The latest animated rendition of the Black Butler [黒執事; Kuroshitsuji] manga by Yana Toboso grabs the story of the sixth arc, Luxury Liner, and gives us an action-packed film rendition of an already amazing manga series. ‘Kuroshitsuji: Book of the Atlantic’ is brought to us by A-1 Pictures, directed by Noriyuki Abe and written by Hiroyuki Yoshino. The film follows our ever-so-dark yet cute main boy Ciel Phantomhive and his butler Sebastian Michaelis as they embark on a luxury cruise full of nobles to hunt down the source of a rumour revolving around human experimentation.
If you’ve been following the manga, GREAT. If you’ve watched the anime versions (sans the latter part of the second season which is hypothetical) and managed to watch up to the ‘Book of Murder’ movie/2 long episode special, then some characters may seem familiar (one in particular who makes an appearance in the ‘Book of Circus’ series/arc). If not, THEN YOU MUST! I won’t spoil any of this film, apart from the plot which I’ve mentioned and I guess you don’t necessarily HAVE to watch the preceding seasons/films because, like most anime, when a character appears, the main character, usually in a shocked state, reveals their whole name. That being said, a lot of the story would make MORE sense if you watched the series or read the manga before this arc (The film covers volumes 12, 13 and 14 of the manga if that’s useful information) and characters you once knew from the stuff before this film might help to add shock value to some of the revelations in this film.
The film retains the Black Butler series’ dark and sombre aura, with that hint of comedy, flying cutlery ass-kickery and the characterization ranging from the composed cool main cast to the over-flamboyant and narcissistic characters that our main men Ciel and Sebastian seem to always ‘coincidentally’ run into. The art and character design is the same between the manga and seasons before this film, music is grand and dramatic and the story is plot-twist GALORE.
As a long-time fan of the series, I highly recommend the film – the reasons why though, I can’t give because spoilers level: MAX. SO WATCH IT PLEASE! If you’re looking for a ‘if the Titanic was the meeting ground for a secret society of nobles and the passengers included a revengeful earl and his demon butler’ kind of story (and it’s not even a joke at the fact that it’s a luxury liner, THE SHIP LITERALLY FACES (almost) THE SAME DEMISE) then give the film a try. Like I said before, even if you’ve read the manga, seen the animations before this one or haven’t seen it at all, give it a try because “You see, its one hell of a movie.”
Take a look at screenings here in New Zealand for the film which premiered yesterday at EVENTS Cinema and goes on until next Wednesday (21st of June) and you can also catch it today at 4:30pm and at 12pm noon on Saturday and Sunday at Academy Cinemas.