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Watch & Learn: SOUL EATER #1

The dudes who made PSYCHONAUTS need to turn this into a game.

"Your soul is mine!" Wait - - that&squot;s Shang Tsung&squot;s catchphrase.
"Your soul is mine!" Wait - - that's Shang Tsung's catchphrase.

Is it just me, or are Japanese shows a lot more comfortable - - maybe even enthusiastic - - about flat chest jokes? It was the running joke OKAMISAN, and that’s pretty much the reason that Soul leaves Maka for the cat witch. I suppose I understand now why “breast envy” is a big enough of a concept that it warrants its own page in our wiki.

This show was described to me as being something Tim Burton would create if he ever dipped his black & white striped cane into the anime pool. While I can certainly see where that’s coming from, I think it’s more accurately likened to work of another quirky Tim; namely, PSYCHONAUTS and BRUTAL LEGEND creator Tim Schafer. The quirkiness is weaponized, for one, and, c’mon, doesn’t the whole "collecting 99 soul orbs" conceit feel like a gameplay mechanic? You know, you start the game with all the cool abilities as a tease, then you lose them all after fighting the first boss, so you have go and collect all the power ups until your XP levels up to the next ranking? Plus, a bug-eyed half-moon who’s spitting blood seems a lot closer to Schaffer’s kind of fantasia than it is to Burton’s.

I didn’t check in the credits, but Soul Eater sure sounds a lot like Johnny Yong Bosch. Is he the lead voice actor of 50% of these dubs? It sure feels like. There’s no problem with that, but I’m half-expecting Soul to command Maka to do something with his geass or randomly extol the virtues of love and peace.

Even though Maka’s Dad seems a little young to actually be her father, I liked how his abandonment of her was paralleled in Soul’s betrayal. That’s a more authentic way to build sympathy, I feel, than some forced “save the cat” moment. Of course, speaking of cats, considering how the cat witch is on the cover of the show, I assume she’s going to be around for a long time. Is this going to be some kind of extended “professional” love triangle then? Is it that hard to find a good scythe in this world?

Watch this episode "Resonance of the Soul - Will Soul Eater Become a Death Scythe?" below and decide for yourself.

Read my thoughts on the previous series I've watched for this extended sampling...

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

kashif1on May 25, 2011 at 5:19 p.m.
I'm going through the show now, it takes about 4 episodes to pick up but when it does its a lot of fun.  Also Blair does almost nothing after this
endaroundon May 25, 2011 at 5:53 p.m.
Tom just to warn you and your hatred for retelling of fairy tales, lots of Soul Eater is based on classic western fairy tale archetypes.  Their shinigami is no Ryuk, he really is the Grim Reaper.
Lurkeroon May 25, 2011 at 6:14 p.m.
Another show that I liked the beginning of but slowly lost interest because of the direction the plot and characters took.

Maybe it's just me but it seems like a lot of anime are like that.

I wouldn't recommend Soul Eater for Watch & Learn though, there really isn't much to talk about in my opinion.
zaldaron May 25, 2011 at 6:28 p.m.
from the episodes I watched at a con...it makes fun of itself and its conventions very well.  In the begining you have the grim reaper explaining things and at the end he says "I wonder why it takes place in a school"?  Which is of course a deadpan parody of the fact that most animes seem to take place with high school only characters.  Much of the show is like that, and there is the fairy tale retelling aspect (which when did we learn that tom hated that..one of the things I was recommending to him was all about that).
buhssuhton May 25, 2011 at 6:48 p.m.
it aint japanese animation without the flat chest joke

sotyfan16on May 25, 2011 at 7:38 p.m.
I agree with some of the users here. There isn't much to talk about for this series. It's funny and fun but nothing in-depth. The first episode isn't a marker for the series, too. The first ep is like a stand alone thing to get people interested in watching. The fanservice becomes almost nonexistent from here on out. I also hear the anime strays from the manga near the end and I'm curious about the manga ending in comparison.
FoxxFireArt moderator on May 27, 2011 at 2:48 a.m.
I can see the Psychonauts comparison, but not so much the Brutal Legend. This series could make for a cool game.

Really, you can't get the full impact of this series at all without watching the first three episodes. The first three are the prologue of this story. It was the same way with the manga. Three chapters were produced as the pilot project. It got picked up from there for more.

The Soul Eater anime has the same flaw that befell the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime. The manga is monthly, but the anime was weekly. It didn't take long for the anime to catch up. For a lot of the series, it follows the anime almost to the letter, but suddenly takes a drastically different direction.

Blair the Cat does reappear. She ends up staying with Maka and Soul as their pet. She sometimes changes back into a girl to try and get Soul's attention to play with her when bored. Soul Eater is not voiced by Bosch.

Maka's father Spirit, was 18 years-old when she was born.

Dig Deeper into Soul Eater

A group of students at the Weapon Meister school called the DWM. They train along with their human-weapons to make them strong enough to be used by Shinigami-sama himself.

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