Arthur Conan Doyle (アーサー ・ コナン ・ ドイル, Āsā Konan Doiru) is a poor oculist and struggling writer, who becomes the recorder of the uncanny events that occurred at the Phantomhive Manor in the early spring of 1889.
Arthur is a young man with brown eyes and thick eyebrows. He has short, messy brown hair with bangs that frame his face and come down between his eyes in a point. He wears a simple, dark suit, which consists of a vest; a plain, button-down shirt; and a black tie.
Arthur is a considerate, humble, and unpresuming individual who labels himself as "somewhat unfortunate yet ordinary" and describes his existence as "humdrum." He is profoundly passionate about writing, and dedicates his time to write when he is not working. However, having only managed to publish one story, he is very insecure and unconfident regarding his creative writing skills; when Ciel Phantomhive stated that his work is novel, fresh, and imaginative, he, rather self-deprecatingly, blamed his own pretentiousness for writing about something beyond his expertise. Thus, he exhibits signs of an inferiority complex, as he is prone to dismiss any compliments by putting himself down.
Moreover, Arthur is extremely knowledgeable about renowned and famous people, and is able to correctly identify several of the eminent guests at Ciel's banquet. Nevertheless, he gets easily agitated and self-conscious in their presence, and typically minimizes his own importance by sitting in solitude.
Despite his lack of self-confidence, Arthur is a very competent and responsible man, as evidenced when he was appointed leader of the investigation at Ciel's banquet and organized the alibi list. Furthermore, he is eager to learn new things, such as when he asked Lau to explain the Japanese "baritsu" Tanaka employed, while taking notes. He is also perceptive, and is quick to comprehend the particulars, such as when he realized Sebastian cannot possibly be human. Reflective and intrigued by mystery, he would invest significant time into pondering about situations that puzzle him.
Phantomhive Manor Murders Arc
In London, Arthur struggles to make a living as an oculist; when there are no patients at the door, he writes stories, but only one of them has been accepted and published thus far, and the remuneration for it is meager. He considers moving to the Scottish countryside, but in the early spring of 1889, he receives a singular invitation from Earl Ciel Phantomhive to attend his banquet.
An expensive two-horse carriage is sent to him, and during the ride, he muses that it is his first time riding in a brougham-and-pair with a coachman and comments that he is nervous. He later arrives at the Phantomhive Manor.
At the banquet, Arthur stands, isolated from the other guests, of whom he recognizes to be important, powerful individuals, which makes him wonder why he, a run-of-the-mill man, is invited. He encounters Lau and Ran-Mao, and after brief introductions, Arthur admits that he does not know why he has been invited. Lau answers that he can never fathom what the "moody earl" may be thinking, but ominously adds that something "amusing" will undoubtedly arise. Lau, then, describes Ciel as a grouchy, morose fellow, which frightens Arthur, but Ciel intervenes and properly introduces himself to Arthur.
The guest of honor, Georg von Siemens, and Charles Grey arrive. When introductions between guests commence, Arthur anxiously tries to speak up, but Grey interrupts him by happenstance and suggests that all of them toast. Disheartened and embarrassed, Arthur sits by himself. Sebastian hands him a glass of wine, and Arthur is stunned by his gracious appearance. Ciel requests to sit by Arthur, which astonishes him, and insists on calling him Professor. Ciel, then, confesses that he has enjoyed reading Arthur's work published in Beeton's, and Arthur, though surprised that someone with social standing reads such magazines, acknowledges that not many people liked his work and that he has no intention of writing another. Ciel voices his disappointment with people of the "most advanced nation in the world" failing to understand Arthur's novelty of work, and complains that those with authority are praised even if their writing may be rubbish. An intoxicated Grimsby Keane agrees with Ciel and asks about working together with him one day.
The three of them get distracted by an altercation between Georg and Irene Diaz. Ciel and Sebastian manage to quell the fight. While the guests revel in wine, Ciel and Sebastian ridicule Georg in French. Arthur overhears their conversation and impulsively laughs aloud. Ciel, then, motions to him to keep quiet about it.
In the midst of the festivities, Arthur and the other guests hear a loud scream from Georg. They rush to his bedroom; inside, they discover Georg's body. Arthur rushes to his body, and pronounces him dead after examining him.
After Baldroy and Finnian move Georg's body to the cellar, Lau points out that the storm will keep the Scotland Yard away and that they are probably trapped in the manor with the murderer. They contemplate about the details of the murder, and Lau suggests that Georg's death is a locked room murder. Arthur and Ciel, then, hypothesize that the murder most likely used a needle and thread to make that possible; Arthur remarks that that means anyone could have been the murderer. When Karl Woodley and Grimsby start fighting, Lau stops them and asks everyone for their alibis. Arthur says that he and Patrick Phelps were in the Billiard room with Grimsby, Irene, and Grey. Ciel does not have an alibi, and Lau relays his suspicions about Ciel. He, then, proposes that they confine Ciel for the time being, to ease everyone's anxiety. Arthur thinks that although Ciel is the only one who can be the murderer, given the circumstances, it is peculiar for Ciel to put himself at a disadvantage by admitting that he lacks an alibi. Lau cuts in on Arthur's rumination by nominating him to watch over Ciel. Grey tells the servants to fetch shackles to bind Arthur and Ciel together, while the other guests are escorted to their respective rooms.
The restricted Arthur and Ciel lie next to each other in a bedroom. Arthur advises Ciel to remove his eyepatch. Ciel slaps his hand away and says that he does not want to show his wound that he got when he lost his family to anyone; Arthur frantically apologizes. Ciel comments that it has been a while since he slept next to someone, and that the last time was with his parents. Arthur pats his head, but is soon mortified, and proclaims that he has ten siblings and a younger brother around Ciel's age so he acted without forethought. Ciel proposes that they sleep, and Arthur wonders if the "little boy" is really the killer. After a while, Arthur notes that he cannot sleep, and observes that Ciel is cute when asleep. Sebastian suddenly agrees, startling Arthur. Ciel sits up, saying that Sebastian is late, and Arthur is shocked that he is still awake and inquires if Ciel has heard him talking to himself. Once Sebastian hands Ciel his pillow, however, he immediately falls asleep. Sebastian then asks if Arthur believes in Ciel's innocence, and Arthur confidently asserts that he does. The butler asks that Arthur takes care of Ciel before leaving. Arthur, subsequently, contemplates about the murder case and the guests; he considers the servants the most suspicious, and conjectures that Sebastian and Mey-Rin are in love, but Ciel forbids them from getting together, and thus, Sebastian has killed Georg and attempted to pin the crime on Ciel. Arthur is dismayed, though, for speculating instead of relying on facts, and wonders why he is assuming Ciel is not the murderer from the start.
In the morning, Ciel wakes Arthur up, and tells him that something is amiss for Sebastian has not gone to wake Ciel up, although he was supposed to a long time ago.Tanaka enters, having taken over responsibility as the head butler, which confuses Ciel. Arthur and Ciel rush to the room where the other guests and servants are at already, and discover the brutal murder of Sebastian.
While Ciel suffers a breakdown, Lau notes that it must have been impossible for the confined Ciel to have committed the murder, and adds that things "just got interesting"; Arthur, who is beside him, is shocked by Lau's sinister smile. Arthur, then, realizes that although Ciel is in grief, not a tear falls from his lone eye.
Arthur studies Sebastian's body, and suggests that multiple culprits involved. Grey proposes that they move Sebastian's body to the cellar for the meanwhile and pursue the topic at breakfast, and Lau agrees; Karl comments that they are being a bit too easygoing about the entire affair.
Later, at the breakfast table, they realize that Patrick is absent. Arthur, disturbed, urges that they check up on him. They head to Ciel's bedroom, where Patrick was assigned to stay in. When they find that the door is locked, Grey swiftly cuts it down, to Arthur's alarm. They hurry inside, and discover Patrick's corpse.
Arthur assesses his body and concludes that he has been dead for a while; he finds puncture wounds on his neck, and surmises that he was injected with poison from a needle. He also locates the clock, which was broken at 2:38 AM.
Afterward, they have dessert in the drawing room, where they discuss the three murders. They soon infer that Sebastian has been killed last, and Arthur drafts an alibi list: the only one who could have killed Georg at 1:10 AM is Ciel; the only one who could have killed Patrick at 2:38 AM is Sebastian; anyone but Arthur and Ciel could have killed Sebastian at around 2:50 AM. He declares that it is impossible for a single person to commit the string of murders. When Karl goes berserk at this, Tanaka suppresses him with a move Lau recognizes as Japan's "baritsu"; amazed, Arthur asks for Lau's elaboration on it, while jotting down notes.
Ultimately, the group allows for Arthur to dictate their actions from here on out, as through deductive reasoning, he is the only one who could not have committed any of the crimes. Ciel smiles at him so innocently that it thoroughly astounds him, for despite the murders, it seems as though Ciel is merely "delighting in a game."
They decide to investigate Sebastian's body for his butler key; therefore, Arthur, Ciel, and Grey head down to the cellar, led by Baldroy and Finnian. They strip Sebastian, but there is no key. They then inspect Sebastian's room, but the key is not there as well. Shortly, Grey puts forth the idea of checking everyone's luggage, and assures that he has more public authority than the Scotland Yard, so it is fine for him to force the guests to comply.
Arthur informs the other guests that their rooms and belongings must be checked, and to his surprise, everyone gives their assent. In due course, everyone's belongings are examined, and they gather in the drawing room once again. Soon after Lau suggests the existence of a "thirteenth person," Jeremy Rathbone appears. Ciel recognizes Jeremy, introducing him as Vicar Jeremy Rathbone to the rest. Jeremy proves his innocence to the murders. Additionally, he demonstrates his splendid mental discernment, when he classifies Arthur as a writer judging by his looks and habits, and explains that observing human beings is his hobby.
Arthur, Ciel, and Grey accompany Jeremy along his investigation. While scrutinizing Georg von Siemens's corpse, Jeremy identifies that his only external trauma is the wound on his chest caused by a single stab with a sharp-edged blade. He deduces that Georg was a violent drinker because his expensive pocket watch has numerous scratches, hence indicating Georg's crude, drunk nature. He, also, perceives a strong scent of alcohol and a faint smell of the sea. He uses Arthur's handkerchief to dig into Georg's mouth; afterward, he sniffs it experimentally and returns it to a repulsed Arthur.
Next, Jeremy goes to Patrick, and inspects his peculiar neck wound. They begin to head to Ciel's room, where Patrick was murdered; however, Jeremy lags behind, presumably due to his advanced age, which snags Grey's then Ciel's attention. Jeremy apologizes, wiping his sweat with his handkerchief, and Arthur unhappily remarks that Jeremy has a handkerchief of his own all along. They enter Ciel's room where Jeremy conducts his examination. He soon affirms that there are, indeed, more than one murderer involved, and adds that it will be more difficult to catch Patrick's murderer than Georg's. He discloses that in order to catch Patrick's murderer, they must wait until nightfall and rely on Ciel's cooperation.
Afterward, Jeremy studies Sebastian's corpse. While he is busy doing so, Ciel falls against Arthur, abruptly displaying of frailty; Ciel claims that seeing Sebastian's corpse again has weakened him, and Arthur is concerned while Grey is bemused and unsympathetic, commenting that Ciel was not distressed in the slightest when he stripped Sebastian's corpse a while ago. Jeremy then declares that Sebastian was killed rather simply, and confirms that he is finished investigating. They start heading back, and Jeremy tells them to go ahead as he must oversee some preparations for that night.
For dinner, the group eats a scrumptious steak meat the Phantomhive servants have prepared. Lau presses for the truth behind the incidents, but Jeremy advises them to not be hasty. He, then, asks for Ciel to remove his clothes, much to the Ciel's dismay.
Arthur, Grey, and Jeremy sit together, while a bare Ciel is constrained to keep quiet and stay still and patient, as instructed by Jeremy, who is positive that the Patrick's killer will emerge if Ciel does as told. Jeremy times Patrick's killer's movements carefully, and at the precise moment, launches their counterattack. With Ran-Mao's and Grey's cooperation, they succeed in capturing Patrick's killer. Arthur approaches with a candle to illuminate the otherwise dark room, and is flabbergasted by what he sees.
Subsequently, they enter Karl's room, where the rest of the group have accumulated at. Grey reports that they have brought the killer along. Jeremy unveils Patrick's killer: a Black Mamba snake from Africa, trained to attack when it detects Ciel's scent—this shifts the attention to Karl specializes in African trade. When Karl argues that he has an alibi, Jeremy remarks that an alibi may not be worth much; as inferred by Jeremy, Georg was in cahoots with someone and had initially faked his death with a substance called Tetrodotoxin—if refined, he elaborates, one can achieve a state of apparent death like the character Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. He adds on that the faint scent of sea he distinguished earlier was, in fact, Tetrodotoxin, also a poison puffer fish and octopuses carry. Jeremy, then, continues delving into details: Georg, at first, was encouraged by another individual to feign his death and tossed the ampule of poison in the fire, but then, he was actually killed later by the said individual; the murderer, then, attempted to destroy the evidence, but Sebastian was already collecting the ashes by the fire, so he murdered the butler as well, recovered the evidence and returned to his room. Grey demands for the ampule of poison as proof, and Ciel suggests that it may be found in Karl's hearth. Grimsby searches the hearth and finds glass shards, which Jeremy reassembles into the ampule.
When Arthur expresses how appalled he is with Karl to want to frame a child like Ciel, Ciel points out Karl's possible motive: to protect his diamond industry, which could have suffered a huge loss had Ciel and another major company cooperated with leading technology at their fingertips; thus, Karl tried to eliminate Ciel. After Grey arrests Karl and takes him away, Finnian asks for an explanation of Irene's bottle of deep red liquid. Jeremy, then, enlightens them: the liquid contains an extract of red perilla, which has an anti-aging effect. He adds that it can also assist one to recover from fatigue; he proposes that they toast with it to celebrate the closing of the case. Ciel encourages Arthur to conduct the toast, as commendation for his distinguished service, and he does as such.
The next morning, the storm has subsided, and all the guests prepare to leave. While observing as Grey directs for Karl to board the Scotland Yard carriage, Arthur remarks to himself that there is still unease in his heart, in spite of the solving of the case. Jeremy knocks on the window to Arthur's carriage to get his attention. In French, he thanks Arthur for taking care of Ciel.
As his carriage sets off, Arthur puts together the clues and grasps who Jeremy truly is. He implores the coachman to return to the manor immediately. He runs inside, and announces that he is there to confirm the truth. He declares that Jeremy is Sebastian. While stating that they have gravely underestimated Arthur, Jeremy removes his disguise, proving that he is, in fact, Sebastian.
Arthur is in disbelief, but still wishes to learn of the truth. Ciel admits that Karl is not the culprit in this case, but he deserves to be in the Scotland Yard carriage, and proposes that they speak about the matter during elevenses. Soon after, Arthur discloses that because Sebastian and Jeremy are "too perfect," they made him incredibly uncomfortable and dubious. He says that once he pieced together the various indications, he has accepted that all their deductions would be "utterly overturned" by the one unrealistic possibility that Sebastian is alive. He says that at the instance when Georg was murdered, Sebastian did nothing but observe, and did not defend Ciel when he was under suspicion of murder. Sebastian divulges that he was aware that the next murder would dispel all suspicion from Ciel, and that they already knew one of the guests was scheming to harass Ciel at the banquet, along with Georg falling victim to that plot and Sebastian getting murdered.
Sebastian, then, explains the entire situation and reveals that Grey is the actual murderer of Georg and him. Arthur is shocked to hear that Sebastian already knew the identity of the true culprit and that, despite that, he willingly threw away his own life all because Ciel commanded him to do so. Sebastian also elaborates on how he balanced playing the roles of Jeremy and a deceased Sebastian, and how Ciel secretly cooperated with him. Ciel, then, admits that Queen Victoria had planned to kill Georg, who posed as a threat to Great Britain, all this time, and that Ciel was framed for his murder simply as punishment for how he handled the Noah's Ark Circus incident. Furthermore, Ciel justifies Karl being in the carriage on the grounds that he sold illegal weapons and was the perpetrator of the death of the president of the Roze Company.
Arthur is baffled by the magnitude of what the Queen's Watchdog does, and realizes that Sebastian cannot be human. Sebastian concedes that he is not, terrifying Arthur, and forces him to promise never to tell the truth to anyone. While darting away, Arthur is warned by Sebastian that they will always be watching him. Arthur is in a petrified daze until he reaches his residence.
Arthur urgently writes as if "possessed by something," and although he attempts many times to escape the "aforementioned story," by writing other stories, he is haunted by memories of Ciel, Sebastian, and Jeremy, and conflicting concepts such as good and evil, reason and madness, and the world of the living and the realm of the dead. He understands that there exists "something" out there that average humans can never possibly imagine. Determined to to detail of the "grisly events, which came to pass on that dark, stormy night," he recounts the events that occurred and changed his "ordinary, humdrum existence by 180 degrees." A number of years later, he finishes the "aforementioned story," just as his daughter enters his room. He decides, however, to conceal the story and bury the secrets of "that stormy night" by burning the "aforementioned story" in his fireplace.
- "Early spring, 1889—winter had not yet run its course. While living hand-to-mouth as an oculist in London, I was also a struggling writer. I say 'writer,' but I put pen to paper only when there were no patients coming through the door. And although I had contributed works any number of times, only one had as yet been accepted, the remuneration for it a mere pittance. I was plagued more than ever by thoughts of simply shuttering the practice and moving to the Scottish countryside. It was then that I received a singular invitation. Yes, that was where it all began."
- "As I mentioned before, I was but a somewhat unfortunate yet ordinary man. However, this affair that occurred at the manor house to which I was invited would come to change my ordinary, humdrum existence by 180 degrees. A number of years have passed since then . . . and finally I resolved to pick up my pen once more. Herein I shall recount . . . all I can about the incidents that I encountered at the Phantomhive Manor—the grisly events, which came to pass on that dark and stormy night—"
- (About a published story of his) "On the contrary. Because I pretentiously wrote about something outside the realm of my expertise . . . in the end, experts in those fields criticized the content as being too frivolous, the tools of their trades being used incorrectly."
- (Referring to Ciel Phantomhive) "He endured his sorrow, his small shoulders shaking with each racking sob. Yet no tears fell from his lone eye, not even at the very end. Did his pride as head of the family lead him to act that way—? Or was it that . . . his tears had dried up completely . . . ?"
- (Referring to Ciel Phantomhive) "In that manor, through the halls of which a spectre called a serial murderer was prowling, he smiled the incredibly innocent smile of a child. I know I shall never forget that smile of his for as long as I live. For like that of a little boy delighting in a game, it was cruel and beautiful, the smile of an imp descended from the Devil himself."
- "And thus dawn broke on the night of deviltry at the ghost manor . . . and each of us returned from whence we came. The sky was brilliantly clear as if the previous day and its goings-on had all been a lie. The orchestra of torrential rain played by the hands of devils had changed to the sweet chirping of little birds. However, still the tiniest sense of unease remained in my heart like a blot, a lone cloud floating in the clear sky. . . . Why is it? The case has been solved, yet . . . I feel as though my vision is being obscured . . . as though I've overlooked something major. . . ."
- (Referring to Ciel Phantomhive and Sebastian Michaelis) "Thereafter, I continued moving my pen across paper as if possessed by something, writing the 'aforementioned story' to which I thought I'd never return—and however many times I attempted to escape that 'aforementioned story' by trying my hand at writing other works, 'that protagonist' kept haunting me like a curse. On those occasions, my memories of them returned in tow—good and evil, reason and madness, the world of the living and the realm of the dead . . . they who ruled with such grace over the spaces in between. As if . . . to remind me of my vow—there certainly exists 'something' out there that goes beyond anything we can possibly imagine. But I shall conceal that 'fact' in the depths of my fireplace for as long as I live. Just as I do the secrets of that stormy night."
- According to the official Kuroshitsuji's character popularity poll, Arthur is the thirty-third most popular character in the series, with 15 votes. He shares this spot with Cheslock, who also received 15 votes.
- Arthur Conan Doyle is Kuroshitsuji's version of Sherlock Holmes' writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
- Arthur has a thirteen years old brother named Ed, who he calls a "snot-nosed brat."