Whispers turn into screaming headlines in Earl Ciel Phantomhive's morning paper as word of the dead being resurrected takes society by storm. But when the unsavoury details of the business reach Ciel's ear, he and his superlative butler, Sebastian, book themselves on a luxury liner to look into these alleged miracles and the "Aurora Society" conducting them. As the waters lap and crash all around the vessel, mysterious individuals gather under the banner of the "Phoenix." Ciel and Sebastian may be one step closer to the truth, but have they sealed their fates by conducting an investigation on what could easily become a floating coffin...?
[[Contains spoilers, mostly about comparisons between this animation execution and the original manga]]
Book of Atlantic executes itself wonderfully. It maintains the line between action and comedy well - the latter of which I should remark is above average, due to its fair balance of deadpan-like humor and gags. For a film whose manga premise is about a boy who is in a contract with a demon, this film also possesses very heartwarming scenes between a typically sullen boy and his ever-cheerful adorable fiancée.
The Funimation team translated the film very well! A couple of mistranslated lines from the online scanlation that were for foreshadowing purposes weren’t
mistranslated, such as Frances’ gender-neutral comment about “that child protecting their beloved” or something to that nature. Lines weren't translated awkwardly and suited well to the western audience, translating Japanese words to British slang/vocabulary, for instance.
The animation staff who worked on Book of Atlantic gave it their all on the fighting scenes. I especially praise the storyboard artist(s) who worked on Lizzie’s scene. I read Yana’s tweet about Lizzie “moving like a ballerina” and had my doubts prior to watching it, but she was indeed right. Her movements were meticulously animated and I adored the attention to the way the camera constantly panned to her shoes. I’m glad the writers and animators didn’t rush it. I should also remark they made her extra cute in the film.
The scenes with the grim reapers were energetic and fun. I have to say, I didn’t really understand the appeal of Grell or Ronald, but the script truly had them perform as charming individuals and as a funny team. In the past, Kuroshitsuji shoehorned Grell too often unnecessarily, thus giving off an image of her being incompetent and purely Sebastian-obsessed. Fortunately, the accuracy to the manga had Grell in the film, albeit indeed flirty and flamboyant, a skillful grim reaper. She definitely stole the scene in the film a couple of times and I’m fond of Grell now, as well I am of Ronald.
I was worried of Double Charles’ appearance being annoying and perhaps disrupting the Midford family’s performances, as they did not appear in the manga during this arc, but their scenes were also brief yet enjoyable. They appear at the dinner with the Midfords, during the bizzare doll’s onslaught (during the carriage scene), and again at the sea in the aftermath of passengers rushing to escape (in which a child was being quietly consoled by Charles Phipps). There was a funny original scene in which Sebastian and Charles Grey chat at the dinner-table, in which Sebastian remarks something along the lines of being “kicked multiple times to life”, referring to Grey’s actions in the Murders arc.
The CGI is indeed noticeable and off-putting sometimes. The film abuses CGI a number of times and sticks out like a sore-thumb in scenes that are supposed to be regular. This is especially noticeable in the beginning of the film, where we see the view of the Campania, which is clearly rendered in CGI and contrasts with everything else that is hand-drawn yet digitally colored. However, they did well in the dramatic scenes. For example, with the Undertaker where we caught a glimpse of the characters’ locations in their encounter. I should also note the film didn’t fare well in scenes where the camera panned back to reveal a character doing a particular pose, such as Undertaker pulling his hair back and whatnot, which I felt although it attempted to be detailed, was quite stiff. The great green aura that surrounded Undertaker, however, distracted me well enough.
Scenes were unfortunately cut, such as Tanaka’s role in Ciel’s flashback due to the voice actor’s passing and the hospital scene. We were unable to hear Madam Red speak in Lizzie’s flashback, but she did speak once during Ciel’s scene with the queen. The scene in the manga where Lizzie witnesses Ciel have a coughing fit was cut as well, unfortunately, because it's a subtle detail that is for a particular chapter/oncoming event. The tailor Nina, which made her debut in the manga following the Circus arc, did not make an appearance at all in the film. I was happy to see Lau and hear him speak in the film albeit briefly, even if animation wasn't put into him much. The intro scene with Sebastian startling the sheepish Ciel after he speaks with Elizabeth about a vacation break was cut and we only saw Sebastian confirming his research in his doctor’s clothes.
There was an extra, anime-original sweet scene with Elizabeth and Ciel after the ending credits (as well as the original manga’s William’s scolding to his co-workers), though, so I can tolerate those cuts. I should note that when you watch Ciel and Lizzie's flashback when they're facing the graves of the Phantomhive family, the anime staff quite emphasized a "hint" about a certain popular, established theory in the Japanese fandom and a growing one in the western fandom.
Overall, a really great movie and I’m glad to have watched it. The person in my company, although unfamiliar with Black Butler and having only seen a few clips, was able to enjoy the film as we did not require much prior knowledge of the manga's content. I should also mention, as a final note, that the soundtrack is superb a couple of times during the film, albeit unmemorable for the rest (especially combat scenes). They re-used some of the previous soundtracks, such as Fantasia and Sweet Tears from "Book of Circus", and Annoying Visitor and Thick Fog from "Book of Murder". However, let me just say the orchestral track that plays when Ciel has a PTSD flashback watching Sebastian violently slaughter the Bizarre Dolls was my favorite, and I hope for the soundtrack to be released soon for it. Additionally, SID's theme song for the film that plays in the credit is catchy and beautiful and I encourage staying for both the song and the extra scene after the credits.
Kuroshitsuji Book of the Atlantic was the first anime movie I had ever seen in theaters (I know that's very sad lmao) and I was very pleased by it!
Right at the beginning I was a little upset that they had used CGI for the ship and people, it wasn't horrible just very noticeable. The movie follows the manga very well and they didn't change anything major that I recall. The voice acting was very amazing, the mood was fantastic and all the ladies, and few men, were fangirling like crazy. The only thing that bothered me at times were the animation. Most
of the animation was amazing but a few parts could've been much better in my opinion;and the CGI was also used many other times which for me was a turn off. (Another thing that isn't about the movie was that the people in the theater were VERY annoying, they screamed and made stupid remarks,so beware. Also the movie is a little dim in some parts and the subtitles are bright so it might hurt your eyes if your eyes are sensitive like mine)
If even my sister, who is a strict adult that doesn't watch anime, can sit through and enjoy it, I'd say you could enjoy it too. Also beware of the hotness overload, bring tissues for them nosebleeds!
For a fan of the series, this is pretty much like the manga. As far as I remember the only thing they added was an extra shot of the Undertaker smirking a bit near the beginning. I don't really recommend a newcomer to start with this movie, not just because of the on-going story, but because this movie is essentially only set up for future arcs.
Nothing is really accomplished in this arc alone, which doesn't make the story bad, but all the other arcs in the manga have a clear beginning, middle and end. Something is always accomplished and characters are developed.
this arc we get to learn more about Ciel and Sebastian's relationship, but either of them really reflect upon it and it isn't really relevant for the story presented in this movie though they were interesting. In the Circus arc I think the flashbacks were done much better because they affected Ciel's actions towards the end and tied into the plot.
Nevertheless the visual in this movie were nice and the characters were enjoyable as always. The voice acting was good and the music pleasing. Black Butler fans will be pleased by it, but newcomers should start with the manga or first series anime.
I've been waiting to see Book of the Atlantic since it came out in January, and now, a few days after watching it, I finally can sit down and put together my thoughts.
It was well worth the wait!
Book of the Atlantic excels in the animation, even more so than Book of Circus. There were some noticeable uses of CGI which I found was slightly distracting, but it's a small flaw in an otherwise amazing film.
More of Ciel's past is revealed, including how he came to meet Sebastian, how they established their relationship. It was great to see the early stages of them
knowing each other, how Sebastian came to be so efficient at his job as Butler, etc.
Lizzie, Ciel's absolutely adorable fiance, receives a more fleshed out backstory finally, and her development is top notch, some of the best. To avoid spoilers, I won't go too into this, but Lizzie's movements were some of the best-animated scenes of the film. They were beautiful, fluid, and absolutely gracefully, everything I'd expect from a Midford.
Another side character, Undertaker, also receives a fair bit of development. I think you'll be surprised at his part in this arc, I know I was.
We were finally able to see the Midford's in action, though I was a little disappointed their roles were cut down a little bit. I was still glad to see more of them.
I was also happy to see more of Snake, though I wished he received a tad more screen time.
Book of the Atlantic works incredibly well as a film instead of a series, I think. Though there were some scenes I was disappointed weren't shown (Tanaka in Ciel's flashbacks, Ciel's conversation with Snake about his insecurities) I was still pleased with the overall storyline.
I did find myself growing a tad bored towards the end however during the fight sights, as they did feel slightly repetitive, but the story moves on fast enough.
I enjoyed Grell and Ronald's parts in the film, I thought they were a good balance to the storyline, and further adding to the theme of death.
The music is good, though it's not really memorable. The ending theme is once again done by SID, who did the opening theme of Book of Circus. I enjoyed just as much, and have had it stuck in my head for days now.
I watched the sub this time, which I normally watch the dub, but I found that I enjoyed it just as much. The VA's do a great job incorporating emotion into each line so that it packs a punch.
Book of the Atlantic once again excels as part of the series, and I'm excited to see what else it has in store!