Crunchyroll Adds First Three Black Butler Seasons Just in Time for the Public School Arc

Now that Black Butler is finally back, Crunchyroll has brought almost the entire series onto its catalog, including some extras.

Crunchyroll Adds First Three Black Butler Seasons Just in Time for the Public School Arc


  • Black Butler now easier to binge on Crunchyroll, with Spanish, Portuguese dubs and subs available alongside iconic English dub.
  • Book of Circus regarded as best season so far, adapting manga faithfully with 10 episodes.
  • New Public School Arc premieres under CloverWorks, promising continuation of dark, captivating story of Ciel and Sebastian.


Black Butler


A-1 Pictures (2008-2017), CloverWorks (Public School Arc)

Premiere Date


With how often the licensing for anime localizations expires, even the most beloved shows can be hard to track down on streaming services, to say nothing of physical releases on DVD or Blu-ray. A-1 Pictures' sensational adaptation of Black Butler is one such example, but just in time for the new season, Crunchyroll has made the show easier than ever to binge.

Based on the still-ongoing manga series by Yana Toboso from 2006, Black Butler was first adapted in 2008 by director Toshiya Shinohara and received two sequels, several OVAs, and a feature film. The story follows Ciel Phantomhive, a young Earl in Victorian England who makes a contract with the demon Sebastian to help him find those who murdered his parents and tormented him.

Crunchyroll is the New Home for Black Butler

On Friday, April 12, Crunchyroll added over 50 episodes of the series to its platform after years of each of the seasons going in and out of various streaming platforms that had licensed it. Naturally, both the Japanese version and the iconic English dub, starring Brina Palencia as Ciel and J Michael Tatum as Sebastian, are available. Additionally, the Spanish and Portuguese dubs and subs are also available.

A Brief History of the Black Butler Anime

Half of those 50 episodes belong to Season 1, the smash hit that answered manga fans' prayers and created many new fans in the process. It also, like many manga adaptations from the 2000s, diverged from the source material as soon as it caught up, resulting in an anime-original end to the season that tied up everything in a neat bow. However, since the anime was such a hit, Aniplex couldn't pass up the chance to create a sequel.

Season 2 came out in 2010, so there wasn't nearly enough time for the manga to produce enough for a canon sequel. Instead, its 12 episodes would labor to continue from what was effectively a definitive ending, an exercise that was not without some success in terms of creativity. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to save it from being a divisive successor, but it's a chapter in the series' history worth remembering.

As a bonus, Crunchyroll has also added all six of Season 2's OVAs, from "Ciel in Wonderland" to "Welcome to the Phantomhives," and even the fourth-wall-breaking "The Making of Black Butler II." These were some fun and well-received additions that fans might recall from the home video releases, and it's nice to see them added alongside the series proper.

Black Butler's First Return from Death

The newly released Public School Arc is not the first time Black Butler has made a long-awaited return. The last of the additions to Crunchyroll's catalog is 2014's Book of Circus, the third season that eschewed all the anime-original content before it and resumed where the manga left off. 10 episodes in length, this season is regarded by many as the best of the bunch and the standard for a truly great adaptation of the series.

Is There Anything Still Missing?

Before Crunchyroll added these three seasons, the only part of the franchise in their catalog was 2017's Book of the Atlantic, the series' first feature film and the last entry from A-1 Pictures. As of right now, though, the only part of the series that is missing from Crunchyroll is 2015's Book of Murder, a two-episode OVA. A small caveat, but compared to the lack of consolidation before now, two missing episodes seem a small price to pay.

Onto the Next Arc

Crunchyroll Adds First Three Black Butler Seasons Just in Time for the Public School Arc

Saturday, April 13 marked the premiere of the fourth season of Black Butler, and for the first time, A-1 Pictures is not the studio producing it. Director Kenjirou Okada, the director of March Comes in Like a Lion, will be helming Black Butler: Public School Arc at CloverWorks, the makers of Spy x Family and Bocchi the Rock. For now, the series seems in good hands, and hopefully, this new season can capture the same black magic that made the show so appealing.

Black Butler is available to stream on Crunchyroll.

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