The first episode essentially starts off as anime original filler that serves as a way to get fans refreshed and fired up for the main course. The main course here is of course, Noah’s Circus led by a man named Jack. It doesn’t take long for the main course to sink as the majority of the actors and actresses are introduced. But to get the best experience out of this series, it’s important to get attached with Ciel and Sebastian. They play their roles in this arc in a detective-esk role as they investigate the underworld relating to a case of missing children.
There’s not much change however when it comes to our investigators, Ciel and Sebastian. Their personalities remains generally the same as the previous season. One thing noticeable is their growing attachment such as Sebastian looking after the well-being of his master. At the same time, he also plays the fool and pokes fun at Ciel; in particular his outfit and stage name. On the other hand, Ciel realizes what he must do to secure the case and takes action. Despite seeming like a timid boy, Ciel can be quite courageous and dedicated as evidenced when he gets a flu yet still wishes to continue with the case.
Mystery becomes a pivotal point throughout this series’ story as we find out more about the origins of the circus. Ringleader Joker makes his highlight entrance as he performs for the crowd. The show gives the circus performance an extravagant elegance when the characters come to the stage. Characters such as Beast, Jumbo, Dagger, and Wendy all demonstrate their skills with praise. Despite the tongue-in-cheek humor, the show maintains a good posture with its comedy. It also has a degree of realism as the circus acts are symmetrical to real life circus performances.
There’s minimal amount of flashback or background story to flesh out with these characters as it only scratches on the surface. Unfortunately, a series covered by a mere 10 episodes isn’t’ enough to develop them enough which is a shame. The plus side is how we can appreciate the closeness of the Noah’s Circus Trope members. They might be travelers and entertainers but at a closer glance, they almost seem and act like a family as brothers and sisters.
As the season is more story oriented, expect plot twists and revelations. As mentioned before, the arc gets darker as each episode progresses. Mystery envelops itself with characters such as Doll and Snake. The latter demonstrates a malevolent presence while Doll becomes an epitome for mysteriousness. The imagery the show presents with the story is that there is something dark going on behind the scenes. And seemingly enough, there’s also a mastermind pulling the strings that is even a higher order than the host, Joker himself.
The story gets grimmer with sinfully crafted themes that can be stomach indulging at times. It still remains culturally developed with the European like style but gets more complicated. Its gothic style is stylized by the behavior of the characters. Add a touch of fantasy and dream-like atmosphere and we get even more artistic story. Because behind the circus acts lies a dark secret in which this series explores with. Combined with the motivation of the mastermind, the story becomes something of a shadowy theater. Expect the unexpected.
A-1 Studios attempts to bring back the style fans were used to with the previous season. Luckily enough, it achieves its purpose. Action scenes are fluid with well-coordinated movements and pacing. The backgrounds of this series still looks elegant with detailed designs such as the Victorian themes. I’m not just referring elegance with the structures but also the way characters are designed.
Soundtrack is fluid with orchestral tones and a folklore-like OST. The distinctiveness of the Circus’ theme plays out well with matching background music. The circus conveys a darker image as the soundtrack gets darker and darker with an unsettling atmosphere on more occasions. Even with the smooth fantasy elements added, the message is there to create an abstract feeling. Oh and OP/ED songs of this series is brilliantly presented. It’s like opening the stage of each episode and finishes it off with an encore.