Kuroshitsuji II – 11

Only two episodes to go, and the penultimate one was all about reveals. Lot of questions answered this week, using the very clever premise of a maze that reflected the will of Alois Trancy, through which Claude and Sebastian must navigate to reach him on the clock tower. The rub: Ciel is in there too, and his will is strong – he can change the maze, too.

I’ll give the anime-original writers of this series credit – they’ve come up with some pretty imaginative takes on the canon material. Their premise as to why Ciel’s soul wasn’t devoured by Sebastian at the end of S1 (an anime-original ending in its own right)? When Sebastian lost his arm temporarily, he lost the hand with the contract’s seal on it – and that’s when poopyhead Claude swooped in to take over. A little thin, but at least feasible.

Of course, much more than that was revealed this week. It was Hannah – not Claude – whi made the original contract with Luka to destroy the village. And indeed, she seems to hold both Macken brothers in a demon version of genuine affection. Whereas Claude’s interests are clear-cut – he saw Alois only as a tool to get to Ciel’s beautiful soul. Alois, at least, now knows who truly cares for him – Hannah and Luka – but cuts a new deal with her to be devoured and join Luka inside her. Sounds like the bum’s rush to me, but whatever – my question is, where does that leave Ciel?

And that’s what the last ep is going to be about. Sebby and Claude are in a temporary alliance to retrieve Ciel – body and soul – from Hannah, but that won’t last and there’s sure to be a battle royale between them. And what then, after Sebby wins – what of Ciel’s soul? Despite Ciel’s order to Sebastian to come and devour him with extreme prejudice, I can’t see this second anime-original ending being as straightforward as that. It’s been a mess much of the time, but the creators of this series have managed to weave an interesting and semi-coherent story that feels somewhat true to the source material, which I would have guessed was unlikely after the first few eps. But that last episode – like all finales – is fraught with minefields. So much has to be covered, and so much could go wrong. I hope the writers have it in them to wrap this with some flourish and style.

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