Black butler or Kuroshitsuji or whatever you want to call it


Good day my dearest readers,

1076     There was a time in which my method of finding new anime to watch was listening to my friends and random Netflix sprees, sometimes a mixture of both. Black Butler (or Kuroshitsuji as it’s referred to on the internet) was something I discovered on a Netflix spree but heard about from a friend, being a combination of both, I watched it. I didn’t know what to except, all the summery told me was that it was about a 12 year-old kid and his demon butler (who, I might add is extremely attractive) and they went on adventures all through Victorian London. I had no idea what to except but I assumed it was some romance anime judging by the appearance of the butler and the fact that every person who had ever uttered its name to me was female (romantic loving females, I might add.)

I was surprised however, to find that in the first episode a man was shoved in to an oven by are demon friend (Sebastian Michaels) and that there were literally almost no viable romances even involved. The second episode seemed just as good, with Sebastian attacking a group of armed thugs with nothing but silverware, and winning. It was after this I realized that I was watching one of those action-packed comedies that were targeted at a female audience, something which seems to be more common as of late.

The story itself is about 12 year-old Earl Ceil Phantomhive, the head of the ‘Funtom’ toy company and head of the Phantomhive household. Young Ceil lost his parents when he was just 10 years old due to a house fire, leaving him an orphan with one goal, to avenge his parents death by finding and killing the arsonist who started the fire resulting in their death. To do this, he made a contract with the demon Sebastian, who promises revenge, at a price. In exchange for his services, Sebastian will be allowed to eat Ceil’s soul after he gets his revenge. The series follows their varies adventures in search of the arsonist, and all the distractions they face along the way.black-butler-group-16804775ef

The overall story is nice, filed with twist and turns, and I love the art style, which not only shows personality overall, but also gives each character a unique look. The action scenes flow nicely, using beautiful art and various human poses for a bit of a mix-up each time, and conveying the overall emotion of the fighters with few or no words. The characters work well together, personalities often clashing for comedic purposes, and giving each character individuality. Comedy occurs often, and is often pure randomness, smartass comments, slap stick, or characters finding other characters attractive, which tells me that the target audience is in fact, female (that and the weird almost-yoai stuff). Overall the series is pretty good.

Iconic silverware throw…

It does however, have its problems. Most of this lies in the fact that in a similar fashion to Pandora Hearts, the manga was unable to keep up with the anime, leaving the anime staff to continue the plot, and for a while they did well, and then, it failed. They began to add concepts that made little sense, and then abruptly ended the series on a negative note, but a complete one. Then the made Kuroshitsuji II, which picked up an already ended series, and re-murdered it brutally via poor plot devices and bad characterization. Than they ended that a really really bad note by going against almost all we had come to understand in order to end on a slightly positive note. Still in the fashion of Pandora Hearts the manga goes in an entirely different direction, yet I have to find out the best place to pick it up, and not sure if starting over is worth it.

Black Butler is one of my favorite series, more for the characters and art than anything else (I’m not going to lie, Sebastian is hot.)  It was well worth watching, and one of the few series I plan to buy when I get the chance. The story is strong as well, though I feel it start stronger than it ended, perhaps this is avoided in the manga, though due to it not ending, it’s hard to really say. The lack of direct romance in the series is something I rarely see in the more female based Shōnen genre, and I really enjoy it and hope to see it more in mainstream manga.

Update: As I write this I have just found that a Kuroshitsuji live action movie, it will be directed by Otani Kentaro (director of the live action film Nana) and the leading man Sebastian will be played by the wonderful Mizushima Hiro. Not much is yet known about it, but we’re told it’s an original story and takes place 130 after the manga/ anime (which, from my math/guessing, would bring it up to about modern times, maybe in the near future. I specifically got the year 2018). I myself do not know much about the director or leading actor, but from what I’ve heard there good at what they do, and judging by the pictures of Hiro as Sebastian, I do not doubt them.

look at that Sebastian...

look at that Sebastian…

I have a feeling that Ceil will not be in this new movie, and that perhaps it will just be Sebastian with his new victim client. I believe this would allow a lot more flexibility and make it harder to mess up, as they really only need to keep with one or two characters from the original, which means that mad fans can’t scream about how such and such is wrong with blank because blah because blank wasn’t even in the movie. This would of course, disappoint some fans, though having a human character live 130 years would need much more explaining… (Unless it’s based off the second season of the anime, than it’s a similar concept, just with Ceil there) And while I want Ceil to be in the movie, I don’t know how I feel about him being there and it being modern times, I feel that Sebastian (who lived through many time periods) would be a little easier (though not easy) to explain adapting than a 12 year old who grew up rich in the 1880s (though he could adapt). This, and I think that a bit more about Sebastian would be nice, we know a lot about Ceil, but little about who Sebastian is, or his past, which is something I hope the movie might cover.

I’m pretty excited, and I’m hoping for the best (I’m not really sure how they could screw it up…) and already plan to see it as soon as I can. The movie is to be filmed in April and slated for release in mid-2013.     

That was like two blog posts…

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