Le Chevalier D'Eon Review|
||Genres: Fantasy Drama Supernatural All|
Series' Year of Release: 2006
Number of Episodes: 24
Review Date: 25-3-2009
Review Language: Dub
Review DVD Region: R4
|Review By: Bradley Beeck
A young knight, DíEon de Beaumont, must discover the truth behind his sisterís murder, Lia de Beaumont, so that her soul may rest in peace. Liaís determination to seek vengeance is so great that she can possess her brotherís body using it as a vessel. With the aid of DíEonís travelling companions; Robin, Durand, and Teillagory they travel through France, Russia, and England battling against the Poets who seek a revolution through the Royal Psalms. Le Chevalier DíEon is set in the 18th century before the French Revolution.
Le Chevalier DíEon is interesting series; there arenít many shows in any medium that touch on this particular time period. Add in a magical occult and Gargoyles (read zombies) and itís got a lot to work with. It obviously doesnít concern itself with much in the way of historical accuracy, although it does use real peopleís names. DíEon de Beaumont himself was a real person who lead quite the life Ė he was a cross dresser, transvestite, spy, diplomat and knight. The DVD release includes historical notes on all the important figures.
There are four central characters: DíEon, Durand, Robin and Teillagory or in other words four musketeers. Each of these characters knew Lia, DíEonís sister, in some way but they have their own agendas. Durand is a member of a secret organization that serves the king, Robin is the queenís attendant, and Teillagory is a famous old knight who trained DíEon and Lia in fencing. All of them have their own storylines but I thought Teillagoryís had some issues with what happened in the early episodes. I didnít like Robinís character because heís a forthright kid who doesnít usefully contribute much.
Le Chevalier has structural pacing problems. Huge of amounts of key detail are packed into the first and last episodes with the in-between sections slow and logical. You have to wait until the last episode to get any answers which left me rather confused. I re-watched it and I was still left wondering about things. I guess that means itís got a kind of depth to the story. Part of the storyline involves the cast going to Russia, chasing the Royal Psalms and the Poets behind its theft. The problem is I didnít feel like this significant section of the series advanced the central storyline. It got tangled up in a sub plot and in the end only moves forward through an arbitrary plot event that could have happened anywhere. I also felt that one of villains unnecessarily escaped one too many times.
The story itself features betrayals, deaths, and a number of plot twists. Overall itís pretty good but it could do with more fleshing out of the Poets. Weíre never told why the Psalms have power or anything like that; itís just magic. The Poets also donít explain their motivations, aside from a blanket statement, and they hardly express themselves. One of the Poets is Maximilien Robespierre and he turns out to be a major figure in the story but it takes some time before heís introduced. I donít like the way he just mysteriously turns up when ever he wants to because it goes against how the rest of the show progresses. Heís pretty mysterious all round for most of the series and some events will leave you scratching your head. They tried to keep too much back for the conclusion. Ultimately the show turns on the concept of vengeance which isnít what you think and I didnít like. Given everything that had just happened and what had been lost it was bizarre.
The voice acting in this series is good and I was thankful nobody tried to do a French accent. I did find Robinís voice to be a bit irritating but I didnít like the character so thatís probably par for the course. One voice I did appreciate was the narrator who is only used in a few of the first episodes and the last. The music is an excellent orchestrated affair and the ED song Over Night by Aya is a favourite. Itís deep and soulful which is the opposite of the OP Born by Miwako Okuda. Itís too lively for this kind of series. The animation is high quality with the halls of palaces lined with paintings. DíEonís transformation into Lia is simply handled by his hair dropping down and appearing more feminine. Heís quite effeminate normally but not so much that he isnít identifiable as male.
Le Chevalier DíEon is an interesting concept that features zombies, cults, royalty and vengeance. Its characters are complex and each has their own agenda. However the Poets and the Psalms were lacking in essential detail that could have brought to life the build up to the French Revolution. The ending was overladen with detail, confusing and I didnít find it to be a satisfying resolution. Le Chevalier DíEon is a good series that could have been improved by more exposition and a better use of its setting.