BDN Archive – Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) by Yana Toboso – Manga Review

This was originally posted by meat (no longer available) on May 2, 2013. 

Black Butler, Vol. 1 - Purchase on Amazon
Black Butler, Vol. 1 – Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

Genre: Historical/Paranormal/Horror
Complete or Ongoing: Ongoing
Current Length: 80 chapters, up through chapter 57 is currently available in the official English translations published by Yen Press in 13 separate volumes. Volume 13 came out in April 2013.

How Far I’ve Read: Current (via fan scanlations*)

The Blurb:

Just a stone’s throw from London lies the manor house of the illustrious Phantomhive earldom and its master, one Ciel Phantomhive. Earl Phantomhive is a giant in the world of commerce, Queen Victoria’s faithful servant…and a slip of a twelve-year-old boy.

Fortunately, his loyal butler, Sebastian, is ever at his side, ready to carry out the young master’s wishes. And whether Sebastian is called to save a dinner party gone awry or probe the dark secrets of London’s underbelly, there apparently is nothing Sebastian cannot do.

In fact, one might even say Sebastian is too good to be true…or at least, too good to be human…

(Rebekah: I inserted a couple paragraphs to make the summary much more readable.)

My Thoughts

Plot/Pacing:  The plot is just … awesome. And filled with tea porn. Yes, that’s right – tea porn. Sebastian, the butler, well, he knows how to make a pot of tea. The correct way. And . . . yeah. I’m a sucker for tea, what can I say?

Now if only Toboso can just finish the frickin’ cricket match already, because I now know way more about cricket than I ever wanted to, and I’d really like to start finding out more info about who killed Ciel’s parents. You know, the real plot?

While I’ve loved seeing Ciel behave the closest to a kid that he’s ever going to be able to, the whole point of the series is that he’s not a kid anymore after, you know, the whole kidnapping and being held hostage for some occult ritual for a month, and THEN accidentally summoning a demon.

Writing Style: I look forward to it every month, so it’s obviously well-written, right? 😛

But seriously, most of the characters are fleshed out and solid, and have reasons for being the way they are. I was also thrilled to find out a few chapters back that I was right about my suspicions of Ciel’s fiancée, Lady Elizabeth. She has much more depth than she appears to initially, and I think we’ve only barely seen the surface of what she can do, and what she is willing to do for Ciel.

And Sebastian . . . hmmmm, can I have one of him, please?

Artwork: Gorgeous. I love the detail, I love the clothes, and I love all the settings. I never get confused about what’s happening in a scene, even when everything isn’t in English.

Would I read it again? YES. I would read this over and over and it’s going on my “one day when I have money I want to buy this” list.

*When fans unofficially translate the newest chapters of an ongoing manga so English readers don’t have to be weeks/months behind waiting for the official translations to be compiled and published in a volume. A volume usually contains a minimum of four chapters.

What do you think?

About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.