Sunday, March 9, 2014

Manga Review: Black Butler, Volume 16, by Yana Toboso

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Volumes: 18+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 15. 17.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Earl Ciel Phantomhive and his invincible butler Sebastian may have succeeded in sneaking their way into the elite Weston College, but their investigation quickly hits a wall. To earn an audience with the headmaster, Ciel's only option is to attend the "Midnight Tea Party," an exclusive gathering hosted by the elusive head of the school. And the only way a lowly first-former like Ciel, earl or no, can land a seat at that table is by being elected the Most Valuable Player in the College's annual storied cricket tournament. Selected from each house, students in the springtime of youth battle it out among the wickets on the spring-green lawn. Will the usually unperturbed young earl be bowled over by this unexpected turn of events?!


This school arch feels different from the previous storylines. I’m not sure why. I think it might be because we’re getting so much Ciel. Ciel is one of the main characters and always has been, but I think previously there was more focus on Sebastian. But now Ciel is taking the lead, interacting with a lot of other people his age, deciding what to do and doing it himself, and commanding Sebastian only when he can't do something himself.
Being at school feels a little weird, too, I think. There are so many other kids, students, in uniforms and doing activities together. I see a lot of that in other series, but this one usually has focus in other places. It’s neat.
It’s a whole new side of Ciel, and I like it. I especially like all the character exploration we’re getting for Ciel and Sebastian; we're seeing so much more of them! I also really like how Toboso can give a minor and temporary character depth in such a short time. Similarly to with the Circus arch, all the prefects and students are pretty easy to tell apart, even though they’ve only been around a short while. And the way we can get to know certain things about the characters, and find such humor in them, so quickly, is so well done. For example, there's this high-up professor at the school, and we've seen him about three times now, and each time he's ended his conversations by walking away and tripping, sometimes down several stairs. It's hilarious, particularly the look on the surrounding characters' faces.
Oh! We also got a glimpse of Ciel’s father, and that was lovely. His father is definitely a character, and I can see the resemblance. There was also more of Elizabeth and her family. I like getting to know them.
There was some focus on Cricket, a sport that I knew nothing about, and still know very little. It’s a weird sport.
We got some more development on the case, although I think there’s still a ways to go. I’m definitely intrigued. There’s at least one more volume with this arch, although I’d guess two. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. 
I love this series. It’s gorgeous, which really showed with the team outfits shown in this volume. The storylines are so good, and surprising and I love the character development. The humor is fantastic, too. I’m excited for the next volume.

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