What’s up US Anime fans! We got ourselves a treat this month in the form of the US release of “Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic” on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD. Based off of the Carpathia arc line within the manga of the same name, this movie takes us through another of Ciel Phantomhive’s adventures with his demonic butler, Sebastian Michaelis, as they attempt to unravel the mysteries of a mysterious medicinal cult meeting aboard the aforementioned ocean liner. The US release of the film features both the Japanese and English versions of the film starring Daisuke Ono and Maaya Sakamoto, and J. Michael Tatum and Brina Palencia respectively. Back in 2017, the film saw limited released in theaters for a few short days in the US, airing both versions of the movie. Meanwhile, back in Japan during the film’s initial release, there was a special limited addition cruise in Tokyo Bay to celebrate the release.
In Tokyo Bay.
So yes, Japan gets all the good stuff.
Sadly, that was something I missed as that year, as I had returned to the States (I should have stayed longer I know), but regardless, I did make it a priority to see the film in theaters in the US. More familiar with the original incarnation of the series, I choose to see the Japanese version of the film (Also I might have really wanted to hear Junichi Suwabe as the Undertaker, but that’s just minor details, right? Right? Alright, no… not really. 😉 ).
And from that standpoint, the film did NOT disappoint. Impressively, I thought that Junichi Suwabe would steal the show as the Undertaker (if you haven’t heard him as Frau in “07 Ghost” or Jinguji Ren in “Uta No Prince-Sama”, then go take a listen over on Youtube and you’ll understand why), however Daisuke Ono not only managed to keep the attention on the titular character of Sebastian, but fully floored viewers with a performance bringing attention to a character now put on center stage though often naturally poised perfectly in the background. In a word, it chillingly good.
No pun intended.
While I didn’t see the English, I have heard equally good things regarding the translated version of the film. Overall, the plot of the film plays out extremely faithfully to its Manga counter part, sometimes nearly word for word if not shot for shot (or panel). What the film lacks in budget (and it does on some of those larger shots sadly), it more than makes up for in action, drama, and humor. Clearly taking inspiration from the story of the Titanic, the film makes good use of situational irony as well as instances of essentially fourth wall breaks with shots such as the long red-haired Shinigami Grell recreating Kate Winslet’s famous “I’m Flying” scene from Cameron’s 1997 runaway success.
While probably best enjoyed after viewing the “Book of Circus” (season 3) of the anime and the OVA “Book of Murder”, the film is none the less rather enjoyable, keeping a good pace of reveal and plot furtherment. Additionally, characters remain compelling as in the past, if not even more so when they are faced with the society’s mysterious “corpse resurrections”… or the code for getting into the society. (The Phoenix!!!)
So what are you waiting for? Go on over to amazon and make your purchase!