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Thursday, July 24, 2014

PCheng's Movie Review: Black Butler!

Before I go on with this movie review I'll go ahead and say it - I have not seen the anime nor have I read the Manga. So this review will be from the eyes and perspective of an Otaku who will be seeing this franchise first through the live action movie. 

And in this day and age of all sorts of adaptations you have to start somewhere right? 

So here are my INITIAL thoughts of the movie - the adaptation was really well made, it was not cheap, the sets were very elaborate from breathtaking gardens, to colorful night carnivals. The fight scenes were well executed, none of the corny predictable trying hard martial arts bit. I have to admit though that the movie got a bit draggy during the climax, like they really squeezed every bit of what they could. It was still an enjoyable movie even for someone who's not really familiar with the franchise. 

Set in a world ruled by two kingdoms- The East and The West, which looks like a modern Victorian England littered with mobs, arms dealers, human traffickers and drug lords. 

Shiori/Kiyoharu Genpo (Ayame Gouriki) is a descendant of the noble family Phantomhive in England, runs the prestigious Funtom corporation but aside from his CEOish duties he also has a double life as a Queen's watchdog. Which means going on fun missions such as investigating a mysterious series of mummified murders of high ranking members of the government. 

More than just tea: As a butler Sebastian can bring you everything your heart desires - for a price. 

Kiyoharu investigates and brings along his faithful butler who can defeat a whole gang of armed mobsters just with a butter knife and he also gets up after being shot in the head oh-did I forget to mention that he is no ordinary butler as he is the devil himself.  

As a young child, Kiyoharu's parents (who are all but royalty) are murdered in front of him. In order to seek revenge, he makes a pact with the devil, who will serve him (as a butler no less) but the service goes beyond normal butler duties and involves pretty much being his personal army. The price? Of course - Kiyoharu's soul, once he is able to extract revenge on those who killed his parents. While Kiyoharu and Sebastian infiltrate private clubs and break in Laboratories, they don't realize that the true danger is actually closer than they think.  

Along with the impressive sets the movie also showcases great talent and acting from Ayame Gouriki as the deadpan Kiyoharu and Hiro Mizushima as the devilish butler Sebastian. 

Hiro Mizushima as Sebastian.
I wouldn't want to use that butter knife with my bread.

Although riddled with cliches and as mentioned earlier, the climax got too draggy, as they tried to insert thought provoking themes on the goodness and evil of humans (as often seen in Anime) but I think that given it was a movie and not a 24 series anime, there really was not that much time to squeeze in all those deep questions and realizations on the nature of humans. 

Guns and Gothic Lolita. Mizuki Yamamoto as the Maid Rin
Whether you're a fan of the anime or you just want to check out the movie, it will be a fun treat with a date or maybe with friends. :) 

Black Butler is actually an SM Cinema Exclusive and is showing in Philippine Cinemas on July 23 :) I'm really happy that more Japanese flicks are being shown in local cinemas. So let's make sure to support it so that there will be more! :D (ahem-Lupin III) :D 

Black Butler is an SM Cinema EXCLUSIVE! Make sure that you catch it when it hits cinemas on July 23! 

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