Soul Eater #1 - Listen To The Beat Of The Soul

is a manga book published by Square Enix that was released on 06/22/2004

Plot Summary

Soul Eater Vol. 1 - Listen to the Beat of the SOUL

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!

Contents

Prologue 1: Soul Eater.....Pg. 005

Jack the Ripper is seen killing innocent civilians on the streets of a city as Scythe Technician Maka Albarn and her weapon, Soul Eater, encounter the mad killer and claim to take his soul. In a very hasty battle, the two take the soul of the killer as Soul promptly eats it. Maka claims that they are one step closer to making Soul into a powerful Death Scythe. They report to Shinigami-san via a window as he points out that they have already collected 99 Kishin eggs. These souls belong to evil beings and if fully developed, the Kishin egg will become a full Kishin, a god of madness. Shinigami-san tells them that the only thing left to do is to collect the soul of a witch and Soul will become a Death Scythe. Shinigami-san explains that its the hardest soul to collect and many technicians have died in the process. Maka claims they will be victorious as her father, the current Death Scythe of Shinigami-san, interupts and scolds Soul for trying to touch his daughter. Maka rebuffs him as she puts him down, which causes him to sulk as Shinigami-san beats some sense into him.

The two students find the pumpkin house of the witch Blair. Maka attempts to think up a plan, but Soul opts to just bust through the window. Little to his knowledge, Blair is taking a bath and lands ontop of her. Blair is confused as to what is going on as Maka chastises Soul for his recklessness. He switches to weapon mode as Maka claims they will take Blair's soul. Blair laughs it off as she uses her pumpkin bombs to blow the two away. They attempt again and again to try and attack Blair, but she is always able to get the advantage.

They finally are able to get a more precise attack going as the group battles in the city. Blair goads Soul to join her instead as Maka does not treat him fairly. Maka yells at her again and again, but Soul remains quiet. After some time, Maka asks why Soul has stopped talking as he changes back to a human and says that he wants to be Blair's weapon from now on. Maka, utterly speechless, berates him and all men for being such scoundrels, citing her father as an adulterous leech who cheated on his mother. Soul laughs as he turns his arm into a scythe, claiming its not cool to cheat on a woman as Maka slices Blair in half. Enjoying their victory, Soul eats Blair's soul, only to find out that he feels nothing. The two wonder what happened as it is revealed that Blair is not a witch, but instead a cat with magical powers. The two remember instantly that if they messed up this collection, they would have to start all over again from square one...which is what they have to do exactly.

Prologue 2: Black☆Star,,,,,Pg. 047

The next character to be introduced is the Dark Weapon Technician and assasin Black Star with his shapeshifting Dark Weapon Tsubaki. The two sit in the rafters of the base of the crime leader Al Capone as Black Star goes over the rules of being an assassin as he watches his target from above. Tsubaki suggests they move in quietly, but we see Black Star's true nature as he rushes hastily into the hall, jumping on to the table to announce his presence as the man who will surpass god. Tsubaki chides him as Capone's men fire at the two, Tsubaki morphing from a chained sycthe to a smoke bomb to allude the group. Capone wonders what exactly that was as someone informs him that they have found the witch Angela and killing her would make them powerful.

Back in Death City, Black Star and Tsubaki report the mission failure to Shinigami-san, who notes that the two have yet to collect one Kishin egg. Black Star vows that they will get what they need to turn Tsubaki into a death scythe as they lament on how much is needed to actually achieve that goal. Shinigami-san reveals a short cut to the two as if they were to kill a powerful human soul, it would equate to a large number of Kishin souls. In particular, Shinigami-san tells the two of a powerful samurai whose soul is worth 99 Kishin souls. As luck would have it, he is also guarding the witch Angela. Black Star sees this as the right moment to strike since they can kill two birds with one stone in a single day. They run off as Shinigami-san tries to tell them something about Angela.

After failing to sneak up on Tsubaki bathing by screaming aloud, Black Star follows the lead as he finds Mifune, the samurai that was mentioned earlier. The two students also find a large number of Kishin eggs as Mifune explains that Capone and his men tried to kill Angela, but he killed them all. He tells Black Star to leave since he does not kill children, but Black Star takes this as an insult as the two fight. Mifune notices how much Tsubaki is working to make up for Black Star's ineptness as the fight goes on. Black Star proclaims he will be the greatess fighter and assassin in the world as Mifune scolds him for being too immature. After a poor sneak attack, Black Star changes his demeanor as Mifune notices the change instantly. Confused, he waits for Black star to attac only to realize Tsubaki used a Shadow Trap to replicate Black Star as the real assasin sneaks in behind for a Soul Force attack. Defeated, Mifune allows Black Star to claim victory. Just as he is about to kill Mifune, the witch Angela appears, revealing herself to be a small defenseless child who Mifune protects. Mifune vows to protect Angela with her life if Black Star aims to kill her too. Understanding the samurai better, Black Star leaves the two alone even though he still has no souls to collect.

Prologue 3: Death the Kid.....Pg. 091

The third character to be introduced is the perfect son of Shinigami-san, Death the Kid. His weapons are the dual guns Patty and Liz Thompson, the Thompson sisters. The three chase the thief Lupin through the streets of a city when Kid confronts the thief, stating he will balance the world be defeating the impure soul. The group does a battle pose, but it is here we see Kid's one flaw as he criticizes Patty for being off-center. It is shown that things have to be symmetrical for Kid in order for him to function, claiming that symmetry is beauty and wonders why the sister's breasts are two different sizes. Lupin is able to get away in the heat of the confusion as Kid scolds himself for letting the culprit get away. He reports his failure to Shinigami-san, his father, who doesn't seem to mind. He instead enlists Kid and the Thompsons to go stop a witch in Egypt from resurrecting a demonic Paraoh from his grave.

The group travels to Egypt to the Pryamids of Anubis, which Kid marvels at due to its perfect balance. Liz is hesitant to go inside due to the creepiness of the whole place as they continue into the catacombs. Kid stops suddenly as he reveals something is bothering him. The girls wonder what it is as he confesses he fears a painting in his hallway is not balanced. Liz scolds him for thinking about that now as the group encounters a legion of mummies guarding the halls. Liz demands Kid get his act together, only to find a note that states he went back to Death City to ensure it was balanced. Liz sulks as she and Patty transform back and forth to take care of all the mummies. In the grand hall of the pryamid, the witch that is attempting to revive the ancient Paraoh is swallowed whole by the demonic god.

As the sisters finish their attack, they find the main hall where the Paraoh lies. Before they can attack, he ties them up as they attempt to get free. Kid finally goes back after making sure his paintings were balanced, rushing back to try and find the sisters. When he does, he finds them tied up and prisoner to the Paraoh as he frees them from their bonds, getting them to transform to attack the demon Paraoh. However, Kid can not bring himself to attack the tomb since it is perfectly symmetrical. As a result, he is badly injured by the Paraoh. Near death, the Paraoh emerges from his tomb to Kid with his own hands. Kid notices that the Paraoh himself is not symetrical and claims the old body is a disgusting one, going on the attack as defeats the ancient mummy. The group bids farewell to the Pryamid of Anubis, only for it to collapse as a resault of Kid's furious attack. Shinigami-san punishes Kid by confiscatted all the souls he collected on the mission.

Chapter 1: Remedial Lesson [Part1].....Pg. 135

Soul dreams about a previous encounter with Rasputin as he believes a cool day starts with a cool morning. However, he awakens to find Blair in her human form, barely clad as she tries to seduce him. Maka walks in on the two as she beats Soul to a bloody pulp as the two make their way to Shibusen. While waiting for the morning class to start, Soul tells Maka about how their recently killed professor Sid has supposedly come back to life as a zombie and is attacking students from the school. Maka dismisses it as a rumor as Death Scythe walks in to conduct the class, doting over Maka and giving Soul poor marks for simple comments as Maka laments her father is the supplementary teacher for now. Before class does begin, Death Scythe tells the two that Shinigami-san wanted to see them in the Death Room.

The two make their way to the room as ordered as they wonder what they have been summoned for. Along the way, Black Star tries to get the upper hand but his cover is blown due to his loud voice talking about victory and his ego. The four continue along as Maka summons Shinigami-san to get their orders. He appears to the group and announces they need remedial lessons due to their lack of progress. Maka wonders what he means since she is a star student as Shinigami-san reminds the two technicians that they have yet to collect a single soul (Maka's case being that they messed up the first collection and Black Star due to his incompetence). He tells the group that the rumors of Sid Barret coming back to life as a zombie are true and are tasked with defeating the undead professor and finding out who brought him back to life. To make matters worse, Shinigami-san tells the four that if they fail, they will be expelled from Shibusen. Everyone except Black Star is troubled by this news.

The students go to the graveyard to find the zombie professor as Maka is miffed by why she is being punished unfairly in regards to all of this. Tsubaki tries to make Black Star realize the gravity of the situation as he and Soul come up with the idea to make Sid rise by pissing on his grave. Sid rises soon after that as he declares that he is free of fear and that he will kill other students to make them see the benefits of not feeling fear. Maka chastises him for this since feeling fear is a vital part of being a technician, but he doesn't listen as they fight. Sid is able to use his tombstone to fight the group and proceeds to beat them as they try to dodge and figure out how to defeat Sid. Shinigami-san, Kid, and the Thompsons watch from the Death Room as Shinigami-san has an idea of who brought Sid back to life. As the battle continues, Black Star realizes that Sid is using the codes of the assassin to fight and hide as he calms his breathing and lays Tsubaki out for his next move. Sid rises from the ground as Black star activates the Trap Star, capturing Sid but also tying up Maka and Soul at the same time. The group interrogates Sid, beating him up as he reveals the man who resurrected him is Dr. Franken Stein, confirming Shinigami-san's suspicions as the group makes their way to the mad scientist's laboratory.

Moves This Volume

CharacterTechnique Name
Cat Witch BlairHalloween Cannon
Smashing Pumpkin
Black Star & TsubakiShadow Weapon Mode: Double Sickle
Shadow Weapon Mode: Shuriken
Shadow Weapon Mode: Smoke Bomb
Shadow Weapon Mode: Ninja Sword
Shadow Weapon Mode: Dummy Star
Black Star: Big Wave
Trap Star
Death the KidTornado Flip
Maka & SoulMaka Chop
Soul Resonance: Witch-Hunt Slash
Sid BarettLiving End

Notes

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Atsushi Okubo artist, writer,

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User Reviews
Own some Kick Ass Halloween Fun! Reviewed by FoxxFireArt on June 24, 2010. FoxxFireArt has written 71 reviews. His/her last review was for Highschool of the Dead. 277 out of 320 users recommend his reviews. 7 out of 7 users found this review helpful.

Soul Eater Volume 1 Review

 Soul Eater Volume 1
 Soul Eater Volume 1
Publisher: Yen Press
Author: Atsushi Ohkubo
Rating: 16+
Genre: Comedy / Action / Fantasy
MSRP: $10.99 (USD)
Contents: 4  Chapters / 208pg.
 
I've followed the series rather casually online and found it rather entertaining. At first glance the series has a very Nightmare Before Christmas-vibe, but with a sort of punk rock edge to it all. This is my first ever purchase from Yen Press, and I have to say I am impressed. Everything looks good. It's standard manga size, there are translation notes in the back, and I think the quality in the paper they use is of a higher grade than your average manga.
 
Soul Eater is about a group of students who attend a special school where they are both educated and taught to be Meisters(weapon users), and some students can transform into a wide variety of weapons. The goal is to collect the souls of the corrupted and prevent them from becoming a Kishins, a demon that could plunge the world into darkness and madness. Through this volume we meet three separate teams, and each have rather wild and unique personalities. Maka Albarn with Soul Eater Evans, Black Star with Tsubaki, and Death the Kid with his two partners Liz and Patty. Each team gets their own chapter, and it leads to the final chapter of hunting down their old teacher, Sid, who has been changed into a zombie by some mysterious, mad doctor. 
 

The Good

 Rise of the Zombie Teacher.
 Rise of the Zombie Teacher.
Over all, the art work is really good in the series. Even for manga it has a unique vibe. You can look at any page of this and know you are looking at Soul Eater. Action is drawn with a fluidity to the motion, and the story work is great. It grabs you and takes you for a wild ride as you follow these separate teams on their missions. There are some great laughs, and most of the personalities are really enjoyable.
 
Maka is kind of a control freak who likes to have a plan and  has some daddy issues. Her partner, Soul, is a more easy going kind of guy who likes to take the approach he finds to be the coolest. His ability is to transform into a pretty wicked looking scythe. Their mission is to hunt down a witch named Blair. It's a fun story filled with some cool action and some generous fan service.
 
Black Star is a loud mouth ninja wanna-be. His partner, Tsubaki, is a passive and kind personality who can transform into a variety of ninja weapons. These two are after a witch called Angela, but she's guarded by a powerful sword fighter, Mifune. Upside to this chapter is some pretty cool action. This is a sword fight well worth seeing. The twist at the end is a great surprise and kind of adorable.
 
 Variety is the spice of life, Kid.
 Variety is the spice of life, Kid.
The third story of Death the Kid with his twin-pistol partners, Liz and Patty, is probably my favorite in the book. Kid is not the kind of hero you see often. He's completely neurotic and obsessed with symmetry. Even the fact the sisters have different breast sizes is a source of irritation for him. You'd think that this kind of character would be annoying, but it's done so well that he's always entertaining. The nearly nude shots in this one almost makes me surprised the volume wasn't shrink wrapped.

One thing that I was surprised I missed in my first reading. It was that none of the art in this series has been tampered with from the original Japanese version. It's quite nearly completely unedited. How is was drawn is how it all appears. This was subtle until in Kid's story and you see that page of his note that is written in Japanese. That translation is placed in the margins. Even Del Rey will on occasion replace Japanese text with English in notes or signs. 

The Bad

There is not a whole lot of bad things to be said about this volume as far as I see. It's well published, well translated, and it's entertaining. For me, the biggest down side has to be with Black Star. His loud mouth, overanxious personality makes me think of a more annoying version of early Naruto. The only thing that saves him is some cool fight scenes and his partner Tsubaki.
 What did you expect jumping into the bathroom window?
 What did you expect jumping into the bathroom window?

 
There is some heavy fanservice. That doesn't bother me, but if that is a deal breaker for you. It's something to consider. Just know that it isn't as in your face as a series like Strike Witches can be. It does have the occasional panty shot, but loves to tease on rare occasions with some near full monty scenes of buxom women. It makes you almost want to curse bath bubbles.
 

Verdict 4/5

The book is just a fun, exciting, and hilarious ride. The neurotic personalities of the main cast may turn a reader off, but I found them to be a breath of fresh air over all the overly serious manga characters out there. The artwork is really good in the series. That even includes the designs of the buildings. You might find Black Star to be annoying, but he's just one member in a larger cast.
Yen Press put in some serious dedication to make this manga as accurate to the original series as possible. I can see now why many scanlation sites suspended the series from their catalogs. This is certainly a product worth supporting.
 
With most first volumes. It's is a getting to know the cast book. I'm normally pretty hard on first volumes, but this does a good job of moving a story and introducing the reader to this world and the cast. More first volumes should move like this, and I'm looking forward to picking up future volumes. I rate this a 4 out of 5. Check this out.

 

Favorite Moment: Prologue 3- "Sorry for barging in!!"

Least Favorite Moment: Prologue 2- Black Star's superiority complex.

WTF Moment: Prologue 3- Witch leftovers

Favorite Character This Volume: Death the Kid

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