Kuroshitsuji II – The Tale of Will the Shinigami/The Spider’s Intention

Two more Kuroshitsuji OVAs hit the fansub wires this week, the full-length “Tale of Will the Shinigami” and the half-length “Spider’s Intention”.

Of the two, the shorter “Spider” is by far the more noteworthy. “Will” is a throwaway piece about new trainees at the shinigami academy, featuring a flashback to Will & Grell’s training mission together. It’s more or less an excuse for a lot of vamping by Grell – which tends to work better in short bursts than as the center of a full-length episode. There are a few funny moments, but nothing of any consequence to the greater Kuroshitsuji oeuvre.

Of much greater interest is “The Spider’s Intention”. I’m not a huge fan of the Alois Trancy chunk of this universe – this series will always be about Ciel and Sebastian for me. But this short piece – without a shred of humor – is very effective at offering some background about the residents of the Trancy Estate. The metaphor used for this exposition is a butterfly trapped in a spider’s web – hardly an original thought, but one most suited for Alois’ situation.

Told from the perspectives of Alois, Hannah, Claude and the Three Brothers, it revolves around an incident where Alois frees a blue butterfly from a spider web but rips a wing to ensure it won’t try to escape him. He decides to keep the doomed insect in a cage – and how each of the characters responds to this situation is most revealing about their natures. I see evidence here of Claude’s weakness – his vanity and need for pointless cruelty – that ultimately foretells his defeat at Sebastian’s hands. It’s fascinating to hear from the brothers, a rare occurrence indeed. But it’s Hannah that really stands out – she was always lurking in Alois’ story, her true significance not revealed until the very end of that arc. The backstory of Alois and Luka is woven into this vignette quite effectively, and the short and simple story had a rather profound emotional impact for me.

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