For just a mere $30 drop, the famous shonen anime Soul Eater has been a daily treat of mine now for the past couple of weeks. Notable for its perfect blend of action, comedy, and awesome characters, this show is responsible for pulling in many anime fans here in the U.S. But does the title live up to its grandiose reputation? I Takuto, your host here at the café, shall present my thoughts to you in a slice of colorful cake.
Everyone has a soul. In the world surrounding Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA), administrated by Lord Death himself, there exist evil humans and monsters known as Kishins, beings that have turn into evil demons by consuming an incredible amount of pure souls. To fight of these Kishins, warriors called Meisters team up with Weapons, people that can transform into various blades or arms.
Once a Weapon has collected 99 evil human souls and 1 witch soul, the Meister’s weapon will advance to a Death Scythe, recognizing you as one of Lord Death’s finest weapons. Not that this concept matters anyway.
Soul Eater follows Maka and Soul, Black Star and Tsubaki, and Death the Kid with Liz and Patty Thompson. While their goal is to gather souls for Death, they have the chief mission of defending Death City and the DWMA from all kinds of wickedly powerful creatures. When they are not on the front lines, however, they attend school and train to become the best!
As the anime introduces its main cast one by one, this seemingly honest idea of leveling up deviates towards a complex and deeper plot. What starts off as a repetition of kids going to school quickly erodes into a story of madness. Along the way, Soul Eater pressures our heroes into crazy situations that, though obviously not comfortable for them, are extremely enjoyable for us as viewers. Simple values like friendship, bravery, and humanity are also used as mediums for character development, but they can be a bit overbearing at times, especially the way the show cradles some characters.
Maka is studious, short-tempered, and is always thinking of others, but above all, she is determined. Her Weapon, Soul, might just look like a cool guy, but he would actually risk life and limb to protect Maka. Despite the bickering here and there, Maka and Soul’s platonic bond matures into one of the most reliable ones in the series. It was a sheer joy to hear Laura Bailey as Maka, considering that the last I had heard from her was as Ayaka and Evangeline in Negima!?, and Micah Solusod was great as always!
Black*Star is brash, loud, enthusiastic, but more than anything annoying! Wanting to surpass God in terms of power, he provides the comic relief in the show with his ridiculous stunts. He’s also a fail assassin, shouting his name to all to hear when he enters the scene. Following loyally behind him is Tsubaki, his kind Weapon who is willing to help however she can.
Death the Kid, the son of Lord Death, is calm, smart, and . . . . has an extreme OCD case where symmetry is everything? Yes – He is so obsessed with perfect symmetry that he is willing to stop and marvel at a giant mummy monster just because the sarcophagus is equal in all proportions. If it weren’t for Liz and Patty, playful twin sisters, to comfort him, then Kid would never stay focused. Todd Haberkorn plays Kid brilliantly!
Other than the cruel witch Medusa (never heard that side of Luci Christian before – its freakin’ awesome!), the underlying antagonist that is frankly a genius in every way possible, the rest of the cast, to me, is meh. I mean, Lord Death’s cheery nature and Arachne’s evil blemishes, though she did nothing, are both definitely cool, but everyone else was either decent or really annoying – specifically Crona, Sid, and Mosquito.
Then there’s Excalibur . . .
Nevertheless the likability overpowers and all of the characters are memorable. They each stand out at least a couple times to give you room to judge. Soul Eater functions best when it showcases one character at a time.
Studio Bones delivers a bright tone in a rather dark show, which is a hard thing to get right, but they nail it for sure! When scenes are meant to be light-hearted, bold colors on characters and backgrounds jump out. In contrast, the eerie, haunting parts –with a touch of Halloween – feel ominous. Praise to Eruka and Free’s encounter with the First Kishin – my heart literally jumped out of my rib cage; seriously terrifying!
The use of various angles, smooth animation, and unique moves makes for some of the most interesting action I’ve ever seen, and they’re fantastic! Never once do the fight scenes ever seem pointless or unnecessary. It helps that all of the characters support expressive faces to match the mood. However cartoonish and basic the animation seemed, it was executed with pure entertainment in mind.
Aside from the great English dub performance, sound remains nothing special. There are no memorable tracks other than “Psychedelic SoulJam,” but there are a couple new ones added for the “epic” final fights.
The first opening “Resonance” by T.M.Revolution fits the first half of the show perfectly with its spooky tune. Meanwhile, the second opening “PAPERMOON” by Tommy heavenly6 beautifully exemplifies the second half. Both are super catchy, and my favorite ending of 4, #3 “Bakusou Yumeuta” by Diggy-MO’ raps out the quirky character styles!
Soul Eater does not have any filler (
besides Excalibur. . .), but can be rather slow at times. Dangerous situations are drawn out, specifically that whole Arachnophobia vs the DWMA clash. Crona and Franken Stein dilemmas were especially a drag, considering the fact that I could have been watching more Kid and Soul kicking ass! Also, considering its 51-episode length, it’s a bit of a struggle to the end.
Other than that, Soul Eater is plain fun, offering great action, heartwarming themes, memorable characters, ano stupid comedy – DO NOT try to take this show seriously. Once the secrets of the Kishin are let loose in the first half, however, there is an extreme drop in interest towards the end. As such, this anime is not perfect because of the great distinction between the first and second arcs, and some of the characters can be extremely annoying. But it manages to stay consistent with one goal in mind, and that is one of the strongest points to the show; the end was pretty fair if ya ask me. Though it wasn’t the “best anime ever,” I still had a great time watching this it, and I thank those who recommended it to me!
“People need fear to survive. We experience it so we can grow stronger.” – Maka Albarn
FOOLS! Go watch Soul Eater if you haven’t already – it’s a classic in the shonen genre for a reason! Leave a comment below if you had similar thoughts towards this crazy show! I welcome all newcomers to the café and extend my thanks towards my followers 😀 Hit the like if you enjoyed my review and until next time, this has been
– Takuto, your host