Black Butler User Reviews

Black Butler is an anime series in the Black Butler franchise
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Black Butler Season 1, a Review Reviewed by OneHelluvaGirl on Feb. 21, 2011. OneHelluvaGirl has written 2 reviews. His/her last review was for Black Butler II. 7 out of 7 users recommend his reviews. 5 out of 5 users found this review helpful.

I'll cover both versions of the anime; the original Japanese and the English dub, reviewing the storyline/direction for the Japanese version as well as the main voices, and the voices for the English version. NOTE: this is not about the original manga.
 
Since this is my favorite series, I'll be as impartial as I can~ DEATH! 
 
JAPANESE VERSION~ 
Storyline/Direction:  The quality of the anime is pretty good overall. The art matches Toboso's well, and they include a lot of the details that are part of Ciel's extravagant outfits.  
 
The story, as far as I can tell, differs a lot from the original manga when the angel gets involved, but it fits together nicely with the story they came up with. Even for me, though, it was rather odd how the queen was  the one who ordered Ciel's family to be killed and was fused together with her husband and the angel was a hermaphradite. I think they shocked a lot of people with the way they decided to twist the storyline. It seemed like they were rushing for a conclusion, even though at the time, the manga was still on-going, and still is as of yet. 
   
 
 
 
The creepy factor, I think, was amped up quite a bit, which might urk some people, but of course, I don't mind it at all. As for the music? It's positively wonderful. It fits with the series, and the...well, I can't quite describe music with words. You'll just have to listen. I especially like the opening theme 'Monochrome Kiss' and that sad background piece, 'Si Dues Me Relinquit.'  
 

Voices:

  
 
Sebastian: Daisuke Ono really nails Sebastian with the smooth, flowing, mysterious quality that he adds to his voice. He actually does a decent job with the English pronunciation of 'Yes, my Lord.' Even though Sebasu-chan is a demon and is not supposed to be expressive, Daisuke adds emotion to him that makes him even more likeable, as if that were possible ^^  
 
Ciel: Oh, wow. Maaya Sakamoto is truly amazing at her role. I know I said I would try to be impartial, but there's just no way I can when I'm talking about how accurately and wonderful she plays Ciel. The emotions and tone of voice she conveys are pitch-perfect. You can totally see Ciel's personality shining through just his voice; you don't even have to watch the animation. If you didn't know, she's also the voice of Haruhi Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club.  
 
Grelle: If someone can play a bi-sexual reaper, it's Jun Fukuyama. His voice is a little...raspy (?) and crazy, and, well, perfect. You could tell he was having fun doing it, and wasn't holding back in the slighest. If you ever watch him doing some live fan stuff for Kuroshitsuji on YouTube, you'll see what I mean.  
 
Undertaker: Oops, I'm afraid I don't know who plays the Undertaker. Anyway, whoever he is, his laugh and creepy 'sends-chills-up-your-spine-everytime-he-makes-a-sound' type of voice is awesome.  
 
Soma Asman Kadar: Since Soma is really energetic and...emotional, I think Shinnosuke Tachibana really nailed him. His voice isn't too deep or too high; it's perfect for the character and Soma's age [17].  
 
Agni: Agni's personality is portrayed perfectly, and the voice ranges from serious and comedic moments are smooth. Hiroki Yasumoto's (Germany, Yagari-sensei) deep voice is awesome for his character, even though he [Agni] is a bit eccentric.  
 
For time's sake, I won't list out every character's voice, but overall, each was at least decent. They put some good work into it.  
 

ENGLISH DUBBING~

It seems that a lot of people are unhappy with how the long-awaited Dub came out. Read on to see what I have to say about it.  
 

Voices:  

 
Sebastian: As our favorite demonic butler, we've got J. Michael Tatum doing our voice. I'm pretty new to the world of dubbing and such, but with a little research, I found out that he usually gets cast as the more eccentric characters; France (Hetalia) 'Doctor' (Black Cat), etc. And Sebastian is a rather eccentric character, so it's really no surprise, is it? I was pretty surprised at the direction it was taken at first, though. For one thing, it's sure as hell a lot deeper than Daisuke's, and doesn't have that 'soothing' quality. The English Bassy (no pun intended) is very business-like and serious, and the sarcasm/jokes come out a lot more...devilish. His chuckle is rather ingenious, though, I must say. I think that Toboso portrays him as a slightly older man than Daisuke makes him sound, so in a way, Tatum gets a little closer.  
 
Ciel: Hmm... Brina Palencia seems to be the source of a lot of fans' hate at the moment. I, like many others, think she could have done better. She's trying a bit too hard to make her voice sound like a young British boy, and you can easily see it. But it doesn't necessarily destract from the dialogue, which helps. The only real issue I have is that her 'Ss' are a bit slurred...  
 
Grelle: Even though I love Grelle as much as I do, Daniel Frederick didn't do as good a job as he could've. But it still was a pretty good 'performance' for a newbie to the world of voice-acting. His voice seemed a little quiet, but maybe that was just my speakers...  

Lau, Madame Red, May-Rin, Bard, and Finny:  Jerry Jewell, Lydia Mackay, Monica Rial, Ian Sinclair, and Jason Libreict   were excellent at their roles, however small they may be. Sinclair and Rial sound like the exact American versions of the Japanese seiyuus. Libreict was a little over-the-top, but I think it turned out okay in the end. 
 

UPDATE:

I got the second DVD, and here are my reviews of Soma and Agni's voices: 

Soma Asman Kadar:
Oh dear. I might have to watch another episode to get a better idea of his voice [I only watched episode 13 and the OVA, which doesn't have many lines], but so far I'm not sure exactly what to think of it. Christopher Ayres' voice is a lot deeper than Shinnosuke's, and sometimes I have a hard time understanding what he's saying. Do Indian people roll their 'Rs'? I remember listening to the commentary of episode 1 and how they had a hard time finding someone who could do an Indian accent, and how they were confident that this was the man who could do it. I'm not a mean person, but Soma's voice makes Ciel's, by comparison, sound like perfection. As I said, I've not heard him talk much yet, and he only appears for a mere 2-3 episodes, so maybe it's not important... but I think that a lot of people like Soma even though he's a minor character. I will say, though, that is does sound more like an Indian accent than Agni, clarity aside. 
 
Agni: The deepness that is clearly Agni is kept with the dub, thank goodness. [though, obviously, Patrick's voice isn't as deep as Hiroki's] That's what I like about him. His accent is hard to hear at times, but it is there. I think that Patrick Seitz does a pretty good job, and if I remember correctly, he did a nice job with Simon from Durarara!!! the last time I watched it.

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