Monday, July 25, 2011

Kurosj...Kuroshi... Shtusu... Black Butler

*Please note that there are some spoilers in this blog article, including the pictures posted*

Kuroshitsuji... Or Black Butler as people who can not pronounce the original name (like me) call it... is an anime about a boy who makes a deal (or contract) with a demon to help him seek revenge on those who killed his parents. Once the contract is fulfilled, the demon will be give the boys soul to devour... Of course that is the simple way to describe this anime that was surprisingly enjoyable.

Why surprising? Well, if you recall my post on Ouran High School Host Club, my relationship with being a squealing fangirl is one I try not to admit to, especially since most fangirls make me want to punch walls, but Black Butler has seemed to take the place in my heart that the end of Ouran left behind. Especially with the dashing and manly... yep, I said manly... demon butler, Sebastian. NOM!

I was hesitant to watch Black Butler because I realized that it was the new favorite of the yaoi fangirls. I, for one, am a yaoi fangirl, except I really am only interested in yaoi that was originally made to be yaoi, not the ones that take two characters that have never shown actual love for one another within the original source (except for Naruto... I have to admit I wouldn't be surprised if Sasuke and Naruto were gay for one another in the end... although I still prefer Naruto and Hinata together). I don't hate on those that do, as a matter of fact, sometimes I go along with it because I find it to be humorous (like Kingdom Hearts yaoi), but in the end I do not 'ship' these pairings.

Going off track... Back on... Since it was evident by attending conventions that Black Butler was not a cosplay hard to find, I was not sure I really wanted to enter into the fanbase, but in the end, I caved in and watched the whole series in a week (haven't done that in a LONG time).

I love this show! And best of all, it has nothing to do with the possible yaoi pairings. The plot and characters really drive this anime and it really grabbed by attention, especially that of season 1... season 2 was a bit of a miss for me, but I'll get to that later.

Season 1 of the anime Black Butler was a pleasant ride of adventure, humor, and underworld creatures. We have our two main characters, Ciel and Sebastian. Ciel is a 12 year old boy who lost his parents in a fire. Although it seemed like an accident, Ciel knows that someone killed his family and seeks revenge on those who harmed him. By his side we have... *breath*... Sebastian...*squee*... his loyal 'hell' of a butler (that line makes me shiver with joy every time... squealing usually starts here). He is a demon who made a contract with Ciel to help him seek his revenge. As I said before, in exchange Sebastian gets the treat of eating Ciel's soul (which he claims will be the best meal he will ever have). Sebastian is, in simple words, the best and most badass butler I have ever seen! Sebastian is where we get most of our action scenes from, since he is always trying to protect Ciel (if Ciel dies before fulfilling the contract, Sebastian can not eat his soul). He is, literately, there to serve and protect Ciel.

As we go along the show, we meet many different characters along the way. Elizabeth is a young girl, Ciel's age, who is engaged to marry Ciel when they grow older. Elizabeth is the type of screaming and squealing character I usually hate in these types of shows, but I did not find myself hating Elizabeth. I actually really like her character because I truly believe she is willing to do anything to make Ciel happy again. She also fits Ciel really well because she brings a brighter side to his usual dark demeanor. Although my review is only on the anime, I read a bit of the manga and learned that Elizabeth has proven herself to be a badass and darn good sword fighter, which makes me respect her character even more.

We also meet the four other servants of the Ciel Phantomhive manor. All four characters are outstanding and leave an incredible impact on the show. Behind close doors, they seem to be four of the most useless servants one could have, but as the show progresses, one realizes that these loveable characters can kick some ass (for the exception of the old man... he is just always adorable). First we have Tanaka, that adorable old man I was talking about. He is a sweet old man that is usually seen in a seating position, almost chibi like, drinking tea and only laughing, instead of speaking. When he does have to speak, he grows into a normal form and gently speaks of the information he knows. I just want to hug him.

Then we have Bardroy, Finnian, and Mey-Rin. Trying not to give too much away, each character has their own dark past and was given the chance to escape that past and work for the Phantomhive manor. They each have a special ability that assists Sebastian with keeping the Phantomhive manor safe. What makes them loveable is that they all truly care for Ciel as well and seem to feel as if they have found their home and happiness working for Ciel.

Then we have the Grim Reapers... my personal favorites. First we meet Grell, who is confirmed by the creator, to be a bisexual/transgender man (he refers to himself often as a female and wishes he was one). I love Grell with all my heart. He makes me giggle anytime he is on the screen! Anything he does is either hilarious or kick ass and he brings fun and laughter to the show. Then we have William, who is a high grade grim reaper that seems to always come to Grell's rescue (or more like to clean up where Grell messed up). He isn't given too much air time, but I learned to love William after watching the OVA of William and Grell as students... it also made me realize that this is the only true yaoi pairing I support in the show... I don't know, I just really like Grell and William. Then there is Undertaker. He is the Undertaker of London who you later leaner in also a grim reaper... honestly I don't wish to spoil too much about him, but I do wish I could have seen more of what the Undertaker could do since I really loved his character (I'm sure I will in the manga once I start collecting it).

After this we have a ton of other characters, but to be honest, they don't seem that important to me (although I do really like Prince Soma, Agni, Lau, Ran-Mao, and Madame Red). Of course all the characters play important roles within the plot and without them, certain important plot points, including the antagonist and ending, can not happen. Still, I don't want to give major plot points away, so I'm going to refrain from writing about these and other important characters.

Still, there is this matter of Black Butler II (season 2) that I must discuss. Black Butler II takes place after the events of Black Butler and it is a completely different plot than that of the manga (as said by my research). The two main characters we meet in Black Butler II are Earl Alois Trancy and his demon butler, Claude Faustus. Although, in the end, I did not completely hate Black Butler II, it did not feel up to par with the original anime series. Alois really annoyed me most of the show, proving to just be a whining brat that needed to be disciplined and Claude, although he was a great fighter, never really connected to the story as other characters have in the past series. Actually, I think that was the main issue I had with Black Butler II, it did not feel to flow as well in plot and audience engagement as the original. Mainly, it felt as if the plot was almost pointless and really did not actually have to happen to end the show. I still recommend watching Black Butler II, as the ending is somewhat evil and spiteful, which I actually enjoyed (watch out for Hannah, that's all I'll say), but compared to the original (and the OVAs), it did not seem to capture my attention as much.

In the end, Black Butler really caught me off guard with how amazing the show turned out to be. Since Black Butler II left me a bit empty, I plan on getting into the manga to see how the story is actually suppose to go. Knowing the little information I do know about the manga, it seems to do a better job that Black Butler II was not able to present. Still, Black Butler was one hell of a ride that I enjoyed from beginning to end and would recommend to any of my friends, even none yaoi fangirls (honestly, it gives some yaoi jokes here and there, but other than Grell, the yaoi truly comes from the fans and not the original material... except for the 'corset' scene... giggle, but that was the point of the joke).

Well, I am off to make my deal with one hell of a butler...

Yes! Yes, we shall. *squee* *faint*

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