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Characters / Black Butler Grim Reapers

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    In General 
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: All Grim Reapers are well-dressed and most of them are deadly in battle.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Apparently, all the reapers are ridiculously near-sighted, for whatever reason.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: All Grim Reapers seem to share green eyes.
  • Death Is a Loser: The Grim Reapers are a bureaucracy to collect the dead. All of them are blind without their glasses and are constantly bogged down in paperwork and assignments. Even their scythes can be blocked by the likes of high-grade cutlery (albeit, supported by Sebastian's demonic strength). To top it all off, their duties are a direct result of their decision to commit suicide in their past lives.
  • Driven to Suicide: In chapter 105, it's revealed that all reapers were humans who committed suicide.
  • Shinigami: The Grim Reapers are supposed-to-be-neutral beings managed by a bureaucratic regimen (e.g., much grumbling about overtime), who collect people's souls in the moment they die and review their memories in their last moments. It's later revealed this job is actually a punishment for humans who committed suicide and are now doomed to witness others' death until the reapers are forgiven for taking their own life.
  • Was Once Human: All reapers were originally humans who were turned into Shinigami as punishment for committing suicide.

    Grell Sutcliff 

Grell Sutcliff

Voiced by: Jun Fukuyama (JP), Daniel Fredrick (EN)

Live actor: Takuya Uehara (Musical)

"Even if I'm like this, I'm still the butler of death!"

Grell Sutcliff is a Grim Reaper who initially posed as Madam Red's butler. Despite being part of the Dispatch Management Division, Grell's willing to go against the rules and kill for self entertainment. Grell's very interested in Sebastian and William, to their great dismay.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: To both Sebastian and Will, who are only annoyed and disgusted by Grell's advances towards them.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the first anime, where Grell undergoes Villain Decay.
  • Ax-Crazy: Or chainsaw crazy. She's always happiest when she's fighting or killing things and/or people.
  • Badass Longcoat: The long coat in question being the coat Grell took from Madam Red as she died.
  • Battle Butler: She was this during her introduction, where she was working as Madam Red's butler and put a good fight against Sebastian. That was until Grell murdered Madam Red...
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Possibly. The men that Grell usually falls the hardest for are the men who have beaten Grell in a fight. Arguably, this is why Grell fell for William T. Spears in the first place!
  • Birds of a Feather: Part of what attracted Grell to Madame Red was that she was taking out her frustrations at being barren - since Grell has a male assigned body, she can't give birth either, so they had a common cause.
  • Blood Lust: Grell delights in painting the world red with blood. Grell's line of work as a Reaper effectively involves hacking up people with a chainsaw every night, with paperwork in between.
  • The Bus Came Back: In the manga, Grell doesn't reappear after the Jack the Ripper arc until about 50 chapters later on the Campania arc.
  • Buttmonkey: At least in the anime, due to flanderization.
  • Chainsaw Good: Has a chainsaw instead of a scythe, and the attacks reveal the memories of the victims.
  • Characterization Marches On: Though partially justified as part of a disguise, Grell initially came across as timid, clumsy and suicidal. Then after the reveal, later parts of the story portray the reaper as over the top, flamboyant and very violent.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: This seems to be a popular trope for the characters of this series, but now Grell can especially fit it, seeing as the reaper portrayed the Cheshire Cat in the Alice in Wonderland-inspired OVA.
  • Collective Identity: Grell is at least one half of "Jack The Ripper", being Madam Red's accomplice in murdering the prostitutes.
  • Combat Sado Masochist: Especially with Will and Sebastian on the masochist part.
  • Combat Stilettos: They get highlighted well during the Cruise Liner arc.
  • Dark Action Girl: Grell's very dangerous with a chainsaw.
  • Depraved Bisexual: She fell in love with Sebastian and Madame Red.
  • Diminishing Villain Threat: This is especially true in the anime, reducing Grell from a legitimate threat to a Harmless Villain by each appearance.
  • Evil Redhead: Fitting with Grell's love of red and blood, she also has red hair.
  • Fangs Are Evil: After the reveal, Grell constantly has sharp shark like teeth.
  • Foreshadowing: While on Ciel's estate for "training," makes skull-like topiary designs on all the trees she trims and passes it off as incompetence.
  • Friendly Enemy: When it comes to Sebastian, at least. Although apparently Grell thinks it's more complicated than that.
  • Has a Type: She seems to love dangerous, deadly people, as seen with her attractions to Sebastian, Madame Red and William.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: This was likely the reason Grell fell in love with Madame Red and Sebastian in the first place.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: With Sebastian and William in the Shinigami OVA.
  • Karma Houdini: In a series full of villains facing very karmic deaths Grell has notably received relatively minor punishments for killing Madam Red, Ciel's aunt, and tempting her into killing women in the first place, like being beaten in the face and dragged off by Will for abusing the duties of a reaper. However, Grell has not suffered any lasting punishment. Having her weapon downgraded till the finale of Season 1 is the only punishment received.
  • Laughably Evil: Despite being a bloodthirsty and sadistic murderer, it's hard to not laugh at Grell's antics.
  • Mad Love: Towards Sebastian and Will. It seems Grell likes them both for the cold shoulders and burning bruises they give.
  • Meaningful Name: Shares a surname with Peter Sutcliffe the original Jack the Ripoff.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family
  • No-Sell: In Season 2 Sebastian convinces Grell to rush Mrs. Turner, who was using a camera that ignited a special magnesium powder that was powerful enough to burn through flesh, bone, and even a soul. Grell being a Grim Reaper, happily used a Chainsaw to scale a tower, unaffected by each blast, and eventually started posing for "pictures" as Mrs. Turner tried fruitlessly to roast Grell.
  • Not in the Face!: Grell's very intent on preserving "feminine beauty" for darling "Sebas-chan" and William. Also, in the anime, Grell has a crush on Undertaker, but in the manga, Grell absolutely despises Undertaker for the scythe cut to the cheek.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Has red hair and the characteristic green eyes that Grim Reapers share.
  • Sissy Villain: Only in the anime; in the manga, Grell's rather vicious, especially if you harm the face.
  • Slasher Smile: Post-reveal, all the time.
  • The Smurfette Principle: She is the only one of the known Shinigami members to clearly identify herself as female.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Especially in the anime.
  • Transgender: Grell was assigned male at birth, but identifies as a female.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Aside from trying to off Ciel, Grell once comically punched a child in the head for being called "impure."

    William T. Spears 

William T. Spears

Voiced by: Noriaki Sugiyama (JP), Barry Yandell (EN)

Live actors: Nagaoka Takuya [2010]; Teruma [2013-Current] (Musical)

"If you interfere, I'll reap you."

A Grim Reaper in charge of supervising the Dispatch Management Division.

  • Adjusting Your Glasses: All the time, usually with the pointy end of his death scythe.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: In the anime. He stays on the sidelines of the plot because he can't be bothered but when Angela/Ash comes into conflict with the Grim Reapers he brings the hammer down on them hard; matching them in combat the first time and bringing a team with him to sabotage their plans the second time. Though he remains as powerful in the Manga it's clear that he sees the Undertaker as a bigger threat.
  • Bishōnen: While he's more handsome than pretty now, he certainly fit this trope when he was younger.
  • The Comically Serious: Most of his character is this. Some readers have noted that the way he plays this trope could be a symptom of depression.
  • Improbable Weapon: A pruning pole.
  • Jerkass: The manner in which he treats his fellow reapers leaves something to be desired. He also doesn't take too kindly to Ciel or Sebastian.
  • Mean Boss: There is nothing redeemable about a boss who stomps on the faces of his lowerclassmen.
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: William "T" Spears.
  • Only Sane Man: Among the Shinigami, though he is quite quirky...
  • Perpetual Frowner: The only time we ever see him laugh (or even smile, at that) is in the Ciel in Wonderland OVA. Theoretically, you'd think it to be a charming moment, but...
  • Romanticized Abuse: For the most part, this is only in the anime. The more William beats Grell up the more the fangirls squee.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Played for intimidation, mostly when Grell is involved.
  • Serious Business: He takes his job as a Shinigami seriously.
  • Stoic Spectacles: He appear to be calm all the time.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: To be fair, between Grell and Knox he kinda is.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: To Grell's delight- and the fangirl's.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: But of course. He may be The Comically Serious of the reapers, but he's not stupid.

    Ronald Knox 

Ronald Knox

Voiced by: KENN (JP), Joel McDonald (EN)

Live actors: : Luke C / Yosuke Crawford [2010]; Takuya Ide [2013]; Ryōsuke Mikata [2017-Current] (Musical)

"From the start, I've never been one to do overtime."

A Grim Reaper, who occasionally works with William and Grell.



A Grim Reaper from the German branch of the Grim Reaper Dispatch. His partner is Sascha.




A Grim Reaper from the German branch of the Grim Reaper Dispatch. Their partner is Ludger.

  • Ambiguous Gender: It is uncertain what gender they are despite having a youthful appearance.
  • Camera Fiend: Sascha uses this to take pictures of human corpses.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: They appear to be very interesting on human affairs and fascinated with the growth of humans overall, regarding it as exceptional.



Othello is a Grim Reaper. He is a part of the Forensics Division of the Grim Reaper Dispatch.

  • Badass Bookworm: Subverted. Othello has apparently never stepped out from the lab prior to his appearance with Grell. But when he meets the Undertaker, he gives a Let's Get Dangerous! speech and goes on the offensive, only for his attack to completely fail. Lampshaded by Grell.
    Grell: Wait a second, Othello! Weren't you supposed to be the type who seems weak but is actually monstrously strong?
    Othello: Goodness, no. Do you not remember me saying that I have never fought before?
  • Labcoat of Science and Medicine: As a member of the Forensics Division, Othello's work likely involves the Science aspect of the Grim Reaper mechanics (whatever that is). So of course, he walks around in labcoat, even when on the field.
  • Non-Action Guy: He's the only Grim Reaper not seen in combat since he has no confidence in his physical abilities and he has never customized his Death Scythe, either.
  • Odd Friendship: With Grell. He is the only Grim Reaper who treats her with friendliness and respect.
  • Older Than He Looks: Although his age was never stated, but according to him, he haven't visited the human about half century.


Example of: