Black Butler
Black Butler
TV-MA | 02 October 2008 (USA)
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  • Reviews

    Such a frustrating disappointment

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    How sad is this?

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    When a movie has you begging for it to end not even half way through it's pure crap. We've all seen this movie and this characters millions of times, nothing new in it. Don't waste your time.

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    This is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time. You have to go and see this on the big screen.

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    The Anonymous Critic

    Black Butler is my favourite anime for a reason. It blends dark humour in with dark plots with the same anime charm that Fairy Tail and many others have. It's also the only anime I've found that has a dub that's better than the original. It's the best anime dub I've ever heard, and since the show is set in late 19th century England, British sounding voice actors fit even more. The accents are exaggerated and are made to be extra posh, but they never ever annoy me. The plot is straight forward, young Ciel Phantomhive summons a demon to save himself from the torture he was being put through. Ciel names the demon Sebastian and asks him to take on the form of a butler to help him as he is now the owner of the Phantomhive manor, previously belonging to his murdered parents. Ciel makes a deal with Sebastian stating that when he finds the killer of his parents, Sebastian can have his soul. Together they police England's criminal underworld and dispose of anything the Queen tells them to dispose of. All the main characters are likable and interesting and are well developed. Ciel is my favourite character. He is arrogant and is aware of it and is very pessimistic, but he has a reason for his sadness (his parents murder) and we get plenty of flashbacks revealing his backstory. He also has some of the funniest lines in the show. Sebastian comes close to being my favourite, however I just like Ciel a little more. Sebastian just doesn't give a single damn about the current situation most of the time and is an absolute bad ass. The two work perfectly with each other. The story arcs are some of the best I've ever seen in any form of media and there are no plot holes. Even the FILLER episodes are enjoyable because I just love watching what life is like in the Phantomhive household with Sebastian, Ciel, and the servants. The all have great personalities that bounce off of each other perfectly. And, without spoiling anything, the ending is incredible. This season blew a lot of people away. So many people were blown away in fact, that they've turned it into a full on franchise. Releasing constant chapters of the manga every year, a second season, and 3 manga adaptions that are absolutely spectacular. Black Butler has a consistent good quality throughout season one, and I'm glad that they have that consistency. Check this season out and then watch the second one and the manga adaptions. It's honestly such and underrated and overlooked anime and despite the giant fan-base, most anime watchers aren't aware of it's existence or it's brilliance. Which is understandable as there are tons of great anime out there that came out at around the same time as Black Butler like Fairy Tail, Attack On Titan, Death Note and so much more. But this one definitely stands out from the rest in my opinion. Absolutely amazing anime.

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    From A1 Pictures and Squenix comes a 24 episode anime based on the popular manga. A young Victorian aristocrat makes a demonic pact to avenge his murdered parents, while also running Britain's underworld. Together, the earl Ciel Phantomhive and his 'One Hell of A Butler', Sebastian, battle everything from drug runners to serial killers to demon hounds to even other angels, ghosts and demons.A glorious mess if there ever was one, this has to be one of the most fun yet unbalanced shows I've ever sat down for. On the definite up, the animation is rock solid and dynamic, the voice cast in either language is spot on, and the Victorian setting allows for a lot of weaving in of actual history and culture from the era (not limited to but including Jack The Ripper, Hound of the Baskervilles, The Opium Wars, the construction of Tower Bridge and the Eiffel Tower and even a really touching take on the story of the Princes in the Tower thankfully free of any revisionist history BS). What's more, despite the dark subject, the characters are by large really likable and a lot of fun to be around, with special note going to the wonderfully charismatic yet dry Sebastian (who practically built this franchise), as well as the simply FABULOUS grim reaper and humorous fangirl insert Grell.However, I did say the show was a mess: it's tonally all over the map, one minute dark psychological horror and revenge thriller, the next, your prototypical slapstick wacky anime comedy complete with goofy servants (whose back story and ultimate rational is kind of neat, but it comes really late) and stuff that feels like its prodding at anime tropes and the fanbase (such as the infamous corset and nun scenes). To an extent, it does work and gets a chuckle, especially the latter, much more savvy gags. The issue is not being sure how of this is intentional versus just plain tropes that are part and parcel of anime, but would feel jarring to Westerners more used to tonally cohesive entertainment. Furthermore, at 24 episodes, it's too damn long for this kind of story and Ciel by and large isn't terribly proactive in finding his parents' killers despite the pact, with the whole 'Queen's Guard Dog'aspect being more the bread and butter of the show, and the two sides never fully reconcile save for a few choice moments and hints drops sprinkled very, and I mean even Abrams would blush VERY, liberally across the many episodes. From an entertainment angle it's fine, since I get to spend more time in this world, but to less generous viewers or those new to the weird world of anime, this could be a big deal breaker.Despite that though, it still kept me really engaged, even the really filler-y episodes concerning life in the mansion (because that's what I want in a show about a badass demon butler who can kill with silverware and still be on time for tea!). Its odd mixture of themes and ideas, covered in a thick coating of professional polish, made for a show I was always keen to see the next installment of. Want to know how, say, Penny Dreadful would've been had it been a little more comical and trope-aware? Here's your answer!

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    If you wanna suffer through days of brain-dead plot-holes obnoxiously annoying characters and writing that seems to hint arrogance in its-self, go on and watch this... the only good thing about this i can possibly find is the beautiful, but then again very typical anime art that reminds me a lot of D.Grey-man but lacks that series variety...If you wanna watch a tired master-slave philosophy, clumsily disguised sadomasochism and hints to pedophilia have fun. There are amazing anime series and its hard to say, how they turn out in the end, since many series tend to change drastically over their course. But after now 12 episodes i can't take anymore of this nonsense. Weak and childish humor mixed with "blend-away-gore" which worsens this desperate attempt to make something that is dull and mainstream look somehow classy... It's a big mass of nobility pandering for little princesses, who replaced pink for black in hopes of sticking out of the crowd just the same way... Tim Burton á la stupid.

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    This may be the most well written anime series I've seen. Not that it was Oscar-worthy writing, but most of the writing I've seen in anime has always been the thing that prevented me from really loving it. This series doesn't have the lazy, shortcut type of writing that simply fills the plot gaps. It actually builds different stories to support different themes.Anyways, the series themes of revenge and redemption are woven together well with well-crafted story lines. This isn't an anime with non-stop action, but it does have its share of dark supernatural battle scenes, as well as witty humorous battle scenes. There is quite a bit dark humor in different parts of the series, but it's balanced out by traditional anime slapstick comedy (which I'm actually not a fan of and part of the reason it didn't get 10 stars).If you watch the dubbed version, the translation and acting are all excellent. Some hardcore anime fans complain about the fake cockney accents, but they're mostly limited to some supporting characters. The voices for the two main characters (Ciel and Sebastian) are portrayed terrifically and are true in tone to their Japanese voice counterparts (I saw season 2 in the subbed version). Simply put, this may be the best job of versioning I've ever seen in anime. In its early U.S. import days, anime had horrible translations in both subbed and dubbed versions, due to what I expect as literal translations of the script from Japanese to English. Funimation has really done well in this department, as they've taken the meanings of the original Japanese script and rewritten it in English with English idioms and phrases that work perfectly with the characters and themes, rather than just lazily taking the Japanese words and translating them directly into English words, creating phrases that are unusual or that simply don't make any sense.

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