Welcome back to another review post! I feel the need to post something, yet I don’t feel very prepared for this particular review. I feel happy typing down something though, because it gives my fingers an exercise hahaha. Usually, I feel the most prepared to write a review right after I’ve finished a series but if I drag it out too long, or don’t really have a good grasp of the story, I won’t feel the push to review it.
I feel like writing an anime review today, because I’ve been neglecting that section ><
Recently, I’ve completed two anime series: Black Butler AKA Kuroshitsuji and Ao Haru Ride, which all fangirls have been fawning over because of the freaking handsome Mabuchi Kou.
I’m going to write about Black Butler today though, even though the time I completed it was some time ago already, so my memory of it may not be the best. Today’s review challenge for me will be to type out everything about the series that immediately comes to mind and to resist checking my information according to memory. As well as not refer to research on the series. Not that I don’t love Ao Haru Ride more, it’s just that I think Black Butler would be more interesting to review for now.
The story is about a young boy, Ciel Phantomhive, who strikes a deal with a demon to help him carry out his revenge on the people who plotted against the Phantomhive family and killed his parents in exchange for a high price: his soul. The demon forms a contract with Ciel and places his faustian contract mark on his right eye because the more exposed location the mark is placed, the higher the hold it has over the demon. The demon is named Sebastian by Ciel and with the contract in place, he takes on the role of Ciel’s butler.
Sebastian works to become the perfect butler, efficient at almost everything he does, including the tasks that go beyond the abilities a normal butler should do. Whenever he is complimented or praised for his perfection at his work, Sebastian would say his trademark response: “I am merely one hell of a butler.” which you’ll see quite frequently throughout the whole series.
Black Butler is filled with crimes and mysteries which Ciel is constantly tasked to investigate and get rid of, under the orders of the Queen, who he works for. Due to this position he has, he is frequently called “The Queen’s Watchdog” and some people have displayed their distaste at this for reasons unknown. Or maybe it’s just me who hasn’t been paying attention?
He brings Sebastian with him on his missions, because it’s good to have a demon watching your back right? He’s right to, because most of the crimes and mysterious happenings seem to be connected to the supernatural. As the duo uncover various mysteries, they realise that somehow or another, some seem to be connected to each other but why? Is there a plot behind them? And who is the Queen really? We don’t know much about her and we’re not told much about her either, only that she’s the Queen and she’s mysterious enough in the anime: she wears completely black from head to toe and her face is covered by a dark veil. What is the reason that Ciel serves her?
The story is dark and full of soul-searching. Ciel is constantly challenged to keep his focus on his revenge and remember how vengeful and humiliated he felt at the mercy of others. As a person, Ciel is cold, distant and calculating. He is also ruthless, never hesitating to order Sebastian to kill anyone he considers a potential threat without giving much of a second thought. Ciel however, deep down inside is a vulnerable, lonely young boy who wishes to bring what he thinks is justice to him and his family. Ciel has an unfeeling aura about him, which may put a distance between him and others but in truth, he is a kind person with compassion for the people close to him. Despite Ciel being a broken and damaged character, he is not at all weak and constantly fights to survive, which is what makes me like him so much. Way more than Sebastian, who fangirls would die for hahaha. In addition, I just love Ciel’s voice – it is simply amazing. And I just found out that it was a woman who voiced him! Well done to Sakamoto Maaya (Y)
There’s not much to say about Sebastian at this point, because Sebastian is too mysterious and complicated to figure out to me. From the first season, Sebastian is obedient and the perfect butler to the Phantomhive household. He does tasks way beyond his job description and excels at them to boot. Although he takes orders from Ciel, there have been times whereby he shows signs of displeasure at Ciel’s decisions. I’m not sure if these disagreements with his master’s decisions will lead up to betrayal in the end or something but I guess I’ll have to continue reading the manga to find out right? Sebastian seems mysterious; under that perfect smile and act as a perfect butler, I have a feeling that he has his own motives too. I mean, although he is the pawn and Ciel the king (chess language here), surely he has an ulterior motive at the end of all this, because his goal is to eventually obtain Ciel’s soul right? I’ll need to do my research to confirm this.
The rest of the characters are brilliant in villainy, craftiness and loyalty. Some even do a 360 and you go from hating/disliking them to liking them, much to your chagrin such as Grell Sutcliff and this guy called the Undertaker. The concealed villains were quite obvious to guess and spot as suspicious characters, so their revelations as the villains didn’t come so much as a surprise.
All in all, Black Butler is a great anime. It has a great story and the first season shows you just enough to get you curious enough to want to know more. Why? Because there is so much to tap into from there on! And the best place to continue off from the anime (if you started with the anime first like me) would be to read the manga. The characters are likeable and although I don’t like yaoi (I really don’t), I love the relationship between Ciel and Sebastian. This respect-standing authority is what I love because although I doubt Sebastian’s motives, I want him to protect Ciel’s heart and not let him become vulnerable any further. The story is also riddled with comedic scenes, which can pop up in the most serious situations, which is hilarious. I’d definitely watch Black Butler again, for all the comedic scenes one day if I feel up to it 🙂
Premise of the scene below: Ciel, Sebastian and Grell Sutcliff are searching for information about an organisation involving religious people. Most of them refuse/are not allowed to talk about it so Sebastian seduces a young nun to get information. The surprise was his method to get his information XD
Character likeability / Character background: 9/10
Overall story: 9/10
Re-watchability: 8/10 (To go through all those mysteries again would be kind of a torture for me)