Friday, September 7, 2012

Black Butler Vol. 1

By Yana Toboso
3 / 5 Gnomes

Just a stone's throw from London lies the manor house of the illustrious Phantomhive earldom and its master, one Ciel Phantomhive. Earl Phantomhive is a giant in the world of commerce, Queen Victoria's faithful servant...and a slip of a twelve-year-old boy. Fortunately, his loyal butler, Sebastian, is ever at his side, ready to carry out the young master's wishes. And whether Sebastian is called to save a dinner party gone awry or probe the dark secrets of London's underbelly, there apparently is nothing Sebastian cannot do. In fact, one might even say Sebastian is too good to be true...or at least, too good to be human...

~Amazon Description~

I'm not a manga enthusiast.  In fact, I probably wouldn't pick them up if I wasn't a teen librarian in charge of monitoring a manga club.  But, so it goes.  In an effort to keep up-to-date on what is available, I select the occasional title or to to take home and dutifully read.  And then I go back to the library and make the teens explain them to me.  I can not, for the life of me, figure out the right to left reading and who is a male or female character.  I also get so caught up in the story that I forget to look at the pictures, which, lets face it, is the actual point of manga.

The teens have been mentioning Black Butler quite a bit, so I took volume one home to figure out what it's all about.  From what I gather, Ciel Phantomhive, is the head of the Phanotomhive family and apparently a major toy dealer.  And he has this wicked Butler who is not only proficient in the kitchen, but can kick butt as well.  And the Butler,Sebastian, might not be what he seems.  

And because I believe in going big or going home, I've also started watching the anime.  Episode one started out very similar to the manga, then became this rather demented thing which I can only hope will be explained later in the book.  Episode two followed the manga much better.  Sebastian's voice-over isn't quite what I was expecting.  I did, however, enjoy the English accents, except the Butler in an English manor made me think of Downton Abbey, and then I kept imagining how this strange devil butler would have been hilarious dealing with Mr. Carson.  Or even better, I kept hearing Tim Curry in Clue:

Wadsworth: "Indeed, no sir. I am merely a humble butler."
Colonel Mustard: "What exactly do you do?"
Wadsworth: "I buttle, sir."
Colonel Mustard: "Which means what?"
Wadsworth: "The butler is the head of the kitchen and dining room.  I keep everything tidy."

In the end, I suppose I will continue.  Unlike most series, I do tend to finish manga.  Thank goodness they only take me about 20 minutes to read.  I have to fight the teen patrons for them though, so who knows when the other gazillion volumes will return to the library...

Happy Friday!

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