Manga Review: Black Butler, Volume 1 & 2

Manga Review: Black Butler, Volume 1 & 2Black Butler, Vol 1 & 2 by Yana Toboso
Published by Yen Press on January/May 2010
Genres: Manga
Pages: 192

When a terrible fire claims his parents, Ciel Phantomhive must step up as the head of his father's company and as Earl Phantomhive. It would be a lot for the young boy to handle were it not for his faithful butler, Sebastian. Ever at Ciel's side, it seems there's little Sebastian can't do, whether it's saving a dinner party gone awry or probing the dark secrets of London's underbelly. He's almost too good to be true...or at least, too good to be human...


Plot: Black Butler is a manga that I have been looking at for a while now. It is one of those types where something in the summary catches your attention, but you are not too sure if this will be a series for you. And sadly, after reading the first two volumes, I am still not sure. The story follows Ciel, a young boy, who has been left to run the family toy company. Unfortunately, the boy is left without many family or friends. He basically depends on his butler, Sebastian. And once Sebastian enters the picture, things get a lot more interesting. There is nothing this butler cannot do. Whether it be solve mysteries, fix failing dinner parties.. he does it all.

I think the series has some potential. But I want a lot more action. And based on the clues that are dropped here and there, I think there may just be some coming. But if not, this series is dead in the water for me.

Characters: Where Black Butler really shines is in its characters. Ciel and Sebastian are dark, mysterious, and have left a lot more to uncover. The secondary characters, whose names I sadly cannot remember for the life of me, were a nice foil to Ciel and Sebastian. They are light and provide plenty of needed comedic relief. Not sure how they really fit into the overall picture, but glad to have a little humor provided.

Graphics: Black Butler is a very nicely drawn manga. Plenty of dark and light colors to make the mood dramatic. I love the look of the characters, although sometimes they are a little chibi looking. Toboso creates a beautiful world with plenty of Goth and Victorian touches.

Series Info: There are currently four volumes released. The remaining volumes are tentatively scheduled for release by Yen Press as follows:

•BLACK BUTLER Volume 5 – Coming April 2011

•BLACK BUTLER Volume 6 – Coming July 2011

•BLACK BUTLER Volume 7 – Coming October 2011

•BLACK BUTLER Volume 8 – Coming January 2012

•BLACK BUTLER Volume 9 – Coming April 2012

•BLACK BUTLER Volume 10 – Coming July 2012


Due to some violence / gore and darker themes, this manga is rated YA, and may not be suitable for readers under 16.

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