This game is not over.
Play like your soul depends on it.
For it does.
If you will care to recall, dear reader, I have already praised the epic series Black Butler as being among the crème de la crème of anime. I read the manga as well, and the artwork and storylines are equally excellent in print as well as onscreen. But my love and devotion were begat with the anime, of which I had only seen Season One Part One at the time of my post referenced above. Well, just this past Friday I discovered, to my sheer and utter delight, that I could finally watch Season One Part Two! Since I spent my weekend doing just that (those thirteen episodes simply fly by!) I feel the need to review the second half of Season One (though as per usual, with a no-spoilers guarantee).
Season One Part Two of Black Butler picks up just where Season One Part One promised it would, with a new adventure involving two visitors from India. After that storyline is resolved, however, the series delves into much darker territory than ever before. Gone are the carefree episodes of cross-dressing Ciel going undercover, escapades on ice, and rambunctious visits from Ciel’s eager but loving fiancée Lizzie. The second half of this series is more clear in its focus: find out who killed Ciel’s parents and exact vengeance. There is more mystery, more destruction, and more death in this half than ever before. These stories are not for the faint of heart; there is even a “situation” involving Sebastian and a nun that quite frankly shocked me! (Afterward I found it hilarious, but it’s definitely not a scene for the underage or the timid.)
At the close of several episodes I was left with a host of unanswered questions, and to the credit of the writers I was truly kept guessing up until the very end (and even a bit after the final credits had rolled). Not to say that it’s all gloom and doom from here on out. There are some delightfully funny bits (as we have come to expect of the boy and his demon butler). And we finally get the background story on several characters who have been with us from the beginning, such as in one of my favourite episodes in the entire series, “His Butler, Engaging Servants,” where we find out just where the rest of the Phantomhive servants come from. Then there is the bonus thirteenth episode which is pure delight, better than any reunion show you could ever imagine.
Overall, if you enjoyed the first part of Season One, you won’t want to miss Part Two. Even when the story drags you kicking and screaming into dark and strange places where you don’t want to go, you still find yourself riveted to the screen, unable to look away. The characters are so dynamic that you have to know what happens next, no matter what the cost. Very similar to the deal between Sebastian and Ciel, yes?
I am thoroughly addicted to this series, and plan to check out Black Butler II online as soon as possible. Stay tuned for a future review!
Rating: ★★★★★ If you’re looking for an immaculate series, this is it.