Black Butler II Episode #06 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Release Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The fallout from Alois' ploy ranges far and wide - and musically.

What They Say
When a demonic instrument wreaks havoc at the ball, Sebastian uses his unusual musical talent to set the mood for a party. Later in the evening, he takes to the water in a butler against butler battle for his young master's soul.

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The return of Alois in the previous episode was rather welcome as I liked his particular brand of crazy. Though they knew they were walking into a trap, everyone brought Ciel to the residence under the continued pretense of not knowing that he's lost his memory, of them and of other things. The bringing together of the range of friends and allies he has is certainly an interesting angle, especially having not seen the first season, as some of the basics about what this season is like finally makes sense. With that out of the way though, Alois went off on Ciel in an amusing way and set up a nice little fight between butlers, especially since he's so impressed by Sebastian and really wants to see him clawing on the floor before him.

Alois' plans are just to deal with Sebastian and Ciel though as he instructs his very beaten down servant to bring out a musical device to entertain the guests while he's away. The device is certainly one that has a certain haunting beauty to it with its layering and the kind of music it creates, but it also introduces a lot of pain to those that hear it. Well, outside of the two who are smart enough to see what it is ahead of time and wear earplugs. Sebastian's return to the scene allows him to be creative in fighting back against it though, further pushing the way he's such a master at stagecraft and style.

The second half of this episode largely revolves around the fight between Claude and Sebastian as the two make their way outside at their masters agreement. The two butlers are certainly skilled fighters in the most stylish of ways and it's engaging watching the two of them spar, physically and verbally at that. Where it adds a lot to the show is that through their fight, we see flashbacks to when Ciel was first kidnapped and what happened after Sebastian rescued him at the start of this season. These little fill in the blank moments are extremely helpful and balance out the fight material well. But it's the teasing pact that the two butlers come up with that's the most fascinating as you wonder just how their plans will come together with what they have to do in order for their own particular victories.

In Summary:
This two part story line has done a good job in filling in some of the blanks that I was curious about, and that made the show a bit more exciting to watch since I have less background than those that watched the first. The concluding part of it does sort of end up with the status quo, but it has some significant differences based on what Claude and Sebastian have come up with. The episode overall featured a good amount of action, some nice musical stylings to be had and even more intrigue when it comes to the characters. All it lacked was a bit more of the crazy from Alois, but we got a good amount of that in the previous episode so that will have to hold for now. The further I get into the series, the more interested I become in it.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
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.



Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Black Butler