- Genre: Supernatural, fantasy, dark comedy
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
Describing Black Butler should be considered an art form in its own. Right, here we go. Ciel and Sebastian are back somehow but this time, they’re not alone. Victorian England wasn’t exactly the happiest place and time to live in and Ciel’s hardly the only little boy that have had a rough time of it. In fact, all and all, having been born a rich aristocrat, Ciel’s probably had it easier than most. You know what’s really horrific? Being orphaned in those days. Thrown around from one cruel and uncaring “home” to the next. Being at the mercy of monsters who will think nothing of letting you starve to death in a locked room the instant you no longer strike their fancy. Being responsible for shielding your one and only beloved little brother from the surrounding atrocity, when you hardly have the strength to save yourself. And what happens if you fail? How would anyone resist a contract with a demon under those circumstances. I mean, what do they have to lose?
Dayum, I just made BB2 sound duhark. Not saying it’s all sunshine and gumdrops but yeah. See what I mean about describing this show. You read that and you think, I’m going to cry. It’s a 100% accurate description, I’ve even left some of the rougher parts out. And yet, this show remains absolutely hilarious.
Black Butler was never skimpy on the eye candy and season 2 just made everything even sweeter. If there is anyway of getting eye cavities, this show’ll do it. I just made up the notion of eye cavities and it’s sort of freaking me out right now…. BB2 is beautiful to look at. Excessively illustrated, extravagantly designed and drenched in absolutely opulent colour palettes. This show is a tribute to its victorian setting where appearance was everything and needed to include everything.
The voice acting remains as perfect as ever and the new characters blend so well with the rest of the cast that if I didn’t know better I would have thought they had always been regulars (looks up MAL) but they’re new! The first season of BB having been quite the success, it’s obvious the even more resources were poured into the production of BB2, and happily put to good use.
Strictly speaking, the narrative of season 2 is better. Objectively better. The focus is kept much more tightly on the main storyline, which evolves logically and fully. There aren’t dozens of threads dropped all over the place. The antagonists are fully developed and their motivations clear and relatable. Ciel and Sebastian’s interactions with each other are much more consistent and their personalities do not go through odd unexplained shifts from one episode to the next. But you see, a certain narrative messiness is a big part of Black Butler’s charm. As I mentioned in my post of season 1, Black Butler is not meant to be taken seriously. It’s a parody and the telenovela quality of it serves to underline that fact. Season 2 seems to take a step back from the overt goofiness of it all and presents us with a much more involved storyline that doesn’t quite suit the format as well even if it is, in my opinion, more interesting.
Claude is an actual antagonist and one potentially worthy of Sebastian, a concept completely new to the series and ripe with potential. Sadly Claude is also a generally bland sourpuss that simply cannot live up to the entertainment factor of thirsty angel Angela/Ash or personified whirlwind and well deserved fan favorite Grell. This drags the season down and makes the repetitive jokes much less enjoyable this time around.
With all this said, those of you who are die-hard fans of my blog (because there are tons, believe me), will know that I prefer season 2 to season 1. I just said it was less fun and yet. Well that’s because I am the one person in the world who truly loves Alois. Not like, loves. Well not only like that. Alois is a fantastic character, I don’t care what you say, fight me! I will die on this hill. Alois understands loss and despair in a way pampered Ciel will never know. He is much more human and much more flawed which creates a fantastic foil for all the season one characters and allows everyone around him to get developed further and be reintroduced under a different light.
Alois also incorporates debauchery in a much more deliberate way than any other character. He has sacrificed everything to achieve his goal. Not merely waging his soul like a pansy, Alois gave up his dignity, his pride, his sanity to the cause and he did it willingly, without tears or brooding. That my friends is how you make a deal with the devil. Alois is a campy, gaudy walking talking burlesque satire. That’s the very spirit of Black Butler. Oh and he’s blonde. Not sure that’s relevant but I just thought I’d mention it, in case.
In the end, season 2 in understandably a bit less popular than the original but it remains a worthy successor. If you enjoyed the first then please go on and give the second a watch. Edit – my comments section for season 1 would beg to differ. Seems the general consensus is DON’T watch season 2…
Oh and I won’t spoil it, but that twist ending was the bestest. Much bester that the s1 ending.
Favorite character: Alois (come at me)
What this anime taught me: True heros are often misunderstood
Beer… Because it makes me feel good and you look better.
Suggested drink: Demon of Destiny
- Every time we see the Phantomhive ring – take a sip
- Every time Sebastien loves kitties – take a sip
- Every time anyone eats – have a snack
- Every time you think the plot has gone off the rails – take a sip
- Every time anyone dances – do so too
- Every time Claude removes his glasses – take a sip
- Every time Alois says Olé – take a sip
- Every time Sebastian asserts his ownership of Ciel’s soul – think of Nyanko
- Every time Alois gets possessive/jealous – take a sip
- Every time Sebastien is still one hell of a butler – Cheer