Manga Monday [10]: Black Butler Vol. 1 by Yana Toboso

January 13, 2014 Review 18 ★★★★

Manga Monday [10]: Black Butler Vol. 1 by Yana Toboso
Black Butler Vol. 1 by Yana Toboso
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Yen Press
Source: Purchased
Pages: 192
Release Date: January 26th 2010
Series: Black Butler #1
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, manga
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In the Victorian ages of London The Earl of the Phantomhive house, Ciel Phantomhive, needs to get his revenge on those who had humiliated him and destroyed what he loved. Not being able to do it alone he sells his soul to a demon he names Sebastian Michaelis. Now working as his butler, Sebastian must help the Earl Phantomhive in this suspenseful, exciting, thriller manga.

bec (2)

A few years ago I started an anime called Black Butler and may or may not have finished all 25 episodes in two or three days. It was a dark, funny, and mysterious historical fantasy set in Victorian London (my favourite era) and had a main character who was a gorgeous demon butler. I’ve been meaning to read the original manga for a while now, and get further in the story than the anime did, and finally got the chance when my sister bought the first volume for me.

This volume was an introduction. You meet Sebastian, Ciel, and the other side characters (who are HILARIOUS) and get an idea of the role they fill. There was no indication of the overarching story/plot arc just yet, but a series of smaller stories that took place over a chapter or two.

This manga started of lighter than the anime did, but did get darker with each chapter. More fights happened, you were given gimpses of the London underworld, and eventually we got to see Sebastian use his demon powers. Most of it was humourous and light. Lots of depictions of food I wish I could take from the page because they looked delicious.

My favourite part of this volume was definitely the side characters. I know more about them from the anime, but it looks like they get more page/screen time in the manga. Which I am so grateful for. They are fantastic and hilarious and never dull. A lot of the comedy comes from their disastrous antics.

In volume two (which I still need to get my hands on) I’m hoping to see more hints to the first big story arc, and maybe more Ciel too. So far he seems to be only the lord they served, a young orphan at the head of a huge business empire. Also more hilarity and side characters because they’re great (in case my repetitiveness didn’t make my feelings about them obvious)

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Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Overall: 3.9

18 Responses to “Manga Monday [10]: Black Butler Vol. 1 by Yana Toboso”

  1. Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens

    Although I love watching anime, I have never tried reading mangas not because I wasn’t interested but because they’re not readily available here in our city. And they’re expensive for my taste. I do love watching anime though. But haven’t heard of this one.

    Well, I actually stopped watching them years and years ago. This one really looks promising particularly that it’s set in an old English era.
    Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens recently posted…Book Review: Avalon

    • Bec

      I read the manga because I want to know what happened after the anime finished or what was changed. I get manga from the library or online stores.

      Black Butler is a good anime! Very funny and it has a dark, interesting plot.

  2. Kezia

    I got into this series because of the anime too! But the thing is usually I get too lazy to read the manga if I’ve already watched the anime >< I know that anime adaptation aren't exactly the same as manga — they might have slight differences and there are filler eps in anime. But the main story will always be the same so…sometimes when I watch the anime, I just continue the manga where the anime left and vice versa. xD

    Oh, and yep, SEBASTIAN IS AWESOME!! \m/ <3
    Kezia recently posted…[ARC Review] Me Since You by Laura Wiess

    • Bec

      See, I can’t just start where the anime ended because a) I want to relive the series all over again and b) I don’t know what was changed and stuff. So I always start from the beginning.

      Bassy is the greatest XD

    • Bec

      Manga is fun once you get used to it. Very fast reads and it’s nice to look at something that’s not just words every now and then.

      I’ll probably love them :)

  3. Tanja

    I have a feeling that if I ever start reading manga then there will be no return. Right now I cannot afford that. Still I’m so glad you read this and enjoyed it. That butler sounds really good. Great review :)
    Tanja recently posted…Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

    • Bec

      Ahaha, I don’t have much of a manga problem… yet. But that’s because manga isn’t readily available in most stores and anime is expensive everywhere (except on Amazon. They have great deals). Most physical manga I’ll read from now will probably come from the library.

      Thanks!

  4. Lesley Marie

    Oh gosh, I love this manga waaay to much for my own good. I admit that many of the more recent chapters feel a little uninspired, but I just adore all of the characters and Yana Toboso’s art is gorgeous, which makes me want to stare at it all day… Also, I can’t wait until you get to the Noah’s Ark Circus ark. There are so many things that are great about it, and is one of the best parts of the series. Great review of the first volume, Bec!
    Lesley Marie recently posted…The Sunday Five #9

    • Bec

      The drawing style is beautiful, especially the food *drools* and I’d love this if we only got to see the characters interact. My sister raves about that arc! I’m very curious about it. Can’t wait to catch up :)

      Thanks!

  5. A Canadian Girl

    I haven’t ever read manga or anime but it feels like a lot of bloggers I know are very into it or are starting to get into it. Most don’t really appeal to me but I really like the idea of this one since it’s set in the Victorian era and because I like historical fantasy. The cover looks pretty interesting as well.
    A Canadian Girl recently posted…Review: If I Should Die by Amy Plum

    • Bec

      There’s so many different anime/manga out there! There’s bound to be on you like somewhere! (unless you’re like my friend who doesn’t like animated things)

      Black Butler is pretty interesting. The setting is great :)

  6. Jessica Nicole

    I’ve never read a manga before! I’ve never come across one that was interesting to me, but of course, I haven’t come across very many at all. Black Butler sounds like something I’d enjoy, so I’ll have to finally see what all the talk is about when it comes to manga! Thank you for sharing!

    • Bec

      There’s so many out there! (I’ll have to do a recommendations post or something). If you decide to start getting into manga let me know! I’d like to see what you think :D

  7. Delaney

    Alright good friend, you need not fret because YOU NEED TO WATCH SEASON 2 OF BLACK BUTLER!!! LIKE OMFG YOU NEED TO! IT’S NOT AS GOOD BUT STILL GOOOOOD! LIKE HELLO MORE HOTTY SEBBY. <3 AND LIKE THE MANGA IS AMAZING LIKE TEELLL ME SOMEHOW WHEN YOU GET TO SEE THE UNDERTAKERS FACE BECAUSE OH MY HE IS MINE. HE'S SO OMG CAN I JUST HAVE HIM LIKE GOSH. AND GRELL WITH SHORT HAIR? Yes. Watch the extras from Season 2 and whoo *fans self* yup. WHY ARE ALL OF THEM SO HOT? WHY YOU SO HOT SEBBY?<33 WHY YOU SO HOT UNDERTAKER?<33
    Delaney recently posted…Manga: Death Note

    • Bec

      I have seen season 2! Don’t own it yet but I have seen it! The OVAs as well :D Ahaha I can’t wait to see the Undertaker’s face. They are pretty attractive ;)

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