Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)

Taking you back to Victorian England, Yana Toboso presents a devilishly entertaining manga, which is best served with black tea and cream.

Ciel Phantomhive, the head of the Phantomhive house is a young man who is quite literally part of the British underworld. He is accompanied by a very attractive butler named Sebastian  and as you can probably guess he’s dressed in all black.Sebastian acts as Ciel’s shadow the majority of the time and is a very talented butler though there is something just a little off about him, something very sinister.

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We find out pretty quickly that Sebastian is actually a demon serving under Ciel, though the contract that they have formed being pretty much standard edition; consisting of Sebastian being able to eat Ciel’s soul and Ciel’s denial of entry into Heaven. In exchange, Sebastian doubles up as an awesome servant for the remainder of Ciel’s days alive! He can cook brilliant meals, make outstanding tea (mhhmmmm tea) and is probably the only one who will win with knives in a gunfight.

We follow the Phantomhive House in their adventures ranging from entertaining guests to solving crime and most exciting of all: getting mixed up in black magic! The pacing is fast, but not too fast. You’re eased into the demonic world of England and before you know it you accept these things as just daily life. This is probably due to the fact that the British underworld was very secretive and not many people actually knew what was happening between different houses, and many more were just too afraid to ask. Regarding that it makes industrial England a perfect set for the battle between Heaven and Hell where the unbelievable becomes believable.

You’re probably thinking “This sounds like a very dark story” Don’t you worry there! There is lots of comic relief which is actually genuinely funny. Serious scenes are broken up using the shenanigans of Ciel and Sebastian, a duo who make a great double act. And boy will you be relieved when the comedy arrives as the plot is intense. You will be left with many questions after each episode, but not because there are plot holes but the fact that you will be screaming to know the truth and more. That is another thing that Kuroshitsuji does well, keeping your attention is crucial in an anime and a manga and we are given flashbacks, thought trains and more to keep us interested. It did a hell of a good job too! We were always wanting to know more throughout.

The best part about Black Butler is definitely it’s super-elegant style. I really like the fine artwork, because it fits the story perfectly. Also the way Toboso uses the contrasts in her figures for comedy makes this manga absolutely readable.  At some point, the anime went too far off for our taste, but since we would rather see it as an alternative ending to the manga, it’s completely fine

The Anime has started even though the manga still goes on and as such soon reached a dead end. Instead of cutting the end short however, we get confronted with a completely different, alternative plot. Instead of just sending that series to hell, they let the angels sing and introduce some new very entertaining characters (or annoying, up to you!) with an ending right from the fanfiction corner. Actually a nice move, you may choose for yourself what you like better for an ending.

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On the contrary, having an almighty butler sometimes really takes the fun out of it, so we’re more than grateful for powerful antagonists. Still, the detective games sometimes feel a bit too easy, so they only make up for “filler parts”. Plus, Ciel can be a super-annoying brat sometimes with his high self-esteem. But all in all, the mix is fun to read, even though sometimes the puzzle seems a little forced.

Black Butler is like a Victorian version of Detective Conan, with the little difference that this time, the murderer really can fly. So if you’re okay with that, Black Butler with give you a great time reading and watching!

Black Butler Facts

by Yana Toboso

Published: 2006, Square Enix, A-1 Pictures

Age: 13+

Recommended for: Fans of Detective Conan, tea and bishies. Or those who post their food on Instagramm…

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