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Characters / Black Butler Sebastian Michaelis

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Sebastian Michaelis

Voiced by: Daisuke Ono (JP), J. Michael Tatum (EN)

Live actors: Yūya Matsushita [2009-2014]; Yuta Furukawa [2015-Current] (Musical); Mizushima Hiro (Film)


"Even though I dislike being kicked by others, I do enjoy the feeling of kicking others."

The eponymous character. Ciel's mysterious but charismatic and highly skilled butler; he appeared out of nowhere with Ciel two years ago and is rarely far from his master's side. In reality, he is actually a demon who has made a Faustian pledge to Ciel; in exchange for utter obedience to Ciel, and assisting him in finding and killing the murderers of Ciel's parents, Sebastian will be allowed to kill Ciel and take his soul once his service is ended or Ciel dies.

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  • Above the Influence: He can seduce others easily, but it seems impossible for others to seduce him.
  • The Ace: He's capable of doing almost everything, from cooking, cleaning, decorating, and, of course, fighting.
  • Affably Evil: He might be a demon who wants to devour his master's soul, but Sebastian is always polite to everyone.
  • Agent Peacock: Has a flamboyant demeanor, and even wears Combat Stilettos in his true demon form.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: He begged Sieglinde to save Ciel, and his desperation was sincere. Yeah, the situation was just that serious.
  • Always Save The Boy: He cares about protecting Ciel more than anything else.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Sure, he's a bad guy now, but who's to say that he's not bad simply because that's what Ciel needs?
  • Animal Motifs: A raven is associated with his demonic nature and has a strong affinity with cats.
  • Anime Hair: Less pronounced than usual examples, but still, he shouldn't have a hairdo like that in Victorian England.
  • Badass and Child Duo: Aside from being a butler, he serves as Ciel's primary bodyguard/protector.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Wears a very nice butler outfit, which he usually manages to keep prim, even after an intense battle.
  • Badass Longcoat: A cool coat befitting a butler of his status. It can also jam chainsaws.
  • Badass Teacher: He made Ciel into the Earl Phantomhive he is today and taught him pretty much every skill a noble is expected to know and then some. It's also hinted he taught both Finnian and Mey-Rin how to read.
  • Battle Butler: So much so, he's the current trope image. He's a demon butler who is good at everything, especially fighting.
  • The Beautiful Elite
  • Berserk Button: There isn't much that can make him truly angry but he does indeed have his triggers and if you press one of them you will know.
    • He can (begrudgingly) tolerate Ciel's bratty and spoiled attitude but he will not tolerate any chance of Ciel straying from his revenge and going against their contract. He made this frighteningly clear in the Emerald Witch arc.
  • Bishōnen: He takes on the appearance of an extremely handsome man.
  • Born Winner: It doesn't appear that he's actually done anything other than being a demon to become so awesome.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: His contract with Ciel literally forbids him from ever telling a lie.
  • Catchphrase: In the dub, "I am one Hell of a butler." In some manga translations, it's "I am a devil of a butler."
    • Also, some variation of, "If I didn't/wasn't (insert task here), then what kind of butler would I be?"
    • "A butler who couldn't (insert highly improbable situation here) isn't worth his salt."
    • "Yes, my lord" would probably count too.
  • The Charmer: Have occasionally used his good-looks and sex appeal to get information from the ladies. The latest chapter 112 have returned to this trope with beautiful prostitutes.
  • Chef of Iron: He's not only one of the best fighters in the series, but also one of the best chefs.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Occasionally.
  • The Coats Are Off: He removes his tailcoat in his fight with Grell, and that's when things really go down.
  • Coitus Ensues: Happens in both the anime and the manga, though in the former it was so out of the blue that it left most fans baffled.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Sometimes performed on his/Ciel's enemies.
  • Cute Little Fangs: As a human, his fangs show up every once in a while, especially when he is enjoying himself.
  • Cuteness Proximity: When he is near his beloved cats, he even ignores Ciel. He even reacts like this to a tiger!
  • Dark Is Evil: He's a demon taking the form of a butler dressed in black. He's also extremely ruthless and malevolent.
  • Death Glare: In the third episode of the anime's first season, Ciel's cousin Elizabeth, or Lizzie as she prefers to be called, visits the Phantomhive Manor and decorates it in a decidedly feminine aesthetic, much to Ciel and Sebastian's chagrin. Lizzie promptly gives Sebastian a pink bonnet as a gift. Naturally, the servants, save Tanaka, are beside themselves with laughter until Sebastian gives them a look that screams "You're dead if you ever speak of this to anyone!" and considering who, or rather what Sebastian is, he probably isn't averse to making good on that threat. It manages to be both hilarious and terrifying at the same time.
  • Demihuman: In his human-like form, he still has Cute Little Fangs (at least in the manga), and his eyes are red or at least some rare shade of auburn. These features aren't always apparent though. His eyes glow bright red and he bares his fangs when he is about to attack or in some state of arousal.
  • Deuteragonist: Sebastian is the second most important and focal character after Ciel. While Ciel is the one driving the plot with his goals and motives, Sebastian's actions to protect and serve Ciel are what keep the story going.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Being an ancient demon, he's Seen It All.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: He only serves Ciel due to a contract the two made and plans to devour his soul as soon as they are done.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: His pure white skin coupled with pitch black hair hint at his demonic nature. Not to mention how terrifying he can be when the situation calls for it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • He seems somewhat uncharacteristically dismayed and disgusted by Baron Kelvin's amusements at having children being killed and eaten alive for entertainment. He also seems somewhat disturbed about Ciel burning down Kelvin's mansion and killing the children inside, although that may be OOC Is Serious Business of his master going agaisnt the queen's orders to bring back the children alive.
    • When he and his master formed the conditions of their contract, Sebastian denied he would form a contract with someone else while his current contract is active as it goes against his "demon aesthetics".
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Especially Grell.
  • Evil Brit: If he can be considered British; even if he's not technically, he's good at pretending.
  • Evil Mentor: To Ciel, combined with Trickster Mentor at times to get around the "must obey" contract clause. Though he usually plays this role when it's convenient to him or if the lesson will lead Ciel towards despair.
  • Evil Wears Black: As the titular Black Butler, he always dresses completely in black and is a malevolent demon.
  • Excuse Me While I Multitask: Since Ciel ordered him not to draw attention by using magic all the time, Sebastian just does impossible deeds at insane speeds instead.
  • Faking the Dead: The murder mystery arc revolves around solving Sebastian's "murder". Only for it to be revealed at the end of the arc that Sebastian was playing dead the whole time and everything was an elaborated act composed by him and Ciel.
  • Fangs Are Evil: They come and go, but generally Sebastian's fangs show up when he's about to be nasty.
  • Fate Worse than Death: He looked pretty darn unhappy with the fact that he'd have to serve Ciel for the rest of eternity in the anime's "second season".
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: A demon disguising as a human butler. Not that the fanbase minds.
  • Game Face: He shows his true form very occasionally to his and Ciel's enemies, though the actual readers have still never seen the whole thing up to this point.
  • Genius Bruiser: Sebastian is both an extremely capable combatant, who's easily able to take down entire groups of people, and a very cultured and intelligent demon.
  • Gentleman Snarker: He always behaves like a well-educated and sophisticated butler, even when mocking others and his master isn't spared of his snarky remarks.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: When Ciel suffers a major Heroic BSoD after being affected by a curse or rather, toxic gas inhalation, Sebastian suggests to shock him again to force him to go back to normal, but Tanaka tells him not to. Eventually Sebastian's patience runs out and he tries to eat Ciel, which finally snaps him out of it. Ciel asks Sebastian if he seriously was trying to eat him, but Sebastian says he was only 90% serious.
  • Gratuitous English: "Yes, my lord."
  • Hellish Pupils: Occasionally.
  • Hired Help as Family: Played With. Sebastian is a demon working as Ciel's butler because of a Deal with the Devil. Instead of master and servant, they often act like Vitriolic Best Buds. Sebastian has also served as Ciel's most trusted caretaker and protector since the tragic death of his parents. Ciel's aunt once said Sebastian is like family to Ciel, but Sebastian denied it because in the end, his goal is devouring his master's soul.
  • Historical Rap Sheet: Played for Laughs in the anime, where before being tortured, Sebastian says in a light-hearted manner, "I admit it, I started the Black Plague." Considering his age and what he is, he probably wasn't kidding.
  • Hot Teacher: When undercover at Weston College, Sebastian poses as the teacher in charge of the Blue dorm and he looks too damn good in the teacher outfit.
  • Hypocrite: Calls people "shameless," but has no problems with saying sexist words and do shameless deeds among countless other things.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: He does this to Ciel in a flashback.
  • Immune to Bullets: Not so much "immune" as "heals too quickly for them to really work". He doesn't particularly like being shot, even if it doesn't do much more than hurt.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Sebas-chan" by Grell ("Bassy" in the dub, "Little Sebas" in the English manga). William never uses his name and usually simply calls him "demon" or something along the lines of "vile creature."
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Sebastian regards humans in general to be "difficult creatures," but he is fascinated with their struggles and lofty goals. He is intrigued by how seemingly insatiable they are, for they are willing to "drag others down to get what they want, even in death."
  • Ironic Name: Loves cats and dislikes dogs (in the anime, at least). Named after Ciel's dog.
  • The Jeeves: Well-dressed, can do any chore perfectly, polite, devoted to his master, yet can give him snarky comments just to get on his nerves. One Hell of a butler, indeed.
  • Keigo: He always speaks very formally.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Probably the only truly benign trait in his personality is his genuine adoration of cats. He can't resist petting a cat whenever he sees one and hides several stray cats inside his closet to shelter them from the rain. This also extends to other felines as seen when he pets a tiger in the circus and stops Beast from hitting the tiger with a whip even though the tiger was biting his head.
  • Kiss of Death: In the Green Witch's arc, he inhales poisonous gas and kisses Sieglinde's evil mother to kill her with it.
  • Knife Nut: His most frequent weapons are table knives that he uses to stab people.
  • Lack of Empathy: Towards humans, given his nature its hardly surprising. Although he does seem to have quite a bit of empathy for cats. He once even took in a whole lot of cats into his room out of the rain at the risk of ruining his and Ciel's plans.
  • Lady and Knight: Another way to interpret his relationship with Ciel is a male/male version of this trope, with Sebastian being the Black Knight to Ciel's Dark Lord. Sebastian is a malevolent demon serving as his master's Battle Butler so he can protect him until his master takes revenge on those who ruined his life and lets Sebastian eat his soul as payment.
  • Manipulative Bastard: His goal towards anyone who isn't Ciel is to manipulate them into helping Ciel, and his goal towards Ciel is to drive him to despair.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He's a charming, evil butler in a great suit. He is also a Bishōnen. He is also shown by both the anime and manga to be very capable in bed. Hell, in his demon form, he even gains heels.
  • Mysterious Past: Sebastian is the most mysterious character of them all. Little is known about him other than he is a demon, not even his true name or form (though certain aspects of the later is shown, such as the fact that he wears high heels as a demon). The anime gives a few tidbits, if you consider them to be canon: He met a Egyptian pharaoh, he spread a famous, major, and real life plague more then a 100 years prior to the events of the series, and he probably is of the Fallen Angel variety of demon because a crapload of feathers swirl around him like a twister in his true form.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Named after the French inquisitor Sébastien Michaëlis.
  • Nominal Hero: Sebastian is an evil demon who only cares about devouring Ciel's soul. To achieve that, he has to act as Ciel's loyal servant until their contract is fulfilled. Killing horrible villains and protecting Ciel just happens to be part of the job. It also appears to amuse him to see the most twisted sides of human nature.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: He can dodge almost any attacks effortlessly.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: He's Ciel's demonic sidekick.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Just ask Ran-Mao.
  • Not So Different: Sebastian and the Undertaker share an ironic laugh when Ciel expresses disgust at the P4's casual murder.
  • Not So Invincible After All: Amazingly, the manga has added a few situations that Sebastian has failed to solve instantly or prevent. He's lost to the Undertaker twice (though both times he also had reasons not to go all-out). He also doesn't seem immune to curses of supernatural beingsnote  - later revealed to be a chemical weapon - either. True, he's still Nigh-Invulnerable, but to see one of manga's most famous Showy Invincible Heroes taken down to merely Nigh-Invulnerable is quite surprising.
    • That said, he reaffirms his credentials somewhat by showing he can breathe in the mustard gas without any harm to himself, and exhale it afterwards as if he were breathing air. Granted his first experience gave him the same symptoms as Ciel, but it never threatened his life and he learned how to counteract it pretty quickly.
  • Not So Stoic: On the two occasions when he thinks Ciel is about to die and he really can't do much to help.
  • Offhand Backhand: Gave us a pretty epic one to a zombie while soaking wet on a sinking ship.
  • One-Man Army: In one of the early chapters, Sebastian kills an Italian mafia all by himself. In the Emerald Witch arc, he takes on a tank on his own and comes out as the winner.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Sebastian" is only the name Ciel gave him, which also used to be his dog's name.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Sebastian contractually owns Ciel's soul and literally kills anyone who tries to kill Ciel before he can, even other demons.
  • Only Sane Man: Among the servants of Phantomhive, Sebastian is more or less the only one that can actually get things done. You know you're doing something wrong when the demon recognizes your incompetence and does your job better.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Whenever he drops his classic butler guise and acts like his real demon self its never a good sign. For example; When he couldn't deal with Ciel's Heroic BSoD in the Green Witch arc anymore, he reverted to his true form and was 90% prepared to devour his soul right there on the spot had Ciel not snapped out of it.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Apart from masquerading as a butler with heightened talents, he almost never reveals his true form onscreen, and only long high heel shoes and some feathers falling around him implying that he at least has bird-like wings.
  • Parental Substitute: For all the... complicated circumstances of their relationship, Sebastian acts as his master's guardian for all intent and purposes even though his ultimate goal is eating his master's soul. They met not long after Ciel lost both his parents and ever since then, Sebastian has looked after all of Ciel's personal needs.
  • Perpetual Smiler: While Sebastian has shown instances of frowning or even scowling, most of the time his default expression is a courteous smile.
  • Pet the Dog: He's a cruel demon who will kill without a second thought, but he has a huge soft spot for cats. He even went out of his way to shelter a bunch of kittens in his closet so they would stay out of the rain.
  • The Prankster: He might be an evil demon but that doesn't mean he's without a sense of humor. He seems to enjoy messing with and playing pranks on Ciel every now and then. Given what a Spoiled Brat his master is, this might be one of the ways Sebastian copes with it.
  • The Proud Elite: Suave but aloof, this demon turned butler is quite intelligent and there is very little he cannot do.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: He has black hair with very pale skin. Also, there's no one who doesn't recognize how incredibly handsome Sebastian is.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He takes on the form of a man in his late twenties/early thirties, but he's obviously much more older because he's a demon.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Once he finally gets fed up with Soma's spoiled ways, Sebastian gives him a very harsh scolding about how it was completely natural for Mina and apparently Agni to leave him when he's such an egocentric Royal Brat who has been given everything by his rich parents and has nothing that he has ever earned himself. He also claims that no one of the people who took care of Soma ever really loved him, although he's only right about Mina in that part. This speech shakes Soma so much that he's left terrified of Sebastian from that point on.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Almost counts as a Red Right Hand, as they're the main hint that he's actually a demon in disguise.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Ciel's blue, especially in the anime. To drive this point home he has red eyes while Ciel has blue. 'Course after Ciel made his contract one of them turned purple.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: He won't ever betray his master as long as their contract is active, but he still enjoys making fun of him and putting him through difficult situations for his amusement.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: He can ignore almost any rule of logic in his abilities as a butler because his powers as a demon are nearly godlike.
  • Secret Keeper: Before the big reveal of the real Ciel, Sebastian was the only one who knew his master is the true Ciel's twin brother who has been impersonating the dead Ciel.
  • Servile Snarker: He always finds the opportunity to poke fun at his master's inability to function without his help.
  • Sex God: Because he's a demon who has taken on the form of a handsome butler, Sebastian interrogates a cult member......very convincingly.
    Woman: I can see the Gates of Heaven!
    Sebastian: (unamused) Oh I highly doubt that.
    • His encounter with Beast averts this with the infamous scene where he continuously pressures Beast into having sex with him even after she yelled "Piss off" and threw him a punch.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: His sex scenes with Beast in the manga and Matilda in the anime.
  • Slasher Smile: Occasionally.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: With Claude in the second season of the anime. Their interactions usually include backhanded "compliments" and snarking about the other's butler aesthetics.
  • The Social Darwinist
  • Stealth Mentor: Sebastian will occasionally make a challenge deliberately more difficult than it needs to be, or else goad the boy in order to get Ciel to do the work himself. He'll also comment on Ciel's actions, praising what he did well and pointing out mistakes; over time we can see the kid take these lessons to heart.
  • Stern Teacher: Having Sebastian as a tutor can be a nightmare. However, his grueling training regimen is always in his students' best interests. The results speak for themselves.
  • Supreme Chef: He prepares all the scrumptious meals in the Phantomhive household. He learns to make a curry that can rival the one made by Agni, whose curry is said to be the most delicious in India, in less than a week.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: He's the only servant of the Phantomhive household who is any competent at his job. Every time he assigns a task to the others, they only make a mess and Sebastian has to clean it up.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He takes the form of an absolutely gorgeous tall, black-haired man.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He's black-haired, tall, handsome, and usually talks down to others even his master.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Several times Sebastian ends up in scenarios that make him squirm in discomfort, displeasure or just squick, despite the fact he's a demon portraying an almost stereotypically unflappable butler. Two early anime examples include the fact he seems quite alarmed when Madame Red gropes him and his repeated disgust when Grell flirts with him.
  • Training from Hell: As mentioned above, he does not coddle when teaching new skills. Just ask Ciel and Sieglinde.
  • Tranquil Fury: He rarely loses his patience with Ciel but when does....
  • Troll: He has his moments, especially towards Ciel.
  • Undying Loyalty: He has sworn to be by his master's side and never betray him until his contract is fulfilled. Then, he will take his master's soul as payment.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In the final episode of Season 2, he kills Claude and escapes being bound to Alois for all of eternity only to be bound to a demonic Ciel for all of eternity.
  • Villainous Aromantic Asexual: Being a demon, Sebastian lacks the emotions needed to feel love and/or sexual desire. He still knows about those desires enough to seduce women and get information out of them
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: One way to interpret his relationship with his master. Calling them "buds" isn't quite right, but they're accomplices with full trust in each other's skills. They actually look like they kind of have fun when they argue and pick at each other.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": His master named him Sebastian after the Phantomhive family's dog. Sebastian wasn't amused by it.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He is not above hitting and killing female characters in the series.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He has no problem harming and/or killing children if necessary. He has even less of a problem eating their souls.
  • Weapon of Choice: Silverware, because he's a butler.
  • Wicked Cultured


Video Example(s):


Sebastian Michaelis

Apart from masquerading as a butler with heightened talents, he almost never reveals his true form onscreen, and only long high heel shoes and some feathers falling around him implying that he at least has bird-like wings.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / OurDemonsAreDifferent

Media sources:

Main / OurDemonsAreDifferent