The movie begins shortly after the events of Curious Village with Layton and his apprentice, Luke, finishing up a case featuring characters familiar to many fans. As the clichés of the murder mystery genre dictate, Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva is set predominantly on a grand cruise ship called the Crown Petone. Professor Layton, true English gentleman and the world’s greatest amateur super sleuth, embarks on his most daring adventure yet when he receives a letter from his old student, the famous opera diva Janice Quatlane. She is to perform at the legendary Crown Petone Opera House and invites him to attend as her special guest. Meanwhile, a spate of disappearances hits London. Two young school girls are the latest victims, and the Professor suspects it’s related to the mysterious occurrences at the theatre. The Professor and his loyal assistant Luke travel to the Opera House to solve their toughest puzzle yet, the mystery of Eternal Life.
Coming in at 90 minutes, Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva has the rare distinction of being an animated film that is just a little too long. Director Hashimoto flies right through to the main mystery rather than attempting to introduce and flesh out the two main heroes of Layton and Luke, expecting the audience to derive much of their knowledge from the video game source materials. The movie contains mild fantasy violence, such as killer sharks, angry wolves, martial arts, giant robots, explosions, and sword fights, but even though death is discussed, no one is actually injured or dies. Eternal Diva contains the first English appearances of Emmy, Chief Inspector Grosky and Jean Descolé, all of whom are brilliantly voiced. Grosky provides most of the comic relief too, including one of the most memorable quotes; “Nice try, sharks!”
In order to keep the film’s budget in check, its makers have made abundant use of computer-generated imagery. In some places it works, but mostly it is too dissimilar in style to the rest of the art. Animation is done by the same people who made the cut scenes in the Professor Layton series, and voice actors for the J version of the game returns to voice their respective characters for the movie. The film is more like a feature-length cut scene than a film adaption and while game fans will get more out of the film than those that haven’t played any of the series it doesn’t mean if you don’t know the series it’s not worth seeing. It’s so ridiculous and over the top it’s worth seeing just for that. However, Nintendo DS fans will definitely find more to enjoy here than casual viewers.
Overall, this movie was pretty decent. I loved the music, too. I was also touched by the ending. The credits were great, as always. What I love about the Professor Layton series are that the endings that always feature even the smallest characters in the show. Christopher Robin Miller shines as Professor Layton as always, giving him a great combination of gentlemanly suaveness and an adventuring spirit. I would highly recommend Professor Layton and The Eternal Diva for any fan of the series, any fan of anime and anyone with ninety minutes to spare and wanting something entertaining to watch. It’s better than a lot of films and a lot better than most game/film adaptations. It won’t be to everyone’s taste but it’s ridiculous enough to make it entertaining and memorable. With Level-5’s simplistic character design would not only attract the attention of children but for adults of all ages, a fun full feature length for anyone.