Reviews of yesteryear: Kuroshitsuji II

Last week I looked at Kuroshitsuji. This week I’m looking at the sequel. What’s odd about Kuroshitsuji having a sequel is that the first series is complete. It tells the story of Sebastian and Ciel beginning, middle and end. Going into this, I have no idea how they could make a sequel, unless it’s some kind of spiritual successor. Well, let’s take a look at the series and find out how they handle it.

You can’t see it, but I’m face-palming right now. Given the quality of the first series, I gave them credit. I didn’t think they would go for a true sequel, but I was wrong. This series is a direct continuation of the first. With Ciel and Sebastian both making return appearances. Why, just why? The first series may have had an ending that was obvious and kind of rushed, but it was also suitable for the series. Why would you take a series with a pretty satisfying conclusion and add to it? That’s actually my biggest issue with the story in this series. It’s unnecessary. You have a young man named Alois Trancy with an impossibly talented butler. One evening they’re visited by a strange traveler covered in heavy clothes. The man is revealed to be Sebastian and he’s brought Ciel along in a briefcase. He steals something from the mansion and makes his getaway. I’m not going to give away the reasons behind all of this, but they’re kind of stupid. After that Ciel and Alois gain a lot of animosity for each other so that there can be a plot. Now, let’s start with the negatives, aside from it being an unnecessary addition. The first is that the retcon is very poorly handled and the plot that’s added in to explain it is weak. Then there’s the ending. It’s pretty terrible. The story itself is lazy. A lot of it is just devoted to the rivalry between Sebastian and Claude. The series does have some episodes devoted to Ciel, Sebastian and the rest of the characters from the first series that are entertaining. It also has some plot elements that have merit, but they aren’t really handled well enough to be as interesting as they could’ve been.

But at least the characters are still good, right? Well, kind of. Sebastian and Ciel are still good characters, although not nearly to the degree that they were in the first series, probably because they retread a lot of the same ground and development that they already covered with less competent writing behind it. Ciel’s staff still provides the same comic relief they did before, albeit less of it since they barely show up. On the downside, Grell reappears with the same problematic elements from the first series. Then we have the new characters. Alois, whose an obnoxious and very annoying brat with little personality aside from being a sociopath. We also have Claude whose incredibly dull. we also have Hannah, a maid in the Trancy household. When you learn what her motivations are the sheer stupidity will likely make your head hurt. We also get some triplet servants in the Trancy household. They have no personalities whatsoever.

The art is still well done. The character designs are still good, for the most part. The backgrounds are well done. The action sequences in this one really aren’t as good. Part of that is just that they involve a lot of awkward scene transitions.

The cast is still really good. Tamura Yukari, Hirano Aya, Sakamoto Maaya, Ono Daisuke and most of the other actors all give strong performances. Fukuyama Jun is still a weakness based solely on the fact that the character he’s portraying is ridiculously exaggerated. Mizuki Nana has the same problem, although she does a little better at putting some nuance into the performance in spite of it. Sakurai Takahiro doesn’t give his best performance either, largely due to his character having less emotional substance than a tapeworm.

The yuri factor is still a 1/10. there’s no yuri here.

You probably deduced this already, but I didn’t care for this one. It has some of the elements that made the first one great, but most of them are either weakened by idiotic contrivances and/or terrible new characters. My final rating is going to be a 4/10. It’s a sub-par piece that doesn’t stand well either on its own or as a continuation to the Kuroshitsuji. Next week, I’ll look at Usagi Drop. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is next on my request queue, but I’m not going to have time to finish all of it in time. So expect that on the 29th. This was originally posted on Gamespot on May 15th. For you guys, the Jojo review will be posted next week and Usagi Drop will be up tomorrow. 

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