Grell enjoys the thrill of killing, an example of his days as 'Jack the Ripper' with Ciel's Aunt Angelina Durless, also known as 'Madam Red'. This was only because she killed woman (mainly prostitutes), staining her hands with blood but didn't hesitate in the least in killing her in the end when their days as Jack the Ripper was over. With his death scythe chainsaw handy, Grell is a formidable opponent, a being not to be messed with, for he's gone up against Sebastian, nearly succeeded in killing him almost. Surprisingly, he is able to put on a great disguise for he worked as Madam Red's butler up until her death, putting on quite the performance as a shy butler who can't do anything right. And everyone believed it. He's very flamboyant, doesn't hide his how he feels towards Sebastian nor having any qualms about him being a demon. He addresses himself as being female not male, as he dresses in a very feminine manner, having gone as far as having worn women's clothing. It is apparent that he has some interest in theater for many a time he describes his relation with Sebastian being similar to the famous Romeo and Juliet play, commenting on Madam Red's death being the final curtain fall of a theater act, and occasionally quoting lines from other various plays that have been famous through the years.
And although he loves his job as a Shinigami, being able to collect the souls of humans that are to die, he finds it tiresome and would rather slack and goof off, to do something else. That something else usually involves him walking around with a camera trying to take pictures of Sebastian, while at the same time also trying to gain his love and affection. Under the guise as Madam Red' butler, Grell was very incompetent in his duties as he ruined the simplest things like tea and getting lost all the time. And whenever he messed up, he would become melodramatic and attempt to commit suicide. Initially bisexual, he has only shown interest in one woman of the opposite sex and that was Madam Red. He'd only shown in interest in Madam Red because she was not only the reason for the large sum of souls he had to collect but because she wore the color red and didn't mind staining her hands with blood. Not only that, he shared her deepest sympathy for not being able to have children, for he himself was not able to because he is male. Because of that, he disguised himself as her butler and killed people who were not on the 'To Die' list, which is against the rules Shinigami are required to follow.
But after he'd killed her (for he grew annoyed with the fact that she went soft and hesitated in killing Ciel, he'd only shown an obsessive infatuation with demon Sebastian from that point on. In fact, he has a weakness for cute guys to where he ends up allowing himself to be easily distracted from his work or seduced into helping Sebastian with promises of posing for pictures, which falls into the category of slacking off when he's supposed to be working. He not only flirts shamelessly with Sebastian but with Shinigami, William Spears too, much to their disgust and annoyance. Grell seems to be the only one (other than Ronald who is a rookie); out of all the Shinigami in the department that doesn't display hatred towards demons. With this fact known, his is greatly disliked by others of his kind. He is also easily annoyed to where he doesn't mind killing someone if they do something he doesn't like. He's also shown a great dislike for Ciel who gets to spend time with Sebastian everyday while he is unable to.
Grell has two appearances but in both he is 5'8 with a very slender and feminine build. As a butler, he initially appears as a meek man with long, brown hair tied back with a red ribbon, golden yellowish green eyes, and round glasses. He dresses in simple, mostly brown clothes to match his seemingly shy personality. However, it is later revealed that this is not his true appearance, as he is actually a Shinigami. In his Shinigami form, he has long, red hair, golden yellowish green eyes, false eyelashes, shark-like teeth, and red-framed glasses, which are accessorized with a neck chain adorned with skulls. He also wears a suit like other Shinigami that includes gloves and a tie, high-heeled ankle boots, and a red coat he took from Angelina's corpse, which he slings off his shoulders and wears around his elbows. Occasionally, his tie is replaced with a red-striped bow. He's also been known to wear women's clothes.
Grell Sutcliff is a Shinigami, a supernatural being who review lists of individuals about to die. They decide who should continue to live or not based on their history. He is required to review souls based on the list given to him by William Spears who works in the main branch division in where Shinigami's work. It is to be known and understood that the lists are given out well before an individual's life actually comes to an end, hinting at some ability to foresee the future. He reviews the areas where a person or people have died or are dying and review their lives where he has a variety of information to go on about them that includes the person's name, mother, cause of death and anything further. Shinigami seem to be allocated to various locations based on an unseen, but frequently referenced, Personnel Department. There has been no specific information as to where their headquarters is located so it is unknown whether or not if it is on Earth itself or in a dimensional plane that can only be accessed by certain people. However, it has been hinted that Shinigami returning to the headquarters require dimensional travel.
In order to view an individual's life, Grell has to watch their cinematic record that only occurs whenever he cuts someone with his death scythe, allowing him to see a recollection of that person's memories. Normally this is used only to decide whether or not if the person should be allowed to pass or continue to live but over the years, Grell has killed many not just those on the list to die but also those that weren't. In other words, he decided himself that the people he killed were meant to die by pushing a stamp that says 'COMPLETE' on their files. A person's entire life is shown in book form but can be played like a movie and when not used, these files are stored in the books of the library.
Jack the Ripper MurdersEdit
- He broke a few of these rules, got into trouble, not to mention demoted. It'd started when he posed as Angelina Durless's butler and partner during the 'Jack the Ripper' case in London. When Angelina started the Jack the Ripper murders, he followed her around, as she was the reason his death list was so full. He reveals himself after one of the murders, and says he understands her feelings, because as a man, he cannot have children of his own. He agrees to help her, and takes up the disguise of her butler to avoid suspicion. As her butler, hr is shy, awkward and fairly ineffective at his job, ruining even simple things like tea and getting lost when driving a carriage. This resulted in him staying at the Phantomhive manor to be trained by Sebastian Michaelis, but his presence only served to annoy and anger the entire household. Furthermore, anytime he messed something up, he had a tendency to be melodramatic about it and attempt to commit suicide. During one of his attempts, Sebastian stops him, causing the slight bit of admiration he had for him to become a full-blown crush that later becomes infatuation. Despite these constant attempts to end his life when he does something wrong, others only stop him to avoid the resulting large, bloody mess (Sebastian informs him that he can kill himself off the Phantomhive premises, indicating a lack of friendship between himself and other servants).
- He eventually does this so often that even the Phantomhive servants give up on trying to stop him, much to his surprise. Grell initially appears with Angelina and Lau in Ciel Phantomhive's London townhouse, searching for tea. He accompanies Lau, Ciel, Sebastian, and Angelina while they gather information on Jack the Ripper, but does not play much of a role. He also accompanies them to Aleister Chamber's party, where it is later revealed that he briefly left in order to commit another murder. Eventually, Ciel and Sebastian deduce that Jack the Ripper is Grell and Angelina, working together. They go to stand guard over the next victim, but he is able to get in to kill her anyway. That is when he reveals that he is a Shinigami, and they question why he broke the Shinigami rules of acting neutral, when he states that Angelina captivated him. He begins a brief confrontation, attacking Sebastian, and using his death scythe chainsaw, he is able to gain the upper hand. He then takes notice of Angelina's hesitation in killing Ciel, and insists that she do it. When she says she cannot, and tries to explain, he kills her in anger with his death scythe, stabbing her in the chest. He then takes her red coat off her corpse, stating that she has disappointed him that she is no better than the other women she killed and is not fit to wear red.
- While he was willing to depart and not continue to fight Sebastian nor kill Ciel, Ciel still orders Sebastian to kill him. They engage in a fight again, and again, he gains the upper hand, landing a strong attack on Sebastian's chest with his death scythe, and revealing a rather dull cinematic record, much to his disappointment. Despite this, he is overwhelmingly smitten with Sebastian, and delivers (while they continue to battle) a dramatic speech comparing the doomed romance of a demon and a Death God to the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. (Sebastian remarks that this is most unfair to Shakespeare.) Sebastian finally fights Grell to a standstill by using a shred of his ruined woolen tailcoat to jam Grell's chainsaw. He then begins to win, and pummels him repeatedly in the face. After doing this for a while, he grabs Grell's death scythe to kill him as par his master orders. Before he can land the blow, William Spears appears and uses his death scythe to stop him from killing Grell. He leaps down, smashing Grell's head into the pavement, and lists off all of the rules that Grell broke.
- Initially it would appear that the other Shinigami do not seem to be overly fond of him as William constantly refers to him as 'trash', while even in the presence of Sebastian, despite his dislike of him as well due to the fact that he was is a demon, then drags Grell away by his hair. (Ronald Knox is another Shinigami that is exceptionally fond of Grell, as he always refers to him as 'Grell Senpai' and takes his advice on things over William's). It is no secret that Grell's favorite color is red, as he is described as the Shinigami in red by Angelina, commits the Jack the Ripper murders so he could paint 'ugly' women red with their blood and says ordinary women are not fit to wear the color. He has two known distinct personalities. Majority of the time he is cheerful, if somewhat sadistic with a playful flirtatious quality and is normally seen whining about William or flirting with Sebastian, however, at any given time, Grell can switch to a frightening and bloodthirsty personal who will do anything for the desired results. As a Shinigami, however, he is the only one that is over-the-top and flamboyant with a tendency to use female nouns and pronouns when referring to himself.
Shard of HopeEdit
- For a while, Grell doesn't show up to bother anyone until the kidnapping of Ciel's fiancée Elizabeth Middleford happens. Drocell Keinz takes her, making Ciel attempt to find her alone. That is when Grell finds Ciel and Pluto after the latter made his 'hunk radar' go off, and teams up with the pair after Ciel promises Grell can kiss Sebastian if he helps. He first aids by explaining who Drocell is and follows Ciel and Pluto into the Mandalay manor where Elizabeth is being held. However, once inside, it is revealed that he had his original death scythe taken away and was given a pair of scissors to use instead. Due to their small size, he has a bit of a problem with cutting down the well-made dolls. Ciel abandons him briefly, leaving him to fend off the dolls while Ciel attempts to find Elizabeth on his own. Shortly thereafter, he manages to make his way out of the mansion with Pluto, and they meet up with Sebastian. They discover Elizabeth is in a sealed tower around the back of the mansion. He charges in with Sebastian, Pluto, and Ciel, but, fearing the possibility of injury, doesn't help much until Sebastian specifically requests his aid. When they finally leave, he throws himself at Sebastian in an attempt to kiss him, but Sebastian ducks out of the way resulting in Grell falling onto the floor face first onto the ground. Sebastian discusses taking revenge for Angelina's murder, prompting Grell to flee stating he will have to collect his promised kiss another time.
Book of DoomsdayEdit
- During one of Sebastian and Ciel's underground cases, Grell was sent to Earth to retrieve a stolen magic play, as par William's orders and after getting tired, not to mention bored, he ended up falling asleep in a field where some humans believed he was dead and sent his 'corpse' to Undertaker. When Ciel and Sebastian arrive at Undertaker's to get more information, he tags along, and sneaks into the cult's convent with them, in order to investigate further. Once inside, he immediately identifies the priests Book of Doomsday as not being the stolen magic play that he was looking for. However, he tries to get closer to him anyway by impersonating a child to join the Heaven's Choir. Big FAIL on his part as he wasn't capable of doing so, leaving Ciel as the only one of the three who could successfully go undercover. In the process, an angel by the name of Angela appears and kidnaps Ciel but traps Sebastian so she could get away without being stopped for she was in possession of the magic play and used it to tie him up. Grell frees him and they both charge after her together where they ended up being transported to the Shinigami library. He aids in the subsequent battle against her, using a borrowed death scythe to help pin her up against the wall. However, when she aims to destroy the place, he is forced to flee.
Conspiracy & RevengeEdit
- Grell shows up again during the burning London incident. He is shown initially mocking the dead (minus a still living baby he finds and remorsefully states he can't help), but then gets to work helping to reap the many souls, along with Undertaker and William. It is at this point that William returns his original death scythe to him, something that he's extremely pleased at.
The Female ButlerEdit
- Grell appears again a year later after the London incident to a Ciel who has no recollection of it, him or the many people that long since died. His reappearance is actually in London, saying 'the end of this dance signals death'. He was on a mission to reap the soul of a woman named Ellen who spontaneously combust into flames, but unfortunately was unable to. Later, as Sebastian is chasing the arsonist Mrs. Turner (the one responsible for the death of Ellen, among others by using a flash camera and magnesium powder to start the fires), Grell attacks him. Sebastian asks why he has not collected the souls of the people Mrs. Turner has set on fire during her run through London. He flirtatiously says he only wants to capture Sebastian, but then also states that he is only required to reap one soul and that is Mrs. Turner's for she is on his list of those to die by committing suicide five minutes after midnight. In addition, he tells Sebastian, he could not have collected the other victims' spirits, as the heat of the magnesium flames were so intense that it consumes not just the body but the soul as well. Sebastian saying to Grell that he himself will make a much better model for photographs than Ciel secures his help against the arsonist, thanks to the use of flattery. The Shinigami is delighted and gladly works together with Sebastian to find Mrs. Turner, who has Ciel atop Big Ben. The clock strikes midnight and the Death God and demon rush to the top. Seeing the camera, Grell starts to pose for it, immune to the flash and magnesium combo since he is a Shinigami. Five minutes after minute, Mrs. Turner combusts into flames which causes Grell to become very upset, as he was not able to reap her soul with it having burned away. He also remarks that William won't be happy about this either, but before leaving Sebastian, he takes a picture of him and himself using Mrs. Turner's camera.
Meeting Claude Faust & The Death of Alois TrancyEdit
- Grell shows up again before a young boy by the name of Alois Trancy to collect his soul. He was to die from the stab wound he'd received from Ciel while also revealing that his name is actually Jim McCain and his maid Hannah is a demon. The claiming of Alois's soul was unsuccessful with him having to fight against Hannah and struggling with her, but he managed to stab her through the stomach with his chainsaw only to be soaked in blood and alone with Claude Faust, Alois's demon butler. Claude asks him if he is going to take back the soul he stole and pried further into whether or not he is allied with Sebastian. Grell only gives a scoff and a grin, stating that he will just sit back and watch, as 'things have gotten interesting'. From that point on, he'd just begun frequently taking pictures of Sebastian until he is forced to stop when Sebastian becomes annoyed with him (he'd beaten him up in the process). Sebastian gives him tea with far too much rock salt in it and uses his sex appeal to make Grell kill the Demon Triplets (whom also worked with Alois) with his death scythe. He briefly helped Sebastian during his trip through the maze of Alois Trancy's heart in order to free Ciel. He uses his death scythe to cut the vines constricting Sebastian, but only after Sebastian openly glared at him for wanting to take another picture of him. Grell is also used as a sacrifice for one of the questions after Sebastian seduces him.
- Due to the explosion he is seen burned and knocked out for the remainder of the maze. Despite this Grell shows no signs of anger and appears more than happy to have helped. Despite his overwhelming love for Sebastian, he was fully aware that Sebastian hates him but still was able to capture photos of him and affectionately dub him with the nickname 'Sebas-chan'. He had been realized that Sebastian would not return his affections and finding them distasteful even, he is so smitten that he allows the demon to take repeated advantage of him, willingly trading his assistance for small favors (such as Sebastian striking handsome poses for his camera) even when that assistance results in injury or embarrassment. Apparently he feels that any attention from Sebastian is better than none. However, his affections are not limited to Sebastian, as he seems to find men, in general, attractive. For example, with William Spears, while he calls him a sadist, he seems enamored by his eyes, saying they send chills up his spine. After the deaths of Alois, Claude, as well as Hannah's, he doesn't see Sebastian or Ciel anymore but had sensed him nearby while he was lazily yawning and stretching off to the side while reaping souls with William and Ronald. Instead he finds a table that is set with three cups of tea (for him, William and Ronald) and a candy centerpiece with a note from Sebastian stating that the tea would be something that he knew Grell would enjoy.
Aftermath & CurrentlyEdit
- While he was saddened for years that he wasn't able to see as well as take pictures of Sebastian anymore, he continued his job as a Shinigami like he had been before he'd met him and the others he'd become acquainted with. And because he is a Shinigami, he doesn't age at all, no matter how many years continue to pass. He is still constantly abused by William, painfully and physically but misses the fun he usually would have when going out to reap souls. Since he no longer has those kinds of days anymore, he usually just works, having traveled all over the world reaping souls on the list. He's spent most of his time in other countries and cities around the world besides England such as Afghanistan, United States, Canada, etc. His most recent missions have been in Asia, more specifically Tokyo, Japan where there' a high causality rate of deaths and plenty of souls to reap. He does the work by slacking off as usual, getting easily bored with just regular reaping with no excitement in the mix. Though, much to his surprise, he's managed to find Sebastian in Tokyo, with whom he assumes to be another young boy he's made a contract with that requires him to eat his soul at the end of it but unfortunately it is not. It's Ciel Phantomhive, the one soul the Shinigami Library does not have stored because of the price of returning Ciel's body back to him thanks to Alois's contract with the demon Hannah. Grell may not be thrilled about the idea that the boy is still alive, jealous even, because they spent nearly a hundred years together, in hiding no less, but can't complain that he at least gets to see Sebastian again, especially now that the only way he can see him is by hanging around the grounds of the Tsukuba Academy campus.
- Grell loves handsome and attractive men which is why he's often chasing after demon Sebastian Michealis, much to his dismay. He does give other compliments to other males, young and older but he mainly tries to hang all over Sebastian.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Grell had illegally modified his death scythe to function like a chainsaw, feeling that the usual death scythe is old-fashioned. He'd ordered it special and claims it is of first-rate quality. When in use, it is shown to have the normal functions of a death scythe wielded by a Shinigami, which includes attack, defense, playing of cinematic records and soul collections. However, Grell claims that it has an additional ability to 'Play a duet within the soul's last moments'. And while it works like a chainsaw, if the rotating mechanisms within the death scythe jam, it is rendered ineffective. This is a proven fact as Sebastian Michaelis used his jacket to gain the upper hand in their first battle against one another when ordered by Ciel Phantomhive to kill 'Jack the Ripper'. Grell's also been seen using his death scythe as a form of transportation from time to time.
- Soul Collection - By using his death scythe, Grell is able to collect souls, which when done, officially ends an individual's life. The speed and efficiency in which this happens depends on the Shinigami's death scythe itself.
- Enhanced Speed & Power - Shinigami have been shown to have power comparable to demons, able to fight and defend against attacks that would easily crush and kill a human. Grell is one of many Shinigami that although strong, is only seen giving his all into a fight when his persona changes to a bloodthirsty, malicious, as well as sadistic killer. But when lax, he tends to end up being used as a shield and/or a distraction, to where he half forgets (or just prefers not to) do his job, therefore, allowing himself to be wide open for any oncoming attacks.
- Like all Shinigami, Grell is known to be an extremely tough opponent to beat, even tough to kill. He's able to endure numerous assaults that would normally kill a human. He's been kicked and punched repeatedly in the face as well as all over the rest of his body, stabbed in the forehead, hit over the head, even shot at. The only weapon that is known to be able to kill a Shinigami is a death scythe, meaning one would have to manage to take a Shinigami's death scythe from them to be able to kill them with it. However, they are not immune to human ailments such as hunger and exhaustion, for they're able to sleep without breathing.
- In Kuroshitsuji II, Grell's design is slightly altered. His vest, that was initially black, is changed to brown and his hair appears to be darker. His eyes have also been colored so that his pupils are a dark green and his irises are a light green.
- When Grell was a student, he resented being partners with William T. Spears because Grell had higher grades in technique, whereas William was an entirely average student.
- In the Durarara!! manga, a series that frequently references other anime and manga, some characters go to a manga store and Grell's image is on the elevator in one panel.
- Grell's name bears relative resemblance to Peter Sutcliffe, who was a British serial killer responsible for the death of 13 women and is dubbed "The Yorkshire Ripper".
- In Kuroshitsuji II, Grell's Death Scythe is used for transportation means.