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I finally finished it!! Now I can’t say I’m eternally watching it anymore, lol. I swear, this show has been on my watch list for at least two years. And after finishing it, I came to realize that there’s something about endings that’s very tragic. Maybe that’s why I had been putting this off for so long
Anyways, I recently did a first impression on the first 37 episodes of Soul Eater so if you want to hear me ramble about my husband Stein and my new ship GiriLaw, go and have a look at that~
Now then, I hope I do this show justice. Soul Eater mainly follows seven different student characters (three teams) in a world where the paranormal like zombies, witches, transforming weapons, and sexy magic-wielding cats exist. Maka, a meister attending the DWMA (Death Weapon Meister Academy) is on the verge of making Soul, her scythe, into a Death Scythe, which will then be one of the few weapons wielded by Death, the DWMA’s headmaster and personification of death. To accomplish Death Scythe status, Meister’s must help their Weapons consume 99 souls of evil humans and 1 witch soul in that order. If there are any deviations, then all their work will become null and they must start over. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happens to Maka and Soul
Aside from these two, we also follow Death the Kid, a symmetry-obsessed soul reaper and Death’s son, who wields the twin pistols Patty and Liz, and Black Star, a loud and sure of himself Meister who wields the demon weapon Tsubaki, who can transform into a variety of ninja weapons. While most of their adventures happen on school grounds, a lot of our characters also travel outside of Death City in order to complete missions that will further strengthen their weapons, and in the case of Black Star, to become stronger than God
During their trip to Italy, Maka and Soul encounter a meister named Crona who wields the demon sword Ragnorak, however, the pair is different from your typical meister-weapon duo. It seems like Ragnorak actually inhabits Crona, something made possible by human experimentation. It’s actually here where I feel the plotline begins to unfold as many of the missions and new characters we are introduced to after this moment begin to connect to the Witch Medusa’s plans to free the Kishin sealed under the DWMA
If she were to succeed, the world would be plunged into madness and destruction
For the most part, I feel like I have nothing to complain about. I love the animation and Halloween/Tim Burton style of this series. It’s very goofy but also cool. The fights are exciting and the show really knows how to set moods (that intense music! the dynamic perspectives!). I feel like there are only a few anime where I like the theme songs enough to watch them multiple times and both openings in Soul Eater are some of my favorites. I just think they’re really catchy (especially the first).
Aside from the technical aspects, I also think a lot of the characters were fleshed out really well. While I wasn’t a huge fan of some of our later episodes of self-reflection (past the 37 mark, what can I say? I like my action), I do think they were essential for each character’s growth. For example, when we first meet Maka and Soul, they seem like a pretty badass team. Or maybe that’s just my bias towards scythes? Mmmm, no, I think it’s the characters. They work really well as a team, you can clearly see how much they trust each other, and while they may seem to be complete opposites, they are both very dedicated students with great morals. I mean, Maka technically didn’t have to go investigate the disturbance in Italy (she’d done her job already) but she felt it was her duty as a representative of the DWMA to stop Crona. Soul technically didn’t need to put his life on the line for Maka but he felt so strongly about their bond that he never hesitated to save her (p.s. Karandi wrote this great post on Maka you all should read)
Out of all the meister-weapon teams in this series, I felt like Maka and Soul were developed the most.
After them, I would argue Black Star. Towards the end of the series, he did have a few episodes dedicated to explaining his path of wanting to surpass God. Unfortunately, while he felt developed enough, Tsubaki felt lacking (also can we all agree she’s #bestwaifu? and Black Star obviously can’t appreciate it. GIVE HER TO ME). It was clear that Tsubaki really cared about Black Star and her friends but in comparison to Maka, Tsubaki just went along with things. I didn’t really know what her goals and dreams were (maybe to just help Black Star reach his?)
I guess in a way, Maka and Tsubaki are two very contrasting portrayals of women (just don’t get on her bad side, she will END you)
The last “pair” was Death the Kid, Patty, and Liz. I’m just going to say I love them, they’re hilarious, and they are strong, but why exactly are they at the DWMA? I think for most of the show, the main purpose of Death the Kid was as an errand boy for his dad. It made for some really cool and hilarious fights but as really fleshed out characters, they were lacking.
Jumping to our antagonists, I just have to say Medusa is great. Yes, I wanted to wring her neck every time she got too close to my husband but this woman is DEVIOUS. I just really loved her ruthlessness. She was always steps ahead of everyone! Even our later antagonists, which I honestly wasn’t a huge fan of. Maybe it’s because I’m attracted to cunning and intelligent characters more, but Arachnaphobe and co just didn’t cut it for me
But I do indeed have a soft spot for Giriko, if only because of my ship, lol! Plus, he was cute in a rugged sort of way. He’s like my secret side boo (don’t tell Stein!)
Now, I did mention in my first impression that it took me eons to really get back into Soul Eater once I hit the 30s and this is where most of my complaints about the show come in. Looking at it as a whole, I think it works because it had a problem (Kishin on the loose) and it solved the problem (end battle), but I think it dragged. The show really starts to lose momentum in the latter half and while there was nothing I could directly point at and say that’s filler!, many episodes did feel like they contained a lot of fluff
Aside from momentum, we are also introduced to so many more characters that never really went anywhere. At the DWMA, to try and stop this crisis with the Kishin, as many Death Weapons as possible were contacted around the world and asked to help with the Kishin issue. Three of them end up responding and help out.
I actually really liked them…well, maybe I was keeping extra tabs on Marie but that’s because she started living with my husband. Justin is the other half of my ship so of course, I adored him! And Azusa was also great. Actually, I spent the whole show wondering what her weapon form was and after looking it up I facepalmed so hard. GOD, I can be so dumb sometimes!
Aside from “faculty”, we also got a few “new” meister-weapon duos taking center stage for like 3 episodes. I thought the kid with the metal gloves was so cool! But alas, they served their purpose on a mission and they were hardly ever seen again. Such are the lives of minor characters.
Overall, I am glad I picked up this show and finished it. I will say it’s a good watch and that I recommend it, but I’ll also say to binge it as much as possible, especially once you get to the second half of the show. I think a lot of this show’s strengths lie in the technical aspects and in our main main characters Maka and Soul (and Crona too, I thought they were great!). Although if you like humor, you might be able to stomach this one better than me. While I did think it had some hilarious moments (Spirit, oh my), I also felt like the show was pushing it sometimes. I’ll just say Excalibur and maybe bloomers (I was dying the first time, the third was a chuckle). If I had to Anilist rate this, it would get a smiley. If I had to give this a number I’d say 3.375921 out of 5 or 7/10. I think if I had enjoyed this more I would have without a doubt given it a 4/5 but there was something missing for me. Maybe it’s because I watched this as an adult
As for the frustration, I’m feeling right now, it has to do with the fact I looked up Soul Eater on Google images (actually I was searching for GiriLaw BUT…nobody needs to know) and saw that the manga is completely different after…I don’t know when but it’s different *SCREAMS*. It looks like it’s less padded and progresses even further than the anime (who wants to know if and how Soul became a Death Weapon?) and the plot seems more complex. I didn’t want to spoil myself so I didn’t read too much but I see future shipping material (¯﹃¯*)
But I’m curious, is there someone who hasn’t watched this yet? Why not? And if you have watched it, what did you think? Also, have you read the manga? Is it better? It’s totally better isn’t it? Nnghrggh I wanna go read it NOW.