Saturday, October 18, 2014

Black Butler: Book Of Circus Review

Black Butler: Book Of Circus Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

Also, this is a review for Season 3. And not for the whole show.

With that said, thank you, and onto the review:

I don't really have anything against anime filler. Bleach is going to have some later on, mainly to space out the Aracanar arc. The same goes for Black Butler 2, which was actually a story written exclusively for the anime. This season, which introduced a royal named Alois Trancy, and his butler named Claude. I have not watched this season due mainly to spoilers. But what mainly put some people off was this series ending. I'm not going to spoil it, but it involves Ciel and Sebastian's contract.

When a new season of Black Butler was green lit, I was ecstatic. Beside looking to the OVA's for entertainment, now I could get a new season. I started reading the manga, and has finished the Noah's Ark Circus part of the manga when the season 3 announcement came out the same day. Guess what they were adapting?

Now, I was pumped. With the director behind Bleach in tow, and having it all from the manga, this season was going to be awesome. I patiently waited until July, and then BAM!

While this season had story issues, including changing a part of Ciel's back-story, and potentially confusing viewers who haven't read the manga as to what was going on, this series still had a lot going for it. And, it's Black Butler, so what more could you ask for? XD

This arc was pretty fantastic, and this anime was too. So, let's get on with the story.


The first episode of this season kicks back with a re-introduction of the characters, and Sebastian and Ciel kicking ass. It's in the second episode where we start the circusing.

The Queen of England sends Ciel and Sebastian tickets to the Noah's Ark Circus. They are touring London, and the queen wishes for Ciel to investigate the possible link between the circus, and a string of recent kidnappings of children in the area. After talking with Undertaker, in which he reveals the bodies have not popped up in the underworld, we are given a slight glimmer of hope the the children are alive.

But don't start throwing glitter and confetti yet. After volunteering with Betty the tiger, and ogling on how cute it is, Sebastian decides to go undercover at the circus, and gets a job, much to Ciel's chagrin. It isn't helped by the fact that he is forced to work there as well, and that William is investigating the kidnappings for his own matter.

Once there, a plot will unfold, and it might involve the hunting down of a known Earl. But wait, isn't he at the circus? Yes, but a big plot twist might be coming up later on. ;)

I like this arc, mainly because I find this setup so engaging and suspenseful. The story is built nup perfectly, and the end is quite satisfying if you ask me.

However, there are parts in which they changed that bugged me a bit, and could be potentially confusing to any viewer who hasn't read the manga. First being with the last half of the first season and the complete second season being tossed out the window like it doesn't exist.

I understand why they do this, considering that the arc takes place after Soma and Agni come to London. But then again, we did have the arc where Lizzie gets captured by Dorezzel Cainz (I think I spelled that wrong) before Soma and Agni arrive in the anime. And, Grell is also in that first mentioned arc too. Do some of you see what I mean?

But, the part that irks me off the most is that they changed a bit of Ciel's back story. The part in which it became more convenient doesn't really bother me, considering I found it to be more entertaining than the manga, in which Barlon Kelvin was just killed by the dinner table. However, they change the part in which Ciel and Sebastian first met. So, instead of that dreamy sequence we are presented with in both the beginning of the anime and manga, they first met during a session in which Ciel is being tortured.

I'm sorry, but WHAT?

This was the reason why this anime was going to get a lower score, but the anime managed to add Grell, who wasn't in this arc before, into it. And everyone knows how much I love Grell. :D


A lot of the characters aren't going to be typically new, but I am going to describe the Noah's Ark Circus, and how each member contributes to the circus, among other things.

The circus's members include Joker, Beast, Dagger, Doll/Freckles, Snake, and Jumbo. There's also Peter and Wendy, but you probably won't remember them until the last 3 episodes since they don't do as much. 

Everyone but Snake faced extreme hardships while growing up. They were forced to live on the streets in terrible conditions, and were thrown out of there homes due to being deformed. That is until Barlon Kelvin (with his "wonderful" new look he got because he's a psycho, just makes him look like a creeper) took them to his mansion to live with them. Kelvin is actually the mastermind behind the kidnappings, as he is very, and I do mean, VERY infatuated with children ever since meeting Ciel when he was younger. He uses the circus as a way to let the members kidnap them.

Of course, some of them actually don't like doing this, but you know, disappointing Daddy is not on there to do list.

Each member of the circus has a deformity, and once they hired the doctor for the circus, who's just simply named Doctor, they each got prosthetics for the body parts they were missing. Well, everyone minus Doll and Snake.

I would go on more about the new characters, but oh, you know. Spoilers and ish.

And the Fred Abberline inconsistencies are still there. I know, he died in season 1, and that was one of my saddest anime deaths of all time. He isn't dead in the manga though, and in season 2, has a twin brother from what I've heard.

The adapters need to clear up lose ends in this, because I do think that if viewers only watch the anime, and not read the manga, they're going to be extremely confused.


The animation for this series was done by A1 Pictures, who is also famous for animating the other two Black Butler seasons, the co-production of Fairy Tail with Satelight, Sword Art Online, and Magi.

As I mentioned in my season 1 review, Black Butler's animation improves with each season that comes out. While this capture the brightness of season 2 mainly with Grell's hair color, this season still manages to refine some things, and make them look prettier. All of the new characters are given good character designs, and they are very cool to look at in motion.

So, on that count, everything looks good minus the horses. 


The scores for this series switched over from Taku Iwasaki to Yasunori Mitsuda, who is most known for his compositions to the Inazuma Eleven anime and video games.

While the score isn't incredibly amazing as Taku Iwasaki's, the score still has the haunting presence to it that makes a scene that it plays in so much more memorable. His light pieces are still pretty nice, but I think Taku Iwasaki's score had more presence to it.

The opening and ending of this season are AMAZING! Sid returns from season 1 to sing the opening again, which is an improvement from season 1's, though that was very good as well. AKIRA gives off amazing vocals, that works really well with the progression of the song. And I swear, I get chills every time I hear it.

All of the actors who voice characters from the past 2 seasons, including main and side characters, all return as well, which is also a huge plus. It has been a couple years since the last season of Black Butler, and switching some of the voices would have been a no no to fans, including me.

Highlights include EVERYONE! (Including all, yes all, of the new voices)


There's a reason why I love Black Butler and Tenchi Muyo to death. Both franchises have an aspect of combining amazing characters, and including memorable storylines. While the Tenchi Muyo manga has made less of an impact that Black Butler's has, both series are clearly my favorites.

Season 3 of Black Butler not only lived up to my excitement, it delivered on it. I wasn't mainly disappointed in it, though with some minor problems. The arc is amazing, and I wish I can get farther in the manga, because it seems to look more interesting with a twist on Undertaker.

If you don't wish to watch Season 2, go ahead and take a look at this. For viewers who haven't read the manga, I suggest doing a little more research before you jump in. 

Score: 10/10


Amazing story.

Interesting new characters.

Fantastic animation.

Adding Grell.


Some confusing story elements.

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