The chapters of the manga series Black Butler are written and illustrated by Yana Toboso and have been serialized in Square Enix's Monthly GFantasy since its premiere in October 2006. The series follows Sebastian Michaelis, a demonic butler who is obligated to serve Ciel Phantomhive, the twelve-year-old head of the Phantomhive noble family, due to a contract he made with Ciel.
Since its premiere, over thirty chapters have been released in Japan. On July 11, 2008, Gakken's Animedia magazine confirmed the manga was going to be adapted into an anime series, directed by Toshiya Shinohara and produced by A-1 Pictures, which began airing in October 2008 and ended its run in March 2009.
The individual chapters are published in tankōbon by Square Enix under their Gangan Comics imprint. The first volume was released on February 27, 2007 and, as of June 2009, seven volumes have been released. In July 2009, Yen Press licensed the series for an English language release and began to serialize the manga in its Yen Plus' August 2009 issue for the magazine's first anniversary. They released the first volume in January 2010. Every chapter follows a naming scheme: That Butler (その執事 Sono Shitsuji?) followed by a comma and a word or phrase composed of two kanji.
</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #000; text-align: left;"><td colspan="5">In a manor house outside of Victorian London, Sebastian Michaelis, butler to the twelve-year-old Ciel Phantomhive, prepares the household for a special guest named Clause. However, Bardroy the chef burns the meat, Maylene the maid breaks the dishes, and Finnian the gardener kills the garden, ruining the entire night. Through quick thinking, his perfect knowledge and ability, and a bit of inspiration from Tanaka the house steward, Sebastian is able to create a flawless Japanese-themed service. Days later, Ciel is kidnapped by a drug dealer Azzurro Vanel of the Fener family. When Ciel refuses to reveal the location of the drugs Clause delivered to Ciel, Vanel orders Ciel's servants killed, starting with Sebastian. However, the sniper misses, alerting Sebastian to his presence. Sebastian easily outmatches the sniper and is able to obtain Ciel's location. Sebastian then sets out to save his master, killing Vanel's large force by himself using nothing but silverware. Moments before he is able to give up the ransom for Ciel, he is shot fatally multiple times. However, Sebastian is able to easily recover from such injuries and kills the shooters. Not willing to break a "contract" with his master, he quickly fulfills the boy's order to save him and returns Ciel safely home, slightly late for dinner.</td></tr><tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol2">2</td></td><td> July 27, 2007</td><td>ISBN 978-4-7575-2063-9</td><td>April 2010</td><td>ISBN 978-0-316-08425-3</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="5">
</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #000; text-align: left;"><td colspan="5">Ciel tells Sebastian a group of orphans are visiting tomorrow. As Sebastian prepares chocolate for the guests, he is constantly interrupted by the servants, who bungle their own tasks. Sebastian completes the chocolate statues to find that Ciel has the statue's head. Ciel spends the social season at his London manor and is visited by his aunt, Doctor Angelina "Madame Red" Dalles, her butler Grelle Sutcliffe, and Lau. They discuss the recent serial murders of prostitutes, called the Jack the Ripper case. To investigate, they visit Undertaker, a funeral director, and learn the victims' wombs were removed. They speculate the perpetrator is an anatomical expert. After a preliminary investigation, the Viscount of Druitt becomes the prime suspect. Ciel disguises himself as Madame Red's niece and investigates during the Viscount's party. During the party, Ciel is taken to a gas-filled room and becomes unconscious. When Ciel awakens, he is being auctioned off. Sebastian rescues the boy and the Viscount is arrested. However, another murder has taken place. Sebastian and Ciel learn the identities of the murderer and the next victim's and lie in ambush. Although no one enters, the victim is found dead and Grelle is in her home. Grelle and Madame Red admit to the murders as Grelle transforms into his shinigami form and engages Sebastian in battle.</td></tr><tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol3">3</td></td><td> December 18, 2007</td><td>ISBN 978-4-7575-2192-6</td><td>July 2010</td><td>ISBN 978-0-316-08426-0</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="5">
</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #000; text-align: left;"><td colspan="5">Grelle's chainsaw-like scythe cuts through anything, quickly overpowering Sebastian as Madame Red attacks Ciel. Grelle kills her when she refuses to kill Ciel. Memories of her sister and her sister's husband the Earl of Phantomhive are played out, an effect of the scythe. Despite her love for the Earl, Madame Red marries Baron Dalles and becomes pregnant. Her happiness is destroyed when her husband and unborn baby are lost in an accident. When she is released from the hospital, she finds the Phantomhive manor is burning. Madame Red is envious of her sister, who died with someone she loves while Madame Red is alone. Madame Red returns to work and is asked to perform abortions on prostitutes. Infuriated because they have what was taken away from her, she kills them. Grelle, who witnesses these killings, joins her. The two become Jack the Ripper. Sebastian attacks Grelle and tangles Grelle's chainsaw with his coat. Sebastian tries to kill Grelle with the scythe, but the shinigami William Spears stops Sebastian. William apologizes for Grelle's actions and takes Grelle away for punishment. After Madame Red's funeral, Ciel is warned against sinking into darkness. Ciel's aunt and fiancée, respectively Marchioness Frances Middleford and her daughter Elizabeth, visit the estate. Ciel and the Marchioness engage in a hunting competition. When the group is attacked by a bear, Ciel protects Elizabeth and Sebastian kills the bear, although it has appears to be the Marchioness' handiwork. The Middlefords and the servants wish Ciel happy birthday, the true purpose of the visit.</td></tr><tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol4">4</td></td><td> May 27, 2008</td><td>ISBN 978-4-7575-2291-6</td><td>October 2010</td><td>ISBN 978-0-316-08428-4</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="5">
</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #000; text-align: left;"><td colspan="5">Ciel, Sebastian, and Lau investigate a case where British citizens returning from India are attacked, stripped, and hung upside-down outside Indian pubs in London. Attached to each victim is a letter insulting the English. The group is attacked by poor Indian men during their investigation. They are helped by the Indian Prince Soma and his butler Agni. They are searching for Soma's servant Meena, who was taken away by a British man. Although Agni is human, he is on par with Sebastian's fighting skills. Agni declines the compliments, saying that he once had power and wealth, which he abused until he was to be hanged for his crimes. He was saved by Soma, who gave him a new life and name, and, as a result, Agni views Soma as a god. Agni leaves the manor at night. The group, including Soma, follows Agni to Lord West's home. When he hears Meena mentioned, Soma quickly reveals the group's presence. Agni refuses to obey Soma's orders, but begins to act on West's order to beat Soma. A disguised Sebastian saves Soma and the group escapes to the manor. Soma becomes angry he has been betrayed. Sebastian tells him he is spoiled and never truly owned anything. Ciel admits he would have become the same if his parents were not murdered and he was sacrificed to summon the demon later called Sebastian. The group speculates West aims to win the upcoming curry competition, and subsequently, a Royal Warrant. Through the attacks, West terrorized other competitors. Ciel decides he will win the competition and the Warrant. However, Soma insists Agni, who is known for his curry, cannot be beaten.</td></tr><tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol5">5</td></td><td> September 18, 2008</td><td>ISBN 978-4-7575-2378-4</td><td>January 2011</td><td>ISBN 978-0-316-08429-1</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="5">
</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #000; text-align: left;"><td colspan="5">Soma repeatedly rejects Sebastian's curry, even when the curry tastes and smells like Agni's. Sebastian realizes that chocolate completes the curry and gives it an English touch. This curry matches Agni's. Ciel comments that replicating the curry is not enough to win, but Sebastian has a plan that will win the Warrant. At the competition, Agni and Sebastian impress the audience. However, Soma and Agni realize that Sebastian will lose because he cannot make a perfect naan and he is cooking the curry at too high a temperature. Agni easily wins the judges' approval during the judging with his seven varieties of curry. The judges immediately reject Sebastian's curry because it appears to be a doughnut. When the judges learn the curry is inside the doughnut and taste it, they are evenly split over which curry is superior and proclaim a tie. However, Queen Victoria arrives to the competition and awards Sebastian first prize because his curry accounts for the children. As West copes with his loss, he is comforted by Meena, whom Soma tries to take back to India. He learns Meena wants to be West's rich wife rather than Soma's cook and Agni is hiding this truth from him. Soma realizes he caused all of his grief and apologizes for all the trouble he gives Agni. Meanwhile, Lau and Ranmao kill West and Meena in an alleyway. When Commissioner Randall and Fred Abberline visit Phantomhive manor, Agni tries to take the blame for the recent crimes only to have Sebastian stop him.</td></tr><tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol6">6</td></td><td> January 27, 2009</td><td>ISBN 978-4-7575-2485-9</td><td>April 2011</td><td>ISBN 978-0-316-08430-7</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="5">
</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #000; text-align: left;"><td colspan="5">Ciel and Sebastian investigate the connection between the disappearances of children and Noah's Ark Circus. When Sebastian is bitten by a tiger during one of the circus' performances, Sebastian is able to search for the children. He finds that the circus performers have prosthetic limbs. While examining the prosthetic Beast the animal tamer has, she accuses him of being rude. She and another performer attack him, but Sebastian evades the attacks. This impresses Joker the ringleader into recruiting Sebastian. Sebastian accepts and Ciel takes the entrance test the next morning. Although Ciel cannot perform the circus acts, Sebastian helps him pass from the sidelines. The two are welcomed into the troupe. When Joker leaves them, Sebastian tells Ciel that there is no sign of the children and suggests they investigate the snake-protected tents of the main cast. Afterward, they find William Spears has also joined. Sebastian notes that if a shinigami is at this circus, then there is something wrong about it. William states his division is understaffed and there is business to attend to. The three agree not to interfere with each other. During a performance, Sebastian and Ciel are able to investigate the tents. At the last minute, Sebastian must stand-in for a performer. Ciel searches the tents and finds photographs of a philanthropist whose hallmark is on Beast's prosthetic. He also finds a letter mentioning Ciel. The performers return before he can investigate further.</td></tr><tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol7">7</td></td><td> June 27, 2009</td><td>ISBN 978-4-7575-2601-3</td><td>—</td><td>—</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; "><td colspan="5">
</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #000; text-align: left;"><td colspan="5">The performers learn that Ciel was in their tents and Joker leaves to consult Father. Ciel orders Sebastian to learn the name of hallmark's owner. Sebastian seduces Beast into revealing the name Baron Kelvin. Sebastian and Ciel leave for the London manor in the morning to prepare for further investigation. However, Soma and Agni recognize Ciel is sick and prevent him from investigating. Meanwhile, the performers learn that Sebastian, Ciel, and William have disappeared and decide to carry out Father's orders without Joker. Joker reports that Ciel has infiltrated the circus. Despite this, Kelvin becomes excited. Ciel and Sebastian are welcomed into Kelvin's mansion for dinner. For entertainment, Kelvin has untrained children perform circus tricks, resulting in their gruesome deaths. Sebastian finds a kidnapped child among the performers and puts a stop to the performance. Ciel learns Kelvin has recreated the day Ciel was used as a sacrifice. Disgusted with the Baron, Ciel shoots him. Joker attempts to save Kelvin, but Sebastian incapacitates him. Joker begs Ciel to let Kelvin live because he saved the Noah's Ark Circus performers from the streets. Because Joker lives by the same code Ciel lives by, Ciel lets him live. Joker tells Ciel that the other performers are searching for Ciel and will kill his servants and Elizabeth, but Ciel is not worried. At Ciel's manor, Finnian's skull is crushed, but he is not dead.</td></tr><tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol8">8</td></td><td> November 27, 2009</td><td>ISBN 978-4-7575-2736-2</td><td>—</td><td>—</td></tr><tr style="vertical-align: top; border-bottom: 3px solid #000;"><td colspan="5">
Chapters not yet in tankōbon format
These chapters have yet to be published in a tankōbon volume. They were originally serialized in issues of Monthly GFantasy from October 2009 to June 2010.
- 038. "That Butler, Pathetic" (その執事、悲愴 "Sono Shitsuji, Hisō ?)
- 039. "That Butler, Astonishment" (その執事、咆驚 "Sono Shitsuji, Houkyou"?)
- 040. "That Butler, Accommodates" (その執事、収容 "Sono Shitsuji, Shūyō"?)
- 041. "That Butler, Death" (その執事、死亡 "Sono Shitsuji, Shibō"?)
- 042. "That Butler, Substituted" (その執事、代行 "Sono Shitsuji , Daikō"?)
- 043. "That Butler, Robust" (その執事、屈強 "Sono Shitsuji , Kukkyō"?)
- 044. "That Butler, Wailing" (その執事、哀号 "Sono Shitsuji , Aigō"?)
- 045. "That Butler, Transfer" (その執事、移動 "Sono Shitsuji , Idō"?)
- 046. "That Butler, Unnecesary" (その執事、不要 "Sono Shitsuji , Fuyō"?)
- 047. "That Butler, Comtemplating" (その執事、熟考 "Sono Shitsuji , Jukkō"?)
- ↑ Script error
- ↑ "Kuroshitsuji Anime Confirmed to Premiere This Fall". Anime News Network. 2008-07-11. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
- ↑ "Kuroshitsuji Inspires Outfits in Tokyo Fashion Show". Anime News Network. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- ↑ Script error
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Script error
- ↑ "Kuroshitsuji Manga Begins English Run in Yen Plus Mag (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2009-07-12. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 "Black Butler by Yana Toboso". Yen Press. Retrieved 2009-08-07.