Herald Views

Herald Views: Black Butler, Episode 1


The content of this piece was written during a viewing of the first episode of Black Butler on December 26, 2010. Edits have been made for spelling and grammar, but the rest is completely untouched, and un-edited from its original format.

Let it be known that, while Sebastian may be a sexy and capable butler, he’s no match for the badassery that is Tanaka! Alright, alright. I doubt that Tanaka can be as twisted as Sebastian. Still, he comes close!


3:14 PM: Good afternoon, everyone. I hope you all had a pleasant holiday!

3:14 PM: Today I’ll be covering a show that’s a little further from the comfort zone.

3:14 PM: At the same time, I’ll no doubt be bringing on the wrath of countless fangirls, as I cover the first episode of Black Butler.

3:14 PM: But before I bring on the pain, I’d like to get the essentials out of the way.

3:15 PM: Directed by Toshiya Shinohara (Gunparade Orchestra, InuYasha movies 1-4)

3:15 PM: Created by Yana Toboso

3:15 PM: Music by Taku Iwasaki (Gurren Lagann, Persona: Trinity Soul, R.O.D The TV)

3:16 PM: Animated by A-1 Pictures (Birdy the Mighty: Decode, Persona: Trinity Soul) & Aniplex (Kara no Kyoukai, Blood+)

3:16 PM: Released by .@FUNimation

3:16 PM: Ending theme: I’m Alive! by Becca

3:16 PM: Opening theme: Kiss of Monochrome by Sid

3:17 PM: And, without further ado, here we go!

3:17 PM: Opening with… feathers… and religious banter >_> With a naked man… wat

3:18 PM: Apparently, this person made a contract with a demon… or something. >_>

3:18 PM: Ruffle of feathers and opening credits. Could… be interesting. Maybe.

3:19 PM: Lots of shots of sexy butler man and some pirate kid.

3:19 PM: At least he might be a pirate O_o he’s got an eyepatch… and eyepatches are freaking badass.

3:20 PM: Anyway, credits are over… and we’re on a number of nice landscape shots.

3:20 PM: “It’s time to wake up, young master :3” …wat?

3:21 PM: Some kid waking up… and his butler dressing him…. :| kay?

3:21 PM: Butler = sex. Gotcha.

3:22 PM: “You’re right, Sebastian :3” so we have a name for Mr. Sexpot. :D

3:22 PM: “My butler is an able man ;3” … … … wat :|

3:23 PM: Breakfast game for the master: HEAD DARTS! Nailed some poor guy with a dart. XD

3:23 PM: “What was that for? ;-;” “You should have seen that coming.” Poor guy.

3:23 PM: Who has a name now – Finny, he’s apparently a gardener? o_o

3:23 PM: And fujoshi-looking maid = Mey-Rin

3:24 PM: She’s got the hots for Sebastian, it seems. Fun.

3:24 PM: And sexy yet rugged chef = Baldo

3:24 PM: “Tanaka :D” “-Tanaka drinking tea all :3-” “You’re fine as you are.” …Tanaka’s the freaking man

3:25 PM: Sebastian takes his job seriously.

3:25 PM: And pirate kid has a pimp cane. He just needs a wide-brimmed hat

3:26 PM: Wow… Sebastian manages to be sexy in everything he does… >_>

3:26 PM: And the rest of the help hates him, I see. :D They’re fun already

3:26 PM: They’re trying to outdo Sebastian… while Tanaka just sits there being epic

3:27 PM: And pirate kid wants his parents’ portrait taken down. “I’m head of Phantomhive :3” someone has a big head >_>

3:27 PM: And the help just screwed up big time… why don’t they get fired now? o_o

3:28 PM: They’re freaking incompetent! O_o

3:28 PM: …Sebastian has a solution. It’s MacGuyver time! Or something

3:29 PM: ….Smart man – turn the ruin into a Zen garden. O_o

3:29 PM: …Wow. I’ve heard Engrish, but not butchered Italian before.

3:30 PM: And phase 2 of the MacGuyvering begins!

3:30 PM: As pirate pimp kid talks business with the guest… while playing games. >_>

3:31 PM: Kid has no interest… sounds like he’s wasting his time

3:31 PM: …This is a morbid board game O_o

3:32 PM: “Once you’ve lost something, you never get it back T_T” …Morbid kid

3:32 PM: And Eyecatch

3:33 PM: Mid-show analysis: …in one word: “wat,” in two words: “PRETTY MEN!”

3:34 PM: … … Wow. Crisis averted by Sebastian again as clumsy maid almost ruins ANOTHER set of china. >_> She still works there WHY?

3:34 PM: “How many time have I said not to run in the mansion? :3” “O//o” Oh boy… fangirl

3:35 PM: …And Sebastian treats them like children. I can’t say I blame him. –; they’re boobs.

3:36 PM: Looks like it’s dinner time… and pimp kid is pissing off his guest.

3:37 PM: Sebastian can sell even raw beef. Good salesman o_o

3:38 PM: Mey-Rin is failing in her duties… again >_> Again – WHY HAVE THEY NOT FIRED THESE PEOPLE? D:

3:38 PM: “Isn’t Mey-Rin acting wierd? :3” …she’s horny.

3:38 PM: And she spilled a bottle of wine… into the guest’s lap? o_o

3:39 PM: Sebastian saves with MAGIC! well… sleight of hand. :D

3:39 PM: “He merely did what was proper as my servant :3” Kid keeps speaking in double entendres D: wtf

3:39 PM: “I am merely one hell of a butler :3” in more ways than one :D

3:40 PM: Apparently, the kid wants to finish his morbid-ass game >_> wtf

3:41 PM: Burn. Sebastian and pimp child bash Italian tea… which I agree – it does kinda suck most of the time >_>

3:41 PM: “Let him enjoy the Phantomhive hospitality to the fullest :3” … …. … They’re gonna murder him

3:42 PM: And the guest is apparently trying to screw ’em hardcore. :D Now the games begin, I guess

3:42 PM: SHIT BE COMIN’ OUT OF THE PAINTINGS! :O

3:43 PM: …Looks like he’s lost. I would be, too >_>

3:43 PM: Guest sees dead people.

3:43 PM: Aw… Maid seems both regretful… and horny. >___>

3:44 PM: Looks like the guest broke his leg… ouch.

3:44 PM: I see… the game’s coming to life now.

3:45 PM: And Sebastian’s hunting him like an animal.

3:45 PM: Ohp… he’s in the oven.

3:46 PM: And he’s dead… >_>

3:46 PM: And acting none the wiser to the other help. This guy is a freaking beast. >_> But he’s no Tanaka still

3:47 PM: And the evidence is as good as destroyed.

3:47 PM: I see… he wasn’t killed… just badly burned. And the kid realized he was being screwed from the get go. How Machiavellian.

3:48 PM: And the kid broods… >_> there goes the fun

3:48 PM: All while Sebastian goes about HIS duties… and flashes back to the past.

3:49 PM: And credits.

3:50 PM: Verdict: It’s “OK” – Sebastian is awesome, and Tanaka’s the freakin’ man. The rest of the cast though? They’re not funny or very useful.

3:51 PM: They seem to just weigh down the major story of Sebastian and the kid, right now, as does the amount of angst from pimp kid.

3:53 PM: Still, when Sebastian gets even, shit gets REAL.

3:54 PM: So, I guess It’s fair to say it’s half-baked right now, but… it could definitely turn into something fun later on.

Black Butler is currently available through FUNimation.
The series can be purchased at Right Stuf.

Thanks to FUNimation for providing a review copy!
About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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