7.19.2022 | Thursday

Black Butler

category: Book Reviews

Black Butlertitle: Black Butler, Vol. 1
author: Yana Toboso
series: Black Butler #1
published: 26 January 2010
publisher: Yen Press
genre(s): manga
pages: 186
source: library
format: paperback
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | BookHype | Goodreads
rating: two-stars
series rating: two-stars
WARNING: This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

the blurb

In the Victorian ages of London The Earl of the Phantomhive house, Ciel Phantomhive, needs to get his revenge on those who had humiliated him and destroyed what he loved. Not being able to do it alone he sells his soul to a demon he names Sebastian Michaelis. Now working as his butler, Sebastian must help the Earl Phantomhive in this suspenseful, exciting, thriller manga.

my review

Where to start? It was beautifully drawn, which is where it basically begins and ends for me. The plot is laid out neatly from the start, from the very blurb. Ciel is seeking revenge for events that largely occurred before the start of Black Butler. And he’s justified in his desire for that revenge. However, that is lost and forgotten almost from the first page. Instead, it’s page after page of Ciel arguing with Sebastian, the title character, and bullying everyone around him. I get why Ciel is not the warmest person in the world, given his past, but he’s just so incredibly unlikable. He’s a brat, plain and simple. All he does is lash out at everyone in his vicinity. One would think, given the aforementioned past, that there would be some emotional moments, but there’s just nothing. And Sebastian is practically perfection incarnate… highly effiecient at everything he does, single-handedly able to deal with anything and everything that happens, big OR small. But at least these two have some characterization. The household staff in the manor feel like place fillers, utterly flat, with no purpose but to further underscore the perfection that is Sebastian. Even weirder is the cult-like worship they have for him, even as he treats them in the most condescending manner.

But really, what turned me off was the bizarre relationship between Sebastian and Ciel. There was a sexual tone to it that was incredibly disturbing considering that Sebastian is an ageless demon and Ciel is a 12yo child.

So after some research into the rest of the series, I’m done.

About Yana Toboso

Yana Toboso (枢 やな Toboso Yana) is a female Japanese manga artist born in Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, Japan and currently resides in Yokohama. She is best known for Black Butler (黒執事 Kuroshitsuji), a popular shonen manga series.

She has also written yaoi under the pen name Yanao Rock (簗緒ろく).

Yana Toboso draws herself as a devil with a black body and horns, a white head, and a pointed tail. She has never uploaded a picture of herself, so her actual appearance is unknown.

Rating Report
Overall: two-stars

reading challenges:

::spread the love::

Leave a Reply