Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sebastian Michaelis (Kuroshitsuji)

Who is this guy?

(Warning: some spoilers ahead)

Sebastian Michaelis is a character from the manga/anime series Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler). He is the butler of Ciel Phantomhive, who is the lone head of his family's household. However he is also a demon under a contract with Ciel - in return for serving Ciel as his butler, Sebastian may eat Ciel's soul when he dies. His general role as butler involves keeping the Phantomhive household in order, but it goes much further than that. He also protects Ciel as they are sent by the Queen of England to investigate underground crimes, most of which are mysteriously tied to the supernatural. Sebastian is bound to his master Ciel by the contract, and he must do whatever Ciel tells him to do as well as protect him at all costs.  There is never a moment when Sebastian Michaelis is not by his master's side, and as long as the contract stands, no harm will come to Ciel.

Why am I writing a post about him?

First of all, he's a demon. He used a set of forks and butter knives from the kitchen to slaughter an entire army of men armed with rifles and pistols. He has been shot in the chest with five bullets and got back up unscathed. He defeated an angel after his arm was cut off. He is not afraid of grim reapers, angelic beings, or powerful demons. He is super stealthy, agile, and strong. Nobody has beat him in a fight, unless Ciel ordered him to let himself lose.

Second, Sebastian has amber eyes that can turn to bright cat-like eyes when he goes demon-mode. His favorite color is BLACK. He has uniquely-styled black hair and always wears his black suit and tailcoat.  Amber eyes, black hair, and a black tailcoat; it's a legit reason.

Third, Sebastian is posh. Beautifully elegant and incredibly efficient as a butler. J. Michael Tatum's fantastic voice acting certainly adds to that effect. No matter what is happening, he remains calm almost to the point of apathetic, polite to the point of sardonic flattery. In sharp contrast is Ciel Phantomhive with his hot temper and disregard for respect and compassion; I have lost count how many times Ciel loses his cool and explodes at his butler.

Truly, the dynamic between those two - the inhumane human, and the humane demon - is what keeps me so riveted with Black Butler.

In fact, I have only seen one occurrence when Sebastian is actually "emotional", and it is in a moment when Ciel is about to be murdered and Sebastian must make a hard decision in a split second. Or when he finds a little kitten, he suddenly becomes a bundle of sweet sentiment. Which is reason 3.5...he has a soft spot for cats.

Fourth, he is the best butler in England! He never lets his master down and can do anything he is told to do. He cleans up any mess no matter how hopeless it is. If Ciel needs dancing, acting, or music lessons, Sebastian is the expert teacher. If they need to disappear in a crowd, Sebastian can make them look as inconspicuous as possible. Heck, he's even a fantastic cook. Literally nothing you throw at Sebastian can throw him off-guard. Now, technically this is all because of the contract that bonds them, which means that Sebastian must, and thus, can, do anything his master orders him to do. In other words, Ciel's orders automatically become something within Sebastian's capabilities. From one perspective this would bring down his awesomeness a couple notches...but I would argue the exact opposite.

It is the contract that gives Sebastian Michaelis that power, and it is the contract that has sealed inevitable doom on Ciel's soul (although that can be debated...but that's for another post). It is also the contract that makes Ciel the master and Sebastian the servant. Again, the dynamic is spectacular. The "master" in the deal has lost power - that is, power over his soul's fate. The "servant" in the deal is granted power. How ironic!

Bottom line is, Sebastian Michaelis is easily, easily my favorite anime character (L Lawliet, darling, you're a close second). And I felt I just had to write a post about him because of how quickly I fell for him and was sucked into Black Butler. Well, hope you enjoyed...




  1. Since I have yet to watch and do not want it spoiled, I skimmed through some of this, but I am interested in watching the series. I am just finishing up Cowboy Bebop and it is really good, you should probably give it a try sometime. Also the spin-off film is excellent.


  2. There, in one neat little post, we have all the reasons why we all love Sebastian Michaelis so much. I fell for that smoking-hot butler the moment he stepped onto my computer screen, and I've been in love ever since. Black Butler is my favorite anime by far, mostly because of Sebastian. I too find it interesting how the human in the story is often rude and temperamental and seems to have no care for other people's feelings at all sometimes, while the demon, who ideally should be sadistic and mean, is the one who is polite to a fault and takes very good care of Ciel. Of course, there is the fact that Sebastian is probably acting to some extent, but all the same...I love him. Thanks for writing this amazing post. Tell me you'll write a post someday about why we all love Loki? *smiles hopefully*

    1. I had seen/heard of Sebastian before, and when I connected him with "Black Butler" I watched the first episode...BOOM, I was hooked!
      That is a great idea...I would love to write one about Loki. Probably around the time Thor 2 comes to theaters :)