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.

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
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 12:04 AM)
    On the note of good balance between humor and drama- I think BoJack Horseman is an example of a show that executed that almost perfectly in both seasons. You are laughing one minute and amused by the hijinks and silliness and the next minute you are actually moved and shocked by the honest introspection. Too be honest BoJack is more a tragic character then a goofy one, and his struggles are deeper and more existential than they have any business being in a show with anthropomorphic animals.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    The changes in the setting actually made me more excited for season 3 then what I felt the past few weeks, since now the plot needs to move forward from the cliffhanger and hopefully this translates to more cohesion and refocusing on what mad the show great in the first place. I’m pretty sure S3 will also be a blend of episodic and arch story elements tho. Overall a few ups and downs but still a great show.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:52 PM)
    The finale also had some of the most overall arch story elements featured in the season. Earth joining the Galactic Federation is a big deal story-wise from now on. Also the use of a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” (not the Nine Inch Nails one clearly) was a nice fitting yet surprising touch. The throwback to Mr. PB after the credits was a good idea, but felt flat in it’s actual execution.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:49 PM)
    I thought R&M had a pretty good finale. The episode achieved what was missing from most of season 2, and that was a balance of randomness and meaningful bits. What made Rick Potion #9 and the previous season’s finale and general tone great was a sense of humor that was combined with more sincere drama and character developments; a sort of sweet melancholy.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 09:51 PM)
    @K-off, not having too much trouble with the interface but I still cannot create categories.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 08:56 PM)
    Eh, I’ve updated myself now on the onepunch manga and also the manga for yuruyuri, I can cross the shows off my list now. I forgot to mention onepunchs first episode crammed in the first volume.
    I stopped reading though around chapter 30, it was decent fun for a bit but I’ll be continuing with it in small doses.
  • k-off
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 08:19 PM)
    @Aidan Yeah? Well I at least have to hand it to psgels for continuing to pay for the site. By the way, is WordPress still fucked up on your end, or is it fine now?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 04:57 PM)
    @;(: Actually that was probably a bad word choice on my part, I meant that the humour in those episodes didn’t always work so well for me.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 04:56 PM)
    Whereas my favourite season 1 episodes were Rick potion n09 and rixty minutes.
  • ;(
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 04:55 PM)
    @Emma: What do you mean by “uneven”?

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