Grim Reapers are in charge of deciding whether a soul is to live on or to die. So far, four Reapers have been introduced: Grell Sutcliff, Ronald Knox, William T. Spears, and a retired reaper, the Undertaker. Grell is the first reaper who is introduced to the series. Each reaper wields a scythe (some of which should not even have existed during that time period, such as a chainsaw or lawn mower.) Grell meets Madame Red and forges a partnership with her. Grell and Madame Red kill prostitutes and are known as Jack the Ripper. William punishes Grell by confiscating his scythe for infringing upon three laws that must be followed by reapers; Grell killed people not on the 'to die' list, wielded an illegally modified Death Scythe, and gave information that was not to be given (as to not be killed by Sebastian, he told him that she knew who killed Ciel's parents). Grell does not reappear in the manga until chapter 55. Undertaker, a retired reaper, also appears in the anime. He is highly respected by Will Spears. Every Grim Reaper introduced in the anime so far wears glasses, for they all are horribly nearsighted. It has been said in the manga that once they take them off, they are officially retired.
- Grell Sutcliff (グレル-サトクリフ, Gureru Satokurifu?)
- Grell Sutcliff (Spelled as 'Grelle' in the manga) is a flamboyant okama who initially worked as Madame Red's butler. Grell and Madame Red formed a partnership in which they killed prostitutes. Grell was portrayed initially as a meek brunette with round glasses. He was often clumsy, and failed horribly at making tea. Grell acts very flamboyant in his true form. He is a redheaded (literally having blood red hair), hot-tempered Grim Reaper. He usually wears a vest, heels, a red-striped bow tie and a coat that he took from Madame Red's corpse. Grell, like all Reapers, has neon green and yellow eyes. He is the only Grim Reaper shown who has sharp, shark-like teeth. Grell wields a Death Scythe in the form of a chainsaw. It was illegally modified, and William confiscates the chainsaw from Grell, giving him scissors instead. Grell killed Madame Red when she refused to kill Ciel, seeing Ciel as her own son. Grell is respectfully referred to as 'sempai' by Ronald, however William just calls him 'Grell'. Grell seems to be attracted to Sebastian (to Sebastian's dismay) like many of the other women in the story. Grell is rather cunning, and somewhat sadistic. He is very theatrical and constantly makes references to Shakespeare, more so in the Jack the Ripper Arc when he calls himself and Sebastian's twisted "love" story just the same as the star-crossed Romeo and Juliet. Grell often tried to commit suicide when he made a mistake as a butler. Grell did this so often that the Phantomhive staff gave up on trying to stop him. He is voiced by Jun Fukuyama in the anime and drama CD and by Daniel Fredrick in the English Dub. Grell's last name is similar to the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, known for killing thirteen women.
- Undertaker (葬儀屋（アンダーテイカー）, Andāteikā?)
- The Undertaker is a former Grim Reaper as well as a funeral director in England. He also works as an informant for the Phantomhive family. He is seen draped in a long black robe that covers his hands and nearly every inch of his body besides his face. Even then his head is topped with a very long black top hat. He also has long silver hair, with a few spare braids throughout. Scars also cover his face, neck and pinky (although it is not mentioned how he got them). Another feature is his long black fingernails. He is voiced by Junichi Suwabe in Japanese and John Swasey in English. The Undertaker takes joy in frightening people and loves jokes. He is often doing strange and questionable things like hiding in coffins or eating treats that resemble bones. His appearances in the anime vary from the manga, as many characters do throughout Black Butler. In the Campania Arc of the manga it reveals he is a retired, maybe even kicked out Reaper. He still has his Death Scythe which displeases Grell and Ronald and is used to reveal how Sebastian started out with serving Ciel. Unlike other Reapers, he can fight without his glasses. It is unknown where he currently is.
- William T. Spears (ウィリアム・T・スピアーズ, Wiriamu Ti Supiāzu?)
- William T. Spears is part of the management ward of the Grim Reaper Dispatch. William's features include groomed black hair, kept to perfection, black glasses with a silver rim on the side, neon green eyes, tight lips, and a stern gaze. He seems to always complain about how he will have 'overtime' again due to Grell or Ronald's mishaps or calamities. William has a hatred for demons, especially Sebastian, who seems to be his rival whenever they meet. William likes to comment on how Sebastian has become a dog with a 'collar' around his neck, which prevents him from being like all the other mutts running around. William seems to hate demons because they are always stealing the souls the Grim Reapers harvest and take great care to organize. He gets special attention from Grell Sutcliff, who, in fact, is attracted to William and always tries to get close to him whenever he can. When William finds Grell fighting in an alley with Sebastian using an unregistered weapon (Grell's chainsaw) he takes the saw and gives him a pair of red scissors instead, making Grell agitated at him. William's Death Scythe is a pair of garden trimmers in which he relies to straighten his glasses and hit Grell on the head with. They are always by his side, and you can see them in almost every scene, whether in the anime or manga adaption. William always comes prepared and seems to be always watching and/or observing the things around him, as this reflects on his pure cold logic about the events concerning his career. He is voiced by Noriaki Sugiyama in Japanese and Barry Yandell in English. Will likes to appear smart in front of his enemies, and even if some may call this bluffing, William only sees this as protecting his inner knowledge, which also helps to get information out of the people he needs to observe from afar.
- Ronald Knox (ロナルド・ノックス, Ronarudo Nokkusu?)
- Ronald Knox is a subordinate under Grell Sutcliff. He seems to be rather laid back and easy-going. He apparently has problems with arriving on time, yet he seems interested in finding a way to accomplish his job quickly. His Death Scythe has been modified to look like a lawnmower, which he states was done on the principle of avoiding overtime work. It contains four circular blades and two straight blades running horizontally below the circular ones. It has two wheels that allow him to maneuver it and a small cord that allows him to pull a trigger on the handle to start the Death Scythe. Ronald has thick, wavy hair with a small cowlick just to the right of the part in his hair. He wears thick-framed, pentagonal-shaped glasses and a watch on his right wrist. He dresses in a suit, tie, gloves, and dress shoes. Ronald Knox initially appears helping William T. Spears in fighting Sebastian Michaelis. Their motive to do so, despite unclear, is in relation to the recent movement of souls. Sebastian jams Ronald's Death Scythe using his trademark cutlery, but Ronald manages to repair the damage done to it and send it crashing down on Sebastian and William. William is disgruntled at this, but Ronald is indifferent. He is amused when William abandons chasing Sebastian after he knocks his glasses off of his face, and William proceeds to lecture him for almost hurting him with his scythe and for not knowing the importance of glasses. He is voiced by Kenn in Japanese and Joel McDonald in English.
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Famous quotes containing the words reapers and/or grim:
“What it comes down to is this: the grocer, the butcher, the baker, the merchant, the landlord, the druggist, the liquor dealer, the policeman, the doctor, the city father and the politicianthese are the people who make money out of prostitution, these are the real reapers of the wages of sin.”
—Polly Adler (19001962)
“Life folded Death; Death trellised Life; the grim god wived with youthful Life, and begat him curly-headed glories.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)