The Phantom Company plans a stage play for the poor children for it's 3rd anniversary since its foundation. But the original theater performers got into a ship accident on their way to London and won't make it in time for the presentation. Faced with this situation Ciel commands Sebastian, "Make the stage play a success". And just like that, Ciel, with his three servants, Lau and Ranmao, Soma and Agni, start rehearsing Hamlet. Even Undertaker and Grell show up for the show, and the rehearsals go on. Will the stage play go through as planned?
To watch or not to watch, that is the question of this review for Kuroshitsuji’s Hamlet.
And so begins the production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in the Phantomhive household. Master Ciel had intended to put on a play for the disadvantaged children as a means to gain publicity for his company by coming off as a philanthropist. But what’s this – a sudden mishap had occurred meaning his professional actors won’t be able to make it?! Whatever shall they do? Well, his faithful and most competent butler, Sebastian has an idea: cast themselves in the play!
The OVA is a nice little side story that quenches the
viewer’s thirst to see some more screen time of their objects of affection. In other words, it is for fans. Nevertheless it is genuinely an entertaining piece to watch with much comic relief and yet another glimpse of an insight to Ciel’s troubled character. The first half is about preparation for the play whereas the second half is the play itself. The play does not quite follow the original version as Ciel had intended to do (forgetting lines does sometimes have that effect on a play) but somehow ends up revolving around Ciel’s own situation since the resemblance to his and Hamlet’s quest for revenge is almost uncanny.
The whole cast of Kuroshitsuji returns in this little OVA; from the bona fide gay shinigami, Grell to the ostentatious and somewhat lecherous Viscount. You get the feeling that it is a little hectic but at the same time sets the mood of the bustling OVA.
Art is as gorgeous as ever, especially with the costumes. Ciel is criminally adorable (I’m starting to feel like a paedophile here) in his play get up and Sebastian is actually out of his butler attire! The second OP is used for this special, and is probably the best piece you will hear during the 20 minutes as all other themes aren’t even worth mentioning in this. It’s not that they were particularly bad as they serve their purpose of entertaining for that moment, but afterwards you won’t even remember that there was music being played.
For a side story, Kuroshitsuji’s OVA provides decent character development for Ciel and shows off Sebastian mischievous side to the maximum. It is both comical and serious, and ultimately enjoyable. To be honest, it was more of a pleasurable experience than the actual series. So to answer that question at the beginning: I think the first option is the most adequate.
After all, where would the Phantomhive household be if Sebastian could not even pull off a play?
Now I wasn't expecting that I would love this equally to the main show's episodes.
I watched it after I finished the whole anime and I recommend you to do the same. Watching it like this, it felt like a last "farewell" to all the characters in a very enjoyable kind of way!
The OVA had all those elements that the anime holds, even in just this one episode.
I found it both entertaining and emotional.
I gave a 10 to all aspects as it still has top notch quality in story, art, sound and character's design and interaction. The opening and ending theme are the same as in
the anime and as I wrote on my review about the main anime I love this songs so much, both SID's opening and Kalafina's ending.
Overall a certain 10 from me!
As it is, the end of Kuroshitsuji made be cry even though the ending is completely filler even now. Ciel's circumstances and his interactions, especially around the end of the series, with Abberline and Sebastian were such a mass of contradiction! I felt the same sort of contradiction from the dialogues between Ciel and Sebastian in this special.
Sebastian came out fantastically as a demon who toys with Ciel's thoughts. He says things which would be considered good advice and yet he'll also force Ciel to accept the point of no return that he has already crossed. And
a truly clever idea for using Hamlet for the play to portray these contradictions. The cheering from the children in the crowd during the play simply added to the highly emotional atmosphere. That made me cry the most probably since I had just completed watching the series and Ciel's end.
All in all, a totally recommended special to watch. This show itself forces you to think of the concept of good and evil especially because of the way the demons and angels act in it. This special adds a nice support for highlighting those concepts.