Manga Review: Kuroshitsuji Volume Twelve, by Yana Toboso

Kuroshitsuji volume twelve opens up with a confrontation with the Aurora Society and the rather horrifying zombies they’ve created. Rian, the doctor involved in this project of “Absolute Salvation,” takes off running, leaving Sebastian and Ciel to deal with the zombie. Then Ronald Knox turns up and offers some quick advice on destroying the zombie (headshots, naturally). Knox then takes a look at the zombie’s Cinematic Record and is somewhat appalled to see that the corpse has already been reaped.

After some discussion, Ciel and Sebastian head off after Rian. This results in some difficulties, mostly due to Ciel and Sebastian’s mission being at cross-purposes with Ronald’s mission. Ronald attacks Sebastian, and Ciel decides to head off on his own, telling Ronald and Sebastian to “play nicely.” (It’s little moments like this that really make me love the manga. Ciel is such a complete stinker.)

While Ronald and Sebastian fight, Ciel encounters Elizabeth who rather unwisely startles him. From there, they run into Snake and Ciel makes a number of important discoveries. The most important being that there are a LOT of zombies on board this vessel! Ciel and company find that the hold is packed with coffins. The second is that there isn’t just one hold full of zombies. There are two. Things get extremely exciting when the trio get cornered, but Sebastian makes an appearance and disposes of the zombies in the hold. (Sebastian also inadvertently triggers Ciel’s PTSD, causing him to have an extremely bad flashback.)

The party catches up with Rian, and after some questioning, it’s revealed that there were in fact two cargo holds full of zombies. (And the other cargo hold has ten times as many as the first hold.) Rian reports that there is a device in his room that should deactivate them. The zombies meanwhile have managed to escape from the hold and are now snacking on the passengers and the crew. Then the ship encounters an iceberg, and the situation becomes even more exciting. There are some fun moments where we see that the entire Midford clan is possibly secretly related to the Armstrongs from Fullmental Alchemist. The Midfords quickly begin defending the hapless passengers from the zombie hordes with a great deal of bombastic flair.

We also reaffirm that Grell’s sense of humor is off-color and kind of disgusting. And Toboso maybe watched Titanic too many times. A much more surprising revelation is that Elizabeth has been hiding something from Ciel. Namely, that she is not the Midford family white sheep. The volume ends with a very bold statement from our frilly little Lizzie.

The next volume reveals more about Elizabeth’s character arc and we discover who is behind the Aurora Society’s zombies.


Black Butler, Vol. 12 on Amazon

Black Butler #12 on Powell’s Books

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Filed under fantasy, Kuroshitsuji, manga/anime, Review: Manga

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