Good news for gentlemanly purveyors of devious puzzles, fine teas and refined animated cinema. Viz Media, a San Francisco company specializing in the localization of Japanese entertainment for English speaking consumers, announced during the Anime Expo 2011 in Los Angeles it will be bringing the anime film Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva to inquisitive North American audiences.
Originally released in Japan in 2009, and later shipped to the UK via Manga Entertainment in 2010, Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva is the first filmic adaptation of the handheld puzzle game series. It takes place three years before the events in Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, and follows Professor Hershel Layton and his boy assistant Luke Triton as they tussle with old foes and life-or-death puzzle games while in pursuit of eternal life and the lost land of Ambrosia.
The movie closely resembles the visual style and tone of the Professor Layton games, and even allows viewers a moment or two to solve the on-screen puzzles before moving along. The games' developer Level-5, which also had a significant hand in the film's production, has already announced its intentions to create a sequel to the film, and further entries every winter depending on their success.
For the time being, Viz Media didn't say if it would be seeking a full-out theatrical release in North America for Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, but given the franchise's relatively small demographic outside of Japan, odds are Layton's western fan base will be shouting out answers in the comfort of their own home.
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