Black Butler looks to be the latest title to receive a controversial and (to some at least) inexplicable live action adaptation, with the movie version casting the titular butler’s boy master as a crossdressing girl – Ayame Goriki, a move unlikely to please the show’s fujoshi fans.
Goriki’s boyish looks seem to have led to director Shinzo Matsuhashi to cast for the part (original to the movie) of Shiori, who was raised as young master Kiyoharu for the usual implausible reasons of corporate dynasty.
He says she was the first person he thought of casting as the boy: “Goriki was the first person who came to mind with her strong pupils, boyish looks and short hair, I thought she was perfect for the role of a girl burdened with the fate of living as a boy by this perverted world.”
She comments that “I’ve heard a lot of opinions about the difference between the original and the movie, and I think we’ll be able to inject a lot of human emotion into the story with the adaptation.”
Sebastian Michaelis is to be played by 28-year-old Hiro Mizushima, his first movie role in some years.
Both the considerable liberties the movie is taking with the manga original (it is also set in 2020 Asia rather than London) and its casting decisions have already been the subject of much criticism, although the director is “confident they strengthen the essence of the original.”