Young Earl Ciel Phantomhive is a noble in the service of Queen Victoria of England. Not only does he handle the business affairs of his family’s toy business, but he travels around solving mysteries that irk Her Majesty’s kingdom. However, he doesn’t do it alone. After the death of his parents and in his darkest hour, Ciel formed a pact with a demon to reek vengeance on those that wronged him in exchange for his soul afterwards. Now this demon poses as his butler, Sebastian, a man with superhuman abilities.
Guys. He’s one hell of a butler, so other anime just can’t compare, but do try to fill Black Butler’s void with these anime recommendations.
For Fans of European Settings
Kujou Kazuya is a transfer student to the elite Saint Marguerite Academy in the Southern European country of Sauville. However, because of his Japanese descent, he is shunned by the other students. One day in the library of the school, he ends up following a long blonde hair to a beautiful doll-like girl call Victorque de Blois who can predict the future, including their own currently entwined one. Together, the pair begin to solve the mysteries that are beginning to plague their surroundings.
Both series start off pretty straight forward with two vaguely supernaturally linked people solving various mysteries. However, as things progress in both Black Butler and Gosick, they reach a crescendo and a fairly thrilling finale.
In this world, there exist creatures of darkness and evil that seek to devour the human world. However, in their way stands a specialized private military force led by the rich and powerful Integra Hellsing. However, among her soldiers is her most powerful pet, the vampire Alucard that fights against his own kind.
Both Hellsing and Black Butler take place in Victorian Era England, showcasing a good bit of action. However, while Black Butler is more mystery-oriented, Hellsing is straight up bloody action, but both are pretty dark. It is also worth noting that both also feature badass butlers that would kick your butler’s ass.
D. Gray Man
After three years training with one of their prestigious Generals that saved him as a kid, Allen Walker is finally ready to join the Black Order, an organization of exorcists that fight Akuma and their leader, the Millennium Earl. With their Innocence weapons, Allen and his fellow exorcist embark on a journey to stop the Earl’s plot of ultimate destruction.
Although not specified, D. Gray Man has the same feel of Victoria Era Europe, but with a few modern touches. Both series have those with special powers fighting against demons and other supernatural foes. However, the characters in D. Gray Man are considered pure compared to Black Butler’s main characters.
For Fans of Master Servant Relationships
Inu x Boku SS
Ririchiyo Shirakiin is the sheltered daughter of a rich family, but she has been dependent her entire life. However, while she seeks to change that, she has a sharp tongue that needs minding. As such, she moves into a high security apartment complex whose residents are not only strange, but half demon as well. She also finds herself in the company of her new secret service agent, Soushi. He is a man who is handsome, quiet, and creepily submissive. All these factors combined will make sure her high school life is not a dull one.
Both series feature a distinct master-servant relationship where someone older serves a spoiled teen. However, unlike Black Butler, there is a distinct air of sexual tension in Inu x Boku with a much more lighthearted tone overall.
Young Oz Vessalius is the heir to his noble house. However, during his coming of age ceremony, the Baskerville Clan comes to oust him from his seat and force him into the Abyss that he once thought fictional. Inside he finds it much like the stories so now he must learn to survive and escape this place infested with beings called Chains.
Above anything else, these two anime series have a very distinct Gothic visual style in common. Otherwise, Pandora Hearts has a similar master-servant relationship where an older person protects a young boy. However, in this case, that person is a girl. Both also walk the fine balance of drama, humor, and darkness.
The World is Still Beautiful
Within the realms of the Sun Kingdom, it never rains. However, in the Rain Dukedom, the women of the family possess the ability to call upon the rain. So when the Sun King, recent conqueror of the world, Livius I decides to take a wife, it is only natural to pick one of those four princesses. Nike Remarcier is the youngest and only one with the ability to call the rain. Frustrated at her lot, she journeys to the kingdom and is surprised to find that the Sun King is only fifteen years old.
Although more romance-oriented, this anime also features a spoiled boy that is far too mature for his age and a butler that does most things for him. However, unlike Black Butler it focuses on his relationship with his betrothed and not the relationship between him and his butler.
For Fans of Demons
Demon Detective Nougami Neuro
Enter Nougami Neuro, a demon that feeds on mysteries and puzzles. When he comes to the human world, he noshes on the negative energy release by humans planning crimes. However, he cannot afford to be on the radar of the authorities, so he makes a deal with Yako who he helps solve crimes to keep him hidden from the law.
Both series are about demons that help a human solve mysteries. Naturally, both demons are vaguely evil looking and great at everything they do. However, Neuro gets immediate pay off from his mystery solving while Sebastian works for the promise of sweet, young soul.
Devils and Realist
After his uncle fails in his business venture, William, heir of his family, returns home with his butler to search for stuff to sell. In the basement, William ends up inadvertently summoning a devil named Dantalion. This devil reveals that apparently William is the designator who can choose the acting ruler of the demon world.
Aside from the details, these two anime series are almost the same. Both involve demons making a pact with a rich boy, both take place in a gothic world, both are distinctly dark with random funny moments, and both feature many of the same kind of characters.
Ichinomiya Kantarou grew up with the ability to see demons, and found it impossible to make friends because of it. Instead, he befriended demons. One day, his friends told him about the existence of the strongest demon, the ogre-eating Tengu. With that, he set out to find him, travelling and making a living as a folklore writer and demon-buster. He had just about given up, until one day he gets a job at a shrine where the Tengu is supposedly living.
Both Tactics and Black Butler tell the story between a highly intelligent human with little family to speak of and the demon that is bound to them. While Black Butler is in Victorian England, Tactics takes place in Edo period of Japan. Aside from that, the only real difference is in the tone. Tactics is much more oriented towards comedy.
Have your own recommendations for anime series like Black Butler? Tell us about it in the comments section below.