Be honest: who wouldn’t want a handsome young butler who is capable of making any dish you want and who can clean your house in the blink of an eye? How much that costs, you say? Nothing! Nothing at all! Oh… wait, that’s not true… He actually wants your soul.

Ciel Phantomhive is a young boy with a terrifying past. His butler, Sebastian, is one of the best butlers that are around. But the two share a mysterious secret. Ciel uses Sebastian to take revenge on the people who murdered his parents, and after this is done, Sebastian will receive Ciel’s soul.

24 episodes
Historical, drama

The premise is very interesting. I liked the concept of a “spoiled brat” (excuse me for the wording) and his butler who are connected through a secret. But as the series proceeded, I felt they were giving to little attention to this plot; instead we got some arcs where Ciel and Sebastian are given orders by Queen Victoria herself and where they have to solve cases which the local detectives are unable to. This made the anime actually rather repetitive; what difficulties could there possibly be if you have a seemingly flawless butler by your side? By the later episodes, however, the initial story picked up again and provided us with some surprising and some less surprising facts.

The art is truly breath-taking. It was very obvious that a lot of money was spent on this anime in order to make it look like an aesthetic masterpiece. They succeeded quite well. I was amazed by the clothes, because they are often extravagant and characteristic. The colour scheme seemed a bit faint at times, but I was not bothered by it. I also love how there is quite a colour symbolism behind the series; I noticed several times that colours were used to express feelings or contradictions between characters.

I think the strongest point of this show is its characters. The amount of abnormal characters is higher in this show than in other anime, but they are so amiable that you don’t get annoyed by it. I frowned when I saw Grell Sutcliffe’s true nature, and I’d love to meet a person like Undertaker in real life. And the two main characters, Ciel and Sebastian, seemed to be stereotypes at first sight, but they both had an unsuspected side to them.

The music for this anime was chosen perfectly. There was a very large range of musical compositions, going from playful themes to darker ones. Of course, in an anime that is situated in the Victorian era, string music cannot be omitted. A lot of the themes were very recognizable and I even enjoyed the prominent opera music that often played in the background.

I especially want to mention Daisuke Ono, who plays the part of Sebastian. He performed this role brilliantly, because there were so many surprising moments (especially during episode previews at the end of every episode) where I was shocked that Sebastian would ever make a sound like that. Throughout the series, I’ve heard him sing, forcibly clear his throat and call out loud the word ‘death’. Sakamoto Maaya did a great job voicing Ciel as well, I remember some moments where I almost hated him because of his arrogant voice.

All in all I found this to be an interesting anime. It was too bad that story of the episodes around the middle of the series were not that good, because of the mediocre storyline. The anime improved again near the ending of the show. It’s not the first time that an anime is situated in the Victorian Age, but I liked how even Queen Victoria was given a role in this anime. This series is probably mainly aimed at girls (the number of “Sebby” fangirls proves this point), but I didn’t find it cliché like many other shoujo series. All in all it was entertaining, and I hope the second season will live up to the same standards.