I AM THE BUTLER, DAS!
For the manga fans who have been growing tired of the fillers, the anime finally returned to the roots of the manga series. It’s the Indian Arc! Prince Soma and Agni has finally arrived at the small screen, and will the transition be smooth?
Oh yes, it will. Might I add this as well: It’s even better.
A new case of British citizens getting hung upside meant that Ciel was involved again. It turned out that all these victims came back from India, and they decided to explore the East End where a congregation of Indian immigrants live. Ciel accidentally bumped into a thug, and they tried to exhort money. However, they are interrupted by a prince and his butler. The prince initially ordered Agni, his butler to attack Ciel because they thought that the British elite was bullying his countrymen. Agni was able to rival Sebastian in solo combat, surprising Ciel. However, when Ciel asked whether Indians are brutes to assault people who are merely passing by, he asked Agni to turn on those thugs. As long as they appeared, they disappeared while mumbling about a girl.
Back at home, Lau suddenly appeared at the house followed by the two Indians. The Two Indians happily came to stay at his house, saying that it was common sense to invite a savior home. They then took a room, while Ciel asked who he was. The man introduced himself as Prince Soma and explained where he came from. The next day, Ciel was woken up by Agni and Soma. Agni happily called Ciel a small kid, and asked him to guide them around. However, they were interrupted by Sebastian who explained that Ciel had lessons to undergo. It was violin lessons, and Ciel was asked to play a piece of Bach.
While he played, the two Indians were praying to their god, Kali. Agni explained that Kali was a war god that killed a demon. However, she succumbed to the lust of bloodshed, only to recover after stepping on her husband. After that, her unclean feet made her realize her mistake. Sebastian remarked that she was a powerful god. Soma continued to pester Ciel, only for Ciel to challenge him at fencing. Soma clearly did not know fencing, and Ciel was at an advantage. Ciel was about to strike, but Agni blocked Ciel’s acupuncture point. Agni apologized for his actions, stating that he did it just to protect his master. Sebastian said that he could not allow that as a butler of Phantomhive and challenged Agni to a duel.
The two of them fought to a draw after their foils broke after a hard contact. Ciel asked Sebastian whether Agni was another freak but Sebastian said he was human. However, Sebastian said that Agni should not be regarded as a normal human due to his immense powers. Later that day, Bard wanted to cook for the guests, but was told to do nothing by Sebastian. Sebastian asked Agni to prepare a fruit salad. When Bard asked why he was ignored, Sebastian totally overlooked him. Agni managed to make the three idiots of Phantomhive useful, surprising Sebastian.
Agni explained that everyone has a talent, and it is just learning how to use them. Agni continued that God has provided a path of everyone, and only need to listen to God to follow this path. Sebastian said that Agni was a great person. Agni said he was someone who was about to be hung for his violent crimes, only for Soma to save him. For a person who has forsaken God, he found a god. He said seriously that he found the light of Saintliness on Agni. Sebastian mumbled that the real gods were useless, and dismissed it when Agni asked what he said. At the dinner table, Soma presented a terrible drawing, and they wanted to find this slave girl called Meena. She took care of him since young, and she was kidnapped by a British citizen to Britain.
Ciel asked whether it was necessary to do so much for a slave. Soma shouted that Ciel would not understand the despair of losing her. Ciel retorted that he could not understand how someone can be in despair over something so trivial. Ciel said that he did not care, and told Soma that there were things that you could not do anything even if you wished to get it back. Later that night, Ciel decided to accompany Soma, and explained that it was not for Soma. Soma said that he had to leave though, and said that he was not free like Ciel. Lau entered the room, and they wondered about the two suspicious Indians.
All right, I admit. As much as the fillers are decent, the manga fans do have some logical reasoning to dislike the fillers because the manga chapters are really much better. Soma and Agni are really interesting characters to start off. Soma is that arrogant prince that thinks that everyone should consider him as the center of attention. Agni is extremely devoted to his prince, but his serious demeanor can somehow be funny. I personally find his zealous adoration to Soma to be funny, whenever he goes into a speech about how great Soma was.
Anyway, it is definitely going to be an interesting conflict for Sebastian and Agni. They are like parallels of each other, each capable in their own means. Sebastian is malicious, stoops to absolutely everything to get his task done and only believes in himself. On the other hand, Agni is one that uses kindness and borrows power and strength from everyone. Obviously, he is the type of person who believes in people. That makes it really discomforting for Sebastian because he already concluded that the three idiots were completely useless, only for Agni to use them effectively for a task. That really shows the disparity of the two butlers in their attitude toward things. Sebastian is just a devil butler, after all.
I also like how they discussed about the relationship between India and Britain during the colonial period. There is a long history of abuse and white politics in India, and there is a reason with the number of rebellions that has caused a simultaneous time in the history of British India. A little bit of history can be read in Wikipedia about the conflict between India and Britain during the years of colonialism in the mid 19th century.
Also amazing is how they managed to make Prince Soma less obnoxious than the character in the manga. Who is the seiyuu for him anyway? I am not familiar with the works of Shinnosuke Tachibana, the seiyuu for Soma but he is doing a good job to make Soma an arrogant punk but yet not an obnoxious idiot. Maybe that view will change after a few more episodes since this is a very long arc, but I got a feeling that the anime version will be better than the manga version for one. Of course, you can always complain about the minor details (no Lau and female fanservice!) but it is probably done to squeeze enough episodes within their requirements.
I also feel that Lau is acting stupid just to make fun of Ciel. His character is definitely way more sinister than he lets up to be. No one can be the Mafia Lord and a major businessman of a country without unscrupulous and vicious means to keep his power. That makes his random funny appearances even more interesting because you are waiting for the time where he turns all sinister and creepy. Oh my, I just cannot wait to have such a moment very soon!
On the arc itself, it seems to unravel very slowly. An obvious link got to be with that girl that Soma is trying to find: Meena. We know little of her, and she might be one of the suspects that are causing trouble. Soma and Agni feels like the type of people who would not bother with such petty crimes, but that is what I said about Grell beforehand. See how crazy that shinigami turned into. I think that it will be a pity if Soma and Agni turned out to be the perpetrators but I think it is highly unlikely if it will be a long arc. The real suspect is probably still hidden in the plot.
So, are you glad that they went back to the manga material or EXTREMELY GLAD that it is back?