Black Butler, Vol. 6
1 journaler for this copy...
The series is set in a slightly alternate-reality Victorian London (cell phones, magic), and features the adventures of a 12-year-old boy trying to run his family business while catching criminals for the queen - all with the help of his demonic butler.
In this volume, the author continues the tradition of ornamenting the inside front cover with a variation on the cover-pic; here, Ciel gets the cover for the first time (showing off the "costume porn" for which the series is famous!), and on the inside cover he's "Black Golfer", dressed in old-style golfing togs and wielding a club. The inner back cover continues the golfing riff, with a plaintive note from Sebastian: "This time, I am but the caddy."
This book picks up after the events of Volume Five. A new case is in the offing: children have been disappearing without a trace, no bodies found, no ransom notes, and Ciel is on the hunt - but when clues lead him to a traveling circus, he and Sebastian go undercover as performers to join the troupe and see if they can learn anything. Some fun bits there, as they work out their roles - and as Sebastian falls in love with the circus' full-grown tiger (he has a thing for cats of all descriptions)! Among the many fascinating characters in the troupe: Snake, a young man whose snakes are all named after writers, and whom he uses as his method of communication ("The exit is over there... says Goethe").
Ciel is not at all pleased at the position Sebastian's put him in; he has to room with the circus-folk, perform stunts he doesn't want to do, and - worst of all, for him - "Smile!!!" ... all in the interest of solving the mystery of the missing children. In a surprising turn, they find a familiar presence - Grim Reaper William T. Spears, performing as "Suit", and not best pleased to see Sebastian - they're enemies because Spears is a soul-reaper while Sebastian likes to devour them. But here they must work together, at least for a while.
The story invokes some mood-whiplash, as it switches between the slapstick and bickering to Ciel's highly traumatic memories - and as we're reminded of their purpose: who's taking the children, and why?
Continued in Volume Seven...
[For more about the manga and the anime adaptation, see the TV Tropes page - but beware of spoilers! Also, note that the plot of the anime departs rather drastically from that of the manga past a certain point. There's a live-action film that departs even more from the original - and several stage versions, including musical ones, that I'd love to see some time...]
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*** Released for the 2017 Wine+Food release challenge. ***
*** Released for the 2017 TV Series release challenge. ***
*** Released for the 2017 Theater release challenge. ***