Just recently I watched all of the Black Butler anime series and upon finishing the show I knew I had to read the manga. It ended up being perfect timing since I am participating in a genre challenge through my local library. This week is the last week of the challenge and the theme was "choose your own genre." What better genre challenge for me than a manga? I've never read one before and previously I was put off by the fact that you have to read a manga from right to left. I mean seriously, what? How confusing! I'm glad I watched all of the show first, because that really helped me to try harder to understand how to read the manga. Luckily I was able to adjust to the reading style more quickly than I thought I would and now I'm confident about reading mangas! Hooray! To anyone out there who is put off by having to read a manga from right to left like I was, it's not so bad! Try it. I'm so glad I gave it a shot.
In this first volume of Black Butler we meet Earl Ciel Phantomhive who is 12 years old and he is the last remaining member of his family. Being the only Phantomhive family member left Ciel is already the head of his household as well as a toy/candy making company that he inherited. We are also introduced to Sebastian Michaelis, a demon that Ciel has entered into a contract with and who acts as his butler. There isn't a whole lot of information on how the contract came to be in this volume, but I do know from the show that we get more information later. All of Ciel's other household servants are an entertaining group, especially with all their mishaps. Ho ho ho. This is an exciting, mysterious, and hilarious story set in Victorian London with lots of paranormal fun thrown in.
Here are a few things I like best about Black Butler:
1.) It's set in Victorian London. Oh how I love this era! It's so perfect for a darker setting too.
2.) Demons. Paranormal things! I just love all that.
3.) This may be THE most perfect Gothic thing ever.
4.) I love stories where a character has a tragic back story
5.) HUMOR!! How a story can be so dark and so comedic at the same time is a mystery to me, but I love it.
6.) Uniqueness. Let's face it in the world of paranormal books (movies, shows, etc.), anything different is a diamond in the rough. Black Butler certainly has that uniqueness.
Okay, so some of those may not be specifically about THIS volume but about the manga series/anime altogether. I've also read the second book in the series already. I was going to review that separately, but I decided not to. Pretty much that one adds in the Jack the Ripper case along with the introduction of Madam Red, Grell, and the Undertaker. Grell and the Undertaker are definitely two of my favorite characters, so if you liked this one then you definitely need to read that one! Black Butler Volume 2 was just as good, if not better, than the first volume. Black Butler is perfection for fans of the paranormal, horror, demons, historical fiction about Victorian London, dark stories, and gothic reads. I can't wait to read more of the books in the series.