DVD Review: Black Butler
Black Butler is a live action adaptation of the popular manga of the same name. The film is driven by Ayame Goriki as Shiori Genpo, a noblewoman (who has to dress up as a man for any public appearances) literally hell bent on revenge for the murder of her parents. To assist her in her vengeful notions is her butler Sebastian (Hiro Mizushima), but as we discover early on in the film, when Sebastian rescues Shiori from a dire situation she has managed to get herself into, Sebastian is no ordinary butler.
Like a phoenix rising from the flames (as he does in one early scene) Sebastian proves he is more than your average butler, in fact he’s a demon who has agreed to help Shiori in her vengeful lust in exchange for her soul.
The film is part action overload, part detective story, and all a little bit weird.
The action set pieces would put the Wachowski brothers to shame, and the violence never quite gets too excessive. To counter the action and violence Black Butler uses the unique master-servant dynamic to great comedic value lifting what could have become a very dark tail to an entertaining romp.
The films is stylish without an over abundance of CGI and the storytelling is well driven, if sometimes over complicated. All in all, Black Butler is an easy entry point into the weird and sometimes wonderful world of Japanese pop culture.
Rating: M Violence.