A young boy barely gracing his teenage years is the sole survivor of an aristocratic family in Victorian London. Already the beauty in that image will gain a substantial audience. The artwork by Yana Toboso complements the storyline beautifully, with frills and lace and detail all over the page. And this bold respect for the era is not lost in the anime either. Everything is recreated with the eerie perfection that seems to fill Kuroshitsuji.
Throw in a dark “butler all in black,” which represents Japan’s little obsession with service, and you have everything the cosplaying fandom’s obsessed with Japan’s obsession desires. Add the demonic truth, underground mafia and heart fluttering moe moments, and you have a series that will make the audience explode with thunderous desire.
Reaching out to fans of yaoi to gore to teenage awkward love to adventure and paranormal mysteries, Kuroshitsuji is the series for all and is missing nothing, except maybe a few souls.
But which is better, anime or manga?
Do the characters match up?
The main brat, which has an awesome eye he always hides. Ciel is pretty much the same in both renditions. He is adorable and defenceless as well as being one of the darkest and least caring characters. He shows signs of love but never feels it. Whether you watch or read his character, you will adore him and want to ruffle his hair just to annoy him. Draw between manga and anime version.
Sebastian is dreamy in black, dreamy in white, and dreamy in colour. If you are in any part a masochist, or you just adore the dark protagonists, then Sebastian will steal your heart and soul and never give it back. People who know me understand my fangirlism for Gaara from Naruto… but Sebastian slowly pushes that self proclaimed demon off his sandy pedestal. I like how he acts cheeky to Ciel, his master, and remarks on everything in such an amused “I am above you” way. He isn’t arrogant, but he is better than everyone, and knows it. The manga gives Sebastian a character you can really fall in love with, but he is also the entertainment that makes the anime fun. No winning point.
Lizzie is where I begin to hate the anime a bit; in one episode she almost shows her real self but then is turned into a freaking doll! Seriously? Lizzie is a bad ass that could probably take on Sebastian… she would obviously lose, what with Sebastian being a hardcore demon and all, but it would be a worthy fight. When I saw her storyline evolve into a duo sword wielding enchantress I have to say my favourite character line was rearranged. But with so many strong contenders for your
soul heart, it is difficult to choose. Maybe it would be better to stick with the anime and only know Ciel and Sebastian… but it is better to have loved and been torn between many, than never to have loved at all. Manga is superior for character development.
Contradicting what I just said, the anime gives a better depth to the servants. Currently in the ongoing manga you don’t know their history all too clearly, only hints and insinuations; however the anime give a spectacular show of each origin. It may only last a couple of minutes, but none of them are complex enough to need an episode, and the emotion is conveyed enough. Like Sebastian, these three will win your hearts with their monochrome shenanigans or their multicolour mischief. Yet, the servants are the first reason I would recommend the anime for storyline to you.
The manga never mentions the oddity that is Tanaka, they just let him live peacefully and eat heads (of chocolate) without punishment. Whereas in the anime they seem to break the barrier of realism for the audience by mentioning it every time he is on screen. We don’t mind that Tanaka is in chibi form, he’s old, let him be. Stop popping him like a balloon! Manga wins the point.
When you are introduced to Undertaker’s smile you will fall in love. This series is all about love, and breaking it. For me, Undertaker surpasses Sebastian, Ciel and even Lizzie. He is wonderful. He is a saint for those who hate corruption- he will never be bought. Well… if you make him laugh he will tell you anything, but that’s endearing right? However, in the anime they make him into a bit of a wuss that sometimes helps out poor little Ciel when he’s being a brat most. On the other side, the manga Undertaker is dancing down the antagonist line. But Undertaker is the character with most mysteries, and you can only begin to wonder about them in the manga. Manga wins hands down.
Snake vs Dog
As per usual with anime that releases before the manga is finished, or is shorter than an ongoing manga, there will be a slight plot change. In Kuroshitsuji they do this by completely transforming an arc storyline. They just happened to transform my favourite arc, they say the first cut is the deepest but I have worse news for you yet…
Snake is the character from the manga, he is a shy boy with scaly skin and
parseltongue can talk to snakes. Dog; he had a name but I don’t like him enough to find it out, is the anime character that replaces Snake. He becomes a support to the main storyline, but if you were to cut him out then there would be no loss. I think you see him in three episodes, and he is a pain in all of them. Snake on the other hand is adorable, helpful and extremely dangerous when he finds out the truth… so, naturally, the reader can’t wait till bad things happen and his film reel comes to an end. (inside joke, I was expecting you to have started reading Kuroshitsuji by now.)
In conclusion, the manga is far better than the anime if you want the story of Kuroshitsuji. However, if you want the jokes, the fan service (if you can call it that) and the beautiful artwork of Toboso in motion, then watch the anime; but you may be disappointed with their angelic way of dealing with the demons. The manga is getting down, dirty and bizarre. You know the right choice.
I don’t want to speak about anime Kuroshitsuji 2. It has nothing to do with the manga at this point… I hope it never does. The episodes are just as funny, the artwork just as pretty, the storyline just as frustrating. I don’t want to say watch it because I don’t want your heart to fall into despair like mine did, but I don’t want to say not to watch it because there was a really funny episode on a train. LOL, pickles and eel.