0 Items | £0.00

VIEW BASKET

Black Butler Part 2 - Back in Black

Saturday 14th July 2012

Matt Kamen on the satanic servants of Black Butler 2

Black ButlerThe first series of Black Butler, based on Yana Toboso’s manga, was a parable on the cost of revenge, following the single-minded Ciel Phantomhive as he sought vengeance against his family's murderers. Ciel’s only aid came from his demonic butler, Sebastian Michaelis, to whom he paid the ultimate price. In contrast, the anime-original second series explores the price of greed and obsession. Introducing  the cruel and scheming Alois Trancy and his own malevolent manservant, Claude Faustus, the 12-episode run spotlights the machinations of the new young lord as he vies for the prestige of the Phantomhive name.

But the rise of Alois Trancy doesn’t mean an end to the legacy of Ciel Phantomhive, and despite the seemingly final ending of the first season, viewers haven’t seen the last of the popular anti-hero. While Sebastian’s fee was paid in full, he has further need of his former master, acting to bring about his resurrection – could the demon actually care for a human? Meanwhile, Alois plots to usurp his rival’s life, taking everything from his name and fortune, to his position of service to the Throne of England and his very soul, coveted above all others in Hell.

Wanting to cast Alois as the opposite of Ciel, new director Hirofumi Ogura and returning writer Mari Okada inverted both his personality and his supporting cast to be in stark contrast to those of his predecessor. Where Ciel was outwardly cold and stern, he was frequently shown to actually care deeply for his family and friends. Alois instead often appears friendly, sweet even, only to nonchalantly abuse the people around him. While their respective butlers are similar in demeanour – perfect in all manner of housekeeping, the pinnacle of decorum and deadly capable in battle – the rest of their servants couldn’t be more different. The Phantomhive staff – chef Bardroy, gardener Finny, steward Tanaka and maid Mey-Rin – are a chaotic bunch, always squabbling and fighting. Conversely, Trancy’s estate is tended to by an unsettlingly ordered lot. His handmaid Hannah is meek and submissive, even after Alois casually gouges out her left eye for a perceived slight, while three identical triplets – only once referred to by their given names of Timber, Thompson and Canterbury – work together in perfect, silent synchronicity, be it in tending to the house or engaging in combat. Perhaps most tellingly, while Ciel does his best to hide the mark of his demonic contract behind his eye patch, Alois constantly shows off his sigil with pride, burnt into his tongue. For Ciel, selling his soul was an unpleasant means to an end; for Alois, a trivial price to satiate his avarice.

With the players arranged like pieces on a chess board, the final battle between Ciel and Alois lays ahead. However, the Ciel that has returned from the grave seems different than before. Can the support of his allies restore him, or is the end nigh for the Phantomhive line?

Black Butler 2 is out now on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

Buy it now

Black Butler Part 2 - Back in Black

MANGA UK GOSSIP

Black Butler Complete Series 2 Collection

£26.99
sale_tag
was £29.99
THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SECOND SERIES!
In late-nineteenth century England, one year and three months after the dramatic conclusion of the original series, Kuroshitsuji II introduces a new butler and young master. The sadistic yet cheerful Alois Trancy has faced some harsh times. He was kidnapped as a baby, and was forced to work in a village as a slave. Gradually, he lost his parents, his best friend, and everyone he knew. Alois eventually returned home and became the head of his mansion, but seemed to exhibit some strange behavior ever since. Even more curiously, he returned with Claude Faustus, an enigmatic, emotionless butler with unfathomable talent...

FEATURED RELEASE

RELATED BLOG ARTICLES

Bleach music: Aqua Timez

Tom Smith on Aqua Timez, the band from the Bleach 6.2 soundtrack.
Many of the artists who perform the many themes of Bleach can attribute their entry to mainstream success to the famous anime series. And if not to Bleach, then to anime in general. That was until the five-strong pop squad Aqua Timez entered the scene.

YUI does Bleach for Rollingstar

Tom Smith reports on YUI, the all-caps rock chick.
It’s been suggested that Japan’s singer, song-writing guitar chick YUI is her country’s answer to Avril Lavigne. Amid an industry manufactured and micro-managed to levels that make England’s best pop efforts seem amateur in comparison, she stands out as beacon of musical delight. For teenage girls, she’s proof that you don’t need to buy into the squeaky clean, plastic smiles of sickeningly sweet J-pop to be a successful female musician; for guys she’s the girl next door, and for anime fans she’s composed and performed themes in some of the most prominent series of recent years, including Bleach and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Bleach music: SID

Tom Smith on the band behind Bleach’s 14th Opening Theme
"The song is based on the singer’s own experiences of forming a band and the hardships endured while keeping the faith for a brighter future, with lyrics just vague enough that they could easily represent the struggles of Ichigo and pals, too."

Bleach and Japanese cleaning products

Matt Kamen strangles a puppy… for science
It’s gratifying to see a generation of people so interested in hygiene – that must be why you’re lining up to buy a series called ‘Bleach’, right? If some orange haired janitor with a fancy mop (mop, magical talking death sword – whatever) excites you, hold on for these other heroes of the Japanese cupboard space!

Bleach music: Kenichi Asai

Tom Smith on ‘Mad Surfer’ Kenichi Asai
“Try ‘n boogie, guns n’ tattoo” – there’s no greater embodiment of Kenichi Asai’s work than that opening line. As the words are dragged across the bluesy, rock n’ roll riff of Mad Surfer – the Japanese rebel’s song used as the 20th closing of Bleach – it’s difficult not to imagine smoke filled bars, motorcycles or leather jacketed misfits sporting hairdos your mother wouldn’t approve of.

Bleach music: SunSet Swish

Tom Smith on the band behind Bleach’s 21st Ending Theme
SunSet Swish held their first-ever live performance on Valentine’s Day 2004, at a small venue in Osaka Prefecture’s Hirakata city. A fitting introduction to the music world for a band whose claim to fame is having quite possibly the soppiest theme in Bleach history: ‘Sakurabito’.

RECENT FEATURED POSTS

SWORD ART ONLINE MUSIC: HARUKA TOMATSU

Digital transvestite Tom Smith on the girl who’s hearing voices
Before taking on the part of Asuna, Haruka Tomatsu had accumulated over one hundred titles featuring her vocal talents, spanning anime, videos games and drama CDs. Achievement unlocked.

Anime at the Oscars 2014

Andrew Osmond on Japan's chances at this year's Academy Awards
There are two anime among this year’s Oscar nominees: Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, competing for Best Animated Feature, and Shuhei Morita’s Possessions, vying for Best Animated Short. To date, there has been only one Japanese winner in each category. Miyazaki’s Spirited Away was the winning feature in 2002; Kunio Kato’s La Maison en Petits Cubes won Best Animated Short Film in 2008. What are the new films’ chances?

Cosplay: Attack on Titan

Eleanor Trace suits up as Mikasa Ackerman from the fan-favourite series
Eleanor Trace suits up as Mikasa Ackerman from the fan-favourite series Attack on Titan

Who's Who in Dragon Ball #4

A rogues' gallery from the latest DVD box set
Ever wonder just how Goku and friends became the greatest heroes on Earth? Wonder no more, as the original Dragon Ball reveals the origins of Akira Toriyama’s beloved creations! The faces may look familiar, but everything else is different in this classic series!

Psycho-Pass music: Ling Tosite Sigure

Tom Smith finds another band with an unspellable name
Meet Ling tosite sigure. Their name may be confusing to pronounce (for anyone interested, it’s more like ‘rin tosh-teh shi-goo-reh’), but that didn’t holdback Japan’s music-loving community from rushing to their local CD-shops and grabbing a copy of the band’s latest album i’mperfect, out now also in the UK thanks to JPU Records.

Time Travel in Anime

Paul Browne rewinds from Naruto Shippuden: The Lost Tower into the past
In the latest Naruto film The Lost Tower, the title character and his comrades embark on a mission to capture Mukade – a missing ninja who has the ability to travel through time. Mukade’s plan is to travel into the past and take control of the Five Great Shinobi Countries. During the battle with Mukade, Naruto and Yamato find themselves hurled back twenty years in time. Will Naruto and his friends be able to return to his own time? And will their actions in the past save the future?

Who's Who in Dragon Ball 1

Ever wonder just how Goku and friends became the greatest heroes on Earth?
Wonder no more, as the original Dragon Ball reveals the origins of Akira Toriyama’s beloved creations! The faces may look familiar, but everything else is different in this classic series!

On the Origin of Sushi

Tom Smith investigates the evolution of Japan’s best-loved fast food.
Sushi is serious business. Thought to be healthy, fresh and hip, the combination of vinegared rice with various toppings (notably fish) has become the food associated with Japan, and its history there stretches back almost as far as the country’s writing system. But if you thought the iconic delicacy was Japanese in origin – or even fresh for that matter – hold on to your chopsticks.

JORMUNGAND: PERFECT ORDER

Hugh David calls Czechmate on the endgame
"The action scenes remain superlative, designed and executed in a way Western live-action directors would do well to study. The way character moments are woven within elevates them above mere technical exercises. The Prague shoot-out and Tokyo car chase are the sort of gems that prove that anime can still trump live-action in the same creative arenas when it wants to."

Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2014

Jasper Sharp gets down with the kids
The Japan Foundation’s annual touring film programme is back for another year, and kicking off at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts at the end of the month. Now in its tenth iteration, the season offers audiences across the UK an insight into Japan and its cinema by way of a wide-ranging and accessible selection of titles assembled under a certain theme. This year, that theme is youth, with the eleven-film ‘East Side Stories: Japanese Cinema Depicting the Lives of Youth’ programme travelling to eight venues across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 31 January to 27 March.
Contact Us   |   Refund Policy   |   Delivery Times   |   Privacy statement   |   Terms & Conditions
Please note your card statement will show billing by MVM. Black Butler Part 2 - Back in Black from the UK's best Anime Blog.