I adored the ending. My first wish, no question, was for the anime not to have ended yet. I would have loved to see more of Sebastian and Ciel, so if there could have been a second season or a longer run I'd have loved that.
But ultimately I wanted this ending. I wanted no cheats. We've been told every episode that Ciel's soul is Sebastian's, and it never seemed that Sebastian meant it in a cruel way; there was too much affection between him and Ciel for that, in his way, and even Ciel never seemed to fear it. All part of the contract. Ciel bought life for himself when he made the contract--he'd have been meat on that altar otherwise--and he never shied from paying his debt.
Yes, I'd have loved a longer run. And I'm a bit in love with the moon_maiden36's idea that Sebastian likes watching Ciel's soul flavor itself with every bit of taint it experiences, so if Sebastian had decided he wanted Ciel to live longer before he claimed him, that would have been delightful. Sebastian's surprise when Ciel let himself fall from London Bridge implied that Ciel might have been allowed to go on living, as far as Sebastian was concerned, if he hadn't been so close to his natural death.
But all the possible cheats--Sebastian dying first, Sebastian choosing to forego the contract, Ciel finding some way to wiggle out of it--my stomach was in knots, fearing all of those possibilities. They wouldn't have been right, not with all that had been promised and promised with every episode.
Ambiguous ending? I wouldn't call it that. Artful ending, yes. They chose to spell it out that far but not show every irrefutable moment; no scene of Ciel's soul leaving his body, of demon!Sebastian winging his way to some fiery underworld...if you wanted those or needed Sebastian to have made some other choice, needed some other ending other than the one they implied, then take it as ambiguous if you will. I'm sympathetic with Never Believe It Until You See The Body club members, because the rule these days goes even beyond: And Even If You Do See The Body They Can Still Bring Characters Back. I don't yet have any confirmation that there won't be another season, after all. But I think they were direct enough to tell us what we were supposed to believe. Sebastian ferrying Ciel, the clear exchanges between the two of them, the scene's echo back to the close of the first opening titles (I never thought that would prove to be the final scene of the anime itself!), the gentle fade to black.
Sebastian's "Then, young master..."--I wonder how many ways that can be translated? "Now, young master"? "Shortly, young master"? There's a world of potential in that last line. As the ending episode approached I kept flashing upon a story of Tanith Lee's where a girl is bred to be sacrifice to a demon, but in the end when he comes for her--in the guise of a handsome prince--he tells her with amusement that his kingdom does lie under the ground, but it's not nearly as dreadful as its reputation would have it. "The country is not as it was." And Hell proves to be a glittering multiluminescent city to which they go. I kept thinking of that. I'm thinking of it even more now. And choking up.
Anyone else thrilled to pieces that we never saw all of Sebastian's demon form? Only teasing little flashes? Imagination is better than fixed reality at moments like those. Each audience member gets to make what she hopes. The moment can't be lost in "Oh, that's not scary at all/that's silly." (Those were some sweeeeet boots, though, I must say. ^_^ )
My loving the ending does not mean I didn't cry. Or that my heart isn't aching. Oh, Ciel. May you be more than a fleeting taste on an immortal's tongue.
I need fic.