By Rachel on July 23, 2007
Volume Three of Le Chevalier D’Eon, begins after D’Eon and his page, Robin infiltrated the court of Russian Empress Elizabeth in the guise of D’Eon’s deceased sister, Lia and her handmaid. Upon first meeting with the empress, D’Eon was forced to prove his identity by way of a series of duels. After confirming to Elizabeth that D’Eon is in fact Lia’s brother, the two strike up a friendship.
Empress Elizabeth is still haunted by Lia’s death and speaks at length with D’Eon about Lia’s work in Russia. At the end of their conversation, D’Eon and his group are given permission to hunt down the man they’ve been tracking across Europe and bring him to justice for Lia’s murder; Vorontsov.
While D’Eon and Robin were with the Empress, Durand and Teillagory scouted out the city. They have been given intel that someone within the palace wants the Empress dead. When D’Eon and Robin meet back up with the other two, information accrued is shared all around. D’Eon returns to the Empress with news of the latest attempt on her life.
Using the information they’ve gathered the four comrades are swept up in more intrigue, more schemings and more alchemical magic involving coups, betrayals, and a conspiracy to trap Lia’s soul.
Le Chevalier D’Eon, Volume Three is packed with more twists and turns than the previous two volumes. This latest sortie into Russian/ French politics had my head spinning for a bit. The tangled conspiracies carefully plotted at the beginning of the volume all sprang with an eloquence that bespeaks much of the storytelling. I had a hard time keeping up with all the machinations but the story was told well enough that I wasn’t upset at the dizzying pace events were unfolding at.
Historically speaking, LCD is tearing out pages from history, doing a lil’ oragami, and throwing ‘em into the series for added authenticity. The spin they’ve taken on D’Eon is sublime, in my opinion (portraying the real-life D’Eon’s cross dressing persona as his sister is genius in a funny way). This latest reshuffling of history by LCD involves the actual history of Empress Elizabeth and the Empress Katrina (Katherine the Great, FYI). But, alchemy in LCD has been portrayed a wee bit askance of how it was practiced in actuality at the time. Here’s for creative license!
I must applaud LCD for keeping up the good work with the historical accuracy in the Rococo artwork and costuming (except for D’Eon as Lia/loli). Nothing is more distracting than being the visual victim of an anachronism or shoddily drawn scene. The attention to detail is still high in that regard, the backgrounds are still tight and I’m still impressed by La Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Glass) at Versailles.
However, some of the scenes between characters don’t seem to have been given the same attention as the lush backdrops. Although I’m duly impressed by the fascinating scenery, I would much rather have the work that went into them go into the characters. Sometimes, the quality of the animation wavers and that unbalance is distracting and annoying.
The music which had been fairly unobtrusive the last two volumes came to my attention during a scene in Russia. In said scene, I thought I detected the notes of music inspired by Tchaikovsky. I rewound the scene, listened again and yep; there it was, the score definitely had the mark of that famous Russian composer. Nicely done, getting in a Russian composer, even if he wasn’t a part of the Rococo era.
Some of the English voice casting for Volume 3 was not very well chosen, in my opinion. Peter III, played by Jose Diaz, for example, was not a good choice. While the actor did convey that Peter was an ass, he managed to irritate me as well. He irritated me not because Peter was an ass but because the voice wasn’t right. The character and the actor didn’t seem a good match for each other. Peter didn’t seemed bored, stupid and spoiled, merely stupid.
Unevenness in animation and a few lackluster voice performances aside, the story is still fascinating and filled with enough action, magic and drama to almost make a person forget the anime’s few shortcomings. I can’t wait for the next installment of this historical romp through a torrid and pivotal moment in time.
Out of a possible four gummies.
Thanks ADV for letting us screen Le Chevalier D’Eon, Volume 3!
I do love almost all aspects of Japanese culture and try to be involved with it as much as possible. I have no problem admitting that I incorporate a lot of Japanese trends and traditions into my life as I modify them and make them my own. Anime is a big part of that, along with all the sub-cultures, past and present.