It’s no secret that the Kuroshitsuji series is one of my favourite series of all time. I keep up to date with the manga, I collect the DVDs… So why had I waited so long to watch the movie?

The Kuroshitsuji movie is based off the Luxury Liner arc of the manga. During this arc, Ciel and Sebastian, accompanied with Snake, take a cruise on the Atlantic on the maiden voyage of the Campania. Ciel’s fiancée, Lizzy, had invited him three weeks prior, but, although he rejected her offer, there was something about the fact a medical group had organised a meeting on board the ship that intrigued Ciel… This medical group in particular claims they can bring any deceased being back to life, however things don’t go to plan and disaster begins to unfold.

It might not sound very spooky from the synopsis, but it’s Kuroshitsuji – it has demons, reapers and, here, it has zombies. Sounds like a classic Halloween movie to me.

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I was quite excited to finally watch the movie. I had had it hyped up, both from my own expectations and from other people’s opinions, but, unfortunately, it wasn’t what I expected at all. I’m assuming a part of my dissatisfaction with the movie comes from the fact that the Book of Atlantic arc isn’t exactly a favourite of mine in the manga, but I also found a couple of things about the movie that really annoyed me, regardless of my preferences from the manga.

The first issue I had was the animation. Granted, Kuroshitsuji has never been at the pinnacle of animation, but at times the animation was incredibly messy, particularly when the use of CG is involved. Personally, I found that it looked extremely out of place alongside the typical 2D animation and it didn’t really match the aesthetic of the show. Perhaps I’m being too picky talking about it in terms of the aesthetic, but the sloppiness definitely grated on me. I’m certain A-1 could have done a lot better on this front.

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Secondly, I found that the selection of what parts they focused on within the arc was slightly odd too. For those of the audience who haven’t read the manga, the movie misses crucial dialogue out and extends on things that aren’t really relevant in the long term. I realise the anime adaptations of Kuroshitsuji haven’t exactly stuck to the manga as well as they should have (see the second season, really) but I do believe that, if the franchise is to continue being adapted, and I see no reason why it shouldn’t be considering the manga is still ongoing, the script should have been tweaked slightly to at least include these major plot points.

Still, saying that, Book of Atlantic certainly had its positives too. The adaptation managed to make it somewhat easier to follow along with the drama. The Luxury Liner arc is packed with various different fighting scenes and to see it all unfold naturally and not chapter-by-chapter with pauses in between was a lot nicer to follow along with. Because of the various different fights, there’s also a lot of drama and blood, but, really, what else would you expect from a series where the main character is a demon? It’s because of these scenes, though, that we unlock more character development and, trust me, it’s much needed character development for a particular character. They go from being a little annoying in the previous seasons to being a respectful badass and this is the side of the character I love the most. It was definitely nice to see the transition once again. We also get character development on one of the supporting characters within the series who turns out to be the villain in the movie. It’s definitely an interesting turn of events!

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As always, the voice acting was brilliant. Daisuke Ono (known for his role as Joutarou in JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders), Maaya Sakamoto (Motoko in Ghost in the Shell), Juniche Sawabe (Dandy from Space Dandy) and Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch from Code Geass) all once again delivered their lines amazingly. And no, I still won’t ever get bored of Daisuke Ono saying, “Yes, my Lord.” Whew. The OST fit well for the different events within the movie. When it was a comedic moment, the music was more joyful and pleasant. When it was a tense fight, the music became quieter and slower. The ED is performed by SID who, by now, should be familiar voices to any fan of Kuroshitsuji as they’ve supplied the OP/ED for many seasons of the show. Except for the second season, funnily enough…

Book of Atlantic is an isolated adventure, but I would recommend you watch the rest of the series beforehand, for the characters – except for the Midfords – aren’t really introduced properly within the film and you will need context for a lot of them. It’s a film with a couple of issues, but it still remains to be a good adaptation of the manga when you consider the different creative elements of the film. I just wish I could have enjoyed it more.

Rating: 6/10

You can buy Kuroshitsuji: Book of Atlantic on DVD on Amazon! (Region 1 only)

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