All 3 Seasons, Movies & OVAs of ‘Black Butler’ in Order: Here’s What to Watch Before Season 4

black butler watch order

‘Black Butler’ is a popular seinen manga series by Yana Toboso that started in 2006 and has 32 volumes as of 2022. It’s been adapted into multiple anime series, OVAs, and films. The main anime series aired from 2008 to 2010, with additional OVAs and a reboot series adapting specific arcs from the manga. There are also CD dramas, a video game, musicals, and a live-action film. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to watching the entire ‘Black Butler’ series, including OVAs and the movie.

Editor’s Note: This watch order was updated in February 2024 with the upcoming release of ‘Black Butler’ Season 4.

‘Black Butler’ watch order by release date

Currently, the ‘Black Butler’ anime franchise consists of 3 seasons, 8 OVAs & a single movie, season 4 is about to be released sometime in April 2024. Here’s the release date order of every single installment in the franchise:

  1. Black Butler, Season 1 (anime, 2008–2009)
  2. Black Butler, Season 2 (anime, 2010–2011)
  3. ‘Ciel in Wonderland Part 1’ (OVA, 2010)
  4. ‘Welcome to Phantomhive’s’ (OVA, 2010)
  5. ‘The Making of Kuroshitsuji II’ (OVA, 2011)
  6. ‘His Butler, On Stage’ (OVA, 2011)
  7. ‘Ciel in Wonderland Part II’ (OVA, 2011)
  8. ‘Spider’s Intention’ (OVA, 2011)
  9. ‘The Tale of Will the Shinigami’ (OVA, 2011)
  10. Black Butler: Book of Circus (anime, 2014)
  11. Black Butler: Book of Murder(OVA, 2014)
  12. Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic (movie, 2017)
  13. ‘Black Butler’ Season 4 (anime – 2024)

Are all ‘Black Butler’ seasons, movies & OVAs connected? What’s the best order to watch them in?

All the seasons, movies, and OVAs of ‘Black Butler’ are connected. They follow the same storyline and characters from the manga series by Yana Toboso. All anime installments are part of the same overarching story. They follow the adventures and struggles of the main characters, such as Ciel Phantomhive and his demon butler, Sebastian Michaelis, as they go through various mysteries and challenges.

Each installment adds something new to the story, building upon the events and character development established in previous parts. While some OVAs may explore side stories or specific arcs in more detail, they still contribute to the overall continuity of the series. The best way to watch the ‘Black Butler’ franchise is in chronological order.


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‘Black Butler’ chronological watch order

The following is the correct timeline of the ‘Black Butler’ anime franchise:

  1. ‘Black Butler’, Season 1 (anime, 2008–2009) – Episodes 1 – 15
  2. ‘Black Butler: Book of Circus’ (anime, 2014)
  3. Black Butler: Book of Murder(OVA, 2014)
  4. ‘Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic’ (movie, 2017)
  5. ‘Black Butler’, Season 1 (anime, 2008–2009) – Episodes 16 – 24
  6. ‘His Butler, On Stage’ (OVA, 2011)
  7. ‘Ciel in Wonderland Part 1’ (OVA, 2010)
  8. ‘Welcome to Phantomhive’s’ (OVA, 2010)
  9. ‘The Making of Kuroshitsuji II’ (OVA, 2011)
  10. ‘Ciel in Wonderland Part II’ (OVA, 2011)
  11. ‘Spider’s Intention’ (OVA, 2011)
  12. ‘The Tale of Will the Shinigami’ (OVA, 2011)
  13. Black Butler, Season 2 (anime, 2010–2011)

Beware that the following summaries may contain spoilers if you are completely unfamiliar with the franchise.

1. ‘Black Butler, Season 1 (anime, 2008–2009) – Episodes 1 15


Count Phantomhive is expecting a guest, and Sebastian is preparing for the arrival. However, the other household staff – Meylin, Bard, and Finny – accidentally ruin the preparations in their attempt to outshine Sebastian. Despite this setback, Sebastian, being both a demon and a butler, manages to fix everything flawlessly. Meanwhile, there is a problem with opium smuggling in England, prompting Ciel to assign Lau Tao to handle it.

Later, the Count is kidnapped, leading to a confrontation where Sebastian narrowly avoids an assassination attempt. Sebastian receives a ransom note demanding an “item” in exchange for Ciel’s safety. He successfully rescues Ciel by staging a false death and orchestrating a daring rescue. Additionally, a natural disaster strikes the estate. Madame Red requests Sebastian to train her butler, Grell Sutcliff. When Ciel and Sebastian return from an errand, they find the estate decorated by Lady Elizabeth to surprise her fiancé.

2. ‘Black Butler: Book of Circus’ (anime, 2014)


At the Phantomhive Estate, a businessman plots to kill Ciel, but Sebastian thwarts the attempt and eliminates the threat. Later, Ciel is tasked by the Queen to investigate a circus linked to missing children, with Sebastian eagerly awaiting the day he can fulfill his demonic contract with Ciel.

3. ‘Black Butler: Book of Murder’ (OVA, 2014)


The Queen tests Ciel’s loyalty regarding the Noah’s Ark circus incident, while his banquet for Lord Georg von Siemens ends in Siemens’ murder, leaving Ciel as a prime suspect. Following Sebastian’s murder and the discovery of another guest’s death, Arthur Conan Doyle suggests multiple perpetrators, leading to suspicion as Reverend Jeremy Rathborne arrives unexpectedly.

4. ‘Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic’ (movie, 2017)

kuroshitsuzi trailer bamensya .11

Ciel, Sebastian, and Snake board the Campania on its maiden voyage to investigate the Aurora Society, known for unethical experiments reviving the dead. They witness Doctor Stoker’s resurrection machine backfiring, unleashing a horde of reanimated bodies on the ship, where Ciel discovers Undertaker’s involvement. With the ship sinking after hitting an iceberg, Sebastian and the Grim Reapers have little time to thwart the chaos instigated by Undertaker.

5. ‘Black Butler’, Season 1 (anime, 2008–2009) – Episodes 16 24

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Ciel and Sebastian investigate a haunted castle where they encounter restless spirits, ultimately aiding them in finding peace. Later, they delve into the mysteries of a monastery where sinister rituals are conducted, uncovering revelations about Count Phantomhive’s past and facing off against the dangerous Angela with the help of Grell and the legendary reaper Undertaker. Despite Angela’s attempts to manipulate memories and wreak havoc, Sebastian, Grell, and William confront her, thwarting her plans at the monastery.


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6. ‘His Butler, On Stage’ (OVA, 2011)

Kuroshitsuji OVA 1 Promotional Artwork edited

In celebration of the Phantomhive company’s anniversary, actors were scheduled to perform Shakespeare’s play Hamlet at a charity event. However, due to a shipwreck, the actors couldn’t make it on time. Unable to cancel, Ciel tasks Sebastian with resolving the issue. Sebastian enlists the help of various individuals, including Elizabeth, Undertaker, Grell, and others, to stage the play, with Ciel reluctantly taking on the role of Hamlet at Sebastian’s insistence.

7. ‘Ciel in Wonderland Part 1’ (OVA, 2010)


Ciel encounters a whimsical and surreal series of events at the Phantomhive mansion, where he sees Sebastian donning white bunny ears and follows him into a mysterious alternate dimension through a hole. He meets a mouse-sized Elizabeth, experiences her growth and subsequent tears turning into lakes, and encounters various peculiar characters like Viscount Druitt and Prince Soma. The bizarre journey continues as he eats a curry bun, causing him to grow uncontrollably, and encounters Aberline with an unknown side effect from a piece of candy.

8. ‘Welcome to Phantomhive’s’ (OVA, 2010)

Welcome to Phantomhives

The animated chapter presents a first-person perspective, following an unnamed woman referred to as “Lady” as she accompanies Elizabeth to the Phantomhive mansion. Through their visit, the viewer is immersed in the world of Kuroshitsuji, experiencing the mysteries and adventures alongside the characters.

9. ‘The Making of Kuroshitsuji II’ (OVA, 2011)

The Making of Kuroshitsuji II

In this OVA presented as a documentary narrated by Bard, viewers get an inside look at the production of the acclaimed series “Kuroshitsuji” and its potential sequel. Ciel and Sebastian initially show reluctance but eventually agree to star in the sequel, while the secondary characters eagerly anticipate their roles. However, the antagonistic characters express dissatisfaction with the production, highlighting the challenges of creating fight scenes with green screens. Amidst the chaos, Sebastian rescues Ciel when Claude disrupts the set, resulting in Sebastian breaking his ankle, while Elizabeth documents the actors’ daily lives.


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10. ‘Ciel in Wonderland Part II’ (OVA, 2011)


The story continues with Ciel, referred to as Alice, encountering Lau, the Caterpillar, in the woods. Alice seeks guidance on finding the White Rabbit, Sebastian, but the Caterpillar is unaware of such a figure. Instead, he advises Alice on changing size by consuming different parts of a mushroom, represented by Ran-Mao. Alice undergoes transformations, growing to adult size resembling her father, then shrinking to child size, before finally returning to normal with the Caterpillar’s assistance.

11. ‘Spider’s Intention’ (OVA, 2011)

Spiders Intention

Before the events of Kuroshitsuji II, Alois Trancy rescues a butterfly from a spider’s web but damages its wing to prevent its escape. Later, he instructs Claude to fill his bedroom with flowers and bring a cage of bugs to confine the butterfly. Narrated from the perspective of the Thompson triplets, Hannah, and Claude, the OVA concludes with the butterfly’s demise, prompting Alois to inadvertently start a fire while attempting to cremate it. Terrified of losing Claude, Alois pleads with him to stay away from the flames. The story concludes with Alois envisioning himself ensnared in a spider’s web, likening himself to a wingless butterfly.

12. ‘The Tale of Will the Shinigami’ (OVA, 2011)


William T. Spears and Grell Sutcliff are tasked with training new recruits for the upcoming shinigami exam, where pairs must pass dares to become true shinigami. Reflecting on their own past, William recalls being paired with Grell for a similar exam. Assigned to decide the fate of novelist Thomas Wallace, they become involved in his life after he mistakes them for actors. Despite disagreements on his fate, when Thomas faces death, William and Grell unite to absorb his cinematic file, marking their transition into full-fledged shinigami.

13. ‘Black Butler,’ Season 2 (anime, 2010–2011)

Anime Black Butler Season 2 Anime Topia

Young Alois Trancy, having formed a pact with the demon Claude, exhibits hostility towards his maid, Anna, even injuring her. Meanwhile, Sebastian, disguised as a traveler, arrives at the Trancy estate with a mysterious suitcase, which he reveals to contain Ciel. As Sebastian retrieves a box of tea from the basement, Claude attacks him, leading to a frantic escape. Elsewhere, Ciel and Elizabeth search for the White Hart, encountering Lau Tao and Lan Mao along the way. A flood ensues, endangering Elizabeth, but Sebastian intervenes by destroying a dam. As they climb a hill, they discover a large drawing of a White Deer. Meanwhile, in London, young girls are being murdered, prompting Ciel and the Spider to investigate. They uncover the culprit to be the jealous wife of a photographer, leading to a confrontation with Grell, who attempts to claim her soul as she perishes in the flames.


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Where to watch the ‘Black Butler’ anime?

You can watch the ‘Black Butler’ anime on Crunchyroll, with 2 seasons being available on Hulu and for purchase on the Apple TV Store.

Will there be more ‘Black Butler’ seasons?

There will be more seasons of ‘Black Butler’ it was announced that ‘Black Butler’ will return to screens sometime in April 2024 adapting ‘Public School’ Arc. The fourth anime season is being produced by CloverWorks. We will update this as soon as we have more information.

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