So, the next anime I started watching was Black Butler. My brother mentioned that he had watched one episode of this anime in a video critiquing class at his arts school, and said how the concept of a demon butler was interesting. Needless to say, I went to Tekko one year, found the DVD, and bought it. I was curious myself, but I wanted to watch it in English. I know so many people say if you don’t watch it in Japanese, you can’t appreciate it fully. Bullocks! I appreciated it more because I didn’t have to quickly read what they were saying, then glance back up to see what they were doing. Call me a wuss, I don’t care. Besides, I’ve met several of the actors for the English dubbed that I really can’t watch it in Japanese. But, I digress…
The first episode perfectly introduced each character without giving too much away of their past: the almost begrudging master, the mischievous butler, the clumsy maid, the hap-hazard gardener, the inexperienced cook, and Tanaka (that about says it all for that character). Ciel Phantomhive is a serious young boy, who rules his mansion with an iron (but merciful) fist. Sebastian Michaelis is his ever ready and capable butler. He’s too perfect in every way; doing other people’s jobs for them, saving their lives, etc. Mei-rin is the bumbling maid, who has her eyes on Sebastian; always gushing to herself how handsome he is and so on. Finny is the gardener, who loves the outdoors, but… that’s about all he does. He can’t actually garden because he doesn’t possess a gentle enough aptitude for it. Bard (short for Bardroy) is the cook who wouldn’t even get hired to make microwave dinners. He is incapable of making even a sandwich, and likes to eat things he’s told not to (by Sebastian). And then there’s Tanaka, who just sits there, laughs lightly, and drinks tea.
The first episode shows the Phantomhive household preparing for and hosting a visitor all the way from Italy. Every conceivable disaster occurs: the dinner falls through, the gardens are a mess, the dishware is broken, and then some. Sebastian, using his ever quotable, “If I can’t do this much for my young master, what sort of butler would I be?” line, fixes everything without breaking a sweat. Ciel Phantomhive is the perfect host, with his staff (almost) being the perfect servants. At the end, it is revealed the man is a charlatan, a scammer attempting to get more money from Ciel for a failed factory. For all his planning, he winds up with a broken leg, and in an oven. He barely escapes, crying for his mother. Ciel chuckles and then Sebastian puts him to bed. Sounds normal (head shakes). The entire series was enjoyable, but as the title says, this is only Part 1. Obviously, they attempted to remake the magic of the first one in a second season, which… well, that’s an ani-view for another day.
And on that note, it’s been real!