Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: Black Butler Book of the Atlantic (OVA)

What's it about?

Against his better wishes, Ciel Phantomhive has been asked by the Queen to investigate the Aurora society and their dealings behind closed doors.  Their next meeting happens to be at sea, so it's time to board the ship - which is certainly not the Titanic - and deal with the cargo below - which certainly isn't zombies. 


Black Butler is one of my absolute favorite anime series and I've been chomping at the bit for this arc to be animated.  I was quite happy when they did Book of Circus and now with Book of Murder out and this one, I really hope they continue to animate each of the arcs in this way.  I know I'm not the only one looking forward to the "Not Hogwarts" arc that comes next!

The format of an OVA works well for this arc, as it is quite short.  I'll admit when I started watching it I was quite worried because there are some moments of horrible CGI that sticks out like a sore thumb and a couple shots of the boat which are very disorienting to look at.  However when it came to the very important scenes of the anime, that was where the animation took it's time and looked incredibly fluid - so it was worth it.  They obviously wanted to stretch the budget and focus on the scenes that deserved it, which was perfect. 

We got to see this movie dubbed in the theater thanks to a lucky local showing and the dub does not disappoint.  Just like all the other seasons the voice work is amazing and the chemistry between Ciel and Sebastian is perfect.  Brina Palencia and J Michael Tatum are always a joy to listen to!

This arc does not deviate from the manga in any ways I can tell, so you're going to get a very accurate retelling.  In fact, there's a couple shots that I recognized right out of the manga, which happened to be a nice touch.  That said most of the parts I absolutely loved are semi spoilers so I'll leave them out and be a bit vague.  I loved all the returning characters and the plot points that were revealed in this arc and seeing them animated was icing on the cake!

That said, this is not a stand alone movie.  There are several references to previous arcs (very notably Book of Murder) that will be lost if you haven't seen them.  The dub does try to make up for this by adding in small comments about the Shinigami/Reapers and other plot points, but I can see someone who is behind getting quite lost.  Still it doesn't affect the main plot too much, so I think any confusion may just urge them to catch up, rather then ruin the whole movie.  

Final thoughts?

Yep, totally NOT the Titanic (but it is) and totally doesn't reference that movie at all (but it does).  And I love it. I already have a list of friends I plan to share this blu-ray with as soon as it's out. 

Where'd I get it?

We saw this movie in the theater due to a limited showing by Funimation Films.  

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