Let me tell you about Black Butler. It has an incredibly gripping story and hilarious cast that will always take a special place in my heart at the show that got me into anime in the first place. If you#re just getting into anime, or love mystery, fantasy and Victorian London – then you should really watch this anime, or dip into the manga!
One Hell Of An Anime
Don’t you just hate it when you are the only son of a well-to-do aristocratic family and you parents get murdered so you have to sell your soul to a demon to effectively enact revenge on those who humiliated you, all the while acting as the Queen of England’s guard dog AND run a toy company? Just me? I guess having a kickass demon by your side to do your bidding, protect you at whatever cost and make a killer (pun intended) dinner party, then the price of your soul might seem worth it.
Ciel Phantomhive certainly thought so. Ciel is the thirteen-year-old protagonist of Black Butler and has done exactly this. Sebastian Michaelis is his butler who can do absolutely everything, but the one hint to his success is that he is a demon who will one day devour Ciel’s soul as soon as his Faustian contract runs out.
Within season one of the anime, Ciel and Sebastian must find the truth of the mysterious Jack the Ripper case, look after a spoiled prince and fight for his life, following closely to the manga with some honestly disappointing filler episodes that appear pointless and lack the same energy and mystery that makes the rest of the anime so enticing.
Sebastian appears to have Ciel’s best interest at heart but behind it all, he is waiting for the moments when Ciel messes up, awaiting the day to eat his soul….or pet a particularly adorable cat.
The Price Of Your Soul
Black Butler certainly keeps you hooked. With an immersive mystery plot, kept chugging along with great humour, lovable characters and witty dialogue, the series really won’t disappoint. Arguable, the manga is far better and the episodes of the anime which go off-book are not that great, but the episodes drawn straight from the manga makes it all worth while. I do recommend reading the manga if the anime tickles your fancy, but if you watch the anime first then you probably won’t have this issue at all! (Honestly, I’m probably biased on that!)
Some highlights that you can look forward to is the beauty and hyperactivity that comes from the Grim Reaper, Grell Sutcliff and his shenanigans, including his great fashion sense and his obsession with Sebastian – and who can blame him, really? Then there is the Undertaker, who is eccentric to the extreme and never fails to make an uptight situation, usually brought on by Ciel, into a hilarious one. Not to mention the episodes dedicated to the most intense curry-making competition you have ever seen, introducing you to the great Prince Soma.
The dark, mystery-laden undertones make it so much better too. Victorian London is a particularly favourite setting of mine. From the costumes, to the crazy characters you meet, you will fall in love with the setting.
Like I said, the filler episodes are disappointing if you are a fan of the manga, but I’m sure that wouldn’t at all bother you, I’m sure, if you start off with the anime. Same for the second season. I hate the second season, but again, I’m being a little biased about it all. I really recommend watching Book of Circus – it is the best arc by far, taking place in a circus and an insanely gripping mystery of missing children to keep you on the edge of your seat. Book of Murder is definitely worth a watch too, influenced hugely by Sherlock Holmes (an already huge influence of the show itself).
Read the manga too, for some great arcs beyond the anime. The show also emerged with some amazing cosplays. Not to mention, it is the perfect anime to swoon over some great anime characters!
Honestly, anyone who watches anime has probably come across Back Butler at some stage in their lives, but if you’ve avoided it until now, I recommend chasing that fairly soon! Because it really is one hell of an anime!