Black Butler is a dark comedy and dark fantasy anime series ranked among the 100 greatest anime of all time according to many lists. The anime, which was first released in 2008, is based on a manga series that Japanese manga artist Yana Toboso started writing in 2006. The story that takes place in the Victorian era consists of 3 seasons so far. The titled anime season of ‘Black Butler: Book of Circus‘, released four years after the second season, delighting fans. Licensed by Funimation in its final season, the anime is created by A-1 Pictures (The same studio -> The studio, Kaguya-sama: Love is War and Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku). Originally aired on MBS from July 10, 2014, to September 12, 2014, the anime was also featured on Netflix USA and Hulu TV. In this way, it is wondered whether the anime, which has become popular worldwide, will have a fourth season. Let’s remember the anime’s plotline and see what we know about the fourth season so far.
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What was the plotline of Black Butler?
Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) takes the audience to England at the end of the 1880s. On the 10th birthday of Ciel Phantomhive, one of England’s wealthiest families and one of the Phantomhive family who also served the queen, their mansion was set on fire, and his mother and father died. Ciel disappears and appears about a month later. Moreover, when he appears, he is accompanied by a steward named Sebastian. As explained in the first episode, Sebastian is actually a demon. He saved Ciel from death and gave him all his strength so that he could take revenge on those who murdered his family. Of course, in return, he will take Ciel’s soul when the revenge is complete. Throughout the episodes, Ciel’s confrontation with the evils wandering the streets of England with Sebastian, as well as searching for clues about the murderers of his family, are discussed.
Will there be a fourth season of the anime?
As of April 2021, at the time of writing, the anime’s studio A-1 Pictures, manga publisher Square Enix, or any related company has not yet renewed the anime for a fourth season. It can sometimes take years for anime to be renewed for a new season. However, unlike TV dramas, we see that anime is often not canceled and has a new season even after years. Especially the fact that Square Enix is still broadcasting the manga series brings to mind the question of why not see a new anime season in the future. However, the fact that the manga is still airing is not a sufficient criterion for us to see a new season. It is possible to examine it in more detail and speculate about a new season under some key factors.
Manga factor in terms of the fourth season
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, the manga is written and illustrated by Yana Toboso. Square Enix, a beloved anime like Toilet-bound Hanako-kun and the publisher of AAA games like Final Fantasy, has been publishing the manga on Monthly Gfantasy since 2006. The good news is that the manga series is still being written.
For the manga series, 30 volumes and 173 chapters have been published, including those not yet in tankobon format. So how many were adapted to anime? While 8 volumes were adapted in the last season of the anime, a total of 14 volumes were adapted during 3 seasons. It seems that less than half of the manga series was used in the preparation of the anime. Almost all existing volumes were adapted when the third season of the anime was airing, but later on, the source material for new seasons was formed.
How was the disc sales of the anime
Disc sales are also valuable, as animes are productions with profit expectations. Generally, for an anime to have a new season, it is expected that its current season has averaged 4,000 sales. Kuroshitsuji’s disc sales were well above this target. It sold 23,288 units in its first period, followed by 10,498 units and 9,204 units. As seen from these numbers, anime is also very popular in Japan. It’s pretty likely to have a new season when we look at disc sales.
Other than disc sales
The fact that the anime is distributed exclusively means extra profit other than disc sales. Black Butler has appeared on platforms such as Netflix, and Hulu. In addition, the film, which debuted in 2017, also provided extra income for the company. From a financial perspective, everything looks good for a new season.
What about the popularity?
We mentioned that the anime is ranked among the 100 most popular anime of all time. (myanimelist). It still has a good search volume in Google searches even years after it aired. It is followed by 188.5k people on Twitter. And as a result of all this, it has a popularity score of 96.1%. You can check our anime list to see other anime in this score zone.
When is the fourth season of Black Butler?
A fourth season of the anime has not been confirmed yet. It seems possible to see the fourth season after the third season, which was last released in 2014. As a result of our detailed speculation above, we see that the manga has sufficient stock material, disc sales, and financial competence are seen, and it has sufficient popularity. We think the decision committee will not say no to the fourth season, and according to our estimates, the most reasonable date for a new season seems to be the autumn of 2022. We will update you as more official statements are available. Till then, you can read the rest of the anime’s story from the manga or check out dark fantasy anime like Devilman Crybaby and Devils Line.