Title: Soul Eater
Author: Okubo, Atsushi
Audience: Older Teen (16+)
Genre: Comedy, Action, Supernatural, Kitschy, Fan-Service
Summary: “Maka is a weapon meister, determined to turn her partner, a living scythe named Soul Eater, into a powerful death scythe — the ultimate weapon of Death himself! Charged with the task of collecting and devouring the tainted souls of ninety-nine humans and one witch, Maka and her fellow meisters strive to master their weapons as they face off against the bizarre and dangerous minions of the underworld. But the meisters’ own personal quirks may prove a bigger obstacle than any sultry enchantress!
Rae’s Review: Just in time for Halloween (and the two-year anniversary of the first volume in English), I present Soul Eater for your delectation. Another reviewer said the flavor of this series could be summed up in two words: Halloween Kitsch. I have to agree, with the good and bad connotations of that description. The first volume, especially, is all over the place with pacing, characters, action and over-the-top fan service. Sometimes the first volume in a manga series is amazing and utterly stand-alone. More often than not, however, they are piecemeal productions used to introduce all the characters and set-up the plot for continuing volumes. Soul Eater most definitely belongs to the latter group.
What I love about Soul Eater is its unrepentantly goofy take on shinigami, fight manga, and fan service (even though it often makes me groan or roll my eyes). This series is not for the easily offended…or easily bored. The female characters are either childish or vixens (with anatomically improbable attributes), and pretty much nothing in-between. The fight sequences can take pages and pages and pages…maybe not as much as Bleach (don’t even get me started!) but enough that I’m more than ready for the villain to finally bite it when it finally happens. And, the overall humor is often sophomoric at best… hmm…give me a sec…I seem to have gotten off track… (Sometimes my librarian brain adversely affects my fan brain…lemme think…)
I remember now! The characters are indisputably, irredeemably, inexplicably likeable. I don’t remember another manga I’ve read recently where I had such an immediate reaction to the various characters. They’re all flawed (who ain’t?) but have such clear personalities and goals (no matter how unattainable they may be) to work towards, that you’re immediately sucked into their reality. The subsequent volumes have great stories to go along with the characters, and humor that one grows to appreciate. I’m still trying to work out why I like them so much…I think maybe it all started with Soul’s smirk…and his insatiable appetite. 😉
Original Website (in Japanese!): gangan.square-enix.co.jp/souleater/
Wikipedia Article: Soul Eater
Stream online: (free!) at souleaterepisodes.com (both sub & dub)
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