Black Butler (2008–2009)
"Kuroshitsuji" (original title)

TV Series  |  TV-14  |  Animation, Comedy, Crime
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 2,269 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 6 critic

A young boy sells his soul to a demon in order to avenge his family's death and successfully lead their influential toy manufacturing company. The demon takes the form of a loyal butler who's always dressed in black and is required to protect, serve and arrive whenever summoned by his young master Ciel.

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Title: Black Butler (2008–2009)

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Ciel (24 episodes, 2008-2009)
...
 Mei-rin (24 episodes, 2008-2009)
J. Michael Tatum ...
 Sebastian (24 episodes, 2008-2009)
Jason Liebrecht ...
 Finny (17 episodes, 2008-2009)
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Storyline

A young boy sells his soul to a demon in order to avenge his family's death and successfully lead their influential toy manufacturing company. The demon takes the form of a loyal butler who's always dressed in black and is required to protect, serve and arrive whenever summoned by his young master Ciel.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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TV-14 | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

2 October 2008 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Black Butler  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The same voice actor that does Sebastian plays as Kyoya in Ourran Highschool Host Club. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Sebastian: I'm simply one hell of a butler.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A sneak peak of the next episode is shown after the end credits of each episode narrated by Sebastian. See more »

Connections

Followed by Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Lacrimosa
(2nd Ending Theme)
Music Lyrics and Arrangement by Yuki Kajiura
Performed by Kalafina
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very mad and lovable mess
20 February 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

From A1 Pictures and Squenix comes a 24 episode anime based on the popular manga. A young Victorian aristocrat makes a demonic pact to avenge his murdered parents, while also running Britain's underworld. Together, the earl Ciel Phantomhive and his 'One Hell of A Butler', Sebastian, battle everything from drug runners to serial killers to demon hounds to even other angels, ghosts and demons.

A glorious mess if there ever was one, this has to be one of the most fun yet unbalanced shows I've ever sat down for. On the definite up, the animation is rock solid and dynamic, the voice cast in either language is spot on, and the Victorian setting allows for a lot of weaving in of actual history and culture from the era (not limited to but including Jack The Ripper, Hound of the Baskervilles, The Opium Wars, the construction of Tower Bridge and the Eiffel Tower and even a really touching take on the story of the Princes in the Tower thankfully free of any revisionist history BS). What's more, despite the dark subject, the characters are by large really likable and a lot of fun to be around, with special note going to the wonderfully charismatic yet dry Sebastian (who practically built this franchise), as well as the simply FABULOUS grim reaper and humorous fangirl insert Grell.

However, I did say the show was a mess: it's tonally all over the map, one minute dark psychological horror and revenge thriller, the next, your prototypical slapstick wacky anime comedy complete with goofy servants (whose back story and ultimate rational is kind of neat, but it comes really late) and stuff that feels like its prodding at anime tropes and the fanbase (such as the infamous corset and nun scenes). To an extent, it does work and gets a chuckle, especially the latter, much more savvy gags. The issue is not being sure how of this is intentional versus just plain tropes that are part and parcel of anime, but would feel jarring to Westerners more used to tonally cohesive entertainment. Furthermore, at 24 episodes, it's too damn long for this kind of story and Ciel by and large isn't terribly proactive in finding his parents' killers despite the pact, with the whole 'Queen's Guard Dog'aspect being more the bread and butter of the show, and the two sides never fully reconcile save for a few choice moments and hints drops sprinkled very, and I mean even Abrams would blush VERY, liberally across the many episodes. From an entertainment angle it's fine, since I get to spend more time in this world, but to less generous viewers or those new to the weird world of anime, this could be a big deal breaker.

Despite that though, it still kept me really engaged, even the really filler-y episodes concerning life in the mansion (because that's what I want in a show about a badass demon butler who can kill with silverware and still be on time for tea!). Its odd mixture of themes and ideas, covered in a thick coating of professional polish, made for a show I was always keen to see the next installment of. Want to know how, say, Penny Dreadful would've been had it been a little more comical and trope-aware? Here's your answer!


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