Ah, the circus fun begins with Sebastian and Ciel in this episode. Black Butler wastes no time getting right into the main setting. The Queen has sent Ciel two tickets to the circus in order to solve a case regarding a number of missing children that disappeared right in the destinations the circus passed through. Everything you’re seeing with the Queen in this adaptation requires you to discard everything you ever saw in the end of season one and the entirety of second season because the stuff with the Queen’s death, Alois Trancy, Claude, Pluto and the weird maze stuff isn’t even accurate to the original story. The manga runs quite long.
In the beginnings of episode 2, Sebastian and Ciel make some regular investigation rounds in London. They end up at the Undertaker’s to confirm that no coffins for kids have been ordered. More bad jokes (in a good way) as payment, and the undertaker reveals his information. The Undertaker seems to know nothing about the missing children which means none of them are dead. Man, I LOVE seeing the Undertaker back with his cheery and eccentric personality. Too bad we won’t get the Campania arc in this anime adaptation because it is literally my FAVOURITE. The circus arc is a really close second though and it’s made all the more exciting in full colour.
I honestly think casting Mamoru Miyano as the Joker was just BRILLIANT. He has such a unique and at times, whimsical voice that he just brings out all the subtle nuances you would hear from a mysterious and curiously dark aspects of the Joker.
After some fun kitty antics with Sebastian, Sebastian is invited by the Joker into the circus tents for a checkup… after all, the butler DID just get his head BITTEN by a tiger.
There’s always something really unsettling about circuses, especially because many in the Victorian England era had oddities and freak shows up for display. Black Butler doesn’t get into any of that of course but the characters and performers that Sebastian meets are all distinctive in their own way. Each of the performers has some sort of prosthetic that was designed, carved and fitted by the Doctor himself. The prosthetics are all made with ceramic materials and connected with spherical parts. After some immodest groping of the Beast girl courtesy of Sebastian, the Joker intervenes and if you caught the GLARE the Joker gave Beast, then you know something’s definitely up with this circus.
MAMORU MIYANO JUST SOUNDS TOO ATTRACTIVE when he speaks in that low mysterious Joker voice at Beast while he tries to calm her down.
Sebastian takes up the Joker’s offer to join the circus and promises to bring a “friend” the next day. WELL things will get immensely interested in the next episode when our stuffy and uptight little lord is brought into the circus family. After Sebastian leaves, he tries to investigate some of the fancier tents but is intercepted by Snake.
I’m really happy with the animation in this new adaptation of Black Butler. If you guys watched the end credits, everything happening is extremely symbolic of Ciel and Sebastian’s contract deal. You see Ciel discarding his clothing next to a bunch of broken coloured glass pieces. I feel like the coloured glass represents his shattered happy past and he walks up to a tub not of water but of black liquid, leaving everything behind as he submerges himself while Sebastian delicately retrieves Cie’s two rings representing his earldom. The last scenes where Ciel is walking into Sebastian’s embrace is almost an ironic twist on the fact that Ciel’s soul will never make it to heaven. Instead, he finds his light and bright sanctuary in a demon’s embrace.
The opening isn’t short of back story either. It makes use of sepia tones, Victorian film aesthetic visuals and even throws in the Cinematic Records to show us glimpses of CIel’s dark past. The transitions are CRAZY SMOOTH. Whoever animated this opening was FLAWLESS with the animation and if you saw that stained glass wheel next to some of the names? Gorgeous detail. The episodes are introduced much like a circus program as well.
What are you pondering today?