author: Yana Toboso
series: Black Butler #1
published: 26 January 2010
publisher: Yen Press
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | BookHype | Goodreads
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.
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.