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The manga and anime series Black Butler features an extensive cast of characters created by Yana Toboso. The series takes place in England during the reign of Queen Victoria. It follows Sebastian Michaelis, a demonic butler obliged to serve twelve-year-old Earl Ciel Phantomhive due to a contract he made with Ciel binding Sebastian to the child's will. Although Sebastian is able to carry out his tasks with ease and perfection, his co-workers, Baldroy, Finnian, and Mey-Rin, are not as competent, resulting in Sebastian having to complete their tasks as well. Sebastian also assists Ciel in solving the problems plaguing England.

Primary

Twelve-year-old Ciel Phantomhive is the current head of the English Phantomhive noble family and the Funtom toy and confectionery company. Under his lead, the company grew into a major corporation. Ciel is tasked with solving problems plaguing London under Queen Victoria's orders. He is helped by Sebastian Michaelis, a demon bound to Ciel's will by a contract. Sebastian serves as the Phantomhive butler. Until the terms of their contract are met, Sebastian must keep Ciel alive.

Sebastian Michaelis

Sebastian Michaelis (セバスチャン・ミカエリス Sebasuchan Mikaerisu?) is the very attractive butler of the Phantomhive household and acts as Ciel's bodyguard. Sebastian's appearance is similar to that of Ciel's father. Sebastian often describes himself through the phrase "I am nothing more than a butler." (私はあくまで執事ですから Watashi wa akuma de shitsuji desu kara?). The phrase plays on the word "demon" (あくま akuma?) and the phrase "to the end" (あくまで aku made?). It can also translate to "I am a demon and a butler". In Funimation's English translation, this phrase becomes "I am one hell of a butler," which is, obviously, another play on his demonic origins.

Being a butler and a bodyguard are two jobs he is completely devoted to. He follows Ciel's orders faithfully, however, he is not overly concerned about Ciel's well-being as he insults and even harms Ciel to see his reaction. He calls Ciel a "brat" who treats his workers rudely. Sebastian is also shown to be a bit obsessed with cats, in chapter 44 of the manga, he is shown to be hiding 15 cats in his room. He also seems to love a stray black cat with amber eyes, though it has yet to make another appearance. Comically the only times he does not follow Ciel's orders is when he sees a cat, too dazed observing it to pay any attention to anything else.

He is highly skilled in any area, and handles every task, no matter how impossible it is, as well as any problem that arises from the errors of the other staff with ease, stating it is only natural as the butler to the Phantomhive family. This is due to the fact he is a demon bound by a Faustian contract to abide by Ciel's will. A sign similar to the one marking Ciel's right eye can be found on Sebastian's left hand, which has been used on one occasion to twist the arm of a kidnapper without touching him. The name Sebastian is in fact a temporary name given to him by Ciel and was previously held by Ciel's dog. It has been established that he is a cat-person, ignoring Ciel's words to comfort a stray cat. In turn, he shows high disdain for dogs, especially towards Pluto. In the anime adaption, Sebastian can take the form of a crow or a cat. Sebastian's true demonic form has not been fully revealed. However, a depiction of sharper teeth, high-heeled boots, and elongated nails have been given. In the anime, his true form is also shown, but only briefly in glimpses at the finale, sporting high-heel boots and claw-like hands (the appearance of a goatee is given, but was subsequently discovered to be a animation error). In the manga adaptation, Sebastian appears to Ciel to form the contract in his true form, while in the anime version, he appears as a crow. He is voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa on the first drama CD, Daisuke Ono in the anime adaption and on the second drama CD, and J. Michael Tatum in the English dub..[1][2][3][4] His name is similar to that of Father Sebastien Michaelis, who compiled a hierarchy of demons in Hell.

In The Second TV Series, Sebastian resurrects Ciel with his Family Ring (which was somehow located in a "New Moon Drop" tea box under Alois Trancy's manor). He comes into Trancy's manor in the disguise of a wanderer needing to shelter himself from a storm, however, criticizes Claude Faustus's abilities as a butler saying he does not seem to take his responsibilities seriously when he sees a drop of sauce on the side of his dinner plate. This alerts Claude that he is Sebastian as he later on attacks him when he gets the "New Moon Drop" Tea box from Alois. In the battle, the large traveler's trunk he is carrying opens revealing Ciel's lifeless body and when Alois gets excited and seems to know Ciel and wants to touch him, he says that he cannot allow such a low person as Alois and his copy-cat Claude catch them. Sebastian resurrects Ciel and follows his orders obediently as before, however, he does not mention the Trancy incident nor tell Ciel anything that has happened (It seems Ciel has forgotten a lot of things that had transpired in the first TV series). The air around the relationship between Ciel, Sebastian, Alois, and Claude is an enigma that seems to be one of the pinnacles of the second series.

It is later revealed that when Sebastian had wanted to consume Ciel's soul, Claude had come (in the form of a spider) delivering a venomous bite that killed Ciel prior to having Sebastian consume him - thus voiding their contract.§ Claude then merely tells Sebastian that he was acting upon the orders of Alois Trancy who wanted to obtain Ciel. As Ciel has forgotten the revelations at the end of Season One, his soul is incomplete. Sebastian and Claude then forge a contact with their blood upon a rose (which turns black) that Claude will only come after Ciel when Ciel's revenge is complete and Sebastian agrees that Alois Trancy will be the target of Ciel's revenge. But the progress of this contract has gone haywire. Claude (in episode eight) kills Jim McCain aka Alois Trancy because Jim has expressed love for him - this makes Claude no longer wish to consume Alois' soul. Instead, he hypnotizes Ciel and puts the Trancy ring upon him (which contains Jim's soul) and makes him believe that Sebastian had killed his parents (As Alois and Ciel share similarities with their memories being mixed). Sebastian becomes helpless when Ciel, using his contractual seal, tells him to disappear from his sight as he now recognizes Claude as his only butler and that Sebastian was responsible for the deaths of his parents and the burning of the Phantomhive household.

Sebastian complies only to go away to a distance and mutters that though he was late in preparing dinner, it will be served - implying that he will defeat his enemies. His form becomes glowering black and eyes pure red, for there are no longer any 'contractual handcuffs' to obey and claims that he will, "Clean up every last spider."

Ciel Phantomhive

Earl Ciel Phantomhive (シエル・ファントムハイヴ Shieru Fantomuhaivu?) is the business-savvy, twelve-year-old head of the English Phantomhive noble family, taking over after the deaths of his parents, Lord Vincent and Lady Rachel Phantomhive. He runs Funtom Company, which manufactures toys and sweets, with the later addition of a food branch after winning a Royal Warrant. His right eye, which is usually covered with a black eyepatch, bears a pentacle, the sign of the Faustian contract he made with the demon Sebastian. Sebastian says that the mark on Ciel is proof of their contract. He also says that demons mark their prey so that they can locate them.

Prior to meeting Sebastian, he was a slave and a sacrifice in a cult ritual. During one particular instance where Ciel was being tortured, his hatred for his torturers summoned Sebastian. He then commanded the demon to kill all the people in the room. During his time as a slave, a mark was burned into his back; in the anime adaption, it is found on his left side, near his chest. In the manga the mark is found on the left side of his back. He does not want anyone to see this mark and appears to not enjoy physical contact (possibly aphephobic), though he tolerates Sebastian and does not complain when the demon picks him up or holds him. If stressed, he will slap someone touching him away, proclaiming "Don't touch me so easily!" This is a negative influence of the trauma he underwent during his time as a slave.

He is portrayed as emotionless, though he occasionally expresses concern for the well-being of the few close to him. He sometimes portrays himself as a happy person, mostly when undercover, but soon turns to his true self. He worries for Sebastian's well-being; but ultimately looks at Sebastian as a pawn. There have been times when he wishes for Sebastian to fail a task or request, for humor's sake. He is close to his cousin and fiancée Elizabeth, seeing her as an important friend and someone he needs to protect. Before the loss of his parents, Ciel seemed to be a happy child.

Ciel seems to be highly reliant on Sebastian and does not appear to interact with other staff members as often, though they are all devoted to him. While he appears somewhat callous in the anime, such as not hesitating to throw a dart at Finnian, causing the gardener to bleed, in the manga, Finnian notes that he is loyal to Ciel because Ciel does not hurt him. Ciel is proficient with the use of guns, keeping a number of conceal guns nearby in order to protect himself. He has asthma, which was inherited from his mother. He is also allergic to cats.

At the end of the anime adaptation, with his revenge completed, Ciel's soul is supposedly devoured by Sebastian. Ciel insists that Sebastian make the process as painful as possible so as to "carve the pain of his life into his soul". He is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro on the first drama CD, Maaya Sakamoto in the anime adaption and second drama CD, and Brina Palencia in the English dub.[1][2][3][4]

In the second TV series Ciel is resurrected by the end of the first episode by Sebastian using his family ring (which somehow was concealed in a "New Moon Drop" tea box in Alois Trancy's manor). In a later episode it was shown that Claude, Alois Trancy's butler had stolen Ciel's soul. Ciel's resurrection is enigmatic - though he remembers Elizabeth and a few other people like Tanaka, Finny, Mey-Rin, Baldroy, and the Undertaker he does not seem to remember other people or certain instances. This is highlighted in the third episode when Grell makes an appearance, and he asks Sebastian who Grell is. Ciel also orders Sebastian to make sure his aunt doesn't know about his mission, unaware that she is dead (Sebastian does not tell him this). However, when he sees Grell's overcoat a vague image of Madame Red comes into his mind, although he dismisses it quickly. It seems the events that transpired in the first season may have been forgotten by him. Also, for some unknown reason, in the first episode Alois Trancy knows him when he sees his lifeless body in Sebastian's suitcase and wants to capture him and Sebastian. By the end of the third episode, Ciel becomes aware of the noble house of Trancy, however, it seems that Sebastian has not informed him of the events in the first episode.

Supporting

Phantomhive household

The Phantomhive Estate belongs to the English noble family Phantomhive and is located outside the city of London. The Phantomhive family is a secret executive agency controlled directly by the Queen and are often referred to as the "Evil Noblemen" and the "Queen's Watchdogs". They are tasked with eliminating anything that worries the Queen by any means necessary. They are able to control and manage the underworld of the United Kingdom to avoid any information of its existence from reaching the general public. The current head of the family is Ciel Phantomhive, son of Earl Vincent and Lady Rachel Phantomhive who were murdered and their estate burned. In addition to the services they provide for the Queen, the Phantomhive family runs a toy and confectionery company called Funtom Company.

The estate currently has five servants, but their positions as servants are a front for their real jobs protecting the Phantomhive Estate as well as protecting Ciel, who they are deeply devoted to and will kill anyone that might harm him. Baldroy serves as the household cook. Finnian is the gardener and Mey-Rin is the maid. The three were personally chosen and trained by Sebastian for their duties. Tanaka has served under Earl Vincent and Lady Rachel, but has not been seen doing any work during his service under Ciel. Sebastian Michaelis, a demon, acts as the butler. Lady Rachel and Earl Phantomhive each have one sister; both have married and become parts of other noble families before the start of the series. Madame Red, born as Angelina Dulles, married into the Barnett family. She commits the murders investigated in the Jack the Ripper case and is killed by her accomplice after she is exposed. Marchioness Frances married Marquis Middleford and their daughter, Elizabeth, is engaged to Ciel.

BardScript error

Bard (バルドロイ Barudoroi?), usually referred to as Bard, is the household cook of American descent. He rarely produces anything edible as he uses weaponry such as flamethrowers to cook and believes cooking is an art requiring explosions. Sebastian believes anything he creates is made up of charcoal and carcinogens. Bard pursues cooking to learn how to slow down, as he states cooking takes patience to master. He used to be an English soldier whose entire platoon was wiped out, leaving him to be the only survivor. While terrible at cooking, he is shown to be capable of taking advantage of his surroundings, such as using fine quality flour to create a dust explosion. At the anime's conclusion, it was unknown whether he is alive or dead, although it was noted he was breathing before he collapsed. In the second season, he was revealed to have survived. Like Finnian and Mey-Rin, he provides much of the comic relief. He is voiced by Hiroki Touchi in the anime adaption and Rikiya Koyama on the drama CD, and Ian Sinclair in the English dub of the anime..[1][2][4]

FinnianScript error

Finnian (フィニアン Finian?), often called Finny, is a gardener. However, it seems every time he tends to the garden, it is destroyed through an accident caused by his clumsiness. He is portrayed as an innocent, child-like character who loves his work, but is dubbed an idiot by Sebastian. Finnian displays feats of superhuman strength, such as dragging and throwing Pluto around, which he tries to suppress for fear of hurting others and risk of sabotaging his work. The sequence, S-012, is tattooed to his nape and is covered by his straw hat. He works as a gardener to spend as much time as possible outside because he was not able to do so before. Furthermore, he explains that he loves working for Ciel because he does not give him injections, put him up against his friends in a death match, or lock him in a cage. He was experimented on to increase physical strength before the events of the story until he was rescued by Sebastian; Sebastian had offered Finnian a good salary for his services, but Finnian had only wanted to go outside. In the anime, he develops an infatuation for Angela because her kindness and beauty until he sees her true dominatrix personality. At the anime's conclusion, it is unknown whether he is alive or dead, although it is noted he was breathing before he collapsed. Like Baldroy and Mey-Rin, he provides much of the comic relief. He is voiced by Yuki Kaji in the anime adaption and Motoki Takagi on the drama CD, and Jason Liebrecht in the English dub of the anime.[1][2][4]

Mey-RinScript error

Mey-Rin (メイリン Meirin?) is a clumsy maid whose cracked glasses do nothing to improve her clumsiness. However, she refuses to purchase a new pair as they are the first thing Ciel bought for her. Sebastian believes her main problem is her intelligence and not her poor eyesight. She has a crush on Sebastian as she blushes whenever she is in his presence and is even clumsier when Sebastian is watching. In the anime, she fantasizes about being close to him in episode 1. She is rather superstitious but admits to having a soft spot for scary stories. Mey-Rin used to be a sniper who did not use a scope, due to her sharp far-sighted vision caused by her ill-fitting glasses. She is also physically fit as she can use a sniper rifle like a hand gun and keeps hundreds loaded at once to decrease reload time. At the anime's conclusion, it is unknown whether she is alive or dead, although it is noted she was breathing before she collapsed. Like Baldroy and Finnian she provides much of the comic relief. She is voiced by Emiri Katou in the anime adaption and Fumiko Orikasa on the drama CD, and Monica Rial in the English dub of the anime.[1][2][4]

TanakaScript error

Tanaka (タナカ?) is the house steward who has served under the former Master Phantomhive. He was present when Ciel's parents were killed and was stabbed in the back during the incident. As a result, he rarely talks or does any work. Sebastian seems to respect him the most out of all the staff. He is usually seen drinking from a Japanese tea cup. Despite his appearance, Tanaka is capable of killing intruders effortlessly. Prior to Sebastian's appointment as Ciel's butler, Tanaka served as the head butler of the Phantomhive household, for both Ciel's father and Ciel. In the manga, when Sebastian is apparently murdered, Ciel appoints Tanaka as the head butler again, a position he fulfills nearly as well as Sebastian. In the anime, he is commonly in a super deformed form. When he is not, he is as capable a servant as Sebastian. As the series progresses, he is seen less often in a super deformed form. He is voiced by Shunji Fujimura in the anime adaption and Mugihito on the drama CD and R. Bruce Elliot in the English dub.[1][2][4]

Pluto

Appearing in the anime adaption, Pluto (プルートゥ Purūtō?), also known as the Devil Dog, is a large dog that terrorizes the town of Houndsworth until Sebastian tames him and brings him to the Phantomhive Estate. He can breathe fire, walk through barriers and shape-shift into a human. As a human, he still retains dog-like behaviour. Although Sebastian hates dogs, Pluto has taken a liking to him and only listens to Sebastian's orders. He has ties to the organization that killed Ciel's parents, as he is seen resting by the feet of a member licking his hand and has been with Angela prior to living at the Phantomhive Estate. When Ash uses him to set fire to the Estate and burn London, Ciel orders his staff to kill Pluto. He is voiced by Takafumi Yamaguchi in the anime adaption and Z. Charles Bolton in the English dub of the anime.[2][4]

Nobles

Madame RedScript error

Madame Red (マダム・レッド Madamu Reddo?), born Angelina Durless (アンジェリーナ・ダレス Anjerīna Daresu?), is Ciel's aunt. As her title suggests, she is known for her red appearance and clothing. Initially she hated her red hair, which she inherited from her father, until Ciel's father, Vincent, said he liked it. Angelina fell in love with him, but became distraught when she found out her sister was marrying him. Madame Red later married Baron Barnett, who treats her lovingly and gently, stating that he does not mind that she harbors feelings for another. She obtained a medical license against the wishes of her parents and practices at the Royal London Hospital. After a carriage accident in which her husband was killed, her womb and unborn child had to be removed. This causes her great strife as a doctor because she regularly performs abortions on prostitutes because they believe having a child is troublesome. She later kills her patients with Grell Sutcliffe and the two become known as Jack the Ripper. However, she cannot kill Ciel because she sees him as her own son. This causes Grell to turn on her and kill her. She is voiced by Romi Paku in the anime adaption, Masako Katsuki on the drama CD and Lydia Mackay in the English Dub.[1][2][5]

LauScript error

Lau ( Rau?, Chinese Pinyin: Liú) is a Chinese noble, President of the British Branch of a Chinese trading company, and friend to the Phantomhive family. He is actually the head of the Shanghai Mafia and runs an opium den. He is always smiling and his eyes are always closed except for brief moments in episodes fifteen and twenty. Lau often agrees to things before learning what is happening and jumps into conversations with helpful information only to later state he has no idea. He is also unaware his antics appear strange to others. However, he can be very coldblooded and cryptic, willing to go further than Ciel would, such as having Lord West and his wife killed because he knew they'd try to cheat again. He is often seen with his personal assassin Ran-Mao (藍猫 Ranmao?, Chinese Pinyin: Lán-māo), a Chinese, doll-like girl referred to as his sister, although not by blood. Although she very rarely speaks and is portrayed as emotionless, she is very loyal to him, later revealed to be his personal assassin. In the anime adaption, Lau and Ran-mao are defeated by Ciel and Sebastian after they use the Earl's company to store and sell Lady Blanc opium in the guise of candy. Lau and Ran-mao then throw themselves into the River Thames. They have shown to have survived this in Season 2, and oddly back on good terms with the Phantomhive family. Lau is voiced by Koji Yusa in the anime adaption} and Jerry Jewell in the English dub. Ran-Mao is voiced by Sayuri Yahagi.[2][4]

Prince SomaScript error

Prince Soma Asman Kadar (ソーマ・アスマン・カダール Sooma Asuman Kadaaru?) is a seventeen-year-old Indian prince. Unlike Ciel, he is spoiled and uses his parent's fortune for his personal needs and blames all of his problems on others. He bestowed his affections on Meena (ミーナ Miina?), a beautiful maidservant who had served at his palace in India since his birth. He saw her as an older sister. However, she came to hate him due to his arrogance and ran away to England with Lord Harold West, a trader in Indian goods, to become a rich wife, rather than an ordinary cook bound to her social class. During the course of his time in England, Soma begins to see things in a different perspective, realizing that he is blaming problems he caused on others. After learning Meena hated him for his ignorance, Prince Soma decided to stay with Ciel and learn how to act as a gentleman and even proclaims to be Ciel's best friend. He does not know that Meena and Lord West were both killed by Ranmao on Lau's orders after they lost the curry contest. Shortly after, Ciel has him and Agni manage his property in London, in order to keep them out of his way. In the Anime, he and Agni are seen on the streets handing out curry bread to the poor.He is voiced by Shinnosuke Tachibana in the anime adaption and Christopher Ayres in the English dub.[2][4]

AgniScript error

Agni (アグニ Aguni?) is the servant of Prince Soma, whom he sees and worships as a god. Agni was once a nobleman named Arshad (in Indonesia: Arsyad) who used his powers and wealth for his own desires to the point that he was to be hanged for his crimes. Before he was to die, Prince Soma offered him a new life, shedding his former self. He is able to fight on a par with Sebastian while using a fencing foil, a feat which briefly makes Ciel wonder if he is a demon until Sebastian confirms he is a human. The source of his martial prowess comes from his devotion to Prince Soma. Unlike Sebastian, he is able to see the good in the Phantomhive manor staff and assign them tasks where their skills will be of use. He is known as the "Right Hand of God" for his god-like skill at making curry. He betrays Prince Soma and becomes the chef for a curry contest for Lord West to keep him from revealing to Soma that Meena ran away and hated the prince. Later, Agni reconciles with the prince. He is staying in the Phantomhive manor to learn to become a better servant from Sebastian, and even calls Sebastian his friend, something that surprises Sebastian as no one has ever called him that before. Sebastian also takes Agni's advice on taking care of Ciel, much to the younger boy's annoyance. He is voiced by Hiroki Yasumoto in the anime adaption and Patrick Seitz in the English dub.[2]

Grim Reapers

Grim Reapers are in charge of deciding whether a dying soul should be allowed to continue living or to die with scythes that resemble gardening tools (some of which shouldn't even exist in that timeline such as a lawn mower and a chainsaw). They must remain neutral and must not kill for enjoyment. In the manga, there are three Grim Reapers introduced so far: Grell Sutcliff, William T. Spears and Ronald Knox (ロナルド・ノックス Ronarudo Nokkusu?). Grell forges a partnership with Madame Red after witnessing her murder a former patient and helps her murder prostitutes. The two become known as Jack the Ripper. When they are exposed as the killers, William T. Spears comes to the human world to punish Grell. Spears belongs to the Dispatch Management Division. Grell's scythe is confiscated and Grell does not reappear in the manga. Ronald Knox is portrayed as easy-going and social and uses a scythe in the shape of a lawn-mower. In the anime adaption, Undertaker is a legendary Grim Reaper in the Management level. He is highly respected by Spears. Although he is retired, Undertaker can access the Grim Reaper Library and alter the books. In the last episode of the anime adaption, the Grim Reapers cut away tainted souls unfit to be kept in the Grim Reaper Library. So far all Grim Reapers introduced have been shown to wear eyeglasses at some point in their life.

Grell SutcliffeScript error

Grell Sutcliffe (グレル・サトクリフ Gureru Satokurifu?), Grell, in the anime adaptation, is a flamboyant Grim Reaper who works as Madame Red's butler. He is initially portrayed as worthless and is often seen in the anime adaption trying to commit suicide after mishandling tasks, something he did so often the Phantomhive staff just gave up on trying to stop him. As a Grim Reaper, he is characterized with red hair and shark-like teeth. Grell often refers to himself as a female and verbalizes his infatuation with Sebastian, much to the latter's disgust. He meets Madam Red while she is murdering a former patient. Grell and Madam forge a partnership and continue the murders. They are known as "Jack the Ripper". Grell's Grim Reaper scythe is illegally modified to look and function like a chainsaw. When cutting someone with his Scythe, their past memories are played out like a video reel; this is referred to as "Cinematic Record". Sebastian almost kills Grell with the Grim Reaper's own scythe, but he is stopped by William Spears. William beats Grell and takes him back to headquarters. In the manga, Grell has not appeared since. However, he makes a reappearance in the anime adaption, where his role is lengthened through missions William assigns him to investigate. His scythe is confiscated and Grell has to rely on small scissors able to cut through anything. At the anime's conclusion, William returns his chainsaw scythe so that he can help the other Grim Reapers destroy the tainted souls caused by Angela and Ash. He is voiced by Jun Fukuyama in the anime adaption and the second drama CD and Daniel Fredrick in the English dub.[2][3][4] His last name is similar to that of Peter Sutcliffe, nicknamed the Yorkshire Ripper for murdering thirteen women.

William T. SpearsScript error

William T. Spears (ウィリアム・T・スピアーズ Wiriamu T Supiaazu?) is a high-ranking death god and belongs to the Dispatch Management Division. He is portrayed as emotionless. William comes to the human world to take Grell back for punishment. He has a strong, open hatred for demons, to the point of becoming disgusted with himself after apologizing to Sebastian for Grell's behavior. His scythe is a double-sided clipper that is able to extend to unknown lengths. In the anime adaption, it appears to be the standard scythe. He is not as proficient at blending in with humans as Grell or Sebastian, often openly talking about Grim Reapers and demons, but the people that hear this think of him as a jokester. In the Circus Arc of the manga, he appears as one of performers under the stage name of 'Suit'. He is voiced by Noriaki Sugiyama in the anime adaption.[2]

Undertaker Script error

Undertaker (アンダーテイカー Andaateikaa?) is, as his name suggests, a funeral director. He often works with corpses resulting from movements in the underworld of the United Kingdom and acts as Ciel's informant. He seems to have known Ciel's father, Vincent, as he appears as one of the "Evil Nobles". He is a rather eccentric man, almost always wearing a smile, and wishes to hear a funny joke for his services instead of receiving any of the "Queen's money". He shows a strong disdain for the Queen. In the anime adaptation, he is a legendary and retired Grim Reaper ranked in the Management level and is highly respected by William Spears. Although he is retired, he can still access the Grim Reaper Library and has the ability to alter the books using an item known as the death bookmark which is only in the possession of the highest ranking officials in the management level. He often does not return the books he borrows from the grim reaper library. In chapter 35, a manga panel showed that he is somehow linked to a person with a name, Claudia P. His scythe is akin to that of the stereotypical Grim Reaper scythe. He is voiced by Junichi Suwabe in the anime adaption and John Swasey in the English dub.[2][4]

Noah's Ark Circus

The Noah's Ark Circus (ノアの方舟・サーカス Noa no Hakobune Saakasu?) is a traveling circus created by Baron Kelvin, who is referred to simply as Father by the circus performers. The members have the been rejected by society for various reasons. The circus is investigated by Ciel upon Queen Victoria's request because children disappear from cities around the same time the circus visit.[6] The performers are divided into two tiers. The first tier is composed of the very best performers who perform regularly; the second tier is made up of newcomers. The first tier has eight performers referred to as Joker, Dagger, Snake, Beast, Doll, Wendy, Peter, and Jumbo, all of which, with the exception of Snake, come from the same workhouse.[7] Joker is the leader when the circus is traveling. Beast (ビースト Biisuto?) is an animal tamer and seems to have feelings for Joker, although she does not show this in public. Dagger (ダガー Dagaa?) is a knife thrower and is infatuated with Beast, often fawning over and presenting her with gifts. Snake (スネーク Suneeku?) can understand snakes and is supposedly half-snake himself; his snakes guard the first tier member's tent and speak through him. Doll (ドール Dooru?) is a tightrope walker, but she also pretends to be a new member male performer called Freckles (ソバカス Sobakasu?). Wendy (ウエンディ Uendei?) and Peter (ピーター Piitaa?) are a pair of trapeze artists and Jumbo (ジャンボ Janbo?) is a fire eater.[6][8] Except for Snake, Joker and Doll, all of the first tier performers are killed by Baldroy, Finnian and Mey-Rin when they attack the Phantomhive manor in an attempt to kidnap Ciel. Doll later attempts to kill Ciel.Her fate is left unknown but she is probably killed by Sebastian as Ciel called out his name when Doll attempted to stab him. Afterwards, Ciel and Sebastian went to check out the workhouse to find all of the children, only to find out the place didn't exist and the building looked to have been deserted for many years. Ciel, Sebastian, and William join the circus to investigate for various reasons.[7][9]

Joker

Joker (ジョーカー Jookaa?) is the leader of the circus when it is traveling and serves Baron Kelvin as a butler when he is at the manor. He recognized by his prosthetic skeleton arm and is initially portrayed as a very goofy person. However, he is actually strict and serious. Although he does not agree with some of Baron Kelvin's decisions, he follows every order given to him because he wants to protect his "brothers and sisters" in the workhouse. He, like every first tier performer, refers to Baron Kelvin as Father because the Baron took him off the streets as a child and raised him in addition to providing artificial limbs. Joker is unaware of the fact that the kidnapped children are used by Doctor as material for the prosthetics, nor did he know that the workhouse never existed. He dies of blood loss.

Baron Kelvin

Baron Kelvin (男爵・ケルヴィン Danshaku Keruvin?) is the creator of the Noah's Ark Circus and is referred to as Father by the tier one performers. Except for his left eye, his entire face is covered by bandages. He seems to have a great love for children and uses his circus as a way to kidnap them. He then brainwashes them and has them act as his servants. However, he does not care for their well being and even finds it entertaining when he has them die gruesomely while performing in a circus without training. He knew Ciel as a small boy and recreates the room Ciel was branded and caged in as a child. He is infatuated with Ciel, blushing and saying it is like a dream to have Ciel beside him. It is insinuated that because of this infatuation he has kidnapped children. When he first met Ciel and he believed he was too ugly and underwent many surgeries for Ciel, only to believe it a waste when he hears the Phantomhive were killed. He is later killed by Ciel and his mansion is burned by Sebastian.

Doctor

Doctor (先生 Sensei?) is the kind, wheelchair-bound doctor who cares for the performers of the circus. However, this is later revealed to be a ruse as he can walk and is quite sadistic. He hand carves the prosthetic limbs used by some of the first tier performers from a unknown strong material, later revealed to be a special bone china using the bones of children. He has Kelvin use his power and money to provide him with the resources he needed to perfect his prosthesis research and has him kidnap children for the prosthetics. He is killed by Sebastian under Ciel's orders.

Beast

Beast is one of the leading characters in the circus ark. Beast is a busty woman, with a well endowed chest and curves. Her eyes are on on Joker, whom she has been with since the circus started. Being picked off the street as well, Jokers dedication to "father" as they call him, doesn't reach as far for her. When she speaks of him to Sebastian, she uses a bit of malice. Beast has been in love with Joker, for a long time. Only her love is unrequited because Joker see's her as just a sister to protect along with the rest of their family. Ciel and his Butler, Sebastian Michaels infiltrated the Circus to find information on their "father" and his involvement in the kidnapping of young children by Queen Victoria's Order. Ciel poses as a poor boy who used to work in a wealthy home and who used to steal. (As he lied to Freckles about why he was there to gain her sympathy). On one of the nights that Sebastian had staked out to use Beast as a last resort on obtaining the information on "Father", Beast had just confessed her love to Joker only to be rejected and left feeling heart broken. Feeling sad and grievous, Sebastian uses this as a chance to take advantage of Beast, seducing her and promising her a night of comfort, to forget how she was feeling. Sebastian uses sweet words and his sex appeal to make her agree. Beast leads Sebastian (Known as Black in the Circus) to her tent and there, Sebastian fulfills his promise and gets all the information he needs on "father" from her.

Others

Viscount of DruittScript error

The Viscount of Druitt, Lord Aleister Chamber (アレイスト・チェンバー Areisuto Chenbaa?), is a noble who is known for his taste in fine art, wine and food. Of course, that is just the facade he upholds to the public. Although he does hold a great interest in those things, under it all he's just generally insane. At one of his many social gatherings, he met Ciel (who was dressed in drag at the time). He tried to seduce Ciel, Ciel then ended up getting locked up overnight in one of the auction cages. He has a bigger role in the anime, showing up in several other episodes for comedic relief. He has been shown to be close to Alois's father.

Elizabeth MiddlefordScript error

Elizabeth Middleford (エリザベス・ミッドフォード Erizabesu Middofoodo?) is the daughter of Marchioness Frances Middleford and is both Ciel's cousin and fiancée. She is a very happy and upbeat girl. She has known Ciel for a long time and cares deeply for him, trying her best to see him smile again. Elizabeth would always tell Ciel to call her "Lizzy". She also loves cute things. Ciel sees her as an important friend and a girl that he needs to protect because he says that he does not want to lose anything important again. It has been shown a few times on how much Ciel cares for her, such as throwing himself in front of her to protect her from a bear in the manga, how he tried his best to save Elizabeth from Drocell, and also drying her tears after she broke his ring despite how upset he had been. She is voiced by Yukari Tamura in the anime adaption and Chiwa Saitō on the drama CD and Cherami Leigh in the English dub.[2][4]

Paula

Paula is Lady Elizabeth's maid who accompanies her where ever she goes. It is shown within the anime that Elizabeth and Paula have a close relationship, as Paula gives her advice and cares for her. After the market on ice in the anime, Paula became obsessed with jingling bells, that she does throughout the rest of the series.

Queen VictoriaScript error

Queen Victoria (ヴィクトリア女王 Vikutoria Joō?) is the Queen of the United Kingdom and has been described as having great beauty and grace. Despite this, she is a bit eccentric, this is seen when she enters a curry contest while riding a horse. After the death of her husband, she does not appear in public often and begins to cry hysterically whenever he is mentioned. In the anime adaption, she nearly attempted suicide because of the grief until Ash approached her. Ash gave her youth and attached part of her husband's skin from her neck to her clavicle area. Because the skin continues to rot, it causes her great pain. When Ash tries to fix the problem, she refuses to let him. She also plays a villainous role, becoming part of the Organization for everlasting youth and is the one who ordered the destruction of the Phantomhive Family. She later dies and a look-alike is placed on the throne. In the manga, she is served by John Brown (ジョン・ブラウン Jon Buraun?) who wears large goggles. He spends most of his role trying to keep up with her and calming her hysterical fits of tears.

Fred AbberlineScript error

Fred Abberline (フレッド・アバーライン Fureddo Abaarain?) is a young officer of Scotland Yard. In the anime adaption, he is portrayed as one who truly believes in the justice system. He wishes to make London a place where it is safe to have a family and plans to propose to his pregnant girlfriend. Like Ciel, he had to go through hard times to reach his current situation. Despite this, Ciel describes him as someone who walks in the light, whereas Ciel walks in the darkness. At first, Abberline does not trust Ciel and his position as the Queen's Watchdog, but later joins him as an ally. He is killed by Lau by using his body as a human shield to protect Ciel.[10] His role in the manga adaption is significantly shorter and he is portrayed with a mustache. He is voiced by Hisayoshi Suganuma and Jonathan Brooks in the English dub.[2][4] Abberline is modeled after the real life Frederick Abberline, the Chief Inspector for the London Metropolitan Police and a prominent investigator of the Jack the Ripper murders.

In the second anime series he seems to have made a comeback with his original manga design intact. In the third episode he is introduced working with Sir Randall on the cases relating to strange human combustion occurring throughout the city. However, he does not seem to recognize Ciel and has more of a serious expression compared to his first TV series' optimistic nature. He also has a mustache similar to his Manga counterpart. However he has mentioned his brother spoke of Ciel, suggesting he is actually Fred's twin.

Angela and AshScript error

The anime adaption introduces a hermaphrodite angel with two personalities, initially introduced as two people named Angela Blanc (アンジェラ・ブラン Anjera Buran?) and Ash Landers (アッシュ・ランダース Asshu Randaasu?). Angela is introduced as a maid who is treated poorly in public by her master the Lord Henry Barrymore of Houndsworth. Finnian is infatuated with her beauty and seeming kindness, until he learns of her dominatrix personality. She seems to have the desire to be with Sebastian. When the Angela persona is in control, she wants him to recognize her as a woman and has a place beside her in her bid for world domination. Ash is introduced as Queen Victoria's butler who delivers all of her requests to the Phantomhive Head. His appearance is the opposite of Sebastian's; Ash wears a white suit and has white hair. He wears black gloves whereas Sebastian wears white ones. He is connected to the organization that killed Ciel's parents and seems to be the leader as he is able to ask Scotland Yard to arrest Sebastian. Like other members, he has an obsession of purifying souls "unclean" with negative emotions. Eventually, he falls into insanity, leading Sebastian to comment he might be a fallen angel. He is killed by Sebastian's true form. He fights with a sword that resembles a fencing foil, which is strong enough to cut through steel. Angela and Ash are voiced by Akiko Yajima and Satoshi Hino respectively and by Colleen Clinkenbeard and Chuck Huber in the English dub, respectively.[2][4]

Anime: Season 2

Trancy Estate

Like the Phantomhive family, the Trancy family worked for the Queen. While the Phantomhives were referred to as Dogs of the Queen, the Trancy family were referred to as the Queen's Spider. The Queen's Dog sends her troubles into the darkness, while the Queen's Spider destroys them in the darkness.

Earl Alois Trancy
A blonde child who appears to be carefree, but is actually quite morbid and manipulative. He mistreats his servant, Hanna, and he is shown gouging out her left eye in the first episode as well as does actions simply to see if it will annoy his servants. Initially, it was thought that he was kidnapped after birth, thus resulting in his mother's suicide. Alois was kept in an unknown village for some time where he was worked like a slave, until one day when all the people in that village were killed, including a younger boy whom he considered as his little brother. He was found by his father, but suffered abuse. The first episode showed him getting out of a bed with his father, Alois's body discolored by bruises. His father died of the plague. Alois' contract is found on his tongue, having been sealed there by a spider. Unlike Ciel, who thinks of his Demon Butler as his knight/servant, Alois is dependent on Claude, clinging to him and ordering him to comfort him while they are in the dark. Also unlike Ciel, who hides his contract, Alois often displays his by showing off his tongue as much as possible. A mystery in the series is how he is controlling the actions of five demons as aside Claude all the other household servants seem to be demons as well. He is voiced by Nana Mizuki in the anime adaption.
Alois Trancy is a foil to Ciel Phantomhive. Ciel, despite his hardships and seeming indifference, actually cares for people and causes and attempts to be stable and poised. However, Alois is his opposite - appearing to be energetic he is psychologically scarred and pathologically abusive and calculative. Alois is symbolized via light colors such as gold, red and white (his normal attire is dark purple) whereas Ciel is symbolized via dark colors like black, violet and blue (his normal attire is dark blue). Their personalities, however, conflict with their imagery. They also have opposite tolerances for pain: while Ciel was able to grab a blade without flinching, Alois becomes completely hysterical at the sight of his own blood. In Episode 7 Alois is horribly stabbed at the stomach by Ciel and saved by Claude. In the beginning of episode 8 he orders Hanna to take him to Ciel and she takes him by a carriage where his past is revealed
In Episode 8 Alois was killed by Claude, and his past revealed. Alois Trancy's real name was Jim McCain. His younger brother, Luca, and he were abandoned orphans. Alois became angry with the people in his village because the villagers mistreated his brother and him despite them being alone, and so wished for their deaths. Luca believed in Jim and stated that his older brother could always do anything he wanted; Jim told Luca to follow him for protection, to which Luca responded: "Yes, your Highness." One night when Jim and Luca went to get water from the river, they saw a dead body floating in it, and the distant village in flames. Upon the discovery that all of the villagers had died, Jim burst in frenzied joy. Though Luca was initially happy, he became slightly concerned for his brother. While stealing from the villagers, Jim got an odd feeling that he was being watched called out to Luca to return; however, he found Luca dead. After a while Jim was brought along with other boys to Trancy, who is revealed to be a pedophile. Jim was initially rejected by Trancy as he was said to have filthy looking eyes. He later overheard a boy talking about summoning a fairy and instead summons Claude, creating the contract in what appeared to be a strange dream ritual. Jim uses his sex appeal to gain Trancy's trust and his estate, finding out that Sebastian had destroyed the village upon the orders of his former master, and that his current master is Ciel. Jim, now Alois Trancy, decides to take revenge on Sebastian by taking Ciel and delivering an agony worse than death. As Jim is bleeding Grell comes to take his soul but he orders Hanna to fight him. While crawling away images of his past come in the scenes where he threw plates at Claude for staring at him, slapping him for being too obedient and finally wanting him to keep on saying "Yes, your Highness," like his brother, Luca, did a long time ago. Jim is bleeding and attracts the attention of a wolf but he desires Claude to be with him. Claude comes and rescues him from the wolf and Jim is overjoyed and tells him he is the only one for him and that Claude is his Highness. Claude smiles and sits down and stares at Jim's face but then surprisingly kills him commenting that a soul like his, which can give love to a menial butler as himself, does not stir his appetite. However, he does state that Alois's does still have a use. He takes Alois's ring and puts it inside his jacket stating he will always be by his side and then leaves as even Grell has no problems with his actions.
After a moment, Hanna comes along and sits on top of his dead body, and cut at his eye and pressing her face affectionately towards him tells him she is giving him what he wants. Alois Trancy's fate is still uncertain it seems.
Claude Faustus
A spectacle wearing Demon Butler who shows no emotion. He does things perfectly and with ease and is shown in the first episode tap-dancing before changing the decorations. He has a similar catchphrase to Sebastian, though instead of saying "Yes, My Lord" he says "Yes, Your Highness". He also uses a Japanese alternate translation the same way Sebastian does, but his phrase is "I wish to deeply desire you", alternately translated as "I wish to devour you fully". He starts to take in interest in Ciel's soul when he is slapped with Ciel's bloody hand and gets a taste of the blood left saying, "[Ciel's soul] knows hatred and wants revenge, yet is pure and innocent." He is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai in the anime.
He is a foil to Sebastian Michaelis - he seems to be more indifferent never showing any emotion. He is more of a perfectionist and likes to criticize Sebastian as he takes methodologies in being a butler too seriously. He also has immense control over the other household servants, who listen to him without failure - for after Alois they take him as their master and he expects them to follow his commands: this is the opposite of Sebastian's command which is more flexible. Though Alois wants him to be animated he always wears an indifferent mask on his face and unlike Sebastian never seems to attempt to stop his master from doing unjust or inappropriate things. This can be seen in the case that Sebastian once stopped Ciel from slapping Elizabeth as it was a rash decision, however, Claude makes no comment or action against Alois for gauging out Hanna's eye. It seems no matter whatever psychotic action Alois performs Claude does not intervene in any way to do other actions. Despite the initial appearances Claude is not much devoted to Alois. He sees Alois more as the soul he wants to cultivate and devour (like a cook or a gardener) and the act of butler more as the most suitable method for this. The incident can be seen when Claude is so intoxicated, having tasted Ciel's blood, that he does not care that Alois is bleeding and even when Alois is screaming at him with words tied to his bond he does not seem to flinch. In the end it can be concluded that Claude is more selfish and ruthless than Sebastian in the sense that he'll go to any length to taste a soul that is different - this "difference" is discussed by Sebastian and Claude as souls who have a special flavour and possess rare qualities that other souls do not. Ciel and Alois both fall in this category, however, Claude seems to want to taste Ciel's soul as well much to Sebastian's disdain.
In Episode 8 Claude shockingly kills Alois Trancy. Alois's past is revealed - he had summoned Claude in a strange dream ritual where he puts his face to a spider's web filled with morning dew and soon Claude comes. Alois, who is actually Jim, is trapped in a large web of a spider where there are other dead bodies. Claude comes to him as in the form of a surreal spider and intially at Jim's hesitation thinks he has no wish but then even without Jim speaking seems to realize his desire. Claude tells Jim that Sebastian former master had ordered him to destroy the village so he did but Sebastian has already consumed him and that Ciel is his current master. Jim wins the favour of Trancy and becomes Alois Trancy and Claude becomes his butler after Trancy dies. Jim decides to get Ciel and deliver a fate to Sebastian worse than death.
As Alois is bleeding and Grell comes for his soul he crawls away showing that he wants to be with Claude. Claude comes and saves him from being a prey of a wolf. Jim then states that Claude is the only one that he wants to be with and that Claude is his Highness. Claude sits down and faces Jim and it almost seems that he is going to reciprocate Jim's feelings when shockingly he puts his hand inside the back of Jim's head (or as The Kuroshitsuji Wiki suggests crushes his skull), killing him. He then gets up and takes Jim's ring and states that a soul that can have love for a menial butler such as himself does not stir his appetite so he tells Jim not to worry as he puts his ring in his pocket, stating that he will always be by Jim's side. He also comments that Alois's soul still has a use. Then he leaves as Grell has had no problems with his actions.
The nature of his actions are unclear - Claude has made a deal with Sebastian that he will allow Ciel to target Alois as his enemy and will only go after Ciel for Alois after the revenge is complete - possibly by killing Alois he has made part of his contract possible but what his other actions are now is still unknown.
Hanna
Alois' maid and servant. In the first episode of the second season, Hanna gets her left eye gouged out by Alois on the account that she stared at him directly. She is quiet and seems to be very fearful of Alois as he often harms and humiliates her. This is also seen in Episode five when Alois throws a fake crown at her head causing her to bleed and tells her to strip and she cannot say "No" to his request thus strips with an impassive face though looks disturbed and uncomfortable. She also, as Prince Soma and Agni, seems to be of Indian origin. She is very skilled with combat and able to pull weapons out of nowhere. She also has a demon sword within her taken out by Claude and in Episode 8 it is revealed by Grell as she is about to fight with him that she is a demon too. In Episode 11 and her name (hanna in Japanese means flower), It implies that she is a flower demon. Though impales her brutally with his chainsaw she still manages to live. She is voiced by Aya Hirano in the anime.
After Claude kills Alois in Episode 8 Hanna comes and sits on top of his dead body, and cuts at his eye and pressing her face affectionately towards Alois tells him she is giving him what he wants: which can presumed as affection and love.
Triplet Servants
The three triplets stand by and tend to anything that Claude orders them to do. Their names are Thompson (his fringe is swept to the right), Timber (his fringe falls directly to the center) and Canterburt (his fringe that is swept to the left). Like Hanna, they appear to be terrified of Alois. Also unlike the Phantomhive servants, they are very skilled in household work.
They contrast the Phantomhive servants as they seem to have superb control over their combat abilities and are not zany, eccentric or loquacious as Ciel's household servants. They do seem to talk but rather be confined in their actions to please Alois Trancy. This is shown in the first episode when Trancy gouges out Hanna's eye and they whisper and try to hide their shock. It is later revealed they too are demons, shown when they are able to survive a spear through their heads and have similar glow to their eyes as Sebastian and Claude. It can be assumed that they are subordinate demons who fall under Claude's command.

Merchandise

Characters of the series have various pieces of merchandise created in their likeness. Jun Planning planned to release dolls of Sebastian, Ciel, and Grell in March 2009.[11][12][13] However, on April 20, 2009, the company suspended all operations in Japan and prepared to file for bankruptcy.[14] The company was later able to release a Ciel doll in September 2009.[15] Good Smile Company released a figurine of Sebastian Michaelis in July 2009.[16] Retail clothing chain Hot Topic added t-shirts featuring Sebastian to its merchandise.[17]

Reception

The characters of Black Butler were well-received. Casey Brienza of Anime News Network felt that the butler was "gimmicky, [but] proves to be [an] effective character type".[18] The servants of the Phantomhive household were described as "charming incompetents" by Carl Kimlinger, also from Anime News Network.[19]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Script error
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 Script error
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Script error
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 Script error
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  6. 6.0 6.1 Script error
  7. 7.0 7.1 Script error
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  10. "That Butler, Escapes". A-1 Pictures. Black Butler. Tokyo Broadcasting System. February 26, 2009. No. 20.
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[20] Episode 9 of Kuroshitsuji 2. ~http://www.akihabaracosplay.com

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