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Default 'Kuroshitsuji II' Anime Review - 02-01-2013, 03:53 AM

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“From now on, you shall give me only one response. You know it don’t you.”


Anime Information
Anime Production : A-1 Pictures
Director: Toshiya Shinohara
Episodes: 12 episodes
Genres: Action, Comedy, Demons, Fantasy, Shounen, Supernatural
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Original Run: 2 July 2010 – 17 September 2011

Synopsis
In late-nineteenth century England, one year and three months after the dramatic conclusion of the original series, Kuroshitsuji II introduces a new butler and young master. The sadistic yet cheerful Alois Trancy has faced some harsh times. He was kidnapped as a baby, and was forced to work in a village as a slave. Gradually, he lost his parents, his best friend, and everyone he knew. Alois eventually returned home and became the head of his mansion, but seemed to exhibit some strange behavior ever since. Even more curiously, he returned with Claude Faustus, an enigmatic, emotionless butler with unfathomable talent... Then what happen to Ciel?

~Review~


A second request of StephyNekosan.


Storyline: [8/10]
First of all, I still considering this anime is a sequel of Kuroshitsuji although this anime really feels to me as a side story that can go side by side with Kuroshitsuji. Is it a TRUE sequel? Well, not for me at least. Why? First, Kuroshitsuji II didn’t focus on Ciel. Second, Kuroshitsuji II does not serve as a tangible vehicle for an intuitive storyline, but uses its allotted run time to dabble in the deconstruction of dichotomies and social mores (at times not as subtly as it should) and many more.
As usual, the story begins in a rather rocky start as a lot of information is dumped on you. As the story starts when a big time lapse has occurred between the end of season one and the current events, it takes some time to piece together everything that happened, but the fact that the plot still functions, without the viewers having full knowledge of the previous essential points, is proof enough that the ending to this series was really a piece of work that was woven together beautifully in Kuroshitsuji.
Contrary to all of that, Kuroshitsuji missing something so important that make Kuroshitsuji II (how can I say it politely?) *less attractive* than Kuroshitsuji I? Surely Alois Trancy’s creepy-as-hell demeanor would get the ball rolling. His juxtaposition to his stoic demon butler, Claude, was promising. But despite all the possibilities Kuroshitsuji II could have embellished upon, it fell flat. The character relationships so intrinsically built up in the first season came crashing way, way, down. It seemed as if Sebastian and Ciel were tossed into the plot just to please the fangirls. Character development for the debuting servants of the Trancy household is stagnant to nonexistent. The romantic 1800s London time-setting of the first season seems to disappear from plot significance. Like the rest of the season, you really don’t know what’s going on anymore.

Art: [10/10]
As the strongest part of the series, Kuroshitsuji II’s visuals brilliantly set the mood for the story. Muted colours and darker hues cast an ominous shadow over the brightness of the nobility’s grandeur, beautifully conveying the narrative’s content. Coupled with smooth and crisp movement, the visage is delightful to gaze upon. The anime generally integrates CG well, though the digitally animated horse drawn carriages look awkward and out of place.
Meanwhile, the show’s many bishounen characters are particularly drool-worthy, and with the two butlers striking many a stunning pose, there’s certainly no shortage of eye-candy.

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Kuroshtsuji II still has a great and beautiful art that become one of the good point in Kuroshitsuji II. First and foremost, the oodles of eye candy is prominent and proud. Alois and his legs join the crowd, along with Claude and his... glasses? He looks like the love child of Sebastian and William. Unfortunately, mild ecchi joins the picture. In a series like this, it seems completely pointless. And guess what? It is.

Sound: [9/10]
Music, great as ever. When it comes to intermission it blends more into it; instead of suddenly playing some happy tune when the mood way on the other side, it is continuous, the way it should be. Another good point of Kuroshitsuji II.

Character: [8/10]
I really hard for me to give this part score -1 that my previous Kuroshitsuji review but that’s how I feel and I have to be objective about this. Alois Trancy became one of my most despised anime characters within five minutes. The selfish, sadistic little turd has zero redeeming features and his general arseholery nullifies any sympathy that his tragic past would otherwise generate. That being said, the fact that he manages to provoke such an extreme reaction means that his characterisation as an antagonist deserves some praise as he certainly makes an impression.
Sadly, the same can’t quite be said for Claude who, as a more uptight and anal version of Sebastian, initially demonstrates as much originality as your average amoeba. For one, it's almost not Black Butler anymore. Sebastian is presented on a level plane thanks to Claude Faustus and the presence of several other "demonic" characters, meaning he doesn't allow the series to shine quite as much. I've heard it said that Black Butler IS Sebastian Michaelis, and people who agree with that notion are likely to face disappointment at the sight of this new, humbled Sebastian. As one of the series’ primary antagonists, the Sebasti-clone never fully endears himself to the viewer – though I’m sure plenty Sebastian x Claude shippers would vehemently argue to the contrary.

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As for the returning cast members, little has changed from the first season. Grell remains as clingy and lovestruck as ever when it comes to Sebastian and the flamboyant floozy serves as the primary source of blatant fangirl fodder as he squeals in orgasmic ecstasy each time the sultry butler strikes a pose. However, Kuroshtsuji II’s best character development gets reserved for Ciel and Sebastian and the trials and changes their relationship undergoes throughout. Far from the close-knit and trust-filled bonds of series one, the duo face nefarious schemes intended to tear them apart, and seeing how the pair fare on their own certainly makes for an intriguing change of pace.

Enjoyment: [8/10]
I enjoyed watching this anime despite of all minus point I said before. I still have a great hope in Kuroshitsuji and that is what drive me to watch this anime till the end. Especially considering that this season didn’t follow the conclusive events of the first season’s at all. It really felt as if this season was expecting to generate success solely by the loyal fanbase built up from the first.

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I was able to see where it played with the romance genre and with fiction in general. Ultimately though, its willingness to experiment and dabble in concepts does not save its occasional poor delivery or the eerie ending which doesn't fit with the buildup of the series. It is strange but still enjoyable.

Overall: [8/10]
Kuroshitsuji II retains the lovely animation and sense of style from the first one. And hot butlers. And, as a bonus, an ending that doesn't leave you hanging like before. However, if you want an intelligent, well-crafted story along the lines of the manga, or even the first season, it's really not here. It's a fanfiction series that tries to see how messy you can make the world of soul/demon contracts. Sure, you need to know the world of season 1 in order to watch this.

Personal message and opinion:
Creating a sequel is always a risky process. This risk should’ve been left alone. The season quickly became tedious to watch. Season 1 had a brilliant ending. This season’s ending left a lot less room for interpretation, but it really doesn’t matter how tight an ending is if it stinks. The characters provided this season with so much potential, but just couldn't hold up.
Kuroshitsuji II had the potential to be great, but then ended up anti-climatic, which was a shame really considering how great the first two-thirds of the anime had been. I just wish Alois could have been expanded on, as such a interesting and unique character as him is ever so rare. Even so, this season presented thrill, suspense and comedy that wasn’t as strong or well carried through in the prequel.


Any comments really appreciated. For now, I'll take any requests about anime reviews. Just visit my profile and drop me a comment if there are anime you want to review. Don't forget to *hit* karma button, okay! ^^
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Last edited by ardeeuchiha; 04-15-2013 at 03:03 AM..
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Default 02-01-2013, 08:39 PM

Oh god. I stare at those pictures of Sebastian too much >_>

These were both good reviews!


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Default 02-01-2013, 10:08 PM

I loved the first season but I refused to watch the second. I didn't hear good things about it, so I won't bother.

Nice review.


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Default 02-02-2013, 03:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephyNekosan View Post
Oh god. I stare at those pictures of Sebastian too much >_>

These were both good reviews!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkchao45 View Post
I loved the first season but I refused to watch the second. I didn't hear good things about it, so I won't bother.

Nice review.
^ Thank you so much for both of you.


Any comments really appreciated. For now, I'll take any requests about anime reviews. Just visit my profile and drop me a comment if there are anime you want to review. Don't forget to *hit* karma button, okay! ^^
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