Anime Review: Kuroshitsuji

Kuroshitsuji optionSet in the Victorian-era, in England, a young boy named Ciel Phantomhive loses everything he once held dear in a cruel plot. As he is about to die, he makes a deal with the devil, selling his soul in exchange for revenge against those who ruined his life. Now head of the Phantomhive corporation, as well as being the Queen’s “guard dog” in the underground, Ciel and his new demon butler Sebastian Michaelis work to unravel the scheme behind his parent’s murder.

Episodes: 24
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Genres: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Historical, Shounen, Supernatural

Also known as Black Butler, Kuroshitsuji was an anime that I had mixed feelings about. I loved the idea, the characters and the gothic design but there were just times when I wondered why I was watching the series at all. Some episodes just didn’t seem to bring anything to the plot and it bugged me but as it neared the end and got back on track, I couldn’t stop watching once more.

As I said, I fell in love with the idea of the story. I have a thing for stories about revenge and this one was everything I was looking for: demons, mysterious schemes, dark characters… I may have had my expectations a little bit high for this one. The pace of the plot was what really irked me. Some episodes just didn’t seem to bring anything about and I quickly got tired of them. However, those that did get things moving really got me engaged. There was mystery throughout the series and I was often left wondering what would happen next. I enjoyed the suspense and constantly rooting for Ciel to finally get his revenge. The comedy helped get through the more heavy scenes and the action kept a grip on my attention, which sometimes wavered when the plot seemed to get off track.

The characters were the best part of Kuroshitsuji for me. I loved Ciel’s stubborn, temperamental attitude and Sebastian’s mysterious personality. Both characters were charismatic and appealed to me instantly. The other servants often brought necessary comic-relief and others such as the Undertaker or Grell Sutcliff, more mystery and good laughs. Admittedly there were a few characters I didn’t quite like but some of them I am sure I wasn’t meant to (like the villains).

Kuroshitsuji’s art also got to me with its dark, gothic feel. I really liked the feeling of the old-styled England, and the sinister feeling the art sometimes brought to a particular scene. The way the characters were drawn was very attractive, especially with the small details each of them possessed. The only part that occasionally had me confused was that sometimes, I found it hard to determine if a character was a boy or a girl. This is not unusual in anime but I wasn’t sure if it was intentional or not…

For the opening and ending, I liked them both but for different reasons. The opening song was great, and the scenes they put in made me like characters even more. The ending theme was okay too, although the only reason I liked it was because the art was chibi-styled, which did not fit the anime at all in my opinion but hey! I was willing to overlook that because it was cute.

Kuroshitsuji was also one of the only anime that I watched in subbed when I had the option to watch it in dubbed. The way their voice sounded in English did not fit the characters in my opinion (especially Sebastian), and I found it that problem was fixed with the Japanese voices.

So in the end, while it wasn’t all that I expected, Kuroshitsuji was enjoyable nonetheless and I ended up watching the two series that came after it as sequels. I recommend it to anyone that likes the genres mystery and fantasy but that are willing to put up with a bit of filler and silliness along the way.

Until next time, Otakus!




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