FUNimation invited the GO Staff to join them on a Yacht to watch Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic, a great venue for an even greater film.
Having hit theaters in Japan earlier this year in January, FUNimation was quick to announce their licensing to bring the film to the West back in April with a limited theatrical presence in both a dubbed and subtitled format.
In case you weren’t familiar with the Black Butler franchise (and you should be if you are an anime fan), here is a quick recap of the premise:
An aristocratic young boy by the name of Ciel Phantomhive carries with him his family’s legacy and duty of solving crimes for the Queen of England as her ‘Guarddog’. As a child, Ciel was tortured and his family murdered, leading him to the darkest hours of his life and in the process summoning a demon to his aid. The demon takes the shape of Sebastian Michaelis in the form of Ciel’s impressive butler, with a binding contract formed that stipulates Sebastian follow Ciel’s every word and order honestly, and without question until those responsible for his parent’s death are brought to justice. In return, Sebastian will get Ciel’s soul. Despite a rather dark and gruesome relationship, the two are often appearing to be quite fond of one another, though this likely could be that they simply rely on one another to fulfill the contract that pits them together.
The Black Butler series is among my Top 10 favorite anime/manga franchises (anime series came first), and thus I was thrilled to get the chance to see FUNimation’s work at bringing Book of the Atlantic to life with their incredibly talented voice actors.
Having watched the 24-episode, 3-season anime series at least 4 or so times all the way through, along with Book of Circus, and Book of Murder alongside the anime, hearing that Book of the Atlantic was coming to theaters in a subtitled and dubbed version absolutely filled me with joy.
Black Butler on CrunchyRoll
Book of Circus on CrunchyRoll
Watch Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic in theaters June 12th (Subtitled) & June 14th (Dubbed). Advance tickets on sale now!
Visit FunimationFilms.com/blackbutler for more news and updates!
The brand new feature film is based on the Luxury Liner arc from the original manga and follows up the Black Butler: Book of Murder arc! Ciel and Sebastian investigate a human experimentation case aboard a luxury liner, the Campania, with appearances from many favorite characters, including Grell and Undertaker!
Book of the Atlantic debuted in Japan on the 21st of January, earlier this year. Getting it out so soon in NA just shows their devotion to releasing great anime content, although you are going to have to do some soul-searching to find a theater that includes BotA since it does appear to be so limited.
As you would come to expect by now, the majority of licensed shows from FUNimation are often sleek, smooth, and beautiful in every visual sense. BotA is no exception here. A-1 Pictures truly brought the cleanest and polished touches to Book of the Atlantic. It’s Black Butler, so you come to know that there are intense fight scenes between demons and reapers, among other foes in every episode. Those fast-paced movements are intense, but nearly always fluid. For BotA, there was not a single moment where I questioned or raised an eyebrow regarding the flow and fluidity of what was happening on-screen. It truly is stunning for an animated film, and sets the bar pretty high for future franchises that FUNimation brings to NA audiences.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I have always thought that an anime series that comes in episodic forms never truly amounts to the step-up in professionalism to a film in theaters. There are things to consider; budget, availability, and so much more. Even when a film version of animated series that has run for many years becomes leagues above it’s series-driven counterparts. When it comes to Black Butler, the voice quality and team behind the characters is truly what pulled me in. I immediately felt like Black Butler’s anime series voice acting had set the bar high above many existing franchises that I loved. Sure, story-driven is important, but when watching an animated show of any kind, the voice acting is what makes or breaks your interest. Okay, so now that I have made that a point, let me get to Book of the Atlantic.
I could just tell you that the voice work is astounding. I could just say that it was emotional, moving, dramatic, beautiful, touching, and exciting and then just leave it at that. And maybe I should. Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic steps up above its anime-series and delivers a quality of voice work that every anime show/film should follow.
All the original voice actors are back, J. Michael Tatum as Sebastian always astounds and this is no exception. Brina Palencia as Ciel is always a pleasure and the Book of the Atlantic once again gives her the opportunity to shine and showcase just how incredible she is as an actor. While Sebastian is more of a relaxed character with little need to show stress or urgency, Ciel’s character is burdened with so much pain, and suffering that it would be a major disservice to downplay just ho well Brina illuminates the screen with such a wide-range of emotions.
John Swasey and Todd Haberkorn are here too, and a complete joy to accompany the primary characters, the latter of whom whose past is revealed on-screen with Undertaker‘s history explained in a chilling and excellent way. Perhaps one of my favorite characters, Grell Sutcliff, played by the always wonderful Daniel Fredrick is here too and steals the show nearly every moment he appears the screen.
Joel McDonald as Ronald Knox and Barry Yandell as William Spears round out some of the more prominent cast of the film/series but that’s not to say each and every actor doesn’t deliver; they do. And it is fantastic.