Holy flippin' A!!! Where to even begin with this anime?! There is so much here that I look for in an anime; I even added it to my favorites list before I was even done watching. It's got beautiful and THICK plot, hidden meanings, a GORGEOUS musical score, wonderful and zany characters, and enough emotional hitting power to make me keep a tissue box handy for those sad and happy tears. This would be my first review to be an absolute 10 in score if there weren't just a few unanswered questions and assumed understanding after everything was said and done. Even with those there, though, this anime is one of the best things I've seen in a while, even better than Hikaru no Go which had be so wrapped up spring break. I'm sad to see it end 'cause I want more of this world, but, on the other hand, I'm glad it's got a definitive ending and isn't really leaving us cliff-hanging.
STORY - 9
The story of this show is something else. There's just so much depth, and it's so cerebral. I'll definitely have to do some re-watching to get all the little nuances and plot points down. I wouldn't recommend this show if you're just looking for some simple anime that would kill an afternoon. This is a thinking anime that touches on a ton of dark and deep issues. You'll also need to be paying close attention to all the plot twists! These little suckers come out of NOWHERE and twist the story into a completely different direction that one would expect. I was left gasping like fish more than once here. For me, that's one of the best aspects of this story is those little plot twists. I never know what I'm going to see when watching something like this. Now that I've mentioned the good, let's talk about why I couldn't give this aspect a perfect 10. After watching the ending, I was left with some unanswered questions regarding some of the details here. While these details didn't sour the complete story for me (hence the 9), they might sour it for someone else. One detail that they didn't address did leave me a bit peeved, but my mind made a connection with another story aspect that I could guess was the answer. If everything had been addressed here, this would have been a DEFINITE perfect 10.
ART - 10
A simple word here. BEAUTIFUL!!!! The animation flows so gorgeously in this anime. From the fight scenes to humorous antics to zany parties to heart-wrenching death scenes, absolutely everything here is flows so smoothly and sweetly. An aspect I noticed a lot in this anime was lighting. I don't see that a lot in anime and found it very appropriate for this title. If the characters were experiencing a dark and horrific scene, shadows and reds played big parts. If they were experiencing light-hearted birthday parties or servant antics, colors were bright, vibrant, and day-filled. Besides just the lighting, the art conveyed the atmosphere so much. It almost seemed to reflect character emotions and fates/destinies as well as set the mood for the anime. You will not be disappointed here! Just a slight warning, though, this anime doesn't shirk from blood. Not that it's gratuitous, every scene with it almost requires it and the blood adds to the atmosphere. But do be warned; I wouldn't let kids watch this.
SOUND - 10
This is the crowning glory in my opinion. Every single piece of music adds to the atmosphere of this anime and leaves a person breathless. It's so haunting...... It's full of fast consistent beats for the fighting, chants and drones for the dark, plot-filled moments, sad female-filled melodies for the gut-wrenchingly sad parts, and a soft operatic finish for the final anime finale. There was use throughout the anime of a really fast beat chanting/droning thing used towards some combat and many plot-revealing scenes that I found particularly innovative and unusual. It added something really unique to an already beautiful track of music. The opening and ending themes fit the anime to a tee; the 2nd ending, Lacrimosa by Kalafina, especially fits the ominous ending the anime is barreling towards when this ending comes in. It's haunting, lyrical, and so emotion-filled. Just beautiful!! Besides the glorious musical score, this anime exhibits very good character voices. I especially loved Sebastian's dark and low voice. I could imagine my demon butler having that voice. *shiver* I can't think of any misplaced vocals at all. Everyone was distinct and complete unto themselves.
CHARACTERS - 9
There were so many hidden depths to most of these characters that absolutely no one seems two-dimensional. Everyone is fleshed out to some degree with emotional back stories and plot twists. Oh the plot twists!! There were a lot where it came to character development. I only wish that there had been equal attention to all characters. For some of them, the viewers were left wishing fervently for more. I personally wished the back stories of the servants at Phantomhive were fleshed out more. We are given some back hints in a few episodes and one episode almost completely devoted to the four of them, but not really a lot and I was curious! Oh well. The gradual building of Ciel's character and his relationship with Sebastian is more than enough to make up for it. There were some characters who I thought I had pegged when something radical happens and their intents and motivations turn in a completely different direction. Again, oh those plot twists!! Gotta love 'em!!
ENJOYMENT - 10
I thoroughly enjoyed this title, unanswered questions and all. My mind can find connections between points where there may be no connection and so I can answer those questions in my own little mind. It was a beautiful and haunting ride that took me on an emotional rollercoaster and through a thorough mind-wringing. There was so much content here, from plot to wacky humor. I loved every bit of it. And the music!! Ack!! I'm going to be haunting ebay and the net in general looking for this OST ASAP!!
OVERALL - 10
I think I pretty much summed it up in the enjoyment section. Everything just came together beautifully and created an anime that has made it to my favorites and re-watchable list. I absolutely adore it and wish there was more!!