Poets, and manipulated by royalty. A force so powerful it brings Lia’s soul back from beyond to seize the only weapon she can possess to avenge her death-her own brother.

History meets horror. Fantasy meets mystery. Experience the next revolution in anime with Le Chevalier D’Eon.

Analysis:
I already gave some impressions on the first episode of this anime, so be sure and check that out for screencaps.

Originally, I thought the first episode wasn’t really my cup of tea. I guess it was just the whole “period” aspect of it. Seeing a few more episodes, it does seem a bit more kickass, now. Like there’s quite a bit of sword fighting and actual action! And zombies!

The story involves D’eon and friends trying to unravel the mystery of some secret group trying to usurp the King! I guess I must’ve not been paying enough attention, though, because I realized I have no idea what’s going on! That’s okay though, I think I can still enjoy the zombie-stabbing action regardless.

Character Designs and Art:
I remember the high production values of the first episode when I watched it way back when. The same applies to the rest of the episodes, too. The action scenes look really good, like when there’s mercury (?) coming out of the zombies, and when two dudes are fencing.

D’eon looks kind of like a girl, except when he is a girl. Then he looks a lot like a girl. I wonder if his boobs get bigger? Also, D’eon has a sidekick named “Robin,” which makes him that much closer to being Batman! I don’t really care too much for the character designs. They’re a bit too realistic for my tastes. I guess when you’re trying to do semi-historical anime, that’s a good thing.

The Actual DVD:
The Le Chevalier d’Eon has quite a bit of extra stuff included. There’s a booklet that has character info, design notes, definitions of some of the more obscure words used in the anime, an interview with the creator of the series. They even have a section called “Mise en scene,” one of my favorite terms of study when I was a media arts major! The DVD itself has two commentary tracks: one on the English audio production and one on the historical background of the show. I listened to the latter, and there was some insightful stuff and some less insightful stuff (you mean the Eiffel Tower wasn’t around in 1742!!?!? OMFG!)…

Basically, the DVD rocks. ADV put a lot of work into this package, and it really shows.

Conclusion:
I think I’ve warmed up a bit to the idea of period anime about crossdressing French spies. I mean, d’Eon doesn’t really crossdress; he just gets possessed by his sister! Plus there’s freakin’ zombies! Pair that with super awesome animation and we’re talkin’.

Many thanks to ADV for sending me a review copy of Le Chevalier d’Eon – Psalm of Vengence!

3 Comments

  1. I saw these episodes at the Anime All-nighter but although I liked what I saw, the law of gravity got the better of my eyelids! It’s a refreshing change in terms of themes though and I quite like the character designs too. Of course, political intrigue and possessed bishies taking out zombies is always going to be fun so I’ll be picking this up in the next few days.

    It’s not like ADV to go for a historical thriller but I’m glad they did.

  2. That sounds really neat! I thought this and Kurau sounded really cool, so I guess I might have to get these when the thinpak sets drop.

  3. It definitely is a “different” anime. No giant robots, no ninjas, yet, anyway. The sword fighting parts really make it for me. Otherwise I think I’d get too bored.

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