Posted by psgels on 17 September 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kuroshitsuji II




Okay, you can say a lot about Kuroshitsuji II as a sequel to Kuroshitsuji. But at least it has BALLS.

In today’s anime, in which it’s very difficult to come up with really interesting plots and storylines, and people rather try to stay at the tried and true, Kuroshitsuji came, made optimal use of its creative freedom, discarded the manga it’s based on completely, trolled just about everyone who watched it and came up with quite an interesting concept for its sequel. This lead to many good things, but also many bad things.

But still, out of all of the series that premiered during the past summer season, I really can’t deny that Kuroshitsuji II had the best plot out of all of them: it made the best use of its episodes, it was the least afraid to include some caring yet thought out plot twists, it was very good at building up its own storyline and actually using this and overall I have to say that I enjoyed most of it.

But the biggest selling point of this series is without a doubt the new cast of villains, especially Alois and Claude. The two of them are like a trainwreck: completely derailed but yet so interesting to watch. Especially the antics of Alois are consistently captivating, and you can see that the creators had a lot of fun portraying him as this insane teenaged noble. The creators realized this very well, and so they prepared a number of plot twists that really attempt to bring the best out of these two characters.

On the flip-side, this is a series that likes trolling its viewers. This is especially noticeable in the way that it follows a very awesome first episode with a completely disappointing and badly executed second episode. And in fact, the first third of this series has just about everything that made the fillers of the first season so tedious to get through. Episodes 2 to four are a bit of a test of patience, they’re necessary for the plot and all, but this series makes no attempt at hiding its vast array of annoying characters.

After that though, this series really gets better than ever. Its humour gets snappier, the way the series uses its unique selling point of god-mode butlers gets used better than ever, both for the serious purposes and the over the top silly ones (which work more and more as the series goes on).

This series also has the weirdest allocation of animation budget I’ve seen in a long while. The animation in this series ranges between average to very smooth,like what most series do. However, the creators have this very interesting tendency to spend the most frames on the most random scenes, especially on hands or lip-syncing, while the action-scenes usually have average animation. And don’t get me wrong here: it actually works pretty well. Those detailed scenes add an interesting amount of life to the characters, and the action scenes are kept interesting by the plot twists anyway, so they don’t really need any stellar animation.

I have ranted about Kuroshitsuji, I have ranted about the fillers, and I have ranted about the ending of this sequel (which, the more I think about it, was actually pretty good), but really: we need more series like this. Series in which the creators disregard any conventions and just go with a bunch of interesting ideas that actually lead to some unique stories.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Well paced, fun, tense and exciting and manages to get the best out of the plot and characters. At times it might not seem like it knows what it’s doing but in 50% of the cases it’s just trolling.
Characters: 9/10 – Alois and Claude may not be the deepest characters, but they’re delightful to watch. This sequel also gives an interesting new dimension to Ciel and Sebastian.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Strange uses of budget that somehow work. Oh, and Yuki Kajiura has an insert song somewhere.
Setting: 8/10 – Makes optimal use of its creative liberties with a seemingly endless supply of interesting ideas for the plot to work with.

Suggestions:
Touka Gettan
Futakoi Alternative
Ga-Rei Zero

5 Responses

  1. AuroraFlame says:

    I swear this was slated for three cours and 37 episodes. Did something happen or was the information off?

  2. lalarhs says:

    I thought the series had a decent ending. I like how the plot had so many unique twists that throw us off guard. I never expected Ciel would turn into a demon either, and that’s what I liked – the fact that I didn’t expect it. I think more animes should use the elements that you mentioned above from this show. Honestly, we need to stop with the predictable and cliched plots and endings.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this season much more than the last (I honestly wished they were able to do this before). Although, it apparently isn’t the end of the series yet since I’ve heard there are about 9 OVAs that will be released with the new DVDs. Maybe their budget wasn’t so great in the series because they spent some of it on the OVAs.

  3. psgels psgels says:

    9 OVAs? 37 episodes? That’s the first time I read about so many of them. There are indeed a number of OVAs slated, but those do seem more like side-stories. I’m not sure where the 37 episodes come from, though. ANN clearly lists that Kuroshitsuji will only have 12 of them. It would be interesting if it were wrong, though.

  4. lalarhs says:

    Actually I’m not sure whether it’s 6 or 9 OVAS. I may be mistaking the 9 for the 9 DVDs that will be released. The OVAs are completely unrelated to plot of season second, so it’s really just for pure entertainment value I guess. I, for one, look forward to the ‘Ciel in Wonderland’ OVA. A wonderland version of Kuroshitsuji simply sounds interesting.

    I’m pretty sure there isn’t 37 episodes. It’s already quite an odd number of episodes to begin with. However, from how the season ended, I would think it’s plausible to think there can be a 3rd season. It could happen due to Kuroshitsuji’s raising popularity at the moment. Although I think it’d be best for them to leave it here.

  5. Ferdinand says:

    holy the season 1 and 2 at first it feel so slow and quite boring but the ending makes up for it. This has one of the most shocking ending i ever seen, really its very unpredictable..

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  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 08:42 PM)
    @K-off: you were right about the continuity, because it became clear that they weaved the last few episodes together and the narrative has become somewhat singular, since Last week’s episode directly leads into the series finale. The source of anomalies surrounding Dandy was also revealed, I just wish they spread a bit more throughout the series instead of bunching most of it at the end.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 08:37 PM)
    Another praise that can be given to deen is the third rozen maiden season.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 08:37 PM)
    Also the penultimate episode of Dandy was pretty good. A courtroom drama is interesting and still fresh for the anime industry. The 3rd act wasn’t satisfying but the whole thing did a good job of setting things up for the finale.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 08:33 PM)
    Deen is not a bad studio, it’s just that like most other anime companies which have had their ups-and-downs. These studios are a conglomerate, so it all depends on the staff behind each particular title. The budget of a project can also make a difference and I would think that LH2 would probably have a reasonable one. With the old staff on-board I don’t see at real problem here.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 06:41 PM)
    Rurouni Kenshin trust and betrayel is a prequel so even if you can’t remember the manga it doesn’t really matter. And seriously the difference between that and the series is astronomical. It’s like the difference between Deens fate/stay night and ufotables fate/zero.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 06:31 PM)
    Well that and I haven’t read Kenshin since I was what…13?
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 06:30 PM)
    @Aidan: Sounds like I’m giving it a go. I had always avoided Kenshin after the bits with Shisio as I’d fallen out with reading the manga.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 06:20 PM)
    @Emma, If you have not seen that Kenshin OVA I highly recomend it. It is very serious compared it the anime series. Many regard it highly.
    Plus it’s depressing as hell so right up your alley.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:35 PM)
    Shisio Makoto now while I my not have been big on Kenshin I liked him a fair bit.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:34 PM)
    I had shion no ou spoiled for me at one point and well that was fairly frustrating =<

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