Black Butler ("Kuroshitsuji")
“absolutely captivating... one hell of a movie” - Seiko, OTAKU HOUSE
Since its publication in 2006, the manga BLACK BUTLER has been adapted in a variety of ways. After two anime series, a live stage musical (THAT BUTLER, FRIENDSHIP) and even its own game for Nintendo DS (KUROSHITSUJI PHANTOM & GHOST). It was only a matter of time before the adventures of Sebastian Michaelis made it to the big screen.
The action happens in 2020. Shiori Genpo (Ayame Goriki) is a young orphan who now heads a major corporation, the toy manufacturer Funtom. Since the death of her parents ten years ago, she has lived as a boy under the assumed name of Count Genpo Kiyoharu. Only the diabolical Sebastian (Hiro Mizushima) — to whom Shiori sold her soul for his services in avenging her parents — knows her secret. The two heroes are tasked with investigating a series of murders in which all victims have been discovered mummified. The only clues are tarot cards found at the scenes of the crimes. Sebastian then discovers that each victim had received a black invitation card to a private soirée. Things get more intense when Shiori herself receives an invitation…
The challenge the filmmakers took on here was, how to meet the expectations of such a large and rabid fan following? They succeed not only in creating a film that will please the series’ longstanding diehard fans but also newcomers. They introduce the dramatis personae efficiently and then get down to business, delivering one exciting action set piece after another. Action is the backbone of the movie, superbly crafted. Going down in the near future, its events recall GHOST IN THE SHELL and THE MATRIX. That said, BLACK BUTLER is more than just explosions and body blows. It’s also about the interplay between its protagonists, eccentric personalities, delicious dialogue and wondrous costumes — all in an amazing alternate Victorian England.
Otani and Sato did their best to deliver the film fans would want. It’s more than a mere manga adaptation. It’s an action-packed reflection on the modern world, on crime and on human nature. BLACK BUTLER pulls together everything that made the series popular and presents it in a refreshing new fashion!
— Éric S. Boisvert