If you’ve been an anime fan for a while, chances are that you have already watched Kuroshitsuji or at least saw a couple of pictures of Ciel and Sebastian floating around the internet. I watched all the anime seasons and I am currently reading the manga. I will be covering both the anime and the manga in this post.
Kuroshitsuji is a story about Ciel, a guy who formed a contract with a demon for the sake of revenge. The demon is called Sebastian. The contract states that Sebastian will have to follow Ciel’s every order while making sure that Ciel isn’t killed until he extracts his revenge. Sebastian gets to feed on Ciel’s soul once he fulfills the contract.
This little detail itself makes Kuroshitsuji different from other normal shounen. We have seen a lot of characters burning for revenge. We saw Sasuke wanting to kill Itachi first and then wanting to damage the Leaf Village once he learned the truth. We also saw Kurapika sitting in a basement filled with dead eyes and planning to kill the Phantom Troupe. Here comes the question, what do these people plan to do after getting their revenge? Killing people for the sake of revenge will damage them but at least they get to live. Even if they end up being a broken mess we can at least hope that time might heal these people and give them enough reason to live. With Ciel this is just not possible. Once he gets his revenge he will be dead and Sebastian will eat his soul. There will be nothing of him left. He has no future. This makes Ciel’s revenge scheme even more cruel and brutal.
Ciel isn’t the kind of guy who would happily play the tragic hero role. He is fixated on revenge but he isn’t seething mad like Sasuke and at the same time he isn’t laughing and having fun with friends occasionally like Kurapika. He is cold and calculating. Imagine Aizen or Izaya wanting revenge. They won’t take a gun and run around the town shooting their enemies. Instead they will sit calmly in their houses, lay traps everywhere, wait for the enemies to come attack them and then torture them to death with a mocking smile on their face. Ciel is the same, he just shows a little more emotions than Aizen or Izaya.
Ciel is the England Queen’s watchdog. He deals with underground crimes when he gets a request from the queen. It is a job that his family members have been doing for a long time. Ciel’s parents were murdered by a weird cult, leaving a ten year old Ciel behind. Those murderers then tortured Ciel as part of their weird rituals. We don’t know much about what had happened to Ciel during that time (Maybe it is revealed in the later chapters of the manga and I haven’t read them yet). We just know that Ciel was broken beyond repair at that point. He decided to become the head of the family and take the responsibility of being the Queen’s watchdog. He takes care of criminals and thugs that the queen can’t punish directly. People around him don’t treat him kindly for that. Some even say that he is just a dog with a collar around his neck.
There was a time Ciel had to decide between capturing a serial killer or saving the victim. He knew that he might not get another chance to capture the killer. He decided to capture the killer and let the victim die. He even said that he has no regrets regarding what he has done. There was also another time Ciel told Sebastain to kill a bunch of people since he believed that they could no longer be saved. He felt they were better off dead. So he went ahead and ordered Sebastain to kill them all. That is not something a typical Shounen protagonist would do. Actually Ciel might be the only one who would do something like that. He might even be more of an antagonist than a protagonist. You usually end up liking him though, despite all the things he does.
The relationship between Sebastian and Ciel also makes it even more interesting. Sebastian has to follow Ciel’s order and has to protect him but it doesn’t mean that he is Ciel’s knight in shining armour. There was a time Ciel had to sneak into a room to find something. There were snakes guarding the room. He ordered Sebastian to capture them and put them in a cage. He told Sebastian to release the snakes before the room’s owner comes back. He then went in to investigate the room. It took longer than he expected and he didn’t manage to get out in time. Sebastian released the snakes anyway knowing full well that Ciel was still inside. He wouldn’t let Ciel die but he doesn’t mind letting Ciel get bitten by a snake. He thinks it is more amusing that way. Here is their conversation during that incident.
Sebastian is indeed a powerful demon but he is a double edged knife. If Ciel isn’t careful he will get end up hurting himself more than he hurts his enemies. Also Sebastian only cares about keeping Ciel safe from physical harm. He doesn’t care about his mental state. If someone important to Ciel was in harm’s way, he wouldn’t lift a finger to save that person unless Ciel orders him to do so. If Ciel was unable to give the order in time, he would just stand by and let that person get killed. He doesn’t care about how much damage it might do to Ciel. If they were trying to catch a criminal and Ciel makes a mistake, Sebastian won’t say anything and he won’t try to correct him. If the criminal ends up escaping because of that and Ciel has to face the consequences of it, Sebastain will just smile and say ‘Too bad.’
The fact that Ciel used to be a nice little kid before his parents’ murder makes this whole situation even more difficult to digest. He occasionally shows that he is just a child, especially when he wakes up screaming and trembling because of a nightmare. He quickly recovers from that and goes back to being the calm and calculating Queen’s watchdog. He is just a kid who should have been having fun playing with his friends and enjoying life and yet here he is, walking through blood covered streets, examining dead bodies for clues, catching criminals, getting kidnapped, getting hit and killing people.
If you haven’t watched Kuroshitsuji yet I recommend reading the first 22 chapters of the manga and then watching the Book of Circus followed by the Book of Murder and Book of Atlantic. The original Kuroshitsuji season changed the story drastically and Kuroshitsuji II has nothing to do with the manga. They are not bad but the original story is much better and darker. You can watch the first two seasons of the anime after watching the Book of Atlantic. You will be able to appreciate the story more that way.
Kuroshitsuji has many interesting characters and good comedy.
Kuroshitsuji is a good anime and I highly recommend watching it. Let me warn you that it has a dark story and can leave a bitter aftertaste.
See you next time ^^/