In chapter 3 or 4 of Black Butler, Sebastian is using a mobile phone when talking to those guys who are holding Ciel captive.

Is this a mistake by the author or something else? Isn't Black Butler in the 1800s?

  • 1
    As far as I know, anime contains multiple things, that should not exist in implied time, like advanced firearms, or chainsaw. So, mobile phone is not actual case. It may be actually some sort of alternative reality, which shares features from both past and present time (like FMA, being majorly about first part of XX century, but featuring advanced artificial limbs).
    – lentinant
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 9:21
  • Jack the ripper was in the 1870 - 80's i think and queen Elizabeth was also around that time so my guess would be 1880. Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 10:42

8 Answers 8


In the manga chapter 27 page 41, it was shown that Ciel Phantomhive was born in 1875. Googling with the key phrase "the first cell phone" tells us that the first mobile-phone was created in 1973 by Motorola, which is 100 years after Ciel was born.

Since Ciel was 13 (12 during the first 14 chapters) in the story, mobile phones should not have existed. Thus, like lentinant said in his comment, it is likely that the story takes place in an alternate reality.

  • In episode 10, they go to a Frost Fair on the Thames, the last of which was in 1814.
  • Jack the Ripper's murders were in 1888.
  • Queen Victoria reigned from 1839-1901.

Presumably, some research either wasn't done, or 100% historical accuracy was ignored in favor of including all the elements the author wanted in the series.

It's a pretty silly series too, so what does it matter? Can't complain about dates not lining up when people run through stone walls and get consumed by fire for several seconds without lasting burns.


They say that the two brothers in the tower were imprisoned in 1483, and when Ciel talks about it, he refers to this event as having taken place 400 years ago, so it must've been in the 1850s and plus.

  • This could be one of the answers. Could you provide some references to this scene (manga chapter/anime episode)?
    – Aki Tanaka
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 11:18

As lentinant has commented above, Black Butler does not have a set time. The place is established as England and the era is clearly Victorian due to the architecture, theme, clothes and general behavior. But as it is a fantasy genre manga/anime, there are several inconsistencies such as chainsaws, cell-phones and semiautomatic weapons that are incorporated.

In most fantasy themed works, history is paid homage and is eluded to rather than portrayed accurately.


While searching up "cell phones" will come up with 1973, Sebastian was not using a cell phone. Cell phones and the phone he used is different, and cell phones were not invented back then. However, the did have phones and it was invented in 1876.

  • 2
    If you're saying it's not a cell phone, can you provide some proof of that (a screenshot, etc.)?
    – kuwaly
    Commented May 6, 2017 at 19:29

I haven't read the manga, but as mentioned in another answer, it couldn't have been a cellphone. As shown in the anime, it isn't a cellphone and they quite can't change the plot that much.

If I'm right, this all was when Ciel was captured.

  • Do you mean read the manga?
    – Jon Lin
    Commented Apr 14, 2017 at 23:10

It's 1888 since Ciel is 13 years old (12 in the first 14 chapters) and born in 1875. 1875+13=1888.

  • If its in 1888, then in episode 5 season one, how did grell have fake eyelashes yet they werent invented in till 1911?
    – Emily
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 4:10
  • Death Gods have advanced technology that isn't available to humans. Chainsaws, weedwackers etc etc.
    – Bryan Tan
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 10:05
  • Other than calculating the exact year, this doesn't add any new insight compared to the existing answer which has also mentioned about Ciel's age and date of birth.
    – Aki Tanaka
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 11:22

Black Butler does take place as it says. Searching up "When was the first phone invented?" will return March 10, 1876.

I remember in the second episode of the anime, they had one of the phones that are shown in the images, but it wasn't a cell phone. I just had it in a bag to help transport it.

  • 1
    Says who? You should try citing sources instead of tell ppl to search for phrases.
    – кяαzєя
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 21:31

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