English: Soul Eater
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 7, 2008 to Mar 30, 2009
Premiered: Spring 2008
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.121 (scored by 253,461 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
After watching some of the first episode you'll think Soul Eater will have your typical Shonen story. Basically, human weapons and their student technicians reside in Shibusen and have to collect 99 evil human souls and 1 witch soul, the reward being that the technician's weapon will transform into a Death Scythe.
It seems pretty formulaic, nothing you haven't seen before. The way the first few episodes pan out will make this seem like the main goal, but soon after you'll realise there is actually a deeper story developing. This story isn't something complex or too clever, but events that happen during the story makes Soul Eater watchable and interesting, the action is ever present, it always keeps humour in mind, but can be serious and emotional when it needs to be. Eventually you will forget what the main characters were initially trying to acheive because the story drags it in such a different direction. The problem is that the story isn't anything memorable. At points you might watch and forget the reason why they are doing something. That is the anime's weak point
This is what Soul Eater will be remembered for. Its colourful cast of characters.
Maka, our main character and a technician, despite being flawed she is always looking to do the right thing, always thinking of others, easily annoyed and determined. She grew on me as I realised she is probably the most human of all the characters. Soul, Maka's weapon. Just your typical cool guy? No. He is much deeper than he looks. Despite what he says he is only concerned about one thing: To protect Maka.
Black*Star is Energetic, rash, loud, bashful and his one goal in life is to become bigger than God. He can provide you with comic relief and become involved in intense battles yet shows his human side often, his weapon Tsubaki is always willing to help him whenever she can.
Death the Kid seems like some 'Mr Perfect' character. And he can be, but also has his flaws, most notable his obssessive compulsive disorder about symmetry. Anything slightly out of alignment will either cause him to fix the problem immediately or spiral into goth style depression. His weapons Patty and Liz are usually around to comfort him when he goes crazy or gets depressed.
The supporting cast are memorable as well. The grim reaper is always cheerful and relaxed; Spirit (Maka's father) is desperate for Maka's attention, even though she doesn't enjoy his company much; Blair is your typical fanservice character; Professor Stein is strong and clever yet deeply maniacal; Crona is shy and fearful, but powerful; Medusa, the main antagonist is pure genious; Mifune is an action and Samurai fan's dream character and plenty more who you'll come across.
Most characters will stand out at least once giving you reasons to like or dislike them. Characters are a strong point in this anime.
::ANIMATION & ART::
The good thing about this anime is that nobody looks ordinary or familiar, you'll notice every character has a certain design, from Soul's sharp teeth and Maka's plain green eyes to Kid's strange hairstyle and Liz & Patty's odd hats, all characters are uniquely styled.
All scenes are quite detailed, the atmosphere is usually dark but manages to look bright at the same time (a rare sight in anime). If its what the background artists were going for, I think they nailed it. Shortcuts are rare which is good, you can see that episodes weren't rushed. The art stays consistent (unlike Naruto) and the quality remains the same throughout.
The action is fluid, creative and non-standard (unlike Bleach) fight scenes aren't just repetitive movements shown at different angles, or just sword bashing and gun blasting. It manages to keep fight scenes interesting. Another strong point is action, which never fails.
At first you will be introduced to 'Resonance'. A memorable opening track that fits very well to the series. This would be among the best if it wasn't for 'PAPERMOON' the 2nd opening which is even better than Resonance. I'm yet to come across anyone who thinks otherwise. This opening is epic. All ending themes are decent. Some are generic, the best being the current ending 'STRENGTH' and the 2nd ending 'Style' which stands out more than the 1st ending 'I wanna be' and 'Bakusō Yume Uta' which you will not remember at all.
Audio is decent, but there aren't any special moments or tracks that will hype you up or give you that tingly feeling inside when coupled with a good action scene. Songs aren't memorable like something Bruce Faulconer could cook up but do fit well with most happenings.
Soul Eater is an anime that manages to keep consistency throughout. It's lack of fillers (with the exception of the excalibur episodes which will drive you nuts) is enough for action fans to watch without worry, seriously 98% of the episodes are significant to the story (unlike Bleach which has whole filler arcs. 20+ FILLERS IN ONE GO!!!).
I find this more enjoyable to watch than Naruto or One Piece (which are heavily overrated). Mainly because the anime has a point and sticks to it. The Medusa Arc is to stop Medusa reviving the Demon God. The Arachnophobia Arc is to stop Arachne to allow the Demon God to spread madness over the world.
People complain about lack of originality but I am yet to find an anime that is truly similar. Shinigami's have been used before, but Shinigami literally translates to The Death God or The Grim Reaper, who in this case rules Shibusen and his son. Due to the halloween theme of Soul Eater I find the Grim Reaper necessary and is in no way similar to Ryuk of Death Note or characters like Rukia of Bleach. Let's get this straight their only link they have is the word 'Shinigami'
And finally Soul Eater is a must watch for any Shonen (Action, Comedy) fan. It has already been licensed by FUNimation which means a dub is coming soon and I believe Soul Eater will become another one of those famous anime shows. The only difference is it is actually has consistent entertainment value. show less read more
To do this, one student must become a living weapon, and their chosen partner must wield them against creepy, devious witches who hide in the shadows and... Do stuff, like transforming into all manners of creepy creatures! Once each team has devoured the souls of 99 corrupted humans and one witch, they will be advanced to the status of Death Scythe, the preferred weapons of Grim Reapers everywhere. But one witch has decided to take matters into her own hands... She plans to awaken an ancient, sleeping demon that will drive the entire world past the brink of insanity! Can Meister Maka, her weapon Soul, and their friends stop this plan before it’s too late, or will the world lose itself to the clutches of chaos?
The animation studio behind this heaping helping of Halloween was Studio Bones, the studio that gained fame from Fullmetal Alchemist and Wolf’s Rain. Like the majority of their projects, Soul Eater has solid, kinetic animation... About half the time. The animation is never quite as smooth or expensive as it is in the first season opening, but it is more or less solid for the most part. There are a few embarrassing moments, such as where characters look like their walk cycles were just copied and pasted onto the environment, but thankfully, they’re few and far between. What’s NOT few and far between are the still shots. There are several occurrences where a character is talking, but the camera is focused on the environment, other character’s faces, or just the eyes of the speaker, leaving the lip flaps off screen.
There are a lot of action and fighting scenes throughout this series, and the fact that most of the budget is saved for those scenes is a life saver in the long run. The editing and angles can be a bit too amateurish and generic for their own good at times, and there are way too many close-ups of characters’ faces, but it works over-all. The character designs are it’s best visual aspect by far, although the highly detailed backgrounds are also noteworthy. There was so much inspiration and creativity in the aesthetic of this series that even the Grim Reaper is like no other reaper you’ve ever seen before.
Aside from a couple of female background characters who are retroactively given names and identities in the later episodes, every single named character is given a unique and unforgettable look that goes beyond just their hairstyles and fashions. Some of them are grounded, some of them are insane, and you can tell instantly which witches are based on which animals. If you haven’t seen the anthropomorphic version of the legendary sword Excalibur... Think Puttin’ On the Ritz from AMV Hell 5... You would never guess what he looks like or acts like in this series, as he has one of the most insane gimmicks in a series full of insane gimmicks.
The music... I think existed? Well, that’s not fair. The music is decent in this series, but for the most part, it does it’s job in the background, rarely ever calling attention to itself... Which is good because trust me, a lot of it’s tracks are reused over and over again through the series. Besides, who cares about the score when you’ve got such amazing opening and closing songs? The first opening is called Soul Resonance by TM Revolution, and it’s the kind of high energy, intense tunes that grabs you the first time you hear it and demands you come back for more, and the animation in the video more than keeps up with it. The second opening is a bit more generic, but it’s serviceable enough. There are four closing themes, and while the first one (I Wanna Be) is probably the best, I still personally prefer the much more mellow second one, Style, as it offers the coll-down that I felt each episode needed. Your opinion on this may differ, which is fine... They’re all great closings, in their own ways.
The English dub was of course a Funimation effort... They’ve been getting dangerously close to Disney levels of ubiquity at this point... And while I’ve heard some people call it average, I think it’s great. I can normally call out a star performer in any dub I review, but in Soul Eater’s case, there are just too many to pick from. Luci Christian rarely ever plays a villain... Elfen Lied being one of the few examples... But she plays the role of Medusa, school nurse/evil mastermind, and she clearly enjoyed every second of it. She sounds downright diabolical and as slithery as the snake she’s based on, even when she exploits her cutesier voices to mock or manipulate people. Troy Baker is unrecognizable as the pretentious nuisance Excalibur, and Vic Mignona excels in the role of an overly-enthusiastic dad who wants nothing more than the forgiveness of his estranged daughter.
Todd Haberkorn brings out both the strength and neurotic tendencies of Lord Death’s son Death the Kid in the ways that only he ever could, Chuck Huber handles Dr. Stein’s insanity brilliantly, and Maxey Whitehead fully embodies the androgynous Crona through all of his/her psychotic, awkward nuances. Brittany Karbowski starts off a little roughly as Blackstar, the hyperactive ninja who makes Naruto look stealthy, and it can be a little difficult to take her seriously in the early episodes, but she hits her groove hard and fast. Laura Bailey and relative newcomer Micah Solusod play the main partnership of Maka and Soul as likeably as they can, although for the majority of the series, their jobs aren’t really as demanding as everyone elses. Pretty much every Funimation actor that was around in the late 2000s is in this at some point, and everyone’s at least on point.
So after speaking so highly of the sound, acting and production values, you’re probably expecting me to remain positive for the rest of the review. you’re expecting me to keep rambling on about how awesome the series is, how well written it is, and how much I love it. Well, much like this series did to me, I’m afraid I’m going to have to disappoint you. The truth is, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered this large of a disparity between writing quality and popularity... Well, not in the anime medium, at any rate. I can think of at least one web cartoon that’s far more popular, despite being even worse.
To begin, let’s take a look at the main characters. One of the easiest ways to pinpoint bad writing is to notice that a character who you’re constantly being told is smarter than the rest of the cast shows no actual signs of enhanced intelligence to back up that claim. In Death Note, we were given no explanation of Light Yagami’s study habits or scholastic strengths, but at least we knew he was good at strategy and manipulating people. In No Game No Life, the two stars made it very clear which of them was skilled in which areas, and we saw their talents unfold during some of the game sequences. In Soul Eater, there is no evidence whatsoever to support Maka being the top student at the Academy. She never uses her intellect during battle, and the only test question we see her answer is the show’s line about sound minds and bodies. The only brainy thing she ever does is dump exposition on the viewer.
All of her accomplishments are due to her bond with Soul, rushing into situations courageously, and coming up with new attacks. We never see her outwit or outsmart anybody... She just resolves conflicts through the application of virtues such as bravery and friendship. But hey, that’s no big deal as long as the title character is interesting, right? Well, sorry, he’s not. Soul Eater, and yes that’s his alarmingly prophetic name, is a laid back cool guy who likes playing the piano... And that’s pretty much it. I learned more about him from a single paragraph on Wikipedia than I did from a 51 episode series that’s specifically named after him. You never learn his name, his backstory, or why he wants to become a Death Scythe in the first place.
And that just brings up another problem I had with this series. We know what happens when a partnership achieves their goal of eating 99 corrupted... Or, “Keishan” souls, and one witch soul... The weapon becomes a Death Scythe. But what happens to the Meister? What do they get out of it? The only Meister in the series whom we know for sure was able to accomplish this was Maka’s mother, and she’s off on a trip for the entire show. We know that pursuing this goal benefits the weapons, but we know nothing about what the Meisters get out of it. And what’s really messed up about this is that in each of the three main partnerships in the cast... Maka and soul, Blackstar and Tsubaki, Death the Kid and the Thompson sisters... The Meister side is the more interesting side. It’s the Meister that’s driven to succeed, and it’s the weapon that’s there to support them and guide them to their dreams, and the Meister’s have much clearer motives than the weapons, so shouldn’t it be the Meisters who stand to accomplish something?
There are a lot of people out there who say Soul Eater would have been great if it wasn’t for the ending, which strayed from the plot of the manga. Well, I’ve never read the manga, and I don’t intend to until after this review is done, because no adaptation should ever require a knowledge of the original material in order to work. In my opinion, the worst thing about this show isn’t the ending, it’s the beginning. As many viewers have pointed out, the plot that this anime starts with is not the same as the plot it picks up towards the end. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing... Plot evolution can be handled well, just like it was in Toradora. But the plot has to actually evolve. The first plot must in some way become the second plot, otherwise it will feel like a waste of time. Which is exactly what it feels like here.
Only in Soul Eater, it’s not just a waste of time. It’s far worse than that. Throughout the first several episodes of the series, we’re given boatloads of exposition about how the Death Scythe system works, what it’s rules are, and why it’s important. That exposition is handled about as well as it was in The Last Airbender. Another obvious sign of bad writing is when one character explains something to another character for the sake of the audience, but since both characters already know everything, the explanation is opened with the phrase “As you know...” And it gets worse than that, as the rules for having the souls you’ve collected revoked(Ripped from your stomach?) sound arbitrary and downright draconian. And to make matters worse, the change in plot leave tons of questions unanswered, the worst of which I’ve already gone into.
And the exposition gets even worse as the series continues. In the second half, there’s an arc where the DWMA sends it’s students and teachers to a snowy location called the Lost Island. no, not that Lost Island. Not only is this expedition not foreshadowed or brought up in any way before we’re dropped right into it, but the pre-op portion of it’s first episode consists of Lord Death telling us... Yes, telling us, talking directly to the audience, as though the fourth wall never existed... about why they’re going there and what they’re expecting to find. That should not happen. It should be set up in the dialogue, and it should occur seamlessly. Hell, even showing Maka and Soul in their dorm preparing for and discussing the mission would have felt less jarring, and it probably would have taken up just as much time. The world-building is so bad that I have no idea where Death City is located, and how it’s bizarre logic exists in a world whose locations so clearly mirror our own.
And as for all the people saying the ending was the worst part of the series? I honestly thought the final quarter was the best one. Yeah, okay, the final battle was really weak, anti-climactic and full of deus ex machina BS, but it was the only stretch of episodes that felt like one smooth, connected story that didn’t veer off into filler episodes or unnecessarily complicated plot annexes... Well, for the most part. This part of the story does waste a disproportionate amount of time on a “Let’s collect magical artifacts and expose the DWMA’s dark secret” sub-plot, which is paid off in the stupidest way imaginable. I halfway want to just spoil it, because if I were to describe what that sub-plot and all the characters it introduced was leading to, you’d probably think I was exaggerating. Spoiler alert: The school turns into a giant mech and tries to swat a giant robot spider. See? Unless you’ve seen it, you don’t believe me! And all this time, we’re constantly told that the awakened demon is causing outbreaks of insanity around the world, but we never actually see this happening!
The reason I love that section of the story above the others is because it advances the two plot elements that feel the strongest. The first one is the friendship between the seven main characters. The writers of this anime understood humans and emotions far more than they understood basic storytelling, and the relationship between the primary weapons and meisters are proof of that. When they’re hanging out together, it feels like a comfortable party that you’ve been invited to. When they’re fighting as a unit, their strengths and weaknesses complement each other perfectly. When they’re fighting among themselves, it feels tense, like there’s genuinely something at stake if they should go too far and disband. Every interaction, from the bond between the Thompson sisters to Blackstar’s complex of inferiority to Death the Kid and Maka, is executed well. Even Maka's issues with her cheating father are dealt with maturely.
And the other element revolves around someone whom I consider to be the best character in the series, and it’s saving grace in a lot of respects: The snake witch, Medusa Gorgon. My god is she an amazing villain. Her motivation is basically evil for the sake of evil, but not in a lazy way... In a good way, like Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty or Johan from Monster. There is no act that’s too diabolical for her to stoop to it. She’s also smart, staying one step ahead of everyone as much as possible and saddling both Soul and Stein with the very issues that make them interesting and memorable. She’s such a great villain that she completely over-shadows the villain that succeeds her. The long term plot involving her evil schemes is by far the most fun to follow. These two plot elements are tied together perfectly by a character named Crona, but in the interest of not spoiling anything, I’ll say no more.
And it’s a good thing these two elements exists, because holy crap is there a lot of unnecessary pulp in this show. It’s constantly throwing new ideas and new chaacters at you, and it ultimately reaches the point where at least a dozen of them could have died for all I cared. It would be so easy to reduce this show to twenty six episodes without hurting it’s strongest elements or losing the charm and personality that’s won so many otaku hearts. Because let’s be honest, how many of these characters and plot points are important in the long run? How many of them are so necessary to the story that they couldn’t be either removed altogether, or written out with a few job reassignments?
As an experiment, let’s remove the plot point about becoming a death scythe, and just call the main characters witch hunters. Let’s get rid of pointless characters like Yumi, Joe, Hero, Arachne, Giriko, Eibon, Justin, Ox, Kilik, Kim, the younger Mizune sisters, and yes, even Excalibur. Characters who are only temporarily important, such as Sid, Mifune and Blair, can be kept long enough to perform the barest of plot essentials. Hell, as much as I loved Eruka Frog and Free, they could have just been eaten when Asura woke up. Entire episodes could be scrapped, with their relevance to the magical item hunt removed. Take these changes into account, tighten up a few loose ends with some quick rewrites, and this story could have been reduced to twenty five episodes with a much better sense of pace and direction.
Soul Eater is available from Funimation. It’s been released in several different DVD sets, including 13 episode quarter sets, 26 episode half sets, and finally, a much more affordable complete set, and more recently, a premium Blu-Ray set, as though Funi hasn’t wrung enough money out of us just yet. I’ll be honest, I’d hate to be one of the people who spent 60 dollars apiece for each of the quarter sets, only to see the price drop so rapidly over the course of less than ten years. It’s also up for free on Netflix The manga is available stateside from Yen Press. A spin-off manga called Soul Eater Not is also available stateside, An anime adaptation was released in Japan last spring, and since then, it’s also been released stateside by Funimation, but I haven’t watched or read it yet, so I have no idea if it’s any good. A mini-show called Soul Eater Late show is available on the series DVDs, and it's amusing enough.
As Maka tells us at the beginning of every episode, a sound soul dwells within a sound mind and a sound body. Soul Eater has neither a sound mind OR a sound body, and thus, it’s not a sound series. Even so, I guess I am underselling the parts of this show that work. Soul Eater is a lot of fun. It’s very unique and creative, and even in it’s more pointless moments, it has a great sense of humor. I can drone on forever about just how terribly, terribly written it is, but the things it does right are strong enough that it’s still worth returning to for multiple viewings. If nothing else, it has a sound heart, which is why I get how it’s found resonance with so many people. I won’t make any excuses for it, nor will I ignore all of it’s problems just because I enjoyed some of it, but I can still understand how a show that’s this timeless would stand the test of time. I give Soul Eater a 5/10.
Story- 9: The story is amazing. Meisters who have friends who turn into weapons. Anything cooler? The only thing I don't like is they didn't follow the manga towards the end on the second season, and butchered the very end fight.
Art- 9: Art is really good, but I'm not one to ask for that, I don't really care.
Sound- 8: The music is decent, but if you're looking for an anime with solid mind- blowing music, go to another anime.
Characters- 8: I really love most of the characters, and I really like the connection they have towards each other, although,I really felt they should of gone into a little more detail on how they met. I also don't really like Black Stars character at times. Crona is also very confusing, and I feel like she really wasn;t needed. (once you get to HER, SHE is a GIRL.
Enjoyment- 10 : I enjoyed every second of it. I LOVE Soul Eater.
OVERALL- 9: It is my favorite anime, but honestly, I think it deserves a 9. If you want Soul Eater that is 10 worthy, read the manga. read more
So how does Soul Eater compare to the rest of those shows? It’s relatively tame, not often diving into easy dark content like most of the above anime love to do. It’s fairly short, though 51 episodes is still a commitment if we’re going by my views, but it sure beats those shows that go past the 500 mark (gad zukes!). But most importantly, Soul Eater is tighter and much more creative as a fantasy action anime,
So what exactly is this show even about? It’s mainly about an interesting little town called Death City, where an academy called the DWMA sits at the peak high above the other buildings, overseen by Lord Death himself. It’s a school for meisters and weapons, special students who work together as fighting pairs or groups, training and studying in order to combat the various forces of darkness in the world, alongside aspiring to turn weapons into death scythes to be used by the one and only Lord Death. In typical fashion, specific dark forces grow powerful or partner up to wreak their own havoc on the world, to which the fighting pairs are called to battle through conflict and hardships to regain order.
A fairly simple premise, but you’d be surprised how many times it’s been botched up. Not only does Soul Eater use it well, but it rarely felt lazy in it’s execution. The partnership between the meister student and the weapon student is one of the main focuses of conflict when going against the villains instead of just sticking to continuous attempts to power up to a point where they win by pure size and measurable power. Even shows that bank on that as their main source of struggle don’t seem to realize the possibilities of taking that stuff as far as imaginable (thank God for Gurren Lagann). So the ironic conclusion is that friendship genuinely matters in this battle shounen. Difficulties in connecting with others or trouble dealing with painful social aspects are mirrored in soul “wavelengths” or “resonances”, another simple but clever way to amplify emotional aspects. Out of all things, you wouldn’t expect a loud, rowdy action show like this handle things like introspection and madness so well, but it has its moments when it dives surprisingly deep into that type of subject matter. Stuff like paranoia, loyalty, and inner demons are explored in solid allegories, again simple and pretty straightforward, but effective given how it fits with this type of show.
The actual plot of the show is handled completely fine. After some fun episodic intros for the main teams, the story grows steadily with competent pacing and developments for the rest of the show. Despite a couple moments with certain characters that I didn’t find all that interesting, there weren’t many moments of dead space in the entire run. Some arcs that seem like side quests in comparison to the bigger conflicts end up being very important to the overall plot. Infact, the closest thing to a traditional filler episode you’ll get is the test fiasco and the Excalibur side-trips, only three episodes out of 51 which are funny as hell to watch anyway. So while some parts were noticeably slower than others, it never felt like the show was wasting time. It had the right amount of comedic relief, the right amount of fun combat, the right amount of infodump sessions, and the right amount of character examination. Just when things start to get tiresome, new elements are introduced to build the cast and the story progression, all while focusing on both parties expertly to get continuously engaging content. It’s incredibly easy to eat this show up in big bites, and when it’s all over it’s hard to believe you spent 20 hours going through it.
Speaking of when it’s all over, I might as well talk about the rather polarizing ending. The basic consensus is that the end was rushed and focused on an unexpectedly easy route out of its built-up conflict. While I do agree that it becomes pure cheese out of nowhere, or how the formidable evil force is somehow reduced to a shallow whiny teenager at the drop of a hat, the themes at hand were evident from the beginning of the show, so the clash of ideals that made up the whole climax was just about as effective as all of the other unexpectedly meaty topics the show presented. Honestly, I much prefer this ending instead of drawing it out and going into the bullshit realm of waiting around on a cliffhanger to catch up with the source material. It didn’t overstay its welcome, and the show is a complete package because of it.
The other huge strength for Soul Eater are the many likable characters, stemming from a solid cast lineup. While they don’t stray very far from their one-note personalities, they certainly aren’t devoid of development. Once again, I love the focus on the relationships between meisters and weapons, which makes up for situations where I don’t particularly get attached to a single character. For example, I’m not the biggest fan of Black Star on his own, and Tsubaki stays pretty reserved for me to notice her presence most of the time. But put them together and you have an interesting partnership of bombastic loud vs. peaceful quiet that works wonders during emotional content. It works the other way around too, while Death the Kid and the Thompson sisters don’t have a deep relationship, they act so exuberantly together that they’re just fun to watch as a group.
And as luck would have it, the characters that work as well on their own as they do in partnership get the main focus. How awesome is it that the main character of a shounen is a kickass girl who isn’t reduced to a fanservice device? Maka is such a consistently expressive and heartfelt protagonist that she’s the perfect choice to be the driving force of the emotional aspects of the show. Soul sports a more collected personality that’s perfect for hiding turmoil underneath, though his devotion to his partnership provides the most impact. Both of them are fantastic on their own, with each of their conflicts fleshed out suitably and given excellent resolutions. I loved seeing their friendship grow overtime and strengthen with difficulties, showing a superb example of main characters done right.
The side characters are in the same category of one-note personalities who either work for the viewer on their own or not. Unfortunately there’s no partnership to prop them up when they just aren’t entertaining, so they fluctuate in memorabilia. As for specifics, Lord Death has a chipper personality that’s played off perfectly in the style of the show (think of a Potter Puppet Pals Dumbledore in a spiky Grim Reaper outfit), so he gets a lot of laughs from me. Crona gets an exceptional transition arc with the right amount of focus in the well-paced story, and an obvious gender mystery in the background just made him all the more interesting. The main antagonists were pretty entertaining to watch, particularly the wickedly despicable Medusa and the always-dripping-with-creepy-atmosphere Ashura. Oh, and that egotistical prick Excalibur, every episode with him is amusement in the purest form.
But for every good side character is one that’s not so good. Dr. Stein isn’t all that interesting to watch, although he does have his rare moments across the span of the show so he isn’t outright bad. Maka’s dad is mostly unlikable throughout the show, which isn’t the best quality to have for a big source of comedic material. Blair is pretty much there for one reason (well, two), and the rest of the students and most of the staff at the DWMA are glossed over even though they contribute more and more to the plot by the end. It’s certainly not a bad cast overall, and focus is given where focus is needed, but there were still those aforementioned times where some scenes were being carried by blander characters. And add in cutaways from the real action to throwaway comedic scenes like the one trick pony coffee mechanic or Blair and the Mizune group comparing their racks. Again, it did keep focus on the worthwhile content for the most part, and those scenes with the duller people were still devoted to plot development anyway, so I can’t say they completely compromised my enjoyment of the story.
Studio Bones has a big repertoire of great shows and animation jobs, and this one is no exception. To match a genre that rides on how energetic and expressive it is, we get quality visuals that follow suite. Though the palette and character designs seem very simple, everything fits into the image of an exaggerated cartoon, a perfect match for the mood they’re going for. The fight scenes are rendered with powerful movement and choreography, never skimping and always delivering in fluidity and intensity. Downtime from the action is handled fine too, going all out with most of the nutty faces, focusing on powerful emotional deliveries from the characters, and putting a distinct effort into pushing that lovable halloween vibe. The cartoony background style presents an abundance of delightfully creative settings, and also harbors very light visual symbolism on occasion. While I wouldn’t exactly put it up there with some of Bones’ other animated works, it’s still got a distinct style that doesn’t fail to impress me when it tries its hardest.
The dub is just great, capturing the fun and energy of the show in a solid overall tone. Granted a simple action anime should be an easy feat to pull off in terms of localization, you’d be surprised how many times a straightforward dub just falls flat. There is nobody in this voice cast that does a bad job. All of the actors completely embody their respective characters with passion and flare, and it is oh so rare for me to say that about a dub. So much likability is added to that already solid cast because of how lively their English portrayals are, and I couldn’t possibly imagine many of the main characters or icons like Lord Death or Excalibur without their dub voices. Since I always go for successful dubs when I have the chance, I unfortunately haven’t listened to the show in Japanese at all. Ergo, can’t talk about it. But seeing as how most fans don’t care whether or not the voices spoken in a language they don’t understand are unique or overused anyway, let’s just move on.
Soul Eaters’ first opening is crack and I will never quit it. Nothing fits an energetic show better than an energetic opening and this is the best one I’ve seen. I always sit back and enjoy the vibrant visuals that perfectly match the content in the first half, and jam out to Resonance like there’s no tomorrow. Because of this, I have no other thoughts towards the second opening other than resentment. Yeah, I know a lot of people prefer it over the first one, I know it’s still an okay OP from some sort of objective standpoint…but that was a dick move to replace my jam. The show has four EDs, all of which I am indifferent to, but each one of them as their own special merits. Hell the final animation on Ashura is enough to stick around for ED#4. So overall, amazing intro, and a bunch of underwhelming bumpers that I can skip over anyway. Could be worse.
The soundtrack is by Iwasaki Taku, who composed for many other well-known anime (just gonna bring TTGL back up again). While lots of his tracks are effective both in the show and on their own, whether they be simple classical or chilling hip hop, a couple pieces stuck out as particularly annoying. Usually coupled with the show’s more juvenile bits of humor, pieces like those harmonizing recorders are just intolerable. I also hate whenever they use bits of Midnight Syndicate tracks around the second half, and a bunch of other anime love to use them as well so they just get real old real fast. But more times than not, his music fits like a glove, especially some standout string songs that really strengthen the emotional content in the finale. Infact, there’s probably enough tracks I love to make me hunt down the whole OST release…sometime in the future.
As the show sits with me after watching it all the way through, I come to realize that the rambunctious tone of the show does wear on me most of the time, especially during casual banter. I can only take so much immature shouting, chibi reaction faces, and quick bits of fanservice, but at least it fits with the tone that the anime is aiming for. And is that really enough to ruin a well-written, balanced script? Of course not, but in the same veins as something like Panty And Stocking, if you aren’t in the right mood to watch loudmouth humor it just won’t sit well with you. The nice thing is that Soul Eater isn’t loudmouth craziness all the time, which is just a good sign of pacing and moderation. So some gripes on my side don’t detract that much from an already solid script, and I think it deserves its praise more than most other shounen do. It’s an easy recommendation from me whenever you just want to have fun and be surprised at what the show can really do when it wants to.
I give this anime a score of 7.4/10 (3.5 stars), and a Recommended rating. read more
The idea of Soul Eater is great and I was intrigued from the start by the idea, but then it just goes flat really quickly. Part of it may be the humor. I'm usually a fan of comedy and action mixing together, but Soul Eater seemed to be trying too hard to be funny. The humor, in my opinion, was too childish and most times I found it an utter waste of time. Also, the plot of Soul Eater will drag and then all of a sudden pick up speed and keep you hooked and then will drag yet again. It's those dull moments that made me drop this anime so many times. So, if you want something that makes you feel like you need to keep watching...then this anime might not be it.
The characters are all unique and each have their own strengths and weaknesses, which is refreshing and well-done for an anime...however I found I wasn't really connecting with the characters. I believe this is because you never really get to know the characters. So much of what made them who they are like their past or where they came from is vaguely touched upon. I felt like they missed so much opportunity by just dangling so colorful backstories in front of you but never going deep enough with them. I haven't read the manga, so maybe the characters are more lovable in the manga. I felt like I wanted to love the characters, but I was constantly feeling meh towards them.
The art is unique, which is one thing I'll give Soul Eater. Sometimes the motions seemed over-exaggerated, but the anime makes the style work so I didn't mind. The characters' expressions were also awesome and when the anime expresses "madness" the visuals are the absolute best!
In closing, I would recommend to give Soul Eater a try. You may end up immediately hooked or you'll end up like me, starting it then dropping it until you finally force yourself through those 51 episodes. read more
First things first, this anime is about people that turn into weapons and the people who use them to fight. This anime has a lot of well executed fight scenes that make for an enjoyable watch while at the same time keeps a nice Halloween like theme to it that adds to the semi-creepy setting. I say semi creepy because there are moment that are purely comical.
The setting is really nice and adds the darker elements to the show. The show's fight scenes also add to the setting with most of them taking place either at night or in dark areas. The weapon designs for the show also add elements to the show that really completes the Halloween like setting.
The characters are an interesting bunch. They vary from the smart and confident to the relaxed and cocky. Each character has certain traits to them that distinguishes them from the other characters in the providing moments where they either truly shine or just completely displayed with comical reactions.
So basically, this is Halloween the anime. It's filled with monsters, killers, witches, and even zombies. While it isn't the most creepiest anime, it still has a Halloween theme to it much like the a Tim Burton film, but that's just my opinion. I highly recommend it as it was a really good watch. read more
I personally found the story to be absolutely excellent. For about the first half, the anime feels like it is going to be a typical adventure anime following the two main characters on their trial. However, other events occur in the background surrounding a much more ominous enemy. This all begins to wind together, involving the students, and before I knew it there was this insane plot device. It all leads up to a really awesome ending that is climactic and satisfying.
The art is quirky and strange. It is all set to this halloweeny feel with the characters, theme, and environment. The animation is smooth, and the battles are really bad ass.
From the amazing intros down the the sounds of the scythe, the audio is really good. The sound effects are spot on and the voice acting is really well done.
As expected from a shounen, there is really good character development for all of the characters as they grow to become more mature and overcome their struggles. I also just really enjoyed the cast. Aside from Black Star, I liked all of the characters, and I was always hoping for the best for them.
With a good blend of comedy, intense action, and deep story, I found this anime to be really fun to watch. I never felt overwhelmed, but at the same time the anime never lost its focus on the story. There was also very limited filler, which is always nice to see.
In the end, I am giving Soul Eater a 9/10 because it is great. The show is entertaining, well directed, and well written. I recommend this to anyone looking for something a little unique with an interesting story and characters. However, if you are looking for something that will change your soul, this isn't for you, this is still just a typical shounen. read more
I tried really hard to like this anime, so hard. The premise was so unique that i got 29 episodes in before i shut the whole thing down.
The show started off incredibly boring & basically just carried itself with humor that was barely funny at all. The jokes are always the same and they just reuse the same humor. If you take a real funny show like Gintama and compare the two, you'll understand what I'm saying. But obviously gintama is a parody & this is not. Too bad because the entire first half seems like a parody. The first half seems like a typical shounen with too many goofy aspects and over the top humor. I'm personally someone who likes more serious anime so honestly, I don't imagine it will put too many people off. The second half changes drastically into a serious anime with action, which is hard to adjust to because they're still fighting witches and they're still the same stupid characters. In fact the main characters, death the kid, black star, maka & their counterparts, the thompson sisters, tsubaki & soul are all stereotypical shounen characters.
While the art is unique and cool, as it follows a Halloween style of animation, I thought it was just way too goofy. Like the moon & sun had faces for goodsakes. It was like a super mario meets tim burton's jack skellington. I can't say I liked it. Furthermore, Black star was animated so poorly. He legit looked like a retard sometimes, and though every character has their own style and uniqueness, you just can't ignore the quality of the characters. Even soul looked like an idiot. But it's not that the animation is really poor, it's just the style and the way they were drawn, but for me & maybe for you, it comes off as poor.
The sound is certainly very good, as far as openings and ending go, and the background music gives off a good vibe and fits the situations well. As for voice acting, I found Maka's voice actor to be nasally & whiny. I hated her voice. Like hated it. I dreaded every time she talked. Then there was black star whose voice I hated even more. It was small, like kidlike, and nasally as well and sounded like the dumbed down version of naruto's voice actor(jun fukiyama...something like that) I really only stayed for Mamaru miyano who plays death the kid but I found that despite his excellent work that his voice just didn't fit a kid, though I can't say why they all look like kids since their at a university and have adult comprehension.
The characters were all unique that's for sure. Too bad they were all annoying as hell. Black star always went on about how big he was. Like literally "how big he was". Not like, I'm really strong or stronger than you but he always used the words big. That shit got really annoying. Other than getting slightly stronger, his loudness and stupidity was way too over the top. He was like the original naruto from 2004 or whenever the show started except with no character development or cool background. He's a retard I promise you. Soul always went on about being cool which was annoying as hell. It's like if naruto kept saying Believe it(datebayyo) but even the writers there knew when to call it quits. Here, he just keeps saying. Death the kid's symmetry, which he always talks about was probably the only funny part and he's legit the only character who ever changes and stops going on about symmetry all the fucking time. His weapons, the thompson twins, are so undeveloped it's hilarious. The one sister always laughs & i hate her because her laugh is annoying and almost always uncalled for. Maka always goes on about how weaks she is(hmm...sakura much?) & Tsubaki(black star's weapon) is rarely given a background but at least she isn't annoying. The adult characters are much more unique because they aren't stereotypical except really maka's father, the weapon of the shinigami. He's just a pervert. a strong pervert. like jiraya? Pretty sure this is just naruto with a different story.
While I can't say I enjoyed the anime too much, that largely stems from my standards. I'm actually not trying to dissuade anyone from watching this anime. I mean, if i had to tell someone to choose between say, fairy tail or soul eater, I'd say fairy tail and i think that's ranked lower(or higher i guess) so don't let my negativity keep you from watching this anime and giving it a try like i did. The whole point of a review, according to the dictionary, is to give a formal assessment or examination of something with the possibility or intention of instituting change if necessary. So, I'm just giving my opinion and you should try this anime out. It's a shounen so if you like shounen you'll probably like this one but as for me, I found its over the top goofyness and uninteresting characters too much to handle. read more
The first few episodes start off as prequels for the main seven characters - three 'Meisters/Technicians' and their 'Weapons'. These episodes are ones that I found to be somewhat disjointed, and to be honest I probably would have given up on the anime after 4 episodes or so if it wasn't for aforementioned pally. Swiftly afterwards, once the main characters start to interact together, I was hooked. And shortly after that when the frankly ingenious support characters were introduced and fleshed out, I was manic about it to the point where I was screaming in outrage at the screen if any other character DARED to so much as harm a hair on their heads.
Plot - [7/10] I wouldn't describe the plot as being either typical or particularly inventive. I will say, however, that it does dangle a standard premise in front of you for a good few episodes (in order for a Technician to turn their Weapon into the ultimate Death Scythe, they must collect 99 evil souls and then one Witch's soul; cue epic quest) and then almost entirely removes it for something much better - a pleasant surprise that, as I understand it, doesn't quite happen in the manga. While some elements of the plot remain unclear and somewhat incomplete by the end of the series, I ultimately felt that it didn't detract too much from my enjoyment. Bar the very last scenes, unfortunately, in which I was left starving for a bit more of a tie-up, or better yet, a follow-up montage in the ending credits. Still, I suppose that's what the manga's for.
Characters - [9/10] The meat of Soul Eater, with some big-name voice actors who really give the characters life. Firstly, we have Miyano Mamoru-san (Yagami Light of Death Note, Kiba of Wolf's Rain) as the symmetry-obssessed Death the Kid (an awkward-sounding name, I have to say, that belies a truly slick character); the ever-prolific and utterly fabulous Koyasu Takehito-san (Sakarazuka Seishirou of Tokyo Babylon, Zechs Merquise/Milliardo Peacecraft of Gundam Wing) as the Weapon Excalibur, who will surprise you in several different ways with his presence throughout the series; and Kobayashi Yumiko-san (Sarah McDougal of Love Hina, Dan Taichi of Prince of Tennis) as the headstrong Black*Star, to whom a nod must go for the most subtle yet engaging main-character development; to name a few. On top of these, Soul Eater showcases a surprising amount of young, new talent - notably, the voices of Soul (the title character) and Maka Albarn, the female lead who I unfortunately found to be incredibly irritating.
Let me make my point hard on this. Maka is hard-working and academically very smart, with a down-to-earth attitude that helps her to deal with her absent mother and womanizing father, who recently divorced prior to the start of the series. But (and oh, it's a big But) it doesn't last. Rather than character growth, we seem to have a case of the exact opposite as the series progresses. Maka repeatedly ends up making absolutely ridiculous decisions that can in no way be logically justified. As much as I don't like to use Naruto as a comparison, I think I have to. Maka's choices aren't a Naruto-style situation wherein Naruto makes sometimes-stupid decisions because of his raw emotions, because that's Naruto's character and way of life; plus, Naruto has (for the most part) the strength to back up his convictions. Maka, on the other hand, does not. Not only that, but she apparently doesn't learn from her monumental mistakes. And /then/ she'll bitch to the series' headstrong character Black*Star about how he acts before he thinks. Though, come to think of it, at least Maka isn't exactly a hypocrite on that matter because it's shown that she does in fact think about her actions before she carries them out, comes to the conclusion that it's stupid... and then does the wrong thing /anyway/. If it wasn't for almost every other character providing sustained interest and sheer compelling brilliance whenever Maka's off-screen, I think Soul Eater would fall far short of greatness.
Art - [9/10] And of course, there can be no characters without the visual art. While the quality of the animation itself is fairly standard shounen-style fare, the rating for this section gets bumped up enormously for originality. The designs of virtually everything - from the fantastically surreal moon and sun to the laboratory of the anime's resident Mad Scientist (who would have an entire paragraph in the above section if it wouldn‘t turn into an essay on why he’s such a /darn good character/ on both an emotional and a story-telling level) to the eyes of the later villains - positively shines with mouth-watering creativity. I could wax lyrical about the brain-melting inventiveness of the character designs all day. It's honestly worth watching for the artistic genius alone.
Music - [8/10] With the exception of the very first ending theme (which was painful, if I'm honest), I thoroughly appreciated each different ending and opening. They were well-chosen and fitted the style and feel of the anime well. The music used throughout the episodes themselves suited the atmosphere wonderfully - the fighting music was driving, the sad-scenes music was sorrowful and the cheery music gave the anime a smile. While it wasn't as memorable as, say, the music to Gundam Wing or Gintama, it did its job in style. Also in this section, I'd like to add that the song sung by the Weapon Excalibur made me almost die of Sheer Heart-Rending Joy.
Overall - [9/10] Easy to watch and a great mix of creepy, surreal and fun. Objectively, I'd give this a high 8, and then I'm going to take the liberty of bumping it up to a 9 for the downright enjoyment I experienced with this show. I thoroughly recommend this to anyone who enjoys Full Metal Alchemist or Gintama - or, for that matter, any shounen manga/anime - as well as anyone who enjoyed the quirks of such series as Ouran High School Host Club. read more
But the show indeed has a cool feel to it, with a unique steam punk style, with different abilities and personalities in each character, a cool concept (shinigamis, witches, samurais, shinobis, magic, demons) and a whole new world we unfortunately get to see and experience little to nothing of, since almost everything revolves around Death City, an illusion or inside someones head...
Soul eater can also be quite funny at times and the anime has its quirks and charm. It's not the characters, it's not the concept, it's not even the story, but how the story is told that I have a problem with. Soul Eater's character development is frankly quite annoying... since almost everything they experience happens inside their head.. and some abilities aren't even explained, suddenly they just get this epifani and BOOM, there's a new ability.
The story is quite intriguing actually, and it's what kept me going. Making it one of the few animes I haven't dropped midway through. But it had so much potential here. It should have been darker, more violent, more serious. One of the most positive things about this anime is actually hitting a good joke at the right moment, but the show doesn't really get any serious until the last 5 episodes or so, and these are the episodes I found most amusing (I stand corrected: All the episodes where we get to see Lord Death in his true form). Actually, the whole series should've been more like the last episode. At least the fight sequences.
Several of the characters are just too annoying and gets far too much screen time (Excalibur, Crona, the guy with saws) and some get way too little screen time, especially in fights (this includes almost all the characters). The ultimate bad guy, however, is just plain bad ass (Kishin).
As I wrote earlier, Soul Eater lacks pacing in all departments, not just in the character development, but how the story is told, not to mention the most annoying thing about this anime, the fights. Some of the fights could have been really epic, instead there's always a bunch of talking, a reason for not fighting or not going all-out or one of the sides just forfeits. A battle would just end, just as the climax hits. I kept thinking that we'll probably get to see a real fight by them soon, but some battles never actually finishes... it just ends.. Not to mention how almost every single fight is interrupted by some kind of illusion, dream or thought sequence inside one of the main character's head. It could have been cool, but it just ruins the suspension and climax in the fight, since they keep over-using it!
Now back to the story... the different arcs varies a lot. Some of the arcs feel rushed, and some of the backstories of the characters could have gotten more depth and better told. (I would love knowing more about Spirit's backstory, Lord Death and Black star). I find myself thinking that the series could have been a lot better if there were more episodes (but then again, a lot of the episodes are just simply garbage).
Overall I actually did enjoy the series and I can see why there are so many fans. The characters are lovable and funny. Their friendship and loyalty warms your heart. The concept is cool and refreshing, the abilities are unique and intriguing, the weapons are huge and deadly. The world they have created is exciting and amusing, but it could have been so much better.
This show is incredibly stylish, literally everything has a very cool vibe about it and really stands out from other similar animes. If FLCL and Bleach came together and had a love child, that child would be Soul Eater. The characters are all likeable and unique, even if they do follow the list of shonen anime stereotypes (loud kid who wants to be the best, check; quiet cool guy, check; self-depricating girl who holds much potential power, double check.) The adult characters are less stereotypical than the kids, which can make them more interesting to watch in certain episodes, however. Even if their personalities are familiar, there is enough unique and enjoyable about them that it never becomes a problem.
The fights themselves are very well animated and choreographed. They're all ridiculous and cartoony, but they are always visceral and exciting to watch. The progression is also very shonen in nature, with enemies that are way stronger than the heroes, and the heroes having to train to beat them and gain new powers, but again its so entertaining it shouldn't become a big issue. The fights are all about style and execution though, and if you keep that in mind and don't analyze them with rational thought, they all become very entertaining and exciting. The first 26 episodes are great flashy entertainment for anime fans.
I really wish I could stop the review at this point, and tell you Soul Eater is a really fun shonen series that fans of action anime should see. Now the bad point of the show, the entire second half of the series. Around the halfway point, Soul Eater changes from a lighthearted, entertaining fun action anime into a serious, melodramatic action anime. The story starts to take itself way too seriously, and the enjoyment of this anime greatly suffers because of this. When your anime is about people who transform into guns and swords who fight witches, it's kind of hard to take the change in tone seriously.
Soul Eater ends up losing most if not all of its charm because of this drastic and unnecessary shift in tone. All of the characters become whiny punks who sulk all day, and Maka becomes borderline unbearable as a main character with her melancholic attitude and constant bitching about how she's not strong enough to fight the main enemy of the show. All of this nonsense comes together in a final episode that is so ridiculous I would sound stupid if I tried to explain it in this review. Let me just put it to you this way, all themes the show was building up to this point are thrown out the window, the main villain turns into a gigantic pansy, and the logic behind the ending makes absolutely no sense in the grand scheme of the show. Oh, and it tries to copy Evangelion in ways that are so unnecessary and artistically nonsensical in the show that I laughed out loud when I first saw them in this episode.
What in the world happened to Soul Eater? What happened to this really fun, always entertaining action anime in the second half of the show? What is with all this ridiculous emo nonsense that gets introduced in the second half? How the hell could Bones, the studio behind Fullmetal Alchemist and Eureka Seven fail so badly at this show? I have no idea how to answer any of these questions. If you are going to watch Soul Eater, watch the first 26 episodes, and then stop. Otherwise, you are in store for one of the strangest, confusing, and most disappointing action animes ever made. Come on Bones, you are better than this.
Final Grade, C- read more
1 of them are subtitles and I find it even though it was English it still had subtitles maybe since I was watching it no anime bird it had subtitles and 2 the subtitles were also saying nothing what they said in English it makes no sense but still I had lots of fun watching it and I also wanted them to make another one sadly they didn't D; so I will miss it but over all This is my scores
Story Art Sound Character
8 Very good 10 Outstanding 8 Very good 8 Very good
10 Outstanding 9
Who ever read this thank you I really like people reading my things I guess you could call them so thank you guys for reading and bye also p.s Soul is my favourite character read more
I enjoyed the style/art and some of the characters were cool and make me laugh (notably Excalibur and Death the Kid). I fall into the camp of people though that hate Blackstar. He really annoyed me.
I wouldn't say stay away altogether, especially since a lot of people liked it and I did enjoy the series. I just wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it. read more
the show itself demonstrated promise, and fulfilled it's purpose of my amusement for the fifty-one episode run.
Now to be a bit picky about it. I did label this show as one that demonstrates lots of promise. But the problem lying in the fact that I found the ending to be a bit of a bad pay out. The show had great potential with promising fight sequences and great characters. But the final battle of the show had ended only with my disappointment. As the ultimate foe was vanquished with the power of friendship, bravery and all that other nonsense.
I would have liked to see a season two, but they did too good of a job of tying up the loose ends. not really leaving much room for a second season to happen without first having senseless filler. but that's just my opinion as one who grew up watching the fight sequences of dragon Ball Z.
But not all battles can be won. read more
Okay, so some people have criticized my opinion that Soul Eater is a rip-off of Bleach (though making an entire review for that is a bit over the top). I'm fully aware that Bleach is very similar to a few older animes too, but the fact still stands that Soul Eater is too similar to Bleach. And evt. older animes about shinigami or similar stuff. It's got it's original contents, but overall it's just too similar for comfort.
The story up to ep. 18 has mostly been an episode-by-episode story, but a plot slowly beginning to sneak in behind the scenes from here on. I'm not sure what direction it will take from here, and this is why I don't like reviewing so early. However, I believe that it will get better as we go on, so for now I'll keep the story at a 7, for unoriginality and because only the latest episodes have shown a continuous plot.
The animation is more cartoony than many anime out there, I feel. That's not necessarily a bad thing; I mean, coloring and shading and effects are very good, but some things bugs me a lot - f.ex. the Shinigami, the moon and the sun aren't very pleasing to look at. The animation deserves an 8: It's good quality and lovable character designs, but there's just something about the overall feel of it that bugs me.
The soundtrack isn't very remarkable either. The background music isn't anything noteworthy, but it's not bad either - it fits with the mood. The OP and ED themes are decent, but I think I'd only listen to the first ED theme outside of watching the show. The voice acting is good too. All in all, I'd rate it a 7.
The characters are fair too. I mean, they're funny to watch, but funny isn’t enough to rate it high up. They lose some points for spurs of unoriginality, but there's still some original characters there. I'm especially fond of Death the Kid and his obsession with symmetry, because I can somewhat identify with him (though not on such an obsessed level). There hasn't been a lot of character development so far either - only Maka's desire to get stronger -, and the series is already 1/3 done. However, much can happen, and again, since I'm reviewing at such an early stage, I won't prejudge them. But for now, I'm keeping it at a 7, losing points for unoriginality and low character development so far but gaining points because they're funny as well as the presence of a few original and likable characters.
I'm enjoying Soul Eater, but only enough to watch it. It loses too much because it hasn't got a large amount of originality. It's good entertainment, but not necessarily good.
To 'Not Helpful' voters (and you 'Helpful' voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =) read more
But the important questions are: What is it doing to seperate itself from all the other shonen-anime out there? What makes it special? Ending the series after 51 episodes, as much as I like it that way, is still not enough to seperate it from others. These are also the questions you always need to ask when it comes to shonen-shows in general and I will try to answer them.
Shibusen is a school for masters and weapons, built by the mighty Shinigami in order to prevent a new Demon God from awakening. The pairs of masters and weapons have to collect 100 Kishin Eggs to make a powerful Death Scythe and keep various evil beings from becoming the new Demon God in the process.
So with that in mind you might think Soul Eater is about the main characters collecting these eggs and fighting villains who want to have them themselves, right? To be fair, I expected the same thing and was turned of by it until I realized that after a few episodes absolutely noone even seemed to remember these eggs. The focus of the story in the first half is on fighting the witch Medusa who is trying to awaken a Demon God who was sealed away by a certain someone long ago..without using any eggs. And at this point I should stop before spoiling too much.
So what is Soul Eater doing special when it comes to the plot? Absolutely nothing. As much as I love this anime from the bottom of my heart, I cannot claim that the story is anything that hasn't been done before. But what I can claim however is that Soul Eater is the first one doing it right while still remaining shonen. Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is similar in the regard, just with the difference that it partially became a Seinen in the process. And as much as I love Seinen: When I want Seinen I just watch Seinen, but when I want Shonen I watch Shonen. Soul Eater never really tried to be anything but shonen...for the most part that is.
The execution of the story is done better, because there are few episodes I would consider filler-episodes. Yes there were many independent ones that didn't do much for the plot, but most of them were only there to build up the characters, develope them and sometimes form/change relationships between them. We almost always know where the story is headed and it is constantly moving forward. Having the plot move forward sounds like a great achievement, doesn't it? Well...it really shouldn't be, but that is one other problem most shonen have: They are way too slow sometimes so much that after watching one episode, filler or not, it doesn't feel like much happened. And even if I'm not gonna say that there were no unnecassary moments in Soul Eater(Because that would be a lie), comparing it to others it's doing a very good job with that.
Adding to the already high entertainment value is the comedy. Up to this day I still consider Soul Eater to be the funniest Shonen of all time. It's funny when it should be funny and serious when it should be serious.
But to be honest for once: One does not simply watch Shonen for the story. Aside from fight scenes, comedy and badass moments the most important thing are the characters, because even if we know what is going to happen, we can at least enjoy watching the characters on their journey.
And for the first time in anime history, the main main character in a shonen is not a spike-headed, soulless husk only created to be a pretentious wannabe-badass. This time it's a nerdy girl...I am actually serious with this: A nerdy girl wielding a scythe. that Scythe is by the way the other main character Soul who fits my earlier description of the typical shonen main protagonist better at first glance. However Soul is not as bland as one may think, because he is essentially a caring, kind person while still being cool at the same time. He actually doesn't just think about himself and I don't mean that in the "power of friendship"-sense, but rather in the "this anime doesn't solely revolve around me"-sense. Maka is also way more likeable than the description of "nerdy girl" implies. Another main character is Death the kid, the son of the Shinigami who has a serious complex that is basically 30% of Soul Eater's comedy and his weapons the Thompson sisters(who arguably are the least developed and interesting out of all the characters). And finally there is Black Star! The chance that you will like this pretentious, arrogant show-off are about 50-50. If anyone in this anime fits the description of the typical Shonen main protagonist it's this guy. His only purpose in life is to be the strongest guy in the world and all he does is train all day to achieve that goal, while his weapon Tsubaki is for whatever reason helping him as much as she can without ever really doubting anything he does. I personally liked him for one reason: He isn't the main character, he is one of them yes but Maka is still the main main character of Soul Eater. As per usual he is the strongest one in the group and the most developed as he builds a strong sense of loyalty to his firends. That's nothing we haven't seen before, but it's something we rarely see with a no-main character. That being said Soul Eater likes to focus on all 3 of them equally or rather likes to focus on them as one big group, though Maka is still the one everyone is having the highest hopes for. An interesting thing is that the 3 masters don't always necassarily cope too well with each other and in many instances get angry at each other, shortly before somehow fixing their problems so that they all have to form a working relationship over time and I really like that aspect.
Other characters worth mentioning are the Shinigami who is basically the badass grandpa who is so incredibly powerful that the plot has to restrict him completely so that he can't go off and beat the bad guys on his own, Maka's father Albarn Spirit who is constantly in conflict with his daughter about having cheated on her mother, Stein the strongest master in Shibusen who goes from calm and collected to absolutely insane due to being seduced by Medusa, my favourite anime villain of all time and manipulative, cunning, nefarious mother of Crona, the shy and easily manipulated gender-uncertain Shinji Ikari 2.0. I could also talk about another important antagonist, but I think I should skip that for spoilerific reasons. I should just say that a great theme in this anime is madness(the madness of this character specifically), which results in moments that were so incredibly horrifying that I was legitimately scared by them. One does not simply expect to get creeped out like that in a shonen-anime.
I'm going to give the sound a high score for only 2 reasons: The first and the second opening. Both of which are in my favourite openings-list. Resonance being my favourite opening of all time. aside from that I didn't really notice the music at all, so the high score is only because this is the first anime that has 2 openings of which both were absolute awesomeness in their own right.
The art is something that I will honor with a 10 just for the style. The animation itself is astonishing, but if I compared it to Fate/Zero or Attack On Titan it wouldn't stand a chance. The character designs or just the design of everything is so unique and yet easily acceptable that it deserves praise for having achived such a thing. It's not as uncommon and special as Gankutsuou, but is still something I personally haven't seen before and I just love it. That same art-style also helps immensely with the whole madness-aspect I was talking about earlier. You wll know what I mean once you first see the sun or the moon.
As for my final thoughts: This is the most entertaining anime of all time. I could just sit here and watch the entire thing in one giant marathon without being bored. With a lot of aspects that focus on the characters and the small amount of fillers even someone who is not a great fan of shonen will find enjoyment out of it. Manga-fans are complaining about it having a shitty rushed ending as the manga continued differently, but I as a representative of the "Anime have to stand on their own"-party can savely say that the final fight is definetely not more or less epic than any other shonen-fight.
Based from my scores on the categories I should not give this anime the highest overall score, but honestly? If you are going into a shonen, at least to me, enjoyment is everything you want. Even if it's dumb, even if it has all its deus ex machina, enjoyment is the most important thing. And in that regard Soul Eater tops most anime I have watched so far and is one of my favourite anime of all time. I can only recommend it to anyone who doesn't despise the shonen-genre. read more
Produced by Bones, who brought us Ouran High School Host Club and Darker than BLACK, Soul Eater is adapted from the manga by Ookubo Atsushi. It is of personal importance to mention the manga for the animer is a very close adaptation of the latter. In a nutshell, the story follows three student weapon technicians and their respective partners, as they embark on a journey to combat evil, and yet grow up with each other at the same time. Each of the main protagonists are attractive in their own right - ranging from the slick yet ridiculously symmetry-compulsive Death the Kid, to the broodingly cool scythe, Soul, Soul Eater provides characters which are strong enough to carry the series on their own backs.
The story follows a general plot-line really, with the student weapon technicians going to school, equipping themselves with combat skills, so as to fight the forces of evil in the context of the show. Throughout however, we are treated to comedy and mere innocence from the characters - for they are really just kids trying to grow up - so Soul Eater as a show generally turns out to be quite the light-hearted pick. Nevertheless, there are episodes which tug at the strings of the heart, where the emotions of the characters really reach out to you, and also episodes which are pure comedy, where you inevitably laugh at the zaniness of the world. Why can't school and friends be like these, you wonder?
The music is awesome - produced by Iwasaki Taku, of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann fame. Responsible for tracks in the latter, like Libera me from Hell and FIGHT THE POWER (remember?), he delivers as well in Soul Eater. The music fits the mood perfectly, fighting and comedy scenes are complimented by their music, and I really believe he does a good job here.
Art is Soul Eater's strongest selling point. Bones did really well animating the fight scenes in the manga, and the colours are so rich and beautiful, that every episode is a joy to behold. The drawing of the characters are good - but these are pretty normal, I must say. It is the sketches of the environment, and the animation that really stands out. Soul Eater was the anime which spoiled me in terms of fight scenes. Used to think that Bleach offered really good ones - but after watching this, the former seemed really average at best.
Characters are attractive, and you will find yourself liking some of them more than the others. Antagonists are seductively evil, and you cannot help but like them. Powerful, and pretty witches make up the cast of the latter - and it is quite fun to watch the inner dynamics where they manipulate each other for their own benefits. Voice talent is not too great, but it is acceptable. Most notable is Miyano Mamoru, who did Yagami Light in Death Note, but that is pretty it, really. The seiyuu for Soul and Maka are making their debuts, and they have quite a mixed reception. Not its greatest selling point, that's for sure.
Nevertheless, Soul Eater is a great show for all its strengths in animation and music. Its light-hearted tone throughout is also ideal for those who seek to enjoy the anime after a tough day at work or school. There is no need to think too much about plot implications (apologies if you are a sucker for these), Soul Eater allows you to just sit back and gawk at the wonders of modern-day art. Definitely a show worth your time.
Story 6 : As I said, the concept was not given enough justice. The series kicked off terrible and then improved drastically and when it just had to develop, it wrapped up.
The story revolves around the Shinigami, who runs a school for the Meisters and Weapons. The starting episodes reveal the concept of Death Scythe [the 99 evil human souls and 1 witch soul concept], which vanishes along the developing plot as if it was never there.
Some of the acts by the characters made me doubt the Maturity Level of the series too.
Art 9 : No complaints. Except that horrible Sun.
Sound 4 : I watched the series in Funimation Dub, and it has intrigued me to start downloading Dual Audio.
Other than that, the Sound Effects were at times horrible. Just imagine, in a serious conversation, instead of dark background music, you hear a bongo sound when close up of faces is featured... pathetic.
Characters 6 : They had so cute and amazing Character, and they did nothing with them. No character background was featured, no back stories. Alright I admit, flashback stories pisses people off, but not having them at all is even worse. AND NO PAIRINGS!!!! HOW COULD THEY DO THIS?!
The villains lacked their "scare factor" [except Medusa though].
Enjoyment 8 : It was all enjoyment that made me finish the series. As I said, it's a series to be enjoyed, you can't watch it desperately.
Overall 7 : It is a one time watch, and as for the people who haven't watched it yet, it's a good series, just don't get your hopes too high to get disappointed afterwards. Curiosity will wear out eventually.
Well, it's my first review, so sorry if I was hopeless. Criticism is always welcome, help me improve. read more