Black Butler
Dark Butler
Kuro Shitsuji
黑管家 (Chinese)
黒執事 (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - A1 Pictures
Music - KAJIURA Yuki
ONO Daisuke
Sebastian Michaels is in the employ of one of the noble families of England: the Phantomhives. In his capacity as a butler, he proves his worth with unquestionably perfect knowledge, manners, talent with materials, martial arts, et cetera: all in the service of his 12 year old master. Wearing a grey tailcoat, gracefully brewing the worlds strongest red tea, he does his best to cope with troubles and issues that confront his young heir...

Animation by A1 Pictures/Aniplex
Series aired October '08 thru March '09.
24 TV Episodes (~25min each).

[edit] The ↗Black Butler franchise:

OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 7 8 7 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:1868#1552]
Black Butler was an anime that effectively mixed elements of black comedy, mystery and the supernatural exploring Ciel's involvement with various paranormal mysteries while seeking revenge with the help of his butler, Sebastian. The major bone of the series is focused around the bond between Sebastian and Ciel. The chemistry between the two is an interesting one considering their deal and Sebastian's not-so-normal origins. Both tend to snark on one another frequently in regards to their actions and thoughts with Ciel reprimanding Sebastian for some of his thoughtless actions and Sebastian going after Ciel for showing signs of remorse towards any victim caught in the way of his plans of revenge. Both however do show concern of one another thanks to the conditions of their deal.

In terms of the show's comedy, Black Butler gets its kicks off poking fun of the surprisingly funny moments coming from the show's various dark figures. From seeing an undertaker want jokes as payment for information related to a murder to an anachronism related to a Grim Reaper's weapon to some shocking information regarding the bungling servants of the Phantomhive manor, the show does well for the most part at delivering its laughs when you would least expect it.

The series is mostly spread out into a number of arcs where Ciel is sent to investigate random mysteries with aid from Sebastian where the circumstances to each case are not as they seem on the surface. The mysteries mix around both their serious and funny moments in regards to the supernatural origins regarding a perpetrator or are connected to Ciel's tragic past as he seeks his revenge. The show dabbles into quite a bit of dark territory with its mysteries showing the most corrupt sides of the human psyche with a number of characters who are aware or unaware of how flawed they truly are. This also rings true with Ciel's character as despite how corrupt he believes himself to have become because of his deal with Sebastian that he still retains some signs of morality, even while in denial of it.

In terms of visuals, Black Butler sports scenery which is vast and sporting a great amount of detail as there are a variety of settings to take in from city landscapes to countrysides to being on ships. The subdued color tones used with the settings and character designs do well at complementing the dark and gritty mood that the series gives off. However for a series that puts focus on its action, Black Butler's animation is noticeably subpar at points with shortcuts being apparent in action scenes with the only moments of highlight with animation coming from the movement coming from ships and horse carriages rendered in CG animation.

Overall, I got enough enjoyment out of seeing Black Butler thanks to its surprisingly funny black comedy, chemistry between Ciel and Sebastian and the developments surrounding Ciel's search for those responsible for his family's murder. If you are looking to get your laughs off of more macabre moments with solid plot development tossed into the mix, then Black Butler offers up a worthwhile choice for you to look into.

Last updated Sunday, July 10 2011. Created Sunday, July 10 2011.
Buy 9 8 8 7 8 8 Dreamer [series:1868#2279]
A semi-dark series that involves demons, angels, reapers and a bit of blood. What more can you ask for? Read on....

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork and animation was pretty darn good. Artwork had rich colors, highly detailed and animation was pretty smooth. The only part that was slightly below par was the minimal use of CG here and there. The prob was the CG itself looked somewhat bad. Character designs were good however, it suffered from the "look-alike" syndrome (I just made that up). Some of the characters were practically carbon copies in looks minus a different shade of hair. Still, characters were well done and rich with detail.

The OP wasn't too bad but also wasn't memoriable. However it, along with the rest of the soundtrack were mostly on the darker side. Fitting for the anime. The ED was more of less the same.

Series and Episode Story
The whole concept of an "akuma", (devil), becoming a butler was a unique storyline. Especially the fact that this was more dark and a bit on the serious side. Of course, there were elements of humor here and there as well. What was also interesting was the setting.... early London, during the period of the Queen and the various Richards. The plot itself was pretty strait forward.... the butler serving his master for the only purpose of consuming his soul in the end. However, the various sub-plots, episodes stories and intersting characters made it much more involving. By the end, some plot twists occur and things are revealed that were surprising and unexpected.

Here's a big gripe. The series almost gave off a vibe that it was a Yaoi anime. For sure, there were moments or scenes that could be considered such but I try not to imagine them.

Overall, this was a pretty darn good series. Although it's on the darker side, it's still pretty tame and had some humor. Well rounded and worth a buy.

Last updated Wednesday, February 10 2010. Created Wednesday, February 10 2010.
Rent 8 8 8 8 8 8 ZenGirl [series:1868#3016]
Interesting! definitely not an Avoid, I watch tons of anime series every week and have pretty much seen them all and this is unique. So, it seems from episode 1 a young boy loses his parents and makes a pact with a demon/raven to live again...the raven/demon butler serves and protects him Bond style against those that try to take the boy's family (name/crest) down and he does with grace and elegance!The butler looks after the household including the other servants that take their daily orders from him. I like the classical music and baroque like themes as well. Try around 5-10 episodes and it will grow on you!

Last updated Friday, November 14 2008. Created Friday, November 14 2008.
Avoid Stretch [series:1868#628]
(Three episodes watched):

I wasn't sure what to make of this one; a dark comedy, I guess. Semi-funny and semi-creepy is the way I'd phrase it. The goofy mansion staff was the element which convinced me that there would be some humor to this. It looks like Ciel, the teenage Phantomhive master died himself after his parent's untimely deaths, and made some sort of bargain with the devil to attain his resurrection. One of the conditions must have been accepting Sebastian (who hints at being a demon) as his head butler. The character designs reminded me of Nabari no Ou, and Sebastian's behavior reminded me of Neuro. This looked like it might be fun.

The preview of episode two seemed odd as it showed large scale gunplay which seemed out of sync with the life of nobility premise. A number of strange, eccentric characters appear out of nowhere, almost making me wonder if I'd in fact missed an episode. I don't know these flambouyant people, yet I'm being expected to laugh at them as if I did, apparently. It took awhile to sort them out and determine which were the latest crop of bad guys and which were friends of Ciel's. The mention of the "English underworld" which carries out the "Royal family's dirty work" almost made me gag--the story tries to set itself in an exotic foreign country, yet makes little effort to do it's homework on the setting. it became increasingly clear that this episode was pretty lame. The show tries to be both humorous and cool/awesome, but can't and fails at both. The action is ridiculous and the jokes are thinly stretched. The amount of fatal violence is surprisingly high, which clashes with the humor. People dying is treated almost as another joke, and likewise the fact that Master Ciel has sold his soul isn't being taken very seriously. The time when Kuroshitsuji was wounded (probably the single bullet fired during the entire episode which struck it's target) was kind of cool and raised my hopes briefly. But I can't help wondering why such an absurd, shallow episode was included in the first place. However, as exasperated as I was with this episode, the preview of the next one suggests it might be infinitely more plausible.

No, I'm afraid that based on yet another episode, I can only conclude that this is one shoddy series on which I am wasting my precious time. For one thing, this is an extremely unfunny show. I cannot help noticing that the jokes aren't just the average ones, which make me smile but not laugh, but rather ones which just fall flat. Was this supposed to be a sort of dark humor? Is Grell trying to hang himself supposed to be funny? I hoped perhaps the plot would go somewhere, but no, there's nothing to hold my interest here either. Plus there's still no hint of the exact nature of the bargain Ciel made, which is frustrating. I really can't think of any reason why I shouldn't drop Kuroshitsuji from my already overloaded viewing schedule.

Last updated Saturday, November 08 2008. Created Thursday, October 09 2008.
Watch aoneish [series:1868#1615]
there's something so very very sad about this anime, despite the silly hijinks that are littered throughout it. the viewer follows ciel and his perfect butler as they solve various mysteries--all the meanwhile seeking vengeance. when things snowball in the end, and while there's really no surprise what happens to ciel, you can't help but cry for him.

Last updated Tuesday, July 14 2009. Created Wednesday, October 08 2008.

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