|“||What's driving them now is . . . their yearning for a future. In their dying moments, humans review their past life. These images come and go. At the same time, they crave the future they were supposed to have. They're fragmentary of course, but those fragments are the episodes. These are like a predictive map of the future. My self-created memories are nothing compared to these future memories. So if we stuck these to the record . . . wouldn't it become complete?||„|
|~ The Undertaker, about Bizarre Dolls|
|“||You've never thought about it? There might be an interesting development lurking behind the ending credits.||„|
|~ The Undertaker to Ciel Phantomhive, about the concept of death.|
The Undertaker (in Japanese: アンダーテイカー, Andāteikā) is an ex-Grim Reaper (Shinigami) and a funeral director who works within the underworld of Britain. He is currently one of the primary antagonists of the manga/anime series Black Butler. He frequently acts as an informant to Ciel Phantomhive and his demon butler, Sebastian Michaelis before turning on them.
Undertaker is voiced by Junichi Suwabe in the Japanese version and by John Swasey in the English dub.
Undertaker was an informant to the wealthy Phantomhive family for many years, being a member of the Aristocrats of Evil alongside Ciel's father Vincent Phantomhive and other friends of his. He was shown to be fond of Vincent's sons, Ciel and his twin brother. However, one night, an unknown assailant broke into the manor and set it ablaze, kidnapping the twins and killing the rest of the Phantomhive family, including Vincent and his wife, Rachel. The twins were sold to a cult, during which one was sacrificed to a demon who rose and formed a contract with the remaining twin. Undertaker later salvaged the area where the ritual occurred and took the dead twin's corpse.
Undertaker reunites with Ciel in the current day in the Red Butler Arc, where he assists him in solving the Jack the Ripper murders. Ciel, Sebastian, Ciel's aunt, Madame Red and her butler, Grell Sutcliff, and Ciel's business partner, Lau, arrive at Undertaker's shop. Undertaker greets them after emerging from a coffin and offers to take Ciel's measurement for one. Ciel declines and questions him on the murders. Undertaker states that in order to recieve information, they must give him a good, strong laugh. Madame Red and Lau tell him jokes, but get no reaction. In response, Sebastian tells the group to wait outside while he tells his own joke. This one produces a hearty laugh from him, and he agrees to tell them what he knows.
After Jack the Ripper, who turned out to be Grell, a grim reaper, was defeated, Undertaker showed up at Madame Red's funeral, who had been killed by the reaper earlier. He explains to a couple of curious children why everyone is attending the church. After the burial occurs, Undertaker visits Ciel at Red's grave and commends him on getting her one. Ciel feels guilty over her death, and Undertaker mocks him for his loyalty to the Queen.
Undertaker appears in the Circus arc, where Ciel and Sebastian visit him at his shop to question him on the recent disappearances of various children around London. Undertaker, once again, asks for a laugh. This time, it is Ciel who tells Sebastian to wait outside and tells him a (day long) joke, that manages to get a big laugh. Undertaker reveals to the pair that he actually knows nothing about what happened to the children, stating that there have been no bodies showing up at his parlour for him to study.
At the end of the arc, Undertaker watches Baron Kelvin's manor burn and comments that Ciel will understand the importance of things that cannot be recovered in time as he fiddles with mourning lockets.
Undertaker takes a turn for the worst in the Luxury Liner arc when he explains that he is the one who created the Bizarre Dolls (Re-Animated human's) though at first it is not known by Ciel and Sebastian. Undertaker is aboard the Campania cruise ship and taking part in the Aurora Society's private meeting though he uses this job as an excuse for being there. When a demonstration of a new revival technology that can reanimate bodies goes awry, the body being tested on comes to life as a zombie. It is soon revealed that there are hundreds of these bodies all aboard the cruise, and they have all come to life and are killing the passengers. Undertaker is later seen carrying the device that controlled the Bizarre Dolls. While questioned by Ciel how to activate it, he answers that he doesn't know, and he doesn't see how such a device would be of any help. Aleistor Chamber attempted to use the device to control the dolls, but failed.
When Grell, who had been tasked to identify the cause of the outbreak alogside fellow reaper Ronald Knox, attempted to kill the Viscount, Undertaker stopped him, blocking Grell's deathscythe with his sotoba. The two fought until Undertaker lifted his bangs revealing his green eyes, confirming that Undertaker is a Grim Reaper.
According to Grell, Undertaker is a deserter who has broken one of the Grim Reaper's most important rules by interfering with the lives and deaths of humans. Undertaker explains that to re-animate the corpse he had to edit their Cinematic Records. Upon closer examination of the records it is discovered that Undertaker cut out
large chunks of the persons life and replaced it with a recording of him dancing while dressed as Charlie Chaplin. Undertaker also explains why the dolls attack humans. "In order to obtain a 'soul' they will open up the bodies of the living. To settle the balance of a never-ending cinematic record you see. It's impossible for them to make another soul theirs though." A four way battle soon breaks out while the Campania slowly sinks. After some time, Undertaker manages to slice both Grell and Ronald out of the way, he then uses Ciel to lure Sebastian into a well planned trap. He then stabs Sebastian in the back and watches his Cinematic record. After it ends, Sebastian saves Ciel while Grell and Ronald re-enter the fight. When Sebastian joins the fight, Undertaker seems to have trouble fighting all three and when the ship goes vertical, Undertaker makes his exit by cutting the Campania in half and disappears, leaving his 'treasure' with Ciel. (His treasure of 11 mourning lockets that were previously seen).
He returned in the next arc, the Public School Arc, as an antagonist once again. Ciel enters the titular public school as a student in hopes of solving a string of disappearances of the students. Toward the end, it is revealed that the disappeared students were murdered by the school prefects, and the Undertaker had been posing as the principal as part of a deal with the prefects to hide the bodies and turn them into Bizarre Dolls. He unleashes the Dolls on Sebastian and Ciel, the former of whom tries to stop him from escaping. Ciel's life is threatened by a Doll however, prompting Sebastian to rescue him. Undertaker states that he knew Sebastian would go for him, saying that he'd always put Ciel's safety first and can use that to his own advantage before getting away yet again.
In the following Emerald Witch Arc, Diedrich, a friend of the Phantomhive family, states that Undertaker visited him in Germany, and discussed about the past with him, specifically about Vincent Phantomhive. Undertaker silently sheds a few tears over a picture of Vincent, before leaving for unspecified business in France.
Undertaker appears briefly in the beginning of the Blue Cult Arc. He shows up in Ciel's room while he is asleep, and has him consume a strange liquid. Ciel, half asleep, asks if it is morning yet and Undertaker tells him it's not, and puts him back to sleep before vanishing. It is ambiguous as to wether or not this was a dream as of late. He later shows up in the mansion after it is revealed that Ciel's twin brother and true heir, the real "Ciel Phantomhive", has been revived after being sacrificed all those years ago. Undertaker says that he was the one who brought Ciel's brother back from the dead, stating that he did not want to lose anymore Phantomhives.
The Undertaker is a very tall slender man (six foot one to six foot three) with long gray hair that hides his green double iris eyes. Undertaker wears all black robes what look like over the knee black boots an old looking top hat with a long tail. Undertaker also has several large scars, one that runs across his face and over his right eye, another that goes round his neck and the last (visable) one almost looks like a ring that wraps round his left pinky finger. Undertaker wears several interesting pieces of jewlery, two beaded necklaces, and a belt adorned with morning lockets. Undertaker also has three piercings in each ear, two rings in his ear lobe and a rod going threw his upper ear. Undertaker seems to have long (one and a half inch) finger nails that have been painted black, and he wears an emerald ring, like Ciels.
Undertaker seems to like scaring people and acts creepily just to see how people will react, but Undertaker can be very calm and level headed speaking deeply about death and the joys of life. Undertaker seems to love his job as a funeral director and his work for the Phantomhive family, whom he appears to have a soft spot for even after becoming an antagonist, as evidenced by his fixation on Vincent and Cloudia, Ciel's grandmother. Known only by his profession, the Undertaker is a mysterious man whose scarred face is never fully visible beneath his long hair and crooked top hat. He occasionally provides information to Ciel at a price with funny jokes. While he finds Ciel amusing and enjoys helping him out, he has nothing but disdain for the Queen. He tends to punctuate his words with sweeping gestures and creepy giggles and seems to spend a good deal of time inside of coffins.
Upon revealing his Shinigami status in the Ship Voyage Arc, the Undertaker becomes much more smug and serious, though still retains his giggly nature and morbid sense of humour in subsequent arcs.
Undertaker's Death Scythe takes the form of a stereotypical Grim Reaper scythe. It is silver in color, with a skull connecting the blade to the handle, which is wrapped in silver wires, like the bottom of the handle.
Death bookmark and Pen
In the anime, Undertaker is seen with a pink bookmark that allows him to edit someone's life, though it does have limits. In Episode 18, all Undertaker could do to stop Angela Blanc's rampage in the Abbey is to write Sebastian, Grell, and William into the abbey.
- "Show me a "first rate laugh".
- (To Ciel) "Welcome, Earl. Do you want to see how it feels to sleep in my custom-made coffin?"
- (Referring to Jack the Ripper) "The world of darkness has the world of darkness's rules. He wouldn't murder random people for no reason. There must be an influence manipulating him from behind."
- "Today is a particular woman's special gala. The final great ceremony in each human's life. A funeral."
- "Victoria, aye? I'm not a fan. She sits herself up so high above everyone else, and leaves the painful dirty work to the Earl."
- "I wonder, if the butler isn't here, is the Earl just a child who can't do anything?"
- "Even though I told him to hold each and every soul dear. Because you hold great power, you gradually fail to understand the importance of things that cannot be recovered. You will realize once it's too late. How many times have I given you and the others the same warning?"
- (To Ciel) "You don't need to tell me, I know why you came, with just one look I can tell what's on your mind."
- (Referring to his bookmark) "And it's pink, isn't that lovely?"
- "How sad it would be, should laughter disappear."
- (Referring to Aleistor Chamber while fighting Grell)"He, he... It's been a while since I've laughed so much... To lose such an amusing man would be like losing the whole world to me... Don't you agree? Grim Reaper?"
- (Referring to the Bizarre Dolls) "This beautifully stitched skin as white as wax, just like when they were alive. Their mouths that cannot clamour noisily or tell lies any longer. Aren't they all far more beautiful than when they were alive?"
- His Japanese Voice Actor, Junichi Suwabe also voices Seiji Matoba, Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, Greed, Akura-Ou, Fuuma Monou and English Voice Actor, John Swasey also voices Van Hohenheim, Lord Death, Gendo Ikari and Sir Crocodile.
- He and Azzurro Vanel are the only two who have voiced a dislike for Queen Victoria's portrayal in the manga.
- His statue of when he was a legendary Grim Reaper is seen in the Grim Reaper Library.
- In the Voyage arc, while fighting against Grell, he uses sotoba, inscribed strips of wood found at tombs in Japanese cemeteries.
- He was first seen with sotoba in the extras of Volume 2, four years before he was first seen with them in the manga. In the manga, shortly after Doll's death he is seen tinkering with a locket engraved with the words "13 July 1866, Claudia P."
- In the latest chapter, when the lockets are more visible, he also appears to have another locket with the name "Alex" on it.
- The date of his birth or other information is as of now unknown.
- His Death Scythe was first shown in the anime.
- Like all Grim Reapers, Undertaker is heavily near eye-sighted. However, he does not wear glasses. During the Ship Voyage Arc, Undertaker is seen dressed as Charlie Chaplin.
- Ironically, Charlie Chaplin was born on 16 April 1889, the day before the Campania set sail, 17 April 1889.
- He is base of The Ankou, from Breton Mythology and folklore.