I think that the second season of the anime Kuroshitsuji (黒執事 / Black Butler) based on the manga series by Toboso Yana (枢 やな) is the most hated anime season among fans of the manga. That’s what I observed, at least. Why? Because it completely veers off from the manga’s plot. Rather than a faithful adaptation, it’s more like spin-off; a completely original story separate from the manga.
Kuroshitsuji (黒執事 / Black Butler) Season II
Rating: 😀 😀 😀 😀 (4 out of 5 grins)
Uploaded by: 緋露 -akatsuyu-
I understand why many manga fans are disappointed, even furious, about Season II. But I think that they shouldn’t be surprised because the anime already changed quite a chunk of the original Kuroshitsuji plot in the first season. It just continues on in Season II.
I know many people who prefer anime that faithfully follows the manga. I’m one of those people (most of the time), but I also like to see some divergence from the usual loyal anime adaptations for the sake of creative expression. I’m very interested to watch anime that veers off from the manga. I want some originality. I’m curious whether they succeed or not, and whether they make the series better than the manga or whether they make it worse with the divergence.
I think of the manga as the standard. The anime can choose whether it wants to stay completely within the manga’s standards (following the manga’s plot loyally), or whether to be more ambitious and veer off from the manga. Whether it fails or succeeds is another issue, but I personally admire those anime that have the guts to veer completely away from the original plot of the manga. That’s a huge gamble, especially when you add fans into the mixture who can either make or break them. I’m not talking about fillers. Fillers are an “addition” to the original plot, that’s why they’re called “fillers”, not an “alternative”.
Kuroshitsuji II is an alternative to the original plot of the manga, not a filler. Know the difference. Anyway, I rated this anime season 4 out of 5 grins, quite high as you can see, because I truly like it. Although I admit that I was disappointed when I first learned that it completely veers away from the manga, I quickly got over my disappointment and became gripped by the show.
I like the addition of another master-butler duo, Alois Trancy and his butler Claude Faustus, to mirror the relationship of Ciel Phantomhive and Sebastian Michaelis. It’s not really mirroring in the sense that their relationships are the same; rather, it’s more like a contrast. Ciel and Sebastian have a more, let’s say “trusting” relationship, compared to Alois and Claude who have a more “obsessive” relationship.
Alois is your typical detestable yangire character, who makes you want to slap across the face numerous times to teach him a lesson. He’s an insecure sadist that was already detestable as a little kid. Usually, when antagonists’ often trafic pasts are revealed, you begin to understand their motives. In Alois’ case, however, I immediately concluded that he’s a total psychopath since birth.
His butler, Claude Faustus, is unsurprisingly hot. But I still prefer Sebastian over him. Team Sebastian all the way!!! I’m not going to describe him in every little detail, but I want to say that when it became apparent that his presence is a threat to the relationship between Ciel and Sebastian, I couldn’t help but like Season II, regardless of it veering off from the manga.
What I enjoyed the most in this season is the rivalry between Sebastian and Claude. Sebastian finally finds a rival over Ciel’s soul. Although I think that the premise of two hot guys fighting over an extremely tasty human soul is so overrated, it still managed to kindle the embers of my fujoshi heart into a roaring fire. Ah, just look at the two of them trying to kill each other.
I think that this rivalry forces Sebastian to show his vulnerable side. His reasoning is twisted by human logic, but I love that he’s not willing to hand over his prey, namely Ciel, to any other demon. Sebastian is willing to fight to the death just to keep Ciel by his side.
This rivalry is so exciting for me to watch. Their battles are not the best compared to my favourite action-packed shounen battles, but they’re aesthetically appealing to my fujoshi heart. However, their overly dramatic obsession over Ciel borders on being pathetic. I’m not too impressed that much emphasis is given to the value of Ciel’s soul. It’s like watching Twilight all over again; with Bella’s yummy blood that no vampire could resist is similar to how Ciel’s soul is portrayed. Ugh. I still enjoyed Twilight, though.
I don’t really care that much about Alois. He could fall off a cliff for all I care, but I quite like that he played such a major role in the ending. Because of him, Ciel became a demon, making him immortal. Therefore, Sebastian is now locked on a master-butler contract with Ciel forever with no chance of ever devouring his soul for all eternity.
The ending is so sad and tragic, and I feel so sorry for Sebastian. I’m glad that Sebastian wins against Claude, but both of them lose in the end because Ciel’s soul as a prize isn’t possible anymore. I also wanted to rip Alois’ tongue out for what he did, but I guess it made the show more exciting and shocking in the end.
Nevertheless, Ciel as a demon isn’t such a bad idea. I quite like it. I wonder what will happen if Toboso-sensei decides to conclude her manga this way. It would be tragic for Sebastian, but it would be awesome for Ciel, I think. Hmmmm. . . Just something to think about.
Overall, I really like Kuroshitsuji II. It can be annoying and frustrating at times, but it definitely tickled my fujoshi sensibilities. There are so many moments that I find quite pathetic, but who cares? I enjoyed this show, and that’s what’s important. It’s dramatic, definitely creepy, but it’s a good show. I personally like the ending, despite many others hating it. But I don’t mind not liking or hating the same things as everyone else.
How about you? Have you watched Kuroshitsuji II yet? If so, did you like it or did you hate it?
Kuroshitsuji Anime Website (Japanese)
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