Why I theorize about Mother3 as the framework for Black Butler....
Yana-san wasn’t sure this manga series would ever get picked up (let alone become a huge industry), so she was tentative about writing arcs that might never see the light of day. HOWEVER, the main plot, the main characters (as well as some more minor ones), and the timeline of the series were planned from the very beginning, and Yana-san told us all about it in just TWO PANELS in CHAPTER ONE.
That first panel is a close-up of irises – Victorian flower language meaning “I have a message for you”.
The second panel is the VERY NEXT PANEL, the game packaging for “Mouse3”.
It’s a direct reference to Nintendo’s Mother3, which had been released in Japan back in April of the same year (2006).
The game revolves around mirror twin boys (with anagram names) who get separated soon after the tragic death of their mother. They are about ten years old. The older twin, Claus, dies (trying to avenge his mother’s death) a bit less than a month later. Lucas stays home for about three years before making his own journey for the same quest (revenge), but now it’s not just for the death of his mother but also for the disappearance of Claus and how all this trauma has made their father utterly useless. They don’t know Claus is dead, since they hadn’t found a body.
He sets out on his quest with his loyal DOG. They infiltrate their enemies, sometimes taking jobs with them, sometimes even dressing the dog up like a human.
There’s even a scene in which the DOG is refused entry to a MUSIC HALL because he’s obviously NOT HUMAN.
(Think: the two bouncers [Neckbeard and Skinhead] who refuse Boney entry look *very much* like the two thugs who toss Sebastian out of Sphere Music Hall. I’ve posted comparison pics before….) The vast majority of the game is played within a ONE YEAR TIMELINE. (Think: BB ever since chapter 14.)
He ends up with a “treasured” Courage Badge/Franklin Badge (a family heirloom) from someone with strong ties to his family. The person who hands him this “treasure” is the local (and very eccentric) grave keeper.
(Think: Undertaker and his “treasured” mourning lockets.)
He gets help along the way by these weird fairy-like Magypsies, though they can be rude at times. All of them appear to be male but have magenta hair and dress as women. They are keeping a Dark Dragon asleep with magic needles.
(Think: Grell Sutcliff as the main parallel but also include BB characters seen or associated with various kinds of needles, like Lau, Charles Phipps, Nina, Blavat, etc.) Lucas learns about a prophecy and that he’s able to fulfill it: if he pulls out the most needles, then he will control this Dark Dragon. (Think: having a contract with/being able to control a “Black Butler”.)
Then he finds out that someone else has the same ability to fulfill the prophesy… that this other person is heartless… and that their identities keep getting confused.
(Think: the shooter in ch126.) There are even a couple scenes in which Lucas makes a TELEPATHIC CONNECTION to this Masked Man, though he has no idea how or why. (Think: the earl talking to a mirror image of himself in dreams/hallucinations. Also think: the earl thinking Undertaker is with a boy who looks like him, but then he wakes up and sees Sebastian by his bed.)
Two other people join him and become his team:
1. Duster forgets his identity and takes up a new persona in a five-piece band that “undoes” the brainwashing caused by Happy Boxes. His strongest weapons are his SHOES (which he can upgrade during the game). Much of his time is spent trying to find the missing EGG OF LIGHT, which contains his memories.
(Think: the duo of Edward [joining the P5] and Lizzie Midford [with her shoes].)
2. Kumatora lives in an old castle that is haunted by the “ghost” of tradition. She always wears a hoodie, can be quite rude and distant, has psychic abilities (telepathy), and hides her true feelings. She disguises herself in a purple hoodie and changes her name to VIOLET in order to infiltrate the enemies. As Violet, she waits tables at a MUSIC HALL. At the end of the game she cries, unable to stop, and it’s apparently the first time she’s ever cried in her life.
(Think: Gregory Violet, who was met at the super-traditional Weston College. Also think: Gregory Violet crying/showing emotion when the earl and Sebastian find him in Bath and save his life.)
A villager who had been silent (until he decided it was the right time) tells Lucas all about the history of Nowhere Islands… and how the people had arrived, on a big white boat, with the hopes to start over their lives.
(Think: all those references to Noah’s Ark.) They even wiped their memories clean and came up with fake histories. Only this one person was left with his memories intact for the purpose of telling it to the one who will fulfill the prophecy. (I think Tanaka will ultimately fill this role.)
Lucas and his team have to defeat numerous enemies, including one who uses Happy Boxes (delivered by a trained and enslaved monkey) to brainwash the masses.
(Think: Blavat Sky using the S4 performances to sway the masses.) Another major enemy they have to defeat is King Porky and his servants/army. (Think: Queen Victoria, Double Charles, and John Brown.)
They are sometimes helped by an eccentric inventor who is obsessed with donuts (offers them to Lucas, too) and driven in his pursuits by CURIOSITY.
(Think: Undertaker, his bone-shaped biscuits/cookies, and how he’s driven by curiosity about life and death.) King Porky stole technology from him and even forced him to work on new inventions for his personal benefit. (Think: Queen Victoria wants Bizarre Dolls as “allies” and has Sieglinde Sullivan working for her now.) One of the more interesting inventions is a mobility suit that looks like SPIDER LEGS. (Think: Sieglinde Sullivan.) However, what the inventor is best known for are his FASCINATING CHIMERA. (Think: Undertaker’s Bizarre Dolls.)
After all other enemies have been defeated, the only person standing between Lucas and the last needle is the Masked Man who had previously shown up out of nowhere (from time to time) to mess stuff up and compete to pull needles. It’s the same guy that’s causing all the MISTAKEN IDENTITY issues. It’s the guy who is “HEARTLESS”. He turns out to be Claus, Lucas’ twin who had died ALMOST FOUR YEARS ago. He’s “heartless” because after death he was turned into one of those Fascinating Chimera; he’s a walking corpse programmed with a single purpose: beat Lucas in waking the Dark Dragon.
(Think: the real Ciel turned into a Bizarre Doll and “programmed” with an “episode” to seek out his own revenge and to, perhaps, also reclaim his birthright.)
They fight; his friends can’t help him anymore (not even the dog). That “treasured” badge saves Lucas from an attack that would have probably killed him. Then, essentially, a miracle occurs in which the ghost of their mother forces Claus to remember who he was… and that they shouldn’t fight. Claus gives up… as his programming fails… and they reunite just before Claus “dies” a second time.
(Think: the earl and real Ciel face off, but not even Sebastian can do much about it… for whatever reason. Perhaps he is busy fighting someone else? And one boy “wins”….)
Then Lucas pulls up the last needle. The Dark Dragon wakes up and causes Armageddon-level havoc before basically resetting things back the way they had been. There is the rubble of destruction everywhere, but the people are ok; the Dark Dragon’s power was even strong enough to return everyone to full health and strength.
(Think: Sebastian will follow the will of whichever “Ciel” proves victorious….)
Done. The end.
THIS is why I spend so much time going on about my Mother3 theory…. :)
Visit @abybweissekuromother3 for more about my theory….