Black Butler

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Black Butler
Kuroshitsuji Volume 1 cover.jpg
The cover of the first volume of the original Japanese manga release
黒執事
(Kuroshitsuji)
Genre Historical, Black comedy, Dark fantasy
Manga
Written by Yana Toboso
Published by Square Enix
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Monthly GFantasy
English magazine
Original run September 16, 2006 – ongoing
Volumes 19 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Toshiya Shinohara
Written by Mari Okada
Music by Taku Iwasaki
Studio A-1 Pictures
Licensed by
Network MBS, CBC, TBS, TBC, SBS, RCC, HBC, RKB, Animax
English network
Original run October 3, 2008March 27, 2009
Episodes 24 + 1 OVA (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Black Butler II
Directed by Hirofumi Ogura
Written by Mari Okada
Music by Taku Iwasaki
Studio A-1 Pictures
Licensed by
Network MBS, TBS, SBS, TBC, RCC, HBC, RKB, CBC, Animax
English network
Original run July 2, 2010September 17, 2010
Episodes 12 + 6 OVAs (List of episodes)
Live-action film
Directed by Kentaro Otani
Keiichi Sato
Produced by Shinzo Matsuhashi
Written by Tsutomu Kuroiwa
Studio Warner Bros. Pictures
Released January 18, 2014 (2014-01-18)
Runtime 119 minutes
Anime television series
Black Butler: Book of Circus
Directed by Noriyuki Abe
Written by Hiroyuki Yoshino
Music by Yasunori Mitsuda
Studio A-1 Pictures
Licensed by
Original run July 10, 2014scheduled
Anime
Kuroshitsuji: Book of Murder
Released (single episode)
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Black Butler (Japanese: 黒執事 Hepburn: Kuroshitsuji?) is a manga written and illustrated by Yana Toboso. Since its debut on September 16, 2006, it has been serialized in Square Enix's shōnen manga magazine Monthly GFantasy.

The series follows Ciel Phantomhive, the thirteen-year-old head of the Phantomhive noble family and the business-savvy owner of the Funtom company, a toy manufacturer. Ciel has formed a contract with Sebastian Michaelis, a demon who has taken on the guise of Ciel's butler. In return, when Sebastian has helped Ciel finish all of his tasks, including avenging his parents' deaths, Sebastian will be allowed to consume Ciel's soul. The series has been licensed by Yen Press in North America and published in Yen Plus' August 2009 issue for the magazine's first anniversary.

It was announced in July 2008 that an anime adaption, directed by Toshiya Shinohara and produced by A-1 Pictures, was expected. It premiered in October 2008, and has since ended with 24 episodes. The second season aired in 2010 spanning 12 episodes with two new main characters, Alois Trancy and Claude Faustus. A live action film adaptation was released in Japan on January 18, 2014. A third anime series has been announced, which will be broadcast on July 10, 2014.[1]

Plot[edit]

In Victorian era London, lives the young earl, Ciel Phantomhive. On the night of his tenth birthday, a fire engulfed his manor house, his parents were murdered, and he was captured by a mysterious organization. After a month of enduring excruciating and humiliating torture, Ciel returns to the Phantomhive household with an enigmatic black-clad butler, Sebastian Michaelis. To others, it seems that the butler is simply the best at his craft, from anticipating his young master's needs to carrying them out to the best of his inexplicable abilities. Little do they know, Sebastian is actually a demon that has entered into a contract with Ciel, promising to help the boy achieve revenge on those who have wronged him in exchange for his soul. As the Queen's Watchdog and standing at the top of the British underworld, Ciel solves the crimes plaguing London while waiting for the day he will exact his revenge.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Written and drawn by Yana Toboso, the chapters of Black Butler have been serialized in the shōnen manga magazine Monthly GFantasy since its debut in the October 2006 issue.[2] The chapters are also published in collected volumes by Square Enix. The first volume was released on February 27, 2007 and as of August 27, 2013, seventeen volumes have been released so far.[3] Yen Press licensed the series for an English language release and serialized the manga in Yen Plus' August 2009 issue for the magazine's first anniversary.[4] The publisher released the first volume in January 2010.[5] The second volume was released in May 2010.[6] French publisher Kana licensed the series in under the Dark Kana imprint as Black Butler. The publisher released the first volume in November 2009.[7] Carlsen Comics has licensed the series in Germany as Black Butler, the same title used for the French and English releases. Black Butler have been also published in Italy by Panini Comics.[8] In Poland, Waneko is publishing the manga as original Kuroshitsuji with subtitle Mroczny kamerdyner – as of February 2013, nine volumes have been released.[9] The series has been published in Finland under the original Japanese name Kuroshitsuji by Punainen jättiläinen since July 2012. In Spain, the series has been published in Norma Editorial since November 2011 under the title Black Butler.[10] The series Black Butler is currently ongoing.

Drama CD[edit]

On August 10, 2007 a drama CD was released by Frontier Works. It featured many of the characters appearing in volumes one and two.[11] A second drama CD was released on November 26, 2008 under the Aniplex label.[12]

Anime[edit]

In July 2008, it was announced that an anime adaption of Black Butler, directed by Toshiya Shinohara and produced by A-1 Pictures, was expected. It premiered in October 2008 and broadcast on MBS as well as the TBS.[13][14][15] On January 1, 2009, a limited edition DVD containing the first episode was released by Aniplex.[16] The next three episodes were released on another DVD on February 25, event, on June 14, 2009, it was announced that the anime will be returning for a second series. Japanese voice actor Junichi Suwabe confirmed this news on his official blog later that day.[17][18] The second series, Kuroshitsuji II, premiered in July and follows a butler, Claude Faustus, and his master, Alois Trancy, as well as Sebastian and Ciel. Both new characters were designed by Toboso.[19]

On March 29, 2010, North American anime distributor Funimation Entertainment announced on their online FuniCon 3.0 panel that they have licensed Black Butler.[20] At Anime Expo 2010, Funimation also announced that they will stream the simulcast series, Black Butler II.[21] Funimation announced on their Facebook page that they have fully licensed the second season. Funimation has released Black Butler Combo Pack Blu-ray/DVD first and second season on April 3, 2012.

On January 11, 2013, Animax Asia began airing the first season every Monday through Friday at 10:30 pm.

The series made its North American television debut on February 8, 2011 on the Funimation Channel.[22]

Black Butler is currently airing on Australia's C31 and TVS station during Super Happy Anime Hour.

On January 16, 2014, it has been announced that Black Butler has been green-lit for another anime adaptation.[23] Unlike the previous seasons, the new series will be a remake of the original manga storyline. On March 21, 2014, it was announced that the new anime will begin by adapting the Noah's Ark Circus arc, titling it as Kuroshitsuji Book of Circus.[24] The series will be directed by Noriyuki Abe at A-1 Pictures, with Hiroyuki Yoshino in charge of scripts, along with Ichiro Okuchi and Yuka Miyata as script writers. The main cast from the previous anime series will return, along with new cast members. It is set to air on July 10, 2014. In addition, a new OVA titled the Book of Murder, an adaptation of the Phantomhive Manor Murders arc, will be screened in theaters in fall 2014.

Musical[edit]

That Butler, Friendship (その執事、友好 Sono Shitsuji, Yūkō?), a musical adaptation of the manga, had run at the Sunshine Theater in Ikebukuro between May 28, 2009 and June 7, 2009.[25] Yuya Matsushita portrayed Sebastian Michaelis, Shougo Sakamoto played Ciel Phantomhive and Uehara Takuya as Grell Sutcliff.[26]

Musical Black Butler: The Most Beautiful Death in The World – A Thousand Souls and The Fallen Grim Reaper (ミュージカル「黒執事」〜ザ・モースト・ビューティフル・デス・イン・ザ・ワールド〜千の魂と堕ちた死神 Miūjikaru Kuroshitsuji – Za Mōsuto Byūtifuru Desu in za Wārudo – Sen no Tamashii to Ochita Shinigami?),[27] the second musical adaptation of the manga, ran at Akasaka Act Theater (1300 seats) in Akasaka, Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka, between May 3, 2010 and May 23, 2010. Yuya Matsushita reprised his role as Sebastian Michaelis, Yukito Nishii played Ciel Phantomhive, and Uehara Takuya reprised his role as Grell Sutcliff. The other two main characters, Eric Slingby and Alan Humphries, were portrayed by Taisuke Saeki and Matsumoto Shinya, respectively. The musical was written by Mari Okada, directed by Sakurako Fukuyama, with music composed by Taku Iwasaki, and lyrics by Yukinojo Mori.

A second run of The Most Beautiful Death in the World was announced in December 2012. It ran between May 17 and June 9, 2013 in the Akasaka ACT Theater (Akasaka, Tokyo) again, and the Umeda Arts Theater in Osaka. It was announced in February 2013 that Yuya Matsushita, Uehara Takuya, and Shuuhei Izumi would reprise their roles as Sebastian Michaelis, Grell Sutcliff, and the Undertaker, respectively. The rest of the roles were re-cast, with Taketo Tanaka replacing Yukito Nishii as Ciel Phantomhive, and Shinji Rachi and Masataka Nakagauchi replacing Taisuke Saeki and Matsumoto Shinya in the roles of Eric Slingby and Alan Humphries.[28]

A third musical Black Butler - Licorice that Burns in the Ground|Kuroshitsuji - Chi ni Moeru Licoricehas been announced to be performed in September. It will be the Jack the Ripper Arc.[29] Most of the cast is same from the re-run of The Most Beautiful Death in the World although Fukuzaki Nayuta replacing Taketo Tanaka as Ciel Phantomhive, Akane Liv as Madam Red, Yuka Terasaki as Mey-Rin, Yuusuke Hirose as Charles Phipps, Oota Motohiro as Charles Gray and Araki Hirofumi as Lao.[30]

Video game[edit]

A video game for Nintendo DS, called Kuroshitsuji Phantom & Ghost was developed by Square Enix and was released on March 19, 2009.[31] The game is sold in two versions, a limited first-press edition with a higher price and numerous extra goods, and a regular edition.

Book[edit]

On February 27, 2009, the Black Butler Character book"That Butler, Assembles" (黒執事 キャラクターガイド 「その執事、集合」 Kuroshitsuji Character Guide "Sono Shitsuji, Shūgō"?) was released.[32] The TV Animation Black Butler Black Record (TVアニメーション「黒執事」 Black Record?) was released on March 27, 2009.[33] An official comics anthology Rainbow Butler (虹執事 Nijishitsuji?) was also released on that date.[34]

Film[edit]

It was announced in January 18, 2013 that the manga would be made into a live-action film starring Ayame Goriki as Genpou Shiori, Hiro Mizushima as Sebastian Michaelis. Filming began in April 2013 and the film was released on January 18, 2014.[35]

Reception[edit]

With the release of the manga's thirteenth volume, the series will have printed over 10 million copies in Japan.[36] Volumes alone have done well in weekly polls in Japan, taking several high spots.[37][38][39][40] In addition to the volumes, the comics anthology Rainbow Butler ranked seventeenth during the week of March 31 to April 6 selling 41,083 copies after ranking thirty-third the previous week.[41] The fourth and fifth volumes ranked thirty-third and thirty-ninth of the top-selling manga in Japan during 2008, selling 529,210 copies and 468,550 copies respectively.[42] The sixth volume ranked thirteenth of the top-selling manga in Japan during the first half of 2009, selling 619,501 copies.[43] 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 series is also quite popular in other countries.[44]

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".[45]

By 2 February, the film had grossed ¥479,554,245 (US$4,687,163) at the Japanese box office.[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Black Butler: Book of Circus 30-Second Commercial Streamed". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  2. ^ ":::: GFantasy Website :::: -月刊Gファンタジーオフィシャルサイト" (in Japanese). Square Enix. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  3. ^ (in Japanese). Square Enix http://www.square-enix.co.jp/magazine/gfantasy/story/kuroshitsuji/. Retrieved 2013-12-24.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Kuroshitsuji Manga Begins English Run in Yen Plus Mag (Updated)". Anime News Network. July 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  5. ^ "Served up on a Silver Platter!". Yen Press. July 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  6. ^ "Black Butler Volume 2". Yen Press. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Black Butler Tome 1" (in French). Kana. November 6, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  8. ^ "Black Butler 1" (in Italian). Panini Comics. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  9. ^ Melmothia (January 6, 2012). "Kuroshitsuji tom 2". Tanuki.pl (in Polish) (Małgorzata Kaczarowska) 2318. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ http://www.normaeditorial.com/blogmanga/blog/?p=4420
  11. ^ "ドラマCD 黒執事: イメージ・アルバム, セバスチャン・ミカエリス(森川智之), シエル・ファントムハイヴ(沢城みゆき), タナカ(麦人), バルド(小山力也), メイリン(折笠富美子), フィニ(高城元気), エリザベス(斎藤千和), アズーロ(平田広明), クラウス(染田清之), マダム・レッド(勝生真沙子), 森川智之, 沢城みゆき, 勝生真沙子, 遊佐浩二, 麦人: 音楽" (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  12. ^ "黒執事 華麗なるドラマCD: ドラマ, 小野大輔, 福山潤, 坂本真綾: 音楽" (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  13. ^ "Kuroshitsuji Anime Confirmed to Premiere this Fall". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  14. ^ "TVアニメーション 黒執事" (in Japanese). Aniplex. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  15. ^ "黒執事 :: 作品紹介 :: A-1 Pictures". kuroshitsuji.tv (in Japanese). A-1 Pictures. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  16. ^ "黒執事 I 【完全生産限定版】: 篠原俊哉, 小野大輔, 坂本真綾: Amazon.co.jp: DVD" (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  17. ^ "Second Season of Kuroshitsuji confirmed". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  18. ^ "Second Season". Junichi Suwabe Official Blog. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  19. ^ "Kuroshitsuji II to Debut in July with New Butler, Master". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Funimation Adds Black Butler/Kuroshitsuji TV Anime". Anime News Network. March 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  21. ^ "Funi Adds Live Action Moyashimon Live Action, More". Anime News Network. July 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  22. ^ "FUNimation Week 7 of 2011". 
  23. ^ "New Black Butler Anime Series Green-Lit". Anime News Network. January 16, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Black Butler Gets 'Book of Murder' Video Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  25. ^ "音楽舞闘会 黒執事 〜その執事、友好〜" (in Japanese). Entertainment Plus Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  26. ^ "Cast & Staff" (in Japanese). Entertainment Plus Inc. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  27. ^ "『ミュージカル「黒執事」-千の魂と堕ちた死神-』". kuroshitsuji-stage.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  28. ^ "ミュージカル黒執事" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  29. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-06-07/black-butler-jack-the-ripper-arc-gets-stage-musical/.75299/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ "ミュージカル黒執事" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  31. ^ "黒執事 Phantom & Ghost" (in Japanese). Square Enix. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  32. ^ "黒執事 キャラクターガイド その執事、集合: スクウェア・エニックス: 本" (in Japanese). Amazon.com.jp. Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  33. ^ "TVアニメーション「黒執事」 Black Record: スクウェア・エニックス: 本" (in Japanese). Amazon.com.jp. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  34. ^ "黒執事アンソロジーコミック 虹執事 (Gファンタジーコミックス): スクウェア・エニックス: 本" (in Japanese). Amazon.com.jp. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  35. ^ "Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) To Get Live-Action Adaptation". Japanverse.com. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  36. ^ "Black Butler/Kuroshitsuji Manga Will Have 10 Million+ Copies". Anime News Network. December 18, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-19. 
  37. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, December 18–24". Anime News Network. December 27, 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  38. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, June 3–9". Anime News Network. June 12, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  39. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, September 16–22". Anime News Network. September 24, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  40. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, September 23–29". Anime News Network. October 1, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  41. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, March 31 – April 6". Anime News Network. April 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  42. ^ "2008's Top-Selling Manga in Japan, #26–50". Anime News Network. December 21, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  43. ^ "Top-Selling Manga in Japan by Volume: 1st Half of 2009 (Updated)". Anime News Network. June 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  44. ^ "Top-Selling Manga in Japan by Series: 1st Half of 2009 (Updated)". Anime News Network. June 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  45. ^ "Survey: K-ON's Mio, Reborn's Hibari are #1 Bride, Groom". Anime News Network. June 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  46. ^ "Japanese Box Office, February 1-2". Anime News Network. 9 February 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 

External links[edit]