Tanaka (田中, Tanaka) is the house steward, an old family friend, and a loyal assistant of the Phantomhive household.
Tanaka is an elderly man with grey hair and a mustache. He wears a monocle, a sophisticated suit, white gloves, and is almost always holding a cup of tea. His body dimensions are generally portrayed shorter and smaller than they are in actuality. In dire or critical situations, he is depicted in his full height.
Tanaka is an intelligent, knowledgeable, and capable person. As a former butler of the Phantomhive household, he had served under Vincent Phantomhive, but he was injured in the past and presently does little work. He usually spends most of his time running around with Baldroy, Finnian, and Mey-Rin. Nevertheless, he is highly respected by others, such as Sebastian Michaelis and Francis Midford; in fact, the latter of which had once encouraged Sebastian and Ciel Phantomhive to take a lesson from Tanaka regarding their appearances. In addition, he is kind and loyal to Ciel, his guests, and the other servants. Although he typically goes along with the others' plans, he wields great authority himself, and he is the figurehead and executive director of the Funtom Company. Despite his age, he remains strong, as shown when he effortlessly subdued a man who attempted to harm Ciel.
In grave times when he is needed to temporarily assume the position of a butler once again, Tanaka performs his duties promptly and proficiently. He has a wealth of experience at his disposal. He is calm and stern, and he will admonish Ciel if he finds that Ciel is displaying weakness as the head of the Phantomhive family. He often puts Ciel's health and well-being as his premier concern.
He was treated at the Royal Hospital where Angelina Dalles worked. Ciel and Sebastian went to him, and Tanaka was amazed that Ciel was still alive. He then gave Sebastian his pocket watch, which he said has been passed down from one Phantomhive butler to the next.
- (To Ciel Phantomhive) "The head of the Phantomhive house should not be shaken by something as trivial as the death of a servant. I never once saw the Master lose his composure due to such trifles."
- (To Karl Woodley) "If someone means any harm against the Young Master in this mansion, no matter who they are, these servants will have no mercy on them."
- (To Sebastian Michaelis) "The Phantomhive family butler is not allowed to breathe his last breath before his master."
- (To Snake) "Worrying about your master isn't a butler's only duty. As a butler . . . you have to make sure your master returns to a perfect situation."
- (To Sebastian Michaelis, about Ciel Phantomhive) "Rest is best for wounds of the heart. The Young Master must be in turmoil. At times like these we should not lose our heads or rush things. We need to watch over him."
- (To Finnian, as he tells him to escape with Sieglinde) "Finny, go ahead. Let this old man take care of her. We will carry out any order our master gives us. That is the policy... of the Phantomhive servants!"
- According to the official Kuroshitsuji's character popularity poll, Tanaka is the twelfth most popular character in the manga, with 156 votes.
- There is a running gag in the anime that Tanaka only has a certain amount of time in his "regular style" before he returns to his smaller size. When he returns to his smaller version, there tends to be a lot of steam, like air coming out of a balloon. Then, a character, frequently Finnian or Mey-Rin, will exclaim that his "time" ran out. 
- His name, Tanaka, is Japanese and means "(dweller in the) middle of rice fields."
- The "baritsu" Tanaka displays when he protects Ciel from Karl Woodley may be a reference to the form of martial arts popularized by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in The Return of Sherlock Holmes. It is, additionally, a certain misspelling of bartitsu, which existed in Great Britain around the time Doyle's works were being written. Tanaka in recent chapters is shown to be skilled in using a katana.
- In early drafts, Tanaka had visibly thicker hair.
|Ciel Phantomhive · Vincent Phantomhive · Rachel Phantomhive · Sebastian Michaelis · Tanaka · Baldroy · Mey-Rin · Finnian · Pluto · Snake|