Le Chevalier D'Eon made for a solid historical title mixed in magical elements as it explores the hostile tensions between royal figures in the monarchies of the world's powerful countries in the 18th century mixed in with D'Eon's search for answers in discovering the cause surrounding the death of his sister Lia, whom possesses his body in vengeance of those who murdered her and conspire against those among royalty that she supports. Three big things that stick out with this series are how complex it is, its historical accuracy of the final days of monarchy rule being the norm in 18th century Europe and having a large number of characters that it focuses on. D'Eon's quest to recover a stolen item for King Louis XV and find answers about Lia's death lead him to also journey into Russia and England where he encounters inner conflicts within the monarchies of both countries and later in his homeland of France. Influential figures within the monarchies of these countries are unsatisfied with the present directions of their nation's policies under their present rulers and will do whatever they can to claim the throne, even having to resort to assassination and abandoning their status and loyalty to their home country.
While Le Chevalier D'Eon presents a fictional account of these events with the incorporation of the occult, it does accurately portray the norms and political tensions present within 18th century European society. Besides accuracy in designing the clothing, mannerisms and items of the era, Le Chevalier D'Eon prominently focuses on the touchy side of having a monarchy with royal officials abusing their power and trying to usurp the throne, those being the ruling power becoming malcontent with sacrificing individual desires for the needs of the country and the touchy political relations between foreign nations over territory. The series also touched upon signs of rebellion stirring up with the commoners and those who gave up positions of authority in their monarchy due to their disgust over the large divide in resources available between the common class and those of the royal and wealthy elite. I haven't seen a series touch upon such issues with European monarchy since I seen Rose of Versailles two years ago.
With the series divided up into arcs focused on the journey of D'Eon and his three companions across France, Russia and England, Le Chevalier D'Eon introduces a large cast of characters who make up the ruling body and influential positions within each country's monarchy, as well as some antagonists trying to shake up their country's political system with their corrupt and terrorist acts. Many of these characters are fleshed out enough where you get a sense of their motivations and beliefs in regards to how they view their country's present situation. Some of these characters are even revealed to have a past connection to Lia which allows the viewer to better understand the type of person she was and slowly unveil more details concerning the facts surrounding her death.
There were only a couple issues I had concerning Le Chevalier D'Eon's plot and characters. The show doesn't give every prominent character depth as shown through a few of the show's antagonists such as the crazed Pyotr III. In addition, the final three episodes of the show put out a lot of information regarding everything that took place throughout the series which went against the slow buildup that Le Chevalier D'Eon had with unveiling its information in earlier episodes and it got quite daunting for me to take in every bit of information revealed all at once.
In terms of visuals, Le Chevalier D'Eon quite often gets inconsistent with its animation style. Some shots feature slick looking CG renderings of the inside of palaces like France's Palace of Versailles while settings of village locales tend to be drawn in a watercolor style that looks rather washed up in quality. Clothing designs for characters are great to look at and are accurate for the time period in which this series is set, yet the facial designs of said characters are simple and on the plain side. In terms of animation, the series does usually resort to still shots to simulate scenes of conflict yet also shows well choreographed and fluid sword fighting scenes which occur quite frequently in this series.
Overall, Le Chevalier D'Eon was a surprisingly solid and surprisingly complex series featuring an expansive cast of characters which the series gives focus on, an accurate depiction of the flaws to a traditional monarchical system and the large number of plot threads that the series tackles through D'Eon's journey. While having some issues, this is a worthwhile watch to those craving historical fictional titles with a bit of the occult added to the mix of things.
Last updated Friday, September 30 2011. Created Friday, September 30 2011.
(One episode watched):
Not what I was expecting! I figured this would be a mix of swordplay, espionage and romance, sort of like Rose of Versailles, and it was--at first. Artwork is excellent, and I liked the way the plot included lots of details of 18th century customs and the French social structure--the viewer is neither expected nor required to understand them all in order to enjoy the show. And then, near the end it went very very weird in a hurry, with zombies, a vampire (I think), and a character becoming possessed (again, I think). I am traumatized and will need some time to pull myself together before deciding whether to carry on with this series...
Last updated Friday, September 22 2006. Created Friday, September 22 2006.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site