BLACK BUTLER Goes Live-Action with KUROSHITSUJI Movie
The Butler from Hell Hits the Big Screen
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures Japan
Official Site: kuroshitsuji-movie.jp (Japan)
Translations: Elliot Gay
A butler named Sebastian. Possessing a wealth of knowledge, unbelievable skills, perfect looks and grace, he is a butler without flaws. If one were to pinpoint any negative thing about him, it would be his troubling personality.
–Warner Bros. Pictures Japan publicity materials for KUROSHITSUJI
Yana Toboso’s ongoing manga Black Butler (黒執事, Kuroshitsuji) debuted in the September 16, 2006 issue of Monthly GFantasy (月刊Gファンタジー, Gekkan Jii Fantajii) and was quickly adapted as a pair of anime television series, BLACK BUTLER (2008 – 2009) and BLACK BUTLER II (2010 – 2011).
Both the manga and anime are set in Victorian Era London and tell the story of 12 year-old Earl Ciel Phantomhive, Queen Victoria’s faithful servant and the most powerful boy in all of England… but one who bears the scars of unspeakable suffering. Forced to watch as his beloved parents were brutally murdered, Ciel was subsequently abducted and violently tortured. Desperate to end his suffering, the boy traded his own soul for a chance at vengeance, summoning Sebastian Michealis, a demon butler from the very pits of hell. Together, they prowled the darkest alleys of London on a mission to snuff out those who would do evil… the Butler who dismembered with dazzling cutlery and the Young Master who carried the devil’s marking.
On January 18th, Black Butler made the leap to the big screen with the live-action feature film KUROSHITSUJI. Set in 2020 — 130 years after the events of the manga and anime — the movie is a brand new adventure with Sebastian returning to assist a descendent of the Phantomhive family.
KUROSHITSUJI is co-directed by Kentaro Otani — screenwriter and director of the live-action films NANA (ナナ, 2005) and NANA 2 (ナナ2, 2006) — and anime veteran Keiichi Sato (TIGER & BUNNY, ASURA). The screenplay by Tsutomu Kuroiwa (LIAR GAME: THE FINAL STAGE, THE AFTER-DINNER MYSTERIES) was approved by Black Butler creator Yana Toboso.
The live-action Sebastian Michealis is played by Hiro Mizushima (MASKED RIDER KABUTO, DROP). His new master is the young head of the Genpo Group, Count Kiyoharu Genpo (Ayame Gouriki). Kiyoharu’s real name is Shiori, and “he” is actually a young woman in disguise to protect her status as heir to the family estate. Her past is wrought with horrific events.
Shiori and and Sebastian are bound together by their unbreakable master/servant relationship; Shiori traded her life for that absolute servitude. And underneath her public status as a Count is a longstanding position as the queen’s watchdog… both Shiori and Sebastian carry out secret missions based on the queen’s orders.
The pair are assigned to look into an ongoing serial murder case in which the victims are found mummified. The only clue left at the crime scenes was a strange tarot card. While Sebastian and Shiori conduct their investigation, girls continue to disappear all over town. Sebastian soon determines that the two cases are connected. A written “black invitation” had been sent to each of the victims… an invite that leads to a secret world that normal people should never enter.
Shiori receives such an invitation, and quickly finds the walls around her closing in. Who is the villain behind these crimes?! And what is his — or her — ultimate goal?
Japanese Theatrical Release: January 18, 2014
Sebastian Michealis: Hiro Mizushima
Kiyoharu/Shiori Genpo: Ayame Gouriki
Maid Rin: Mizuki Yamamoto
Hanae Wakatsuki: Yuka
Matsumiya Takaaki: Takuro Ohno
Arihito Genpo: Ken Kaito
Erika Genpo: Chiaki Horan
Butler Akashi: Tomomi Maruyama
Charles Bennett Sato: Yuu Shirota
Investigator Ichizo Tokisawa: Ken Yasuda
Munemitsu Aoki: Satoshi Hashimoto
Butler Tanaka: Taro Shigaki
Shinpei Kuzo: Masato Ibu
Saneatsu Nekoma: Goro Kishitani
Jei the Undertaker: Louis Kurihara
Directors: Kentaro Otani, Keiichi Sato
Screenplay: Tsutomu Kuroiwa
Original Story: Black Butler by Yana Toboso (Published by Square Enix)
Executive Producer: Hisamatsu Takero
Producer: Shinzo Matsuhashi
Co-producer: Saito Tomohiro
Associate Producer: Miyuki Tanaka, Satoshi Egawa
Line Producer: Koji Hirano
Cinematographer: Ajisaka Terukuni
Editor: Tsuyoshi Imai
Supervising Sound Editor: Masatoshi Katsumata
Art Director: Hiroyasu Koizumi
Recording: Kunio Ashihara
Action Director: Takahito Ouchi
Costume: Sumiko Shimizu
VFX Supervisor: Kosaka Ichijun
Music: Akihisa Matsuura
Production Company: C&I Entertainment
Production: “Kuroshitsuji” Movie Production Committee (Warner Bros. Pictures Japan, Yana Toboso, Square Enix, G-Fantasy)
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Japan
© Yana Toboso/ Square Enix © 2014 “Kuroshitsuji” Movie Production Committee