I was going to save this review for just a random post during the week, but since I finished the ‘Black Butler’ manga three days ago, I figured I might as well go ahead and throw it out there. Also, I could not think of any other theme for this post aside from another list. It’s been a long, crazy week and an even longer and crazier weekend, though not necessarily in a bad way. I just haven’t had much time and am, quite literally, just now sitting down to take a breath. Hopefully I can have this up before midnight strikes.
As the title states, this is going to be a ‘Black Butler’ review, specifically for volume 1-23 of the manga and season 1 and 2 of the anime. There will be spoilers, so if you have not seen or read either, I wouldn’t recommend reading on. I will be somewhat comparing the two. If you have not read the manga or seen the anime, before you click away, I will say that I recommend them to most anyway, of an older age. This is definitely not an anime for kids, but few rarely are now. It is on the dark side, so take that into consideration before you watch and/or read. It is enjoyable, though, with enough humor to make it worth it, as well as an intriguing plotline.
Now, onto the spoilers!
It’s been a few weeks since I watched it, so stay with me and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. The story centers around the young Earl Ciel Phantomhive and his butler, Sebastian. On the surface, the young twelve year old seems to be simply a boy who lost his mother and father in a tragic fire, inheriting the family business. However, there is more to the story. After the fire, Ciel was taken by a menacing group and subjected to great horrors. It is there that he calls on a demon, who responds to the summons. The two make a quick pact in which Ciel agrees that his soul can be devoured by the demon after the demon has helped him get his revenge. Ciel is branded with the mark of their agreement on his left eye and the demon, now named Sebastian, takes out the men tormenting Ciel. The revenge does not end there, however. The two continue on for some time searching down the culprits of the murder of Ciel’s parents.
Fairly early on, around episode six, the anime diverges from the manga. Having watched the anime first, I don’t mind the changes as much, though I did prefer the manga for the most part. To be more specific, I’ll include some of the things I liked and disliked about each. Please note, this is not a full list by any means. I’m just picking two things of each with a brief explanation.
Things I liked in the anime:
- Alois Trancy. He was a complete brat, not to mention a psychopath, but I still loved him. I hated how things turned out for him, though I do feel he deserved it for the things he had done. Honestly, he got a fairly good end, if you consider the fact that he somewhat got his ‘brother’ back.
- The more in-depth look on the three other servants of the house. I loved all three of those goofs (and Tanaka, of course!) so getting more of their backgrounds was really nice. I really only remember Finny getting more of the spotlight in the manga.
Things I disliked in the anime:
- The Queen. I really don’t like what they did with her story arc. It was just strange and relatively disgusting, once you find out what the angel did to her.
- The fact that Sebastian was actually going to eat Ciel’s soul at the end of season one. I don’t know why, but I kind of have it set in my head that Sebastian cares enough about Ciel at this point that he’s almost putting off eating his soul. Deep down, I know that’s not true, but it’s still a hope I hold on to and the end of season one ruined that.
Things I liked in the manga:
- How the story went farther. I was starting to get a little bored by the end of volume 23, mainly because of the freaky boy band thing, but I still loved how there was more to it than the anime. I loved all of the extra stories and the mystery and how it all tied together in the end.
- Elizabeth Freaking Midford. Holy crap, this girl is insane. I kept seeing on Pinterest how awesome she was but I just couldn’t believe it. You never get that peak of her in the anime. And then all of a sudden, POW. She breaks out into the most unexpected epic warrioress fighting skills I’ve ever seen. I like to personally believe that’s where Ciel truly falls in love with her, but what do I know?
Things I disliked in the manga:
- The lack of Alois Trancy. Honestly, I kept hoping to see him, and even though I know the manga was well past adding that sort of storyline at the time season two came out. I still wish they could find a way to squeeze him in somehow.
- The boy band. Seriously, the Shining Stars thing just got on my absolute nerves. I read through the ‘song’, but with a grimace on my face. I’m sure it will have some meaning, but I’m in no hurry to read the next volume after that.
And I think that’s about it. I know, this isn’t a very in-depth review, but I really did watch the anime and read the manga too far apart. I hardly remember anything from the anime, at least in the order it needs to be remembered. Meanwhile, the manga is still too fresh in my head to process the newer stuff. Still, this is a very good show and manga series, so I would highly recommend either.
If you like ‘Black Butler’ or any shows like it, let me know in a comment! I’ll be glad to respond and check it out!
Have a great week, nerd dudes and nerdettes!