Kuroshitsuji (The Black Butler)

(I refreshed some of my information from Wikipedia and even some of my understanding as I have seen this anime a year ago)

Kuroshitsuji (The Black Butler) was a new anime I saw last year. I really enjoyed it concerning it had a Faustian influence that was deeply eerie and made us sympathetic to the young Ciel Phantomhive, who is forced to undergo great trauma and then seal his fate with a demon who cares about nothing except the devouring of his soul.

Ciel Phantomhive seems quite cold and calculative even for a young thirteen year old boy, however, one cannot hate him for his disposition. In fact, his taciturn and sharp attitude (though annoying at times) puts full-force on how much he has suffered. Yet this does not impede him from loving or being loved by others. He has a fiancée who doesn’t really fit the profile of someone who understands him and seems oblivious to anything outside her own universe (though she is precious to Ciel and helps him feel loved).

Though the first anime series (there’s a second on the way) does not portray Ciel’s past, glimpses are shown where he is captured and obviously being tortured. I found out later that after his parents died he had become a slave and was soon supposed to be the sacrifice of a cult; in fact before this treacherous episode Ciel was seen to be quite an enthusiastic and happy-go-lucky child.

Sebastian, the black butler,  is bound to be loyal to him until he can find out who and what had caused the death of his parents and destroyed his family mansion (his parents were killed on his birthday and the mansion was burned down so it had to be rebuilt). The anime is based in Victorian London thus thirteen year olds can become the entrepreneurs of corporations as the Phantomhive toy company.

Sebastian Michaelis is a daring and competent butler – he has certain advantageous by being an immortal demon. He can prepare a four-course meal effortlessly and save his master Ciel from the hands of dangerous kidnappers as though it was cake-walk. However, he is not  a sorcerer so some laws of physics do apply to him (he can’t speed up the yeast in baking nor normalize burnt meat). However, he seems to sometimes show a genuine concern for Ciel.

This is actually the contradiction in his personality shown in the series. Ciel’s attitude and sadness seem to affect him in a way no human has affected him before thus a bond does develop between the two, humorously, none of them wish to acknowledge it. The series explores the darkness of society as well. Ciel, though a child of the aristocracy, gets pulled into slavery after being orphaned. It also shows that different attributes that make up a person’s psyche i.e. Ciel being underestimated because he is a child and the royal family being involved in acts that hamper society in general.

The Faustian theme makes it interesting – the old story of grand intelligence versus this plot’s revenge is obviously a good quality to the series. We see here a child who has forced to be stern and introverted though he is still a child. He was also forced into circumstances where he had to make a deal with a demon. Obviously, his whole life now revolves around these facts. It is pressurizing to anyone.

In the series, there is a main protagonist who deserves a beating. Though this antagonist is shown earlier we cannot identify with this person at all – all I can say is that this villain is a fanatical loony and obviously exudes a false sympathy for Ciel and everyone else.

The household servants make us laugh and so does the other characters in the series. One of them was Grelle Sutcliffe who was humorously androgynous and his explicit crush for Sebastian regardless of Sebastian’s annoyance made the show very interesting.

Overall, this series is very entertaining and I recommend anyone to watch it.


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