Anime Review: Le Chevalier D'Eon

MyAnimeList Rating: 5 out of 10

Junicorn had several DVD collections which she gave me to safeguard while she was away in Japan, amongst them was the historical action(?) drama Le Chevalier D'Eon.

I was disappointed with Chevalier. I usually enjoy shows with a historical backdrop, and this is the reason why I first approached the series. Actually, that might have been the only saving point of this show, how it utilized actual historical events and fit them into the fictional existence of the Psalms and D'Eon's sister Lia.

I thought the story was mediocre because it starts out in a promising way. The first couple episodes carefully set up the plot points and characters that will eventually develop, these few first episodes are crafted well enough to hook your interest in the series, and they made me genuinely curious as to where it would all develop, yet as the story progressed, while some enigmas were answered (which honestly you eventually suspect on your own), the use of the Psalms, their meaning, significance and ultimate goal become so convoluted and contradictory it made me feel that this particular element was misused in the story or unnecessarily exploited it. The last episode compressed some of the progress I would have rather seen explored within the series itself rather than packed as an epilogue.

Many fans of the series compliment the art of this series. I can't agree with that... Besides the first DVD which is lovingly and crisply animated, the remainder of the show the quality goes down the drain. This was ultimately proven when one of the characters has a flashback of his journey with his comrades, and in every scene he was in he looks slightly different, yes you know it's him, but there was such differing drawing standards from one episode to another, sometimes the drawing just looked downright lazy. Backgrounds are always lush and beautiful though, plus the use of 3D is well done, I'll give it that.

Another pet peeve for me was the costume choices... for a historical piece I was expecting more accuracy in the depiction of the fashiosn of the period. Most of the female characters are dressed in styles from different fashion movements, and Lia's "lolita-esque" ensemble with ankle length skirt would simply be nonexistent and inappropriate at the time. The lack of variety of fashions (ok, fine it's anime they will wear the same outfit over and over) was also a disappointment since the characters that were nobles would not be caught in the same outfit twice.

Characters were given a rating of 6. D'Eon was bland. Lia's potential was not explored further. The rest of the cast fit into some sort of expected role. The only two that were of interest or showed some growth were Robin and Maximilien. I simply could not get over how plain Ana's design was, every single time she came on screen... that short hair? No noble woman in the Palais Versailles would ever have her hair styled in that manner during that period... agh Ana...

Music was wonderful, so I won't delve into that.

Overall, halfway through the series I considered dropping it since I had a feeling of where it would all go, but kept my hopes up for something better after reading some reviews for it. I sometimes think my time would have been better spent watching something else. The ending was not completely unsatisfying and they do their best to tie up all lose ends. Yet, it did not leave me with great excitement to share this series with other people. On a side note, some of the historical references made were accurate and it was funny to think of the characters in the light I remembered them from this anime during my art history courses.
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