Soul Eater, part 4

If you have not read part 1 yet, click here.  If you have not read part 2 yet, click here.  If you have not read part 3 yet, click here.

Soul Eater image from:

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!

Chapter 14 starts with two really profound thoughts by Chrona and Kidd!  Chrona asks (in the translation I’m reading), “Where is Hell? Do you know? It’s inside your head.” Jeez..!  For so many -really everyone at least sometimes in life-, this is so true.  We have external problems and struggles, but most of it is internal, in our own heads; that’s where the continuous battles are fought (I wasn’t expecting to be hit with that profound thought by Chrona tonight).  During the fight, Kidd responds with “If you really want to remove your fear… strengthen your soul!!”.  I love this thought as a retaliation to Chrona who fears so much.  We may be afraid as well, but we must strengthen our souls -which is easier said than done, especially for those of us in the real world who don’t battle with souls every day. … So that one’s not as applicable, but I still really liked the sentiment.  If you are weak and afraid, then you just need to overcome that and by overcoming it, then you will become strong.  I guess I like that Kidd had an answer for Chrona’s fear; leave it to the son of Shinigami-sama.
Anyway!  Continuing in the fight, Chrona laments that Kidd can’t understand.  After all, even Usagi-chan couldn’t understand what Chrona felt (he means Maka; I love that he calls her Usagi-chan).  Chrona eventually tries to run, so Kidd summons his skateboard named Beelzabub in order to pursue Chrona.  Kidd stops chasing Chrona, however, because he is distracted by the perfect symmetry of the clouds around the sun.  Now that the fighters are gone, the Wandering Dutchman reveals that he is still alive despite being cut in half twice and having most of his ship destroyed.
Back at the school, Maka lets Medusa test her blood to try and understand why it was black.  Medusa reports that everything looks normal but prescribes some pills anyway.  These pills will actually accelerate the affects of the black blood, but after Maka leaves with them, Stein confiscates them.  He enters the nurse’s office while Medusa looks for Maka’s medical file, revealing that he actually stole it.  He also shows Medusa the pills he’d just taken from Maka.  He questions her and even calls her a witch, but she manages to contain her murderous thoughts, playing off the witch comment by acting like he was being rude about her looks.  He laughs and rolls out of the office with her chair.  In the hallway, he reflects  on the murderous vibes he got from her and acknowledges that she has made him feel fear for the first time in a long time.  While he’s thinking, Sid approaches him to confirm the plan to investigate Medusa’s house for evidence of if she’s really a witch.  Stein confirms, and Sid leaves.  At Medusa’s house, he finds her lab and even her journal.  While he’s reading it, though, one of Erika’s bombs explodes and destroys everything.
Back at the school, Kidd approaches his father to ask about the kishin near them.  He also asks if this is why Shinigami-sama can’t leave the school.

Chapter 15 starts us at the Christmas Eve party to commemorate the school!  Kidd tries to make a welcome speech, but Black Star interrupts and takes the stage.  They have a small scuffle while Shinigami-sama gets the party started.  While everyone’s inside enjoying the food and the music, Soul steps outside.  Maka comes out, too, to talk to him and eat, but he doesn’t open up the way she wants.  He does ask for her food, though, but she refusing.  Still trying to get him to open up, she asks him to dance, but he refuses.  Instead, Spirit shows up and asks his daughter to dance, and Soul convinces her to go.  While she’s being dragged away, she asks him to watch her food.  When he goes to investigate it, he sees that she has some raw salmon on her plate.  He knows she doesn’t like it and realizes that she brought it out for him to eat.  They’re so sweet to each other!
Inside, Medusa is trying to figure out how best to leave and start her plan, but Stein approaches her and asks her to dance under the guise of being drunk.  Once they’re dancing, however, he reveals that he’s not drunk and begins questioning her about Sid, her lab, and her interest in Shibusen and the Kishin.  She admits that she wants to revive the Kishin and asks Stein to join her.  Before she can kiss him, Sid returns and tells everyone that they have to leave now!  He announces that the plan is going down tonight because Shinigami-sama is out in the open.
With Stein distracted by Sid, Medusa escapes and tells Free to create the cubic barrier around the party.  While he’s creating the barrier, Sid draws his weapon, Naigus, and soul resonates with her.  This creates coffins in the ground under Soul, Maka, Black Star, Tsubaki, Kidd, Liz, Patty, and Stein.  They’re dropped below the room just before the witch’s barrier can seal them in with everyone else.  Outside, Medusa, Erika, and Free head to the basement to revive the Kishin while the Mizune sisters -called in by Erika- begin destroying Death City.  As our group of heroes head underground, Black Star mentions his surprise that Shinigami-sama is trapped at the school despite being claustrophobic (why does he think Shinigami-sama is claustrophobic?).

Chapter 16: While Shinigami-sama is trapped by the barrier for the next hour, he tells the story of the Kishin.  The Kishin was once a man named Asura who served as one of the “Eight Powerful Warriors Shinigami”.  He was a technician who was so afraid and distrustful of others that he swallowed his own weapon; this somehow gave him the power to eat other souls, including those not on Shinigami-sama’s list.  Shinigami-sama sealed him by tearing off his skin and trapping him inside (ew); then Shinigami-sama sealed his own soul to the ground in order to keep Asura trapped.  The only way Shinigami-sama could ever leave now would be if the city had legs.  Down in the basement, Soul ignores his inner demon who tells him that craziness is contagious.
Out in the city, Blair is walking around bored.  She decides to visit the fish seller who often gives her free fish for being an adorable cat.  When she finds him injured, she attacks the five Mizune sisters who caused him harm and who are continuing to destroy the city.
Back underground, Spirit meets up with our group of heroes after somehow escaping the barrier.  They quickly come upon Medusa who has let Erika, Free, and Chrona go ahead of her (I missed her explanation for why this was their plan and I also missed our heroes’ strategy meeting because the site I’m reading from did not have those pages translated).  Medusa attacks with a barrage of arrows, but Kidd gets past her on his skateboard.  Black Star also manages to get through the attack by activating Demon Sword Mode and cutting through any arrows that got in his way.  Maka has the most trouble getting through, but after running straight through the center and by repressing her fear, she is able to move fast enough to get through.  Before Medusa can attack the retreating kids, Stein attacks her and keeps her occupied.
Up ahead, Kidd flies by Chrona.  Black Star stops to fight Chrona, but before their battle can begin, Maka appears to take the fight instead.  This apparently goes against their strategy -which was untranslated so I couldn’t read it- but Black Star apparently senses that this fight is important to Maka.  He lets her have the fight, then continues after Kidd.

Chapter 17: Maka starts the fight with Chrona by punching her (this translation says “her”, even though a previous one I read said “him”) repeatedly and trapping her against Soul’s blade.  She finishes off the series of blows with a hard kick.  Finally, Ragnarok comes out to give Chrona a hard time.  Apparently, this is what Maka wanted; she wanted to be recognized as an opponent and even as potential food.  They exchange names and begin fighting again.
During the fight, Maka asks why Chrona would kill so many people, and she answers that it’s because she’s afraid and that she wants to get stronger.  She says that if she doesn’t get strong enough, then Medusa will leave her.  Maka declares that even though she herself isn’t strong, she refuses to let fear defeat her.
While Stein and Medusa fight, they of course talk, and during this talk, it’s revealed that Chrona is Medusa’s actual daughter.

Chapter 18: As Maka and Chrona continue to fight, Maka begins to question if she’s actually strong enough to defeat Chrona.  She begins to acknowledge that she might lose.
Back in the town, Blair continues to fight the five Mizune sisters.  They combine into one, much taller woman whose outfit exposes her midriff and the lower half of her chest (the fish seller is quite happy about this).  Blair transforms into her own human form, showing that her outfit consists of micro shorts and a barely buttoned short jacket that nearly exposes all of her chest (the fish seller is so impressed and happy about this that he passes out from the sight, as does his fish).  Mizune and Blair proceed to have a grope war which revives the fish seller, alerting them to his presence.
Back at the main fights, we learn about Chrona’s past and how Medusa raised her.  Whenever Chrona would fail to do a task -in this flashback, it’s to kill a rabbit-, Medusa would lock her in a dark room for days.  In that room, Ragnarok would appear and torment her, beating her and pinching her and saying hateful things.  This would continue for as many days as needed until finally, Chrona would do as Medusa asked. (Gosh, Medusa is just the worst!  Reading about Chrona’s past is always really hard for me; it makes me feel sick that anyone would abuse a child this way).
Soul is approached by his inner demon (I am not sure how the conversation goes since the pages aren’t translated).  Maka appears in the room to try and talk to Soul who doesn’t immediately believe it’s really her.  Apparently, it is, though!  Since his demon exists in his soul, and their souls are resonating, then she is able to be there, as well.  They dance and talk, trying to figure out what to do about their losing battle with Chrona.  Maka wants to listen to the demon and try using the black blood to become stronger; she sensed it back when they fought Free and thinks it may be the edge they need to fight more evenly with Chrona.  Soul is against the plan because he knows the madness that it can inspire, but he finally relents to her plan, saying that he will bring her back from it.
Further down the hall, Kidd finds a hallway full of Erika’s bombs.  He notes that they’re not symmetrical and is thus disgusted by it.  Elsewhere, Erika and Free are getting closer to where the Kishin is.

Chapter 19: After continuing to stare down the hallway full of bombs, Kidd realizes that he can’t go on; the lack of symmetry is making him feel sick!  Despite Liz’s words about him being a shinigami who should stop the Kishin, he just can’t bring himself to move.  It is only when Patty harshly commands him to get up and go that he does so, crying all the way as he zips past the bombs and sets them off.
Maka begins to use the black blood to fight Chrona, and she is quickly taken in by the madness.  She fights with such random ferocity that she seems to be winning, but it is putting a lot of strain on Soul who continually calls out to her to try and wake her up.  Finally, he does reach her soul, but her body is continuing to fight.  Now that her soul is awake, she looks at the souls around herself, spotting first her own, then Soul’s, and then finally, Chrona’s.  Within Chrona’s soul, Chrona is a little kid, alone on a small planet of sand.
While Stein fights Medusa, he questions what she plans to do with Chrona now that her experiment with the black blood is complete.  She implies that she may abandon Chrona since she does not like creatures that have to depend on someone else.  Spirit is so upset by these words that he comes out of his weapon form in order to grab Medusa, but when he can’t even form words, she hits him away from her.  He sits on the ground and cries.  As a father, he cannot accept that she could abandon her child.
Within Chrona’s soul, little Chrona draws a circle in the sand and sits within it.  After a time, her shadow appears and begins trying to talk and question her.  Chrona asks a few questions of her own, but the shadow deflects without answering.  In turn, Chrona refuses to answer the shadow’s questions.  This seems to make the shadow sad, and after being refused 42 times, the shadow disappears, leaving Chrona alone again.  Until a little Maka appears.  Immediately, Maka walks within the circle, but Chrona tries to make her leave, saying that no one has ever entered the circle before.  Maka finds her own solution to this by erasing the circle completely, thus destroying Chrona’s safe place.
Outside, Chrona screams.  Soul works to pull Maka’s soul out of the maddening black blood and finally manages to bring her back.  Now that she is herself again, Maka sets Soul in his scythe form aside and approaches the screaming Chrona.  Chrona’s body shoots out a spike that narrowly misses Maka’s neck, but Maka keeps approaching.  After taking many small wounds from these spikes, Maka falls against Chrona and envelops her in a hug, understanding that Chrona had never been held before.  This seems to shock Chrona out of screaming, and Chrona says that all her life, she’s felt disposable, and she had given up on receiving physical contact from Medusa.  Maka asks to be Chrona’s friend, and Chrona starts crying.  Soul watches the exchange and returns to his human form.  He recognizes Chrona’s fear of being touched and recounts to himself that he shares this fear.

This chapter had so many feels!!  I feel so, so bad for Chrona for how she was raised!  Never getting hugs?!  Getting locked up and forced to kill little bunnies?!  No!! It’s terrible!  If there are any parents reading this, please be kind to your children.  Love them, comfort them, and make sure they know they are cared about; don’t let them think they’re worthless or unloved.  I know times can be hard, but a little word of encouragement can mean the world to a child, even just a pat on the shoulder.  Be kind, and that applies to everyone; so anyone out there who doesn’t have kids, please also be kind whether it be to a child or to someone who is alone.
And with that, my rant is over.

To read part 5, please click here.

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