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Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva
Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva Poster.jpg
Japanese release poster
Directed by Masakazu Hashimoto
Produced by Kenji Horikawa
Arimasa Okada
Toshiaki Okuno
Shin Omura
Ichiro Takase
Screenplay by Aya Matsui
Story by Akihiro Hino
Starring Yo Oizumi
Maki Horikita
Nana Mizuki
Atsurô Watabe
Saki Aibu
Music by Tomohito Nishiura
Tsuneyoshi Saito
Studio P.A.Works
OLM
Distributed by Toho Manga UK
Release date(s) December 19, 2009 (2009-12-19)
Running time 100 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Money made US$7,670,789

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva (レイトン教授と永遠の歌姫 Reiton-kyōju to Eien no Utahime) is a 2009 anime mystery film directed by Masakazu Hashimoto and produced by P.A.Works and OLM. The film is based on the Professor Layton video game series by Level-5, taking place between the events of the video games Professor Layton and the Last Specter and Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask. In the story, renowned opera star Janice Quatlane contacts her former teacher, Professor Hershel Layton, after encountering a young girl who claims to be the reincarnation of her dead friend. While Layton and his apprentice, Luke Triton, are attending one of Janice's performances they get unwillingly pulled into a puzzle-themed battle royal where the winner will apparently receive "the gift of eternal life". According to Level-5, the film stays true to the games, with music, puzzles and characters.

An English-language version was released by Manga Entertainment in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2010 at the same time Professor Layton and the Unwound Future was. The film was released in the United States on November 8, 2011 by Viz Media, and received generally positive reviews from critics.

Plot

Sometime after the events of the second game of the original trilogy — Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box — archaeologist and puzzle master Professor Hershel Layton and his young apprentice Luke Triton reminisce over one of their earliest adventures together from three years ago (this taking place after Professor Layton and the Last Specter, the first game chronologically): Layton is invited by his former student Janice Quatlane to watch her perform in an opera at the Crown Petone opera house, which is built on the White Cliffs of Dover. The performance centers on the legendary lost Kingdom of Ambrosia and the secret of eternal life it holds, which will be rediscovered when its queen returns. Janice believes recent strange occurrences are somehow connected to the opera: girls have disappeared from London, and the opera's composer, Oswald Whistler, has recently adopted a young girl who has claimed to be his deceased daughter Melina. Whistler plays the entire opera on the Detragon, an elaborate one-man orchestra machine. Once the performance is complete, a mystery man informs the audience that they are to play a game, the winner of which will receive the secret of eternal life, while the losers will die. Several members of the audience try to escape, but the floor opens up beneath them and they disappear. Inspector Grosky tries to arrest the mystery man, but the man is a puppet which inflates and floats out of the theater, taking Grosky with him.

The Crown Petone is revealed to be a ship, which breaks off from the cliffs and sets sail. The mystery man unveils a series of timed puzzles intended to progressively eliminate the players until one winner remains. Layton's prolific puzzle-solving prowess allows him, Luke, Janice, and a group of nine others to quickly deduce the answers. The remaining contestants leave the ship in lifeboats, which take the players to their next destination as the ship explodes behind them.

The next morning, the group finds themselves on an island. After discovering a sculpted stone seal, amateur historian Marco Brock reasons they must be at Ambrosia. Evading a pack of wolves as they make their way towards the castle at the centre of the island, Layton, Luke and Janice become separated from the rest of the group and assemble a makeshift helicopter that allows them to fly to the castle quickly. There, they solve the fourth and final puzzle that directs them to the final room of the contest, but Layton leaves Luke, Janice and two other contestants (Brock and child prodigy Amelia Ruth) to enter it while he explores the rest of the castle.

Back in London, Emmy Altava, Professor Layton's assistant, is meeting with Dr. Andrew Schrader when she hears about the events on the Crown Petone. She flies out to the remains of the ship, where she picks up Inspector Grosky and flies to the island.

Layton finds a room filled with Melina Whistler's belongings, along with a piece of sheet music titled “A Song of the Sea”. He meets Melina herself and witnesses her having an argument with herself. Luke, Janice, Brock and Amelia enter the final room of the contest, only to be trapped behind bars. The mystery man reveals himself as Jean Descole, Layton and Luke's old nemesis, who orders Amelia to be brought to him. Luke, Janice and Brock are taken by Descole's men, but they are saved by Emmy and Grosky. Layton and Melina meet up with them, and Emmy recognizes “Melina” as Nina, one of the girls who went missing.

Amelia is brought to Oswald Whistler, believed to have been eliminated by a previous puzzle, and declares her the winner of the contest, but soon forces her into a machine connected to the Detragon and confesses that there is no Elixir of Life. Layton and company manage to save her, and Layton explains the truth: the Detragon is actually a machine that can copy a person's personality and download their memories into another person's brain. Whistler had conspired with Descole to abduct girls from London and use the Detragon to implant them with his dead daughter's memories as a means of keeping her alive indefinitely. This is the fate that befell Nina, and it is the fate that Whistler had planned for Amelia. Layton reveals that Janice also was a victim of Whistler's experiments, and that, unbeknownst to Whistler, he had actually succeeded in transferring Melina's memories into Janice's body. It was Melina who sought Layton's help in stopping her father from hurting anyone else.

With Melina's cover blown, Descole captures her and reveals his true plan: to use the Detragon in concert with Melina's singing to raise Ambrosia by playing a pair of melodies found in the island's stone seal - the Song of the Stars and the Song of the Sea. After Descole's attempts fail, he flies into a rage: the Detragon destroys the castle and becomes the controls of a gigantic excavation robot, the Detragiganto, which Descole commands and begins rampaging across the island in a desperate attempt to uncover Ambrosia by force. Layton and company escape the castle, and Layton and Luke fly in their makeshift helicopter to save Melina.

During the chaos, Melina tries to stop Descole, but he knocks her over the side of the robot, where she holds on for her life. Luke rescues Melina while Layton duels with Descole on top of the Detragiganto, and reveals that Descole had overlooked a third melody hidden in the seal, the Song of the Sun. Again, Melina sings as Layton takes the Detragon's controls, and this time, the ruins of Ambrosia do indeed rise, infuriating Descole even further. He lunges at Layton, believing that the ruins belong only to him, but merely damages the control panel instead, throwing the Detragiganto out of control and causing it to heavily damage itself. Descole falls off the machine and disappears while Layton, Luke and Melina escape.

In the aftermath of the rise of Ambrosia, Melina decides she cannot take over Janice's life, and, after bidding farewell to her father, Luke and Layton, her spirit leaves Janice's body. Whistler plays one last song on the remains of the Detragon, and Janice, now in control of her body again, sings for Melina's memory. As the sun rises over the island, Layton concludes that the true "eternal life" of the people of Ambrosia comes from people in the modern age still speaking tales of them and their beloved Queen. Luke wonders if Melina could have been a reincarnation of the queen of Ambrosia, and Layton reminds him of the legend: that Ambrosia would rise again when its beloved queen returned.

Voice cast

See also: List of Professor Layton characters
Character Japanese English
Professor Hershel Layton Yo Oizumi Christopher Robin Miller
Luke Triton Maki Horikita Maria Darling
Emmy Altava Saki Aibu Emma Tate
Janice Quatlane Nana Mizuki Emma Tate
Jean Descole Atsuro Watabe Jonathan Keeble
Inspector Clamp Grosky Hōchū Ōtsuka Stuart Organ
Oswald Whistler Iemasa Kayumi Robbie Stevens
Melina Whistler Fumiko Orikasa Emma Tate
Celia Raidley Kikuko Inoue Sarah Hadland
Nina Sumire Morohoshi Claire Morgan
Curtis O'Donnell Shōzō Iizuka Wayne Forester
Marco Brock Kenta Miyake David Holt
Amelia Ruth Megumi Toyoguchi Claire Morgan
Frederick Bargland Jouji Nakata Stuart Organ
Annie Dretche LiLiCo Maria Darling
Pierre Starbuck Kōichi Yamadera Robbie Stevens
Don Paolo Minoru Inaba Christopher Robin Miller
Inspector Chelmey Shirō Saitō Christopher Robin Miller
Constable Barton Hiromi Sugino Wayne Forester
Flora Reinhold Mamiko Noto Claire Morgan
Dr. Andrew Schrader Rokurō Naya Stuart Organ

Soundtracks

Two albums were released in Japan containing the music of the film. One titled The Eternal Diva: Janice Quatlane, containing all the vocal songs, and the other titled Layton Kyouju To Eien no Utahime Original Soundtrack, containing the main music from the film (most of which is reorchestrated versions of music from the first four games). Unlike the games, an actual orchestra was used for most of the music. In addition, the film's ending theme, The Eternal Diva, is included with its lyrics on both albums.

Possible sequel

The game series' developer and publisher Level-5 has stated that they wished to release a Professor Layton film every winter, and that they are already producing the next film. Besides the animated films, a British/Japanese live-action film was in the works as well. While not committing to a second film, director Akihiro Hino said that the "second season" of the Layton series (which begins with Professor Layton and the Last Specter) was originally imagined with another film.

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