THE BUTLER FROM HELL! Ciel Phantomhive is the most powerful boy in all of England, but he bears the scars of unspeakable suffering. Forced to watch as his beloved parents were brutally murdered, Ciel was subsequently abducted and violently tortured. Desperate to end his suffering, the boy traded his own soul for a chance at vengeance, casting his lot with the one person on whom he could depend: Sebastian, a demon Butler summoned from the very pits of hell. Together, they'll prowl the darkest alleys of London on a mission to snuff out those who would do evil. They're a rare sight, these two: the Butler who dismembers with dazzling cutlery and the Young Master who carries the devil's marking. Rest assured that wherever they may be headed, it'll be one hell of a ride.
Ciel Phantomhive seems a very privileged boy, especially for an orphan living in Victorian London. Inheritor of the family manor and business, the internationally successful Funtom toy company, Ciel is a young man of considerable means. But the death of his parents was no accident, and he craves vengeance on those responsible – so much so that he offers his soul for the servitude of Sebastian Michealis. A Satanic Jeeves, Sebastian is perfect in every way, a master of any domestic, social or martial task that is asked of him. He is, as he likes to boast, one hell of a butler, often fulfilling the duties of Ciel’s inept staff, and 100% committed to helping his master achieve his goals. Once he has, Ciel agrees that Sebastian will kill him, claiming his soul for the underworld. But before that comes to pass, Ciel must also fulfil his family obligation to Queen Victoria, investigating the strange crimes that plague London Town – including a certain Jack the Ripper....
Matt Kamen on the love that dares not speak its name.
Set in the midst of London in the late 1800s, Black Butler follows young Ciel Phantomhive, the sole inheritor of his parents’ estate following their brutal murders. At his lowest point, he makes a Faustian pact, gaining the services of the demonic Sebastian Michaelis as his personal butler and aide. Sebastian, a master of all manner of skills – from cooking and cleaning to dancing and fisticuffs – assists Ciel in his tasks until the day his master has claimed vengeance on those responsible for his family’s suffering. Then, Ciel will surrender both his life and his immortal soul to the underworld, and Sebastian will be the one to slay him.
Matt Kamen on the satanic servants of Black Butler 2
The 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.
The Dragon Ball franchise is home to some of anime's greatest and most epic battles. With so many iconic battles throughout the series is hard to say which is the greatest, as we all have our favourites, so we're asking you to vote for the one you love the most!
The Suginami Animation museum’s current exhibit should be of particular interest to British fans. It’s a showcase of the art of Satoshi Kon, who built an international reputation as a truly adult, often bitingly satirical anime director before his tragically early death in 2010
Stephen Turnbull asks what (if anything) went wrong with the 47 Ronin?
When T. H. White’s great Arthurian fantasy The Once and Future King was first published the New York Times described it as “a glorious dream of the Middle Ages as they never were but as they should have been.” A very similar comment would not be inappropriate to describe the strange world of old Japan conjured up in the movie 47 Ronin.
The hyperrealism of the “cartoon” Akira and the cartoonishness of the live-action Tetsuo struck Western viewers unaccustomed to such mould-breaking cinema with equal force, and it is no real surprise to note that Manga Entertainment was responsible for the subsequent releases of both Tsukamoto’s big-budget colour rerun of his debut, Tetsuo II: Bodyhammer (1992) and his later Tokyo Fist.
This is the burning question for Attack on Titan fans, and it’s certainly not answered in the second volume of the anime series. Rather, Volume 2 shows a world which is still in the process of expanding, bringing on a great many vivid new characters – and arguably the most vivid of all isn’t even a human, but a sexy woman Titan who stomps all over the series.
Jonathan Clements on the movie that turns anime on its head
Boy-meets-girl has never been so strange as in this feature, in which the leads must literally cling to each other or fall away to an uncertain fate. Patema Inverted winningly plays with matters of spatial awareness, perspective and weight, regularly flipping its angles until the viewer literally can no longer remember which way is truly up.