Black Butler

August 6, 2018

 

This is an anime adaptation of the manga of the same name by Yana Tobusu. I first learned about this tv series when I was in my early years of high school. 

The series is about Ciel Phantomhive and his demonic butler Sebastian. Ciel is the watch dog for the queen and the earl of his house Phantomhive. His job as the watchdog of the queen is to serve the queen of England for morally dubious tasks. While he is investigating who is behind his parent's murder from a massive house fire a couple of years ago.  

The story and characters are really interesting. Sebastian is quite charming and he always manages to come out on top. And any task he does by Ciel he always exceeds his results. Other characters in the show as well like Grell and The Undertaker are quite humorous and they give off some really amusing moments in the story. Such as Grell’s unrequited love for Sebastian. And the undertaker sneaking up in coffins and scaring people just as a joke.   

There are some parts of the show that didn’t make much sense and it left some things unexplained as well. The show also has various figureheads and moments during the times of Victorian London as well. But with its own twist to the events so it does gives Victorian London its own unique world within Black Butler.  

And the voice acting of the characters in this show is pretty good especially Ciel and Sebastian. So, they do give off a pretty convincing English accent as well. 

Each episode of the show is adapted from the books of the manga. Like the kidnapping arc. And the Jack the ripper arc. And it is part of a overarching story where bit by bit Ciel learns more about his family’s background and the real reason to why they were killed. So the mystery solving of the show is tense and there is always going to be twist and turns before you could find out the truth. Which keeps things different and more intrigued to the show.  

It is mostly faithful to the manga series. But there are parts which deviates from the original manga. And some of it doesn't really go in quite well with the show.  There are some filler episodes in the show which does tend to be distracting and often unrelated to the main events of the story as well. 

I really like the gothic Victorian art style that the show uses. The world design looks unique and the scary side of the world looks interesting.  And it gives a creepy atmosphere to the show as well. Each character does look unique and well designed. So not one character looks the same as the other one. And also, Victorian London looks just like Victorian London during the time 1800s. Along with the dialogue and many references to events that have happened during the 1800s. That matches to the setting of the show so it is historical accurate most of the time. 

The show has a pretty offbeat and dark sense of humor. It does come off as pretty funny and it goes well with the dark nature of the show. Some parts of the show feature lighthearted chibi gags which are as well are quite humorous. But the lighthearted gags can be out of place at times. Especially when serious moments such action scenes or whenever the characters are placed in life threatening situations. It does have tonal balance issues at times.  But nothing to interfere with the story most of times.  

The animation looks pretty good. There is some cgi in some scenes of the show. But it blends in with animation quite well so, it won’t be that much noticeable. 

The music of the show also has a haunting feel to it whenever the more serious parts happen. Other times it can be whimsical and quirky for the humorous parts of the show. So, the soundtrack of the show does match the tone of each part of the show.  

I really like this anime overall. 

I'll give around 4 stars. 

If you enjoy Victorian history and anime you could give this a try if you like. 

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