BB 1-2: One beep of a butler

Black Butler episodes 1-2 review

Black Butler

The title of this post – which I usually keep as an inside joke to myself – I’ll actually reveal today. Since we went to a school where cursing was on par with murder in the rule book, my sister and I began using the word “beep” for any word that could even remotely be considered a curse. Thus the title of the post.

Black Butler is one of those animes that everyone else has seen except me, so I’m giving it a go. If you’ll recall, it actually got a bid in the Anime Bracket a few years back, because I had watched the first four episodes, which at the time met the minimum. (That threshold will be changed for next year; this year it was at six episodes.)

The way I chose these anime for my “five nights at Tommy’s” (which I really should call this) is that none of the five are like each other. That turned out to be even more the case when Spiral turned out to be something different than what I expected. In any case, Black Butler is such a mix of genres that I can’t pin it down. It’s too hard to describe simply in one paragraph.

In the first episode, we meet Ciel Phantomhive, a boy who is apparently of very high class. He has a butler working for him named Sebastian Michaels. Sebastian is very skilled; the other employees in the mansion are not. So some hilarity ensues when said other minor servants try to serve in any manner. This may be a “dark” anime, but it’s got tons of humor.

Ciel invites an Italian guest to play a game with him, and the guest suggests for Ciel to lend him some money. Ciel, a watchdog for the queen of England, is too focused on his game to care. Later, the guest turns out to be a traitor. Sebastian finds out and then uses some insidious methods to defeat said traitor, including burning him the oven. Who is the villain, again?

In the second episode, Sebastian takes on more of a heroic role, saving Ciel once he gets captured by some mafia members. As it turns out, like many characters, bullets from guns have no effect on him. So all Ciel has to do is say the word, and Sebastian saves him. But there is a catch: a contract between Sebastian and Ciel. And quite obviously, that’s the underlying theme of the series: Sebastian is one *beep* of a butler.

The first two episodes were very solid, and more along the lines of something I’m used to. I’m actually surprised this hasn’t made the Toonami lineup, because it is right there in the same categories of the stuff that’s on air. In any case, I’m really looking forward to seeing more of this.

Episode 1 rating (out of four stars): ***

Episode 2 rating (out of four stars): ***

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