Sunday, September 15, 2013

Soul Eater Anime Review

Soul Eater Review

Would you like to fall into the madness?

Despite being a Shonen series, Soul Eater subverts a number of standard Shonen tropes. For a start, the protagonist is a female, every member of the seven-strong main cast gets equal screentime, and one of the main villains never even fights the main protagonist. However, none of these ever detract from the enjoyment of watching this show.

His legend began in the 12th century.
In a world where some humans can transform themselves into weapons, Lord Death (as in the actual Grim Reaper) has set up an academy in order to help train the Weapons and their wielders, known as Meisters. The Weapons feed on the souls of humans who have succumbed to madness, and are on their way to becoming the ultimate being of insanity, a creature called a Kishin. The main character, Maka Albarn, is partnered with the titular Soul "Eater" Evans, who can turn himself into a scythe.

Bromance: You're doing it right.
Joining them are Black☆Star (a fairly obvious copy of Naruto) and his partner Tsubaki, who can transform into pretty much every ninja weapon imaginable. Completing the group is Death the Kid, the son of Lord Death (and a symmetry maniac), and his partners, Liz and Patty, who turn into dual guns. There are a number of other characters, but the seven mentioned above are the core cast, and as such get the most screentime.

Don't worry Free, everyone has off days.
To be honest, there are very few characters in Soul Eater I outright disliked. The only one I couldn't stand was Black☆Star, due to his irritating, arrogant personality and awful dub voice, although he does get slightly better near the end. Despite there being so many characters, everyone gets a good amount of development, and even those who don't are so amusing that it's easy to forgive them. For example, Lord Death and Excalibur don't get much development at all, and yet they're two of my favourite characters purely because they steal every scene they're in.

Lord Death wants you!
The story itself is written well and, in a very rare occurrence, the anime adaptation is better than the manga. The story follows the manga faithfully for about two-thirds of the story, and then moves off in a new direction. As a result, the story works much better due in part to better continuity and the fact that pretty much every plot thread is tied up - something that the manga failed to do.

One of the big themes in this show is that of madness and insanity, and it's expressed well. From the main villain, to lesser bad guys, and even to some of the good guys, pretty much everyone has some madness inside them. In fact, that's one of the driving forces behind the story - that no matter how hard you try, you can never truly get rid of madness. Given that most Shonen villains tend to say how evil can never be defeated, and then they die, the fact that Soul Eater goes in a slightly different direction with the origins and motivations of the main villain is quite commendable.

Ah, perfectionists...
Musically, Soul Eater does very well. The first and second openings are both catchy, and even if you don't like them, then the openings to the repeat show are completely different, so there are four very good openings in total. The ending themes aren't quite as likeable, although the third ending is really good, both in terms of the song and the animation. The background music isn't anything special, as none of the songs never really stayed with me after watching it.

To be honest, it's quite difficult to find any major flaws with Soul Eater. There are a few minor problems, but they're never big enough to spoil the experience. If you want to see what Soul Eater is all about, then avoid the manga, and instead watch the anime. Sure, the ending may seem the slightest bit rushed, but the anime still handled it better than the manga did.

Good Things:       Multiple well-developed characters.
                             Good uses of humour.

                           Interesting theme of madness.

                             A better ending than the manga.

Bad Things:         Black☆Star - both his personality and voice.

                             Background music could be a little better.

The Verdict:

Got an idea for an anime I should review? Post your suggestion in the comments below!

ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at The alternative is his Skype account at kyleroulston1993. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. He wishes to move to Italy.

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