Soul Eater was written and illustrated by Atsushi Ohkubo. It was first published in 2004 and ran till 2013. It has spawned a 51 episode anime, three games, a CD drama and a spin off series Soul Eater Not!. Soul Eater Not! ran for three years and got it’s own 12 episode anime. If you are reading this after only seeing the anime, the manga is different from the anime. So, with out further ado, there be spoilers ahead for the manga.
First and for most the art is amazing in this series. When you read the first chapter, the art looks kiddish and not that well done. Then you keep reading. As the characters get crazier and crazier, how they are drawn reflects that. So the very simple art at the beginning eases you in to the crazier stuff later on. Also, the angles are are used in the series are awesome. As the story goes on the art gets darker to, reflecting on how the story has gotten darker as well.
The concept is pretty cool. Some on turns into a weapon while the other person fights with them. I’m going to say it because you are thinking I know. That sounds very Japanese, yes, yes it does. The main story is about over coming madness or insanity. In other words not letting your self fall into them by connecting to other people and having faith in your self
and others. That’s pretty deep for some thing that I thought was going to be a dopey kids manga.
The main thing that I like about this series is it’s not like other shounens. And, here’s why. Maka, a girl is the lead character, she is surrounded by men, but at no time is she saved by them because she is a girl. She’s a lead character who happens to be a girl. She fights along side every one else and becomes stronger then all of them. Soul, her partner and weapon, grows with her. They both have problems and baggage they have to work through in order for them to be partners. Also, there relationship is not boyfriend/girlfriend. At one point Soul jump in front of an unconscious Maka and gets hurt saving her. While doing this he yells “Don’t hurt my Tech”. He’s saving his partner, because that is what partners do. They are partners, friends, and then romantic interest. Also, Maka doesn’t want to save Crona because of any romantic reasons, they are friends and Crona needs saving. Also, Crona’s gender is ambiguous through the whole series. That is never an issue and no one makes
a big deal out of it.
The only thing I don’t like about this manga is that it ended abruptly. It was like epic battle, epic battle, epic battle got more epic, then end. There were no loose ends and I didn’t feel like any thing was left out, but I wanted more. If that is the only complaint about a series is that it ended to quickly, then it was a good series. Now I’m going to have to read Soul Eater Not! Not that I’m complaining about that.
I can’t say this more, read this series. For the art, for the interesting concept, for some thing different. This is not your average shounen and we need more of that. Something that is different and decides to break the established rules that have been set. We need more Soul Eater.
Photo Credit: Soul Eater, Atsushi Ōkubo, Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd., Yen Press