Review Corner: "Soul Eater"

Soul EaterRecently I was introduced to an anime named “Soul Eater”, about children that are being trained by Death to be warriors. From the beginning it is clear that this world isn’t Earth. It’s a fun world of magic and warriors.

One of the things that pulled me into this series was their way of handling this darker side of life, giving it the light twist of insanity. You could see this from the beginning of the series with the faces upon the Sun and the Moon. I’ve always enjoyed that bit of twist to the darkness. Much like Halloween Town in “Nightmare Before Christmas”, this town had that feeling that these dangerous things were only out there to live and do their job, while having fun.

The series starts off with three stand alone episodes, each of which introduce the leading characters in the series — Maka, Black Star and Death The Kid. These three warriors and their weapons are put through to some of the toughest challenges that can be thrown at them throughout the series. The first few episodes is their way of showing you their strengths and weaknesses and how they’ve gotten to know each other. The real story line begins in episode 4.

The story line is about a warrior who was working for Death long ago, though he feared everything. In his search to become stronger and overcoming his fears, he brought insanity ever he went. He spiraled out of control, killing innocents. Death defeated him and locked away. Death opened his school to train these warriors in case this fiend would ever awaken.

Death’s main enemies in this series are the Witches. They do not want to live under Death’s law and will quickly kill the innocents. The school must battle the witches, as well. One Witch has decided she wants to remove Death’s control and plans to awaken the dreaded fiend from his sleep.

What makes this series work so well is the characters. Every character in the series has their story and growth, their powers and weaknesses. I liked the characters as soon as their stories were told and I cared if these characters remained in the series or were destroyed. I found myself watching the full series within two weeks. To watch the series back to back like this it has to have a strong story as well as characters to hold ones interest for so long at a time.

The lead character for most of the series is Maka, her weapon is Soul. Maka is the serious straight A student, working to be as good as her mother. While Soul just wants to be the next Death Scythe, which means he needs to take down 99 evil souls and one Witch. In the first episode they’re close to this goal, though something goes wrong placing them back at the beginning of trying to achieve their goal.

Black Star just wants to be the best fighter. He believes he’s the best and he works for it. He can be annoying and loud, though he has his own goals and his own downfalls. His weapon is a very talented weapon who is a good student, she cares very much for Black Star so goes with him and his crazy ways of thinking.

Death the Kid is the son to Death. He has two weapons. His weakness is he wants everything prefect. If something is off or he forgot to do something at home, it throws off his game and he can’t help but worry that he didn’t mess up. An annoying weakness, but otherwise fun character.

Than you have the adult characters: Death, Death Scythe, Stein and Sid. These are the main adults that you see through the series that live in Death City. There are other adults, but these ones really do take the lead. Each one with a bit of insanity to them.

My favorites of these adults goes to Stein, also known as Frankenstein. From the first time you see him, the crazy look in his eyes, his laughter and just the way he moves his body, you know that he’s not all there and this makes for a fun character. He’s super smart, was the top student to ever go through that school and realizes that he’s on the edge when it comes to his sanity. Soul Eater is a based off of a manga and was made into an anime in 2008. Funimation brought it over to the US, dubbing the series into English. There is a total of 51 episodes to the series, all of which can be found for sale in 4 DVD box sets. One can pick up the series for around $100.

The English voice actors, in my opinion, did a great job. I never watched it in Japanese so I can not compare, though I really do like the cast they choose for this series. Funimation is really good at dubbing series into English. In the past, I’ve enjoyed “Seven Samurai”, “Fruits Basket”, “Fullmetal Alchemist” and so many others.

I recommend this to anyone who likes Witches, Zombies, Grim Reapers, battle shows with a real plot and character growth, and powerful trips of insanity. That’s where the fun really is and this is an anime that is long enough to enjoy but short enough to watch from beginning to end.

Entertainment Earth