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Anime Secret Santa Review: Le Chevalier d’Eon

Le Chevalier d'Eon No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Here, at long last, is my Anime Secret Santa review of Le Chevalier d’Eon. I’d like to apologize for the extreme delay in getting this up.

Let me start off by saying that I’m not the kind of guy who goes for historical/period pieces. I don’t actively hate them; they’re just not my first choice when I find myself in need of entertainment, anime or otherwise. So, when my friend raved about Le Chevalier d’Eon (which from now on I will abbreviate as LCdE to ease the burden on my poor fingers) I took one look at it, went “Eh, that’s nice, I’ll have to check that out,” then promptly moved on to whatever was next in my queue. Fast-forward to the 2011 Anime Secret Santa contest, wherein one of the three series picked for me was LCdE. Something made me think “aw, what the heck?” and watch it. And I’m glad that I did.

LCdE tells the tale of Eon d’Beaumont, a knight in the service of King Louis XV of France, who discovers, to his horror, that his beloved sister Lia was murdered in the line of duty. Determined to find her killers and bring them to justice, he journeys into a shadow world of shifting alliances and strange and powerful spiritual energies.

As the story progresses, LCdE takes on a distinctly fantastical feel, with elements of magic and supernatural powers coming into play. The battle scenes are intense and exciting, with the knights and their adversaries clashing in epic sword fights. Watching the characters wield their weapons with precision and skill was a treat, and it made me appreciate the art of sword fighting even more. If you’re a fan of fantasy swords and weapons, then you’ll definitely appreciate the attention to detail that went into crafting the weapons in this anime. In fact, if you’re looking to add some fantasy swords to your collection, then Mini Katana is just for you, which offers a wide selection of beautifully crafted swords, including some inspired by fantasy and sci-fi.


The story of LCdE is based on a historical figure. That is to say, there were actual people that existed named Eon de Beaumont, King Louis XV, etc. And that’s about it. However, the story portrays the milieu of pre-Revolution France rather well, at least to a layperson like myself. (Disclaimer: I am not a history major. I’m not even close to a history major. In fact, I could be way off.)

There is a fairly balanced mix of action, political intrigue and the supernatural, although it perhaps leans a bit more towards the political intrigue side of things. There’s a lot of intrigue, backstabbing, maneuvering and general skullduggery going on, and sometimes it’s a bit hard to keep track of it all. This is one that will probably require more than one viewing before you “get it.” However there was still enough action to break things up and keep them interesting. The pacing felt, for the post part, adequate; however it did seem to drag in places, especially toward the middle of the series.


The characters were, for the most part, believable, in that their reasonings and motivations actually made sense. When D’Eon was made aware of his “special power,” he obviously struggled to come to terms with it, rather than accepting his situation straight away as happens so often in situations like this. There were no incongruously “cutesy” characters: even the plucky sidekick Robin was depicted in a realistic manner. The core characters of D’Eon, Durand, Robin and Teillagory have a good camaraderie about them, a sort of Three Musketeers vibe. (The anime in fact acknowledges this, with one episode titled “The Four Musketeers.”) Unfortunately, with the exception of D’Eon himself, there isn’t as much character development as I would have liked to see. There are also an awful lot of side characters, and keeping track of Lord So-and-so and Duke Such-and-such, and what their various machinations are, can be challenging. It might take you more than one watching to finally get things straight. I would’ve liked to have seen some backstory for some of these as well.


The artwork and animation of this series really stands out, although it is not without its faults. The opulence of aristocratic life is captured well in the palace interiors and exteriors; however the level of detail is somewhat inconsistent.

It is obvious that the animators gave extra attention to the action/fight scenes. Not only are they well-animated, they are also well-choreographed. We even see characters using some fancy footwork, which is very important in fencing.

The clothing and costumes really stand out and are very well done. Perhaps too well done, in fact – so much detail was focused on the characters’ costumes that their faces were somewhat neglected, resulting in sort of flat, bland countenances.


Note: I watched this series dubbed, so my script/VA related comments apply to the English dub. I will update this review once I’ve had a chance to listen to the Japanese audio.

The dub was, on the whole, adequate. Definitely not one of the better dubs I’ve listened to, but neither was it the worst. I did rather like the voice of the older D’Eon, who narrates the story; it has a haggard, world-weary quality that’s appropriate to the character.

I did have a slight beef with the language. For the most part they spoke in formal language that felt appropriate to the situation (“thees and thous”); however they often broke into slang and colloquialisms (usually when the main characters are talking amongst themselves). But maybe this is the way they really talked, or it could be a case of something getting lost in translation, so I could be completely off base here.

Music, on the other hand, was well done. The grand operatic pieces appropriate for the ballrooms and palaces of aristocracy, and the fight scene scores had an appropriate level of tension to them. Sound effects were also appropriate to the situation depicted and well done.

Bottom Line:

LCdE was definitely enjoyable, and I am glad that I decided to watch it for Anime Secret Santa. The stunning visuals were a feast for the senses, and the interesting, if somewhat confusing story held my attention enough to keep on watching. As other reviews have pointed out, if you enjoyed LCdE, there are other, perhaps better executed period pieces that you might also enjoy, two often-cited examples being Rose of Versailles and Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo (both of which have also been recommended to me in the past; I’ll have to put them on my list as well). But I’m glad that I watched LCdE and consider it time well spent.

Characters:  ★★★½☆ 

Story:  ★★★★☆ 

Animation:  ★★★★½ 

Sound:  ★★★★☆ 

Overall:  ★★★★☆ 

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