Soul Eater is a well-known manga written by Atsushi Ohkubo [who was an assistant on another manga called "GetBackers"] and published in Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan magazine. There have been 21 volumes so far. There’s also an anime, released by Funimation, which consists of 51 episodes, and another manga series which runs alongside the main story, called Soul Eater Not!, which is worth investigating.
But what’s it about?
Soul Eater centres on the “Death Weapon Meister Academy” [DWMA for short]. Meisters are people who wield a weapon – a human that can also turn into a certain thing, whether it be a sword, a scythe, a hammer etc. However, whatever the ‘weapon’ transforms into, the team’s main ambition is to collect 99 tainted human souls and one witch soul, as only then can the ‘weapon’ become a perfect weapon – a “Death Scythe”, for use by the shinigami [and headmaster of the Academy], Lord Death himself! However, if they fail, they have to start all over again from the very beginning…and with witches, teachers-turned zombies and mad scientists to fight, the stakes are high!
The three main teams are:
–The serious Scythe Meister, Maka Albarn and her scythe, Soul Eater Evans. They try hard but get distracted by the witch, Blair, who wants Soul for herself! Will they beat her or will she separate this team?
–The over-confident assassin, Black Star, and his Ninja Star, Tsubaki. Black Star is somewhat prone to arrogance, and this is his biggest downfall. How can an assassin do his job if he can’t even keep his mouth shut?
–The only son of Lord Death – Death The Kid, and his twin pistols, Liz and Patty Thompson. Kid suffers from extreme OCD and is obsessed with symmetry, much to the annoyance [and amusement] of his weapons. Can Kid live up to everyone’s expectations as the Shinigami’s son?
The main threat to the meisters is the witch Medusa, set on making the shy, nervous meister Crona, wielder of the Demon Sword Ragnarok, into a Kishin, an evil demon god, by consuming innocent human souls. Crona is conflicted, but Medusa and her fellow witches are hell-bent on ‘persuading’ the young meister to pursue the path of evil while Medusa tries to release the first Kishin, Asura, from his prison beneath the DWMA, an eerie place where he was sealed by Lord Death after almost plunging the world into madness.
What’s so good about it?
Without trying to sound biased, everything. Although the style of drawing to begin with does make all the characters look about 10 years old [even the adults] it develops without you realising over the course of the story, getting a bit more stylised but a lot more awesome. Later on as well, the chapter and end-of-volume drawings get really interesting, looking a little like the style [if anyone’s seen it] in the video for the popular Vocaloid song Matryoshka.
The story is also really engaging; you really feel for the characters as they each encounter and work through their own problems. I personally felt I could sympathise with a large majority of the characters. And they’re interesting as well; each character has a super-cool outfit and their own unique personality quirks and positive and negative points. But that’s okay, because that’s how characters should be.
Anyone who watches the anime series may notice that [if they’re up to date with the manga], the story differs a fair bit after a certain point, and doesn’t even include other points [I’m not going to tell you how though because of spoilers], but this keeps the anime’s plot relevant and not random, as it would be if they’d included all the elements of the manga. After all, the anime’s 51 episodes long as it is!
But in conclusion, I really recommend this series, it’s a great manga and I’m constantly looking forward to the next chapter. In fact, that’s probably the only downside – that it’s released monthly, not weekly! But with the style that it’s got, who can complain?
I really hope that you enjoy Soul Eater if you decide to look into it.
All images belong to their rightful owner and used under fair use.