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Grim Reaper

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Grim Reaper
RankandFile Shinigami
Kanji 死神
Romaji Shinigami
Additional Information
Primary Power Soul collection
Notable Members Undertaker
Grell Sutcliff
William T. Spears
Ronald Knox
Alan Humphries
Eric Slingby

A Grim Reaper (死神; Shinigami) is a neutral supernatural being who reviews lists of individuals about to die and collects requested souls.


The Grim Reaper Dispatch Society handles the dispatch of Grim Reapers for reviewing and reaping souls. Grim Reapers review souls based on lists given to them by other departments. It is understood that these lists are given out well before the individuals actually die, having some ability to foresee the future.[1] They are not permitted to kill people not on these death lists, which are also called soul collection lists.[2]

Grim Reapers seem to be allocated to various locations based on an unseen, but frequently referenced, Personnel Department. It is their job to review areas where people are dying and review their lives, which they have a variety of information on, including the person's name, parents, cause of death, and any further notes.[3]

Life and Death

The Cinematic Record of a human, from beginning to end.

It is their job to remain neutral and emotionless, only intending to judge and collect souls.[4] It is understood that most dying humans reviewed are allowed to die, unless their existence is "beneficial to the world," which rarely happens. Grim Reapers seem to always be on the side of letting someone die, rather than letting them continue to live.[4] When they finish a mission, Grim Reapers have to fill out a reflection letter and report, which is sent to the Main Branch.[5] Those who break the rules while on a mission undergo a punishment, although what details of the punishment are unknown,[6] Grell has implies that it at least involves a potential demotion and possible confiscation of the individual's Death Scythe.[7]

Grim Reapers also seem to have a long-standing hatred of demons, which is illustrated through William T. Spears' interactions with Sebastian Michaelis.[8] Grell sums this up by saying, "If the job of a Grim Reapers is to recover the souls of the dead, then demons can be likened to pests that snatch these souls away just for the sake of devouring them."[9]


Grim Reapers have a variety of abilities including:

  • Enhanced speed and power: Grim Reapers have been shown to have power comparable to demons, able to fight and defend against attacks that would easily crush a human.
  • Enhanced endurance: Grim Reapers are also known to be extremely tough, able to endure numerous assaults that would beat a human to death,[10] making the Death Scythe the only currently known object that can kill a Grim Reapers.
  • Soul collection: By using their Death Scythes, Grim Reapers collect souls, which when done, officially ends an individual's life. The speed and efficiency with which this happens depends on the individual Grim Reaper's Death Scythe.
  • Cinematic Record: When cut with a Death Scythe, a brief movie plays, revealing information about the individual and his or her life. This is used to decide if the person should die or continue living.
    Refer to a detailed elaboration of a Cinematic Record below.
  • Animal communication: William has passed on information through birds to communicate with Grim Reapers elsewhere.[11]
  • Rewriting the present: Those of management level can use two items to rewrite part of someone's Cinematic Record as it is going on. By using the Death Bookmark, they can stop the story from continuing to write. With a special pen, they can write in the next few lines, but cannot radically change events.[12]

Cinematic Record

Main article: Cinematic Record

A Cinematic Record occurs when a Grim Reaper cuts an individual with his or her Death Scythe, allowing the Grim Reaper to see a recollection of the person's life from the time they were born to the time they died.[13]

Death Bookmark

The Death Bookmark is a very powerful Grim Reaper bookmark that is able to stop the events of someone's Cinematic Records from continuing further when placed into the book.[12]

Death Scythe

Main article: Death Scythe

A Death Scythe is the weapon used by Grim Reapers and serves a dual-purpose of reviewing and collecting souls.

Identified Grim Reapers

Identified Divisions and Departments

Known Rules

  • Modifying one's Death Scythe without permission is forbidden.[citation needed]
  • Killing people not on the death or soul collection list is forbidden.[citation needed]
  • Coming to the human world to meddle with life or death matters is forbidden.[15]
  • Grim Reapers must never remove their glasses as it is a part of their uniforms.[citation needed]
  • Grim Reapers must take care of their Death Scythes.
  • Giving any information about the deceased concerning their death (their murderer, circumstances, cause of death, etc.) to humans is forbidden.[citation needed]


  • Grim Reapers without glasses are usually assumed as "deserters".[15]
  • When a Grim Reaper retires, their Death Scythe is to be collected and confiscated.[16]
  • It is revealed by Undertaker that all Grim Reapers are severely nearsighted.[17]
  • As of yet, there are no known female Grim Reaper, but Ronald occasionally mentions female staff members that he seems to rely on for occasional things.[citation needed]
  • Unlike demons, Grim Reapers require sleep. William mentions that it is a burden to have to do so.[18]
  • In the anime, Grim Reapers are shown to not be immune to human ailments such as hunger and exhaustion. However, they are able to sleep without breathing.[19]
  • All Grim Reapers have a phosphorescent glow of chartreuse eyes.[20]


  1. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 26, page 30
  2. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 12, page 21
  3. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 35, page 11
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 35, page 16
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 12, page 22
  6. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 26, page 27
  7. Kuroshitsuji anime, Episode 11
  8. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 26, pages 27-30
  9. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 11, page 26
  10. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 12, page 14
  11. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 30, page 27
  12. 12.0 12.1 Kuroshitsuji anime, Episode 18
  13. Kuroshitsuji anime, Episode 17
  14. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 53, page 11
  15. 15.0 15.1 Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 60, page 20
  16. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 61, page 14
  17. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 61, page 3
  18. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 27, page 3
  19. Kuroshitsuji anime, Episode 17
  20. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 60, pages 78-79


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