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3. spotlight on: grell sutcliff



SPOTLIGHT ON: GRELL SUTCLIFF *contains minor spoilers

Character rating: 8.5/10

"Red is the colour of fiery passion, and I am on fire!"


Name: Grell Sutcliff, グレル・サトクリフ

Age: 25 - 28. Physically, at least.

Occupation: Grim Reaper, previously Butler

Anime: Black Butler/ Kuroshitsuji


I guess the real question is, what isn't to love about Grell Sutcliff?

According to the Black Butler manga, Grell is the 4th most popular character in the series. But for me, at least, Grell is most definitely the highlight of the entire show. They can bend a moment from humourous to deadly (haha) serious in a matter of seconds... And they do it in style. (But really, from everyone's favourite raging psycho, who's going to expect anything less?)

Like, seriously, I have never been more excited to watch someone try and kill half of London. And I guess it's comforting that Grell is as much a fangirl over Sebastian as I am. Not to mention their super-awesome death scythe that I firmly believe deserves to be on the cover of Vogue, no matter what Will and the reaper committee thought of it. 

One issue that seems to come up everywhere is Grell's gender. And I mean, everywhere. Doing research for this spotlight, the only stuff on Grell that seems to come up when you type their name into Google are fans having caps lock battles over Grell's gender. 

You see, the thing is, in the official character guide, Grell is referred to with both male pronouns and female titles by Yana Toboso, the author of Black Butler. In the anime and manga, Grell generally refers to themselves as being 'a lady'. (Though all other characters call Grell male.) So fans get confused over Grell's gender, and then they come close to starting WWIII with each other, which is really not a good idea. 

However, although I am obviously not the last word on the matter, I'm pretty sure that Grell is either transgender mtf, or non binary. This is because in the Ciel in Wonderland OVA (jeeeesuus, that was a weird one) Grell describes themselves as being 'caught in an existence that doesn't know if it is male or female'... Though a possibly more concrete view of Grell as trans is shown in Yana Toboso's character confessionals, where Grell describes themselves as 'a pre-op transsexual'.

Even for the people who don't regard Grell as trans, they do generally acknowledge that they're an LGBT character.

But have I mentioned how much I loved Grell even before they were exposed as a reaper? As Madame Red's butler, Grell screwed everything up, was shy, awkward, and had a strange talent for singing. Once they revealed themselves as a reaper, Grell immediately became so much more flamboyant and generally passionate (especially about Sebastian...) that it seemed like a total personality switch. The two sides of Grell are completely opposite, but I'm still not sure which one I love more.

Something I am sure about, though: after 21 volumes, it is high time for Grell to get a manga volume cover. I mean, come on- Ronald's had a cover, and Grell still hasn't got one? Ughhhh.


5 more reasons why Grell is hella:

1) Their hella fashion sense. Especially the boots. So good, but equally so hard to draw.

2) The hella way they made the Jack the Ripper arc one of the best the show has seen.

3) The sheer (hella) length of their hair. That must take some dedication to do on a morning. And, I mean, you'd thing it'd get tangled in their chainsaw-death scythe or something, but no. No. Grell is literally unstoppable. 

4) The extreme hella-ness of their fight scenes. Including that time on the Campania when they were supposed to be actually fighting and stuff, but decided to act out the 'on top of the world' Titanic scene with Ronald. 

5) Their hella quotes. It's not just how awesome their words are, it's the voice they say them in. They're one of those characters that you can't look at one of their quotes without imagining it in their voice, and I love them for it. 



If you want a spotlight look on a particular character, feel free to ask in the comments! ~ Mirlotta


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