“His Butler, Fulfilling His Duty”
The finale of Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus, and it ended not with a bang but with a whimper of, arguably, a very painful and emotional sort.
Like most Kuroshitsuji finales, there isn’t any of the intermittent humour and lightheartedness that undercuts the general sombre tone of the show. It remains serious to the very end, and is very much a tragic conclusion for Ciel as it is for the circus gang, who are as much victims as they were criminals. Joker lays dying on the floor of the burning mansion but recalls simpler times with his family, in spite of their disabilities and the fact that they had no money. Family really was all they needed, and Kelvin had the chance to really give them something beautiful and worthwhile but he just ended up twisting it into something ugly and made those he took under his wing do horrible and awful things. As idealistic as it may seem, I do think that in the end they were redeemed for their actions in life and that wherever they end up going in the afterlife, they’ll at least be together, which, I think, is the only thing this misfit gang wanted all along.
Snake is the only one left alive, though, and he wanders off into London alone and quietly lonely, which is sad and tragic in itself.
At the end of it all Ciel and Sebastian head towards the supposed orphanage where Kelvin promised he was looking after homeless children in return of Joker and his group’s cooperation. It’s fitting, therefore, when Ciel arrives only to find the orphanage almost completely dilapidated, with no children whatsoever. Kelvin really did remain a fiend until the very end, lying about non-existent children in order to maintain Joker’s trust and loyalty. Ciel laughs but also breaks down at the wasted lives and the perpetual sorrow that Joker and his family experienced in life, all for a cause that didn’t even exist, but Sebastian has to smile at the very human nature of his master and, maybe, even the happy ending that the circus gang could only achieve in death. It showed a very different side of Sebastian, as someone who could appreciate human life in all its failings and eccentricities, and I really think that in some ways he’s grateful to Ciel for showing him things that his demon mind can’t even comprehend.
Ultimately, this whole season was a tragedy. No one was saved and Ciel realised that sometimes saving someone is ensuring they don’t have to live through the trauma of what was done to them. His mind is far older than his 12-year old body and even Sebastian can only be the voice of maturity insofar as his base, demonic mentality allows. All in all I enjoyed the season, even if I felt it was too slow and dragged out longer than necessary. I think it would have worked fine with about seven or eight episodes maximum, but otherwise it was a nice, short season that felt more like a side-story out of the original first season.
I might be picking apart Book of Murder next if I’m up for it, but for now, we’ll say goodbye to Kuroshitsuji and its short reprisal.