Ani-view: Black Butler, Part 2

And here’s Part 2!  Okay, like a lot of the fans of the original Black Butler, I was kind of excited for Black Butler II when I found out about it.  It was going to be just as good as the first one!  Or so I had been led to believe.  The first episode begins with introducing us to the clearly disturbed, childish, Alois Trancy.  Alois is a pale comparison to the unbending and very mature, Ciel Phantomhive.  And his butler, Claude Faustus, is once again, just another copycat of Sebastian Michaelis.  Now, being that Sebastian is only one enterprising demon, hungry for human souls; it would stand to reason that there are other enterprising demons, hungry for human souls out there in the world.  But, would they really be living just a county over?  To top it off, Alois’ entire household is comprised of demon servants: the maid, Hannah; and the Three Whispering Bellboys.  That puts the newcomers at an unfair advantage over our favorite 19th Century in-service servants: Bard, Mei-rin, and Finny.

After that, the character explanation for why Alois Trancy behaves the way he does, is rather weak.  Yes, he lost his baby brother; yes, he was kidnapped by a sick old man and abused.  However, you would think that the combination of all those events would have led to a more subdued villain.  Hell!  He wasn’t even the real villain of the story!  That turned out to be Hannah!  Alois should have been so emotionally scarred by everything he went through, that he would withdraw inside a shell.  Live within a bubble, never acknowledge the real world, and not be an active part of London society.  And, another faulty fact about him, if Claude made him believe that Sebastian had been the one to take the soul of his brother, Luka, his obsession would have been with Sebastian from the start.  He wouldn’t have gone after Ciel as a smoke screen period.  Why, you ask?  Because Alois is not a smart character.  Never was.  He would have targeted Sebastian from the very beginning without really hiding his motives.  Why again?  Because he’s NOT Ciel Phantomhive, who is infinitely smarter when it comes to tricking/trapping someone.  Instead, they really made you think Alois’ beef was with Ciel.  Which it wasn’t.

I could rant a little while longer about the ineptitude for this anime to capture the creativity and magic of the first season, but, it’ll just come off like I’m whining.  Which, we all kind of did when we compared the second season to the first in our minds.  Let me just put it to you this way: I wish I could unsee the second season, and forget it existed.

And on that note, it’s been real!


Ani-view: Black Butler, Part 1

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!

Ani-view: Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok

Alright, so I am introducing a new concept since I mentioned that I love anime so much.  This will be the first review on anime that I will do.  Hence why it is called ‘ani-view’.  The first anime I will be reviewing is called “Mythical Detective Loki: Ragnarok.”  It was the first official anime I ever watched.  I stumbled on it when I was exploring Hulu, and since it said ‘Loki’ (and I love Loki), I was curious.  The anime is about Loki, the Norse God of Mischief.  He has been cast out of Asgard and down to Midgard in the body of a child.  So, he blends in.  He starts a detective agency, with his butler, Yamino (actually one of his sons, Jormungandr, the Midgard Serpent); and a silly mortal girl, Mayura.

The adventures they go on always center around Norse myths, as other gods and monsters enter the human world.  However, Loki and Yamino have to keep Mayura in the dark at all times.  They cross paths with Thor, now called Narugami, who has to work an array of part-time jobs in order to pay rent on his apartment.  The cases are always dangerous and quirky, and Loki’s relationship with Mayura is fascinating.

Several times, Odin (who never actually makes an appearance) sends others to kill Loki.  He originally sens Thor (Narugami), to kill Loki, but he refuses when he realizes that Loki is no threat as a child.  After him, Heimdall, the Watcher God, attempts to kill Loki for revenge for his missing eye.  His threat against Loki targets Mayura once or twice, which does not sit well with Loki.  After failing many times, Heimdall and Loki come to an understanding.  Next, he sends Wyrd, Verdandi, and Skuld, the Norse Goddesses of Fate.  They each take turns trying to kill him, and each time they fail.  Eventually, they also realize that it is an exercise in futility.  Finally, one more person attempts to kill Loki, but it is not at the behest of Odin.  It is more personal as it is Hela, Loki’s only daughter.  Her motives are vague at first, but after a while, it is revealed that she is unhappy about the neglect she believes she suffered at his hands.

The battle they could have had was averted because Loki chose to deal with her alone.  Spoiler alert!  She dies in his arms, content that he did love her.

All in all, the anime was a good anime to start out with.  I enjoyed it and was upset when they did not make a second season (typical).  Especially since they left the first season with a very obvious lead into ‘a’ second season.  One of these years at Tekko, I will have to dress as Loki from this anime, and see if anybody recognizes me.  😉

If you ever watch anime and haven’t seen it, or would like to watch anime, I do recommend “Mythical Detective Loki: Ragnarok”.

And on that note, it’s been real!