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Angel's Anime Review - Black Butler
(Oct 2, 2008 – May 25, 2011),
Director: Shinohara Toshiya Written by: Mari Okada Music: Taku Iwasaki
Action, Black Comedy, Dark Fantasy, Supernatural,
Key Words: Demons, Conspiracy, Victorian Era, England,
Studio: A-1 Pictures Licensed American Publisher: Funimation
My Thoughts: I actually really love this show. In order to talk about it in detail, let’s do as Funimation has done and split it into first and second season. The first season starts out rather one a strange note, only giving us a glimpse of Ciel’s life about 2 years after him and Sebastian meeting. We see how the characters interact as well as who is within the household. We don’t get any info into the small 5 minute clip in front of the opening that shows Ciel naked with a red cloth over his body and talking to what looks like a crow. Even threw the episodes, they don’t really get on with the story until a few episodes in and we only get more info on how the characters act with one another. I do have to say, the second episode does bring in another fun character that does help later on in the series but he feels a bit out of place for showing him here and then waiting for a long time before you can see him again.
Now some characters feel like they really don’t have a role besides to be comedy relief. Bardroy is terrible as a cook, Finnian is a really bad gardener and Mey-Rin is so clumsy that she breaks everything around her. Even Tanaka is not able to do pretty much anything, looking super deformed. He never really does anything except laughing until way later. I think the only two that mean really anything are Sebastian and Ciel. Luckily, we don’t see much of the blundering characters.
Ciel is rather snobby and childish, even though he is placed in a rather high class placing. He acts sometimes without reason and yet tries to play everything off as logic. His fight seems like every other guilt-ed person trying to get revenge. I can understand some of the thought involved as he wants to save his mother and father’s soul, but I could see a lot of different ways they could have done the story line that wasn’t revenge oriented. But it is what it is and they did rather well for it.
To me, the main attraction is Sebastian. Of all the whining that Ciel does, he puts up with him and the other characters very well. People are going to hate me, but I have to say that Sebastian is pretty much a Mary Sue character. Everything he does is right from the first episode. No matter what, he can get out of any jam as long as it’s in his masters wishes. He looks a lot like Ciel’s father though I believe that he is because of Ciel’s wishes.
The whole show has almost the same feeling as Spice and Wolf in that a lot of the talks are rather political and somewhat dry because of the Victorian way of talking. Even though it’s like this, it has a lot more action then Spice and Wolf in the beginning which keeps me interested.
The animation is pretty spot on, I don’t normally find any faults in it but in this time period that it came out, it feels more close to the style without going outside the box. To me, it’s a little safe and the only real interesting parts is when they have the little bit of CG in it. It mixes well and gives it something to stand out. The colors are mostly dark but don’t end up turning into rather saturated look.
The voices are pretty good in the Japanese version, though not really my cup of tea. I fell more for the English dub even with its flaws. I hate May-Rin’s voice. She and Bardroy aren’t really good voices in my mind. They just try to be to much English rather then actually acting. I fell in love with Sebastian’s and Ciel’s voice. The music is beautiful, the opening is rather dark and has a J-pop beat were as the Ending has a more sweet style, taking us out of the dark story line well enough that you don’t really linger to much on the darkness.
Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Butler
May Also Like: Spice and Wolf,
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At some point, I am hoping to create a podcast with a friend and will keep you up to date on that.