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Black Butler Season 1 Part 2 DVD Review

Despite an interesting conclusion, “Black Butler” doesn’t improve much in its second season.

In episodes 13-24 of “Black Butler,” major plots include: A Prince and his butler Agni staying at the Phantomhive, a Curry Festival Competition (strange to be sure), Queen Victoria, ghosts in a castle, a cult in a monestary, Ciel’s destiny, two troublesome angels named Ash and Angela, the servants, Sebastian being arrested, a World’s Fair trip, a fire, a not-so-ordinary dog named Pluto, and one doozy of a season cliffhanger that will truly leave you wondering what will happen in season 2.

Throughout most of these episodes, ‘Butler’ seems to lose its way as the show is clearly stalling for time until the exciting conclusion in episode 24 (which I will get to shortly). Rather than moving the story forward, the writers seem more concerned with cramming historical references into the stories which became a little frustrating for me. Granted, the stories had more of a variety than the first 12 episodes, but I was left wanting more. It didn’t help that I couldn’t really connect (or care about) any of the characters in the show aside from Sebastian.

Thankfully, episode 24 makes up for some of the flaws. While I won’t give away any spoilers, I will just say that I was surprised to see a particular event happened so soon in the series (especially knowing there is a second season). Even though I haven’t been overly thrilled with the series up to this point, this cliffhanger hooked me and has me curious about the next season.

Summary: If you’ve made it past part 1, you might as well stick it out and watch the rest of the series. It’s not a great anime series by any stretch, but it’s watchable.

Video/Audio:

The widescreen picture quality once again looks great. The colorful, detailed environments really stand-out here. It’s too bad “Black Butler” isn’t available on Blu-ray yet as the picture quality would no doubt look even better on that format.

This set contains English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Japanese Stereo tracks. The English track contains lots of cheesy British accent while the Japanese track is vastly superior voice acting wise.

Extras:
* An OVA about a production of “Hamlet” being performed titled “His Butler, Performer.” This is a sleight, stand alone story but it’s entertaining.
* Trailers for “Darker Than Black,” “Soul Eater,” “Eden Of The East,” “Spice And Wolf,” “Phantom- Requiem For The Phantom,” “xxxHolic,” “Evangelion,” “D.Gray-Man,” and “Rideback.”
* Episode 16 commentary by the ADR engineer and the voice actor of Edward and commentary on episode 21 by three voice actors. No point in listening to these. The episode 21 in particular is REALLY obnoxious.

* Textless opening and closing songs.

April 19, 2011 - Posted by | DVD review | ,

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