basilmemories: (Scholarly pursuits.)
basilmemories ([personal profile] basilmemories) wrote2010-09-18 02:23 am


So, watching the last episode of the series subbed was magical, not going to lie. But also I have feelings on how fandom and my friends/flist is reacting to it. Spoilers for the series and whatnot.

So long story short, Ciel is a demon now. And Sebastian got screwed over, Hannah and Alois won, and Claude had a mixed ending. Yeah. That just happened. The bad guys pretty much won in the end.

One of the big things that people had an issue with was that more or less the Phantomhive household got railroaded by the other side and that it’s Ciel’s story and it’s terrible storytelling and so on. And in a way that’s true. Normally these are Very Bad things to do in a work of fiction. However in a way because I’ve read/seen the series it felt cathartic to me.

Look at the series as a whole. The story is about Ciel, his powerhouse of a demon, his clumsy-but-powerhouses of his servants, and how they steamroll over anybody that goes up against them. You get a taste of it with madam red, and it never really ends differently. Curry contest? They either join Ciel’s side or die. Circus arc? Massacre. The Sherlock Holmes arc doesn’t really hold much interest to me because I knew who was going to come out on top, (hint, it’s not the people who are up against Ciel and his gang). As much as I love the series, the biggest twist is wondering who among the antagonists are going to die and who’s going to join up with Ciel. Considering that the Circus arc was long enough that the characters got even more depth it stands out. It’s not that Ciel and his household are the main characters, it’s that there are fully-fleshed out characters who aren’t on his side… but Sebastian and Ciel run the show and railroad them.

So series 2 is an inversion of that. Sebastian and Ciel, who normally pretty much hit their obstacles like a storm once they get everything set in place, get hipchecked hard into a wall and never stop getting steamrolled. Everything from the first episode to the openings show that the antagonists are going to be difficult, they’re not going to go down easy. They might even win. That real possibility of the bad side winning kept me watching even when I felt the dire need for alcohol. On top of that previously Ciel and Sebastian have been kind of Karma Houdinis. They go in, things happen, people get killed. Ciel might feel bad or Not Be In A Good Place mentally, and the arc ends. Does Sebastian ever get taken down a notch? Nope. Yes Ciel has to deal with his actions, but it’s a private matter, in the manga he doesn’t have to answer to anybody but the queen and himself. In the second season their actions have some weight.

Another one of the comments was that Sebastian didn’t really deserve getting messed with for an entire season, and I’d like to respectfully disagree. In the series he makes a deal with Claude to throw Alois under a bus and lie to Ciel while he’s doing it, just so he can get a tastier soul. Now if anyone deserves a good bussing it’d be Alois, but he’s still deceiving Ciel nearly all of the series. Either he doesn’t tell him about the memory issue, or he falsifies a new enemy for Ciel. If this were the manga he’d completely get away with it and probably have Claude’s head on a pike as an added bonus by the end of the arc. However here not only does Ciel find out what’s going on in the end, but Alois bites back in the best way possible. In the end Ciel is screwed with a lot, but he gets immortality and a demon body out of the deal, and someone who’s forced to buttle around for him for eternity.

On the same note Alois gets the most complete revenge available. Not only does he make Claude and Sebastian feel what it’s like to truly want something they can’t have, but he gets a note of begrudging respect out of Claude and ends up with people who seem to care about him. In short, Alois wins everything. He also gets messed with, rejected, killed, rejected again, mocked, and in general had a shitty life up until he got his demonbutler. So did Ciel, mind you, but he had a few bright spots and Alois didn’t get a couple of seasons/chapters to become the powerhouse that the phantomhives became. In fact even when Alois was making people suffer they still pretty much were interested in Ciel, he never got the “convert or die” thing going for him.

While we’re at it that IS my big issue of the series. Ciel’s soul is supposed to be this shining, gossamer thing untouched by darkness? Uh, no. If we want to look at a real “competent innocent child in control of a demonic servant” then we need to look at Garcia and Roberta from black lagoon. Garcia starts out as innocent, but as the show goes on he grows little tiny shota balls of steel and sets out to rein in his rampaging servant. He retains his faith in people, but he learns that the world is a harsher place and that sometimes terrible things happen. He isn’t exactly pure by the end of things, but he’s a great deal better off then Ciel. Meanwhile Ciel started out a little broken and it’s been getting worse as the manga has gone on. He’s fine with being a little dark, it’s not that Sebastian thinks his soul is pure or anything, it’s that Ciel is interesting and he likes messing with him. To use a candymaker analogue, if Ciel is the delicious piece of nougat dipped in dark chocolate, then Garcia is the fruit candy with a bit of chocolate sprinkled on top. God I’m hungry now.

But I’m fine with people having a issue with the second series. If for the manga and the first series it’s been mostly the magical adventures of Butler and Phantomhive, then darn it, that’s what people expected out of the second series. Yeah you can say “dude the series trolled everyone for the entire show”, but people were expecting a battle where Ciel won and then they all sit down and had foodporny deserts. Or he got his soul munched, or something. What I’m having problem with is the sheer amount of table flipping going on with my friends. I honestly feel bad, like I’m one of those “bad fanbrats” who doesn’t get how I should hate the ending and if I do then I don’t have taste. It’s not just my flist, I’ve had full-blown conversations with some of my friends over gchat about how they hate the ending and that they’re judging me for liking it.

Moreover it makes me feel very uncomfortable playing in any games where there’s a manga/2nd season anime split. There’s no less then three characters I’d love to play, however I feel a bit like it would be difficult for the rest of the cast. I’m not saying “I feel unwanted” because the kuroshitsuji cast I know are wonderful people that always make you feel welcome if you bring up an issue. If I got in I would feel like they’d try to accommodate me and be just as nice as they always are. They’re my friends for a damn good reason. However it would be “difficult”. I’d always feel like I was stepping on their toes or tagging them when they aren’t fond of how the series went. That’s why I was glad that Alois wanted Ciel as a means to an end (-with benefits) and that eventually he found a way to resolve things with Sebastian. I didn’t want every tag to be “the latest adventures of how Alois tries to fuck X over”. I didn’t want to be the pain in the ass to the cast. Apping into the game when the cast wants the rivalry and shenanigans to occur is awesome, apping into the game when people have a genuine dislike for some things makes me feel horrible and like a douche.

So after all this I’m vaguely glad that life intervened and I never finished my app. If I had got in and read up on things it would have been amazingly awkward, this way I got interrupted by forcible socialization with my friends, a little more work, reading plenty of books, I got art done and figured out a new shading method that makes me feel proud of myself. Nope I don’t play a new character in the internet, but I avoided some stress and a stressful voting. And that’s not too bad at all.

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