Black Butler 8

February 5, 2012

Yana Toboso – Yen Press – 2012 – 13+ volumes

As if to prove my complete dismissal of the staff at the Phantomhive manor was unjustified, Black Butler suddenly makes all those characters useful as well as bad ass. I was wrong, terribly unfunny staff of the Phantomhive manor. I was wrong.

And that was only the first chapter! Various members of the circus show up to wreak havoc at the mansion, and are… dismissed by the staff. I can’t tell you how much I loved this entire chapter. Not only was I reeling from the complete reversal on these characters, it was also an excellent action scene, with every manner of fighting you could want. There’s even a garrotte at one point.

And while all this is going on, Sebastian and Ciel are simply sneering at Joker, completely confident, when Joker tells them their home is being invaded. I’m not sure how this could have been any better.

Things get quite serious over at the mansion where Ciel and Sebastian are confronting Baron Kelvin, his mad doctor, and Joker. Joker asks what he could have possibly done, since Baron Kelvin made the circus staff do his bidding in exchange for his monetary support of their handicapped brothers and sisters still in an orphanage. Ciel states he did what he had to, and Ciel was simply stronger and was taking all that away from him. It was interesting, and surprisingly straightforward and bracing, logic. Later, Ciel has an uncharacteristic moment where he loses his composure, and the matter at the mansion is resolved, rather messily, in a matter of moments. It really is that simple in this series.

There’s lots of other interesting story after that, too. We get a closer look at what it is that the grim reapers actually do, courtesy of Joker. We find out just how cruel Baron Kelvin really was to the performers in the circus. And there’s even a cute little one-shot at the end of the book that serves as a nice non-sequitor and a wind-down to all the action in the past couple volumes.

After this last storyline, I am a raving fan of this series. It’s just the right mix of mystery, evil, black humor, and faustian bargain begging to go bad to keep my interest. It’s well-written, it dwells on some truly cruel topics, and all the period details keep the story rooted quite firmly in the Victorian era, and are much appreciated. There’s honestly not very much I would change about Black Butler at this point. I love it almost unconditionally.

One Response to “Black Butler 8”

  1. Michelle Says:

    I’d really like to see this! :)


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