Anime Review: Soul Eater by Atsushi Okubo

Meet the Team:
Left to Right: Maka, Liz (top), Patty (Bottom), Death the Kid "Kid",
Tsubaki, Black Star, & Soul "Soul Eater" Evans
Title: Soul Eater
Original Artist: Atsushi Okubo
Episodes: 51
Genre: ActionComedyFantasyShounenSupernatural
Manga: Yes [Here]; Watch [Here]

 Set at the "Death Weapon Meister Academy," the series revolves around three teams consisting of a weapon meister and (at least one) human weapon. Trying to make the latter a "Death Scythe" and thus fit for use by the academy's headmaster, Shinigami (better known as Death), they must collect the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch. 

Yeah shoot me: I didn't read the Manga first like any normal Otaku. But I was totally done with the rest of my shows on Netflix ('cept for Honey and Clover) and had to watch something. Soul Eater was the choice. It's received both criticism and praise for its artwork and plot line. Soul Eater's easy plot line was quick to catch on, even with its constant perspective changes in the first episode. Basically, the story is about a team of three different people who all have a certain weapon, certain personality, and certain pasts that keep the audience interested in each. Nearly every character has some sort of dilemma in them, some sort of problem, that haunts them. All the characters are interesting and compliment this crazy and intense action packed story. This is a real shounen, sticking to the traditional standards. However, I've only seen a couple episodes. So far, I like it. However, you know what makes a good manga/anime, well really any, any story? Theming. THEMES PEOPLE. The theme of this story is about getting stronger and being better, in more ways than physically. Each character wants to achieve something, whether it is social love or power.
Theming = GENIUS.

3 main Meisters (aka the ones who control/create the weapons):
Left to right: Black Star, Maka, and Death the Kid (AKA "Kid")
Maka Albarn: A very earnest and temperamental girl, Maka is the main female protagonist of the series. She fits the main theme of this entire story from episode one and so forth. She wants to surpass the excellence of her mother, whom she takes after as a prodigy Meister, and her father, Spirit (AKA Death Scythe). The theming from Maka makes her a real [female] heroine. She knows the reality of trying to get stronger, which is safe to say, not easy. Maka's strong will and partnership with Soul [Eater] create an awesome protagonist pair.
Soul "Soul Eater" Evans: A laid back and "cool" (he tends to say this many, many times to explain his situation), he is always butting heads with Maka about random, little things. However, he is extremely loyal to his Meister and willing to risk his life for her and his friends. Soul is probably my favorite character, besides Kid, of course! But Soul continues to fulfill the entire theme of SE: Getting stronger. He wants to be the best Death Scythe ever created and helps Maka fulfill her dreams as well.
Black Star: Not gonna lie, I don't really like Black Star. He's funny and has cool moves, but I have yet to really like him. Yet, his character is your typical shounen "hero": Arrogant, egotistical, and wants to become stronger and better than everyone else. He has a BROMANCE with Soul, which is totally and non-inconspicuous in Episode 6 (HILARIOUS BTW!). But this dislike was like for Gin Ichimaru from Bleach.... I ended up in love with Gin. I can't wait to see Black Star much later and getting more strength.
Left to Right:
Patty, Liz, Kid, Soul, Maka, Black Star, & Tsubaki
Tsubaki Nakatsukasa: The weapon for Black Star, Tsubaki can transform into several different ninja-esque weaponry. She is generally calm and caring, contrasting deeply with Black Star's definitely-not-level thinking. She's the brains behind Black Star's operation and continues to be an asset in his battles. She helps Black Star frequently and supports his character to reach his potential.
Death the Kid "Kid": A perfectionist at heart (Can see it through his "IT'S NOT SYMMETRICAL" break downs...), Kid is the son of the God of Death, the headmaster of DWMA. He joins the academy official in Episode 6 and immediately jumps into a fight with Soul and Black Star. With a generally chill demeanor and fond of all things symmetrical (Talk about OCD...), he can snap when something isn't symmetrical (If it's out of battle, he breaks down on the floor and wallows in intense self-pity. If it's in battle, he snaps. Literally. He just kicks arse...) Kid's the mega comic relief of the group and really gets me laughing. (seriously, my dad thought I was going insane while I laughed..)
The Thompson Sisters (Liz & Patty): The twin handguns for the Meister, Kid. Their contrasting personalities create a realistic partnership between polar opposites and basically the epitome of prodigious God of Death (Kid). Their differing personalities as sisters is fun to watch, and their antics add onto the comic relief produced by Kid. 

Art and Movement:
Genius Camera VP
Maka, Y R U so awesum?!
Flow and Art is incredibly important for Anime and Manga, or generally any kind of animations. The flow of action and movement in SE is extremely done, and the action camera-views are excellently used. The art is somewhat a mainstream style but incorporates unique setting that places the reader into a Coraline/Alice in Wonderland/Tim Burton's Film setting, nearly abstract. The character's movements are not choppy, and the special effects are created equally good.

You are probably wondering by now: Why are you not giving it a four polishes? It seems you like it.
It's the voice acting. Yes. Voice Acting.
Black Star and Tsubaki [in weapon form]
In Animes, or in any animation possible, [voice] acting is an essential part of conveying the emotions of a character. Sure the character has body language and facial expressions, but if the voice acting isn't being expressed correctly with the body language, facial expressions, and movement of the character, then the entire feeling is lost in that shot/scene or even arc of the anime. This non-parallel emotions between the character in the shot and the voicing behind that character can make or break it. For example: (Note: THIS IS ALL FOR THE ENGLISH VA, NOT THE JAPANESE VA) Why I don't like Black Star is his voice acting. It is played by a GIRL. Understand that he is young and boys don't hit puberty before like 14 or something, but seriously. Kid is played by a boy (If anyone watched D Gray-man, you'll recognize Allen Walker's <3 VA), but he seems just as young, or even younger, than Black Star. Black Star's VA broke the little likeness I could muster for Black Star. Like I said, I like Black Star, but generally, I hope they change the VA by the mid of the season.
Left to Right: Patty, Liz & Kid
Okay, you might think "You're not going to give SE four polishes because of VA?!" Well, VA is very important. Take for example, if that character just didn't have that voice, whether the voice changed lower or higher. In Ouran High School Host Club, if Tamaki-senpai had a different VA, his character probably wouldn't be the same. It just fit. That's the problem that arises with correlation between VAs and the characters being portrayed. If the VA's voice just doesn't fit the image of the character, that character is essential ruined. Another example within SE is Kid's voice. I like his voice so much because his voice can become both serious and funny, which exactly fits Kid's personality. Had he another voice, I don't think I would like him as much.

I would recommend Soul Eater. It is an excellent show, and I plan to read the manga as soon as I finish the Anime. The Anime does deviate at some point away from the main canon of manga, so you have been warned! I give SE a super awesome 3/4 polishes. Had VA been a bit better, I would definitely have given it a 4/4 on the spot.

Inked with Brilliance and Love,

P.S. Sorry for such a big entry and failing to do a feature last Monday. I plan to tomorrow and do more reviews for y'all. Thanks for reading and have an awesome week! I leave you with Black Star and Soul...

This is a face only a mother COULDN'T love...

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