Anime Expo 2023, a massive convention held in Los Angeles, has unveiled several bits of exciting news for anime fans these past few days. We got a new trailer for Attack On Titan, confirmation of a second season for Hell’s Paradise, the announcement of the Suicide Squad Isekai anime, and more. But one of the biggest pleasant surprises that shook the anime community to its core was the news that a new season of Black Butler is coming next year.
After debuting in 2008, Black Butler (or Kuroshitsuji in Japanese) became one of the most-known anime of all time. Many fans were displeased when the second season (2010) entirely deviated from the manga (written by Yana Toboso) and introduced new characters and an original storyline, but the anime returned to the source material for season three, Black Butler: Book of Circus (2014). This season was followed by a 2-episode OVA the following year, then a film in 2017. Although the manga is steadily ongoing and released a new chapter just a few weeks ago, no new animated material has been produced in over 6 years. But now we know that this is about to change!
An exact release window has yet to be announced, but we do know this new season will arrive on Crunchyroll in the year 2024. The last full season, Book of Circus, only had 10 episodes, but it is unknown if this new season will also be this short or if it will be longer like its predecessors (season one had 24 episodes and season two, though not canon to the manga, had 12). Since the anime has resumed following the manga, we can expect this new season to pick up where the movie Book of the Atlantic left off. After the Luxury Liner Arc, which the film covered, the manga enters the Public School Arc, in which Ciel infiltrates a school called Weston College and pretends to be a student. However, this is just speculation, as no plot details have been confirmed. The Black Butler anime has always been produced by A-1 Pictures, which has also been responsible for shows including Fairy Tail, ERASED, Magi, and Blue Exorcist, but with this season it is moving into the hands of CloverWorks. This studio is much newer than A-1 Pictures, but its short resume includes great successes such as Spy x Family and The Promised Neverland.
Daisuke Ono and Maaya Sakamoto will reprise their roles as Sebastian Michaelis and Ciel Phantomhive respectively. Whether or not this season will be dubbed into English remains to be seen, but with the massive popularity of the series and how much fans love J. Michael Tatum’s performance as Sebastian, I would say that the odds are pretty high. Clifford Chapin, who voices Charles Grey, tweeted about the new season, so we know that at least some of the English dub cast is interested in returning.
All three seasons of Black Butler are available for streaming on Funimation, while the Book of the Atlantic movie can be found on Crunchyroll. Unfortunately, the Book of Murder OVA is not available on either of these streaming platforms. Since the new season will stream on Crunchyroll, perhaps the rest of the series will migrate over to their site by 2024.
You can watch the teaser trailer for the upcoming season here.