- 1 Season
If ever a competition were to be held to determine the most routine and predictable anime shows of all time, "Kuroshitsuji" (Translation: Black Butler) would easily make the Top Ten. "Kuroshitsuji" is an anime (Japanese cartoon) adaption of a manga (Japanese comic) of the same name. The series tells the tale of Sebastian Michaelis, who, despite appearing to be a normal pretty-boy human working as a butler in Victorian-era England, is in fact a demon held in service by a supernatural contract. Under this contract, he is required to work for Ciel Phantomhive, a thirteen-year-old business owner and head of the Phantomhive noble family. But of course, every deal has its fine print, and the fine print of this particular contract is a doozy: for helping Ciel avenge his deceased parents, Sebastian will earn the ability to kill Ciel and take his soul. Despite such a dark and clever set-up, "Kuroshitsuji" is a mixed bag from beginning to end; each episode after the exciting first one follows a simple formula that is so predictable that many episodes can be skipped entirely, and nothing important to the show's story overall will be lost. It doesn't take long to realize that ultimately, the show has one goal only: please viewers searching for a fan-service based bishounen show (i.e. a show about beautiful men that act as eye candy); this goal is the reason each episode is extremely cliche and stereotyped, a point that is especially highlighted when, once during each episode, Sebastian finds himself bowing and saying one of two catchphrases, including, "I am one hell of a butler." Still, despite each and every silly moment, no one can deny the effort put into animating the smallest of details in the show, and the creativity that clearly went into each episode's scenario is actually often quite impressive. Business deals going wrong can easily lead to a murder most foul, and thanks to the powers possessed by Sebastian the demon butler, it's not a question of if each conflict will be resolved - it's a question of what impressive trick the butler will perform to end it. And so, while the show may not be heavy in story or originality, it will, admittedly, certainly make any viewer smile.