And here, I was introduced to the anime Kuroshitsugi(aka Black Butler) by the resident 'cake' baker Best of the 3. I still thank him for introducing me to it.
Now here is where I actually got interested in the anime in the first place. It struck a balance. It was unique.
The story, in a nutshell, is this: A young (12 year old) orphaned boy named Ciel Phantomhive has struck a deal with a demon. Yeah. A demon. Sounds generic no? Demons are everywhere! But here is where the story does the admirable. According to the story, the demon is to serve the boy until the murderers of the boy's parents are found (he's an orphan for a reason you know). Now, how do you represent a demon? Enter Sebastian Michaelis, the demon butler of the Phantomhive Family.
The butler, Sebastian Michaelis, acts as the personal butler and the occasional tutor to the boy. A demon in a human form, Sebastian knows a lot due to his lifetime as a demon. He's elegant in his work and his highly gentlemanly in his demeanour. Despite his annoyance of Ciel's attitude he immensely respects him. Worthy of note is that Sebastian's appearance is quite similar to Ciel's recently-deceased father.
The boy, Earl Ciel Phantomhive, is the head of the English Phantomhive noble family, taking over after the deaths of his parents, Lord Vincent Phantomhive and Lady Rachel Phantomhive. He runs the Funtom Company, which manufactures toys and sweets. Yum. Appearance wise, Ciel wears a black eye patch over his right eye, which bears a pentacle, the sign of the Faustian contract he made with the demon butler Sebastian.
While, to an outsider Ciel is just a little boy and an heir to a fortune and an empire. He is, in reality, a watchdog of the Queen. That is, his family serves directly under the Queen and their job is to finish anything which troubles the Queen in the darkness. Poof. Which therefore gives the family, the nickname, The Evil Nobles. So you can imagine the adventures Ciel and Sebastian have.
The characters of the anime are also well developed. All the characters are so lovable that even despite their obvious character flaws you just can't help but relate to their personalities. Case in point, the Servants of the Phantomhive Family. They all have their flaws, the major ones being that they do not know how to do their job at all, for which they are daily scolded by Sebastian. But certainly the most capable servant in the Household is Tanaka. He was the head butler at the time when Ciel's parents were alive. Unfortunately, during the fire accident in which both parents were killed, he was stabbed in the back by the murderers and now spends the rest of the season drinking Japanese Tea. It's of interest to note that Sebastian seemingly respects him the most out of the staff. Don't fret by the way. As more interesting and admittedly awesome characters are introduced later on such as The Undertaker and the Chinaman Lau.
Now a little earlier, I mentioned balance. And by God I will say it again! It's a very good anime which nicely balances humour with suspense. It definitely knows when to put in humour and where the dark side of the anime should make its presence felt. The anime takes a serious turn later on in the show and it isn't afraid to show some blood. There is a genuine threat which poses a danger to the Empire and the Queen, and so the Dog is called into action. One mystery leads to another which is slowly brought into full circle.
Overall it's a damn good anime and now holds the coveted rank of being one of my favourites. I definitely recommend checking it out. And trust me, you'll love it!
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