image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_Eater_(manga)
I do not own this manga, so I will be reading fan translations online.
Every post past this point will be a spoiler, so please read ahead with caution!
I have actually read Soul Eater before, but it’s been a long time. One of the first things about this manga that caught my attention were the villain names. So, this manga starts off with three introductory chapters to introduce the main characters. The first introductory chapter shows a villain named Jack the Ripper being chased by Maka and her scythe weapon, Soul Eater. It’s revealed in this chapter that Maka wants to make her scythe into a Death Scythe. To do that, Soul (her weapon) will need to eat ninety-nine human souls and one witch’s soul. Despite being a weapon, Soul also has a human form which he uses to eat the souls. They do manage to defeat Jack the Ripper and eat his soul. This becomes Soul Eater’s 99th consumed human soul.
Somehow, the two of them track down a witch named Blair who loves pumpkins. She uses the word “pumpkin” to cast her spells and throw pumpkins at her enemies. Let me give a word of warning about this manga: there’s so much fanservice!! If you’re not comfortable seeing lots of cleavage or panties or mostly naked bodies, then this isn’t the manga for you.
Maka is the daughter of the current Death Scythe, simply called Death Scythe, who is used by Shinigami-sama. Her parents are in the process of getting a divorce so she has a distrust of men, and she is especially harsh against her father. Her mother was a scythe technician, and she was so good that she turned her scythe (Maka’s father) into a death scythe. Maka wants to make her own scythe into an even better death scythe than her father.
Soul Eater is a “cool guy” who seems very laid back. He doesn’t stress about much, he has bad posture, and he continuously talks about acting cool or being cool. It seems to be his main focus other than wanting to become a death scythe. He does seem to have an obvious weakness against curvy women such as Blair, so he’s not as cool as he thinks he is. He seems to have no interest in non-curvy women such as his technician, Maka.
Maka and Soul manage to defeat Blair, and Soul eats her soul, but he doesn’t get a power boost. Instead, Blair reveals that she’s actually just a cat that’s very good at magic; she never said she was a witch! Since Soul Eater didn’t eat a witch’s soul after eating ninety-nine human souls, then he has to start back over at zero (for some reason).
The second introductory chapter introduces Black Star and his weapon, Tsubaki. Their target is Al Capone. Black Star is trying to be a ninja while also wanting to be the center of every stage. Basically, he’s loud and counter productive. Even while talking about the three first rules of assassination (hiding your presence, thinking like your target, killing them before they notice you), he immediately yells and comes out of hiding to strike a pose in front of all of them. The rules of assassination are apparently the same as the three rules of peeping toms. He quotes these rules while yelling as he peeps at Tsubaki taking a bath (this happens twice in this chapter).
Tsubaki is called a Dark Demon Blade, but she seems to have many different forms. She can be two hand scythes connected by a chain, she can be a smoke bomb, she can be a giant shuriken, and she can be a ninja sword. She knows the rules of assassination, but despite her constant reminders, Black Star doesn’t follow them (but he can quote them). It’s stated in this chapter that she’s only eaten one soul, but later in chapter 1 (after the introductory chapters), Shinigami-sama says that they haven’t eaten any souls. It could just be a translation error from what I’m reading…
Since Black Star and Tsubaki fail to get Al Capone’s soul, Shinigami-sama tells them about a short cut. There’re strong souls in the world that are worth more than a single soul. There is a bodyguard named Mifune who’s soul is as strong as ninety-nine souls, and he is guarding a witch named Angela. If Black Star and Tsubaki can complete this mission, then Tsubaki can become a death scythe.
Al Capone and his minions also go to where Mifune and Witch Angela are in order to get the power of the witch. Mifune kills all of them before Black Star and Tsubaki arrive. Upon arrival, Black Star fights Mifune, but the bodyguard takes pity on Black Star. Instead of fighting him for real, he hits Black Star with the back of his sword because he doesn’t like to kill kids. Black Star takes offense to this; he’s too big of a star to be mistaken for a kid! His eyes change colors, and he finally embraces the way of the assassin. He takes Mifune by surprise and hits him with a shockwave of his soul’s wavelength, defeating Mifune. Before he can deliver the finishing blow, though, the witch Angela appears to defend Mifune. She’s just a little girl who’s not very good at magic. Mifune says he’s willing to give up his life in order to protect hers. Black Star leaves them alone saying that he doesn’t like to kill kids.
The third introductory chapter introduces us to Death the Kidd, son of Shinigami-sama, and his two weapons, the double team demon guns, Liz and Patty Thompson. They face off against Master Thief Lupin. Kidd loves symmetry to the point that he falls apart if symmetry is broken. In fact, Lupin escapes because Patty missteps during their opening pose, and Kidd breaks down. Kidd goes to his father to find out a faster solution to making Liz and Patty into death scythes. They’re directed to Hegypt (this is what the translation I read said) and the pyramid of Anubis to face off against a necromancer witch that collects wandering souls from the desert every night to turn them into mummies. After heading inside, Kidd remembers a picture frame at home that he thinks might be crooked. He leaves to fix it right as Liz and Patty are attacked by mummies. With their technician gone, they take turns being guns so the other can shoot and destroy their enemies. Apparently, Liz gets scared easily (I’d be scared, too, though).
By the time Kidd comes back, they’ve been captured by the newly revived Pharaoh’s Wrath who has killed the witch that revived it. Its bandages drain their power and keep them from turning into weapons. Kidd uses his flying skateboard to free them, but before he can fire upon the pharaoh, he realizes his greatest weakness: the pharaoh is perfectly symmetrical! Kidd can’t bring himself to destroy the pharaoh even though it is literally killing him. Assured of its victory, the pharaoh comes out of its sarcophagus to finish Kidd in person. Only this shows that the pharaoh is actually a mismatched, not symmetrical monster. Kidd kills it with gusto and accidentally brings down the pyramid. As punishment, Shinigami-sama confiscates all their collected souls.
Chapter 1 starts with the first day of school! We find out that the school’s name is Shinigami Buki Shokunin Senom, or just Shibusen for short. Blair followed Maka and Soul home and is now living with them. Since Maka, Soul Eater, Black Star, and Tsubaki have collected zero souls, they’re given an extra lesson. If they fail this assignment, they’ll be expelled. There was a teacher named Sid who died and was brought back as a zombie. Apparently, he’s begun attacking his old students to help them surpass the fear of death like he has. Our four main characters must stop him and find out who revived him. They go to the Hook Graveyard where Sid was buried, but Maka’s head isn’t in the game. She’s completely distraught over being expelled! Soul’s pretty upset, too, but Black Star isn’t phased. While moping under a tree, a hand comes out of the ground and grabs Maka’s ankle. It’s Sid, and this is how the fight starts.
Throughout the battle, we learn that Sid was a three star level technician while our main characters are only one star. Even without his weapon, Sid is incredibly powerful, and it takes all of our main characters tricks (failed and successful) in order to finally capture the zombie. Exploiting Sid’s perverted nature, Black Star finds out that it was Doctor Franken Stein who revived the zombie. Through Maka’s wrath, Sid tells them where the doctor is.
Chapter 2: Doctor Stein lives in a house covered in stitches. He was a student from Shibusen, and he’s said to have been the best to ever graduate. He’s a genius technician who views everything as training. Supposedly, that’s the reason he revived Sid, was for the training of doing it. He’s sadistic and quirky with possibly a literal screw loose. His grand entrance is that he tries to roll out his front door in a chair, but he gets tripped on the door frame and falls over.
During the fight, we learn that Stein’s old weapon was Maka’s father, Spirit (his name changed when he became a death scythe). We also learn that Stein experimented on Spirit for five years until Spirit’s wife (Maka’s mother) noticed that he kept getting new scars during the night. Spirit is also apparently older than Stein, since Stein uses the honorific “senpai” with Spirit’s name. Now that he’s met Spirit’s daughter, Stein wants to experiment on Maka since her mother took away his favorite ingredient for experiments.
Stein can match other’s wavelengths and see their souls. He can also attack with his own wavelength, similar to Black Star. He actually defeats Black Star with this technique. Maka becomes able to see souls during this fight, but she becomes terrified by the size and strength of Stein’s soul. Soul gives her a pep talk, and they’re able to fight, but they still cannot win. As he watches the students fall from the safety of his father’s office, Kidd decides that he’s going to help them. Shinigami-sama explains that this is a lesson for students only, so Kidd says that he will enroll in Shibusen. Instead of going to help them, though, Kidd collapses from fear that he didn’t fold a perfect triangle in his toilet paper. Soul Eater throws himself over Maka to defend her against Stein, and Stein tells them that they’ve passed the test. After this, Stein becomes a teacher at Shibusen.
Chapter 3 starts with Kidd, Liz, and Patty leaving for their first day of school. Unfortunately, they’re three hours late because Kidd had to make sure everything at home was symmetrical. Black Star and Soul are waiting at the school’s entrance for them. Black Star got tired of everyone talking about Kidd all the time, so he came to fight the new kid! Soul’s just there to support his friend, but he gets pulled into the fight, too. Once word travels through the school, Maka and Tsubaki go with Stein to supervise the fight as per the regulations of the school. Since Black Star and Soul are not compatible partners, though, they cannot fight as weapon and technician. They attack as well as they can, but Kidd is just on a different level.
Unfortunately for Kidd, though, Soul managed to cut a few of his hairs during the fight. Kidd collapses, bleeding from the mouth, once he realizes that he’s no longer symmetrical. Shinigami-sama comes to take his son home, and Maka decides to try seeing his soul, but she can’t. She guesses that he just doesn’t have one, but we’re shown that his soul is large enough to encompass the entire school and surrounding town; she was just too close to see it.
That’s all I could read tonight!
To read part 2 of my review, please click here.