WE ARE SO BACK. Honestly, I had given up on getting a new season of Black Butler, but they keep surprising us with new content! If anything, I thought the series was going to undergo a reboot given how off track we got with the end of S1 and all of S2, but I’m happy to see that they are just plugging along! I personally read the Weston College Arc, or Public School Arc, years ago so I’m operating off memory of the major plot points, but don’t remember a lot of the specifics. Like genuinely, I forgot that all the prefects were literally named after the color of their houses and that is so funny to me. 

Anyways! Let’s talk about the actual episode. Which, if you haven’t seen any previous season or movies is pretty jarring. From the beginning it looks like a regular school anime that just so happens to be set in Victorian England. I mean, within the first few clips we see Ciel being late to school running with a biscuit in his mouth. He’s completely different from the queen’s lap dog that we’ve come to expect – and that’s exactly what he wants you to think. 

The short explanation is: Ciel is investigating oddities surrounding the Queen’s cousin’s son at a boys-only college. Typically, he would just send someone else to attend or likely have Sebastian get to the bottom of it all. However, he’s limited in his pawns to use as they would most likely be noticed and having Sebastian do all the work is just not as much fun for the viewers. So enter Ciel Phantomhive, head of the Phantomhive estate and the only one currently qualified to do this job. While he’s there, he currently has two major goals: Understand what happened to Derek Arden and seek the company of the headmaster. Unfortunately, both of those tasks seem a lot harder to accomplish than one would believe. Turns out only one of the 4 prefects, or P4, can meet with the headmaster – the only exception would be the drudges of the prefects. And then, due to the house competition – probably due to all the tradition that’s floating out there – it’s difficult for him to even approach a member of the opposite house. Godspeed Ciel. You have a lot of work to do. 

As for my feelings on the episode, I think I’m kind of mixed! I am so stoked to have this arc animated, but this episode was definitely just laying the groundwork and giving returning fans some nostalgia and fan service. I am not surprised by this though. If Black Butler  had been getting regular updates as a series, we’re well past the point of having to introduce everyone and everything. I know what I’m personally looking for will come throughout the season, I’m just impatient (pls it’s been 7 years since Book of the Atlantic and 10 years since Book of Circus). The art direction? I’ll share my two cents, but I think it boils down to just not being used to it yet. Mentally, I’m like “Oh! I prefer the older versions” but it’s pretty clear that things have improved all-around. Mayhaps it’s just because I feel for these characters when they looked a certain way vs how they look now. Just in my mind, I feel like this new style doesn’t reflect the manga as much as the old version BUT I’m definitely biased in that. I’m sure if I opened up my volumes I’d realize, “Oh wait, no. I really am just missing the 2008-2009 era of anime.” With all this said though, I am in love with the framing of certain scenes! The way we’re introduced to Weston College is absolutely gorgeous. I loved the use of the clock’s pendulum when Ciel is being accepted into the school, or the usage of silhouettes and glass windows with the prefects. Those are all phenomenal and so pretty to look at! Anyways! Those are my current thoughts. I’m sure I’ll come around to the ikemen and bishōnen eventually. 

Overall, I’m still pretty hyped for this anime and all I’m asking is for Cloverworks to do it justice. Maybe this week I’ll take some time to re-read everything through this arc just to hype myself up some more!

Continue Watching? Yes! No matter how this turns out, I want to see it in its entirety!

Continue Blogging? For now, yes!


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