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.|