What I’d Heard:
This anime popped up much out of no where about a year ago. Beautiful costumes, stunning characters and impressive art spread across the anime scene and my friends like wild fire. I took my time getting into the series, because I was worried about the dynamic of a young boy and an older butler who was a demon who watched over him. Sometimes fandoms and the fans of such shows scare me, and this was one of those I was afraid would. But I eventually stepped in and gave it a chance, and I was immediately did not regret my decision, though I did regret how long it took me to step in.
What it is:
Black Butler is the story of a young lord, set back in Victorian England, who just so happens to have a demon for a butler. In episode 1, we’re introduced to everyone in the Phantomhive household and a bit of the story between the boy, Ciel Phantomhive, and his butler Sebastian. ciel is apparently a lord and is quite rich due to his family money and a toy factory his family owns. His family is dead, but he has his butler and a handful of servants around him – though Sebastian is much more competent and ends up doing their jobs. All the characters are introduced right out, but you get the sense right away that, like Ciel, each has a bit of something hidden in the background. Perhaps something a bit darker and deeper then what you suspect.
In episode 2, it is revealed that Ciel works for the Queen of England, though in a very quiet way and he has been asked by the Queen to hunt down a few ‘rats’ who are encroucing on England. But in the process of investigating, he is kidnapped and taken hostage. So it is up to his butler to face off against the Italian Mafia and rescue his master with the most interesting weapons.
In the third episode, we’re introduced to an over arching plot of Ciel and Sebastian beginning to look into the case of Jack the Ripper. But their efforts are distracted by Ciel’s aunt asking Sebastian to train her butler Grell, and Ciel’s fiancee Lizzie coming into town. To make matters worse Ciel has no idea how to react to a young woman who wants to fill his life and mansion with cute pink things.
What I think:
Black Butler is one of those series that has a signature style to it and takes a moment to really explain to someone. You can’t just say it’s about a boy and his demonic butler, because as the episodes go on, it’s much deeper then that. You can’t just say it’s a detective boy series, because there’s just so much more detail and care to the story. So I’m going to simplify it. Watch this series if you like style in anime. Watch this series if you like to see unique things with memorable characters and a great story. Watch this series. My only recommendation for when not to watch the series is if you have read the manga… then don’t, because there are plot points that are left out and plot points that are made up that are done better in the manga. But don’t let that discourage you! Just watch the anime first, then move to the manga.
Other shows like it:
Mythical Detective Loki
CLAMP Campus Detectives
Black Butler II
Where can I find it:
Purchasing (of course)