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That’s right, ladies, two, two, TWO Black Butler news pieces in one day! FUNimation’s latest FUNicon just ended with a trailer for the first Kuroshitsuji, meaning that FUNimation has acquired the rights to the fangirltastic butler series, which starred Sakamoto Maaya and Ono Daisuke as a young boy and his demonic butler.

More info to come as it’s announced.

Any second now, he'll push up his glasses and legions of girls will faint.For those of you who are veritably squealing in anticipation of more boy-butler action this summer, Kuroshitsuji II now has a streaming trailer that reintroduces you to the world of Black Butler. The trailer runs 3:37 and shows off a whole lot of the two main characters: young nobleman Alois Trancy and his (presumably demonic) butler, Claude Faustus. The general feel of the trailer is about what you’d expect from the sequel to Kuroshitsuji, with a mixture of dramatic angst and light horror starring hot young boys.

Kuroshitsuji II starts in July, but with the spring anime season starting up this week, it might get lost in the shuffle a bit. Personally, I’m keeping this on my radar in spite of my Y chromosome because Mizuki Nana plays the young Alois – houkoholic tells me that she plays a mean boy role, so I’ll at least give it a chance.

Omamori Himari, the show that just likes to service its fans.

Thanks, Photoshop, we needed you!

If you’ve watched anime enough, you know what “Steam Girls” are, even if you haven’t heard the term before. “Steam Girls” refers to a time-honored anime tradition: in the obligatory “onsen episode,” the animators show a bunch of naked girls in a bath house, but cover their naughty bits with artfully placed bands of steam to avoid the wrath of the TV censors. Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu has perhaps the most hilarious variation on this decades-old workaround, doing visual gymnastics with everything from butterflies to rubber duckies to keep the viewer from seeing anything truly indecent.

In recent years, advertising revenues have plummeted, and DVD sales have become more and more important to the success or failure of a TV series. Accordingly, the focus of steam censorship has shifted away from making the show fit for TV, and has become a way of telling pervy fans “Buy the show on DVD and we’ll take this digital steam away for your viewing pleasure!” This season, the censorship has hit new heights (or new lows, depending on who you talk to) with the shows Omamori Himari, Seikon no Qwaser, and Ladies versus Butlers!

This week’s episodes of Omamori Himari and Ladies versus Butlers were especially butchered, with giant ham-fisted white splotches all over the screen (see above – other sites have more screen caps, or you can see it yourself on Crunchyroll) that basically scream “I am a crippled version of this show!”

Do you think it’s smart business, or does it just annoy you these days?

Butlers! Mizuki Nana! I may actually watch this one O_oLadies rejoice, Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) is coming back this summer with an all-new cast of characters! Innovatively titled Kuroshitsuji II, the season will start airing in July and feature a new master-butler pair. Claude Faustus, played by Sakurai Takahiro, will be the titular butler, and Aloise Trancy, played by Mizuki Nana, will be the new master.

Even with the all-new cast of characters, it looks like the next Kuroshitsuji will be more of the same, as the “Faustus” name brings with it the same demonic undertones that came with the first series, and character designs from Toboso Yana cement the connection. So, if you want to see more picture-perfect butlers carrying out seemingly impossible tasks for their masters, you only have a few months to wait!

You know how I said earlier today that we’re hopefully heading toward the end of the moe boom? Ladies versus Butlers! makes a mockery of my optimistic prediction, as it exemplifies the fan servicey nothingness that has dragged down the industry in recent years. Maybe, just maybe, it will prove me wrong. But more likely, the series will be exactly like the trailer: full of panty shots, miscellaneous boob jokes, and not much else.

This is the power of drills!

Weaponized fetish hair. This is how far we've come.

Ladies vs. Butlers is the latest light novel to get the anime treatment, and when it comes out in January, you should have a good idea of what to expect just from the title. But hey – the last anime that combined the master/servant dynamic with high school was Hayate no Gotoku!, and that one turned out great. So let’s take a slightly deeper look at what Ladies vs. Butlers (AKA LadyBut in Japanese, I kid you not) has to offer other than characters wearing fetishized servant outfits and rich girls acting high and mighty and strangely lovable.

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