Sunday, September 12, 2010

manga reviews: Black Butler

yes, i am completely obsessed with manga now. blame my sister--she got me hooked.

my latest foray into Japanese lit? Black Butler Vol. 1 by Yana Toboso

(synopsis from US version, edited to exclude spoilers)

Just a stone's throw from London lies the manor house of the illustrious Phantomhive earldom and its master, one Ciel Phantomhive. Earl Phantomhive is a giant in the world of commerce, Queen Victoria's faithful servant...and a slip of a twelve-year-old boy. Fortunately, his loyal butler, Sebastian, is ever at his side, ready to carry out the young master's wishes. And whether Sebastian is called to save a dinner party gone awry or probe the dark secrets of London's underbelly, there apparently is nothing Sebastian cannot do. In fact, one might say Sebastian is too good to be true...

i thought the Japanese take on Victorian London was very interesting. once the story picked up (i always have trouble getting starting manga series), i enjoyed it--but the part i enjoyed the most was the ending! it's always sad when i get into the story most right at the end! Vol. 2 will surely find its way to my bookshelves before long.

i wouldn't recommend this manga series to someone who has never read manga before. these Japanese comics can be an acquired taste, and Black Butler isn't my favorite manga so far. however, i would definitely recommend Black Butler if you absolutely love manga.



  1. I remember loving the drawing style for Black Butler when I first learned about, although the manga itself can be rather confusing/weird. (I'm much more a shoujo girl. Though the art is still very, very pretty!)

  2. The drawing in this is very pretty.

  3. Sandy--that sums up Black Butler perfectly.

    Melissa--the art is the main reason i picked this up! it definitely has an amazing artist.

  4. Manga is definitely new to me! What would you recommend as a starter. I've got some graphic novels by Holly Black but is that the same as manga?

  5. as a starter...well, my all-time favorite is Ouran High School Host Club. it helps a lot to watch the anime (at least a few episodes) before reading the manga because otherwise it's hard to figure out what is going on. i'd also recommend Kitchen Princess or Gakuen really depends on your tastes.

    i actually haven't read any graphic novels, so i don't know!

  6. I love the cover on this! I think Graphic Novels in general are a different format to get used to--the reader has to come with a completely different set of expectations from your typical novel.

  7. that's very true. not only is the content different, but the style, humor, and characters are a lot different than in a novel. i think the differences are fun, but they certainly can be an acquired taste!


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