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Black Butler Season 1 Part 1 and RoboGeisha DVD Reviews

 

“Black Butler” is a competently made albeit uninspired anime series.

“RoboGeisha” is certainly original, but it wears out its welcome.

Black Butler Season 1 Part 1:

In this dark Victorian era anime series, the story revolves around a young rich boy named Ciel Phantomhive. Ciel, who tragically lost his family, lives in a giant estate with only his helpful servants and a demon butler named Sebastian. Yes, you read that right, a demon butler. You see, Ciel sold his soul in order to get vengeance for the death of his parents. Now, a demon (in the form of a butler) is aiding him in his quest. Episode plots involve Ciel’s fiance, a cheating business associate, kidnappers, “Jack The Ripper,” a reaper, a demon dog, and a crazy man named Viscount. Season 1 part 1 contains the first 12 episodes of the series.

“Black Butler” is another one of those anime series that has a weird balance of horror and comedy. When it focuses on the atmospheric horror elements, it’s effective. When the tone turns comedic with the annoying servants (and their exaggerated behavior), the show becomes less appealing.

As for the story, there’s nothing revolutionary here. The story is basically a combination of past shows such as “Death Note” and “D.Gray-Man” only it’s not as good as either show. Still, this a well-made show that does hold your interest. It is possible that the story could improve as the series progresses as well.

Video/Audio:

“Black Butler” is a sharp looking series. I’m honestly surprised this wasn’t released on Blu-ray at the same time as the DVD (although a Blu-ray release could still come out). The series is presented in widescreen.

English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Japanese Stereo tracks are included here. Both tracks are equally solid here. You can do no wrong in picking either one.

Extras:

* Trailers for “Phantom- Requiem For The Phantom,” “D-Gray Man,” “Ghost Hunt,” “Darker Than Black,” “FLCL,” “Summer Wars,” “Black Butler,” “Ouran High School Host Club,” and “Le Chevalier D’Eon.”
* Commentary on episodes 1 and 7 by the American dub line producer, directors, and voice actors/actresses. If you’ve heard one of these commentaries done by the American dub crew, you’ve heard them all.
* Textless opening and closing songs.
* A music profile of “Becca.”
* “The Story Thus Far” narrated by Tanaka.

RoboGeisha:

The plot: Yoshie and her sister Kikue are kidnapped by the evil Kageno Steel Company for the purpose of being turned into cybernetic assassins. However, after being left for dead and learning that Kageno is planning on destroying Japan, Yoshie (AKA RoboGeisha) decides to stop the company once and for all.

If “Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl” wasn’t weird enough for you, “RoboGesiha” should be. The film is filled with strange imagery, fights, and gadgetry such as goblin masks, sword fights, a saw bladed mouth robot, ninja stars and swords coming out of butts, a missile shooting helmet, a crazed nurse, breast milk melting a face, chest guns, armpit blades, an android, a mouth blade, fried shrimp eye gouge, a geisha tank, shoulder guns, a giant castle robot, a knee cap gun, and musical references to “Godzilla,” “Rocky,” and “Live And Let Die.”

Weirdness aside, the movie isn’t as interesting as one might think. Sure, the first 30 minutes are a trip, but the premise wears thin pretty quickly. It doesn’t help that the movie is rather overlong either. Still, you have to give the movie props for originality. You can’t really compare it to anything else.

Summary: If you’re looking for a bizarre flick, “RoboGeisha” might be up your alley. It’s far from perfect, but it’s entertaining.

The widescreen picture quality is quite colorful, but a little on the fuzzy side. Perhaps the Blu-ray disc looks sharper?

English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Japanese Stereo audio tracks are included on this disc. The English dub is ridiculous (and not in a good way). The Japanese track is the only way to go.

Extras:
* Trailers for “Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl,” “Robogeisha,” “Daytime Drinking,” “Ghost Train,” “Ichi,” “Hana,” Hong Kong Connection series, “Mushi-Shi,” “Kamui Gaiden,” and “Synesthesia.”
* “Geishacop: Fearsome Geisha Corps- Go To Hell”- A nearly 17 minute spin-off short film of “Robogeisha”. This is just as bizarre as “Robogeisha”.

January 30, 2011 - Posted by | DVD review | ,

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