Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji) Collection 1 - Epsidoes 1 to 12 DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 6.0
Video 8.0
Audio 4.0
Special Features 6.0
Total 6.0
Distributor: Madman
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Classification:
MA15+
Reviewer: Owen Sherwood

6.0


Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji)
Collection 1 - Epsidoes 1 to 12

Kuroshitsuji, which has been redubbed as Black Butler for the foreign devils, is a mesmerising anime taken off from the Manga of the same name(s). Before we start, I should warning you; Yaoi content ahead. It never happens but itís heavily implied.

Black Butler is branded as a Seinen, something that shows through in itís violent action sequences, but whole scenes can go by that could have fitted snugly into any shoujo; thereís a dream like quality to parts of the anime, with everything drawn in a stunning neo-gothic look. Not to mention most of the male cast are charmingly handsome if at times adorably awkward young men.  

This anime makes no attempts at realism, in fact it often has a lot of fun playing with the genre, lampooning character archetypes and animating styles throughout the series. It can be a lot of fun to watch the writers poking at the audience in their own self-aware way. Some of the characters toe the line with clichť, and some of the drama is a little too drawn out, but thatís not a huge flaw. 

What is a huge flaw is the voice acting. Whether you prefer the subtitles or the redubbed English, there are some characters whose every syllable sounds like a velociraptor in a car compactor. The story is set in Victorian England, but did they really have to push the cockney accents? Speaking of setting, the main character is an orphan named Ceil Phantomhive, heir to the Phantomhive estate and a prop for the real star of the show: Sebastian the Butler. Ceil is a mix of eye-patch-wearing aristocrat, toy manufactory owner, secret agent for the Queen and demon hunter at large. Also, he has a compact with the Devil and he runs around his mansion all day with no parents or adult supervision.  

Although most people would straight-up kill another person for any one of those titles, he spends most of his time moping and being serious about things. 

Another fun thing about this anime is the dark content. This DVD thoroughly earns its MA15+ sticker. I get the feeling certain scenes or sequences might have been re-cut just to make sure it didnít dribble over to an R. When the gore gets started, and it starts right in episode one, itís strangely entertaining to see Black Butler switch back to the light-hearted sitcom the background characters dwell in. 

Youíll remember Black Butler for three things, good and bad all depending on your views; first is the not-quite-Homoerotic, almost-BDSM relationship between the eponymous Butler and his Master.  

Two is the Manic-Depressive way it switches from grinning demons stabbing one another in one scene to domestic servants fretting about getting their chores done and insuring their crushes donít fall for their rivals in the next. 

Finally, the phrase ďIím just one hell of a ButlerĒ. Credit where itís due, he is quite a good butler, but he says twice and episode and youíll notice it every time he does. Thereís plenty to enjoy here if you donít mind the at times clichťd characters and screeching bad voice acting, so Iíd recommend it to anyone looking for an out-there way to waste a couple of hours.






 
 



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