I’m a rather dedicated fan to Black Butler, but let’s just say that this Movie was PURE SHIT. This goes to show that everything after season one is bull crap. The producers have milked the franchise so much that they have become saggy old granny tits. To the ones with elite taste that dabble in Black Butler because of the husbandos, it is not worth it, turn back NOW.
This wasn’t a movie, this was a filler episode that lasted for two hours of excruciating pain. The plot was literately titanic + zombies = milked black butler. There was horrific CGI and no effort into the sound track. Too many flash backs, too much effort incorporating all the previous characters, and there was horrible horrible character development for Elizabeth. Suddenly she can wield two swords now and climb on walls. She also had a stupid backstory explaining how difficult it was to not wear high heels since Ciel isn’t tall. For some reason Ciel has shown an exaggerated increase in his love and protection towards Elizabeth, which I call bullshit cause we all know he doesn’t love her. Sebastian also became uh…useless? He couldn’t fight back against a grim reaper, which we all know he has done many times before!
The movie was horribly directed, with weird bits of comedy shoved in the most serious situations. Every two minutes when zombies go after Ciel, some kind of stupid joke is introduced, like the snakes talking or something.
Also, undertaker is revealed, to be, woah, a grim reaper! What a twist! But for some reason he becomes an asshole that experiments on humans. Do you see what I mean? There was no direction in this, what was the point of going on a ship? For Ciel to carry out his duties as a loyal dog? To kill zombies? Oh my god.
Don’t be fooled by the ridiculously high score on this movie because only a few hundred people watched this and of course 95% of those people are blinded by how cool Ciel or Sebastian is and don’t know the definition of good anime.
Book of Atlantic executes itself wonderfully. It maintains the line between action and comedy well - the latter of which I should remark is above average, due to its fair balance of deadpan-like humor and gags. For a film whose manga premise is about a boy who is in a contract with a demon, this film also possesses very heartwarming scenes between a typically sullen boy and his ever-cheerful adorable fiancée.
The Funimation team translated the film very well! A couple of mistranslated lines from the online scanlation that were for foreshadowing purposes weren’t mistranslated, such as Frances’ gender-neutral comment about “that child protecting their beloved” or something to that nature. Lines weren't translated awkwardly and suited well to the western audience, translating Japanese words to British slang/vocabulary, for instance.
The animation staff who worked on Book of Atlantic gave it their all on the fighting scenes. I especially praise the storyboard artist(s) who worked on Lizzie’s scene. I read Yana’s tweet about Lizzie “moving like a ballerina” and had my doubts prior to watching it, but she was indeed right. Her movements were meticulously animated and I adored the attention to the way the camera constantly panned to her shoes. I’m glad the writers and animators didn’t rush it. I should also remark they made her extra cute in the film.
The scenes with the grim reapers were energetic and fun. I have to say, I didn’t really understand the appeal of Grell or Ronald, but the script truly had them perform as charming individuals and as a funny team. In the past, Kuroshitsuji shoehorned Grell too often unnecessarily, thus giving off an image of her being incompetent and purely Sebastian-obsessed. Fortunately, the accuracy to the manga had Grell in the film, albeit indeed flirty and flamboyant, a skillful grim reaper. She definitely stole the scene in the film a couple of times and I’m fond of Grell now, as well I am of Ronald.
I was worried of Double Charles’ appearance being annoying and perhaps disrupting the Midford family’s performances, as they did not appear in the manga during this arc, but their scenes were also brief yet enjoyable. They appear at the dinner with the Midfords, during the bizzare doll’s onslaught (during the carriage scene), and again at the sea in the aftermath of passengers rushing to escape (in which a child was being quietly consoled by Charles Phipps). There was a funny original scene in which Sebastian and Charles Grey chat at the dinner-table, in which Sebastian remarks something along the lines of being “kicked multiple times to life”, referring to Grey’s actions in the Murders arc.
The CGI is indeed noticeable and off-putting sometimes. The film abuses CGI a number of times and sticks out like a sore-thumb in scenes that are supposed to be regular. This is especially noticeable in the beginning of the film, where we see the view of the Campania, which is clearly rendered in CGI and contrasts with everything else that is hand-drawn yet digitally colored. However, they did well in the dramatic scenes. For example, with the Undertaker where we caught a glimpse of the characters’ locations in their encounter. I should also note the film didn’t fare well in scenes where the camera panned back to reveal a character doing a particular pose, such as Undertaker pulling his hair back and whatnot, which I felt although it attempted to be detailed, was quite stiff. The great green aura that surrounded Undertaker, however, distracted me well enough.
Scenes were unfortunately cut, such as Tanaka’s role in Ciel’s flashback due to the voice actor’s passing and the hospital scene. We were unable to hear Madam Red speak in Lizzie’s flashback, but she did speak once during Ciel’s scene with the queen. The scene in the manga where Lizzie witnesses Ciel have a coughing fit was cut as well, unfortunately, because it's a subtle detail that is for a particular chapter/oncoming event. The tailor Nina, which made her debut in the manga following the Circus arc, did not make an appearance at all in the film. I was happy to see Lau and hear him speak in the film albeit briefly, even if animation wasn't put into him much. The intro scene with Sebastian startling the sheepish Ciel after he speaks with Elizabeth about a vacation break was cut and we only saw Sebastian confirming his research in his doctor’s clothes.
There was an extra, anime-original sweet scene with Elizabeth and Ciel after the ending credits (as well as the original manga’s William’s scolding to his co-workers), though, so I can tolerate those cuts. I should note that when you watch Ciel and Lizzie's flashback when they're facing the graves of the Phantomhive family, the anime staff quite emphasized a "hint" about a certain popular, established theory in the Japanese fandom and a growing one in the western fandom.
Overall, a really great movie and I’m glad to have watched it. The person in my company, although unfamiliar with Black Butler and having only seen a few clips, was able to enjoy the film as we did not require much prior knowledge of the manga's content. I should also mention, as a final note, that the soundtrack is superb a couple of times during the film, albeit unmemorable for the rest (especially combat scenes). They re-used some of the previous soundtracks, such as Fantasia and Sweet Tears from "Book of Circus", and Annoying Visitor and Thick Fog from "Book of Murder". However, let me just say the orchestral track that plays when Ciel has a PTSD flashback watching Sebastian violently slaughter the Bizarre Dolls was my favorite, and I hope for the soundtrack to be released soon for it. Additionally, SID's theme song for the film that plays in the credit is catchy and beautiful and I encourage staying for both the song and the extra scene after the credits.