Let’s Read: Black Butler Volume I

Black Butler is a very popular serious, with three anime series and a recently made live action, the show is a come name among anime lovers. But not many have read the manga, so shall we take a look at what started this huge series? Warning: mild language and violence is in this manga. Recommended for those 16 and older.

BLACKBUTLER_1Black Butler is a supernatural action based manga, with quite a bit of drama and a cast that is very unforgettable to say the least. Not only does Yana Toboso have a beautiful drawing style and images that flowing effortlessly together. Toboso has also manage to bring a very unique storyline to life with events that keep one on edge and characters that you cannot help but love, or maybe hate. But whatever emotion, they captivate you without a doubt.

Let’s look at this cast, which the first half of volume one does a great job and introducing and letting views get a sense of who they are. The main lead, known as Ciel Phantomhive, is a young aristocrat whom after a mansion fire and the death of his parents, was made head of the Phantomhive household. Remembering this takes back in the old days of England (Victorian Era) when nobility was top of the social peak. And even though only twelve years of age, Ciel does this job without a flinch of regret. Of course his “hell of a butler” Sebastian Michaelis does help quite a bit with the other side of his family’s job. On the outside Ciel is the family head, and owns the biggest toy company in England. But the underground world also knows him as “The Queens Watch Dog”, which means he takes care of the underground scum that tries to get into England. And with Ciel’s “I don’t care” attitude and Sebastian’s amazing butler abilities this does not seem like a problem. And at the other end of the Phantomhive home is the servants, which give for much comedy relief. Finnian (which is a man, not a women) is the most adorable gardener ever, positive and full of energy, nothing says cute like dressing up like a cat as a plan for catching mice. Really Fin? Bard, the house cook seems to a have a rigid side, and not too sure if he is a real cook, considering he used a flame thrower to cook meat. But he always seems to want to one up the butler, which is charming as he plays the leader role of the three. Then there is blind as a bat Mey-Rin, and being a klutz may be challenging for a maid. But her quirkiness just adds to the group’s comedic acts. Then there is Tanaka. Not a servant but more of a “just there” person, though it appears he knows more then what it may seem.

So with the characters set, it is chapters three and four that truly shows what the manga is all about. When Ciel is kidnapped for stopping the Italian Mafia from setting up a drug ring in England, the true characters of the true leads come to light. While Ciel seems unaffected by the threats and abuse of his kidnappers, it is clear he is not a normal kid. And during this Sebastian manages to wipe out the mafias guards, just with their own silverware at that. But the climax hits when after having an open fire of bullets crash through his body, Sebastian, by the order of Ciel, rises up, and kills all but one. It is here that a seal that contracts Sebastian to Ciel is revealed, in Ciel’s eye. With one order, the twelves year old aristocrat orders the man killed, and his “hell of a butler” completes the act.

The manga does well at building up the action and ending the first volume with enough information to perk ones interest and leaving out enough to keep people hooked and wanting more. This is a title most recommended.