Posts Tagged “seriously that hat”

Jenis Quatlane, or...

It is probably just a coincidence that the (relatively minor side) character who desires Eternal Life so she can stay forever young and beautiful is voiced by Kikuko "Eien ni 17-sai" Inoue.

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva was kindly brought to Singapore by Encore Films and Golden Village, although I doubt GV actually knows what to do with a movie like this, since it's being shown in a limited number of theatres… let's see… (*checks SMS*) Plaza Singapura, Marina Square, Bishan Junction 8, Tampines Mall, Yishun, and VivoCity. Part of the reason I'm posting this is because I want this film to succeed wildly, so this sort of thing will get a wider release next time.

I could be biased due to liking the games, although previously they were under the heading of Fun Diversions, rather than anything serious; the game itself is a mere container for the puzzles, which the NPCs present to you like a Pokemon trainer challenge, or, appropriately enough for this post, like some sort of operatic interlude.

Here, the puzzles are sparse, almost like an excuse for the movie. But this doesn't matter, because each puzzle has meaning, fitting into an overarching mystery, like the plot-critical puzzles in the games. The audience is free to play along if they so choose, though there is no actual expectation to do so; in fact, English-speakers have an advantage, despite the movie being Japanese.

Nevertheless, you don't have to have played the games to enjoy this movie. A short sequence in the beginning breaks character to explain the history of the Layton games via voice-over and clip montages, which apparently has some spoilers of some kind, although I didn't notice any myself. Most of the cameos of game characters in the movie take place in the opening bit, which has Layton and Luke at the end of yet another adventure. The bulk of the movie itself is a flashback to one of their early adventures.

In other words, no Flora past the first few minutes. Remi and Jenis do make up for it, though. Especially Remi.

The plot finishes off the puzzles and mysteries after a certain revelation about three-quarters of the way into the movie, upon which it switches modes into action stunts and battles. The animation, blending the 2D style of the games with 3D sequences, is crisp and clear throughout, suggesting a budget the size of a small European nation. Professor Hershel Layton shows his true nature in this movie as an unmitigated Badass made of Pure Awesome, joining Indiana Jones and Lara Croft in the pantheon of Impossibly Cool Archaeologists.

It should probably not be a spoiler that, in a movie referencing a diva who may or may not be eternal, there will be some brilliant pieces of music. The themes from the games will be heard, heard again in a different arrangement, remixed, and in one instance technofied. The movie's themes are also arranged and melded together seamlessly, with Nana Mizuki providing rock-solid vocals as Jenis.

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva absolutely will be a DVD purchase if it ever becomes available in R1. Alternately, if the unexpected happens in a positive way, I will add it, along with Star Trek, on my Blu-ray wishlist, along with an actual Blu-ray player of some sort.

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