Black Butler (anime)

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Ciel and Sebastian engaging in symbolism.

The first anime adaptation of Kuroshitsuji.

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Character sheet is here.

Tropes used in Black Butler (anime) include:
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: The Dolls.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plothole: Because the manga had not progressed very far when the first anime was made, there are a number of noticeable differences between the manga and the first two animes. In the manga, to recount some examples:
    • Ciel is more mature, intelligent, and devious and counts as a real Villain Protagonist.
    • Sebastian is more emotional, and his true form is different.
    • Grell is less goofy and more serious.
    • Undertaker's character is very different Behind the Mask.
    • Queen Victoria looks very different and does not employ Ash, who doesn't appear in the story.
    • The circumstances of Ciel's parents' deaths were different.
    • Ciel did not inherit a family business but founded Funtom when he was ten.
    • Note that after the sequel Kuroshitsuji II the anime adaptations drop the anime continuity and start adhering to the manga again.
  • Alternate Continuity: Starting at episode 7, the anime no longer follows the manga.
    • Even before that point there were divergences, such as a pair of filler episodes that added a new inhabitant to the Phantomhive manor.
  • Arranged Marriage: Ciel is only 12 years old, yet he is already engaged to his cousin Elizabeth.
  • Brains and Brawn: Subverted with Sebastian and Ciel. Although Sebastian is also smart like Ciel, he is the one who fights against their enemies while Ciel is usually played as The Chessmaster.
  • British Accents: What else did you expect the dub to do?
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: All over the place in episode 20. Fitting, considering Lau's story and the fatal blow to both the Phantomhive company, which may or may not recover, and the deaths of Lau and Abberline.
  • Catch Phrase: There are several:
    • Sebastian: "I'm one hell of a butler."
    • Sebastian: "Yes, my lord."
    • Sebastian: "It is only natural that a servant of Phantomhive would be able to (do whatever impossible thing he just did)." This one is frequently overlooked because the subtitles keep translating it differently.
    • Agni: "Jo agya." ("Yes, my lord" in Hindi.)
  • Chess Motifs: Chess imagery is used frequently.
  • Children Are a Waste: A prostitute goes to a doctor to get an abortion with this as her excuse. That doctor had lost her ability to have children thanks to an accident that killed her husband and nearly her as well. This was the last straw before she snapped and became Jack the Ripper.
  • Cooking Duel: The curry contest. Queen Victoria has the final word on it.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Whenever Sebastian gets to face an arbitrarily large group of mundane humans. Agni gets to stomp once too.
  • Dances and Balls: Ciel, being an aristocrat, attends these. One of the more memorable ones was when he had to be disguised as a girl while doing it.
  • Deal with the Devil: Between Sebastian and Ciel.
  • Death by Origin Story: Ciel's parents.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Ciel's parents, of course.
  • Disguised in Drag: Ciel has to dress as a girl to infiltrate a party. He is not pleased.
  • Dish Dash: Sebastian frequently ends up catching falling dishware, food, and other items due to Mey-rin's clumsiness as a maid.
  • The Doll Episode: One of the anime-original episodes.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The infamous corset scene.
  • Driving Question: Who killed Ciel's parents?
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: The show has renewed an interest in this style in Japan and there's a line of clothing directly based on what the characters wear.
  • Fan Service: So, so much.
  • Foreign Language Theme: "I'm Alive!", the first English ending theme.
  • Gecko Ending: The manga had not progressed far when the anime was made, and so the anime went with its own ending and told a self-contained story. Unlike in the usual case, the anime started laying groundwork for the ending even before it had run out of manga chapters, using episodes of what seemed to be pure filler for the manga fans to set up the main plot.
  • Ghost Amnesia: The ghost of King Edward has this.
  • Gratuitous English: Sebastian's "Yes, my lord."
  • Hair Color Spoiler: Ash. Ash has purple eyes and white hair. Who else has white hair and purple eyes? Angela. Angela is an angel. Therefore, when The Reveal happened, it wasn't much of a surprise.
  • Historical Fantasy: At least at first.
  • Human Sacrifice: Ciel was used for this, but ended up making a deal with Sebastian instead.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: "The/That Butler, ______."
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Undertaker in the anime loves the feeling of the moisture leaving his body. Unbeknownst to Grell, who tosses him in salt and keeps him buried neck-down.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Subverted. In the first episode, Sebastian borrows a page from Sweeney Todd in dealing with a Corrupt Corporate Executive. However, he is later seen alive, though injured.
  • Innocent Innuendo: The infamous corset scene.
  • Kissing Cousins: Ciel is engaged to Elizabeth, who is his cousin. This was rather common in the Victorian Era.
  • Light Is Not Good: You know something's wrong when the demon butler is easier to see as heroic than the angel in the series.
  • Locked in the Dungeon: Happens to Sebastian.
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: In season 1, Ciel loses a game of chess and Sebastian, to the ghost of King Edward and his little brother Richard. Their contract isn't broken over a silly game of chess, and Sebastian soon returns when it's most beneficial.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Those well-dressed people in black-feathered domino masks, found around demon summoning rituals and illegal slave auctions, situations where it pays to avoid getting recognized.
  • Mood Whiplash
  • Mugging the Monster: Subverted and then almost immediately double-subverted. Surely those ragged Indian thugs trying to rob Ciel have no chance against Sebastian. Right? Right. Then the new characters Soma and Agni enter the scene and side with their countrymen. Agni actually knows how to fight. And then rather quickly Soma figures out that he was siding with robbers and orders Agni to switch sides. Curb Stomp Battle ensues.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: There are a number of Seinen themes (villain protagonists, child abuse, violence and gore, etc.), an art style not unlike that of a Shoujo series and a lot of subtext, but is published in a Shounen magazine - though the themes of a Deal with the Devil, as well as the style of action, are not foreign to the Shounen genre.
  • Of Corset Hurts: Ciel doesn't enjoy having to put on a corset.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: The corset scene, combined with Innocent Innuendo.
  • Old-Timey Bathing Suit: In episode 7.
  • Our Angels Are Different
  • Overtook the Manga
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Lots.
  • Playground Song: "My Fair Lady", better known as "London Bridge Is Falling Down". The tune shows up all over the place.
  • Please Wake Up: Ciel when Sebastian died, and Ciel kept repeating things like, "Sleeping on the floor doesn't look that comfortable to me," and "Get up". Subverted because it ended up being a fake death, which Ciel was aware of the entire time.
  • Running Gag: Sebastian and his obsession with cats. And then, Ciel's (both hateful and allergic) reactions to said cats.
  • Shout-Out: Episode 7 has a few nods to the Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.
    • The famous painting The Isle of the Dead, by Arnold Böcklin shows up as a landscape.
  • Spot of Tea: Lots. This is England, after all.
  • Stealth Pun: In one episode in the first season the rest of the staff are trying (and failing hard) to get a photograph of Sebastian. They plan ways to set up the shot and distract Sebastian on a scale model of the house marking Sebastian's position with the figure of a black sheep, which is Kuro Hitsuji in Japanese.
  • Super-Deformed: The first ending has the characters portrayed in this style.
  • That's an Order: When Ciel really means it, he likes to add "this is an order" to his commands to Sebastian.
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: This Japanese mainstay appears in the Phantomhive garden as a part of a temporary Japanese theme.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Sebastian, Grell, and Undertaker.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Burning down London for purification? Okaaay.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Type 2 is one way to interpret Ciel and Sebastian's relationship.
  • Whip It Good: In Episode 20, Angela pleases all the fangirls by whipping Sebastian.