Black Butler: Season 1, Part 2

Black ButlerPart two of Black Butler sees the series hurtling towards a resolution for Ciel and Sebastian. Bound together by a dark ritual (hinted at but never shown), Sebastian must serve Ciel until they find who murdered Ciel’s parents and get revenge. Only then can Sebastian claim Ciel’s soul for his own.

The stories in this series generally cover a couple episodes and have Ciel and Sebastian solving a mystery while at the same time uncovering clues towards solving his parents’ murder. For example, while investigating a church that seems to have stolen the stories of people’s lives, Ciel has a flashback of the hand of the man who killed his parents.

Some of the story lines can be quite light, as when Sebastian has to make the perfect curry dish to win a competition, but most are fairly dark. People Ciel trust betray him. Good people often act badly. This series really explores what it means to be honorable or trustworthy.

The voice work in the series is very good – Sebastian especially, as played by J. Michael Tatum who fans of FUNmation will recognize, as he has done extensive voice work for them.

The art is true to the manga, although in color of course. The anime still resorts to some use of chibis and even some written expressions. So when a character is surprised you might see both the expression and some surprise lines radiating off the character as well as the word “shock” written in Japanese and English translation behind them.

As a fan of the show, I loved the character development that you get from watching a whole series. It’s what gets you to the level of in-joke with a series. For example, in “His Butler, Engaging Servants,” one plot is the servants worrying about Ciel’s mood as he does not respond to their morning greeting. By the end of the day, he has cheered up enough to yell at them and berate them for their sloppy appearance. They are all really happy to be yelled at because it means Ciel is in a better mood. But if you haven’t watched a lot of Back Butler, you wouldn’t know that Ciel is very stoic and reserved, rarely showing any emotion.

Recommended to teens and up (death, demons, blood, betrayal)

Black Butler: Season One, Part Two
FUNimation, 2011
directed by Toshiya Shinohara
300 minutes, Number of Discs: 2, Box set
Company Age Rating: (teen and up)
Related to: Black Butler by Yana Toboso