Now under the care of Claude, Ciel’s life continues to take odd turns.
What They Say
Sebastian must devise a way to reclaim Ciel without violating his young master’s orders. It is a perilous mission that will require every ounce of the dashing butler’s strength and cunning – and perhaps a scandalous pose or two!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The frame job that Claude performed in the previous episode, which included him causing quite a bit of trouble for Alois, now has Ciel being caught up in things where the police thought he was Alois and handed him over to Claude easily. Claude's attention to detail, much like Sebastian's, is truly a creepy thing as we see him dressing Ciel in such a way that's far too intimate and close. It is a normal thing for a butler in a way for certain classes and people, but the way Claude does it, the intonation and the look in his face, adds that extra level of creepy too it since he's intent on taking Ciel's soul at some point for his own. With Ciel close at hand, Claude continues to push and prod at him to cause doubts about what's really going on and what role Sebastian may have played in his past.
While Claude plays his game of manipulation with Ciel, Sebastian is working towards getting Ciel back and putting his plan into motion. For better or worse, he has Grell at his side and I'm still not really sure how I feel about this character. There's the certain kind of crazy disconnect from reality there, but it's very different from what Alois brought to the table and not a kind that I particularly care for. Grell becomes annoying more often than not, and rather quickly, but it's not a surprise to see him working with Sebastian since he's long associated with him. And the two have a kind of quirky relationship that works, especially when Grell gets to cut loose with his chainsaw and deal out some serious damage to those trying to slow down Sebastian.
Eventually things do bring Sebastian and Claude up against each other, which is quite the highlight for me. The previous fight they had in the garden at Trancy's was a great bit of style and flash, broken by the need to serve a meal or tea. With Claude feeling confident of his position, he's more fun to watch this time around as he's able to tweak Sebastian about it in how Ciel is his and there's no turning back for it. The way the two young masters have been messed with in this series is definitely over the top and framing Ciel as Alois adds to that, but this episode tweaks it all even more as it progresses. In a way, it definitely feels like the show is jumping the shark and reveling in doing so, and I'll admit that going along with it is part of the charm as there's a certain insanity to it all.
Black Butler continues to come across as a show that's out to just do random things, seemingly with a purpose, but mostly just to look cool and make the fangirls all giggly and tingly. The show has its elements that work, such as the visual design overall and the generally good animation and choreography of the fights, and I'll admit to liking the setting in general with the time period, but it seems to lack something really cohesive to tie it together as a story. The execution is lacking, but it's made up for by the crazy nature of some of the characters, especially in their younger forms as we see Alois and Ciel. I'm not exactly sure I like the show, I don't think it's a trainwreck, but it's got a feel about it that's coming close to that where you can't look away.
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.