Saturday, 3 June 2023

Black Butler by Yana Toboso

Black Butler takes us to London in the 19th century, introducing us to the young noble Earl, Ciel Phantomhive and his flawless butler, Sebastian Michaelis. As we progress further into the routine of the young earl’s life we discover that Ciel is the queen’s guard dog and has most of London’s underground up against the wall; as for his butler, Sebastian may not even be human at all!

As I would definitely recommend this Manga to other readers, it is classified for older teens, not only because of the tasks of London’s underground but also because of Ciel’s view on wanting vengeance instead of justice.

Throughout the Manga, Yana Toboso has created an interesting and relatable set of characters. Finnian, a young boy who serves the young master as his gardener, however, has a tendency to break objects quite easily by accident, including a tree. Then there’s Mey-Rin, a clumsy maid that secretly has a crush on Sebastian, although she wears glasses she struggles to see out of them but insists she keep them despite Sebastian’s protest because the young master gifted them to her. Bardo, the Phantomhive chef who is eager to stand up to Sebastian but thinks a little too outside the box, for example, using a flamethrower to cook meat. We also meet Tanaka, an old man who has random outbursts of energy. Finally, there’s Lizzie, Ciel’s betrothed who enjoys dressing everything to look adorable and adding colour to Ciel’s life.

Being the first book in the series, the plot hasn’t fully surfaced yet. What is revealed though, leaves us with questions and eager for the next volume. Yana Toboso has beautifully illustrated the Manga. Although it is published in black and white, each frame is vivid and allows you to picture the many shades and hues of colours. Yana has amazingly drawn flawless, intricate clothing designs and accessories. Black Butler is probably my favourite drawn Manga I’ve read so far and this is one of the many reasons why I recommend it!

Gemma.  Age 14.