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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.