"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 occurences 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!"
Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, first known as Professor Layton: The First Movie, is the first film of the Professor Layton series.
It was released in Japan on December 19, 2009. It was produced by Masakazu Kubo who is known for producing the Pokémon films. Manga Entertainment UK dubbed and localized the film in English. Viz Media picked up the rights for bringing the film to the United States, and released it on November 8, 2011 .
The film has also been developed into a novel, a manga, a film comic, an artbook, a board game, a range of plushies, and more.
The movie is mostly centered on the adventure that follows Professor Layton and the Last Specter, where Professor Layton's former student Janice is to perform in 'The Eternal Kingdom' opera at the Crown Petone. After the opera, the person who wins the 'game' is promised Eternal Life. The beginning and end of the movie is focused on one of Layton's current adventures, taking place after Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, where Layton and co. must stop Don Paolo from an unknown attack involving Big Ben and the clock tower.
The film begins with Professor Layton and Luke investigating the theft of the sound of Big Ben. Layton and Luke are inside the tower, and Layton solves a puzzle to open the door to the tower. Layton realizes whoever silenced the bell escaped from the top of the tower. Layton then assembles all the suspects and Inspector Chelmey from Scotland Yard to Tower Bridge for Layton to reveal who silenced the bell. Layton accuses an elderly woman, who turns out to be Don Paolo. Don Paolo jumps off the bridge, but escapes with an umbrella-propeller, only to be chased after by most of Scotland Yard's officers. Layton and Luke then meet back in the professor's office, where Layton pulls out a record called "The Eternal Diva - Janice Quatlane". The flashback begins of the adventure they had with her three years ago.
After the events of Professor Layton and the Last Specter, Layton receives a letter from a former student of his, Janice Quatlane. Janice writes that she is performing at a theatre called the Crown Petone, and is involved in an opera about the lost city of Ambrosia. She says her friend Melina, who had died a year before, has come back to life and appeared to her as a young girl. In addition, a girl from the London area has been reported missing, and Janice thinks it's related to the strange things happening at her theatre. Janice includes two tickets for the concert with the letter for Layton and Luke.
On the way there, Luke makes the connection that the pianist and composer of the opera, Oswald Whistler, is the father of Janice's friend, Melina, and also that Dr. Schrader helped Oswald construct the theatre a year ago. They arrive to see the enormous Crown Petone. Emmy returns to London in search of the missing girl. Layton and Luke enter the enormous Crown Petone theatre and enjoy the opera.
The opera tells a story of the beloved queen of Ambrosia, who became very ill. All the citizens of the kingdom raced to find a cure, and ultimately discovered the Eternal Life. Just when the elixir of Eternal Life was found, however, the queen died. The people, saddened at the queen's death, decided to take the elixir themselves, and wait thereafter for their queen to return. The opera finishes, and Layton and Luke begin to clap, but the rest of the audience seem bored. Then, as the stage is cleared, a masked man comes out and begins talking about the Eternal Life. He says they will all play a game, and whomever wins will get the Eternal Life, yet the losers will die. Much of the audience breaks into a panic and tries to flee the theatre, but the floor collapses and they fall presumably to their deaths.
Layton and Luke attempt to apprehend the masked man, but Inspector Clamp Grosky beats them to it and arrests him. The masked man is revealed to be a puppet that turns into a balloon and floats to the top of the theatre, with Grosky handcuffed to it. The balloon then pops and sends Grosky into the ocean. The theatre begins to shake, and the guests of the opera race outside to see what is going on. They see that they are sailing away from land, as the Crown Petone transforms into a ship and sails away into the ocean. While some people suggest swimming to shore, Layton notices sharks surrounding the boat, even though sharks are not common in these waters. The rest of the guests race back to the theatre at the sound of the Detragan, a musical instrument capable of projecting many different sounds, called by many, the "one man orchestra".
Janice comes out, and Layton formally introduces her to Luke. When everyone arrives, a mysterious voice dictates the rules of the game, and then reads out, "Puzzle No.001", which asks for everyone to stand by the oldest thing one can see on the ship. While many people believe it to be the dinosaur bones or the fossils, the correct answer is the stars in the sky, visible because of the hole in the roof in the theatre. All those who guessed incorrectly fall to the same fate as those who tried to flee the theatre.
Puzzle No.002 is presented, and is about finding the biggest crown on the ship. The ship is decorated in many crowns, each as ornate as the next. Layton realizes that the biggest crown is the Crown Petone itself, and heads to the side of the boat. Layton, Luke, and Janice find many other contestants in the game lowering down life boats. While Layton and many of the other contestants begin to lower the boats, Melina, in the appearance of a young girl, pulls Janice aside and scolds her for inviting Layton, as she believes he is ruining the game.
Twelve contestants manage to get into the boats, and they start to row away from the ship. Inspector Grosky, who was chased by the sharks, manages to get back to the Crown Petone, only to realize that the ship is now being destroyed by explosives. Grosky jumps off the boat to see submarines being sent towards land, with the eliminated contestants being brought back safely to the shores of England. The mysterious voice tells the contestants they were correct, and that they will be transported to the next destination.
Back in London, Emmy is interviewing the parents of the missing girl, Nina. She then reports her findings to Dr. Schrader, while she hears a new report on the Crown Petone. The report said that many people had come ashore, but some are still missing. Emmy races away, leaving Dr. Schrader confused about the rest of the situation. Layton and the other contestants land on an unexplored island, where contestant Marco Brock says they have landed at the mysterious island of Ambrosia. The group that lands on the island soon notices that a dinner table has been set on the beach, with food and drink laid out before them. Luke finds a note from the master of the game, detailing that the vittles are a 'reward' for having survived thus far; Frederick Bargland even begins pouring himself a glass of wine until, with a quiet kind of intelligence, Amelia Ruth mentions that it could be "a puzzle." All the guests freeze up in fear, but ultimately decide to consume the goods anyway.
After a refreshing meal, everybody wanders about the island, taking in the sights and sounds. Luke attempts to befriend the mysterious little girl, picking up a sea shell and attempting to give it to her. She ignores him, but he persists, holding it up to his ear and claiming that "you can hear the sea." Melina seems amused by this comment, and says that she "can already hear it." Luke is a bit startled, asking her what she means, before the sound of wolves pulls his attention towards the jungle behind him. When he turns back, Melina is missing; the young boy prattles off to Oswald to exclaim that his adopted daughter is missing. Whistler, however, seems unconcerned, stating that she has only gone off to play. At that instant, the sound of wolves grows once more; soon, a whole pack come charging out of the jungle, their eyes set on the guests.
The group run through the jungle, and come across a clearing by a lake with a castle on the other side. There are three cages suspended by ropes. The mysterious voice presents Puzzle No.003 in which the contestants must make it to the castle and stop the wolves. Layton figures that, since it would be too difficult to catch the wolves, that they should cage themselves. He releases the rope to the cage he, Luke and Janice are standing under, and the others sarcastically applaud him for being an idiot. This is not so, as they all pick up the cage and start moving towards the castle. One group manages to do the same, while the group with Mr. Whistler fails, and are left to the wolves. They climb to the top of the cage to protect themselves.
Unfortunately, the cage protecting Layton, Luke and Janice becomes overturned and the three of them become exposed to the wolves. With no other option, they run away into the jungle as the wolves abandon the stranded contestants and give chase. A group of masked men approach the contestants left stranded on top of the cage and capture them, eliminating them from the game.
Layton, Luke and Janice barricade themselves in a small shack. Thinking quickly, Layton builds a makeshift helicopter from the resources available in the shack. Using the helicopter, the three of them escape from the wolves and crash land at the castle.
After regrouping with the remaining contestants, the mysterious voice presents Puzzle No.004. Four doors surround the contestants. Three of them lead to wrong answer and elimination from the game, but one of them leads to the correct answer in the king's chamber. Four letters are painted on the ground with one on either side of each door. Luke reasons that they must go through the door between the letters K and G because going because putting 'in' between K and G spells 'king'. Luke, Janice, Amelia and Marco proceed through the door leading to the correct answer, but Layton's suspicions drive him to go through another door. Believing that Layton has the answer, two of the constestants, Pierre Starbuck and Celia Raidley, follow him. They enter an empty chamber where Celia and Pierre disappear down a chasm when the floor opens up beneath them. Layton narrowly avoids the drop and proceeds to explore the castle.
Meanwhile, Emmy flies to the island of Ambrosia in a plane. She notices a castaway stranded on a pile of rubble who turns out to be Inspector Grosky. She rescues him and the two journey to the island to get to the bottom of what's going on.
In the king's chamber, Luke, Janice, Marco and Amelia are greeted with an empty room. Suddenly metal bars descend from the ceiling and trap them. The mysterious person who had been taunting them over the course of their adventure finally appears and it turns out to be Layton and Luke's old nemesis, Jean Descole. Descole's minions seize Amelia and take her away as the others are escorted away to another part of the castle.
Meanwhile, Layton stumbles upon a bedroom. After some investigating, he realizes that he is in the bedroom of none other than Melina Whistler. He encounters the seven-year-old Melina, who is annoyed that Layton has made it this far. Layton initially doesn't understand why Melina is acting this way, but it all becomes clear when Melina appears to have two personalities that are fighting with each other for dominance in Melina's body.
As they are taken away, Luke and Janice attempt to rebel against Descole's minions, but their attempts result in failure. All hope seems lost until Emmy and Inspector Grosky arrive and defeat the masked underlings. Layton arrives with Melina who Emmy reveals is actually not Oswald Whistler's daughter, but a girl named Nina who belongs to another family (the family Emmy had been interviewing earlier in the movie). Luke struggles to comprehend what's going on, but there's no time to lose and they hurry to stop Descole.
The shocking truth is that Oswald Whistler is behind everything with Descole as his partner in crime. The Detragan turns out to be capable of more than just musical instrument but is in fact a contraption constructed by Descole and used by Whistler to hold the memories of Melina with the intention that some day they can be transferred into the body of another girl, theoretically enabling Melina to live forever. Multiple failed attempts at getting the machine to transfer Melina's memories into a new host have driven Whistler to desperation, especially since the Detragan will soon be unable to hold them any longer. Amelia is to be the Detragan's latest victim, but she is saved when Layton and the others arrive. Layton reveals the terrible truth behind the game of Eternal Life and condemns Whistler's actions. Unwilling to admit defeat, however, Whistler attempts to transfer Melina's memories into Luke. Unfortunately for Whistler, the key that powers the Detragan has been stolen. The thief turns out to be Janice, but in a shocking twist, it turns out that Janice is actually Melina.
It turns out that Janice was also a test subject for the Detragan; but because she was a close friend of Melina, she was accepting to host Melina's memories in her body. Whistler is amazed and rushes to embrace his daughter, but the triumph is short lived as Descole reveals that he was concocting a plot of his own. He kidnaps Melina and attempts to use her voice in concert with the Detragan to combine the melodies hidden in the seal of Ambrosia. As he realizes that Melina, in Janice's body, is the only one who knows the Song of the Sea, he forces her to sing it. Descole plays a Song of the Stars and Janice sings the Song of the Sea, in an attempt to raise the lost city itself. When his plan fails, Descole descends into rage and transforms the Detragan into a giant machine- the Detra-Gigant. With his original plan ruined, Descole creates a new plan to rip the island apart, forcing the city to appear.
Using the helicopter he had created earlier, Layton (along with Luke) chase the giant machine and try to rescue Melina. Luke shows off an impressive set of acrobatic moves by climbing across the Detra-Gigant's many coils, wires and tubes to reach Melina. Descole destroys Layton's helicopter with a large drill device, but Layton survives and hoists himself onto the roof of the machine to confront Descole. After a brief sword fight, Layton reveals that Descole overlooked another melody hidden in the seal of Ambrosia: A Song of the Sun. Layton plays the melody in combination with the other two, and to everybody's amazement, the lost city of Ambrosia rises above the water. Enraged over being bested, Descole attacks Layton and accidentally destroys the controls to his war machine in the process. As the machine malfunctions, Descole loses his footing and he plummets to the ground.
Layton, Luke and Melina evacuate the doomed machine and regroup with the others on the shore of Ambrosia. Melina decides to remove herself from Janice's body, much to Oswald Whistler's grief. Inspector Grosksy proceeds to arrest Whistler, but allows him to play one last song on the remains of the destroyed Detragan. As Whistler plays and Janice sings, Luke realizes that Melina could be a reincarnation the Queen of Ambrosia. Layton considers this possibility too. After all, the legend of Ambrosia stated that Ambrosia would rise again when its queen was returned to it.
The credits begin. Afterwards, the movie reverts to the present, reminding us all that the entire movie was just a flashback. Janice arrives in Layton's office, and what happens afterwards is never revealed.
Due to the lack in popularity of anime in the United Kingdom, the film was released straight to DVD and Blu-ray. There are several different versions of the film available: DVD, Blu-ray, box set with Blu-ray and DVD versions and a special features disc, and a box set with Blu-ray and DVD versions with a special features disc as well as a 630 page storyboard book. These were released on October 18, 2010.
The film was released in a single-disc DVD set in the United States by Viz Media on November 8, 2011. It has also since been released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop.
The scene where Descole forces Melina to sing the Song of the Sea is similar to how how Erik, from the Phantom of the Opera, commands Christine Daaé to sing. Both scenes also contain the organ being played.