Black Butler, Vol. 12

by Yana Toboso | Graphic Novels |
ISBN: 0316225347 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 1/22/2013
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I've been enjoying the manga Black Butler (aka Kuroshitsuji) - not to mention the anime, of which I have Season 1 on DVD - and I ordered this volume from Barnes and Noble as soon as I saw it was available.

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 twelfth in the series, the author continues the tradition of ornamenting the inside front cover with a variation on the cover-pic; here, the cover features new character Ronald Knox (one of the Grim Reapers, whose weapon is a... lawnmower???) in a suit and glasses, while the inner cover puts him in a sparkly headband and vest, a la some kind of pop star. The inner back cover continues the pop-idol gag.

The story picks up after the events of Volume 11, on an ocean liner at sea - with an apparently undead corpse ravening for human flesh! Ciel and Sebastian fight the thing, but it takes Knox to inform them that the head must be destroyed in order to stop it. Knox explains that he's here to investigate why a body that he'd already reaped the soul from is still wandering around, but it turns out that isn't his sole purpose... Before we get to that, he lights into Sebastian, claiming that having a demon on board will mess up his plans and (more importantly) his bookkeeping. Cue an EPIC battle, with Sebastian's demonic speed and power against the very agile Knox with his death-mower.

Before the fight is resolved one way or another, a rash of undead distracts Knox, and Sebastian sets out to find his master. Meanwhile, we see Elizabeth's family - badasses all, including her mother - as they take arms to defend against the growing horde. Oh, and when Ciel and Elizabeth wind up in the ship's hold, threatened by still more undead, it's Snake and his serpents who come to their aid. (I *adore* Snake; he's one of the sweetest characters in this very problematic series.)

The ongoing battle with the undead has several reveals, from their origin to the depths of Elizabeth's own badassery (check out the final page!) - but it's far from the only menace. It seems that Grim Reaper Knox is here in part to harvest most of the passengers, as the ship is doomed to hit an iceberg and sink. Sound familiar? Apparently it resonates with the Reapers, too; Grelle Sutcliffe returns, fresh from a suspension, and eager to see Sebastian again, but takes the time to pose with Knox on the ship's prow in the "King of the World!" scene from the "Titanic" movie {grin}.

The mix of horror and action and bits of snarky humor are offset by a flashback from Ciel; he witnesses Sebastian taking out dozens of the undead by the direct method of crushing their skulls with his hands (!), and the bloody scene reminds him of another such slaughter - when he was very young, the prisoner of a brutal and depraved cult. His comments there seem motivated by shock, and he shakes himself out of it soon, but it's a heavy foreshadowing for events much later in the series.

A solid and fast-moving entry!

[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, though that happens later in the series than this volume.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Doubletree by Hilton in Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, November 17, 2018

Released 1 yr ago (11/17/2018 UTC) at Doubletree by Hilton in Nashua, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I plan to leave this book in or near the hotel, in honor of Another Anime Convention 2018, which is taking place there this weekend. (One of the guests is J. Michael Tatum, the wonderful voice-actor who did the English dub for Sebastian!) Hope the finder enjoys the book!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2018 TV Series release challenge. ***

Journal Entry 3 by wingAnonymousFinderwing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, November 24, 2018
I picked this book up in Nashua, at Another Anime Convention 2018, and released it again earlier today, in downtown Peterborough NH!

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