In Victorian England, a young boy named Ceil Phantomhive inherited a considerable estate and wealth. On his tenth birthday, his parents were murdered. Ceil was kidnapped and thought to be dead, only to return with a mysterious butler named Sabastian. Sabastion's contract runs deeper than simpler servitude. He's a demon bound by contract. While he's currently a mere butler, the day will come when he consumes Ceil's soul. On the other hand, finding competent employees is so tough these days, you'd almost have to sell your soul to get one of merit.
I watched Black Butler a while ago, but never got around to writing a review since I couldn't think of much to say about it. But perhaps indifference says more about my opinion than I realized. It's not that Black Butler is bad, it's just... there.
The first half of Black Butler is caper of the week, where Ceil deals with supernatural phenomena. This part is mostly lame, but has a few amusing moments here and there. It really rubbed me the wrong way when drama concerning Ceil's aunt was botched big time by inserting silly crap for no reason. It appeared the show would be a continuous flow of stupidity, but it takes a turn for the better in the last 1/3 of the show.
Things evolve into a conflict between angels and demons. The most noteworthy plot element is Ceil's chance at redemption. He can let go of his hate and his thirst for vengeance to start again. Which is expected of nearly any anime, except Black Butler goes the other way. Ceil chooses to accept his hate as a part of himself, and refuses to give that up. It's honestly kind of brilliant. In a slightly strange development, the incompetent staff employed at the Phantomhive estate are mostly used for comedy props, but it turns out there's a reason they're so terrible at their jobs. The end is surprisingly dark yet appropriate. Which makes me a little worried since the conclusion seems pretty final but I noticed there is a Black Butler II. It seems unlikely resserecting the story from this point will go in a good direction, but who knows.
Black Butler is okay, but just okay. It lacks any feature I'd recommend it for, but that doesn't mean it's bad. There's a fair amount of "stuff" at the beginning you may find entertaining (or not). The story moves in a good direction, but is forgettable. Decent, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it.
Ceil: If I'm going to die; I will die with the soul he craves. Only then can I regain my pride.
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reviewed by archen in 2014