Rating (Out of 5): ~4/4.5
Publisher: Yen Press
Having successfully infiltrated the Noah's Ark Circus as the stage personas Smile and Black, Earl Ciel Phantomhive and his consummate butler, Sebastian, set about gathering clues backstage as to the whereabouts fo the missing children Queen Victoria wishes them to recover. But between the duties required of them as the newest members of the troupe and their death-defying performances, even this most efficient master and servant find themselves short on time! And with the availability of both information and opportunity equally wanting, Sebastian resorts to using his devilish wiles on one of the troupe, while Ciel is forced to do some snooping of his own. As the paths of their investigations converge, they find themselves standing on the doorstep of the tragedy visited upon Ciel all those years ago...
So I am really enjoying this series. This one was just as good as the last one, if not better.
It continued the circus story line, which is probably my favorite one so far. I am really enjoying Toboso's art, and I don't know if that's for this volume in particular or not. I know I liked it from the beginning, as it's really pretty, and the time period definitely helps, but it might just be the eccentric circus clothing that caught my attention.
So, it starts where the last one ended, with Ciel being caught by Doll, one of the people in the circus. Who covers for Ciel, and then who we find out is actually Freckle Face (the person sharing a room with Ciel, who I believe is also named Freckles). Ciel makes a scene, pretending to be upset, and he totally buys it. It's a little uncool of Ciel to do that, when Freckle Face is so nice to him, but it's also rather cool, but only because Ciel is awesome. That's one thing I liked in this volume (among several others), seeing the more mature sides of Ciel. It's obvious that they're there, but we don't see him being devious too often, or violent. It was actually a little nice.
And then Ciel meets up with Sebastian, upset that he released the snakes while knowing that they could get to Ciel. This bothers me, as it makes me think that Sebastian doesn't really care for Ciel's well being, and makes me wonder if he's going to betray him or anything, but there's a scene later on that, I think, makes up for it. But I'll explain that when I get to it.
There are parts throughout the rest of the volume that shows there is something going on with the circus that they're aren't showing quite yet, but I will also get to that later.
At the end of the first chapter/beginning of the second chapter, there are some scenes with Sebastian that I was a little surprised by. They're of Sebastian and one of the girls in the circus (I believe her name is Beast?)(who is obviously having a hard time with something, but too afraid to do something about it), and it's obvious that they are having sex. It doesn't show anything, mostly just their faces, arms, legs, and hands, and they are making some noises. I was not expecting this, not in this volume, series, or with Sebastian, although I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, since it is to get information. It's makes total sense for it to happen, especially with Sebastian, I just hadn't thought about it. And the title of the chapter is called The Butler, Scandalous, which made me wonder, but now I believe is completely accurate.
Also, within the first couple chapters, Ciel gets sick. Sebastian is worried and makes him rest a bit, and he does before they run off from the circus and stay with Prince Soma and Agni, planning to leave the next day and go to Baron Kelvin, the 'father' of the circus people. Prince Soma and Agni are both worried about Ciel, wanting him to get better, and they even talk with Sebastian about him not caring for his Master enough. This is one of my favorite parts of this volume, as Sebastian is surprised, and even 'dotes' on Ciel for a moment, which freaks him out. It's rather adorable.
Throughout this, we are still given hints that something is going on with the circus people, and that William is planning on doing something, but we don't know what. And then Ciel gets better, and they hurry out of the place and to Baron Kelvin's. Joker has been with him, and helps him set things up.
This is a really creepy part of the volume. Kelvin is creepy. He has a obvious (-ly creepy) fascination with Ciel, is intensely excited for him to come over, and is clearly the one that has been kidnapping the children. We find out that he's been having his 'kids', the people in the circus, do it for him, as he's gone under surgery and is in a wheelchair. He makes a big feast for Ciel, makes Joker do a shows that hurts the kids, and then takes him down to the basement where he has set up a room, recreating the events of three years ago. The part that makes most of it so weird is that Kelvin likes Ciel and wants to impress him, is happy about everything he's showing him. He's a bit psychotic, really.
There are some flashbacks, showing how Kelvin first met the Phantomhives, including Vincent, Ciel's father, and Ciel when he's a little kid and still has both of his eyes. He is an adorable, happy kid, and it's weird seeing him like that. I hadn't really realized how gloomy he is, but seeing how he used to be is really weird. It's a little sad, makes total sense, but I'm a little unsure how I feel about it. I like how he is now, but still... Anyway, it shows how Kelvin got to here. How he went under surgery to make himself 'beautiful', wanting to fit in with the Phantomhives and their evil-doing group. It's all weird.
And then it goes back to the present, with the four of them in the basement, and they already have their weapons out. Ciel has a gun to Kelvin's head, to which he doesn't seem worried, and Sebastian has a knife to Joker's throat. Apparently crazy Kelvin wanted to be a part of the scene that went on three years ago, where Ciel killed multiple people, which I know has to do with how Ciel got his eye and Sebastian, and it shows some images of it, but I'm unclear on how it all went down. I think it showed some at the beginning of the series, but it doesn't show all of it, does it? If it does, and I just don't remember, then I need to go back and re-read it, because I am really curious. If not, then I hope that we get to see it all soon.
Kelvin was even jealous of them. It's obvious Ciel is intent on killing him, and even shoots him and starts beating him up a little. Joker gets a bit hurt as well. And they reveal that the circus, who we know is running away or doing something, is heading to the Phantomhive manor, since they always 'get rid' of everyone that knows anything about what they are doing. And we know that Elizabeth is also at the manor. This worries me, as we see them showing up, and Finn is outside, greets them, and says they aren't allowed inside. And then it goes back to the four, and Ciel states something that gives the impression they aren't normal servants.
This, given who their servants are, makes you wonder. But then we see Finn bloody and telling the guy that beat him up, that they aren't to go inside again. And then the volume ends.
I guess this one wasn't as funny as the last, although it still was at several points, but there was more action going on that kept me interested, intrigued. And I am so excited to read the next one, you have no idea. And I have it, which makes me want to pick it up right now even more. Because that last scene almost gave me chills, it was so fantastic. It just... God, it was just great. I am so excited to see what the servants can do, and how all of this is going to turn out with the circus and Ciel and William and everyone else... I don't know how else to express my excitement, anticipation, besides to state that I am excited, which I have done. So there.