Le Chevalier D’Eon – bonutzuu’s manga archive

“I am Sphinx, the creature of riddles. The only fate awaiting those who cannot answer my question is death.” – Chevalier Sphinx

Welcome to another entry in my Manga Archive, where I log the obscure and the well-known manga I’ve read in print or as eBooks. Today I take a look at Le Chevalier D’Eon.

Apparently, the manga is an almost completely different story than the anime, which I’m not surprised because the anime looks more like an animated documentary which would be a huge stylistic clash with the manga’s story.

Le Chevalier d’Eon is a fantasy/action manga with some horror elements mixed in.

Mysterious killers called ‘poets’ haunt the city of Paris. They use real human blood to write out verses, which were magical words with tremendous power. Lia de Beaumont, D’Eon’s older sister and former French secret agent, fell victim to one of these poets. In order to exact her revenge, Lia’s vengeful spirit takes over D’Eon’s body at night, becoming Chevalier Sphinx, the Lady in Blue.

The story is the usual mystery action shonen kind of thing. The story has two main focal points: Lia’s battles with the poets as Chevalier Sphinx, and D’Eon’s job as a secret agent under direct order of King Louis XV trying to gain intel on said poets. During the day, D’Eon works as a police officer while during the night, he either roams Paris as his sister or visits the King as his loyal agent. Robin, his assistant, often said that the more D’Eon tries to pretend to be incompetent during his day job in order to keep his night job a secret, the more D’Eon’s incompetence shows.

The structure of Chevlier is very much ‘villain of the week’ style. Lia fights poet after poet and gets an upgrade, stealing their verses (AKA superpowers) for herself (since she later realized she is also a poet herself). Much of the latter half revolves around the Rebellion Verse which could shake the French monarchy. Concept itself is quite grim but story is more like a superhero tale, with badass lady Sphinx using her wits and sword skills to slice through any enemy. I gotta mention that D’Eon himself is also very good with the sword, but he rarely got to use it lol.

There are many elements in the story, such as French wordplay and some Latin phrases. I know neither. The author also did not know either and had a linguist consultant. For example, Lia’s powers came from the Wheel of Fortune card that features a Sphinx, a lion, and a silent goddess. The anagram of D’Eon and Lia’s name is Dea (goddess) and Lion. Expect a lot of that kind of wordplay from this manga.

Most of the time, the intention of these language puzzles is just to add to the story’s focus on verses and make us impressed with how smart Lia is. Well, can’t blame it. She’s a codebreaker for the government, after all.

I mentioned in my review of Gun Princess Sincerely Night that I like manga art style that looks a bit raw (but I also like crispy clean art, like Witch Hunter) but Chevalier overstepped the boundary of raw art: there are so many lines that I had trouble making out what’s going on. The night scenes look murky because there’s black ink and hatching everywhere. This is an issue for the first two volumes, and gets better in volume 3 and onwards. After I get used to it, I find the art style gorgeous. Lia is so, so beautifully drawn and the details (frills, ribbons, etc) on her dress and the curls of her hair is just mesmerizing. D’Eon looks a bit out of proportion sometimes, but holy cow his abs and waist, bruh. There’s this one chapter where he unbuttons his shirt in the middle of a battle and was sexy as hell. I have no idea how historically accurate the clothes are because I don’t European history, but at least within the manga itself, it was pretty coherent. Except for that one damn pirate costume. Ugh. That one damn pirate costume.

I have to warn those who are planning to read this though: these 8 volumes are just one arc of the story. It actually doesn’t end and likely will never get a continuation. This is the ‘Paris’ arc while the nonexistent sequel is the ‘Prussia’ arc. There you have it. Give it a go or not, your choice.

Spoiler: So I think in order to solve the loose ends the manga left out, I’d have to watch the anime although the story are completely different. At least it could help me guess what could happen.

I think, judging from the silhouette, the one who killed manga Lia could be A. Lombre/Salamandora before he became a poet guide B. King Louis XV or C. a manga original character (probably manga counterpart of Maximilien?). Since Robin’s original name was Maximilien Robespierre before Lia gave him the name Robin, it’s likely that the anime Maximilien (the love interest) wouldn’t be in the manga. Sooooo I have no clue who killed manga Lia. It was a poet that Lia trusted a hell lot and it was a man, that’s all we know of the killer.

Anyway, the manga ended okay and it was fun while it lasted.

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