It was probably only a matter of time before I decided to focus one of these posts on Sebastian. Given he’s already had his own top 5 list because I just love his character so much. But what is it about him that is so great?
Firstly there’s his voice. The Japanese version is voiced by Daisuke Ono and seriously I fell absolutely in love with that voice. It is just the perfect mix of threatening, seductive and playful all in one and he delivers some absolutely fantastic lines. Honestly, I’d happily just listen to that voice all day. Which made it a little bit hard for J Michael Tatum, the English voice actor, to really win me over and to be honest, despite delivering a great performance, I actually will not watch Black Butler in English because Sebastian just doesn’t sound right (in honesty he sound better in English given it is actually set in England, but to be perfectly honest I just fell in love with the original and just couldn’t get used to Sebastian sounding different).
In terms of appearance Sebastian is no slouch either. Period Victorian butler style really suits him even if the historical accuracy of a lot of the clothing is highly questionable throughout the entire anime. Still, his coat and tails suit him admirably, and I could have screamed when one of the characters told him he looked like a crow and shouldn’t wear it. I don’t know, he just looks incredibly together and elegant.
However, it is Sebastian’s very personality that really sells him as a character. Whether he is possessively protecting and watching over Ciel, or kind of messing with him, Sebastian is always good fun to watch. He is fairly brazen in a lot of his actions not really seeking to hide his demonic nature and his oft said catch phrase really just sums him up beautifully.
He’s also incredibly playful. Though he plays with a lot of his victims the way a cat would play with a bird or a mouse so I’m pretty sure Sebastian is the only one having fun in those instances.
There are so many things that are just right about Sebastian. Including his use of cutlery and other unconventional weaponry. I love when he sighs at being put behind schedule or when the other servants, in an effort to help, have created more work for him. There is something inherently funny about a demon feeling put upon by humans and household chores.
Still, if he was just an overpowered bully, Sebastian wouldn’t be the great character that he is. He has a very weird personal code that seems self-imposed providing some limitations to his actions and lines he will not cross. As such he finds himself put upon by mundane actions and requests as well as the whims of Ciel when Ciel is in a mood to play his own games.
There are also the more nuanced moments of his character. Such as when Ciel’s life was in danger and Sebastian didn’t go to help him knowing another human was about to intervene. The human died and Ciel slapped Sebastian for failing. Yet, in Sebastian’s eyes he had upheld his contract as Ciel was perfectly fine due to the intervention of the other human.
Also, the final sequence of season one where we see Sebastian rowing Ciel down the river before sitting him on the chair and leaning in is one of those truly perfect moments (one of the many reasons I dislike season two given it kind of kills the impact of the sequence). Watching the complex relationship of Sebastian and Ciel reach this moment is a wonderful experience and few relationships are so clearly defined as this one becomes.
All and all, Sebastian Michaelis is just an amazing character to watch and one that I fell in love with from the first episode of Black Butler.
So, do you love Sebastian’s character? If yes, I’d love to know what your favourite moment with Sebastian Michaelis is?
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BLACK BUTLER ARTWORKS 1
- Maka Albarn – Soul Eater
- Kuronuma Sawako – Kimi Ni Todoke
- Yato – Noragami
- Takeo Gouda – My Love Story
- Zen Wisteria – Snow White With The Red Hair
- Yamato Kurosawa – Say I Love You
- Sebastian Michaelis – Black Butler
- Madoka – Madoka Magica
- Rimuru Tempest – That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
- Yuki Soleil – The Price of Smiles