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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 Grell Sutcliff
William T. Spears
Ronald Knox
Alan Humphries
Eric Slingby
Lawrence Anderson

A Grim Reaper (死神; Shinigami) is a neutral supernatural being, whose primary duties are to review and collect souls.


Grim Reapers must remain neutral between God and humans;[1] they are strictly forbidden from to intervening in or influencing human affairs. Grim Reapers receive a soul retrieval list of those scheduled to die from their higher-ups.[2][3] The list contains substantial information on the human, including the person's name, parents, birth date, death date, cause of death, and any additional notes.[4] Their principal job is to check each dying soul's kaleidoscope of memories—its Cinematic Record—one by one, to determine whether they deserve to die or not. For the human who receives the judgment, "this human should die," the Grim Reapers use their Death Scythes to sever his or her memories and souls from his or her bodies, resulting in the human's death.[5] Afterward, they would promptly stamp "Completed" on the individual's file on the list.[3] The human can be removed from the list only when they are judged to have been one "who has potential to be beneficial for this world"—notwithstanding, the number of humans who have that sort of value is few to none, according to William T. Spears.[3] The Grim Reapers fundamentally work to confirm that the rare possibility of a "valuable" human is not the case each time, and they must do so as indifferently and levelheadedly as they can.[3]

The community of Grim Reapers is referred to as the Grim Reaper Dispatch. The organization is divided into administrative departments or districts; each section is charged with a specific duty. The Management Division is responsible for overseeing the dispatch members, and ensuring that their conduct is proper and acceptable. They will apprehend whichever Grim Reaper that has violated their ordinances.[6] The Retrieval Division consists of members dispatched into the field to retrieve souls.[7] The Personnel Division sends out reinforcements to the field, when necessary.[8] The Administrative Division controls the use of Death Scythes; Grim Reapers must obtain permission to use their Death Scythes, and to modify them.[9]

There are different branches of the Grim Reaper Dispatch, separated by geographical regions. According to William, the London District, or English Branch, is "perpetually understaffed."[10] Occasionally, the branches cooperate by sharing information or important documents, as did the English Branch with the German Branch during the events at Wolfsschlucht.[11]

If the Grim Reapers make a mistake or break a rule during their mission, they must return to headquarters and submit a written apology and report.[12] The details of their punishment are unknown, though if the crime is severe, they may be suspended for some time.[13]

Life and Death

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

Grim Reapers typically intend to eliminate anything that gets in their way.[14] They and demons have a long-standing and mutual distaste for one another. They consider demons vulgar and a nuisance; demons disrupt their structured, meticulous work of reaping souls, due to their tendency to devour souls indiscriminately and in great quantities.[15]

Unlike demons, all Grim Reapers require sleep.[16] All Grim Reapers have chartreuse phosphorescent eyes,[17] and wear glasses because they are extremely nearsighted.[18] Grim Reapers without their glasses are normally presumed to be "deserters."[19]

If a Grim Reaper quits or retires, they would no longer have their soul retrieval list,[20] and their Death Scythe would be confiscated, unconditionally.[21]


Grim Reapers have a variety of abilities including:

  • Enhanced speed and power: Grim Reapers have the strength and agility comparable to demons, for they are able to fight and defend against attacks that would easily crush a human.
  • Enhanced endurance: Grim Reapers are extremely tough, able to endure numerous assaults that would have killed a human.[22]
  • Soul review and collection: By using their Death Scythes, Grim Reapers can review a dying soul's memories, via its Cinematic Record, and retrieve the soul, once the formal assessment is finished.

Identified Grim Reapers

English Branch

German Branch

Identified Divisions and Departments

  • Headquarters
  • Management Division
  • Retrieval Division
  • Personnel Division
  • Administrative Division

Known Rules

  • Killing those not on the list of the dead is prohibited.[6]
  • Using a Death Scythe without submitting an application for said use is prohibited.[6]
  • Interfering with life and death in the human world is prohibited.[23]


  • In the first season of the anime, Grim Reapers are not immune to human ailments, such as hunger and exhaustion. However, they are able to sleep without breathing.[24]
  • In the first season of the anime, Grim Reapers possess an unique item called the Death Bookmark, which is a very powerful bookmark, that when placed into the book, is able to stop the events of someone's Cinematic Record.[25]


  1. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 9, page 9
  2. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 26, page 30
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 35, page 16
  4. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 35, pages 11-12
  5. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 10, pages 9-10
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 12, page 11
  7. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 26, page 26
  8. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 35, page 13
  9. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 35, page 18
  10. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 26, page 26
  11. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 102, page 29
  12. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 35, page 17
  13. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 35, page 15
  14. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 26, page 33
  15. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 26, page 30
  16. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 27, page 3
  17. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 60, page 2
  18. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 61, page 2
  19. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 60, page 18
  20. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 60, page 17
  21. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 61, page 14
  22. Kuroshitsuji manga, Chapter 12, page 14
  23. Kuroshitsuji manga; Chapter 60, page 18
  24. Kuroshitsuji anime; Episode 17
  25. Kuroshitsuji anime; Episode 18


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