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Overview


Marchioness Francis Phantomhive-Midford (フランシス・ミッドフォード, Furanshisu Middofōdo) is the wife of Alexis Leon Midford, mother of Edward and Elizabeth, sister of Vincent Phantomhive, and aunt of "Ciel" and Ciel Phantomhive.

Appearance

Francis is a middle-aged woman who keeps her light-brown hair in a tight bun, save for a slightly curled cowlick at the front. She is reputed to have retained the beauty of her youth, and she is well-toned due to her intense physical training.[4] Francis often wears ornate dresses with white gloves and a short beaded necklace.

Personality

Francis is a proud, austere individual who exhibits decorum and a candid critic of those who do not;[4] she frequently upbraids others for their slovenly appearance or their unseemly behavior and may take it upon herself to correct said appearance or behavior.[4] A fastidious person, she is attentive to detail and cleanliness, and she believes that a disorderly home environment will ultimately lead to moral decadence.[4] She strictly observes rules, and she compels the observance of such in others. Additionally, she tends to arrive at destinations earlier than expected or planned.[5]

Moreover, Francis's prowess as a swordswoman is exceptional. She continues to train rigorously and with unflagging dedication even after marrying Alexis Leon Midford.[4]

History

Francis first encountered Alexis Leon Midford when she defeated him in a fencing tournament held by Queen Victoria. She chided him for being weak, despite his position as England's lead knight.[5] Francis eventually got married to Alexis and they had two children together: Edward and Elizabeth.

At some point, Francis started to train her nephew "Ciel Phantomhive", who was expected to become the Queen's Watchdog one day, in fencing. After an unsuccessful training session with "Ciel", Francis went to her brother's office to talk to him about what should be done if anything were to happen to "Ciel". In this case, his younger brother would have to take his place as Phantomhive heir after all, and she did not want a child as sickly as Ciel to be burdened with such a strenuous legacy. To her annoyance, Vincent did not want to give this matter much consideration though.[6]

In March 1886, Francis attended Ciel Phantomhive's titling ceremony as the Earl of Phantomhive.[7]

Plot

Red Butler Arc

One month after Angelina Dalles' death, Francis and her daughter, Elizabeth, pay a visit to Phantomhive Manor. When she arrives, she is disappointed by Ciel and Sebastian's lackluster appearances, commenting that they should learn from Tanaka, and insists on an inspection.[8]

Although Sebastian had prepared everything for her visit, Baldroy, Mey-Rin, and Finnian accidentally destroyed all of it, which causes him to change his mind and propose many different destinations in the manor; in response, Francis reprimands him for being "indecisive."[9] As a backup plan, he leads her out to the horse stables, where she challenges Ciel to a hunting competition so that she can determine his level of capability. Sebastian outlines the objective: kill the most animals in a twenty-five-kilometer range of the forest in three hours. They, then, set out.[10]

Ch14 Francis with her gun

Francis in her hunting attire.

At the end of the competition, Francis and Ciel tie with fifteen animals each, and they agree that they cannot leave it at a draw. While eating lunch, a bear comes out of the forest and attacks Elizabeth, and Ciel hastily dives over to protect her. The bear is swiftly dealt with, and since Francis has her gun out, Ciel concedes that she killed the sixteenth animal; thus, she is the victor. Francis says it will take Ciel ten years to defeat her, yet she commends his bravery for shielding her daughter. She acknowledges his qualification of becoming her future son-in-law, and they decide to return to the manor.[11]

While on the way there, Francis addresses quietly to Sebastian, who is carrying the carcass of the bear. She returns the knife that he has "left behind" in the bear's head, and reveals that she was so flustered by her fear for Elizabeth's safety that her shot missed. She then questions why Sebastian did not allow Ciel to take glory for his killing of the bear, and Sebastian replies that because Ciel has a lot of ambitions, he must learn some humility. He adds that while Ciel is the head of a house, he is just a child; therefore, he thinks Francis would be a good, adult role model. Francis is impressed by his judicious character and remarks that he is the type that will never be taken advantage of.[12]

At the manor, the other servants have prepared a surprise party for Ciel, and Francis discloses that his thirteenth birthday is the real reason for their visit. She pats Ciel's head, wishes him a happy birthday, and then relies on the servants to take care of Elizabeth and Ciel in the future. Afterward, she thanks Sebastian for everything he has done, and reveals that she is aware of the smashed tea set, the ruined and bare garden, and the burnt dinner that he had earlier tried to conceal. Later, she, Ciel, Elizabeth, Finnian, and Tanaka admire the snow.[13][14]

Luxury Liner Arc

Francis, Alexis, Edward, and Elizabeth plan to travel to New York on the luxury passenger ship Campania for three weeks from April 17, 1889. Alexis has Elizabeth invite Ciel on their family trip.[15]

On April 17, Francis, Alexis, Edward, and Elizabeth board the first-class passenger deck of the Campania, where they encounter Ciel and his servants, Sebastian and Snake. When Elizabeth hugs Ciel out of joy, Francis scolds her for displaying indecent behavior in public. When Alexis also hugs Ciel, Francis scolds him as well.[16] Afterward, Francis, her family, and Ciel eat together on the ship. Francis has Sebastian and Snake comb their hairs back.[17]

Ch55 Taking them out

Taking out the Bizarre Dolls.

Three days later,[18] the Bizarre Doll invasion begins. At the elevator hall, Francis defends a few passengers from the Bizarre Dolls. She stabs one of the Bizarre Dolls in the chest, but it survives the blow, to her surprise. Sebastian arrives, killing the Bizarre Doll, and informs Francis that the only way to defeat the Bizarre Dolls is by smashing their heads. With that piece of information, Francis is able to eliminate a number of Bizarre Dolls, with Sebastian fighting alongside her. She, then, tells Sebastian that she will excuse his slovenly face and hairstyle, because of the advice he imparted.[19]

In subsequence, Alexis and Edward rush in. When Edward asks Sebastian where Elizabeth is, Sebastian says that Elizabeth is with Ciel, to Francis's and Alexis's relief, for they are certain that Ciel will protect her at all costs. When Sebastian offers to escort them to some place safe, they refuse to go; Alexis declares that the Midfords have guarded England for generations and that, as knights, they would never abandon their people; Edward adds that, as English knights, they protect the weak. Both Alexis and Edward, then, turn to Francis for her approval, which she gives.[20]

Francis, Alexis, and Edward prepare to fight the Bizarre Dolls, while Sebastian is about to leave.[21] Suddenly, the ship violently shakes, shocking them. After running to the first-class deck, they discover that the ship has crashed into an iceberg and Sebastian dashes to the wheelhouse.[22]

Later, Francis, Alexis, and Edward arrive at the first-class lounge; they encourage the passengers there to persevere and kill the hostile Bizarre Dolls, thereby saving the passengers.[23] Afterward, they head to the first-class deck, where Edward helps direct the passengers into lifeboats and Ciel returns Elizabeth to him.[24] The Midfords are in lifeboats,[25] by the time the ship heavily tilts[26] and breaks in two.[27] A rescue ships comes at dawn, and the Midfords return to London.[28]

Blue Cult Arc

The week after Edward and Elizabeth attend one of the Sphere Music Hall meetings together, Elizabeth tells Francis that she received a dinner invitation from a friend and leaves with Paula. Francis informs Edward of this, when he later questions her about Elizabeth's whereabouts, while she is eating dinner with Alexis. The same event occurs the following week.[29]

Ch125 Francis and Edward

Francis drags Edward offstage.

During a Phantom Five performance, an angry Francis drags Edward off the stage, scolding him for "cavorting" while Elizabeth is in "dire straits." When Edward claims that there is a good reason for it all, Francis states that, regardless of the reason, no son of hers will engage in such "indecent" behavior. Since then, Ciel has put the Phantom Five on a hiatus.[30]

Later that month, Francis drives to Phantomhive Manor to meet Alexis and "Ciel" who has surprisingly returned after years of absence. Over tea, "Ciel" tells Francis and Alexis that he and his brother were abducted on their tenth birthday and sold to a cult. He was then injured in a sacrificial ceremony and nearly died, but, thankfully, Undertaker rescued and doctored him. Due to the severity of his injuries, he has been unable to return home earlier though. When "Ciel" is done speaking, Undertaker greets Francis as "Lady Francis Phantomhive," and she remarks that he has not changed at all since her brother's death.[31]

While Alexis readily believes "Ciel"'s story, Francis has her reservations and remains silent. Afterward, Francis asks "Ciel" whether he knows why Ciel impersonated him for all these years as he would have inherited the earldom nevertheless, but all "Ciel" can give her as an answer is that Ciel certainly must have had his reasons and that he has not intended to hurt anyone. "Ciel" then proceeds to declare that he will commence his duties as Earl and Watchdog, and Francis tells him to take care of his health. A while later, she and Alexis leave Phantomhive Manor.[32]

Quotes

  • (To Ciel Phantomhive) "I drop in on you, and you're still a layabout. Not to mention your butler looks ever the degenerate! You are to marry my daughter. On this day of days, your reformation begins! We'll start with the manor! A disorderly home reflects a distracted mind!!"[4]
  • "It will be a good opportunity to see how good a man my daughter's fiancé is. Or... is 'hunting' too demanding for Earl Phantomhive, who possesses a constitution more common to the fairer sex?"[33]
  • "You've still got at least a decade to go before you can even think of winning against me. However, I commend you for daring to protect my daughter with your life. And I am in your debt. I would expect nothing less from the man who is to become my son... Lord Ciel Phantomhive."[34]

Trivia

  • As Yana Toboso draws her characters with the typical image of "girls take after their father, boys after their mother" in her mind, Francis takes after her father in appearance.[35]

Out of Universe

112 Family photo

Francis' anime "debut".

  • The anime staff chose Francis' coloring for Book of the Atlantic in which she has grayish hair and lavender eyes. Yana Toboso vaguely envisioned Francis with blonde hair before, but has happily agreed with the anime staff's choice as they put her "cool image" and Phantomhive heritage into consideration.[40]

References

  1. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 132, page 5
  2. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 85, page 22
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 103, page 4
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 14, page 12
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 14, page 11
  6. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 132, pages 2-5
  7. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 63, page 26
  8. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 14, pages 9-12
  9. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 14, pages 13-15
  10. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 14, pages 16-19
  11. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 14, pages 23-30
  12. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 14, pages 30-34
  13. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 14, pages 36-38
  14. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 14, page 40
  15. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 51, page 15
  16. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 52, pages 3-5
  17. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 52, page 5
  18. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 52, page 7
  19. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 55, pages 18-20
  20. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 55, pages 20-22
  21. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 55, page 23
  22. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 56, pages 5-7
  23. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 57, pages 5-7
  24. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 58, pages 26-30
  25. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 65, pages 25-26
  26. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 64, page 20
  27. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 65, page 3
  28. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 65, page 31
  29. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 110, pages 12-13
  30. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 125, pages 4-5
  31. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 151, pages 2-4
  32. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 151, pages 4-8
  33. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 14, page 17
  34. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 14, pages 29-30
  35. Yana Toboso on Twitter
    "The Phantomhive siblings, Vincent and Frances, share the same concept as the Midfords siblings, Edward and Lizzie, i.e. I draw them with the typical image of "girls take after their father, boys after their mother" in mind. So maybe Ciel's grandfather looks like Edward :)"
    (translation by akumadeenglish)
  36. Yana Toboso on Twitter
    "Come to speak of it, I was asked whether Frances isn't blood-related (to Ciel) since she wasn't mentioned in Ciel's family tree that appeared (in the manga) a while ago, however, it was a family tree that featured 'Ciel's [direct] roots', that's why Frances, his aunt, wasn't mentioned. [Vincent and Frances] are real siblings."
    (translation by akumadeenglish)
  37. June 2015 Issue of Square Enix's GFantasy Magazine
  38. Kuroshitsuji anime; Episode 12
  39. Kuroshitsuji: Book of the Atlantic
  40. Yana Toboso on Twitter
    "The first coloured illustration of the Midfords and Rian!! I had actually thought Lizzie's mom, Frances, might be blond, but the anime staff who is in charge of colour settings coloured her hair in typically Phantomhiv-ish gray and when I saw it I was happy that they respected her cool image and her Phantomhive lineage, so I agreed on this colour!"
    (translation by akumadeenglish)


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