Synopsis: Soul Eater is brought to us from studio BONES, who also did Wolf’s Rain, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha, Jyu-Oh-Sei, and No. 6. Soul Eater is about a group of students who attend a special school hidden from the rest of the human race. Some of these students can turn into weapons while the other students control them. At this school they are taught by the Grim Reaper himself to hunt down and eliminate evil human souls.
*This review will most definitely contain SPOILERS*
Review: I had wanted to watch this series for a long time, I absolutely love studio BONES and this anime sounded intriguing, but the thing that put me over the edge and convinced me this was a must see was this AMV à http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw8pcxE6U9k Seriously, watch it right now. What are you doing still reading? Watch it, then finish the review :D. The AMV definitely makes the show look creepier than it actually is, but the show is still inherently gothic and freakin’ awesome.
This may be one of my favorite series, of all times. I’m convinced I could watch it several times and never get board. In fact, that is what inspired me to do this review, I watched the complete series about a year ago, then over winter break I started to re-watch it. Absolutely no part of it lost its charm although this does not mean that there are not parts of it I have contentions with. So lets get to it.
I would like to start with the first opening theme, called Resonance by T.M. Revolution. Not going to lie, completely love this song. If I made a top opening themes list, this song would be incredibly high on said list (along with Death Note opening 1 and closing 2). I have a confession to make, sometimes when I’m doing homework I will listen to Resonance on a loop…
This series is pure shonen, plain and simple. The vast majority of it takes place at the Death Weapon Meister Academy (the DWMA), and the head master of this school is Death himself, the Grim Reaper. The main characters of this show are students at the academy, and they are charged with killing and collecting evil souls, kishin souls, and witch souls. The DWMA is in Death City, which is located in Nevada. Death City has some sort of shield surrounding it so that normal humans don’t accidently stumble upon this skull encrusted, witch infested city. I absolutely love the idea that this takes place in the real world; a battle even takes place on the London Bridge in the series. It just makes the show all the more real, almost. I can’t help myself; I’m going to compare it to Harry Potter. In HP there is a fantastical made up place, Hogwarts, which is isolated from the real world, yet the characters in HP exist and move seamlessly from one “world” to another. In Soul Eater this crossing of “worlds” happens seamlessly, and I was stunned at how this small detail could add such a colossal dimension to the show.
The character design and architecture are perhaps one of the many aspects of this show that make it stand out. From Maka’s chunky and fabulous combat boots combined with her black button down trench coat, to the giant screw sticking out of Steins head, to the maniacal moon with blood dripping from its crazed smile. This show is so Tim Burton-esque that I immediately fell in love.
Soul Eater is not all action; it also has its fair share of humor. I found myself laughing out loud like a giddy schoolgirl for far more of this show then I expected. There was one episode where the characters have to take a written test, and this came right after a long and intense battle where our hero’s ultimately fail. I usually hate filler, with every fiber of my being, I hate it, but this episode was just so perfect I could not help but enjoy it. Death the Kid, who is the Reapers son, is a perfectionist, so even though he probably knows the most out of the whole class he spends the whole time trying to write his name perfectly. Kid has two weapon partners, duel pistols, and one of them is a ditz, and she just adds so much to the show. I found myself giggling at the vast majority of her stupid one-liners.
The fighting is beyond awesome. As you can guess, because it is a 51 episode shonen series, there are going to be a hell of allot of fight scenes, even with so many they do not get worn out, humdrum, or mundane. Every fight scene feels new and exciting. In addition due to the fact that the different characters have different weapons every fighting style is still unique. The fact that each character fights with his/her own specific style makes the show all the more fun to watch, and causes it to not be boring and repetitive. Lets just face it, BONES animation kicks major ass.
This series housed some absolutely memorable characters in both design and personality. First of all, Medusa is a badass bad guy. She is maniacal, and when she flashes her devilish grin it’s hard to not be at least slightly taken aback. She is also just so devious, willing to take over a small child’s body, and use it as leverage. Then there is Professor Stein, an unequivocally insane professor who would like nothing more then to dissect something new every class. He isn’t simply insane; he is also a genius, and possibly the best meister at the academy. Some moments Stein is a meister genius who is most certainly a good guy, but other times, when the glare hits is glasses just right its hard to tell exactly what he is thinking.
I could write a freakin’ novel about Soul Eater, but I will restrain myself, so I’m going to move on to the few (but still existent) contentions I had with the series. The most glaring of these would have to be Black Star as a whole. There is no getting around the fact that he is incredibly annoying. Every time he says YAHOO, I want to reach into the T.V and punch him directly in the pie hole. I originally had high hopes for him, and I even LIKED him in episode 10 and 11, because I was really impressed with his character development. But after that short two-episode arc he goes back to being his ridiculously irritating self. But even Black Star isn’t all bad, I really love his fighting style, with and with out Tsubaki. It’s a little hard to explain, it is part samurai, but yet there is a very modern, almost brake dancer feel to it, the way he flips and dodges, with an edge of some sort of martial art, combining into an original and kick ass style.
My next problem is one that I’m sure allot of people had with the show, its ending! I mean can you say COP OUT?! I think there was some great fighting and animation during the massive fight that takes place at the end of the series, but the whole idea behind “bravery” and whatever was stupid. I don’t know, I was disappointed. Enough said.
As I said earlier, I really could write a book about this anime, but what it boils down to is that I truly did enjoy it, even if the end was a bit of a cop out. I would whole-heartedly give this anime an 8.5/10.
Hope you enjoyed.