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Anime / Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva

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Every puzzle has an answer.

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva is a feature-length movie featuring Level 5's popular puzzle-solving gentleman, Professor Layton, and his Kid Sidekick, Luke. It is set between the events of The Last Specter and The Miracle Mask.

After solving the latest Don Paolo caper, Professor Layton puts on a record, sung by his former student Janice Quatlane. The Professor and Luke recount a case she involved them with three years ago, when she invited them along to an opera at the Crown Petone opera house. After the show, the guests are flung into a dangerous game, where the prize is said to be eternal life. Meanwhile, a series of disappearances hits London, with young schoolgirls going missing. The Professor's assistant Emmy goes about investigating.

The movie is currently available in Japan and the United Kingdom; Viz Media has released the US version.

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva provides examples of:

  • The Ace:
    • The titular Professor Layton. Not only is he an accomplished mystery solver, but he's an eminent archaeologist. He's knowledgeable in the history and the stories surrounding Ambrosia, is able to cobble together a semi-functional helicopter with a barrel, a chainsaw, a ceiling fan, and miscellaneous pieces of tools in a shed, fly said helicopter, read sheet music, play the Detragan, an instrument Whistler had custom-built, and has enough skills with the sword to match with Descole, despite only having a pipe as a weapon.
    • Whistler, who designed a new kind of instrument that is able to single-handedly emulate an entire orchestra on its own, and double as a mind-transfer machine, preserving the mind of his late daughter Melina.
    • Descole. Not only did he help Whistler build the Detragan, but he designed an entire castle, that, when accompanied by the instrument, turned into a giant mech, in secret. It's implied that he built the mind-control devices fitted to the Wolves and Sharks (and possibly even the mooks). He's able to read sheet music, play the instrument, and draw with Layton in a sword-fight.
  • Action Girl: Emmy. She can fly a plane, and has the close-combat skills to defeat many mooks without so much as breaking a sweat, surpassing even Inspector Grosky.
  • The Anime of the Game: The film is not only canon and uses the same animation style and actors, but also cleverly inserts a few puzzles that the viewers can play along (with the same iconic music).
  • An Aesop: The message of the movie is that death is a fate that all people share and there's no way to truly come back from it, but people can continue to "live on" as long as you remember them.
  • Artistic License – Music: What little we see of the opera isn't bad, per se, but all the songs have the same melody, and the vocals don't sound much like opera.
  • At Arm's Length: Luke really does try to protect Janice but when faced with mooks, he runs afoul with this trope. And yes, he does try kicking at them.
  • Atlantis: Or in this case, the lost kingdom of Ambrosia. When their queen died, the people of Ambrosia drank the Elixir of Eternal Life and vanished along with their kingdom, to await the day when she would return.
  • Batman Cold Open: The movie starts with Layton and Luke coming to the end of an investigation regarding Big Ben, set during the time-frame of the original trilogy while the story proper take place after Last Spectre.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Emmy and Grosky show up to save Luke and Janice, when they are cornered by mooks.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Descole's efforts to take control of Ambrosia are thwarted, but Melina ultimately leaves Janice's body to allow her to live her own life. However, she does help both Janice and her father finally come to terms with her death and encourages them both to begin new lives, and Grosky gives Whistler the chance to play one last song with Janice in Melina's memory before he's arrested. Amelia's grandfather is also implied to pass away shortly later in the credits, and Layton and Luke join her in visiting his grave.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Wolves and the Sharks, who appear to have their behaviour influenced by a device attached to an ear (on the wolves), or one the nose (for the sharks). Destroying these devices will cause the affected creature to instead flee.
  • Brick Joke: Grosky loses his underwear when travelling to Descole's lair with Emmy. One slide in the credits shows us the touching reunion.
  • But Now I Must Go: At the end, Melina decides that she can no longer keep living through Janice, bids everyone farewell, and peacefully passes on.
  • The Cameo:
    • In the theater, you can catch a glimpse of Mr. Beluga from Pandora's/Diabolical Box, and later you can see him and Babette (also from Pandora's/Diabolical Box) having got off the submarine.
    • The Elysian Box (again, from Diabolical/Pandora's Box) can be seen next to the TV when Emmy is at Dr. Schrader's house.
    • Claudia, the cat from Curious Village (or at least a near-identical cat), can be seen curled up on the couch at Nina's house.
    • Flora's extremely brief appearance during the opening of the movie amounts to barely more than this. Don Paolo, Chelmey and Barton also appear in this scene.
    • Stachenscarfen is seen walking past Janice in the rain while she narrates her letter.
    • Granny Riddleton is seen sitting at a table next to Janice's in the cafe.
    • Sammy Thunder (From Diabolical Box) is in Layton's class during Luke's introduction.
  • The Coats Are Off: Descole flings his cape off in the sword fight between him and Layton.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Grosky uses his trousers as a flag to attract a rescue plane.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: The Big Bad built a cruise liner, with an opera house on it, and filled it with historical artifacts. And then blew it up. And used submarines and motorboats to safely transport all of the opera-goers. And used brainwashed sharks and wolves as security. And built a giant fortress on a deserted island that unfolds into a stories-tall battle mecha with saw blades, missiles, crab claws, flailing hoses and spider legs. And constructed an orchestra-supplanting pipe organ in order to play a song to attempt to reveal a lost civilization. Oh yeah, it can also copy one person's mind into another's body. All to find one recipient of immortality. That's a very expensive plan, especially considering almost all of the other attempts at mind transference had been unsuccessful. In retrospect, the giant opera house/cruise ship full of treasures and puzzles held absolutely no relevance to the villain's plan whatsoever. On the contrary, it's what brought Professor Layton and Luke in to begin with, which is basically begging for your plan to be doomed.
  • Deadly Game: The stakes for the quest of Eternal Life has the unwilling participants try to solve puzzles. Those who give the wrong answers will die. Except that the Big Bad was lying about that.
  • Death's Hourglass: The Detragan has a series of lamps that periodically go out, one by one. These mark how much longer it can continue to store the imprint of Melina's mind before it disappears for good.
  • Disney Villain Death: Descole... except that they Never Found the Body.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted. After the climax, Grosky arrests Mr. Whistler for kidnapping schoolgirls in an attempt to bring back Melina. He at least gives him, when asked, the chance to play the Detragan one last time in her memory.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Promotional art for the movie is shown as bonus content in Last Specter. This is averted in the U.K., where Eternal Diva was released first.
  • Evil Overlooker: Descole in some regions.
  • Exact Words:
    • What the Eternal Life amounts to. You get eternal life... in the sense that you allow someone else to live eternally through you.
    • According to the legend of Ambrosia, the Kingdom will rise once its Queen returned. Nothing is said about what state the Kingdom would be in when it did, or how the Queen could return.
  • Force and Finesse: Grosky and Emmy, when compared to each other. Grosky pounds through the Mooks with brute force, but Emmy never gets hit and focuses using single swift critical blows.
  • Framing Device: The Professor and Luke are remembering a case that happened three years ago while listening to a record.
  • Going Commando: Grosky loses his underwear midway through the movie.
  • Grand Theft Me: The actual means of the "eternal life" everyone's fighting over, and it only applies to Melina anyway.
  • Groin Attack: Emmy gives one of these to the mooks. Grosky cringes and covers himself protectively when he sees it.
  • Humongous Mecha: Descole invents another giant robot called the "Detragiganto", which he uses when his first plan to raise Ambrosia fails, with the intent of using it to reveal Ambrosia by force.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: Grosky. No, really. His neckline is half-way down his chest, revealing an impressive amount of chest hair.
  • Informed Ability: Amelia is apparently a superb chess player; sadly, the plot provided no opportunity to show this particular skill directly in chess. Rather, she demonstrates her intellect by correctly solving the puzzles.
  • Inspector Lestrade: Chelmey has a small appearance at the beginning, and Inspector Grosky fills this role for the rest of the film.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Grosky. He gets shoved in the ocean, fights off a swarm of sharks, gets stranded at sea, loses his underwear and manages to fight a horde of Mooks.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Of all people, it's Luke Triton who gets the most badass scene in this entire film, risking his life in a frankly suicidal attempt to save Janice.
  • Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Professor Layton builds an auto-gyro from parts found in a toolshed while escaping from some wolves.
  • Meaningful Name: The kingdom of Ambrosia, rumored to hold the secret of eternal life, is named after the food of the gods in Greek Mythology that gives its eater ageless immortality.
  • Musical Spoiler: When the Crown Petone departs from port, anyone who's played Last Specter or Miracle Mask will recognize whose theme is playing.
  • Mythology Gag: The film is like watching someone play a Professor Layton game, with the plot being based entirely around solving puzzles and a music player that plays the puzzle tunes among other things. Despite there only being 4 puzzles in the film, they're still numbered 001-004, just as they would be in a Professor Layton game. We're also treated to a taste of Layton's "famous intuition," when the screen goes dark and he arrives at an idea within moments.
  • Noodle Incident: We never learn what Don Paolo's plan was at the beginning outside of him sending a letter threatening to make Big Ben stop working.
  • Omniscient Morality License: Professor Layton deliberately allows people to incorrectly answer some puzzles - after being told that the punishment for such failures is death. The Big Bad was lying, but how exactly did Layton know that?
  • Once More, with Clarity: After the reveal that Janice was actually Melina, several scenes from earlier in the movie are replayed, but with Melina shown in Janice's place.
  • One-Man Band: The Detragan is a customised pipe organ which has several orchestral instruments attached to it. A single skilled or at least competent player can perform an entire orchestra number.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Grosky allows Whistler to play one last song in honor of his daughter before his arrest.
    • Amelia's plan for the supposed gift of eternal life was to give it to her grandfather.
    • The credits show Layton with an elated Dr Schrader at the Ambrosia ruins, which he spent a lot of time researching.
  • Pipe Pain: Layton fights with a pipe against the Big Bad near the end, who's armed with a sword.
  • Precocious Crush: Luke very clearly has one on Janice.
  • Reaching Towards the Audience: Professor Layton is pointing towards the viewer in the official poster.
  • The Reveal: The game for eternal life is false and is just a way to find young girls who could, by the thanks of a machine, have their own minds replaced with Melina's memories and personality. The fact that it worked on the first subject, Janice, who willingly gave herself up to Melina, and the fact that Melina is necessary to bring back the legendary Ambrosia, is the real reveal.
  • Split Personality: The Detragan unintentionally causes this as it's supposed to have Melina take over the girls' personalities. The fact that there isn't a good match forces Melina out whenever the host remembers herself. Interestingly, Mr. Whistler got so desperate, he was willing to use Luke as a subject.
  • There Can Only Be One: The gift of Eternal Life can only be given to the one that passes all the challenges. However, as stated above in The Reveal, it was all just a ruse to get Amelia to take on Melina's memories.
  • Title Drop: The final song played by Whistler in the film, and the record that Luke and Layton have been listening to, is called "The Eternal Diva", the same as the name of the film. The song itself has the same name on the official soundtrack.
  • Show Within a Show: The opera Janice stars in.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Janice's pendant, which Melina gave to her right before she died.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Poor Amelia probably thought she was terribly lucky to have been chosen for a free ticket to the opera.
  • Villainous Breakdown: "If the door to Ambrosia will not open by this music, I will TEAR IT DOWN!" Descole's mentality just goes downhill from there.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist:
    • The Song of the Seas and the Song of the Stars are useless without The Song of the Sun. As Layton helpfully points out, without the Song of the Sun, Ambrosia will never see the light of day. While the Big Bad had gone to great lengths to obtain both the Song of the Stars and the Song of the Sea, both were useless without the final piece of the puzzle.
    • Descole spent a lot of time and money searching for what essentially resulted in the unsinking of an ancient civilisation instead of eternal life or monetary value. The archaeological community such as Layton or Schrader find it wonderful though.
  • You Are Too Late: Part of the Ambrosia legend has the citizens frantically search for a cure for their Queen's tragic illness. They end up discovering the Elixir of Life which grants the drinker immortality, but by the time they discover it, the Queen has died.