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Black Butler Movie Review: A live action that goes beyond the anime

Black Butler is yet another live action adaptation of an anime series which will be shown exclusively by SM Cinemas beginning July 23.  Ranne and I were lucky to have been invited to be part of the exclusive premier screening for this movie. The premier was held at the SM Megamall Director's Club CInema, and together with us are other Otakus like Rayan Posadas of Anime PH, Jilian of The Cosplay and Anime Cafe and the peepz at Anime Pilipinas.

Black Butler movie is a live action movie based on the manga and anime series Kuroshitsuji.  THe manga is written and illustrated by Yana Toboso and debuted on September 16, 2008 while the anime adaptation premiered in October 2008 with 24 episodes.  There were also a second and third season for the anime with the second season in 2012 with 12 episodes and the third one's first episode aired on June 10, 2014.

The movie adaptation of Black Butler run under the same premise and basic concept of Kuroshitsuji.  The main character, Kiyoharu Genpo / Shiori (Ciel Phantomhive in the anume) made a contract with the Sebastian (a demon) in exchange for helping her find out who killed her parents and exact revenge on them.  After accomplishing that mission her soul will be consumed by her butler, Sebastian.

Anime and Movie Adaptation First Impression

If you will be watching Black Butler live action you should consider it as something new and different and avoid comparing it with the anime.  There are some variations with the anime including the story about the main character.  In this movie "Ciel" was depicted as a female which returned as a female dressed as a boy.  The name had also been different, as well as the family from Phantomhive to Genpo.

The time setting of the movie was also different since it is set in 2020 Asia compared to the anime which is set in 19th century England.  Based on my research the main reason for changing the time frame and setting is because of the producer, Shinjo Matsuhashi having problems casting Japanese actors for the film.

I will not dwell so much in the anime and movie comparison since honestly I have not watched the anime and I would be too assuming to say that I know about it.

The True Connection Between the Anime and the Movie

Now, did I just tell above that I will not dwell so much on this?  However, just as I was about to conclude this article I found the answer to the question, "Why is the movie and anime different?" and here is the answer.
In the movie adaptation, "Black Butler" is set in the year 2020, this is a 130-years leap after the events of the manga and anime.  The movie brings in a brand new adventure of Sebastian returning to assist a descendant of the Phantomhive family.  Sebastian's new master is Kiyoharu,the young leader of the Genpo Group, whose real name is Shiori because she disguised herself as a man to protect her status as heir to their family's estate.  Bound together by an unbreakable master-servant loyalty, Shiori traded her sould for Sebastian's service.  Both of them carry out secret missions from the Queen.  When they are assigned to look into an ongoing serial murder case, Sebastian soon discovers a world that humans should never enter.  - SM Cinema.
So technically, the movie is independent of what is happening in the anime.  This also explains the background on the movie which says that the family adopted Genpo after they settled to the new place.

Movie Quality of Black Butler

Black Butler exceeds all my expectations for a movie.  In fact even if you hate or love anime, a fan or not or have even known the anime of Black Butler it does not matter.  This movie created something in its own.  It is like a brand new movie which you would watch at theaters and then come out fulfilled in terms of every single aspect of it.

The dialogue was superb, the acting of each character was magnificent, the fight scenes were surreal and the flow of the story was so smooth and engaging that you will not dare move your eyes out of the screen.  I ranked two movies of Mel Gibson, "Braveheart," and "The Patriot" as the best movie that I have ever watched however, after watching Black Butler they overtook them without even a single reconsideration.

Black Butler has strong moral message

The movie dwells much in human morality and the realism of the world.  It dwells with the basic reality of the 7 deadly sins of man, most specially greed and vanity.  People would do everything to achieve what is best for himself and this film shows just that.  It will begin by debunking the existence of God and yet in the end reminding everyone of the goodness of humanity and the relevance of God in this world.

Though Black Butler is a made-up movie, it dwells so much on what we fail to see in our everyday life.  "Humans are the real demons," as quoted in the movie is but a realization of what exist on this earth and can surely be applied to what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 which killed 295 people and the massacre of civilians including women and children in Gaza.

As you watch the movie you will have a lot of realizations and you will surely relate to the movie.  It shows the true emotions of a human being and the sarcasm of "demons."

Recommendation on Black Butler Movie

You should definitely watch this because failure to watch this will surely be something you will regret and I mean it.  This is probably the best anime live action I have ever watched and you will surely agree that it will also be among your top favorite.  For me it surpasses even Ruruoni Kenshin and Hunter X Hunter for sure.

Well we did enjoy the movie and here are some shots to remember this one a kind movie experience at SM Megamall Director's Club cinema.


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