Death City is home to the famous Shibusen, a technical academy headed by the Shinigami–Lord Death himself. Its mission: to raise "Death Scythes" for the Shinigami to wield against the many evils of their fantastical world. These Death Scythes, however, are not made from physical weapons; rather, they are born from human hybrids who have the ability to transform their bodies into Demon Weapons, and only after they have consumed the souls of 99 evil beings and one witch's soul.
Soul Eater Evans, a Demon Scythe who only seems to care about what's cool, aims to become a Death Scythe with the help of his straight-laced wielder, or meister, Maka Albarn. The contrasting duo work and study alongside the hot headed Black☆Star and his caring weapon Tsubaki, as well as the Shinigami's own son, Death the Kid, an obsessive-compulsive dual wielder of twin pistols Patty and Liz.
Soul Eater follows these students of Shibusen as they take on missions to collect souls and protect the city from the world's threats while working together under the snickering sun to become sounder in mind, body, and soul.
#01: "Resonance" by T.M.Revolution (eps 1-30) #02: "PAPERMOON" by Tommy heavenly6 (eps 31-50) #R1: "Counter Identity" by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN (Soul Eater Repeat Show eps 1-13) #R2: "Ai ga Hoshii yo" by Shion Tsuji (Soul Eater Repeat Show eps 14-)
#01: "I Wanna Be" by STANCE PUNKS (eps 1-13, 51) #02: "Style" by Kana Nishino (eps 14-26) #03: "Bakusou Yumeuta" by Diggy-MO' (eps 27-39) #04: "Strength" by abingdon boys school (eps 40-50) #R1: "Ao no Kaori" by Yui Makino (Soul Eater Repeat Show eps 1-13) #R2: "Northern Lights" by How Merry Marry (Soul Eater Repeat Show eps 14-)
Soul Eater is an impressive anime. It's one of those where you will no doubt enjoy watching
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
Soul Eater is about a group of students who attend a school for aspiring demon hunters, Shibusen. The story follows Maka, an scythe weilder and her partner, Soul, who transforms into the scythe she uses. Each hunter is paired with a partner who can turn into a weapon, and the two must fight in unison. The other main characters include Death the Kid, and his weapons Liz and Patty who become twin pistols, and Black Star, along with his partner Tsubaki, who has the unique ability to transform into several weapon types as a jack of all trades. These students as well as their teachers now fight the various demons and witches who want to destroy Shibusen in order to take over the world without consequence.
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.
Here we have Soul Eater, a shounen anime produced by Bones (Wolf's Rain, Full Metal Alchemist, Ouran High School Host Club) that came out in 2008. I've never read the manga, so this is based solely on the anime. Set in the fantastical Death City, Soul Eater focuses on the Shibusen Academy, where students both work together and compete in order to turn their partners - boys and girls that can turn into various different weapons - into world-class Death Scythes. My university pally and I blasted through all 51 episodes in about a week, if you don't count the days that we were too busy to watch any. Let me tell you, this does not make for hard watching.
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
Okay, I'm not a fan of reviewing shows in their early stages, but when I read the other reviews here; I just had to write up one, because I don't find it as great as most of the reviewers here on MAL. I find Soul Eater to be a bit of a rip-off from Bleach. It's still decent, though.
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
Some characters are funny because of all the crazy antics they get up to. But others just have the right kind of physiognomy, which make them prone to pulling off some funny anime faces - intentionally or unintentionally.