Black Butler Chapter 111 Review: The Butler, A Thief
This chapter seemed to serve two main purposes. First, it places Ciel in a position where he can’t rely on Sebastian to be by his side. Sure, if Ciel is in mortal danger he can summon him and that’ll be that, but Ciel has to rely on himself to unravel the mystery of the cult. Secondly, it introduces a piece of what could be important mythology surrounding Bravat. We still don’t know quite how he is able to do what he’s doing, but we are getting a more fleshed out look at the world of Bravat’s cult. It’s clearly got a complex mythology behind it, and now we’re beginning to see the deeper parts of it that you can only really experience from the inside.
After Bravat drops the bomb on Sebastian that he can tell he’s not human, the butler is promptly thrown out of the party. My prediction during chapter 110 was that this information would be rather quiet, as the potential consequences of Sebastian’s true nature being revealed would be a swift death for anyone within earshot. Turns out I wasn’t quite right on that front. People at the party did hear, but instead of making a big scene, Sebastian allows Bravat’s men to toss him out without causing much of a fuss. The people in the cult are taken aback by the revelation, but they all seem just a tad brainwashed to begin with so maybe it won’t be such a big deal in the long run anyway. Still, this is the first time Sebastian has been exposed in such a way and it can’t be all that comfortable.
Without Sebastian being by his side, Ciel is left alone at the party (well, Edward is somewhere, but not anywhere near Ciel at the moment) and the young Earl quickly gets invited over for a fortune telling by Bravat. According to our mysterious psychic, Ciel is apparently protected by a star called ‘Sirius.’ Typically it’d be easy to dismiss this fortune teller as a sham and ignore it completely, but after his reveal that Sebastian is ‘not human,’ I can’t help but think this means something.
Ciel seems to be a bit thrown by how creepily accurate Bravat’s predictions are, but Ciel — being the hyper-focused and determined guard dog that he is — keeps to his cover story even after Sebastian has been dragged out of the party by Bravat’s men. It is curious, however, that while Bravat could easily tell that Sebastian wasn’t human, he wasn’t able to detect that Ciel wasn’t who he said he was. All he could tell was that Sebastian’s darkness somehow surrounded Ciel. There’s clearly some limit to his power. Or maybe he does know and is just lying for some reason? Maybe to manipulate Ciel? It’s hard to say.
Bravat’s warning to Ciel to get away from Sebastian before his ‘radiance is lost,’ isn’t exactly a startling piece of advice to us as readers. Sebastian is a demon and Ciel has contracted his soul to him. Of course it’s a good idea to get away. Ciel has always been completely loyal to the contract, though, and I don’t see him ever taking anyone’s advice on this particular subject. For a 13-year-old, Ciel has taken a rather nihilistic stance in regards to his own soul. But still, if you add this warning to the earlier bit about Ciel being ‘protected’ by a special star, I can’t help but think this warning is actually leading somewhere this time. I don’t know where, really, but this warning seems a lot heavier than anything that’s come before it.
The star protection thing is another element that could be important to this arc. Apparently the cult members are given a piece of silver jewelry that represents their star protectors. Ciel’s is the rare Sirius star. Lizzie’s was another rare star protector called Canopus. Without being protected by a star, you apparently aren’t invited to their little cult. This leaves Sebastian stuck outside. That is, until he crosses path with a cat. Yes, Sebastian found a cat. Let’s take a moment to appreciate this…
I will never get tired of Sebastian freaking out and getting distracted by cats. It’s just the right bit of characterization to break up the perfect butler aesthetic that he tries so hard to maintain. This wonderful cat distraction turns out to have a deeper purpose to the story besides the typical cute side tangent. The cat digs into Sebastian’s pocket looking for food and brings his attention to a piece of silver jewelry, much like the piece that Ciel and the cult members were given to represent their protection stars. This leaves Sebastian staring back at the manor where Ciel and the cult reside, pondering just how he’s going to get back in and help his young master solve the mystery.
I honestly have no idea where this story is going at this point. I feel like this mystery is somehow connected to the greater mystery involving Ciel. While the Undertaker hasn’t been present in the last few chapters, his strange behavior from earlier is still fresh in my mind. Is Bravat’s power somehow related to the Undertaker’s bizarre behavior? Is there really something special guarding Ciel? Is the contract between him and Sebastian in danger? Or maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree. Maybe this really is just a fun side story that’ll be resolved in a few short chapters. Regardless of whether or not this story is isolated or part of the larger arc, I trust in Yana to deliver something entertaining. All hail Yana Toboso. Praise her. She’s so good to us as a fandom.
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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