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Ciel Phantomhive is the son and only child of the late Vincent and Rachel Phantomhive and owner of the Funtom company, a business that mainly sells toys/sweets. A supernatural/demonic contract binds him to Sebastian Michaelis, who promised Ciel revenge on those who ruined him in exchange for his soul.
On the night of Ciel's tenth birthday, the Phantomhive mansion was set aflame. In the midst of the fire, Ciel's parents were slaughtered in their own bedroom, but he had actually witnessed the slashing of the house steward, Tanaka. Directly afterwards, Ciel was kidnapped and disappeared from the face of earth for one month.
He was then taken to a place that held a society of demon worshipers, where he was forced to have a special sign of satanism literally branded on his back (this differs from the anime, however. In season 1 and 2, the brand is located on the left side of his front body. Also, the signs are different). Subsequently, a horrific amount of stabbings and other heinous acts of "being treated worse than a dog/beast" were also committed onto him.
During this abominable torture, Ciel supposedly lost faith in God and accidentally summoned a demon with an unknown name. He then agreed to make a contract with him - the demon would help him get revenge on those who destroyed his life, and Ciel would give up his own soul in return.
Returning to London, he visited the hospital to see Tanaka, the only survivor of the house fire, to ask if he knew anything of who could murder his parents and burn the house down. The house steward replied he had no idea. After he bade his house member goodbye, he went to his house to check the burnings and his parents' graves. Sebastian re-built the Phantomhive mansion, and Ciel immediately worked on getting prepared for his Earl crowning ceremony, which was given to him by Queen Victoria in 1886.
In the same year of becoming the Earl of London, Ciel worked on the Funtom company, and in 24 months became the best and most successful businessman in his country, and one of the top businessmen in the world. (It should be noted that this was without the help of Sebastian. Ciel achieved this by himself.) In addition to being a bureaucrat business giant, Ciel serves Queen Victoria as her "Guard-Dog", taking on any mission she requests to get rid of the criminals of the underworld. Taking on all of these roles, Ciel figures they would attract attention, and whoever had killed his household and destroyed his life would attempt to do it again. Therefore, he has no plans on searching the culprit(s) out.
Ciel Phantomhive is created by Yana Toboso as the main protagonist of Black Butler. Below is a quote from the mangaka about her thoughts creating Ciel.
I drew Ciel as a really manly character, he's got a fixed courage and displays a strength that surpasses adults. He's never hesitantly worrying and just moves forward withught looking back at his past. since he is individualistic I think that, like Sebastian, He is kind of a nasty guy
"Even though I was put into an abyss of despair, a place likened to hell...A chance as thin as a spider's thread was sent to me offering the choice to crawl out. I decided not to give up and reached for it. We humans have that strength. Though...Grasping it or not is up to the person."
Ciel has gained his looks from both parents; while he has the deep blue eyes of his mother, overall he bears the most striking resemblance to his father, and looks more like him as he ages. He is also a rather short child and is often seen as a little girl because of his looks, height, and the small, skinny build of a girl. He stands as 152cm (approximately 4.9ft).
His clotheswear changes frequently, but he is mainly known to wear his blue outfit, which consists of a blue vest, jacket, and pants. He also wears a top hat, along with shoes, finished with a cape and polished cane (these accessories are usually worn with any outfit). He bears a blue earring on both of his ears, and a ring of the same color on his left thumb. He has been said to be a "beautiful boy" (in the manga and anime).
Ciel is a person of great arrogance; most of this is directed towards adults of any age. He was even seen naming a small group of adults, who were quietly gossiping about him, "a worthless bunch" (anime only). His disgust and demeaning of adults could very likely be the unconscious action of the False Self syndrome, since it has been proven he is actually terrified of them (this, of course, is directly rooted to his month of torture, three years previously).
Although his arrogance towards adults is clear, Ciel is also very prideful in the royal, powerful names he bears, and purposefully makes an unmistakable line of the difference of his rank to anyone who is lower. It has been said that this very conceit can prove to be his downfall at times - when he overestimates his abilities and, therefore, underestimates his challenger's abilities, since he does surpass scores of his rivals on a casual basis.
Including to his arrogance, it was said that he has a "greed that knows no bounds", when he had set up plans for an additional perfume line to his already extremely successful (and international) company.
He is mainly cold to nearly everyone he meets (and especially appears even more indifferent when those people are injured and/or begging for help) - even his family-line does not escape this. This is proven by his letting one of his aunts die, for the sake of no-one but himself (this aunt being on his mother's side).
Inside the Circus Arc, there was a person he knew, crying over the terrible things he had done; Ciel's response was, "Don't cry so shamefully. Crying won't change a thing. The world not kind to anyone."
This mercilessness can also be applied to himself, since he has denied a chance for a regular life twice, just for revenge.
Although 13 years old, Ciel behaves as someone much older, and even wears specially heeled boots to make himself appear taller (this only adds a few inches to his short height, so still, he is sometimes made fun of his height). Due to this maturity, he is mostly seen as a composed, cool headed person.
Even for this kept-together demeanor, Ciel barely has any patience, and this hot tempered attitude usually bursts out when his is approached by active and/or childish people (such as the Indian prince Soma). It can also come out when he is treated as a child, and was especially revolted by Sebastian's attempt at doing so ("Do not do that anymore. It's disgusting.").
Whenever he is approached by his fiancé, however, he is sure to do his best to completely switch his current personality to that of the one of his childhood; since she is one of the few people that know him best, he doesn't want her to become suspicious of worried. Unfortunately, this attempt doesn't always fool her.
Early on, Ciel's treatment of Sebastian was harsh; as he often complained of him, insulted him, yelled, and argued. Presently, Ciel can deal with him on a more cooled level, and has even shared secret smiles with him. Sill, he feels nothing towards him and only looks at him as a pawn for his revenge. He also keeps cats out of his house, not only for his allergy, but because "It'd please that guy, so definitely won't keep a cat!"
Ciel is kidnapped by an Italian drug dealer named Azurro Vanel of the Fener family. When Ciel refuses to supply the information Azurro is seeking, the dealer orders his snipers to kill Ciel's servants. When a sniper misses hitting Sebastian, he is alerted to his presence. The snipers leave in a vehicle, but Sebastian runs quickly enough to stop them. He gathers information from Azurro's servants, killing them afterward by letting them fall to their deaths, and informs Azurro from a car phone that he intends to pick up Ciel. Once he arrives, he is attacked, but is able to calmly eliminate most of Azurro's defense using mostly silverware.
Sebastian then enters the room where Ciel is being held and moves to provide the requested ransom. Hidden gunmen then inflict what appears to be multiple fatal gunshot wounds on Sebastian, but he recovers quickly and returns the bullets by spitting them out of his mouth. He eliminates all of Ciel's kidnappers, refusing Azurro's offer of women and money if he left Ciel to work for him,Sebastian tells him that he isnt interst in human pleasesures as he is a butler and a demon, he showed his true from to Azurro and then they return to the mansion.
Ciel was ordered by the Queen to gather information of the murders and serial killer known as Jack the Ripper, in Ciel's London's manor he foundMadame Red, her butler Grell and Lau, together they went to seek infomation at one of the murder scenes, then Ciel orders Sebastian to makes a list of potential suspects and doctors, and whittles it down to the viscount of Druitt, Aleister Chamber whom he studied medicine and often makes suspicious parties involving black magic. They decided to attend one of his parties, Sebastian and ciel in Disguise as Madame Red's niece and tutor, During the party, Sebastian creates a diversion by pretending to be a hired magician, so Ciel can investigate Aleister. Shortly thereafter, Ciel is drugged and whisked off to a hidden room in the manor where Aleister has begun to auction him off. Sebastian rescues Ciel, Aleister is arrested and they believe that the culprit of the murders is now safely behind bars.
However, another murder takes place, indicating that they have not yet found the real murderer. Sebastian and Ciel review the previous murders, and learn of the next likely victim. They lie in wait outside her home, sure that if the murderer were to enter, they would see him or her. However, the woman is killed anyway, and upon inspecting her home, they find Grell standing over her body. Angelina and Grell confess that they are Jack the Ripper. Sebastian deals with Grell in his Shinigami form, whose modified death scythe is able to injure Sebastian. When Angelina moves in to attack Ciel, Sebastian momentarily returns to his demon form and moves to kill her. Ciel orders him to stop, becauseAngelina had hesitated in her attack. Grell kills her when she refuses to kill Ciel, and Ciel orders Sebastian to eliminate Grell. Sebastian manages to overpower Grell, and moves in to kill him with his own death scythe. However, just as he is about to deliver the finishing blow, William T. Spears appears and stops him. Sebastian apologizes for his failure to kill Grell.
Ciel received a letter from the Queen to investigate the a number of suspicious deaths and continued dog fights, in the village of Houndsworth. Sebastian, Ciel and the Phantomhive servants stay with the leader of the town Henry Barrymore and that night the devil dog made it's appearance to scare the Phantomhives, but with no luck as Ciel just asked Sebastian to investigate, the next day James a villager died in the hands of the devil dog and the villagers wanted to punish the bad dog James owned, they reveal that Henry had made up the myth, and was really responsible for James' death. In response, the villagers carry Henry off to jail, but that night, Henry is taken from his cell and killed. After some investigation, they learn that there is a real devil dog, named Pluto, who Sebastian subdues, through what he calls a carrot-and-stick method. Angela reveals that Pluto was her dog, which makes Sebastian quite suspicious of her, as taming a devil dog is quite difficult. She then asks if she can send him back with them, which Ciel agrees to, knowing how much Sebastian hates dogs. Sebastian's finding of hot water while taming Pluto also makes the trip successful for the queen, as the town can now be modified into a Onsen resort. When they leave, it is shown that the village is happily working toward that goal.
When Ciel and Sebastian learn from Fred Abberline that Scotland Yard need the Shard of Hope ring is for evidence related kidnappings, they follow him to Undertaker's place to gather more information, here Sebastian found out that Fred could make undertaker laugh without any problem, and also they discover that the ring has been incorporated into the ice sculpture's contest's prize. They try to win the ring from the Frost Fair ice sculpture contest, and while Sebastian's ice sculpture is winning, the original thieves of the ring bomb the ice, causing the ice to crack, and the ice sculpture the ring was in to fall. They decide not to worry about it anymore, as they have supposedly lost it to the frozen waters.
Mysteriously it ends up in Elizabeth's hands because she was looking for a perfect present for Ciel, and leads to Drocell Keinz kidnapping her, which they learn about from Paula. Ciel sends Sebastian off to gather more information while he invades the Mandalay manor with Pluto and Grell. Inside, he encounters Drocell and is rescued from Drocell's dolls by Sebastian. Sebastian reveals that Elizabeth must be in the sealed tower in the back, and they use Pluto to get in. Inside, they find her easily, but encounter Drocell again. After a brief fight with Drocell, they learn that he is being controlled by someone else, but Sebastian decides not to give chase, because the owner of the puppet controlling Drocell was not nearby.After saving Elizabeth, they celebrated Ciel's birthday with a small party.