Review: Black Butler Season 1 & Season 2 (Anime)

Review: Black Butler Season 1 & Season 2 (Anime)

When some friends of mine first told me about Black Butler, I watched a few episodes. Now, it’s been a long time since I watched those first few episodes, so I didn’t remember the series much, other than the butler and the kid he’s tasked with watching over. One thing you’ll discover is that he’s one hell of a butler. If things weren’t going your way, your family members died, and you needed help…would you make a deal with a demon? Personally, I wouldn’t, but revenge is a strong motivator.

See if the Black Butler series lives up to all of the hype in my review.

Set in the outskirts of London, many years ago, Black Butler Season One is spread out over 24 episodes and Season 2 includes 18. We quickly meet the titular butler, Sebastian Michaelis, and Lord Earl Ciel Phantomhive, the twelve-year-old orphan he is sworn to protect. Why is he orphaned? Years ago, Ciel’s parents were murdered. As a result, Ciel made a deal with a demon asking for revenge on those who disrespected him and the Phantomhive name. As I said above, the butler does one hell of a job when it comes to helping young Ciel, and this is where our adventures with Ciel and Sebastian start. Though as I stated above the series has a second season, which is around the same time as Ciel. You’ll get to meet Alois Trancy and his butler Claude Faustus. But as we find out he also had issues such as being kidnapped when young and his family dying. Do you want to know more? Then you’re just going to have to pick up the series!

I enjoyed every moment of Black Butler, from start to finish. Ciel Phantomhive is a hard-ass with few happy emotions due to the death of his family. I don’t blame him one bit for not being able to smile or be happy, because losing your family is a very traumatic event, especially at such a young age. He wants revenge on the people who hurt him and thinks that doing so will bring him happiness, even after promising his soul to a demon. Overall, every moment of the series pulled me in more and more. Even with such a dark theme, you will find yourself laughing at times. One such episode, for example, focused on the butler entering a cooking contest. While the story progressed, the series did provide a good amount of action without taking away from the plot. Within each episode, you learn more about Ciel, the people who killed his parents, and more. Even while typing this, I want to watch the series again, which is saying something. It’s not often that happens, and I think it’s a major plus. The plot to the series was as detailed as the overall story, so I couldn’t help but want more and more after each episode.

As for the second season to me it seems Alois Trancy is more on spoiled/extreme thinker. What do I mean by that? Well at times Alois will come off very cocky about his life and how he happens to control it. When it comes to the “thinking” side of things he seems to know what might be going on right under his nose when people are trying to “betray” him. Another noticeable thing is Alois is a bit a cry baby as well when it comes to being alone. How could a butler want to take care of him? When it comes to Alois’ butler he’s just as good as Sebastian. The second season overall provided a lot of twist and turns, which includes an episode in which Ciel locked up in a carrying case. Really? Who’d want to kidnap Ciel Phantomhive? At least Sebastian showed up to save his young master. After a few episodes in the second season you’ll be back on an adventure with Ciel Phantomhive and at times meeting up with Alois and his butler. Of course, I’m sad that the series is finished, because I do want more, but I feel that the directors did a good job with it as a whole.

When it comes to the graphics and audio in a series such as this, it’ll need to be pretty good to keep me happy. The artists did a good job pulling it off episode by episode. This ranges from the small battles, funny skits, and the overall art style the series took. To me the series had a very “gothic/dark” feel, and it needed to stay within that feel for its entirety. Taking place in Victorian London, the artists did a good job of recreating the environment and keeping everything visually consistent, from the buildings and the streets to other details you’d see in that time period. I couldn’t help but appreciate the time and dedication of the artists in creating such great environments, from Ciel’s mansion to the rest of the world.

As for the audio and voice acting for the series, everything was done perfectly. The synching was perfect. When it came to the voices matching up with lip movement, I didn’t notice any problems as I went through every episode. The acting was very spot on, whether it was normal talking or showing emotion at the set point in each episode. The actors delivered their lines very well, adding extra humor to the already humorous dialog. When it came to the battles, music, and etc. in the series, it all matched the “gothic” feel the series provided.

Overall, I’d say this is a must buy series if you’re looking for some nice action from start to end. You’ll be pulled into a grand story that provides action, death, enjoyment, possible betrayal, and so much more. Anytime I’d stop watching the series I could only think to myself, “What will the next episode be like?” For the full price of both Season 1 and Season 2 of the series I’d say its well worth it. As I stated above you’ll have 42 if you count them all, which will keep you happy and glued to the TV for quite some time. The graphics for the series are flawless and you can tell with this “dark” anime title that a lot of work was put into keeping everything as detailed as possible. When it came to the music and other audio it was also done quite well. A great effort.

Review

ProsCons
Great Soundtrack
Brilliant Voice Acting
Amazing Art
Series takes a while to understand
Rating
90 out of 100

Black Butler has been provided by FUNimation Entertainment for review purposes. For more information on the anime series or FUNimation, please visit their website.

Avid collector of Funko Pop! items, Pokemon and video games. You may have seen my past work at SFX-360/DigitalNoob. When I’m not collecting great things I’m writing news, previews, reviews and running giveaways.

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