This is the first in a new series of blog posts on a few of my favourite things, suggested by Kate Stradling. (Actually, she suggested a W.R.’s Reading Recommendations list but I decided to get clever with it). Also, I decided to recommend a movie first ‘cos I’m annoying like that and I’ve been wanting to watch this particular movie again for the last week.
I’m not blog-savvy enough to give it its own page with a scrolling feed of posts, so if you’re looking for the series from this point on, simply search for or click on the category These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things. Maybe one day I’ll have a proper website…
Kuroshitsuji or Black Butler (Live Action Movie)
I’m pretty sure I’ve already raved a bit about Black Butler on this blog, and those of you who’ve watched movies with me are in no doubt about my attitude toward this movie. Which is actually a bit ironic, because when I watched it for the first time, even I wasn’t certain of my attitude toward it. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, in the best possible way, so it took me a while to sort out my feelings for it.
Black Butler is a live action movie (real actors) that is based upon an anime series of the same title. In the series is a demonic butler, Sebastian, who has made a bargain with his master: namely, that in recompense for assisting his master to exact revenge upon his enemies, Sebastian will at that time consume his master’s blackened soul. The movie has the same premise and the same butler, but there (as far as I know, having only researched and never watched the series) the similarities end. A few of the same characters recur–but only a few–and the series’ young male protagonist, Ceil Phantomhive, is replaced by young girl-pretending-to-be-boy, Shiori Genpo. The storyline, moreover, while having the same basic premise as the series, has it’s own distinct plot.
The first thing I’ll say in regards to this movie is that I don’t like anime. I’ve tried to, because there are some cool storylines and intriguing setups in anime, not to mention fantastic characters. I tried SO HARD. But I really, really don’t like anime (excepting only Appleseed, which is 20 kinds of brilliant). I hate the tiny outfits and the tinier voices. I hate having to squint at the screen until I figure out whether this particular androgynous character is male or female. I SO MUCH HATE the protracted gurgles and delayed gasps. I hate the fact that the female characters almost always have girlish faces and womanly, buxom bodies. Having said all that, I’m really not sure why I decided to download Black Butler from iTunes.
I think it’s because despite all the things anime does wrong, it does some things really well. Black Butler took all the things anime does well and did them far better. Then it took the irritating things that anime does and did them very well. The over-exaggerated characters and closeup shots that irritate me in anime and manga worked so very well in Black Butler. The absurd, dramatic situations were served up with eclat and verve, and managed to totally work. When I watched Black Butler, it seemed like all the expectations I’d ever had of anime and manga had been thoroughly satisfied–and then some. I found myself thinking: ‘This. This is what anime was meant to be.’ It was like seeing the beautiful big sister of the awkward little kid next door.
Added to all this is the fact that Black Butler has ALL THE FEELS. Buy it. Buy it now. Watch it again and again, the way I do.
Shelved beside: The Fall, Alice (2009 miniseries), City Of Lost Children, and The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-sec.
(You thought this was going to be a real, detailed review, didn’t you? Sorry. Nope.)