Kuroshitsuji Manga Review

Tortured and on the verge of death Ciel Phantomhive forsakes God to make a bargain with a demon. In exchange for his soul the demon will aid Ciel in destroying those who decimated his life. Ciel returns with Sebastian Michaelis, one demon of a butler, to reclaim his position as the Queen's watchdog, the Earl of Phantomhive. Together they will navigate the supernatural to bury those who endanger England and build on the corpses until Ciel's revenge is forever completed.

My Thoughts
Drawn back in by scenes
like these. Is Ciel's
past going to be finally
I have a love-hate relationship with the Kuroshitsuji manga. Kuroshitsuji was one of the first mangas I ever read. I love the characters, the humor, and the storyline. But there are times when I absolutely hate a story arc. I stop reading for months then return to give it one last go and find myself loving the next arc.  

Joker & his Circus Troupe
One of my favorite is the Noah's Ark Circus arc (which got
Good deeds are not always done to be only kind
made into an anime!). The characters of the arc, especially Joker who is the leader of a physically damaged group of performers, enthrall you. Noah's Ark Circus performers are a group of souls who have been saved at a terrible price. They unknowingly (at times) commit evil to protect what their hearts hold as important. 

Joker accepts 'Smile'
When Ciel infiltrates their group undercover, they welcome him for who he is despite what is assumed a dark painful past. They embrace Ciel or 'Smile' as he is dubbed realizing to late he will be a fatal mistake. Intertwined are secrets from Ciel's past. Ones which make you disgusted at the evil in a man so drawn in by a little boy he has physically altered himself to be 'worthy.' Sometimes the people of this world are more evil than the demons of the next.

It all comes down to a strange conclusion and a shocking battle
The characters of Kuroshitsuji come alive in so many
more ways in the manga than the anime. Take Undertaker whose mysteries are incredible in the manga but barely touched on in the anime. The man, who we find is actually a retired Shinigami, has one of the most 'interesting' ideas on humor. Jokes for information, adding Charlie Chaplin shots to human life records,
Charlie Chaplin Continues LIfe's Cinema Records
and his choice of occupation has made him into one of my most attempted watercolor figures. 

Then there is the unforgettable Grell, a cross-dressing shinigami intent on Sebby as his love figure. Battles between straightlaced Shinigami, a spoiled Indian
Say what you will: Grell has serious self-confidence for a cross-dressing
love struck shinigami who is always facing rejection.
prince, and a kick-ass sword prodigy fiance (who we all thought 
was sugar n spice for the first 50 some chapters) make Kuroshitsuji an eclectic mix. Plus a demon butler who is a gourmet chef with a cat obsession? Wtf. That's kind of oddly hilarious.

The artwork is one of my absolute manga favorites. I am a sucker for the prettiness of the figures (Sebastian is one attractive demon). As I said, my favorite being Undertaker whose cover shot has made me completely envious of Yana Toboso's talents. I investigated other mangas done by Yana Toboso just because I liked the style of art so much. The other work is known as Rust Blaster and though the art is very similar I find it lacking the Kuroshitsuji touch.

To the Reader
Absurdity brings comedy in the Canpania a
One of the greatest strengths of Kuroshitsuji is its ability to combine humor with tragedy. Sebastian Michaelis is a demon but also one hell of a butler who is never above poking subtle fun at his master. The servants are comedic but below the laughs is a darker level which evens them out. We find humor in characters most manga approach from only a serious place. This manga doesn't fail to poke fun at a life which to often is at the center of tragedy. If you like the idea of humor with drama then Kuroshitsuji is an excellent choice.

Actually. I think it's a zombie...
Supernatural lovers have a lot to enjoy in Kuroshitsuji's world. Shinigami clash with demons and
zombie-like creatures make their debut in the Campania arc. Same goes with action as Sebastian is one incredibly master of fighting. The demon takes bullets to the head, spits them out, and flings them back. When his demon form emerges you know some crazy sh** is about to go down.

Let's remember Ciel is still legally a child. 
I know many, many anime and manga fans often place a romantic relationship between Sebastian and Ciel. The rumor is this manga was previously going to be a yaoi. Personally I think of them as having a very close relationship in a way kinda friendship/kinda companions/kinda(?). I don't go in with the romantic relationship because a grown man/demon and thirteen year old boy is to pedophile for me. I know this is manga not reality but it still does not sit right with me. Readers can take it as romance if they wish but I don't recommend Kuroshitsuji as a romantic genre.

Anime 'Sweet' Lizzy vs. Manga 'Kickass Swordswoman' Lizzy
For anime fans (I have not forgotten you!) I have seen both seasons multiple times and while I liked them I do believe the manga is better because you really get a whole storyline. Especially with the character Undertaker and Ciel's fiance, Lizzy. There is no Alois or Claude but there are many other reasons to read it.

Name(s): 黒執事; 黑管家; Black Butler; Dark Butler; Kuro Shitsuji; Kuroshitsuzi; Mayordomo Negro; Sort Butler; 흑집사; Zwarte Butler 

Author: Yana Toboso

Artist: Yana Toboso

Release: 2006

Chapter(s): 107

Genre(s): Comedy, Supernatural, Drama, Tragedy, Mystery

Status: Ongoing

Anime: 2 Seasons & Several OVA

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