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RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - Sebastian the Combat Butler


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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:27 pm Reply with quote
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Kind of like Emma meets Shin-chan or something ... which is exactly as awkward as it sounds.

That was pretty much my impression of the anime, at least the few episodes of it I watched. I'm right there with you hoping that the manga turns its focus more on the wicked-cool Sebastien. Let us know how it turns out!
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hacksawlol



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:42 pm Reply with quote
My bets on Sebastian, because he's not clumsy.
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Teriyaki Terrier



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:52 am Reply with quote
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Kind of like Emma meets Shin-chan or something ... which is exactly as awkward as it sounds.


Having enjoyed almost every episode of Shin Chan and knowing little of Emma, that actually sounds rather hilarious. Imagine, one minute Shin is drinking tea and quietly discussing politics and the next minute he is doing his signature dance.

As much as I did enjoy the Lucky Star anime, the manga was okay, but not nearly as good. Granted, Wendy Lee Micheal Ruff were seriously doing a fantastic job, the anime is just simply better.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:03 pm Reply with quote
Carlo, have I told you lately that yours is my favorite column on ANN? Smile I'm upset to see only three posts here so far...manga gets such a short shrift here on ANN. Your column should really be weekly (if you can handle that much reading and reviewing after your day job, that is Wink )

On "Black Butler": "Emma meets Shin-Chan" cracked me up Razz! It's a nutty manga...a twelve year old member of Her Secret Service? Are "Ciel" and "Phatomhive" even real British names? (yes, I'm aware that Ciel means rainbow in French, but otherwise, I can't find a reason for the names. Just seems like a case of a mangaka playing fast and loose with funny sounding foreign names.)

Sebastian himself seems like an interesting character, but Ciel seems like a shotacon type. Is he simply a female/BL fan's "moe" equivalent character, or something more? Maybe if they got rid of some of the "comic relief," and focused more on the more interesting dark undertones, readers will find out.

I'm not trying to start a controversy, just trying to get more info on whether this story is worth following long-term, so I'd appreciate responses from long time Black Butler fans!

One more thing: spoiler[ the latest chapter I caught in Yen + mag had Sebastian and Ciel going to London to investigate the "Jack The Ripper" murders, which immediately brought to mind Erin Finnegan's comments in Shelf Life about how Jack the Ripper stories are overused in all sorts of fiction. I don't mind a "Ripper" story as long as it's told well--Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service had a flashback arc involving Jack that was very well done (and frusteratingly unfinished!)--But the mangaka seems to be treading on thin ice with this plot in Black Butler...jus' sayin'!]

On Arata: I'm a hoping that it will improve significantly in the next couple of volumes. After reading most of the artistic and story telling masterpiece that is Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden, and knowing what a mature, polished mangaka Yuu Watase has become since her debut and what she's capable of, I'm expecting a great, well-illustrated story that shows us how greatly a wheel can be reinvented.

I just hope that the Aratas' fates are given equal screentime. I want to see fantasy-world Arata really struggle and problem solve in the modern world, rather than just being comic relief. And I want to see Arata H. work out some of his psychological problems in the ancient fantasy world, not just fight bad guys with a magic sword...

One last thing: Watase-Sensei: If you're gonna do an epic romance in this one, please, please give it a slow, getting-to-know-you type of development rather than a love-at-first-sight thing. Remember, in a typical shonen adventure manga, it usually takes the hero at least 200+ chapters before he notices that girls exist (if he ever notices it at all)! So there's no need to rush it here! Wink

That's about it--one last thing: Carlo, are you on Twitter? I'd like to follow your tweets if you are (I already follow Ann itself and Zac's account). Thanks!
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Princess_Irene
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:47 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
(yes, I'm aware that Ciel means rainbow in French, but otherwise, I can't find a reason for the names. Just seems like a case of a mangaka playing fast and loose with funny sounding foreign names.)


Actually, it means "sky" - a rainbow is "l'arc en ciel." Very Happy

I can't say that I like "Black Butler"...at all. The side characters are totally obnoxious, and, well, I guess I don't get the butler thing. It seems like the Japanese keep assigning butlers the role of valets - a "gentleman's gentleman." The butler, I think, is more the male counterpart of the housekeeper, and like the housekeeper, has to be worked up to over time - like you'd start as a spit-turner or something and move up to footman etc. (Ok, maybe not a spit-turner. Smile) So a young, hot butler would be pretty hard to come by.

Maybe I'm just an obnoxious Victorianophile. Wink
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The Ramblin' Wreck



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:16 pm Reply with quote
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It seems like the Japanese keep assigning butlers the role of valets - a "gentleman's gentleman."


I'm sure they could get lessons from Jeeves. According to Bertie, he could "buttle with the best of them".
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Sailor S





PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:52 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
Carlo, have I told you lately that yours is my favorite column on ANN? Smile I'm upset to see only three posts here so far...manga gets such a short shrift here on ANN. Your column should really be weekly (if you can handle that much reading and reviewing after your day job, that is Wink )


See, I can't really get around to reading much of his column. On the times I've read every part of a review though, I must say that Carlo does a great job of giving the pros and cons of a series and at least comes across as having given each volume reviewed a fair shake. My problem comes that anything I'm interested in, I probably haven't read yet so I don't wanna be spoiled on anything. If I'm not interested in it, well I probably am not going to read the review because I just don't care. But, sometimes I'm curious and am not reading the series being reviewed, so at those times I've found his reviews very helpful.
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Princess_Irene
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:29 am Reply with quote
The Ramblin' Wreck wrote:

I'm sure they could get lessons from Jeeves. According to Bertie, he could "buttle with the best of them".


Jeeves meets the Manga Butlers...yes, yes, I would most definitely read that. Especially if they could throw in Tim Curry from "Clue."
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neocloud9



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:28 am Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
One more thing: spoiler[ the latest chapter I caught in Yen + mag had Sebastian and Ciel going to London to investigate the "Jack The Ripper" murders, which immediately brought to mind Erin Finnegan's comments in Shelf Life about how Jack the Ripper stories are overused in all sorts of fiction. I don't mind a "Ripper" story as long as it's told well--Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service had a flashback arc involving Jack that was very well done (and frusteratingly unfinished!)--But the mangaka seems to be treading on thin ice with this plot in Black Butler...jus' sayin'!]


As long as a mystery remains unsolved, it will continue to intrigue people. So I don't really think it's possible for it to be overused. There are a zillion different theories floating around out there, with new ones being explored every day! (And I love-love-LOVE the route Black Butler takes with it.)

And to answer your earlier question, the manga certainly does delve into some darker material with Ciel and his past, so he's more than just shotacon bait. I've really enjoyed the pseudo-Faustian fall from grace so far. YMMV, of course. I never felt that the comic relief was a weak point, for example. I think the anime probably handles the comedy a bit better. Slapstick is always funnier in motion.
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sepherest





PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:33 am Reply with quote
I completely agree with the reaction to Black Butler. The series had interested me for quite some time with it's character designs and story, but after I actually read/watched it overall I didn't think it was as great as everyone said it was. Genre swapping can usually be a problem, and it's really noticable when a series tries to balance humor and a darker atmosphere.
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Agent355



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:25 pm Reply with quote
@neocloud9: Thanks! The "Ripper" plot does sound more intriguing now. I wonder how I can convince my local public library to subscribe to Yen+...

Manga consumption confession: My anime/manga budget is limited to the three series I read consistently (and which my libraries don't usually stock). Namely: Black Jack, Ooku and Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. Everything else I buy inconsistently and occasionally: at con sales, used, the occasional Barnes&Noble or Amazon.com splurge...

Everything else is libraries, libraries, libraries! I have 3 active cards in 3 different states. I keep track of what I want to read and make prodigious use of the hold/reserve features. I've been known to stay up all night reading manga acquired from one of the libraries in the two states I only get to visit and not *live* in. Or spending hours reading in a library that I can't get a card for.

Wherever I go, I look for a library. Whichever library I'm in, I look for a graphic novel section...ad infinitum. Everyone thinks I'm nuts ("we just git here, you want to go to a library now?!) But it's totally worth it! Wink

As a Blackberry user with no laptop or personal computer (and rare access to legitimate ones that I can stream video or read ligit flash-based viz manga on) I watch a whole lot less anime than I used to, and while I occasionally read manga on scanulation sites, okay some series are kind of addicting weekly reads...(*cough*Naruto, why do you intrigue me so?*cough*) This website made me feel sufficiently guilty about that particular practice so as to make me stop...(almost)
So libraries are my go-to places for manga and when they have it, anime

*begin rant* I'm thrilled to report that, for reasons I can't quite understand, my local library system recently acquired Sgt. Frog, Bamboo Blade, and the last three volumes of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, even though they have no DVDs of Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z or Full Metal Alchemist, all of which are available and Super-Popular in the manga section...I mean, they don't carry the Bamboo Blade manga but they got the anime?! Who makes these decisions, anyway? Not that I'm complaining, as I took out all three series as soon as I saw them... *end of rant*
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CCSYueh



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:50 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
On "Black Butler": "Emma meets Shin-Chan" cracked me up Razz! It's a nutty manga...a twelve year old member of Her Secret Service?


The idea is Ciel, as his father's heir, has inherited the job whatever his age may be.

Agent355 wrote:
Sebastian himself seems like an interesting character, but Ciel seems like a shotacon type. Is he simply a female/BL fan's "moe" equivalent character, or something more?


Did we read in Vol 1 where Ciel talks of the ring that has witnessed the deaths of so many family heads? The boy knows damned well he has a heavy burden to bear.
The shotacon side appears to be what got Ciel into his position of orphaned head of the family & his bargain with Sebastian.

Agent355 wrote:
Maybe if they got rid of some of the "comic relief," and focused more on the more interesting dark undertones, readers will find out.


spoiler[Vol 1 reveals Ciel's eyepatch covers the seal marking his bargain with the demon Sebastian. Vol 1 reveals Sebastian to be a demon & a butler]

It's pretty obvious Sebastian is Ciel's bodyguard. Ciel & Sebastian's relationship seems similar to the relationship between the Kirin & the demons in 12 Kingdoms. There's no actual indication Sebastian has any desires in the direction many doujin artists seem to feel the 2 possess. It's master/slave with the slave in it voluntarily for the ultimate reward he will reap.

Agent355 wrote:
One more thing: spoiler[ the latest chapter I caught in Yen + mag had Sebastian and Ciel going to London to investigate the "Jack The Ripper" murders, which immediately brought to mind Erin Finnegan's comments in Shelf Life about how Jack the Ripper stories are overused in all sorts of fiction. ]


That's 1 person's opinion.
I disagreed the moment I saw it because I happen to like most of the times I've seen Jack the Ripper stories. I watch the History Channel stuff on the Ripper. Not all of us have to like the same things in this world.

Agent355 wrote:
But the mangaka seems to be treading on thin ice with this plot in Black Butler...jus' sayin'!


It's actually sort of a natural to throw Jack the Ripper into any Victorian mystery type story. Ciel, as a dog of the Queen, would naturally be called to serve in this emergency. The plot brings in the popular psycho Grell & actually utilizes one of the theories about the Ripper (the abortion doctor view).

spoiler[And the Ripper turns out to be Ciel's aunt aided by the shinigami Grell. She's barren so these prostitutes aborting their babies sets her off.]

Good enough reason?
It's resolution at least

As for the staff. Note Tanaka is always given a slide also. Tanaka is the only other survivor of the event which claimed Ciel's parents' lives & created the situation that led to Sebastian's servitude to Ciel. Sebastian is really the only reliable servant, but we learn later each of the staff has been rescued by Ciel so they're really more being provided a place to stay vs being reliable in any way.

Quote:
I can't say that I like "Black Butler"...at all. The side characters are totally obnoxious, and, well, I guess I don't get the butler thing. It seems like the Japanese keep assigning butlers the role of valets - a "gentleman's gentleman." The butler, I think, is more the male counterpart of the housekeeper, and like the housekeeper, has to be worked up to over time - like you'd start as a spit-turner or something and move up to footman etc. (Ok, maybe not a spit-turner. ) So a young, hot butler would be pretty hard to come by.


Sebastian isn't as young as he looks.
There's a ref to something a century ago in one of his lines as I recall, but I'd have to go back over the chapters in Yen Plus.

I seem to recall some English language stories where the butler is more than he seems, so the issue is reality vs literature.
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Ghstmtrx



Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 178
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:35 pm Reply with quote
I agree that the Lucky Star manga is not funny. However, I still buy it, why? Well the anime just got me obsessed, I have to have everything Lucky Star. I love it so much, that it actually hurts to admit that the manga is not funny.

They really need a season 2 of the anime, even though it ended like it could be over for good I could see it now, Konata would be standing around talking about anime, then Kagami comes in talking about how the show is over, and Konata goes on about how some anime's end like it is over but then they come along with a next season...you get the idea, Lucky Star is so silly, they could pull it off.

Oh and dont get me started about how I want to see Higurashi Parody on Lucky Star Anime hyper
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:14 pm Reply with quote
Okay, CCSYueh, you sold me on Black Butler. Completely. My only previous knowledge of the series was the first episode of the anime and that one chapter I read in the Jan 2010 issue of Yen+. My knowledge of Jack the Ripper and all the theories behind those murders were practically nonexistent, ans your explanation of how it fits into the Black Butler plot and world intrigues me to the point that I'd like to learn more about Jack the Ripper myself (what was the History Channel show about it called? Maybe I can check out the DVD).

But most importantly, anything that can be compared to The Twelve Kingdoms, even a little bit, goes directly on my hitlist. Thank you for your post. I really want to read it now!

Plus, knowing that the shotacon shipping Black Butler fans are just as ligit in canon as the yaoi NaruSasu shipping fans of Naruto {sorry, NaruSasu fans, Jump will never let Kishi make that ship canon} really helps solidify my decision to give Black Butler a bigger chance! Thanks again!
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neocloud9



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:37 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
Plus, knowing that the shotacon shipping Black Butler fans are just as ligit in canon as the yaoi NaruSasu shipping fans of Naruto {sorry, NaruSasu fans, Jump will never let Kishi make that ship canon} really helps solidify my decision to give Black Butler a bigger chance! Thanks again!


Actually, there's more to support the Sebastian/Ciel relationship in Black Butler than in your typical shonen "slash" pairing, owing much to the demon-contractor dynamic they share. I wouldn't let that deter you, though. It's really more fascinating than it is fetishy.
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