Doctor Elise: The Royal Lady with the Lamp

Alt titles: Gekai Elise, Surgeon Elise

TV (12 eps)
3.738 out of 5 from 1,730 votes
Rank #2,775

Jihyun is a master surgeon at the peak of her medical prowess. She’s made it her life’s mission to save lives in order to atone for the sins of her past life, but her dreams are cut short when her plane crashes in the middle of the Pacific. When Jihyun wakes up, she finds herself back in her first life as Elise de Clarence - the haughty nightmare of a girl who brought on her own tragic end. The new Elise, however, still has time to set things straight - with her newfound medical knowledge, the reformed Elise sets out to right the wrongs of her tragic first life!

Source: Lezhin

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I really like Doctor Elise, it's not the most well-made anime, but it is pretty good. Getting to see Elise make up for her past wrongs, form friendships and save people has been really nice to watch. While the anime does have some issues, it's still quite enjoyable. I read the manwha a few months ago, and I really enjoyed it. I tend to like stories related to medicine, and I'm also just a big fan of shoujo romance lol. However, this anime is a downgrade from the manwha. It's still decently good. It's a step up from the other shoujo manwha adaptions I've seen, though it's not the best I like the romance and doctor aspect of it all still, but the anime downgraded that from the manwha. Elise is reborn into her previous life, and she takes this as an opportunity to fix her past mistakes and become a doctor, and along the way there's a sweet romance story. I love that premise and I still love it in the anime. The anime still does a good job at capturing the charm of it all. A lot of the anime is just focused on Elise righting past wrongs and changing the story/world for the better. The anime only covers what I'd consider the set up to everything, Elise becoming a doctor, mending her past wrongs, and Liden developing feelings for her. While at the same time she establishes bonds with all these other characters, ones that she cared about before and people she missed out on having a bond with in her past life. She's trying to change the future, which is a multide of different bad things, and she does a good job at it. It's a pleasant watch. The pacing of the anime feels really slow, which is probably necessary since the anime wouldn't have been able to cover the war arc, but I feel like it's missing out a lot on the best part of the story because of this. Such as the romance and the more exciting scenes. There's still some sweet scenes, but not as much as I'd wish for. I like how the anime showed Liden in a disguise to go visit Elise though, that was cute. And what also came along with the slower pacing was showing more of Elise's past life and her time becoming a doctor in her new life. We get to see her mending relationships with people, different parts to her life, and overall get a good feel of everything. These scenes were shown well in the manwha too, but since they took a slower pace in the anime, it made me pay more attention to them rather then when I was reading the manwha and read them fairly quickly. But the main issue I have with the anime only specifically covering a certain portion, is the fact it left out/altered certain scenes that were really important in the manwha, but they took out the importance of them in the anime. As the anime goes on, it begins to really change up the storyline from the original storyline, all to excldue what the story really is leading up to since the season won't be able to fit it in. With the storyline being altered, a lot of important moments in the manwha don't exist in the anime and are completely subsituted for something different. I still like the anime version, I don't mind the subsitutions for the story too much, I just found it a bit confusing. However, they also did add a scene that I didn't see in the manwha where there was a fire at the theater, and Elise and Liden had to escape together. That was a good bonding moment between the two, so I'm glad they added another scene with them becoming closer in the anime. Yet with this big plot change, that left a ton of stuff out, they summed up a lot and made it seem like there's no chance for a second season. I think the side characters are done well such as Yulian. Her and Elise both talk about their feelings and how they treated each other in the past, and it's a good conversation between them. They become good friends and it's nice to see that. Okay, one of the issues I have with the anime, which isn't really important but it still bugs me. The animation and character design looks really basic. The manwha was really pretty, and I don't expect an anime to be as pretty as it, however all the characters look a lot more basic then they did, a lot of their detail is missing. Aside from just the character in general, a lot of the time Elise would have pretty outfits in the manwha, but then the anime replaced them with her normal outfit, which was a bit disappointing. The anime also changed the backgrounds to a few scenes and made them look a lot more basic. In general the animation is okay, it's not bad, but everything looks mildly basic. However the dancing scene was the worst dancing scene I think I've ever seen in shoujo anime. They were barely even moving. However I do like the music a lot for this anime, sometimes it can be a tad over dramatic, but in intense scenes, especially in episode 11 where there's the violin, I really liked it. Another issue that's found in both the anime and manwha, is Elise. She can definately be seen as a typical Mary Sue lacking any character development and being perfect all the time. This can be fustrating, but at the same time she also went through character development in her past life so it makes sense why there isn't a ton to me. But still, I feel as if she shouldn't be totally perfect and there should still be some character development. Even if it was just a bit more difficult for her to become a doctor, I would have prefered that. I don't know, it's just a bit fustrating to me. She's still likable though, performing her duties as a doctor and her drive to help people is something I like seeing, but not very complex. I don't know where else to put this in my review, but a lot of the medical stuff that goes on in the anime is very inaccurate, which doesn't really matter all that much to me since it's an anime, but I still figured I'd say this. It'd be cool if it was accurate, but it's okay that it's not. Overall, I'd say the anime is decently good. It's a sweet story and I am enjoying it. It's not very complex, but I didn't mind it too much. I hope I didn't criticize Doctor Elise too much because I genuinely do enjoy it.


Well, unfortunately this anime left me disappointed. It had a strong premise and foreshadowed some very interesting plot points. Yet it almost completely ignores the foreshadowed plot points and just doesn't live up to its potential. I assumed she would re-enter a comparatively primitive world (from a medical standpoint). I was anticipating story beats, similar to the real story of Ignasz Semmelweis, who campaigned to introduce acceptable hygenic standards in clinics. I expected her to run up against an entrenched and conservative medical establishment, who takes umbrage at her attempts to introduce modern medical knowledge. I was looking forward for her to overcome these challenges. Yet none of that happened. I am confused as to what the level of medical knowledge of the world she re-entered was supposed to be. They made a point of how only maybe 20 people recently learned about the disease of diabetes, yet already had a treatment plan available (IRL, we knew about diabetes for millenia, but only managed to develop a treatment (insulin) in the 1920s). They also apparently have X-rays, know about sterilization and germs, yet are unaware of what a tracheotomy is (another treatment that humanity had known about for a long time). These inconsistencies completely broke my immersion. The entire medical field seemed to be pretty modern, just with arbitrary gaps thrown into it, so that Elise can shine. Also, the other characters simply cannot stop gushing about the protagonist. She never had to deal with any kind of prejudice. A young noblewoman without any sort of medical training appears and starts showing up the most prestigious doctors in the nation. Only one ever expressed doubt for maybe two minutes in a private setting, before he also couldn't stop gushing about Elise. Only rarely are there any scenarios (and never in a medical setting), where others don't automatically trip over themselves to praise her and actually oppose her. There were a few redeeming moments in the show to be true, yet not nearly enough to make Elise not feel like a Mary Sue, set in a half-baked fantasy world. 


Review based on 6 episodes. Tldr; a fresh take on the reincarnation trope is let down by bland characters and slow pacing. Story This felt like a fresh take on the typical reincarnation story. I liked how we got a real sense for the MC in the modern day, and got to see both her compassion and her impressive skill as a surgeon. The direction of the plot when she enters the alternate world is interesting as well. I enjoyed seeing the MC atone for her past behaviour and pursue her dreams with a dogged determination.  Pacing is where this anime struggles. It can a tad slow paced, especially at the beginning, and didn't always hold my attention. The show also lacks some tension in these early episodes. Medical problems don't feel like much of a challenge because you know that Elise was a seasoned surgeon in her past life, and probably the best medical practitioner in the realm.  Some effort has been put into the medical encounters, but they still require a lot of suspension of disbelief. For example she surgically treats a bedsore even though the risk of infection in a pre-antibiotic world would surely outweight the benefit of such an intervention.  It's also unclear what technology is available in the world. In one scene a med student suggests bringing in a defibrillator, yet in another Elise apparently doesn't even have a thermometer and is guaging temperature by palpating a pulse(?!).  6/10 Art/Animation The art style is a tad old school but overall really vibrant and detailed. The women are cute, the men attractive, basically the art style does exactly what it sets out to do.  The animation is  a mixed bag. Faces are expressive and don't look like the 2D cutouts you find in some shoujo anime. There's always something interesting happening on screen which helps to flesh out the setting. Where this series falls down is full body movement. I swear this anime has one of the worst animated dance scenes I have ever seen, which I just had to dock points for - it was so awkward and lazy.  There is one scene when Elise and her love interest are mopping the floor together, and it was so awkward and unintentionally sexual I had to add a bonus mark.  7/10 Characters There no getting around it; Elise and Linden are flat. Elise is gratingly positive, selfless, and polite. I would have thought that a woman who made it to the position of a high ranking surgeon would have a little more assertiveness and ego in her interpersonal relations. A big deal was also made of Elise losing her temper a lot in her past life, and I would have loved to see her struggle with her temper and becoming a better person. Instead we just see her being unfailingly humble and saint-like, without ever showing her growing pains as she strives to become a better person.  Linden is your typical stoic, aloof male lead. There's really nothing distinctive about him. In isolation I wouldn't mind this trait so much, but paired with Elise's blandness, the result is a whole heap of nothing chemistry wise. As the series progresses, he does start to show a cute side, which may save his character and the romance in this series as a whole.  4/10 Overall I did like this series overall; I think it has enough fresh ideas to set itself apart from the 101 other reincarnationo anime that are popping up, and it will be interesting to see how Elise reforms healthcare in an alternate world. I just can't help but wish the series had taken a more fiesty character direction with Elise. The premise gives so much material for setting up a complex character arc for Elise, but instead any character growth happens off screen before the series even starts.  6/10

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