Beck Rants: Black Butler addition — part 1

Beck Rants: Black Butler addition -- part 1

Beck Iannucci

TW: shooting, rape, war, transphobia, abuse, cult, death/murder, kidnapping, cursing 

These past few years I have become increasingly attached to Black Butler, though it’s arguably poorly written.

Firstly, the show’s main character loses his entire family to a cult that murders them and then holds him captive. Ciel is going to be sacrificed so he calls upon the devil. After selling his soul, Ciel is able to escape. The price, however, is that Sebastian, the devil, gets to eat Ciel’s soul after Ciel’s final wish is fulfilled. Season one ends with Sebastian about to eat Ciel’s soul. Yet we have many more seasons and movies. So what happened?

Well the entire story got dragged out and a ton of clichés were added that I hate. Firstly, the evil twin trope. I’m so sick of this trope but it’s not even that — it makes no sense in the context of the story. You mean to tell me that Sebastian — a devil — didn’t know that Ciel had a twin. How does that make sense? None of the other servants knew which is weird, but you figure the guy from hell would realize that someone was living with them. He literally rebuilt a burnt mansion in less than a week without being given any materials. Sebastian makes the impossible possible yet he couldn’t sense another person in the house? Didn’t he literally sense a shooter outside the mansion before they started shooting? Like they made no noise but Sebastian knew they were outside.

Now I have a bone to pick with season two. Despite being an entire contradiction to season one, I actually love parts of this. I love Alois and I think that’s because of how he rises up while still being held back. He has to deal with the loss of the one person he cared about and he tries to move forward. As someone that has been ruined by loss so harshly in the past, I think that’s why he matters to me so much. I understand that he can be such an irrational brat but he doesn’t have any coping mechanisms. He doesn’t have anyone to support him. After he kills his rapist and sets the other kidnapped children free he doesn’t feel any better. Yes, he just saved dozens of kids  but it never seems to register in his mind because he is so overwhelmed by hatred. This is what is compelling about his character. It’s 1800s London. There is no help for mental health. So much would be different if he was living in the present mental health wise. If you’ve seen shows like Banana Fish that comment on the subject, police still have trouble with rape cases and then there is the problem of cases being ignored when they reach the police. I can’t really say how much would be different justice wise, but Alois would probably know more about getting help and where to find it. Maybe when the town burned down people would have found out through social media. Maybe they’d rush to the scene and find Alois. If so, he would never have gotten kidnapped by a rapist. He could have been adopted and put in therapy to deal with his trauma. He is someone that tries to get back up again continuously but is always knocked down. It feels like such a powerful statement. So I get why the other characters are hated but why Alois?

And I feel like if you also don’t like Book of the Atlantic you missed something critical. A lot of my love for this movie comes from the scenes that Lizzie gets. She finally grows from a timid girl who’s only dream is to marry Ciel. She reveals that she has been training all this time. Lizzie knows how to fight — in fact she’s better than her brother. So, yeah, zombies are overdone at this point and so is being lost at sea or the whole “oh no the ship is gonna crash if we don’t do something” part. But there are so many great Lizzie moments and Ronald also gets his time to shine too! Plus, I feel like you can’t be mad with Grell involved. I’m not sure how you can hate that reaper. I, personally, love all the reapers but Grell is my favorite.

Speaking of Grell, I have a bone to pick with Sebastian. Look, I know we all love Sebastian for being powerful and good looking and whatnot, but he’s so transphobic and it makes me genuinely uncomfortable. Like if he could stop misgendering Grell for five minutes then I’d like him a lot more. Grell is always correcting him and he just ignores it. No, correct yourself, apologize, and stop. I understand that it’s the 1800s and whatnot but does have to be such a jerk? I absolutely hate the time period excuse. He’s being an ass because he’s an ass and that’s all there is to it.

While on the topic of characters, I like the servants’ back stories. I haven’t seen anyone bash them and that’s because it’s great. I love the shift in position — like how Lizzie went from being helpless to being a badass. You have Mey-Rin who acted like a clutz but was actually a trained assassin. Baldroy is quite similar. He was an impatient chef to most, but was also a war veteran, left alone after everyone around him died. Finny was the most surprising in my mind because he turned out to be more powerful than anyone predicted.

Honestly, if we’re talking about characters we have to go back to the twin thing and discuss how Agni was killed off in the manga. I felt betrayed. Agni was nothing but a nice man and for some reason the author felt she should have Ciel’s twin kill Agni. This choice truly baffles me. The scene was awful and now the Prince hates Ciel so their friendship is ruined and I’m mad about it.

If we’re talking about the manga, I also love Violet. There is something about animes that revolve around school horrors that are genuinely so good. This sub plot was very enjoyable to me. We also learned a little bit more about Vincet but no one really cares because he sucks. It’s more about the fun side characters we met and the mystery aspect that was nice.

That’s all for now!