Have you been able to think about anything else since watching? I know I haven't. Heck, I haven't even eaten since yesterday.
Discussion of episode 12, and the whole second series. Spoilers for everything.
The more I think about it (you better believe I'm thinking about it), the more I'm able to articulate why this ending works so well, why the creators made the perfect judgement to call this series Kuroshitsuji II and not just the second season of Kuroshitsuji. The first series was one ending; this is another. I said that at the beginning of this second series that the first ending had been too perfect to discard, and the opening of the second season/series showed that the creators knew that. They deceived us in previews with talk of a second butler-master pair, hid any resurgence of either Sebastian or Ciel. This whole second series demonstrated that at the end of series one, Sebastian's intent was to take Ciel's soul, Ciel would be dead, and that was that. Narratively that was perfect, as Ciel had neither sought nor struggled to avoid this fate. You can take that first series as whole and end it right there, that's what the structure and presentation of the second series reaffirms. I saw this second series as an AU, not because I hated the idea of a second series but because the concept respectfully offshoots from all the intentions and all the impressions we were meant to take away from the first ending. It does not negate it. I bless it for that.
And that's why the ending of this season (I'm going to use the term season, once in a while anyway, to distinguish it from the "whole canon" feel of the term series when it needs the distinction) didn't take us back to that same ending. Because we were already given that. That was the end of series one; this is an AU so it gets an AU ending. There had to be a purpose for a second series. It's an evil ending, and because it's AU I think that's gorgeous. It's taking me a while to settle into satisfaction with it, no lie, because it's an evil ending (and the first ending was sad but not evil), but the joy of it is that it is not a crappy ending. What do I mean? I mean it isn't full of things the story wouldn't support--Sebastian dying, Ciel wiggling free and going on to live a contented dull life as an English noble, the entire season turning out to be a dream, the kind of things that don't work and that no one wants no matter how much of a sucker we are for happy endings. You can't give the audience what they think they want; you have to give what the story supports.
And the story supports an evil ending. Sebastian may have been owed Ciel's soul, but he's not a nice guy. Sebastian laid on the deceit so thick you'd think he'd had a trowel, and, again, though I think even Ciel would have agreed the deception was understandable because the contract deserved to be fulfilled, it really, really showed us how not-nice Sebastian was, even to his contracted master. I won't call it payback--again, it's a demon doing demonish things--but these are some evil creatures, and evil's going to come back at them. My sole note of emotional objection to this ending (but it's already fading) is that I wanted both Sebastian and Ciel to be satisfied, and Ciel may look satisfied but he's not really the same creature any longer, and Sebastian looks anything but satisfied, doesn't he. Eternal Sebastian-Ciel might please my inner fangirl, but Sebastian's a demon, he's not going to be content with eternal servitude with no reward. Would I have been more pleased if Sebastian had sighed, quirked that little smile of his, and said, oh, well, what should we do now, young master? Maybe I would have. But perhaps I wouldn't have bought it. He's a demon.
And so is Ciel. Did I want warmth between the two at the end? Yeah, wanted it. Didn't really deserve it, though. We had that last series. Ciel's changed. He's not only a demon, he's a new demon, just starting to feel his power, his lack of human self. Can you think of anything more cruel and dangerous? Look at the contrast between Sebastian and Ciel illustrated in those last scenes, in Sebastian communicating Ciel's farewells to everyone. Sebastian was more human in those farewells than Ciel could have been. (More about that later.)
And that's why I'm warming to the fiendishness of this. The second series gave us moments when Sebastian was truly thwarted, courtesy of Claude and later Hannah, which we really didn't see in the first series. (Sebastian knew the outcome with Ash was never in doubt.) So this series fed us, fed our expectations, in new ways. I hadn't expected to love watching Sebastian really struggle, this time. It took me just one fanfic and one deviantart community to move from the mere concept of uke!Sebastian to having a sudden serious kink for it, and I don't think that could have happened for me without the canon set-up. So the ending was not out of the blue. The idea of Sebastian in thrall (you have no idea what it's doing to me just to type that phrase) to Ciel, a demon butler, a demon's butler...adlfkjasfjk. It fries me to a delicious horrified standstill and leaves me there, only allowing me a slow gasping resurface as I start to think of what an eternity could mean between these two. Speculation. Fresh shocks.
While watching the last episode unfold, I said, "FUCK ME" about every 20 seconds along with the occasional, "OH FUCK," but I never found myself saying, "WTF?" or "Fuck this, NO WAY." Which is my way of feeling/demonstrating that they gave us an ending that works with the story. Not a better ending than the first series, but a delightful twisty one all the same. The first series' ending was the sad, satisfying, right ending. This is the wicked ending. But, joy of joys, neither of them copped out into sucky.
I love that in the end the series comes back to Sebastian and Ciel, profoundly, even if the second series had pulled me into Claude and Alois to the point of distraction. The sheer impact of that ending, man, how it 180'd me like that.
I had this list of things I was going to detail as elements of Kuroshitsuji II that would always make me happy for the second series' existence, even if I ended up hating the ending, and I'll include them, but I'm so glad this list isn't just my consolation.
-Episode 8, and Alois Trancy in general. I love Alois, and the way episode 8 gave us both the reveal and his cruel ending in a way that made me have to go back and watch his earlier episodes to get all that, "Oh, eff me, that's what that was all about!" was glorious. Also, canon catamite!Alois. *goes blind*
-Shiver and Kagayku Sora no Shijima ni wa.
-Claude and his glasses. He gave me Ristorante Paradiso-type lust for a hot older guy with wire-rimmed frames.
-Grell's not the only one to have lust for Sebastian's Nice Poses. Just getting to watch Sebastian in action some more was worth the admission price for me.
-Sebastian thwarted. Yes, I was thinking how much I was enjoying this even before we got that ending.
-Creepy spider stuff! DO YOU KNOW HOW EASY IT IS TO FIND CREEPY SPIDERWEB PARAPHERNALIA TO FEED MY OBSESSION? ESPECIALLY THIS TIME OF YEAR. I need to post pics of the material that was JUST SITTING ON THE SHELF AT JOANN FABRICS YESTERDAY WHICH OF COURSE HAD TO COME HOME WITH ME.
-Episode 4's hilarious lampshade hanging of the whole, "My uncle's got a barn, let's put on a show!" setup, so diligently laid out through the whole episode, so that Sebastian could say, "Nah, fuckit, ain't got time," and ignore every bit of it. Am still laughing.
-I like Ciel/Alois better than Cielois, but I have no trouble fitting it in between the spaces, and that makes me very happy.
-Bride-over-the-threshold carrying, or princess-carrying, or whatever you call it. Oh, come on, you know you all ate that up too. Just one of the many glorious moments of innuendo this series feeds us.
For a bit, I'm just going to list some random last-episode stuff.
- THEY OPENED WITH THE GONDOLA. How thrilled was I that the preview teaser with the gondola was the opening of the last episode, not the ending? Yeah, that's how you tease. And Hannah took second stage to the conflict between Sebastian and Claude, and that was right, too. LOLing forever at "HOW ABOUT IF WE JUST KILL YOU, BITCH?"
-Hannah, you really store weapons in the most inconvenient places. It's your fault if it hurts so much getting them out.
-Ciel and Alois CHAINED TOGTHER. I don't think I have to say anything else about that.
-What does the Happy
-"A STRAY DOG INTO AN EARL." OH DEAR GOD THAT MAY BE THE MOST SUBLIME MOMENT OF THE ENTIRE SERIES (and I never would have believed it would have been Claude who made me say that). Which means CLAUDE/ALOIS IS REQUITED LOVE.
And then the ending. Beware, the capslock is staying on for a lot of this.
SEBASTIAN TAKES CIEL BACK TO THE MANSION AND THEY START GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS BECAUSE THEY AREN'T SURE WHAT ELSE TO DO. HOSHIT. They're SHOCKED and ON AUTOPILOT. When I saw there was NO TEA IN THE TEAPOT I think I wet myself shrieking in cold-blooded delight.
MEIRIN COMES TO THE DOOR TO TALK TO THE YOUNG MASTER AND SHE IS SCARED OF HIM. AIEEEEEEEEEE.
And then they start TYING UP THE LOOSE ENDS. CIEL LEAVES THE RINGS. HE LEFT THE RINGS, DO YOU ALL GET HOW FINAL AND SWEETLY HIDEOUS THAT IS.
Ciel dancing with Lizzy, mildly and pleasantly, because he no longer has enough investment in his relationship with her to sink into a sulk and oppose the manners expected of him. BECAUSE HE'S A FUCKING DEMON. WERE YOU ALL PROPERLY TERRIFIED BY THIS POINT.
SOMA. OH, SWEET CHRIST ON A POGO STICK, SOMA SOBBING IN A NON-FOOLISH WAY BECAUSE IT'S DAWNED ON HIM THIS IS WHAT TRUE GRIEF IS. SOMETHING NEITHER HE NOR AGNI CAN UNDO. oh god imma gonna cry again
And SEBASTIAN LEFT A FULL LAID TEA FOR THE REAPERS. DON'T TELL ME THAT CIEL TOLD SEBASTIAN TO SAY BYE TO THE REAPERS FOR HIM. THAT WAS SEBASTIAN SAYING BYE TO GRELL. OMFG. I will buy that Ciel told Sebastian to say goodbye to Undertaker because Undertaker was one of Ciel's "seedy underground" contacts, but not Grell. Never Grell. SEBASTIAN GAVE GRELL THE COURTESY OF A GOODBYE. ASLKFJLASJFL;SJKFL;SJKFLAJSDLJALSLKJD.
THE CARD THE CARD THE CARD. They knew we would want some kind of memorial to Ciel's human life, something screencappable. THEY GAVE IT TO US.
TANAKA. Tanaka gets a squee all of his own, because, as little as we've seen him in this second series, he's still the point-of-insert of the viewer. I like to think that chibi!Tanaka was the "I know what is going on here and who and what this Sebastian is and I have to watch this thing serving my child employer AND I CANNOT HANDLE IT, I WILL GIBBER IN THE CORNER HERE WAITING FOR THE RARE MOMENTS WHEN MY SANITY RETURNS." And Tanaka here at the end, watching Sebastian take Ciel away, knowing everything that's happened and also knowing that happy little Ciel would have been deadandmurdered two years ago without that contract--what does he think? How on earth can he begin to grieve for something that huge?
AND CIEL WILL NEVER AGE.
Him and his Subastian. :D
You know that kid's going to be the Lord of Hell in about a month. If it takes even that long.