Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji) is a live-action movie based on the manga and anime of the same name. Kuroshitsuji is the only anime I have ever liked and completed so I was excited for the live action to be released. Like many others, I had my suspicions about the changes they made to the movie.
The story is set in 202o. A young girl named Genpou Shiori dresses as a man and acts as the head of the Phantomhive noble family. She is known as the “Queen’s guard dog” and solves cases in the underbelly of society. When she was young she made a contract with the devil in order to get revenge for her dead parents. She names her demon butler Sebastian Michaelis. His job is to protect her until she completes her mission and then he can devour her soul.
My biggest complaint is Gouriki Ayame. I can live with the fact that they changed Ceil’s sex since technically this isn’t a direct adaptation of the manga, but set in the future and Ciel is her ancestor. However, the movie and especially her interpretation of Kiyoharu Genpo lacked the coldness and indifference of Ciel which I absolutely loved in the anime. She simply is too human.
Then the butler himself. Mizushima Hiro shines as Sebastian Michaelis. He stole the show: his character is beautifully written (and acted). When Kiyoharu is just a ridiculous wannabe Ciel, Sebastian is still Sebastian. I actually believed he was a devil: Mizushima Hiro’s lines, body language and facial expressions are so perfect he is the embodiment of how I see Sebastian. Without him and Mizushima Hiro’s fantastic portrayal of Sebastian this movie would have been a complete failure.
Through the anime and movie I always wondered about just what kind of relationship Ciel/Kiyoharu and Sebastian had. At one moment Sebastian can act lovingly toward Ciel/Kiyoharu and the next talk about how pathetic she/he is or try to get her to kill herself. After seeing the movie I am still wondering, but I think it’s good that I am. The writer didn’t label their relationship as a demon and prey or as a twisted love but leaves it to the audience to decide.
I decided that Sebastian does love her/him (especially his soul, yam yam) to a certain point, but would still devour her/his soul without a second thought or any remorse.
As a whole the movie was great. It wasn’t perfect but no adaptation is. The music is well thought and depicts each scene. The action scenes are amazing. The story and the implementation I found a tad boring compared to the anime, which is darker than the movie. But I liked how they used the details, lines and some scenes from the anime and manga.