Movie Review – Black Butler Live Action Movie (2014)

Mizushima Hiro as Sebastian Michaelis
Gouriki Ayame as Kiyoharu Genpo/Shiori
Yuka as Wakatsuki Hanae
Yamamoto Mizuki as Maid Rin
Shirota Yu as Charles Bennett Sato

Running Time: 1 hr. 59 min.
Release Date: Jan 18, 2014

Also known as Kuroshitsuji. The story is set in Asia in 2020 when West and East cultures are mixed in confusion.

A young girl Genpou Shiori is a descendant of the the Phantomhive noble family. Shiori runs a large enterprise, Funtom Company, and she disguises herself in male attire, naming herself “Kiyoharu”. The family only allows males to be the head of the family, and they have also been tasked with the duty to solve difficult cases that happen in the underbelly of society by order of the queen.

In order to get revenge, she gave up her life as a woman and made a contract with the demon butler, Sebastian Michaelis, in which Sebastian protects Shiori until she completes her revenge in exchange for devouring her soul.

My Thoughts
Even though I’m still watching the anime version and I know fans of it will be disappointed and make comparisons, I personally thought this was an awesome movie! Awesome! Mizushima Hiro did an outstanding job of bringing Sebastian to life. Other than Tokyo Dogs as Oguri Shun’s sidekick, I’ve not seen much of Hiro’s other movies and dramas so this was an added treat! Thanks to my anime fan daughter, even though I haven’t completed the anime series, I’ve seen enough of them to really be a good judge of his acting as Sebastian. I was even impressed with his action sequences! Though robotic and over exaggerated, what else did you expect for a futuristic movie!

Gouriki Ayame is just as cute as a button! As long as you suspend disbelief that she looks anything like a man, go with it. My only experience with her was in W no Higeki, a good experience. While Sebastian pretty much commanded the screen, there were definitely periods where she was able to shine. Her interactions with Sebastian, Rin and her Aunt, Hanae are notable.

Like the anime, the movie tried to inject some pretty colorful characters! The funeral worker with his blinged out coffin is definitely memorable; the whole scene was as they were digging through the corpse! Yuck!

The Aunt Hanae was simply crazy. I read somewhere that someone complained that the anime character was more likable but not sure how you can like someone who killed her sister and her husband AND the daughter would have been killed if she was found, so likable is still not a word I’d use to describe her.

My favorite scene was definitely the experiment with the drugged out rich folks. The minute the three guys walked in the room with the hoods, I personally would have been out the door! A mind is a terrible thing to waste! I guess those commercials about people’s minds on drugs being like a fried egg is definitely true; you lose your mind and sense.

The drugged out people, I couldn’t even garner any sympathy for them. It was already a case of wrong place at the wrong time. Now if they were smart enough, would they have been freaked out by how that killer high was made?

RIN! RIN! RIN! I don’t think I can say it enough. Her character as the maid (played by Yamamoto Mizuki) was the stand-out character for the movie in my estimation.

To go from super klutz and you wondering why she is even in the movie to one bad-ass, gun-totting super momma that thoroughly impressed me to no end.

and impressed me..

and impressed me..

Overall, the movie was real fun to watch. Some fans of the anime might like it but I’m sure that others that like this genre will love it! I sure did. Now to really finish the anime!

Here’s the trailer:

MDL Rating: 9
Where to Watch
If you are not into downloading, the only place I know of is here

3 thoughts on “Movie Review – Black Butler Live Action Movie (2014)

  1. I enjoyed the film as well. My only problem with it was that the film wasn’t quite sure if it wanted to be a carbon copy of the original context or if it wanted to be something original all together.To use the protagonist as an example, you have the fact that it’s a completely new character taking the place of Ciel Phantomhive, a female disguised as a male, who seems to be holding onto her humanity quite better than her ancestor did and came off less cynical than Ciel. On the other hand, she dresses very much in the same style as Ciel, right down to the eyepatch that didn’t seem to be necessary (all it covers is a blue eye, vs the contract symbol Ciel had to cover before), her overall personality is quite similar to Ciel’s, and the circumstances that lead to her contract with Sebastian is copied and pasted right out of the manga. She even claimed she had a dog with the same name as her demon. The movie applies new givens to the story and put it in a new era, yet recycles old characters (Mey-Rin, Tanaka, the aunt, and even the Mafia from the intro). Overall, it hindered what could have been an excellent live action rendition of a popular manga, but not so much that I didn’t enjoy it. I’m even looking forward to the potential sequel

    Also, to ellaborate on your issue with the aunt, she didn’t have anything to do with the death of Ciel’s parents in the manga/anime, and even in her confrontation with Ciel she couldn’t bring herself to kill him, so that’s probably why she was more likable. Other than that the two aunts were basically the same in terms of their backstory. The movie meshed it a bit, but still hit the points.

  2. I happened to disliked the film, it was an interesting movie, no doubt, but..I can’t grasp the fact that it wasn’t really about black butler. Black Butler; In Victorian-era London, on the night of Ciel Phantomhive’s tenth birthday a fire destroyed his manor and killed both of his parents. In a moment of death Ceil strikes a deal with a demon, his soul in exchange for revenge. This demon becomes his butler and calls himself by name of Sebastian Michaelis, to protect and serve Ciel until the deal has been completed. One month after the fire Ciel returns from being missing, with his new butler Sebastian. Ceil is now the head of the Phantomhive corporation, handling all business affairs as well as the work as the Queen of England’s guard dog and looking for his parents murders.
    That is black butler.

    THIS is, I don’t know what.

    I honestly tried to ignore that it wasn’t really following the plot, but I can’t, I don’t know why, but I can’t. Also, I’m not that far in the series, but they say Ciel turned into a demon. If he’s a demon, how did he die? If Black Butler took place in the Victorian-era, how old is there daughter? She would be…Not 12. And again, who do you not notice that the hier to a empire is female? It would be on her birth certificate, right? She had to have friends/family before she changed so..defuq? Shes an orphan?! If its 2020, why cant a woman run a business? Thats sexist. Why can a 12 year old run a business? There are so many details they glossed over and it irritated me.

    Oh, and the cast. Don’t get me STARTED on the character cast! And for a fair warning, a lot of characters I loved in the series were not there so, I may end up typing in caps….Or cursing, lots of curses. Ok, WHERE THE F*CK IS GRELL?? As you said yourself, they gave a few hints of humor for a chuckle or two. Grell is a HUGE source of comedy when it comes to the show. Also, Finny, Undertaker, and other Slightly more important characters did not make it into the film. It would have been funny watching Finny, and May-rin screw up and make thing harder for Sebastian. Plus, Finny was KAWAII. He honestly, is adorable.

    In conclusion, the movie was ok. It was a 6/10 in my book.

    • And there lies the difference when you’ve read the manga/book and you compare the two. My experience is in not watching/reading the manga but seeing the movie first. So, the requirements should be 1. Does the story flow? Yes, it did. 2. Does it give the viewer a sense of the story? It tries to in 2 hours or less. To totally reflect the entire story in a 2 hour period is utterly impossible. I’m glad I didn’t read/watch the full one. I’m sure my complaints would be the same. I still rate it high for my viewing experience and anyone that never have read/watch the full manga would agree.

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