Thanks to Level-5’s involvement, this celluloid adventure stays true to the Professor Layton series with music, brainteasers and characters from the games.
If there’s something that’s always stood out about the professor Layton series is its animated sequences. Of course, there’s more to the puzzle-solving series than a couple of anime short, but if there’s a series of games that deserves its own anime movie, this is probably the one.
Set right after the events from Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva follows the famous archaeologist and puzzle master, Professor Layton as he travels around the world solving teasers with the help of his young apprentice Luke who has the peculiar ability of being able to talk to animals. As part of their latest assignment, the duo investigates a case surrounding the legendary lost land of Ambrosia and the secret of the elixir of life which is somehow connected to an opera.
Anyone who played the portable games will feel right a home. For one, the animation style the series is known for remains untouched. This should come as no surprise since studio Level-5 was in charge of that department. On top of that, characters are charming and the backgrounds are extremely detailed and colorful. It’s easy to tell that a lot of attention went to this part of the film.
Of course, other than the animation, Solving puzzles is a significant part of the games and this movie also has a couple of those. Although as a member from the audience, you can’t interact with these teasers, it’s great to see them unfold before your eyes without having to worry about making mistakes. As someone who has never played any of the games before, I was surprised with the level of depth of the puzzles and how dark the story surrounding them was (a game where the winner gets eternal life and the losers die? I was not expecting something so dark from what appears to be a cheerful puzzle-solving game from Nintendo consoles.)
There’s a variety of characters each with their own physical traits and idiosyncrasies and for a whodunnit, that works in the film’s favor. Anyone could be behind the sick game and I really enjoyed how the movie plays with that. In a sense, it reminds me of classic mystery series like Scooby Doo.
Thanks to Level-5’s involvement, this celluloid adventure stays true to the series with music, brainteasers and characters from the games. Like those games, the film’s entertaining, charming and eccentric. At times, some cameos and references to the games are hard to follow and the film relies heavily on computer generated imagery which makes certain scenes feel artificial, but for the most part, this is an entertaining animated film that’s worth watching.