Welcome to the third installment of Otaku Digest, keeping you up to date in what’s “hip and now” this anime season. Fans everywhere squee’d with joy when the announcement came along that the creators of Kuroshitsuji or Black Butler were finally going to give us what we wanted and continue the series as originally set out by the manga. So this summer season we have Kuroshitsuji Book of Circus.
Name: Kuroshitsuji “Book of Circus” 黒執事
Release Date: July 11th 2014
Director: Noriyuki Abe
Written by: Hiroyuki Yoshino
Studio: Aniplex/ A-1 Pictures
The series kicks off as normal with Sebastian going about his butler chores, leading fans right back into the tone of the anime which at times can seem to be drawn out but in fact is leading into what usually is a piece of suspenseful action. As per the style of this anime the first episode of Book of Circus is an attempt on Ciel’s life by a so called work colleague (no spoilers here we all saw it coming, that’s what 4 attempts now?). This gives another amazing scene where we can see what Sebastian can do and will do to protect his master. This is only a lead up however for the end when Lau can (finally) give Ciel the invitation to the Circus that had arrived in the city.
This is where we really will see the magic happen for this series, Ciel being the Queen’s watchdog is sent invitation in hand to Noah’s Ark Circus to investigate the connection between it and missing children. Even though we are only four episodes in you can already see that creative narrative that was very evident in the manga come through into the anime, which is also a nice bonus that they are staying true to the original manga concept.
Bringing us right into the story, which is case you haven’t already guessed is all based in a circus, of course the story will not stay stagnant and obsessed with the fact they are in a circus. What is more interesting about this story is not only the “Noah’s Ark Circus” angle but also the inclusion of the “Pied Piper” arc in the story, what has lured these children away? Where other anime have fallen short and even where Kuroshitsuji itself has fallen short is where creators haven taken liberties with what is already a well-structured and thought out narrative and change in either to incorporate a character for longer or drag out the series. Kuroshitsuji did this is its first season where the end of the season came to a completely different climax to the original manga arc, which is also why fans were delighted to now have Book of Circus and we can only hope it keeps to the fantastic arc laid out for them in the manga. No spoilers here but if you are watching then prepare to be thrown back and forth in the feels department, this arc will have you laughing, shouting in rage and wailing in hysteria.
This series is a prime example of an anime being able to pick up where it sort of left off, Book of circus is what fans should have gotten instead of Kuroshitsuji II. Even though we did get memorable characters from it the series did not satisfy the appetites for fans. Anyone who remembers or is a fan of the original first season will know the efforts that this anime’s creatures take to ensure it looks true to its surroundings being Victorian England, keeping that old time look and feel while still keeping the modern animation style. This season is no different, the animation is downright beautiful and you can see that the creators have put their blood sweat and tears into making Book of Circus to the same level if not even higher than the original season.
Character designs have been taken up a notch in this season partly due to efforts of creators and due to the fact of the outlandish looks of the circus performers and their extraordinary feats of circus acts. From the bright colors and design of front man Joker to the dark ominous look of Sebastian & William there is a wide range of characters of all shapes and sizes. We have so far not been introduced to more than a small amount of characters we have already been accustomed to Ciel, Sebastian, Lau, Undertaker etc but more interestingly is the introduction of the circus performers and although we do not know much about them yet they are sure to keep us guessing and on the edge of our seats because really do we know yet. Friend or Foe?
It looks like we are going to have even more Kuroshitsuji coming our way in the future in the form of an OVA with the Black Butler: Book of Murder being the main arc. Now fans know this better as the Sherlock Holmes arc and I know from my point of view that I cannot wait for this to come out, will it even lead us right into the what has been popularly known as the “Titanic Arc”. Until then we will continue to enjoy and be amazed by “Book of Circus”.