Sunday, July 13, 2014

Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus (Black Butler) Overview


The TV series will adapt the Noah's Ark Circus Arc, picking the manga story back up from the point at which they diverged. This arc immediately follows the Curry Contest Arc in the manga, which ended at episode 15 in the first season of the anime.

Main characters

Sebastian Michaelis

Sebastian Michaelis (Sebasuchan Mikaerisu) is the demon butler of the Phantomhive household and acts as Ciel's bodyguard. Being a butler is a job he is completely devoted to, following Ciel's orders with great loyalty and swiftness. He enjoys challenging Ciel and doesn't seem to be truly concerned about his well-being at times, insulting and irritating him to see his reaction. However, there are times that he displays concern about Ciel's life, such as when he was worried when Ciel had an asthma attack, and again later on when he had a panic attack. Sebastian has a fondness for felines in general, stating he cannot foresee or control his own reactions and feelings when in presence of one. As a demon, he has also shown to be extremely ruthless, sadistic, and manipulative to his opponents and is intrigued with humans' behaviors and attitudes, as he finds them interesting because of their insatiable greed.

He is highly skilled at practically everything 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. Due to the fact he is a demon who is bound by a Faustian contract, he must abide by Ciel's will and his contract mark is located on his left hand, allowing Sebastian to find Ciel wherever he is whenever Ciel's contract mark is exposed. In return, Ciel is able to summon and give orders to Sebastian.

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.  In the upcoming film adaptation, Michaelis will be portrayed by Hiro Mizushima.

Ciel Phantomhive

Earl Ciel Phantomhive (Shieru Fantomuhaivu) is the business-savvy, egotistical thirteen-year-old (as of chapter 14) and the head of the Phantomhive family after the deaths of his parents, Vincent and Rachel Phantomhive. He runs the 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 eye patch, bears a pentacle, the sign of the Faustian contract he made with the demon Sebastian. Like the previous earls in his family, Ciel is currently known as the Queen's Watchdog (also translated as Guard Dog), tasked with eliminating criminals and solving cases in the underworld for Queen Victoria.

After his parents' deaths and 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 and from that day forward, Ciel devoted his life to find the people responsible for the humiliation and suffering he had to endure. During his time as a slave, a brand was burned into his back, which he does not want anyone to see. As a nobleman, Ciel presents himself as a proud, solemn, and mature boy. Due to his past misfortunes, he rarely smiles and is merciless when dealing with enemies. However, Ciel has occasionally expressed concern for the well-being of the few close to him. Despite his stoic demeanor, Ciel exhibits traits befitting a child for his age, such as his fondness for sweets and games. As such, Ciel is clever, mischievous and competitive, doing whatever it takes to win a match. Although physically weak, Ciel is proficient with the use of guns, and always carries one in order to protect himself. He is allergic to cats and had inherited asthma from his mother.

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.

Supporting characters

Phantomhive household

The Phantomhive manor belongs to the Phantomhive family and is located outside the city of London. The Phantomhive family is a secret executive agency controlled directly by Queen Victoria and is often referred to as the "Aristocrats of Evil" 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. As such, the Phantomhive family's position as the Queen's Watchdogs is only known by selected individuals in polite society. The current head of the family is Ciel Phantomhive, son of Earl Vincent and Countess Rachel Phantomhive, who were murdered and their original estate burned (the manor in which Ciel currently resides with his servants is an exact replica of the original manor). In addition to the services they provide for the Queen, the Phantomhive family runs a famous toy and confectionery corporation called Funtom Company.

The estate currently has five servants, but their positions as servants are a front for their real jobs of protecting the Phantomhive estate as well as protecting Ciel, to whom they are deeply devoted. Baldroy serves as the 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 as their butler, but has not been seen doing any work during his service under Ciel, in which his job is the house steward. Sebastian Michaelis, a demon, acts as the butler after Tanaka. Snake is the newest addition, and acts as the footman. Lady Rachel and Earl Phantomhive each have one sister; both married and became a part of other noble families before the start of the series. Rachel's sister, Angelina Dalles (nicknamed as Madam Red), married into the Burnett family. She committed the Jack the Ripper's murders and was killed by her accomplice, Grell Sutcliff, after her exposure. Vincent's sister, Marchioness Francis Midford, married Marquess Midford, and their daughter, Elizabeth, is engaged to Ciel.

Baldroy (Barudoroi)

Baldroy (also spelled as Bardroy), usually referred to as Baldo or Bard, is the household cook of American descent. He rarely produces anything edible as he uses weaponry such as flamethrowers to cook, believing that cooking is an art requiring explosions. Sebastian believes anything he creates is made up of charcoal and carcinogens. Baldroy pursues cooking to learn how to slow down, as he states cooking takes patience to master, which was something he was not used to during his years in the military. When he was a soldier, his entire platoon was wiped out, leaving him as the only survivor. Sebastian discovered Baldroy on the battlefield after his comrades had fallen and offered him employment. While terrible at cooking, he is shown to be capable of taking advantage of his surroundings, such as using fine flour to create an explosion. Due to his experience as a soldier, he takes command over the servants when Ciel and Sebastian are away from the manor. Like Finnian and Mey-Rin, he provides much of the comic relief in the series. He is voiced by Hiroki Touchi in the anime adaption and Rikiya Koyama on the drama CD, and Ian Sinclair in the English dub.

Finnian (Finian)

Finnian, usually referred to as Finny, is the household 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, optimistic character who loves his work, but is dubbed an idiot by Sebastian for destroying everything he touches in spite of being warned to take caution beforehand. Finnian displays feats of superhuman strength, which he tries to suppress for fear of hurting others and risk of sabotaging his work. The sequence, S-012, is tattooed on the nape of his neck and is usually covered by his straw hat, which was given to him by Ciel. In addition, Ciel bestowed Finny's name by naming him after Fionn mac Cumhaill from Fenian Cycle when he came into his employment. He works as a gardener to spend as much time as possible outside, because prior for working for Ciel, he was an experiment subject that was kept locked up and forced to kill his friends. Like Baldroy and Mey-Rin, he provides much of the comic relief in the series. He is voiced by Yūki Kaji in the anime adaption and Motoki Takagi on the drama CD, and Jason Liebrecht in the English dub.

Mey-Rin (Meirin)

Mey-Rin is the household maid. Mey-Rin has extreme binocular acuity and was given a pair of round glasses by Ciel, which she cherishes and refuses to give up. The glasses limit Mey-Rin's eyesight and prevent her from viewing objects correctly at close-range, which causes her to be clumsy when doing her chores; however, Sebastian believes her main problem is her intelligence and not her eyesight. She has a crush on Sebastian as she blushes whenever she is in his presence and is even clumsier when Sebastian is watching. She is rather superstitious, but admits to having a soft spot for scary stories. Mey-Rin is a professional sniper and due to her sharp binocular vision, she does not require a scope to aid her. She is also physically fit as she can use a sniper rifle like a handgun and keeps hundreds loaded at once to decrease reload time. 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.


Tanaka is the house steward of Japanese descent. He was present when Ciel's parents were killed and was stabbed in the back trying to protect Ciel. As a result, he rarely talks or does any work, but is always seen participating in the other servants' antics. Sebastian seems to respect him the most out of all the staff. He is usually seen drinking from a Japanese tea cup and commonly seen in a super deformed form. 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 Ciel's father. He is very loyal and kind to Ciel, and is strict when it comes to his duties. Unlike the other servants, Tanaka is perceptive in Sebastian's actions, as well for the reasons behind them. When Sebastian is apparently murdered, Ciel appoints Tanaka as the head butler again, a position he fulfills nearly as well 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 Elliott in the English dub.

Snake (Sunēku)

Snake was the latest first string member to the Noah's Ark Circus and its snake charmer. He is always seen with at least one snake draped around his shoulders and has distinct snake skin patterns covering various patches all over his body. His sentences always end with a name of one of his many snakes, indicating he is uncomfortable when communicating with others unless through his pets. Snake was taken in as a family member after the first string members when they freed him from a traveling freak show. He had vowed to avenge his dead comrades after Ciel and Sebastian had disposed of them all, leaving him alone again. Snake tracked down the Phantomhive manor using the clothes Ciel left behind and a little unexpected help from Prince Soma. After the murder cases within the mansion were solved, Snake was revealed as the thirteenth guest caught by Sebastian while hiding on the mansion grounds in an attempt to take Ciel's life. Instead of killing him, Ciel welcomes him as an addition to his servants, making him the footman of the Phantomhive household. He still refers to Ciel and Sebastian as Smile and Black (their stage names when infiltrating the Noah's Ark Circus), respectively. He will be voiced by Takuma Terashima.

Former Phantomhive Members

Vincent Phantomhive (Vinsento Fantomuhaivu)

Vincent was the late Earl Phantomhive and Ciel's father. He was once the Prefect of Sapphire Owl Dorm at Weston College. According to Tanaka, Vincent would never lose his composure, even if one of his servants died, and Diedrich notes Ciel has also started to display some of Vincent's more disagreeable traits. He is voiced by Kazuyuki Okitsu in Japanese, and Robert McCollum in the English dub.

Rachel Phantomhive (Reicheru Fantomuhaivu)

Countess Rachel was Vincent's wife and Ciel's late mother, who he greatly resembles. According to her sister Angelina, she was a kind, cheerful and beautiful woman, despite her poor health. Ciel inherited asthma from her. She is voiced by Kane Uetake in Japanese, and Brina Palencia in the English dub.

Noah's Ark

Circus Kelvin (Keruvin)

Baron Kelvin was the creator of the Noah's Ark Circus and was referred to as "Father" by the first string performers. Except for his left eye, his entire face was covered by bandages after hiring the Doctor to perform surgery as way to make himself more appealing for Ciel, only to believe it was all a waste when he heard the Phantomhives had been murdered. He seemed to have an obsession with children and used his circus as a way to kidnap them. He then brainwashed them and had them act as his servants and as performers for his private circus. However, he did not care for their well-being and even found it entertaining when they die gruesomely while performing dangerous stunts in the show without any training. Originally, he had been a kind philanthropist, but infatuated with Ciel after meeting him and was involved somehow with the mysterious organization that captured Ciel after his parents' deaths. Kelvin also funded the Doctor's prosthetic limb research and upon discovering that Ciel was still alive, recreated the room where the organization caged and tortured Ciel before trying to sacrifice him in a cruel ritual. After learning this, Ciel killed him and ordered Sebastian to burn his mansion.

Joker (Jōkā)

Joker was the ring leader of the Noah's Ark Circus when it is traveling and served Baron Kelvin as a butler when he is at the manor. He was recognized by his prosthetic skeleton arm and was initially portrayed as a very goofy person. However, he was actually strict and serious when it comes to his duties. Although he did not agree with some of Baron Kelvin's decisions, he followed every order given to him because he wanted to protect his "brothers and sisters" in the workhouse, whom Kelvin claimed he looks after if they all do what they are told. Joker was unaware of the fact that the bones of the kidnapped children are used by Doctor as material for the prosthetic limbs, nor did he know that the workhouse never existed. He, like every first string performer, referred to Baron Kelvin as "Father", because Baron Kelvin took him off the streets of the East End as a child and raised him in addition to providing artificial limbs. He died from extensive hemorrhaging, having Sebastian severed his other arm, as he attempted to defend Baron Kelvin from Ciel. He will be voiced by Mamoru Miyano.

Doctor (Sensei)

Doctor was the kind, wheelchair-bound doctor who cared for the performers of the circus. However, this was later revealed to be a ruse as he really can walk and is quite sadistic. He hand-carved the prosthetic limbs used by some of the first string performers from an unknown strong material that he is developing through his research, funded by Baron Kelvin. This material is later revealed to be a special bone china made from the bones of the kidnapped children. He had Kelvin use his power and money to provide him with the resources he needs to perfect his craft and has him kidnap children that he uses. He was killed by Sebastian under Ciel's orders.

Beast (Bīsuto)

Beast was one of the first string members of Noah's Ark Circus and its animal trainer. Beast grew up alongside the other first string members in the East End until Baron Kelvin found them and picked them off the streets. Beast is missing her right leg, which was replaced by prosthetic limb. However, her dedication to Kelvin isn't as deep as Joker's was, and she was willing to leave him behind to live a life with Joker, who she loved, although it was unrequited. On one of the nights that Sebastian had sneaked out, he seduced Beast to use her as a last resort on obtaining the information on Kelvin. She was later killed by Baldroy when she and the other first string members of the circus (except for Doll and Snake) invaded the Phantomhive manor to kidnap Ciel (unaware that he wasn't there at the time). She will be voiced by Yūko Kaida.

Dagger (Dagā)

Dagger was the Noah's Ark Circus knife thrower. Dagger was missing his right leg, and has an artificial one made by Doctor that he wore instead. Dagger was a flamboyant, dramatic, energetic boy who was nearly constantly smiling. He seemed to have a great love, bordering on obsession, for Beast, whom he always referred to as "Sis" or "Big Sis", and was always willing to expressed his feelings for her, frequently serenading her or offering her gifts. He continued these acts, even when Beast is not around and despite no indication of interest from her. Like the other first string members, he lived in an alley in the East End. He had been missing his right leg since birth, a commonality that linked him with the others. One day, Baron Kelvin found them in the alley, and invited them to come live at his mansion. After some time there, they decided to start a circus, and Joker gave him the stage name Dagger, which he didn't initially appear to be very excited about. He was later killed by Baldroy when he and the other first string members of the circus (except for Doll and Snake) invaded the Phantomhive manor to kidnap Ciel (unaware that he wasn't there at the time). He will be voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto.

Peter (Pītā)

Peter worked with Wendy as a trapeze artist in the Noah's Ark Circus. He cared deeply about Wendy, as he was shown to be always by her side. Peter was prone to violence, angers easily and frequently makes rude, sarcastic remarks. Despite his tendency to anger easily, he shown to intelligent, such as when he abandoned attacking Finnian to take out a more serious threat. Like Wendy, Peter's growth was stunted, forcing them to be trapped in children's bodies. Peter grew up with the other first string members in an alley in the East End. After some time, they decided to start a circus, and Wendy and Peter formed the trapeze act. He was later killed by Mey-Rin when he and the other first string members of the circus (except for Doll and Snake) invaded the Phantomhive manor to kidnap Ciel (unaware that he wasn't there at the time). He will be voiced by Yūki Tai.

Wendy (Uendi)

Wendy worked with Peter as a trapeze artist in the Noah's Ark Circus. She initially seemed soft-spoken, and usually deferred to Peter to do most of the talking. However, when she did speak, she presented herself in a mature manner, such as when she comforted Beast. She cared deeply about the other first string circus members, perhaps more than she cared about Baron Kelvin, and seems to be most attached to Peter, as she is almost always in his presence. Wendy grew up in an alley in the East End with the other first string circus members and were picked up by Baron Kelvin to live at his manor. Like Peter, Wendy's growth was stunted, forcing them to be trapped in a children's bodies. After some time, they decided to start a circus, and Wendy and Peter formed the trapeze act. She was later killed by Mey-Rin when she and the other first string members of the circus (except for Doll and Snake) invaded the Phantomhive manor to kidnap Ciel (unaware that he wasn't there at the time). She will be voiced by Mayumi Shintani.

Jumbo (Janbo)

Jumbo was the Noah's Ark Circus fire eater. Jumbo, as name indicated, was an extremely large man, who seems to have a slight hunch. Jumbo seemed to be the voice of reason among the circus members, as he was very level-headed and is not prone to giving into his emotions. Nonetheless, he was extremely kind and generous, once stopping his work to help Dagger play with the other children in the past. Even though he was willing to kill people in order to carry out his orders, he seemed to be genuinely unhappy about having to do so. It is stated that his problem was his abnormal growth. Like the others, he was picked up by Baron Kelvin and came to live in his manor. When the others decided to start a circus, he became the fire eater. He was later killed by Finnian when he and the other first string members of the circus (except for Doll and Snake) invaded the Phantomhive manor to kidnap Ciel (unaware that he wasn't there at the time). He will be voiced by Ryokan Koyanagi.

Doll (Dōru)

Doll was a first string member of the Noah's Ark Circus, and held the position of tightrope walker. When she wasn't performing, she pretended to be a new, male, second string member named Freckles (Sobakasu), because she slept better when she is sharing a room with someone else, something the first string performers do not have to do. Doll was friendly and welcoming, making conversation with Ciel after they were named tent mates. She was a bit naive, though, easily believing Ciel's lies, something that the other circus performers have reprimanded her for. She was exceedingly loyal to the other first string circus performers and viewed all of them as family. It is said that the reason for the loss of her left eye is because her parents raised her too harshly and deformed her. One day, Baron Kelvin found them in the alley and allowed them to come live at his estate. Sometime thereafter, they decided to create a circus and Joker gave them all stage names, including Doll, who initially tried to refuse the name. She was later killed by Sebastian under Ciel's orders. She will be voiced by Ayahi Takagaki.

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