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[personal profile] hkfoot
The Kuroshitsuji anime is weirdly tragic. You know all along what's going to happen, how it's going to end. You're hoping for it, even. You want Sebastian to take Ciel's soul. It's his due, and he's worked hard for it. When he loses his way, Ciel realizes that he wants to at least die with his dignity, as a soul that Sebastian wants to have. It's sweet in a twisted, beautiful way.

It's a pleasing twist on the demon vs. angel, good vs. evil dynamic. Here, the angel is twisted, the demon is...never good, but he's loyal, and he follows his own set of principles, which means abiding by the contract under all circumstances. And perhaps what makes this dynamic as pleasing as it is is Ciel's position. He doesn't try to be good, he doesn't let go of his fixation on revenge. He chooses hatred, he chooses the demon, and he chooses to give up his soul to obtain his revenge. It's so common to see revenge go wrong, or be followed by regret, that you think you'd be delighted to see Ciel's revenge carried out just as he wanted. But here, revenge turns out to be merely a matter-of-course. It's just something that needed to be done. The tragedy is that once he has his revenge, even though Ciel has no regrets, he has nothing more to live for. It's just the way he wanted. And with everything done, he's ready to give his soul to Sebastian, his faithful demon. Living was painful, and his last command, for Sebastian to carve the pain that is living into his soul, lets us in on this bleak view.

Conceptually, the mangaka really hit on something with the whole handsome-invincible-demon-with-absolute-loyalty-and-servitude-towards-young-vengeful-boy set up. Ciel is Sebastian's ultimate prey, but in the meantime, he's also his master. There's something delightful about the power dynamic between them. Their bond is also something that strikes a guilty chord. Sebastian wants no soul but Ciel's, and Ciel wants to die a soul that Sebastian wants. Ciel's most important person is Sebastian, and that in and of itself is a tragedy.

I know the manga is fairly different. I still need to read it. But the anime producers did a great job with it, IMHO.
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