First Impressions: Soul Eater

Scarfing souls and making Death cute:

all in a day’s work for Soul Eater.

I finally got around to checking out Soul Eater today, which is another of those anime series that I keep hearing about (especially on TinierMe; boy do they love their Soul Eater on TinierMe!). In episode one we’re introduced to “Death Weapon Meister Academy,” run by none other than Death himself, aka Shinigami, aka the Grim Reaper, etc. He strives to keep order by putting the smackdown on evil human souls who insist on killing and generally running amuck.

Maka and Soul, reaping in the harvest.

After we get the brief commercial for the Academy we’re introduced to Maka, a student of Death’s who hunts down evil souls. Her weapon of choice is a guy named Soul Eater who can transform into a scythe at will. Together they have collected ninety-eight of these evil souls, and we get to watch them collect the ninety-ninth. Once finished they discuss the fact that with just one more soul Soul Eater gets to transform into a real Death Scythe, woo-hoo! The problem is that last soul, which has to be the soul of a witch, and has proven difficult for students in the past. However, Maka and Soul Eater are confidant that they can make it work. They find a magical gal in a pumpkin house and spend the rest of the episode trying to claim her soul for themselves. Oh, and we also discover that Maka’s father is a Death Scythe with a monogamy problem, hence Maka hates him for cheating on her mother (which causes her dad to weep frequently, but not to stop fooling around).

Cute & spooky exhibit A: blood on the moon.

The first thing that struck me was the art. It’s very colourful and vibrant and full of cutesy gothic Halloween stuff. It reminded me of Roman Dirge and Death Jr. and I Luv Halloween and Hot Topic and all of that tweeny-spooky aesthetic that continues to be so popular. I like it, even if I’m beginning to feel a little old for it. The story seemed straightforward enough, and I appreciate the fact that we get to know a couple of characters very well instead of a huge cast of characters not much at all. The preview for the next episode promises to introduce us to a new Academy pairing, and I like that this show takes its time to draw you in without inundating you with information from the get-go.

An example of the funny (imho) fan service. And it's nipple-free, just for the kiddies!

With so many episodes, why not take your time? However, that is one of my minuses: I know that there are over fifty episodes of this anime, and that’s quite daunting for someone just beginning to watch. Not half as daunting as Bleach, but still formidable. Even so, the art is cute, the characters are likable (if mildly predictable) and the story seems like it has potential. Soul Eater totally looks like he belongs in Gorillaz, and Maka is generically spunky but relatable. There was a bit of fan service but nothing too extreme, and it actually made me laugh as opposed to roll my eyes per the norm. Overall, it seems a bit young and a bit of a commitment for me, but once I finish some of the other series that I’ve begun I’d certainly watch more Soul Eater. It’s practically too cute not to!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jj1027
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 00:55:20

    It actually gets less cute and darker later, but maintains the whole tim burton-esque vibe it has going. It is a bit of a comitment, but I found it highly worthwile.

    Reply

  2. jj1027
    Oct 08, 2011 @ 18:31:13

    He’s not. Trust me. You will learn to have a healthy, fearful respect for the goofy grim one. His shinigami chop is less cute when its leaving craters in the ground.

    Reply

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