|"I could never have imagined that something so unreal could be true..."|
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Kuroshitsuji (黒執事, Black Butler) or Black Butler is a manga written and illustrated by Yana Toboso.
Kuroshitsuji follows the adventures of Earl Ciel Phantomhive and Sebastian Michaelis, his demon butler, as they take up missions Queen Victoria assigned in order to solve certain mysteries. Although complying with her orders is his preliminary task, Ciel also seeks revenge on those who have shamed the Phantomhives and risks his soul for consumption to Sebastian in order to fulfill this.
The manga series has been adapted into an animated television series (i.e. anime), musicals, OVAs, and a video game.
In a manor house on the outskirts of the Victorian era in London, butler Sebastian Michaelis serves Ciel Phantomhive, the head of an English noble family as well as a toy, food, and candy empire, Funtom Corporation. Sebastian obliges to any task required by his master and solves the problems plaguing England effortlessly due to his demonic lineage and Faustian contract with his master.
- Main article: Chapters
Written and drawn by Yana Toboso, the chapters of Kuroshitsuji have been serialized in Square Enix' shōnen manga magazine Monthly GFantasy since its debut on September 16, 2006. The chapters are also published in collected Volumes by Square Enix. The first volume was released on February 27, 2007.
The series has been licensed for an English release by Yen Press and will be published in Yen Plus August 2009 issue.
- Main article: Kuroshitsuji (anime)
In July 2008, it was announced that an anime adaption, directed by Shinohara Toshiya, was expected. It premiered in October 2008 and broadcasts on the Tokyo Broadcasting System as well as the Mainichi Broadcasting System. The episodes are directed by Toshiya Shinohara and are produced by A-1 pictures. On January 1, 2009, a limited edition DVD containing the first episode was released by Aniplex. The next three episodes were released on another DVD on February 25, 2009.
At the "Black Butler, That Butler, The Final Chapter ~One Last Dinner With You~" (黒執事、その執事、終章 ～最後の晩餐を貴方と共に～, Kuroshitsuji, Sono Shitsuji, Shūshō ~Saigo no Bansan wo Anata to Tomoni~) event on June 14, 2009, it was announced that the anime will be returning for a second series. Undertaker's seiyū Junichi Suwabe confirmed this news on his official blog later that day.
On January 16, 2014, the cover of the February issue of Square Enix's Monthly G Fantasy magazine announced that production on a new anime series for Kuroshitsuji has been green-lit.
- Main article: Kuroshitsuji: Phantom & Ghost
A video game for Nintendo DS, called Kuroshitsuji: Phantom & Ghost, was released on March 19, 2009. The game is sold in two versions, a limited first-press edition with a higher price and numerous extra goods, and a regular edition.
- Main article: His Butler, Assembles
- Main article: Black Record
- Main article: Final Record
- Main article: Rainbow Butler
- Main article: Rainbow Butler 2
On February 27, 2008, the Kuroshitsuji Character Guide His Butler, Assembles (黒執事 キャラクターガイド その執事、集合, Kuroshitsuji Kyarakutāgaido "Sono Shitsuji, Shūgō") was released. It contains character sketches, character information, interviews with the characters through Yana Toboso, an interview with Toboso herself, a quiz, and games, among other things.
The TV Animation Kuroshitsuji Black Record (TVアニメーション黒執事, TV Animeeshon Kuroshitsuji) was released on March 27, 2009. It contains illustrations, cast, and staff interviews and more. The TV Animation Kuroshitsuji II Final Record (TVアニメーション黒執事, TV Animeeshon Kuroshitsuji) was released on October 18, 2010. It consists of illustrations and cast reviews from Kuroshitsuji II, as well as a message from Toboso herself.
An official comics anthology Rainbow Butler (虹執事, Niji Shitsuji) was also released on that date. It is a collection of one-shot chapters drawn by other artists in a variety of styles.
- Main article: Drama CDs
On August 10, 2007, a drama CD was released by Frontier Works. It featured many of the characters appearing in Volume 1 and 2. A second drama CD was released on November 26, 2008 under the Aniplex label.
- Main article: That Butler, Friendship
- See article The Most Beautiful DEATH in the World
- See article Lycoris that Blazes the Earth
- See article Noah's Ark Circus
- See article Tango on the Campania
During the week of December 18, 2007, the third volume placed third on a ranking of the manga sales in Japan that week. Later, during the week of June 3, 2008, the fourth volume ranked ninth. During the week of February 16, 2009, the sixth volume placed nine on a ranking of the manga sales in Japan that week. During the week of June 22 to 28, the seventh volume ranked third selling 167,692 copies and remained third during the following week of June 29 to July 5, selling an additional 256.164 copies.
The series itself was ranked tenth of the top-selling manga series in Japan during 2009, selling a total of 1,603,197 estimated copies.
The Japanese music distributor Recochoku has created an annual survey of which anime characters that people would like to marry. Sebastian Michaelis ranked ninth in the category "The Character I Want to Be My Groom."
- Kuroshitsuji was originally supposed to end after the fourth chapter. However, its unexpected popularity allowed Yana Toboso to continue the story for many more arcs and years.
- Yana Toboso's editor, Mr. K, gave Kuroshitsuji its name.
- Before they settled on "Kuroshitsuji," Mr. K also suggested naming the manga "Butler = Slave," "Reduced to Butlerdom," "A Vile Worm of a Butler," "The Outcast Butler," "The Self-Destructive Butler," and "Lord Butler."