Doctor Elise: The Royal Lady with the Lamp is a unique anime that subverts the typical use of Isekai by combining it with time travel and a redemption story. The main character, Elise, is a surgeon in the modern world who is trying to atone for her past life as an evil princess in a fantasy world. When she dies again and goes back in time to her original world, she uses her surgical skills as a way to make up for her previous actions. The first episode creates a touching reunion for Elise as she goes back in time and is able to see her family again, adding emotional depth to the story. This mix of genres makes Doctor Elise one of the most original anime of the season.
Warning: Spoilers for Doctor Elise: The Queen holding the lamp episode #1Although much of the first volume chronicles events in the inverted Isekai world, Crunchyroll‘S Doctor Elise: Queen by the lamp is essentially a time travel reincarnation series that uses Isekai as a stepping stone to further the overall journey from present to past. The execution is truly spectacular and completely subverts the way most series typically use any form of Isekai.
Adapted from Yuin’s online novel, the linear events in a non-chronological format of Doctor Elise tell the story of an eponymous protagonist who was actually born into a fantasy world with a way is a cruel princess whose cruelty gets her family executed and herself hanged. But instead of ceasing to exist, she was reincarnated into the modern world, where she lived for many years as a surgeon.
These are the events that took place before the anime started, the day before her sudden death. Doctor Elise fills in these gaps through the use of flashbacks, where the eponymous protagonist reflects on her current and previous life. The episode then ends with Elise’s untimely death, allowing her to go back in time to when her family was still alive.
Dr. Elise offers a rare “double atonement.”
Based on the web novel by Yuin
This structure is extremely effective because of how Elise views her current life compared to her first life. As a surgeon, she finds herself redeeming herself as an evil princess.. However, no matter how many lives she saves, it will never be enough. Elise’s family is still executed for her actions and her atonement process is taking place in a completely different world, benefiting others and not those she wronged. With the plot revolving around Elise dying again and going back in time, the episode ends with the poignant reveal that she will finally get a third and more effective chance to atone for her sins.
This compelling image of double atonement is complemented by a subversion of what most of Isekai’s main characters do. While that hasn’t happened yet, the anime’s title implies that Elise will take the impossible skills she couldn’t learn in her fantasy world and use them to truly atone for her sins. In a fantasy world, her surgical skills would be godlike for obvious reasons. This is also an interesting change from the norm, as Isekai protagonists almost always apply what they learn from their early lives in the modern world to benefit themselves in the modern world. fantasy land Isekai.
The structure of the first episode also helps the anime create a more emotional reunion. In most common time travel reincarnations, the first episode effectively captures the main character’s general shock and sense of loss after being reincarnated. By comparison, Dr. Elise’s unique circumstances lead her to reunite with her family, making that reunion extremely heartfelt. Through clever reuse of popular genre adaptations, Doctor Elise combines reverse Isekai and time travel to create one of the most original anime of the 2024 season.
Doctor Elise: The Royal Lady with the Lamp is streaming on Crunchyroll