We return to the world of Black Butler, to see what adventures may be continue among Sebastian and Ciel and…..wait, what? Season 2 isn’t just about them? They have some new characters? Alois Trancy and Claude Faustus?
OK. They may not seem so bad. A good change of characters could help the show.
*after watching a few episodes*
In late-nineteenth century England, one year and three months after the dramatic conclusion of the original series, Kuroshitsuji II introduces a new butler and young master. The sadistic yet cheerful Alois Trancy has faced some harsh times. He was kidnapped as a baby, and was forced to work in a village as a slave. Gradually, he lost his parents, his best friend, and everyone he knew. Alois eventually returned home and became the head of his mansion, but seemed to exhibit some strange behavior ever since. Even more curiously, he returned with Claude Faustus, an enigmatic, emotionless butler with unfathomable talent….
OK…..I want to get this out of the way as soon as possible. I hate Alois Trancy. I hate him and his guts. If I was in that show, I’d be the first one to kill him because he is that insufferable of a character, he’s basically who I thought Ciel would’ve been in the first season: A spoiled, sadistic, bratty, creepy-ass little boy and while they explain his backstory and how messed up he is, it doesn’t excuse the bullshit insanity he causes throughout the series. Hell, in the first episode, he gauges Hannah’s (his demon maid) eye out and he keeps torturing her throughout the series. I really felt bad for that character (Yes, I felt bad for the demon maid!!) yet she stills shows compassion for the little shit. Oh, and Claude…..I take him as ‘meh’. I’m not calling him the proto-Sebastian but they are sometimes I think they are match evenly, even though Claude can be a bit creepy sometimes (and that’s toward Ciel). Also, I felt like the chemistry between Ciel and Sebastian lessened here than the first season, saying “he’s nothing more than a butler”. That could be him masking his true feelings but I thought we were over that already when Season 1 concluded.
As for the story, not really that interesting but it does stick to one narrative being that Alois and Claude wants Ciel’s soul and to kill Sebastian and I couldn’t really care less about the story as into the 2nd episode, I was mostly like, “What the hell happened? I thought you two weren’t around anymore?” but then again, after seeing Alois in the first episode, I was relieved that those two were back again and the plot doesn’t linge
I haven’t got much to say about animation except that it is quite the same as the first season, which isn’t a bad thing because the animation and art A-1 Pictures provided was stunning but I will say for character design, did they even try to not make Claude look like a clone of Sebastian? I would sometimes get confused with those two when they are on screen together or even separate.
Musically, the only opening theme for the show, “Shiver” by The Gazette was actually quite good once going into the show and I never once skipped the theme or opening sequence. The ending song, “Bird” by Yuya Matsushita was also just okay, too and if you want to know if the Kalafina song was my favorite, then you’re right because it actually was my favorite. Yes, I happen to like the group Kalafina. The music score overall was fine.
As for the dub performances, they were quite the same as the first season as J. Michael Tatum does shine again as Sebastian and Brina Palencia as Ciel but enter the two new players, Luci Christian as Alois Trancy and she does play the role of a despicable little brat very well and Jason Douglas as Claude was also very decent in his part. It does remind me of Tatum’s performance but everything about Claude reminds me of Sebastian.
FINAL VERDICT: Black Butler II is……very much of a stepdown from the first season. I can see why some people did not like this season but I don’t completely hate it. The writing just seems more fan fiction-like while some of the rest did stay the same and that could be for the best. It also seems for fans, this season is quite 50/50 for some of them. Some like it, others don’t. Would I recommend it though? Well….maybe as a standalone or alternate universe of Black Butler maybe but not a continuation from Season 1.
Is this show still one hell of an anime series?
PLANET TYRO RATING: OKAY
Like I said in the previous review, all of the Black Butler anime property in the U.S. is owned and streamed by FUNimation Entertainment.
And until then, this is MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, bringing all the butlers and their masters into one big mansion.
BLACK BUTLER II – animated by A-1 Pictures / distributed by FUNimation Entertainment