If you’re like me, the sight of Grell as a pole-dancing Cheshire Cat isn’t one you’ll soon forget. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s certainly a thing.
The quality of the extra material for this series continues to impress. As was the first part, this “Ciel in Wonderland” segment is wholly and completely of a kind with the stylish, creepy first season (and manga). In hindsight, there really couldn’t have been a better choice for a mash-up with Kuroshitsuji – the subtly perverted, hallucinogenic style fits perfectly. One thing that stands out, therefore, is just how consistent this OVA feels with the series itself. The characters, though filling the “Alice” roles, are very much themselves in that the essence of their nature shines through. This is a series that very much succeeds in creating a complete world of it’s own, full of distinctive and memorable imagery. The care that goes into the background art and the music is astounding, even in the presence of an obviously modest budget.
As expected, it was Undertaker who gets the star role as the Mad Hatter – and a brilliant choice he is. He’s profoundly disturbing and arresting in the role, commanding the screen for every moment he appears. The menace in his words as he toys with Ciel is actually rather chilling – as indeed, it should be. Lau ends up getting the role of the Caterpillar, and he and his floozie are involved with a highly improper take on the red and blue pill that puts Ciel in a situation no 13 year-old boy in a dress and striped leggings should ever have to be in.
Indeed, that’s a lot of the fun here. Ciel is such a relentlessly dignified figure that it’s fascinating seeing him put through increasingly humiliating and silly situations. He’s unflappable – mostly – but he does let his irritation show through delightfully. Sebastian is in fact barely here as the White Rabbit – he’s more of an idea than a character, an elusive goal for Ciel as Alice to chase through this demented wonderland.
In the end, this ends up feeling rather serious and dark. Madame Red makes an unsettling appearance as the Red Queen, complete with a reference to her death in the real world. The ending of the OVA is clouded and somber, and very much tied in with the end of the first season. If you’re a fan of that season especially, I strongly recommend you check the “Wonderland” OVAs out – they may not be canon, but they feel like a very important part of the Kuroshitsuji mythology – more so, in fact, than the entertaining but ultimately wayward second season.