L’Chevalier D’Eon

So, having nothing better to do, I decided to click on the offer to watch the first episode of this series (coming out on DVD in R1 on 2/20). I wasn’t expecting much, but it might be interesting, and definately worth ordering the first DVD just for the animation and art. I wish I had some screenshots to show for this one because they seem to have blown the entire art budget on the first episode. It is set in France, during the reign of King Louis the XV, and a number of scenes are set at Versailles. The depection of the hallways and rooms look very authentic and the detailing of the fountain (not to mention the CG water effects) was just stunning. Most of the time, when I say “the art was good,” the reader should probably take it with a grain of salt; I’m still getting adjusted to the digital age of animé, and impress easily. This is definately an exception; when I say the art is impressive, I mean impressive. I don’t see how they could continue it for a 26 episode series, so I expect a quick drop in quality.

The streaming video is of the dub, of course, and the voice actors read their lines fairly well. The narrator is D’Eon as an older man, and that actor has done well, but the one playing the younger (bible-quoting and utterly loyal) D’Eon is trying for a youthful earnestness that sometimes falls a bit flat. Of course, despite their being French, the dub is in English, but the history of the language will be relevant to the first episode, and the translators have striven for a measure of authenticity; for instance, Louis is said as “Lewie” not “Lewis” as a native English-speaker would (or at least the American variant of it).

Plotwise, it appears to fall into the category of “Earnest & Loyal Retainer of King Investigates Evil Consipricy” category, with the usual “Politics and Corruption at High Levels”, “Avenges Family Member”, “Hero is Unwitting Pawn” and “Wheels Within Wheels” sub-variants in play. Heh. I feel like I’m naming plot cards from TORG. Hmmmmm….

D’Eon’s Player: “Oh cool, I got a Personal Stake card — and the Campaign card!”

GM: “Well your sister was killed by this unknown society, shortly after sending you a strange manuscript. Worse, they filled her body with mercury, to keep it from decaying. Because of that, the Holy Church refused to bury her, and her spirit is still wandering the world. You feel it about you from time to time, and she wants vengence.”

D’Eon’s Player: “Okaaaaaay, I play a Contact card. Where can I start the investigation?”

GM: “Well, it seems she was a member of the King’s Secret Police, a band of utterly loyal men (and women) who don’t believe in the Fifth Amendment–or the Fourth, either. They can arrest, use torture, and pretty much do as they wish. So your contact, an old friend, has accepted your application, and you became one of them a year ago.”

D’Eon’s Player: “Oh, cool, I drew another Contact card–I’ll put it in play too.”

GM: “Well, you’ve done a really good job on some minor investigations so far, and have come to the attention of both the King and the Queen, who regard you as competant and loyal. You’re not on speaking terms, but His Majesty has acknowledged your presence once or twice. You might be able to get an audience with the Queen if you found someone to intercede for you.”

Well, anyway, I’ve gotten sidetracked. I’m not going to do the whole episode like that; I’m not Shamus! (Heh, but I loved that game. Of all the RPG’s, I ever played, Torg was the most sheer fun to GM, and I had a couple of whacky roleplayers in Dr.Heinous and The Dread Pirate Pintito. Ah, the time DrHeinous thought it would be funny to ride the Orient Express with fake vampire teeth to scare people….only to discover that one of the baddest vampires in the world was actually on the train with them!)

Er, back to the story. Naturally of course, there’s some form of (classical) alchemy and supernatural elements involved. There are skulls that talk, zombified people, possiblely vampires–and as we see at the end of the episode, Lia D’Eon’s soul really is about…. and she’s in the mood to kick some zombie butt. Based on the first episode, I’d say it’s worth springing for the first DVD, at a minimum.

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4 Responses to L’Chevalier D’Eon

  1. MaverickRonin says:

    If you think the art is impressive from the streaming video you should see the 1080p subs. They’re bigger than my monitor, its only 1600×1200 vs the 1920×1080 encode. The detail is absolutely amazing. They make DVD’s look like 5th hand VHS copy of Evangelion smuggled across the pacific in the mid 90’s. They also take alot of processor power to decode as well so you need a fast system as well.

    Unless they’re planning to release it on un-DRMed HD-DVD/Blu-Ray there’s no point in me buying them because I can watch it at better quality for free or I won’t be able to watch them at the original resolution without buying a new monitor and a new video card even after I paid for the disk. (Not to mention having to buy the new optical drive as well!)

  2. Ubu Roi says:

    Yah, that’s one reason I don’t really worry too much about “breaking the law” or “stealing” through fansubbing. I’m not trying to rationalize it–technically and probably morally, it’s still theft. But IMHO, it’s also theft to make me pay full price again for something I’ve already bought at an inflated figure, impose unreasonable conditions on the use of their product (such as online/phone authorizations, etc.), installing software secretly that may compromise your system, or imposing an expensive architecture on everyone.

    A victim has a moral claim to rightousness, An oppressor does not, and the American entertainment/media industry have become oppressors in search of every last penny of profit they can wring out of the public. They succeed only in alienating more and more people, to the point where ordinary users will start seeking ways to circumvent DRM and protection schemes. When the economic disobedience (as opposed to civil disobedience) reaches general acceptance, what then?

    Anyone remember the fuss back when catalytic converters first appeared on cars, and the federal government required that they only be allowed to use unleaded gas, which was considerably more expensive than regular leaded? You could find a shop in virtually any town that would remove the gas tank insert that prevented a “leaded nozzle” from being inserted, and others would remove the converters. Eventually that controversy died for three reasons: as unleaded became the defacto standard, it became cheaper in relation to leaded; people realized that the converters really worked and made for better air; and finally, leaded gas was removed from the marketplace entirely.

    Somehow, I don’t think we’re going to see CD’s completely removed from the market….instead, an entire generation of kids are going to grow up watching their parents circumvent copyright protection, meaning they will absorb a rather cavalier attitude towards other people’s property. (Not like it isn’t already happening though is it?)

  3. MaverickRonin says:

    Wow, I’m way too young to remember the leaded/unleaded gas thing. When was that anyway, I probably wasn’t even born yet. I do remember remember the forcing of ethanol into gasoline though. I hated it because it killed my fuel economy. I made sure to refill my tank whenever I happened to be out of the larger metro area where it wasn’t required, but it’s everywhere now.

    Right now in school I’m taking a very interesting econ class about “information goods” which is basically anything that can be converted to binary data and therefore has a marginal cost of essentially zero because you can make another copy by just just clicking on a bittorrent link.

    I don’t think the products are going to go away but the business model that supports them will have to change radically. Right now my best guess is that it will change so that information goods are a platform to sell other non-information goods and services.

    For example software will be almost free but you’ll have to pay for support contracts. Anime and TV will become a platform for merchandising, and music will simply be ads for a live concert. I don’t know exactly what will happen but something will have to give because the only way to stop “piracy” will be for the US (which thankfully still controls the internet) to become a police state that makes 1984 look like Mad Max.

    But I’m just a 3rd year econ student at the moment so you can take it with a grain of salt if you like.

  4. Andrew F. says:

    For Chevalier there’s actually a pretty decent chance of a non-copy-protected North American HD release. ADV doesn’t bother to encrypt their DVDs because they realize that CSS is trivially defeated; I imagine the situation for Blu-ray and HD-DVD will be much the same by the time we see widespread HD anime releases. They’d probably have to get the approval of the Japanese licensor, though, and that’s assuming they even get the rights to the HD version.

    I actually wasn’t aware that any anime had been broadcast in 1920×1080, though. 1280×720 and 1024×576 I’ve seen, but not 1920×1080.

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