- Black Butler Season 2
- by Hirofumi Ogura
- not based on manga (means storyline not included in manga)
‘Kuroshitsuji II’ opens with the life of the young heir of the Trancy earldom, Alois Trancy. He is quite wealthy nowadays, however his past is covered with many dark sides. He was kidnapped and forced into slavery, but he managed to return home. Indeed, soon after his return his father died. In fact, Alois’ story is very doubted, many strange things appear in the Trancy household such as his black butler named Claude Faustus. The question is, who is this butler and why is he with Alois? Even though the anime opens with these two characters, Sebastian and Ciel Phantomhive from ‘Kuroshitsuji Season 1’ also appears and play a significant role here.
A small warning: We did not like Season 2, so this review might consist many (many) negative critics.
The story line is quite interesting even though it opens with the life of the young boy Alois with his butler Claude. However, the main and former characters Ciel and Sebastian also play an important role in the second season. To sum up, the plot is about two Earls (Ciel and Alois) with their demon butlers (Sebastian and Claude). The main focus is on the yearning for Ciel’s soul and the spreading of fatal lies.
The anime is filled with many emotional aspects. Beginning with the two Earls who have suffered dramatical childhood experiences. For instance, Alois has been kidnapped and sent to a village for slavery. Even though it is already bad enough, he has also been sexually abused by an old man. In addition, Alois’s brother sold his soul to a demon to help his older brother but he had to pay with his death. A further emotional scene is as Sebastian has ‘lost’ Ciel as his master.
Clearly, many supernatural elements are included in ‘Black Butler 2’. Alois, a master who has a contract with not only one but with several demons. So the question is why are there so many demons serving one master and who of them will get his soul in the end? Of course, in this case it is Claude but what will the other demons receive in the end? We think that this aspect is quite confusing. Moreover, we also think that some demons are kinda annoying and unnecessary such as the triplets (Canterbury, Timber and Thompson). Indeed, we also do not like Hannah at all. Some surreal weird stuff surrounds Hannah’s character such as having the soul of Alois’ brother inside of her. Another distracting supernatural element is that the soul is sealed in the ring. For example, in the first episode as Sebastian puts the ring on Ciel’s finger, he comes back to life. We think that this completely changes the concept and why should the soul being sealed in a ring, as especially Ciel’s ring is passed on from generations?
There are also some horrifying scenes included such as Alois picking Hannah’s eye out. Another scene is as Ciel is looking into Hannah’s mouth and seeing an eye inside her mouth.
Analyzing the characters, the most dominant aspect are the similarities. Firstly, two new characters are introduced in the first episode: Alois and his butler Claude. Nevermind, those are copies of Sebastian and Ciel. For instance, Claude has exactly the same appearance as Sebastian (butler). They should have chosen something different instead of another butler which makes it a bit boring seeing almost the same person twice. To be honest, we are not fond of those new characters because of the similarity mentioned before but also others: a contract with the demon and both Earls experienced a tragic past. Nevermind, a slightly difference regarding the contracts are the positions of them: Alois has it on his tongue whereas Ciel contains it in his eye. However, both children are Earls and live in a big mansion.
Nevermind, differences can be found in their personalities: Alois is cheerful, sadistic and cruel especially for a child in his age. Claude, in the contrary, is emotionless even towards his own master. SPOILER ALERT: Claude’s personality changes as he tastes Ciel’s blood, he starts getting obsessed with his soul. He ignores his own master Alois and even betrays him. (critic: is this not against the contract, betraying his own master??). Besides Claude and Alois, a further new character is introduced: Ronald, a grim Reaper. An interesting fact: normally he should have been introduced in ‘Book of the Atlantic’, but already appears here. Also familiar characters make small appearances such as Viscount von Druitt, Undertaker, Grell, William Spears and so on. Nonetheless, our favorite characters are still Sebastian and Ciel as in Season 1.
However, the second season of Black Butler also has some positive aspects when it comes to the comedy. We really like the inclusion of funny elements in the anime. For instance, the scene in the labyrinth where Sebastian and Claude have to answer questions regarding Ciel and Alois. Moreover, the usual interactions between Sebastian and Ciel are always an highlight. The appearance of Grell Sutcliff is quite droll and amusing and not to forget his love and infatuations for Sebastian. In addition, the anime also has 6 extra OVA which are very entertaining and funny. We really like ‘Ciel in Wonderland’, not only because of the reference to ‘Alice in Wonderland’ but also the amusing and physical appearances of the different characters. The background story of the Shinigamis is also very interesting and we like the episode about the ‘Making of Kuroshitsuji II’. To be honest, we might eventually admit that we would rather watch the OVA’s again as the season itself.
All in all, we do not only dislike the characters but also the storyline. There is one episode we like which is called ‘Terrorist Butler’ (episode 4). In this episode, Ciel and Sebastian have to solve a crime in a train. We have to mention if you like Black Butler and the manga stories, you should ignore this season because you might or will get disappointed, especially confused. However, this is our opinion and we totally understand and respect people who like this season or even the characters (Alois and Claude). For us, the season has an even more disturbing and confusing ending. We were really frustrated at the end of the anime. There is no connection at all to the following season (Season 3: Book of Circus), the 2 OVA’s (Book of Murder) or the movie (Book of the Atlantic) not to mention the manga story. Therefore we think that this season is irrelevant to the storyline of Black Butler.