Sequels can be a dangerous territory to tread on. Especially ones for shows that already do not follow the manga but instead, creates its own story. On one hand it has the job of following and wrapping up the previous season’s (to an extent, “original”) storyline and on the other hand, pleasing the fans. To many, Black Butler II has done neither and to others it has done more than that: in other words, there is a clear division between fans.
Let’s get the technicalities out of the way. The art and animation is as beautiful and Victorian-Gothic as the first season, though the animation
did slip at times. New pieces of music by Taku Iwasaki (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Soul Eater) are introduced along with new characters, thus being their character theme songs. And he sure does not disappoint. Again, in keeping with the theme of high class Victorian England classical music (or pieces that are inspired by those roots) are used, violin being the most distinct sound out of the instruments. Animation for the OP is taken up a notch and again we have two sets of animation for the OP song “SHIVER”; both of which were fitting to the song and showed two different styles of art; the first animation being the more unique and visually stimulating one.
Now that sound and art is covered, time to sink our teeth into the real meat of it.
So how does one solve the problem of concluding the story from season one, especially with the amount of mess it had been put into? Why, just create a couple of new characters, slap ‘em in and you can create all sorts of plot lines and justifications.
Enter (or rather waltzes and tap dances in) our scapegoats; Alois Trancy, a bipolar; sadistic; misogynistic and rather scantily clad fourteen year old boy and his poker-faced butler, Claude Faustus. Along with the beautiful dark skinned maid, Hannah Annafellows and the silent triplet servants you have yourself the Trancy Household.
Already the anime is set up for a Trancy VS Phantomhive storyline, and it indeed takes that turn, for the better part of the show anyway. Simultaneously it tells us of the involvement of the new master and butler to Ciel’s own past. Easy isn’t it, to just make up characters for the convenience of the story? True, it isn’t the most respectable way to go about wrapping up a storyline but A-1 Pictures does it in a way that doesn’t seem like an obvious convenient plot device but actually attempts to build a relationship between the new characters and the viewers, which I can’t really say the same thing about the first set of master and butler.
First things first: No, this season does include ANY material from the manga in any shape or form, but considering how much the first season had flown off on a tangent it does not really matter, as if content from the manga (such as the anticipated circus arc) were to be included it would just be filler and would not relate to the happenings of the season. This does not mean that this season is ‘pure filler’ though as some fans have stated; instead it can be seen as an ‘alternative storyline’.
The plot itself is not the best, but neither is it the worst they could have done. The introduction to the new characters was a decent move A-1 Pictures made, even though – as I said before – it was not an entirely respectable twist. Because of the short season (only 12 episodes long) there were fewer opportunities for plot holes, and the frequency ratio of random twists had depleted considerably compared to the first season. Some fans argue that there were more inconsistencies and plot holes than the first season, but quite frankly, I have to disagree. This season is as, or a lot less plot hole filled than the first season. It required people to work things out and guess. Nevertheless, there were some semi-serious plot issues but I appreciated how the story was a lot more consistent and actually seemed planned out.
The brilliance of this short season has to derive from the nature of the show however. There’s a reason why the rating has been raised since the previous season from a PG-13 to an R 17. It’s vulgar. Quite disturbing. And very crude. One of the many things I disliked about the first season of Kuroshitsuji was how there would be an awkward transition from serious business to idiotic comic relief, which would just kill the dark atmosphere of the show that was built up. Heavy topics such as prostituting and abuse are brought in, and the entire series was kept mostly enigmatic and dark.
But to be honest, the story wasn’t what really shone during the course of the show. It was the characters. Not just the new cast, but also the old familiar faces.
For the first time, Sebastian the “perfect” being has met his match, an equal: Claude Faustus. Claude contrasts greatly with Sebastian. Rather than being mischievous and teasing he is straight-faced and serious and very, very undeservingly hated – and mostly for being true to the nature of a demon: sly, cunning and untrustworthy. Demons aren’t known for being the most docile of all mythical creatures, and this is prominent in Kuroshitsuji II. The new butler drove the plot of the season, and I have to commend A-1 Pictures/Square Enix for not merely pampering the fans with what most would have had anticipated: a Claude arse-whooping by Sebastian. Sebastian is repeatedly put in a befuddled state, which did not just add that much more realism to him, but also made the viewers connect with the character a bit.
Alois is definitely one interesting kid across any anime. From being happy-go-lucky, to a practicing sadist and cross-dressing (Can anyone say Maria Holic?) Alois displays an array of characteristics which combined, would indicate to your classic psychopath. And as with almost all mentally unstable characters, he did not have the most pleasurable childhood in the world. Thankfully, there was no sob story as there was a disgusting and disturbing past. Truth be told, I found Alois’ nature and antics to be quite entertaining, refreshing and again, a big contrast to Ciel’s personality.
Unfortunately, his character had been marred by the suggestive clothing he dons. You can’t take a psycho 100% seriously if he is wearing hot-pants and leather high heel boots, which sadly is the case with Alois Trancy. I wish I could say that the fan service was just limited to this, but it isn’t.
Fan service is blown WAY out of proportion. Every episode is gorging with it. Think of the first season. Now times the fanservice in that by 10 and you have a rough idea of what Kuroshitsuji II is like. Depending on the viewer, this can either be a plus or a minus. And weirdly enough, although there is triple the gay in this season, there is also fanservice aimed at men.
Re-introducing the maid of the Trancy Household; Hannah Annafellows, the object creating fanservice for the guys. Victim to Alois’ fits of abuse and her clothes ripping as easy as tissue (and always in the area where her cleavage is...I still wonder how her back doesn’t snap holding up a rack that huge), Hannah is, for the first time in the entire Kuroshitsuji franchise, a female character who is a PART of the show; though this does not seem apparent at first.
The biggest problem this show has (which, ironically, is the exact opposite of the first season’s problem) is the length of the show – it was too short. Too short to make it as grand an ending it could have been. Kuroshitsuji II had the potential to be great, but then ended up anti-climatic, which was a shame really considering how great the first two-thirds of the anime had been. I just wish Alois could have been expanded on, as such a interesting and unique character as him is ever so rare. Even so, this season presented thrill, suspense and comedy that wasn’t as strong or well carried through in the prequel.
And what a great comedy it is at times. Not the obvious and staged comedy the show usually (awkwardly) presents with its idiotic antics or side characters (the Phantomhive servants) but with its UNINTENTIONAL comedy. Some of the fanservice, or scenes were just plain ridiculous; you’d double over from laughing at it.
Sequels are dangerous, but nowhere near as dangerous as a demon lusting for your soul. Kuroshitsuji II should be taken with a grain of salt – it most definitely isn’t the best it could have been, but honestly, it could have been a lot worse. If not for the open ended conclusion, which is most likely to lead onto a third season to milk the proverbial “cash cow” I would have rated this higher, but as it stands, it is decent enough.
But you can never please all the fans, and this has never been truer when it came to Kuroshitsuji II.
Here we have Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler), season 2. What is it, and what is it not? (Please, loyal fans, be kind to me, for voicing my opinion.) And please, all you Black Butler fans under age 18, ask your parents before watching this series. I'll say up front that the content is at an overtly ADULT-ONLY level.
What this series is not: It's not at all related to the manga. It's a continuation from the end of season 1, which had begun to diverge from the manga around halfway through. Even though the first season apparently painted itself into
a corner, we continue on from that ending. (And eventually get some questions answered regarding that.)
And I hope this isn't a spoiler, but Ciel's back. And so is everyone's favorite butler, Sebastian.
So what IS this series? It's fanfiction. Pure and simple. By fans, for fans. And that means heavy doses of fanservice. You can imagine that its creators took everything they had fantasized about in regards to the first series, and decided, "Let's put it into an anime!" And this fanservice isn't for youngsters. Funimation was right about choosing to rate the series MA (equivalent to an "R" rating). The opening scene is a mere sampling. It shows a naked young boy crawling out of a bed from next to a naked older man.
Fanservice is pervasive, with hints of shotacon, and enough boyxboy and butlerxbutler to make yaoi fangirls melt into squeals.
The first episode introduces a new young master, Alois Trancy (a blonde boy of Ciel's age), and his butler, Claude. The next three episodes are similar to the original series: Ciel goes about with Sebastian, running errands for the queen. We reunite with a lot of beloved characters from the first season (the Phantomhive servants, Elizabeth, Prince Soma, Lau, Grell).
But then Alois and Ciel cross paths. And that's when things start getting sticky. Secret arrangements between butlers. Soul transfers. New contracts. A new rule was added to the Black Butler world when the creators came up with the idea of keeping souls in rings. All these ideas and more are pushed to the max, to practically the very final moments of the series.
For some reason, Alois and Claude are after Ciel and Sebastian. It's not until halfway through the series that we find out what for. We also discover why Ciel is still around, despite how the first series ended. Sebastian also has his own personal bone to pick with Claude. Get ready for a butler showdown....
After we get to the middle of the series, we encounter an incredible number of new twists and turns, making things muddier and muddier. They can come off as brilliant plot twists, or tiresome complications, depending on how you liked the series up to that point. Personally, I didn't have a very good opinion of the series by the 5th or 6th episode, so as each of the final episodes unfolded, I kept asking myself, "Can things get more screwed up than they already are?" And yes, they do.
To its credit, the ending is not ambiguous like the first series' was. Although things are still unclear until the final 60 seconds or so. I'm not sure that they could make more series based on an ending like that (or that I would want to see them!). But it's pretty satisfying, and in keeping with the spirit of both series. You do wonder how it's possible within the Black Butler world, since it's sprung on us quite suddenly, and we've not seen anything like it before. Still, it's nice and gothic, and a little creepy; makes you feel good, while giving you a bit of a chill.
I had always thought of Ciel as being a tad cruel, and rough on his servants. But now he seems a veritable angel compared to Alois. Alois dregs the depths of cruelty, sadism, cunning, and is an utter brat. And creepy. "Ciel," he says, "I want to become One with you." Yep, that's one messed-up kid. Later, we see some of Alois' backstory, and some tragic and difficult things that happened to him. But it still doesn't excuse (or, I think, fully explain) his cruelty and borderline insanity. Fans of creepy characters might like him. But he's rather pathetic. I only felt a twinge of pity when I found out what it was he really wanted from Claude.
There's also one busty maid who's always being required to strip or wear revealing clothing; or sometimes she even rips off her own clothes. If this were a shounen anime, it would be almost ecchi. There's also a character who acts as a sheathe for a demon sword, and gets the sword pulled out of their body in a rather grotesque fashion.
Season 2 retains the lovely animation and sense of style from the first one. And hot butlers. And, as a bonus, an ending that doesn't leave you hanging like before. However, if you want an intelligent, well-crafted story along the lines of the manga, or even the first season, it's really not here. It's a fanfiction series that tries to see how messy you can make the world of soul/demon contracts. Sure, you need to know the world of season 1 in order to watch this. But its purpose is no more than to be a pleaser for mature fans and yaoi addicts.
Kuroshitsuji II (Black Butler II) is not a true sequel to the original, or at least I refuse to hail it as such, but it is still an interesting addition to the series and appears to experiment with several archetypes, something I as a writer and literature major can appreciate.
I've heard it called an abortion, a sort of a tragic death to the tragic series about death and mortality, and taken in the aspect of a literal sequel - a direct followup to the Black Butler that received high acclaim - this would indeed be the case. However, what Black Butler II does is not
poor storytelling in any sense, as far as I can tell (at least until the last few minutes of the final episode, but we'll get to that) - it is simply such a strong deviation from the anime offered by the original that many I've encountered have trouble accepting its premise. Both offer an interesting, Faustian take on the story of the classical romance, (where the bond between demon and contracted is not platonic, but romantic) but Black Butler II greatly underplays the elements that made Black Butler what it was.
This series introduces Alois Trancy and the butler Claude Faustus, along with several other characters who seem to mirror Ciel Phantomhive, Sebastian Michaelis, and the cast who tends to the former's mansion. While Ciel is outwardly dark but ultimately benevolent, Alois is (in several cases) outwardly benevolent but ultimately sadistic. The image we get from the beginning of the anime is one where Ciel and Alois are polar opposites, with Alois playing the Moriarty to Ciel's Holmes, but that dichotomy is played with in such a way that I would have to consider it unique or innovative at least.
Black Butler II has several faults. For one, it does not serve as a tangible vehicle for an intuitive storyline, but uses its allotted run time to dabble in the deconstruction of dichotomies and social mores (at times not as subtly as it should). The relationship between butler and master is questioned, as naturally so is the relationship between demon and contracted. Fictional conceptions of "the villain," who serves as opposite and parallel to the central protagonist, are also challenged. I can't get into how without spoiling the ride for you, but if you take a step back, it's definitely there. How it goes about this "deconstruction" is questionable.
For one, it's almost not Black Butler anymore. Sebastian is presented on a level plane thanks to Claude Faustus and the presence of several other "demonic" characters, meaning he doesn't allow the series to shine quite as much. I've heard it said that Black Butler IS Sebastian Michaelis, and people who agree with that notion are likely to face disappointment at the sight of this new, humbled Sebastian.
Additionally, it's much darker with much less comedy than the original. We see less of the servants, of Elizabeth, and of the main cast, who have been relegated further into the background. At its core, it's simply not the same anime anymore.
I liked it. I liked that I was able to see where it played with the romance genre and with fiction in general. Ultimately though, its willingness to experiment and dabble in concepts does not save its occasional poor delivery or the eerie ending which doesn't fit with the buildup of the series. The conclusion is quite a deus ex machina, to say the least.
Another thing I will say is that Black Butler didn't need a sequel. If ever it did need one, Black Butler II is certainly not its rightful successor.
Being an avid fan of Kuroshitsuji, and seeing the entire first season, OVA as well as being an avid manga fan, I must say that I'm disappointed in this series for several reasons. This is merely an opinion, but I found myself hating the storyline behind season 2 entirely.
Below are the good, bad and ugly of this series:
The series has amazing artowrk and beautiful sound.The animation was crisp and clear and the music was amazing, especially with songs coming from Yuya Matsushima and Nightmare.
The bad, and the ugly.
As several reviewers stated before, it does not follow the manga, but I don't consider that bad
because a lot of anime follow this trend. The storyline had actually stopped following the original manga plot during the Drocell arc in season one.
Also, this series started off with a filler episode as the second episode. That is a big no-no for any anime. You start off the series by building up the plot, not doing a filler episode that, regardless of whether you watched it or not would still understand the story.
Out of character moments. There are several large out of character moments and things that were brought up and dropped. In one of the episodes, Viscount Druitt (who has a medical degree and offered to sell off the protagonist, Ciel Phantomhive in pieces on a black market auction) fainted at the sight of blood. It was rather vague on if he was extremely happy in seeing it, since he had sadistic reactions to the previous battle, or if it was because he was woozy but I found it very out of character. There are several other moments in Ciel, Sebastian and a few other characters that I found out of character.
Unexplained changes to characters. Several relationships and things about the characters were not explained or elaborated on, which made a very obscure plot and caused general confusion among fans who had been following the series faithfully.
Fan service. To be honest, in my opinion, and don't kill me on this, but this series was written like bad fanfiction and left many answered questions. There was also a huge amount of fanservice and hardly any of it was presented in a way that I thought was well thought out or tasteful in the slightest. The setting and time period for this show went from elegant to trashy and it caused the series to lose it's appeal.
There were also too many of what I call 'scenes of convenience'. Several characters had the opportunity to be interesting and have a good amount of spotlight but were disposed of in poorly executed ways. Viscount fainting was a poor excuse to get rid of his character during an important scene where he could have taken active role in the plot. He was actually promised a very good storyline with watching over Alois but it was disregarded shortly after wards, which was a let down to me, as a personal fan of the characters. Also, as good as the first episode was, shoving Ciel and Sebastian in it all too quickly, as if the say 'Look! They're still in this season!' Because the writers were afraid of fans not being interested was a poor decision in execution as well.
The show had overall poor execution and a lot of things were unexplained or left off. The episodes got more and more ridiculous after a moment in time and I couldn't find myself watching it after a while. It became a chore and not an enjoyment. As a Kuroshitsuji fan, I'm sorely disappointed in this season. As an anime fan whose critiqued anime for 4 years, this is the worst I've seen in a long time.
It's nothing but a case of bad fanfiction turned into an animated series. I expected a lot more from Kuroshitsuji. It only got worse as the series ended. If they make a season 3, I might not even give it the time of day. There are better anime out there, I implore anyone who reads this to stick to season one, or they might end up just getting angry.
Once upon a time in England there was a fair Queen who ruled the land; only the queen was not fair at all, in fact she had died and the country itself was hiding it. But from what or whom?
The story continues with a new contract formed between a young boy of fourteen: Alois Trancy and Claude Faustus who carries a similar presence as well as punch line "I want to greedily devour you to the end, my master" as Sebastian and through a small critique made by Sebastian in the first episode it seems that Claude tries to follow in Sebastian's foot steps but
not quite One hell of a butler; just yet...
Alois and Claude compliment each other well as Alois is very needy at times and clings to Claude then goes through ridiculous turns of moods which Claude just seems to ignore. (I think Sebastian would not have the patience for this child.) Alois who is also referred to as "the spider" (As this is the form in which Claude introduced himself to Alois) is a marvelously radiant child with a charming smile and captivating energy... sometimes. The truth is the kid is like Mr. Jeckle and Hyde. He goes from smiling cheerfully to scornfully screaming or punishing a servant for no rhyme or reason and further more he seems to enjoy this type of behavior wildly. The young boy has basically gone mad. Where as Ciel was "evil" because he wanted revenge for the wrongs done to him; before that he was pure. He was stable, had good relationships in his life. He lost everything before he stunk from the mud of the gutter. But Alois was born from gutter mud so to speak. It's all he ever knew. His evilness is much more frightening. But this I'm sure is precisely why the "Queen" uses him. He's an interesting character who I thought I'd hate but he'll be fun to through into the mix.
So with the queen's new spider doing her dirty work then what of her loyal dog? Well SPOILER: he comes back. In the first episode Sebastian feigns the guise of a traveler and enters the Trancy mansion to retrieve Ciels ring. Why it's in the Trancy mansion, I don't know. Why he needs it revive Ciel? Who knows?
I didn't suspect a character like Alois could actually carry this series as the lead. He's too unbalanced and immature to carry out a vendetta successfully no matter who they made as his side kick. At first I didn't like the idea of Ciel coming back either after he was so obviously dead. But I assume this new character Alois and Claude will be fighting against Ciel at some point? It implies by the third episode that Claude is the protagonist causing the fires "a man with yellow eyes".The series has barely started and there are still so many interesting possibilities. What did he come back as? In the first episode it says that Ciel's debt is now paid. How so? Why doesn't he remember the Queen was killed or that Madame Red died? Why are his memories altered, I'm sure it's Sebastian's doing. I can't say yet but with the enjoyably written new characters to add to this twisted soul sucking thriller I certainly am looking forward to enjoying what I'm sure will be an amazing Kuroshitsugi 2. At least here's hoping.
Kuroshitsuji II embarks with the debut of Alois Trancy, the sadistic, erratic, and creepy-as-hell lord of the Trancy estate. Alois’ backstory is disturbing, though in an incredibly enjoyable way. His character is endearing; a classic anime psycho that you can’t help but be immediately drawn to. His character design is one of the best I’ve seen in a while. He was such a complex character that had so much development potential. He really could have held the series up on his own.
Until he dissipates into a sniveling excuse of a train wreck along with the rest of the cast. Let’s hope all those fanfics
you read late at night conditioned you to characters acting OOC.
Contrary to all the warnings I was given before viewing Kuroshitsuji II, I began with high hopes. It’s Kuroshitsuji, after all. How can it fail? Surely Alois Trancy’s creepy-as-hell demeanor would get the ball rolling. His juxtaposition to his stoic demon butler, Claude, was promising. But despite all the possibilities Kuroshitsuji II could have embellished upon, it fell flat. The character relationships so intrinsically built up in the first season came crashing way, way, down. It seemed as if Sebastian and Ciel were tossed into the plot just to please the fangirls. Character development for the debuting servants of the Trancy household is stagnant to nonexistent. The season begins with shameless fillers—starting in the second episode, no less—and later thrusts itself into a plot woven flimsier than one of Claude’s spider webs. The romantic 1800s London time-setting of the first season seems to disappear from plot significance. Like the rest of the season, you really don’t know what’s going on anymore.
By the time the plot weaves into a labyrinth game show you could’ve sworn you were watching Kuroshitsuji and not the Kids’ WB.
And don’t even get me started on the amnesia ass-pull.
But don’t let me senselessly bash. The art is still great, but not as flawless as the first season’s. Both versions of the OP, set to the song “SHIVER”, were stunning, with dazzling animation. (Especially Alois’ version—oh my god, can you say impressive?) Needless to say, Kuroshitsuji has THE best anime OST I’ve ever come across. Alois Trancy's theme, "The Slightly Chipped Full Moon", is as beautifully disturbing as he is. But don’t expect to hear the flawless soundtrack of the first season all throughout this sequel. You’ll have to make due with cartoon sound effects tossed behind every “comedic” fast-dash movement.
Successful comedy in this season is rare, but its rarities are frequently supplied by Viscount Druitt. His idealistic ravings are hilarious, albeit ill-timed considering they most often arose during what could’ve been considered a more serious fight scene in the anime.
The relationship that Ciel and Sebastian built up season one came tumbling down faster than my expectations for this sequel. (On another note, Daisuke Ono’s voice is like God whispering sweet nothings into your ear. Have you heard Sebastian’s character song, “Aru Shitsuji no Nichijou”? Woah baby. On second, thought, go hear Ronald Knox's character songs. And the entire Kuroshitsuji OST.)
Hinted shotacon is evident, but nothing you can’t endure. Characters you thought were gone are back, characters you thought would show up are nowhere in sight, and the characters present—namely Sebastian, Ciel, Alois, and Claude—surprisingly leave the show unsatisfying.
And if you thought Lady Elizabeth couldn’t get any more annoying, think again.
I know that it’s biased to compare a second season solely to its former, but the only reason I managed to stick it out until the end was…well, it’s Kuroshitsuji for God’s sake. Especially considering that this season didn’t follow the conclusive events of the first season’s at all. It really felt as if this season was expecting to generate success solely by the loyal fanbase built up from the first. I’m a major fan of the first season, but my loyalty can only take me so far. I really didn’t know it was possible to slaughter a series like this. I really didn’t. Creating a sequel is always a risky process. This risk should’ve been left alone. The season quickly became tedious to watch. Season 1 also had a brilliant ending. This season’s ending left a lot less room for interpretation, but it really doesn’t matter how tight an ending is if it stinks. The characters provided this season with so much potential, but just couldn't hold up. But that being said, Alois Trancy is enchanting, and Ronald Knox (though his screen-time is pathetically minuscule) is an epic cutie pie.
I never thought I’d be giving anything of Kuroshitsuji a 5. But a 5 is really all this second season deserves.
In short, Kuroshitsuji II managed to take everything the first season stood for and drive it into the pits of hell. But don’t worry, at least Sebastian will be waiting. Along with the season’s production staff.
Kuroshitsuji II, a new butler and a new master. It is completely original and does not follow the manga. Kuroshitsuji II was born as fanservice and it died as fanservice too. But you know what? A-1 is pro enough to make this fanserivce work with the plot. I call it!! *drum roll* Logical fanservice!! :P
Ok so I'm not talking about boobs and panty fanservice. There's plenty of boobs I assure you but I'm talking about a different kind of fanservice. Notice how Ciel and Seb are in the character section now? They're in there for a reason. So think about it, Seb and Ciel +
fanserive equals what? And you probably got it so I'm not gonna say :D
This season has been dubbed as Toboso-san's personal doujinshi just so you know.
Okay so, the story was weird for me. It was dark and everything but it just didn't have that original touch to it, like it was obvious Toboso-san didn't make it. The plot was infuriating if you ask me. It was like a roller coaster I was kinda regretting to ride. Later in the season, maybe because of my biased thinking, the story was just annoying. The comic relief was in the wrong places, everyone's ooc, it was just wrong and I didn't like it.
But thinking of it from an unbiased point of view, it was pretty smart. The plot was clever and contains a whole lot of symbolism. It's crack, I have to say but it's crack that just made it into an anime. It was a cool crack and even though watching it annoyed, I'm still glad I 'went on the roller coaster'.
Art was beautiful. God I love it!! However, it was lacking. I don't know if the budget was running low or something but some of the faces were really blank, quite literally too. Okay, so they didn't have fully blank faces but it was really under detailed and honestly, I think they could've done better. The art is clean, beautiful, good use of colours, just lacking detail.
I LOVE the sound. I love the OP and ED and the little movie that went along with it. They were so beautiful. Kalafina comes back as well with their beautiful voices to give us a really beautiful song. Even Seb's actor for the musical sings the first ED. It's really meaningful once you watch the whole season. It was like a light bulb that went off in my head.
The seiyuu is just wonderful!! Ono Daisuke does a wonderful and so does Maaya Sakamoto!! Sakurai and Mizuki-san do wonderful jobs as well!! I love their voices. I jsut find it kinda funny how Ciel and Alois are voiced by girls LOL But it's cool :)
Characters is the main section of Kuro II. It's pretty much what drives the story. I love the cast. All of them, even if they are characters you can't help to hate. It's one of them love to hate characters. You get them in this season. But it makes it oh so interesting!! It's because of everyone's weird personalities that Kuro II is just that much better. However, characters -obviously- give out huge spoilers so I cannot continue with this section anymore :( And I love talking about characters the best!! Just some advice, don't judge a book by its cover, ok?
I loved the season, even though there were parts when I felt bored or incredibly angry but it's good. The fanservice kinda makes up for it. It's definitely something for fangirls/boys but if you're a serious follower of Kuroshitsuji, then you might not like this season at all. It's sorta a love or hate thing. However, A-1 still gets points for mixing the plot with fanservice!! I pretty much worship them now :P But yeah, if you're serious, this might not be your thing. If you're part of the fandom, you'd probably enjoy it.
If you're going to watch it, then try to watch it with an open mind, or if you want to go on that roller coaster, you can always watch it biased :P Either way's good. Btw, watching this season will make you love the manga more, whether you love it or hate it, you're gonna wanna go back to the proper thing. Sometimes you really do have to be careful with what you wish for.
First things first, I never read the manga so I completly don't care about its story since I didn't like season 1, it was boring.
I never planned to watch second season but I saw some interesting things and finally decided to give it a shot... And I loved it!
Yes, I love season 2 and dislike season 1. Firstly I never found Ciel/Sebastian to be interesting. Sebastian is way too perfect that I don't even care about him.
But here comes season 2 where we are introduced to several new characters. Alois is very mean and had some pathefic moments but over all I would better watch
him and his active live instead of Ciel who mostly drinks tea, walks around, gets kidnaped and orders Sebastian around. However, in this season Ciel happened to be more ative and became more interesting.
Sebastian had finally faced some seriouse trouble and is not a Marry Sue anymore.
And most importatly, characters who seemed to be useless forthe most part, happned to have a big suprise for everyone.
It is one of those series where good guys actually lose at some point. I don't want to spoil too much but ending was perfect for me. It was unpredictable.
The only people who will be dissapointed are crazy yaoi fangirls, that is if you don't try to look deeper into it. Becaue I think that you also should be happy about the ending.
And of course if you are manga obessed, then you also won't like it.
Kuroshitsuji II starts off where season one left off.....sort of. The series begins with a a new butler/child combo, Alois and Claude. From the summery of the series, one would assume that this isn't so much a second season as it is a successor. However, we quickly learn that the story begins to jump around from the first episode as this pair is introduced alongside the more familiar Ciel and Sebastian. Not much can be said beyond this point to avoid spoilers, but the basic premise of Kuroshitsuji II revolves around the developed rivalry between Alois and Ciel, as well as the rivalry between
Sebastien and Claude. The story develops at a fantastic pace and mostly avoids the silly fillers and unless episodes that slowed season 1 down so much.
And of course, fan service is back with full force. The obvious tension between..oh..every male in the show is amplified ten fold. I would go so far as to say that Kutoshitsuji II almost treads into slight shounen ai territory. Alois and Claude are especially guilty of perpetuating this.
As great as the story is (and it is very, very good) a major problem I had with it was that it is sometimes a bit unbelievable. The motivations of the characters sometimes seems slightly unrealistic and forced. I found myself questioning these sometimes over dramatic and silly motives, but ultimately no caring because I was enjoying the show so much.
Like the first season, the art in Kuroshitsuji II is top notch and beautiful in every way.
Very catchy opening and ending themes, though what really pleases me about Kuroshitsuji's sound is the background score. It remains elegant and classical; with some jazz and opera numbers thrown in occasionally. At times, it can be over the top, but the flashy and in your face opera tracks really do add quite a bit to the mood of the show.
I feel like this series does a good job making highly emotional music that compliments the scenes very well and helps you connect better to them. It was one of the rare OSTs that I hunted for right away on the internet after hearing it.
All I can say is that things really get shaken up in this season. Ciel and Sebastian as a team have developed quite a bit from last season, adding a strong emotional flair that may have been lacking before. I much preferred their dynamic in this season, as it seems like they legitimately care for each other beyond using each other for revenge/a meal. Of course, both of them still retain their cynical and sinister natures as well.
As for Alois and Claude..they are intense. Alois is by far the shows most emotional character, however borderline he may be. Watching him in action brings chills down my spine. He has some of the most raw and pure emotion I'v seen in any anime character to date.
His butler is just the opposite. Claude is a cold, calculative scheme, but that in itself makes him interesting on screen. Both are immensely terrifying, and their interactions between Ciel and Sebastian will have you at the edge of your seat.
Kuroshitsuji II starts off with a bang, gets weak for a few episodes, and then just straight shoots into a wild ride.
This show is very worth watching assuming you have seen the first season. Once you start, you won't be able to take your eyes away from the screen until the very end. The very few flaws it has are completely forgivable and overshadowed by it's amazing characters and rich plot. Fans of Kuroshitsuji won't at all be disappointed by the second season, and many may very well find themselves enjoying it more than the first.
To those lucky people out there who come across this review without watching Kuroshitsuji I:
Before you watch the first season, I strongly, STRONGLY recommend you watch the second season first, and then follow up with the first one and look at them as two different little stories, rather than being continuous. Look at them as two possible endings which might've occurred and you will have a choice of choosing the ending which best suits you and by doing so you won't have a chance of being disappointed and no ending is then "forced" upon you.
(I will not compare it to the manga and how
the anime should have been adapted)
Sequels and second, third seasons are very dangerous; they can make a mess of things, good and bad. They can satisfy your wish when you don't want the anime to end, to go that extra episode or two because it can, they can clear the mistakes of the season I, they can be fun and ok to watch, they can be great and just the perfect thing to end the whole deal, they can even improve the first season!
Kuroshitsuji II isn't one of those sequels.
The first season, as far as I am concerned had a superb ending, but seeing the first episode of season II which confused me, few episodes later, they explain perfectly as to why the anime continues and that satisfied me, because to some level they had a point and well, I too wanted to go on for a little while. But the sequel was unnecessary.
Now, shall we begin?
The Art and Sound (10 - perfect)
The art is as good as season I, the same perfect style of drawing and coloring which suits the atmosphere, plus an extra additional touch when it comes to opening and ending themes. Music, great as ever. When it comes to intermission it blends more into it; instead of suddenly playing some happy tune when the mood way on the other side, it is continuous, the way it should be.
Characters (6 - fine)
There are a few additional characters as to season I:
Aloys Trancy - a bipolar child who dances on the line between thriving to destruction and then towards sadness and needing love to the maximum selfish extent. A sadist, yet a sad boy, jealous and vengeful, yet misplaced, lost and scared. The exact opposite of the young Ciel Phantomhive we've accustomed to and certainly refreshing to a point. He has a past which is not that sad as it is disturbing. Really, really disturbing. You can sit back and take a break from those sad, throbbing and sobbing flashbacks and be assured there are very, very few of those.
Claude Faustus - AloysTrancy's very own demon butler who's perfect in every way as he should be, who can go head to toe with Sebastain. His forks and knives are golden, opposite Sebastians silverware, his eyes are yellow and he wears glasses. He has a few tricks on his own, being the servant of Trancy family, whose crest holds a spider.
Hannah Annafellows is a maid at the Trancy household. Aloys takes his insecurity and sadism on her without regret. Toying with her at any given time and given chance as the anime goes on, yet she remains loyal to her master in hope he will be happy...
Trio - three identical bulters of the Trancy residence. They too had and have a part to play, though they could have been ignored. They are there for the soul purpose of being the "new character", anime could have gone without them just fine.
With the Trio exception, characters are very well made and fairly interesting.
As opposed to the Trio, Phantomhive trio isn't seen much, which means there are zero to One "unnecessary" episodes.
Onward to the story.
I'll try my best not to give out and spoilers so I will keep it short.
Since there is a new master and a new butler, predictably, they will clash. Sebastian has met his match, a perfect copy of himself, Claude. He basically carries the story. Being sly and cunning he makes twists and turns and thus Sebastian has to work as hard as ever to protect his young master. Sebastian finally shows some "emotion" if you can call it that way. His expressions do change from the well accustomed satisfied, eager and hungry to rage, rage and rage and yes, even sometimes concern.
Enjoyment of this series is pretty well. It's not good, it's not bad, it's a perfect mediocrity. Exactly what you'd expect from a sequel. The story had a bellow average, predictable development, an impressive twist none the less
The ending is idiotic and disappointing. Compared to season I, which had a perfect ending, nothing else was needed, they go ahead and give the ending (thus giving the entire anime) meaninglessness and mediocrity.
I know that most of you who will finish season I will immediately go searching for season II, but I feel I have to warn you, the ending Is disappointing and you Will be disappointed. Not because it might not be to your liking, but because it butchered what the first season was all about and thus killed the entire anime.
Would I recommend watching it? Yes, ofcourse. But ONLY if one looks at it as a different story that stands by itself, instead of combining it into one anime. Looking at season I and II as two different little anime who have same characters, different stories, different endings. That way, you can choose which ending suites you best and it's not forced on you as The Last and Final Ending.
Last week I looked at Kuroshitsuji. This week I'm looking at the sequel. What's odd about Kuroshitsuji having a sequel is that the first series is complete. It tells the story of Sebastian and Ciel beginning, middle and end. Going into this, I have no idea how they could make a sequel, unless it's some kind of spiritual successor. Well, let's take a look at the series and find out how they handle it.
You can't see it, but I'm face-palming right now. Given the quality of the first series, I gave them credit. I didn't think they would go for a true sequel, but
I was wrong. This series is a direct continuation of the first. With Ciel and Sebastian both making return appearances. Why, just why? The first series may have had an ending that was obvious and kind of rushed, but it was also suitable for the series. Why would you take a series with a pretty satisfying conclusion and add to it? That's actually my biggest issue with the story in this series. It's unnecessary. You have a young man named Alois Trancy with an impossibly talented butler. One evening they're visited by a strange traveler covered in heavy clothes. The man is revealed to be Sebastian and he's brought Ciel along in a briefcase. He steals something from the mansion and makes his getaway. I'm not going to give away the reasons behind all of this, but they're kind of stupid. After that Ciel and Alois gain a lot of animosity for each other so that there can be a plot. Now, let's start with the negatives, aside from it being an unnecessary addition. The first is that the retcon is very poorly handled and the plot that's added in to explain it is weak. Then there's the ending. It's pretty terrible. The story itself is lazy. A lot of it is just devoted to the rivalry between Sebastian and Claude. The series does have some episodes devoted to Ciel, Sebastian and the rest of the characters from the first series that are entertaining. It also has some plot elements that have merit, but they aren't really handled well enough to be as interesting as they could've been.
But at least the characters are still good, right? Well, kind of. Sebastian and Ciel are still good characters, although not nearly to the degree that they were in the first series, probably because they retread a lot of the same ground and development that they already covered with less competent writing behind it. Ciel's staff still provides the same comic relief they did before, albeit less of it since they barely show up. On the downside, Grell reappears with the same problematic elements from the first series. Then we have the new characters. Alois, whose an obnoxious and very annoying brat with little personality aside from being a sociopath. We also have Claude whose incredibly dull. we also have Hannah, a maid in the Trancy household. When you learn what her motivations are the sheer stupidity will likely make your head hurt. We also get some triplet servants in the Trancy household. They have no personalities whatsoever.
The art is still well done. The character designs are still good, for the most part. The backgrounds are still well done. The action sequences in this one really aren't as good. Part of that is just that they involve a lot of awkward scene transitions.
The cast is still really good. Tamura Yukari, Hirano Aya, Sakamoto Maaya, Ono Daisuke and most of the other actors all give strong performances. Fukuyama Jun is still a weakness based solely on the fact that the character he's portraying is ridiculously exaggerated. Mizuki Nana has the same problem, although she does a little better at putting some nuance into the performance in spite of it. Sakurai Takahiro doesn't give his best performance either, largely due to his character having less emotional substance than a tapeworm.
The yuri factor is still a 1/10. there's no yuri here.
You probably deduced this already, but I didn't care for this one. It has some of the elements that made the first one great, but most of them are either weakened by idiotic contrivances and/or terrible new characters. My final rating is going to be a 4/10. It's a sub-par piece that doesn't stand well either on its own or as a continuation to the Kuroshitsuji. Next week, I'll look at Usagi Drop. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is next on my request queue, but I'm not going to have time to finish all of it in time. So expect that on the 29th.
I don't know if it's because I already poured my cereal in my bowl this morning and I didn't have any fucking milk, or if it's because this anime truley sucked. What I do know is this anime pissed me off. It introduces a set of new characters, Alios and Clyde, these two domininating the second season.
The story was mediocre at best. It honestly wasn't in the least bit interesting, and was a waste of time to even watch. The storyline of the first one was great, amazing I'm fact. But this one was appealing, and made me think they should've ended it with
what they had. Alios and Clyde weren't any significance, and seemed like a knock-off of Ciel and Sebestaion. It was long and drawn out, no character whatsoever.
Art : 9
The art was nice, nothing special and kept the Victorian era true to its name. Alios, Clyde, Ciel, and Sebeastian were all drawn nicely, and we're very original. The scenery in the background was nice, overall it was a solid 9
The voice acting was magnificent , and the voices fit the personalities of characters they represented. The opening and closing weren't very memorable, but the pictures were nice, while the second season lacked in story, the sound made up for it.
The characters pissed me off. Not because they were annoying *cough Alios cough*, But because how two dementional they are. I hate when animators try and use flashbacks as a way to do character development. Some cases it works, others it miserably fails. This of course is the latter. They also love to try to have a depressing past to make us have sympathy for them, using this as an excuse for said character to be a complete asshole to everyone. Alios was an annoying brat, and quite frankly I'm glad what the animators decided to cut his part. Cylde was just overall creepy and delusional, obsessing over Ciel for some odd reason. They are just cookie cutter characters, nothing special.
I did not enjoy this anime at all. I loved seeing Ciel and Sebeastian again, but this anime was a train wreck. Alios ruined it for me, and I finished it, hoping that it will have a great ending, but it was a disappointment. I recommend that you watch it for the shits and giggles, but don't expect it to be the best thing since toast was invented.
Overall : 5
This anime averaged to about a 4.9, after adding each number I gave it then dividing it by the four categories, giving it a almost solid 5. It looks like shit compared to the first Black Butler, but after having an amazing first season, my expectations weren't set to high. I recommend to watch, but don't make my mistake of thinking it will be good, then being disappointed in the end. If you enjoyed my review, feel free to check out my others! Enjoy!
You know, people said the second season would suck. The only thing I ever knew about the second season(this was back when I was still watching season one) was the infamous "tongue boy." Alois, I thought, would be a little like the Ikuto(Shugo Chara sexy kitty boy) figure. But it turned out that he was a very...Interesting person. Disturbed in terms of society's "moral correctness," Alois made for the perfect character to use as support for Kuroshitsuji's finale.
I'm not one to like it when an anime series alters it's plot just so they can end it ahead of time, but this was a really
well done plot ending. Although there were a lot of new characters, Alois, in particular, was my big surprise. Because I'm sure anything anyone hears is just about his "booty-licious shorts." For those of you who are turned off by that factor(I wasn't but..You know, if you are) there's more to him than you'd imagine.
Without giving away any details, he's one of those characters that, if you're an open mind to different takes on justice, you can really come to love in the short amount of time that he was a lead in this series. Though it was definite that he supported Ciel, he also added a new twisted flair to Kuroshitsuji that I really liked. It was really because of him that Kuroshitsuji had as good an ending to the anime. (After all, by his wishes, did everything that happened come to be reality.)
The other new characters such as Hana and Claude are both support for Alois. Because of Alois's "Needy behavior," it was very skillful to add such high contrast characters beside him that help support such a boy(otherwise he probably would have fallen apart.) Hana is a passive maid who lets Alois treat her as a rag doll, while Claude is a sort of absent character who is very hard to please. As Alois's butler, he says things with empty meaning and often, Alois goes searching for actual emotion in Claude. Though Alois and Claude, as a duo, where never as effective as the Ciel-Sebastian duo, they were still a very successful contrasting pairing(not in the romantic way.)
The story begins in a rather rocky start as a lot of information is dumped on you. As the story starts when a big time lapse has occurred between the end of season one and the current events, it takes some time to piece together everything that happened, but the fact that the plot still functions, without the viewers having full knowledge of the previous essential points, is proof enough that the ending to this series was really a piece of work that was woven together beautifully.
A lot of people will debate about the yaoi or non-yaoi-ness of season one. But those who cater toward such style of affection will be slightly pleased to know of a fact that they will learn upon the first few episodes of the series; Alois Trancy is an aristocratic boy with a demon butler(like Ciel). But--rather than being an exact copy of the Earl of Phatomhive--he has differences in his past that led him to his current position and the location of his contract seal is different from Ciel's.
With a detailed past quite similar in cruelty and suffering to Ciel's, Alois's hardships toughened him into a callus soul that masked his wounds with twisted smiles. In some ways, he ended up less "complete in mind" than Ciel in the fact that his consciousness is not completely at peace with itself. By his sporadic behavior, ranging on the bipolar side, we can tell that he is very deeply damaged as a result of his ordeals. And his savior, Claude, is always the person he looks toward for recognition. One can hardly blame such a soul as Alois, though. He clung to what brought him out of the darkness; it could only be cruel to condemn him for not noticing the foolishness in asking for love from a Demon.
If we return to the very sensitive topic for this anime: Yaoi(which makes or breaks some people's experience with such a series), we will notice the location of Alois's demon contract: his tongue. Popularly, he is seen licking people with his tongue, or rather, a single entity. A certain boy for whom also has a demon butler... Ironically, however, Alois does not favor Ciel or seek any romantic relations with him(as I first assumed by all the comments I got on Alois's character), he actually wishes torturel Ciel. This becomes evident in the first episode(so don't think I spoiled anything for you). And the way for which his past, his demon contract, Ciel, and Sebastian weave together to create the finale to Kuroshitsuji make this a MUST WATCH for any fan of Kuroshitsuji, be it the anime or manga.
(This review is subjected to have one or two spoilers for the first ep)
So, I didn't finish watching the first season of Kuroshitsuji, because I didn't want to see the ending, when I know that it was so different from the manga (Yes, I read the manga) but I have to say, giving Kuroshitsuji season ll a shot wasn't a bad idea. As of now, there are only three episodes out and the suspense and the want for answers are already building.
The anime starts out with a new butler and a new master. The starting of the anime wasn't bad, actually it was quite
interesting, I thought that it wouldn't be so bad to watch this anime without the formal characetrs, Sebastian and Ciel, whom everyone deemed gone because of the last ep in season one. But Kuroshitsuji isn't something to be looked upon lightly, because our favorite characters were brought back as the actual main characters for Kuroshitsuji. This land mine was quite a surpise and excitement for me, but with the return of them brought up a very important question. Why has Ciel forgotten the near past events? The death of his aunt, the shinigami Grell, the queen... Why has Ciel forgotten? The answer might be clear to many of us, Sebastian is the puppeteer behind this whole charade. But why, why is this demon still holding on to his 'pure' master? And then the last question is, what does Alois want with Ciel? And the fact that the 2cnd episode doesn't bring back the Trancy household makes you want more information on them. So for now, I give the story a big TEN. Three episodes in and the suspense, the mystery, and the questions are building. But if you don't like a dark mystery revolving around a young boy and sinister characters that bind themselves to demons to get their very wish fufilled, then this anime is not for you.
Now as a full on fan of Kuroshitsuji I do indeed read the manga and nothing can compare to Yana Toboso's art skill. She's a great artist, so it's obvious that I will be basing my critique off of her art. The scenery compares well with the artistic talent of Yana-san and feels very much of the victorian age. Though, for a dark plotted anime not everything has a dark feel to it and that gives the anime light. There isn't much of that in the manga but for a change it is good. The objects, houses, carriages, are all well accounted for when it comes to detail. It's a very beautifully animated anime. The characters I must say are also well animated, but it's hard to ignore the fact that the details just seem a bit off. I compare the screencaps to the manga pages and just think, the characters are so much better drawn in the manga. Had I just watched the anime though and cared less for manga, this would have gotten a ten, but yet, it has to suffice with just a nine.
SOUND: (I re-watched the first ep for this part xD)
Personally, I hate squeaky voices or overrated voice actors voicing anime characters. Bad voices can take away from a very good series. But it's hard to say that I don't like the voices in this series. I don't research on voice actors, but I have to say that the people who voice Sebastian, Ciel, and Claude are very good. They bring out the characters personalities very well. As for the sound effects, it's eh for me. I've yet to find a good anime where they don't have useless sound effects, but there not very apparant in Kuroshitsuji. As for the music? OH MY GOD. The eerieness off the opra music selected for this series if just fantastic. I don't personally like the sort of music play in Kuroshitsuji, but man, it's placed well. Not to mention the opposition of the music and the feel of the moment is perfect. So the only part bringing down the rating of this part is the sound effect of which I don't care for in any anime. So this portion gets a EIGHT.
If you haven't understood yet then let's repeat, this is a dark gothic manga with characters that have either rather depressing pasts, demonic personalities, or messed up lives. And the scarey fect of the matter is, some of the situations are not impossible and most definitely are quite real. Rape, human sacrifices, death, these are things aren't strangers to this series. It isn't talked about in every episode to where you are annoyed with it, but it shows in the characters personality how they were treated in the past. Such as Alois the supposed antagonist of the series and Ciel the main character whoes personalities feed off of their past. Then there's Claude and Sebastian, the butlers whos only desirer is to consume their master. With these dark characters the anime would be a lot more than just plain depressing (It can be) but then you have all your comic relief characters. So as there is lots of dark trends that will most definitely stream through this anime, don't worry, you will most definitely laugh. But keep in mind, this series revolves around the past and goals of the main characters. But I love the characters, so TEN.
I remember being completely and crazily crazy with happiness when I watched the first episode. And it's hard to say I didn't enjoy the first episode. It was great and fantastic and completely off the the edge of my seat. But then after the first episode, I asked the computer what happened? Sure, I laugh, but, episode two and three just couldn't compare to the first episode. It's not enough as of now to make me drop the series, because there are answers that I want answered, so I won't let the first few episodes stop me. So as of now, if you want to see a multitude of geners, go ahead and watch this. It can make change your sad mood to happy or your happy mood to sad, but because it's so early in the series, but the last two installments couldn't own up to the first one, this category gets a eight. There is hope yet, hopefully.
I hope I didn't mix up the anime and the manga... Which I highly doubt, since the anime is now completely different from what Yana-san has been writing, but I must say, that for so early into the anime, I am SLIGHTLY hooked. I enjoy the characters and the story. The fact that I already have questions without answers is a good thing. I'm happy that I have given this series a chance. And it's more than just a great way to pass time, so overall grade gets a NINE
Alright guys, I'm going to say this straight out of the box. I had my doubts, five minutes in to the first episode. I didn't think Alois was going to live up to the standards Ceil set, nor did I like Claude. He was simply too fussy. I changed my mind in the last few minutes of that same episode. Once I realized Ceil was in fact, still around, and it wasn't going to be about Alois, I was thoroughly delighted.
From the standpoint of an animator, I have to say that the animation isn't as great as it maybe could have been, but considering
how hard and quickly they have to work to get an episode out on time, I think they did a brilliant job.
I also liked the different entry scenes for the two different characters, both Antagonist and protagonist.
I think you're going to come to like Alois, once you get past the fact that he's incredibly creepy at times. He's a bit co-dependent and needy, but he's also devious and clever. He knows how to get what he wants-when flirting fails him, he either acts crazy or incredibly clever. He's quick witted and VERY sharp--if a little sadistic and cruel. I respect character writing that makes me think, and Alois is definitely someone who keeps you on your toes. He's an ASTOUNDINGLY complex character, despite all surface appearances.
Hannah, despite appearing to be incredibly submissive in the first episode, reveals a side of herself you'll find very surprising. Telling more would be spoilers though!
Claude I didn't like, but I recognize the importance of having a character like him--His development is actually quite surprising as well.
the triplets seemed a little flat for me, but I think their role was just to be pretty and act creepy, points for that. There's really no back story or development behind them. I would have liked to see them explained a little more.
Over all the series is a lot of fan service, (I assume as an apology to those who were upset by the final episode of the first season) and some trolling on the part of the maid and Alois. There are also a few Monty Python's Flying Circus, Jojo's bizarre adventures, and Eddy Izzard references(from my point of view at least) Showing that the Creator, Producers, Writers and animators all have BRILLIANT senses of humor, and good skills in subtlety. Indeed there are a few phrases in the middle of the project that you don't understand completely until the last two or three episodes, but it's well worth the wait.
My opinion? Props for going out with a bang, keeping me on my toes and waiting, practically begging for more, and for doing a great job in a little window of time. 12 episodes isn't very much to reach the climax of this sort of thing. Kuroshitsuji II has a fantastic storyline, wonderful writing, intelligently crafted characters, for the most part. Because of all of this, I love this series as much as I loved it's predecessor, and the manga it's derived from. I'm sure you'll love it as well!
As a fan of the first season, I was looking forward to the announcement that the second season got a green lit. I disliked the idea of having a new master and butler but as the updates and airing date were moving close, I felt that the new master is indeed interesting and unique. Aside the new butler of course.
The moment I got to watch the first episode of the second season, there were mixed feelings. Confusion, amusement and unsatisfaction. The latter episodes became dull but there were certain ones that just makes me “Okay fine, I’ll finish this. Maybe it would be more interesting
on the next episode.” I was damn wrong. The second season was full of faults in an overall score. The characters took a sudden landslide the moment Alois declared that he wanted Ciel, Claude lusting for Ciel’s soul and Sebastian being a weak demon whenever Ciel’s soul was on the table. Landslide?More of a catastrophe I guess.
So I’ll start with the first and second most important part, characters and plot.
Ciel Phantomhive is a strong hearted independent noble. Why in the name of the queen of England should he let his emotions of pride and selfishness just because there is someone working for the queen other than himself? This is clearly a point why Ciel is, most of the times, a spoiled brat, only a million fold richer. Ciel’s reincarnation as a demon made the overall season’s score lower than the others. He is Ciel but at the same time not. It’s not confusing. Just imagine Ciel, being himself, only as a empty hollow. Do you get it now? Great. Now you’ll see why Ciel isn’t interesting anymore. I just don’t know for those Sebastian x Ciel fans though, I’ll just leave their imaginations of pedophility love.
Sebastian Michaelis is the famous talk around bishounen town. I’m not a fan of his character but if I could compare his development between the two seasons, I would say that he became more of a lowly and cowardly dog than a humble butler in the present season. He is confident that his possession, Ciel’s soul, wouldn’t be robbed by some other demon. Which lead to a disaster which also lead to another huge failure, particularly the 12th episode. His resistance as declared in the first season was his biggest mistake if I say so myself.
Alois Trancy(please do not remind me of his real name, I prefer this instead) is one of the freshest characters I’ve seen. He is an interesting, pathetic, adorable, slutty, pitiful, devastated, attention-seeking male cinderella. But he became the dullest thing I can see in the 12th episode. He has become weak and easily-controlled soul. Leaving his murder behind, his character, wanting to be loved by Claude is just like those romantic movies I’ve seen a hundred times. It’s unrequited love, master and butler special edition. He became a poorly made character by the moment he said that he wanted Claude despite his failure of finishing the contract. Biggest waste. Period.
Claude Faustus, fuck this butler very much. He is the biggest mistake. And because he is the biggest mistake he is also the culprit of the biggest downfall and biggest waste of the series. He’s too honest, sneaky and is a monkey dressed in a butler suit with glasses. He’s the type that if he wanted something, he would use anyone just to attain his ‘something’ and this something was none other than Ciel Phantomhive. His death was a failure too. I dislike him so much that I wouldn’t even be able to accept comments about my rant about him.
Hannah Anafeloz,with no mistake, has the most development especially in the last two episodes. She has become Alois’ savior and Ciel’s killer. She ignited Alois’ passion of becoming one with Ciel and devoured Alois’ into a new contract after letting him know that she is one with his younger brother, Luca. I’m surprised that she grew feelings with Luca which lead to performing a contract with him which became a bridge to be of service under the Trancy household. Oh, did I say she’s a masochist? Yeah. The hell with it. She rocked the boat herself.
The triplets, the highlight of their existence was their failure of killing Sebastian. Other than that, they’re triplets! And triplets are eyecatching. I prefer them cleaning and doing household chores instead of attacking Sebastian just to hide their idiocy and uselessness.
And of course, who would forget the Ronald Knox appearance? I didn’t see that coming, I doubt that you did too.
The minor characters that were adapted to the second season has a pale presence. The parts where Sebastian was handing over a letter declaring the death date of Ciel were confusing. Their reactions weren’t as lively as before.
The art of the first season was balanced. The background and character quality was well balanced. The second season wasn’t. The background quality was more of an A+ while the character quality was lower, more of a B minus. Maybe it’s just me, but other than that, it was brilliant. The animation was great too especially when it comes to the fighting scenes.
Third, music and character voice.
The CV in the first season had a good score coming from most of the watchers, why wouldn’t the second season have too? It’s better and more fine. The music is more than passable. It’s befitting. Except that in some points it sometimes overpowers the characters.
Kuroshitsuji or in English, Black Butler, is a finely made series. The thing is, it flunked during the second season in very many points. So many that you will be able to point them out even though you haven’t watched the first season.
Third season? No thanks. But if they’ve decided to push another season through, good luck with that. I’ll keep my mouth shut till then.
(two stars like this ** means that there is a spoiler coming up, and you should skip to the next set of stars)
And here we come to a sequel. Sequels can be a good thing, if expressed correctly and if it is relevant to the parent story, much like an OVA. And let’s be honest – if a show is THAT good, and it ends in a sort of open ended way, shouldn’t it just stay like that? I mean, I’m pretty sure no one wants to know what happened to Azmaria at the end of Chrono Crusade. And though I used to hope
for it, I like the way the Code Geass series ended. You were left with either believing he was dead or alive in some other world. Quite honestly, I think that’s the best kind of ending – one that you’ll remember long after finishing the story. And this sequel is just passable. I preferred the way the first season ended, because it was just at the cataclysm that Ciel dies. Or, it was assumed so. I just don’t like the way it all took off. And sadly, it doesn’t look like they’re done. (I'm grading this according to the MAL number ruling - a six is fair, meaning its not great but it isn't bad either.
The art hasn’t changed much if at all from the first season. If there was a change, then it was so small I couldn’t even notice it. So I’ll give it the same art score I would’ve given the first season.
Nothing to say about the ending and opening soundtracks. They weren’t overly enjoyable or disappointing, they were just ok. The soundtrack in the show, however, is a different story. The sound track of the second season is just as enjoyable as the soundtrack of the first. Beautiful melodies that mask sorrow or that exempt it all together – that’s the kind of music you can hope to hear from this show.
To make it simply and clear: There really is no story at the beginning. The first episode brings Ciel back, and then it’s just…“what?” until episode 6. Don’t get me wrong, you enjoy this arc, as you reminisce with old characters, but it all seems irrelevant to the story – and that’s a problem. This, to me, is always what can make any viewer drop an anime. If the show flies way out with an idea or its arc is too long and irrelevant, you gotta wonder why you’re still watching it. I can’t tell you how many shows I was excited to watch, that I ended up dropping because the arcs got too boring and I began to question its relevance. But this is not the case, it was a little over played, yes, but it was enjoyable, and that makes up for it. In the end, the reconciliation of the characters, though late and not very deep, is strong, albeit a little more confusing than it should have been.
Ciel and Sebastian are old news. Elizabeth has very obviously taken a liking to Ciel, even more so than is noticeable in the first season. And sadly, you don’t get to see much of her after the first few episodes. And then we get to Alois Trancy. A homoerotic, sadistic **(actually gay, as we see in the first scene)** freak. **People may argue that he was forced into it, but he doesn’t seem at all deeply affected by it. Almost like it just doesn’t bother him.** He is utterly disgusting and despicable to say the least. It’s not because he’s gay, but because of the way he acts and the way he treats others. His butler, Claude, is another freaky one. When you meet him, you sort of get the feeling he’s like…Sebastian from wal-mart. Like, Sebastian is a nicely polished Lamborghini or BMW, and Claude is just a cheap knock off, like a 90’s era Toyota Corolla, or Dodge Grand Caravan. They just don’t compare. Maybe I’m being a little biased, perhaps because I already know Sebastian from the first season and have seen just how good he is at what he does. And, his humor has upped its ante from the first season – there was one specific part that I couldn’t stop laughing about midway through the series that I had to watch again and again. You also start to wonder what the hell other characters are even doing in the story. And the truth is, you won’t know until you get to episode 5 or whatever, when the story starts to make sense, as they’re all explaining what has happened thus far. In simpler terms, your favorite characters don’t exactly get enough air time this time around. I was honestly hoping for some more bonding with Lizzy. But that was shot.
While I still wouldn’t exactly categorize this show as pure fan service or maybe even partly fan service, it does deliver a lot of what you’re hoping to see. Not because its eye candy, although that is sometimes the case, but because it relates to the story, or helps set up a premise to the next or future setting. I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Even though the first few episodes you’re confused to no end, the last few episodes stick to the main plot and the point it is trying to get across is received clearly. Though, the ending was probably a disappointment simply because it ended, and made you think that the story could honestly have just not even started if it was going to end the way it did. **With Sebastian being trapped into eternal loyalty.**
I think the series was a great piece of work, but to be perfectly honest, it almost seems like the creators tried to make something out of nothing. I think that they wanted another season, and to make it possible, they brought Ciel back. He was dead at the end of the first season, and it should have just ended there. If the production team had wanted to do more work, they could’ve just chosen to do an entirely new series. I wanted to watch this sequel because I assumed it would ONLY be based on Alois Trancy and his butler. **Now, however, they’re both dead.** And it only seems like it’ll get worse, as word of a possible 3rd season is going around.
This being a direct sequel, you are obligated to watch the first season in order to get this one. I honestly thought this was going to be a standalone show with just Alois, but that was wrong. Way wrong. Anywho, it was a great watch. I have personally been getting pretty bored with all the new anime coming out this season, as they are either too cliché or they haven’t finished (I had a bad experience waiting for Bakemonogatari to finish, since I started watching it a week before the last episode was supposed to come out, only to find out that the last episode was going to be coming out HALF A DAMN YEAR LATER). I’ve started to watch MM! and the new To-LOVE-ru, and hope to finish them soon to write a review.
I'm going to be honest. I went into this season totally ready to hate it, but did find myself enjoying certain aspects of it. Does that make it actually good though? Not... really.
The biggest problem with this season is also the most obvious one: it doesn't have any reason to exist. It follows after the first season of Black Butler, which itself had a very definitive ending, and the excuses they come up with to continue the story are weak and frankly ridiculous at times. They desperately try to bring back old characters that had their character arcs end long ago, and all of that
so they can come up with an ending that isn't nearly as satisfying as the original one.
Even with that in mind, though, the story just doesn't make much sense when you get down to it. The narrative has a pretty big ego when it comes to disclosing important plot points, and often doesn't reveal them until a lot later than it should. Heck, there's a piece of information regarding how this story could happen in the first place that isn't revealed until episode 11, (and may I remind you, this season only has 12 episodes). I have a feeling they did this to make the narrative seem more interesting, but if you're going to tell your story like this, it should make more sense the more information you get. Here, it's surprisingly the other way around. This may be especially because the reasonings for a lot of the most important plot points are never probably explained, nor is ever built up or foreshadowed that they are possible. (This gets especially jarring with the ending.) It also doesn't help that the first episode is immediately followed by two very blatant filler episodes that don't explain the plot at all, (although episode 3 was admittedly the highlight of the season to me).
Other than that, this season introduces a new kid and a demon butler, the psychopathic brat Alois Trancy and the cold and uncaring demon Claude Faustus. These two characters are glorified way too much, to the point where they get more control over the plot than the original main characters, Ciel and Sebastian, almost like if this was a fanfiction where the writers inserted their own OCs, (which, in a way, it kind of is, considering that this season has nothing to do with the manga the series was originally based off of). Now, this wouldn't have bothered me if they truly took over the spot as the main characters, but they did not. The story still mostly focuses on Ciel and Sebastian, but neither of them get to be as interesting as in the last season, especially Ciel whose character development from the last season has almost entirely vanished by plot convenience.
As for Alois and Claude themselves, I'm a bit conflicted. Alois is definetely a terrible person, but he is a bit interesting regardless, (which, to be fair, is rather similar to Ciel). It's clear he has been through some terrible things, and his motivations do become understandable as the story goes along. The problem, though, is that at no point is really likable. Even in his backstory he's already a psycopath. I still did get somewhat invested in this character, and even sometimes felt sorry for him, which is more that I can say about Claude, who is definitely the blandest of the main characters. His personality is essentially a cheaper version of Sebastian, but less passionate about what he does, and his motivations are laughably simple. At one point in the story his motivation even changes at the flip of a coin and he breaks the rules simply because he wants to.
With all of that said, though, there a few I do like, as mentioned earlier. In my opinion there are three saving graces in this season.
First off is the visuals. The animation and the artwork are a big step up from the previous season. With Book of Circus having come out afterwards, this is no longer the most beautiful Black Butler has ever looked, but it was for a while. All the environments are gorgeous to look at, and the action is more bad-ass than ever.
Second is the voice acting. Obviously the voice actors from the first season do just as good of a job now as they did then, and still portray their characters perfectly. Maaya Sakamoto, the voice of Ciel, does an especially good job in the last three episodes, where a rather big range is required from her, and she still pulls off her acting flawlessly. The new actors also do a very good job. Even though Alois is a psycopathig brat, his voice actress does a very good playing a psycopathic brat, and Claude's voice actor pulls off the demon butler part almost as good as Sebastian's voice actor does.
Third is Grell. Just Grell. She is honestly becoming one of my favorite characters, she's just so much fun, and in this season she is being particularly delicious and her voice actor sounds like he is having so much fun doing the part. Even when the series was pissing me off, I couldn't help but smile anytime she showed up.
So, in the end, there are a few things to enjoy about this season. If you want my honest recommendation, don't watch it, as it is mostly just a waste of time. But if you've everything else from the series and have Black Butler-shaped hole in your heart you desperately need to fill, I guess this series is a harmless waste of time.
The ending is very likely to piss you off, though.
I enjoyed Kuroshitsuji a lot and that was what got me hooked onto it to begin with. The fact that they made a second season made me leap for joy in a way but I'm utterly disappointed with what I've seen in this season. For the most part it doesn't have anything to do with the manga. The story from the beginning is really confusing and was really hard for me to understand. It was really obvious that the producers were only making a second season to please the fans. I would rather have Kuroshitsuji ending the way it did rather than have this crazy
plot put together as a dire last method to make us happy.
If you are looking for a consistent storyline this is not the anime to watch. Some episodes I enjoyed and some I thoroughly didn't understand at all. Alois and Claude were newly made characters for this season; first off understanding the two is really confusing. Their personalities are hard to describe. One thing I noticed was that their behaviors were hard to follow but I'm not sure if this is just me or if they're just like that. I'm guessing it's both. From episode 1 to episode 12 it just makes me wonder what the hell happened. The ending was absolutely ridiculous to me but then again I'm sure this might have pleased many other fans out there.
From the moment you begin to love a character you suddenly start to hate them as well towards the end. For some of the fanservice moments I laughed and enjoyed myself, but these moments didn't last too long. I'm not sure how to explain how confused I was by this season, the dialogue and events occurring didn't flow well and you don't get the answers to certain questions until you're at the end of the anime and even then it still leaves you puzzled.
Watching the second season was still great because I got to see Ciel and Sebastian again. Kuroshitsuji fans I'm sure will watch this second season but I am honestly disappointed with the outcome of this season. The fanservice was still enjoyable though but the overall expectations I had for this season were not even close.
Creators have to be extra careful when they create sequels and even series to popular movies/shows. I can name only a few sequels that have been almost or even better than the original, but this...not even close. I don't count this as a 'sequel'.
With the story, the first five episodes are clearly fillers, except maybe the first when introducing Alois. But we don't really get a proper story line until the middle of the season. It's a bit disappointing when you reach it and say, "so what was the purpose of the last few episodes?" clearly the writers weren't thinking when they wrote
it. I do understand this strays far from the manga, but I found many scenes where it...just didn't make a whole lot of sense. Having the random episodes and humour is fun, but does it fit? Probably not.
Now the themes of death and sacrifice were clearly there. Good. Some symbolism with the rings, marks, etc. But I found it repeated some mistakes from the first season. However, I won't hold season II responsible for a cliche plot. They did well to establish something original, creating a darker more gory atmosphere the first one didn't have much of.
There is one thing that bugged me was how Sebastian felt like a supporting character in this. It was all about the new characters and less about developing the character of Sebastian and Ciel. When watching this, don't be surprised when they don't show up in the first episode.
I have no problems with the art. The same comments apply from my review in the first season. Very clear effects. We had some rain, blood spilling out, shiny spiderwebs we all know and love, and many other things. The castles are well designed and animated, showing the dark-Gothic, 19th century theme in the show, and the characters the same.
There is actually natural sound in this. The music fit perfectly with the selected scenes, and added the touches of the mood to the story. There are even the eeriness moans and screams from children and other things in the night. Adds to the horror genre this show wanted to come across as.
Oh boy...here we go. Let's start with Alois, shall we?
Can someone please get this kid a psychologist? Clearly he has some major mental issues and even sexual issues. Now we do get a backstory on him, but I don't think it went far enough. We never got to see the relationship with his parents. Perhaps his birth father sexually abused him and his brother to make him the way he is. Who knows. But I have a feeling his parents or at least his father are to blame for his behaviour as the Lord and how he comes up with such vile things/ideas. He has no fear, and probably is diagnosed with PTSD or separation anxiety. I can say he is one messed up kid.
The good thing about him is he is not a stereotype. That is a relief right there. The writers created a very dark character though. I was shocked what I saw at the beginning. No child should ever be doing that sort or thing, which is probably one of the reasons why this show is rated R.
Onto Claude. He is another Sebastian except a spider version of him. He doesn't really have a personality of his own. I don't have anything else to say other than that...
Hannah seems to hold a darker secret, which if you read the synopsis you'll know who she is. But she is probably the second darkest character after Alois.
Now Ciel. I actually liked Ciel in this season. He's changed and his character has developed. He turned into a likeable character, something the first season failed to do. But Sebastian is still the same lovable, demon butler. He didn't change as much.
I'll say it again, I didn't enjoy this season as much as the last. The ending was...a bit odd for my taste. Black Butler I and II is it's own series in itself. It doesn't follow the manga plot at all. And remember the cliffhanger ending in the first one? BB II doesn't show what really happens until a little while later. Go ahead and watch it to let go of your tension of wanting to find out after the last one, but don't be surprised if it's not what you expected. I was rather confused at first until I hit the fifth or sixth episode.
Overall, I give Black Butler II a C+ or a 68% on the soul scale.