The mystery on the train storyline is revived with Black Butler as Sebastian and Ciel find themselves in a bit of a bind.
What They Say
When a nobleman's son is kidnapped, the Queen orders Sebastian and Ciel to deliver the ransom. The exchange is to be made on a train, but a host of suspicious passengers - and an outbreak of cholera - complicate this mission of mercy.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the previous episode delving into a fairly interesting story, albeit one that was a bit too short when it came to the main story in some ways, Black Butler moves forward into its latest tale that has Ciel ordered off on a new mission at the behest of the Queen. This time, the son of a nobleman has been kidnapped and the two are watching the man that has the money who will be making the exchange on the train. It starts off with a bit of a creepy factor, but one that fits in with the time relatively well enough, as some goofy kids run into the rail workers loading boxes onto the train. The incident causes the large box to open and reveals the sarcophagus with the mummy inside, something that's considered a collector's item among the wealthy elite of the day.
The show plays up something rather fun that you don't see often as it takes place largely on the rtain and that means a wide variety of unusual characters, including a couple of Orientals. One old lady tries to offer all kinds of Asian cuisine to the others but is rebuffed because of the supposed outbreak of cholera in Asia while the elderly gentleman is easily ruffled and aggressive about everything. A priest is in the mix, general travelers, a supposed archaeologist and even a guy who obsesses over time tables that feels like he's giving out math problems that made my head spin easily. It's the kind of curious cast that you get in a situation like this that's reminiscent of the classic mystery stories and it holds a lot of appeal in trying to figure out what's what.
Part of the mystery is revealed quickly when the guy handling the exchange separates the train and makes his move to take the money. Amusingly, it doesn't go well for him when it comes to Sebastian as he gives him the boot in a most hilarious manner. But while that would ordinarily end a mystery story, the gent decided to up things a bit by placing explosives on the train where the nobleman's son is so he can have a fireworks show. It takes a twist into that kind of action for a bit while also dealing with an illness outbreak and some other little twists and turns. There's a nice bit of mystery that slowly amidst the chaos and the variety of the passengers handle it all differently, causing it to be a surprising bit of fun with some unexpected moments along the way.
As Sebastian says, it's really a full course of crises in this episode, enough so that it even pushes the man behind the larger plot over the edge because of the absurdity of it. Yet there's a welcome spark of fun to it even if it's hardly original. The fun is in the variety of the characters and the surprises that come about throughout it. With every character having their own brief back story and reason for being there, it offers plenty of potential for surprise and it certainly takes advantage of that, from the priest to the surly old man. Everyone has a role of some sort and while Sebastian and Ciel take something of a backseat at times, I came away from the episode smiling after having a good bit of fun with it.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.