Friday, July 10, 2009

Soul Eater Anime

Overall Rating: A++
Summary: An action/comedy/supernatural shōnen series created by Atsushi Okubo, which follows the students of the Shinigami Weapon Meister Vocational School. The school is set in the fictional Death City, Nevada, and is run by Shinigami, the God of Death himself. The school serves as a training facility for demons who have both a human and a weapon form, and their human wielders, the meisters.

The role of the meisters and weapons is to hunt down evil humans and kill them before they can become kishin (evil demon gods). Each student and weapon pairing is trying to defeat and absorb the souls of 99 evil humans and 1 witch. Doing so will dramatically increase their power.

The series focuses on Maka Albarn and Soul, a meister/weapon pair who have collected 99 souls at the beginning of the series, and only need to defeat and absorb 1 witch before they level up. Maka is clearly the brains of the operation, and Soul is the brawn. He is too obsessed with being "cool" and attacks head on, while Maka tries to exploit her opponents' weaknesses to defeat them. The two are constantly bicker, especially when they are facing "witch", Blair. Let's just say Soul has a hard time concentrating. 

Okay, for those of you who follow Hobotaku regularly, Soul Eater should be a familiar title since I reviewed the manga back in April. I gave the manga a B+ because I wasn't too impressed with the plot, but I thought it was fun. That was before I saw the anime. I hadn't read too much of the manga (roughly one volume's worth, but I can't be sure since it hasn't been released in a single volume yet), and so I stick by my assessment of the manga at the time. However, I had heard good things about the anime, and so I decided to check it out.

Since starting to watch the anime, Alison and I watched it every chance we got, and tore through the 51 episodes we could find. It hasn't been distributed in the US yet, and so we were watching fansubs, but I intend to buy it as soon as it is released here. I will happily say I was 100% wrong about the plot. The plot is fantastic, and nuanced, particularly for a shonen series. That said, it keeps the fun/funny aspect throughout the series, which made it a lot of fun to watch. The character development was phenomenal, and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire run. Now I want more. If you have a chance to check out the anime, do yourself a favor and track it down.

As a note, the anime diverges from the manga around chapter 36 of the manga, which is approximately episode 30 of the anime. After finishing the anime, I picked up the manga again via scanlations at the point where the stories diverge, and am loving it. It goes in a completley different direction, but a lot of the same things are dealt with. Minor characters in the anime get different and more meaningful roles. So, it's official, I now think both the anime and the manga are A+, and I want to cosplay Stein as well as 2 or 3 other characters. I have also made a spreadsheet of many of my friends and who they might cosplay. That's how much I love this series.

Check it out!

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