Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) Vol 1

Black Butler, Vol. 1 - Yana Toboso, Tomo Kimura

Some spoilers below.

 

Ehhh. I enjoyed reading this one at first, but since I know more about the manga now I've changed my mind. This review is, however, mostly exactly like my original.

The humor in this volume is really . . . slapstick. And jokes tend to be repeated over and over. And over. The only characters with any depth to them are, naturally, Sebastian and Ciel. The others - the servants and the "important" visitor and the "villains" - seem to exist mainly just to make Sebastian look ridiculously.....I don't know, cool? Competent? Overrated?

The first two chapters didn't do anything for me, I'm not sure why they existed at all. Nothing even happened until the third chapter; before that, every panel was spent on Sebastian dusting, sweeping, gardening, baking, etc. I get it, he's a butler. I get it, he has to do all the work in the house because the rest of the servants can barely walk in a straight line. Move on, you know?

From a manga that proclaims itself to be "thrilling" and "exciting" I'd honestly expected more action. Instead, the only thing that happens in this volume is that Ciel gets kidnapped, and Sebastian rescues him.

Sebastian's method of rescuing him was to steal all the silverware out of Ciel's mansion, by the way, and to use them as throwing knives. Most of the panels in the fight consisted of him doing backflips with forks and butter knives in his hands, while in the background people with guns stood staring in awe/terror. I swear, nobody even tried to put up a fight.

Also, there were some serious inconsistencies with regards to setting and timeline. This manga seems to pride itself on being set in Victorian England. (I know this because it bludgeons me over the head with that fact every few pages.) But why call it Victorian England, if you're going to play around with it so much that it's practically unrecognizable? I mean, people were ooh-ing and aah-ing at Japanese rock gardens that I'm pretty sure no one should have recognized as Japanese rock gardens. People were talking on cell phones. CELL PHONES. People were driving what looked like big expensive cars. Et cetera. I'm fine with that stuff being in the manga, it's the author's world and she can do what she likes with it, but why try to pass it off as Victorian England?

A few pet peeves:

The scene where the girl is running. Sebastian scolds her for running in the mansion, and she tries to explain that she has broken glasses and couldn't see very well.....what? Your glasses are broken, so you run? Do you have a death-wish, girl?

The pie. Good grief, was that joke overdone. If these servants can't clean up because they're distracted by a pie, why are you paying them? Ciel doesn't seem like the type to waste space or resources on those losers.

The tablecloth scene. The silly girl spills wine all over the cloth, and not only does the guest conveniently turn his head away, but he fails to notice the loud splashing sound of a gallon of wine hitting the table. Also, none of it splattered onto him. And he didn't notice a thing when Sebastian whipped the cloth away, causing everything on the table to rock and rattle. Convenient much? Is this guy blind and deaf?

The Superman reference. I'm pretty sure Superman of the red and blue wasn't invented way back in "Victorian England". They could be talking about some other Superman, of course, but how many people read this manga and find that and don't think of a red cape?

The demon/butler puns. I didn't know you could squeeze so many of those into so few pages.

I am underwhelmed. From all the hype this manga gets, I'd expected so much more.

Source: http://breakraven.booklikes.com/post/343763/kuroshitsuji-black-butler-vol-1