Black Butler: Season 2 + OVA Collection
Goetheís Faust was an alright little
romp, but 1) itís over 200 years old rather tired and dusty, and 2) it
doesnít lend itself particularly well to Blu-ray.
Luckily the thoughtful folks over at
Japanese animation studio A-1 have remedied these deficiencies and the
end product, Black Butler, is a darkly humorous meditation on
love, family connections and the afterlife. And soul-eating.
Sebastian Michaelis, demon, butler and
all-around nice chap, has a deal with his master, the young and
impossibly wealthy orphan Ciel Phantomhive: once his earthly duties are
fulfilled and he has avenged the murders of Cielís parents, he will be
allowed to kill the young man and consume his soul.
Season Two introduces a major new player
and a whole new household, namely that of the Trancy clan. Alois Trancy
has a demonic butler just like young Ciel, however this sassy fellow,
who goes by the imaginative name Claude Faustus, isnít all that keen on
devouring the soul of Alois, whom he finds far too dour for his liking.
No, he has his sights set on getting the (presumably much tastier) soul
of the newly amnesiac Ciel, and will seemingly stop at nothing in his
attempts to get it.
Perhaps to compensate for the fact Season
Two is far shorter than the first, Madmanís new Blu-ray edition gathers
together all 12 episodes as well as all six of the OVA episodes produced
thus far. Iím actually not sure having a shorter run this time around
is a bad thing: this season feels much more focused than the first, with
fewer irrelevant side stories cluttering the main narrative and an
emphasis on the cruelty and black humour which were always Black
Butlerís strong suits. The two warring households and their
grotesque inhabitants are also kept firmly at the centre of the plot,
allowing the tension to build to a suitably bloody crescendo by seasonís
And then thereís the OVAs, which are only
loosely connected to the main series and see the main characters
undertaking a bizarre and highly entertaining series of (mis)adventures.
The highlight here is undoubtedly ĎCiel in Wonderland,í which the box
cover rightly proclaims as a firm fan favourite and which sees the
characters from Black Butler playing out the storyline of
Alice in Wonderland. Itís a suitably tongue in cheek tribute to
Lewis Carrollís oddball realm, and a fitting conclusion to this
supremely worthy two-disc BD set.
Textless openings and closings
Audio commentary on three episodes