We’ve launched into another exciting arc of the Black Butler series. This time we’re exploring a mysterious ‘radiant’ organization that’s attracting people from all classes on a weekly basis, which is causing the Queen to grow concerned. Lizzie seems to have fallen into this group which, to put simply, seems very much like a cult on the surface. Of course, nothing suspicious goes down in England without the Queen siccing her Watch Dog on it, so Ciel gets the call to investigate even before he knows that his fiancee happens to be involved in the group. Having Lizzie be tangled up in this mess adds another layer to what would otherwise be a pretty standard errand from the Queen. It also puts Ciel into the uncomfortable position of having to work with Lizzie’s brother Edward in order to convince her to leave. I’m sure this dynamic will lead to some interesting situations going forward, though I must confess that Edward is my least favorite member of the Midford family. But I digress, the dynamics set up in this chapter have a lot of potential.
I’m one of those Black Butler fans who has a lot of faith in Lizzie. Have we forgotten how she slaughtered all those zombies on the Compania, all while looking super duper cute? A bit of her badassery shows through in this chapter, too, when she pricks her finger for Bravat’s cultish ritual without complaint. It definitely appears dire that she’s been lured into this cult thing, but I don’t really view her as a damsel in distress at this point. Unless there’s some sort of mind control going on, I’m sure she’ll be just fine.
I think she grates on most people’s nerves because of her overt cuteness, and the fact that she is often seen as getting in the way of Ciel and Sebastian. I feel like those criticisms are unwarranted because there’s very valid reasons for both of these things. She has an overly sweet demeanor to compensate for what a badass she is inside, and I’m totally fine with that. Likewise, she is Ciel’s fiancee, and while I’m totally on board with Sebastian and Ciel being the main duo of this story, having an arranged marriage wasn’t exactly unusual in the era this story takes place. I can’t really fault her for that. So in short, I’m completely on Team Lizzie and I’m excited to see her story unfold during this arc. Rah-rah, go Lizzie!
Sebastian and Ciel seem to be having a much more difficult time than Lizzie in this arc so far, though. Bravat recognized that Sebastian wasn’t human right off the bat. Perhaps our protagonists got a wee bit too cocky this time around. The look on Sebastian’s face indicated that he wasn’t expecting this guy to be the real deal, but now he’s kind of vulnerable here with his true nature kind of dangling out in the open. At least Bravat had the decency to lean in and whisper it to him, you know? He could have just shouted “hey guys, this guy’s a demon” and then Sebastian would have, like, had to slaughter everyone and it would have been a real mess. Then Ciel would have had to apologize to the Queen for killing everyone again and, ugh, what a headache right? But Good Guy Bravat is keeping Sebastian’s true nature a secret, which should lead to some interesting interplay between these characters going forward. What’s Bravat’s deal? Is he human? Is he just psychic? Is there some outside entity helping him along here?
While I’m enjoying this arc so far I’m not the biggest fan of Edward and sort of have to cringe at the thought that he’s going to play such a central role. Pretty much everyone in the Midford family is awesome, but I’d be happy if Edward wandered off to Weston and never returned. I’m not sure if his character is truly annoying, or if I just have a grudge against him for how he treats Ciel. If I put myself in his shoes, I suppose his antagonistic nature towards Ciel makes sense. Ciel is going to marry his precious little sister, but the little Lord Phantomhive hasn’t exactly been the most attentive or kind fiance in the world. Ciel also showed up at Weston and did all sorts of impossible things and Edward was just sort of standing on the sidelines like a regular student. That’s got to be a bit annoying. But man, I’m sorry, I just cannot bring myself to like Edward no matter how understandable his arrogant little attitude is given his circumstances.
But hey, a bonus of this outing with Edward means we get to see Ciel in some super cute clothes. Holy crap, guys. Look at the picture to the right and tell me that outfit isn’t adorable. That hat, guys. Those suspenders. He’s even posing like a little supermodel with his sassy hand on his hip while Sebastian and Edward and looking super serious and trying to do their jobs. Yes, you guys work. Meanwhile Ciel is going to strike a pose and look adorable. Thanks Yana Tobosa. I appreciate this single frame more than you could possibly know.
We’re left on a cliff hanger yet again, which shouldn’t really be surprising. That’s kind of how this whole chapter by chapter game works. So I guess this means I’ll just have to be impatiently twiddling my thumbs until the next release coming up with all sorts of bizarre scenarios for why Bravat knows what he knows, how Sebastian will react, and what cute super model poses Ciel will strike next. I’m so excited. Who’s with me on this?
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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