Daydream Sanctuary Features

Monday, January 3, 2011

Kuroshitsuji II: Dark and Twisted Fanservice Done AMAZINGLY

Black Butler II
by A-1 Pictures, Square Enix, FUNimation EntertainmentL, Aniplex
Claude: I'm the new demon butler in this series.
Alois: Claude will do whatever I wish~ *dances* Ole!
Claude: Yes, your highness. Until the contract is fulfilled, I am your loyal servant.
Alois: *hyper* You're the best butler in the world, Claude! *whispers with a hidden glare* (Go roll in sh!t)
Claude: *pretends not to hear the whisper*
Alois: *hears someone knocking at the door* Yaaaaay!!!! We have a guest!
Claude: *opens door*
Alois: *examines stranger* He seems.... interesting. *grins*
Claude: He seems.... familiar. *glares at stranger*
RATING: A (EPIC! Super terrific!)
FAVORITISM: 5 Hearts ---> OBSESSION

Violence. Sadism. Morbid. Foul Language. Homosexuality. (Subtle) Nudity. Female/Child Abuse.
Not for minors and those with innocent or pure minds.

The first season sucked.... a lot. But miraculously, the writers of the second season had become brilliant enough to make up for the mistakes of the previous season with its new story, characters, and.... rating (rating as in "R18" rating). It picks up the storyline from season 1, but the quality between the two seasons are incomparable (the difference had been that great!). It's already rare for a sequel to be better than its predecessor, much more on sequels that manage to improve a lot when its prequels are unbearably horrible.

Unfortunately, not a lot had appreciated or acknowledged its brilliance. From what I've noticed, these are the top reasons why:
  1. They didn't like the new characters
  2. They couldn't tolerate the disturbing scenes
  3. They find the story confusing or ridiculous
  4. They think the series had too much fanservice

Well, you can't please everybody. But it still makes me sad because....  
those are some of the things that made this series so brilliant in the first place!


Why do I say so? Allow me to elaborate....

Before the first episode aired, the staff of the second season never gave hints on whether the main characters of the first season will make a comeback; but instead they introduced a new master and butler pair (plus new set of additional servants).

(Trancy household; Alois has as many servants as Ciel did.... but more reliable!)

Reactions to this vary: some think that a new cast makes the new season promising, while the majority thinks that Kuroshitsuji won't ever be the same without Ciel and Sebastian. So Alois and company hadn't really been welcome at first.... and in the end, the Sebastian + Ciel loyalists got what they wanted.

(Ciel and Sebastian.... so blue~)

I love the original pair; but honestly, I don't think the new season would work out if it weren't for the new pair. The rivalry shows that even someone as perfect as Sebastian has a match (he had a lot of battles ending up in a draw with Claude); the same goes with Ciel, who has met someone who is just as cunning (Both of them could also do physical combat). It's boring when the main characters win all the time, you know.

(Trancy versus Phantomhive)

The new pair's also responsible for the R 17+ rating the show suddenly had (previous season was PG13)... or more specifically, because of the new young master: Alois. His misogynistic and sadistic acts are quite inhumane.... his seductive gestures and strange habits make him peculiar.... he's so psychotic that he has become so complicated to understand. People who are more used to the norm or are very serious on their good morals would find it uncomfortable to watch him on screen.

(Claude and Alois.... so wicked~)

But all these cruelty and insanity are actually what's perfect for this series... because it deals with demons in the first place! If you're going to involve such creatures in a plot of a horror series: the more evil and twistedness, the better. I was so relieved that the demons in this series are acting as such: selfish monsters that only see humans as prey. Being bad is their nature. People who have managed to live with such beasts couldn't exactly be considered pure or innocent either...

This series has been true to its theme. It's dark, but not because they're wearing gothic fashion, but because creatures from the dark are involved.... and everything in the series is filled with horror and madness! Naturally, you can't expect its characters to be 100% sane.

(Crazy characters and their crazy finales)

With all these twisted characters and events.... it's no wonder for some things to be ridiculous at times. If the characters are crazy, not everything will make sense. If not everything makes sense, it makes the story confusing. If the story is confusing, it drives its audience crazy... and it has achieved its goal! Haha!

But you know, the crazy events and characters just helped in making the plot complex, rather than getting rid of it. And yes, contrary to popular belief, it still has a story despite its overflowing amount of very obvious fanservice scenes.

(He already looks girlie anywayz, so why not make him dress like one?! Yay for pretty trap who made even Ciel blush, LOLz)

The series is already labeled as "crazy", so why not add some fun in that insanity? It's cool when a dark series is being as dark as possible, but adding some humor and delight would help in making the series even more entertaining than it already is. The fanservice in this series had helped in making the fans laugh and smile... and temporarily forget (or will have lesser impact on) the tragic and horrifying parts in the series. It would have been boring if it was serious all the time, hehe.

(MY ALOIS JUST WANTS TO BE LOVED! I KNEW THAT FROM THE VERY BEGINNING xD)

It's most popular in catering to shounen-ai fans but I honestly can't see the relationship of the characters as such (except for Grell to Sebastian). As far as I see, the only romance in it is between Ciel and Lizzy. And yeah, despite the seductive stuff that he does, I don't think Alois has been romantically in love. Yes, even with Claude. As for the main duo, if you don't use your imagination, Sebastian and Ciel aren't really a romantic couple. The staff loves to tease those fans though.... like with this image:

(Oh my god those hands and lips and pose... oh my god)

Ah well, the fanservice isn't really that bothersome since they're not as excessive as they appear. In other words, it's not mindless fanservice all the time... because, believe it or not, they had also been used to keep the story going... and for character development even! The fanservice had shown some sides of the characters.... mostly their weak and dark ones. It's really great when fanservice isn't just for the LULz.

I've heard that someone had said that the Kuroshitsuji manga is a story with fanservice; while the second season of the Kuroshitsuji anime is a fanservice with story. Whoever said that, he/she is so right.

The story in this series may not have been absolutely fantastic because of some plot holes here and there.... also of those sudden occurrences for story convenience here and there.... but those flaws are so minor that, in my opinion, are easily overshadowed by the excellent parts of this show's story. No series is perfect... don't let the little mistakes distract you from seeing the big picture.... which is actually magnificent if only you bothered to look at it.

The second season showed a lot of mysterious scenarios... it reveals its secrets little by little... yet becomes more mysterious as the story progresses at the same time. It has a number of good plot twists... and also has interesting story flashbacks to share. Its characters had a background, had expressed their feelings openly and within, had undergone development, and had a chance to shine. The setting provides explanations on what the characters are like and gives hints on what had happened.

Being a historical and supernatural series, there would be a lot of references to mention (from demonology to Victorian England household furniture). The things where the characters and the story are based from are naturally influenced by the original materials. Even little things in the series could mean something, from the character's dialogues to the random things that are usually not given notice in a show (such as the scene with a spider eating a butterfly). And don't you know that the episode intervals (characters with tarot cards, in proper position and upside-down)? This series is very well-written by such excellent and imaginative writers.

(I like the idea of Alois being the director and Ciel doing something with the script.... then Sebby's the actor while Claudie's distracted with the food? xD Haha)

Alright, aside from a great story and a cool set of characters, those weren't the only things that the second season has to offer. Like the previous season, animation and music were really wonderful. On the art, I'm most amazed on the background settings because they're so magnificently detailed. Background music's really terrific, especially on eerie or solemn parts. Opening and Ending themes rock as usual... stunningly awesome visuals on both opening themes (many say that the first one's far better... but I also find the second one really really cool).

As for favorites, I like the moments when Ciel and Sebastian are together... especially when they're pissing each other off~ Ciel's okay, while I really really love Sebastian. He's still my favorite character and his attachment to cats never fail to amuse me~

(Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw.... why didn't it end this way?)

However, I found a new favorite whom I like more than Sebastian: Alois Trancy. You can say that aside from the fact that he's pretty it's mainly because I'm quite fond of psychotic characters~ They're so intriguing, and full of surprises! He's so mysterious and complicated... which makes him more interesting for me~ And even in a twisted way, he's so freakin' entertaining~ Not to mention that he's actually a very intelligent boy.... and not totally heartless. I really love this kid~ Kyaaaa~

And oh, his butler is also fun... and of Claude's such a cool tap dancer~ I really love it his heartwarming and amusing moments with Alois.

It's also very cute that the way the Trancy pair act around one another is so... different form the Phantomhive pair xD The Trancy pair is honestly more... daring xD Haha!

(They both look so evil here... I like that, hehe)

The series had a marvelous ending.... Interestingly, the antagonists were the ones who had a "happy ending".... while the protagonists aren't exactly enjoying their time... especially Sebastian, haha! I'm not sure if I should be amused with what happened to him or pity him instead, haha! (And yes, I'm a Sebby fan.... perhaps a sadistic Sebby fan, LOLz).

(Hott butler fighto! My favorite was when they fought with egg yolks... ROFLz)

I loooooooooooooove this series and I find it so wonderful! I highly recommend it to everyone who can... handle it xD

Kuroshitsuji is not a show for those with innocent minds nor those who couldn't tolerate disturbing scenes. Those who prefer fluffy and happy stuff can't ever appreciate it; even those who can't comprehend out-of-this-world silliness (in other words: fanservice crack). Brutal violence is also a common occurence in the show. Thus, it's absolutely not recommended to minors and i-only-want-happy-moments people.

Though there's a character who flirts with people of the same gender in this series, homosexuality isn't really its main focus (It just adds to the twistedness in it). And though it's mature, it's not really yaoi (not even shounen-ai, imho). The love in this is twisted, but I don't think it's considered the romantic type.

So if you're fine with all of those, then enjoy a dark tale filled with mystery, horror and madness! It has a fantastic set of characters playing a role in a very intense and thought-provoking story. This got me so intrigued, amazed, and thrilled! Hell I care with the majority's complains, it's freakin' awesome!

2 comments:

Yukihito said...

I loved the second season!! Alois is awesome XD I never realised KII had an R18 rating though, I'm so unaware of these things, hahaha.

Sapphire Pyro said...

@Yukihito
Wheee~ yay for Alois =3

I see R15, R17, and R18 ratings for it. I went for the R18 'coz I really don't think it's advisable to minors, haha!

(what Alois does can't be just PG13 xD)

Post a Comment

There was an error in this gadget