Chibi Review: Soul Eater, Part 1

Topic started by John_Martone on Feb. 19, 2010. Last post by ago.
Post by John_Martone (2,992 posts) See mini bio Level 10
Let me first state that this review is based off the first three episodes of the recent release of Soul Eater, Part 1. In an attempt to get more reviews and impressions, we're experimenting with alternate forms, like, say, partial reviews as placeholders for full reviews...

Soul Eater, Part 1 (of 4)

Release Date: 2-9-2010
Studio: FUNimation
Discs: 2
Runtime: 13 episodes (315 minutes)
MSRP: 59.99

Episodes currently viewed: 3


Weapons and Witches, Meisters and Monters. The Soul is power, and power, unfortunately can corrupt. Evil souls will eventually hunt down and consume others to expand their power, while good souls band together to take them out. Toward this end, weapon meisters and the weapons team up as pairs to take on these corrupted souls.
However, the cast of characters are not real reapers, but are still in training...

Dug it! I'd seen the clips, and am thoroughly familiar with the characters, but I've fallen in love all over again. The first three episodes are actually all dubbed "Prologue," and each walks us through a Meister/Weapon pairing.
The teams are youths in training, and the key concept is that they all must quest to gather the souls of 100 corrupted humans, and 1 soul of a witch. If they do this, the "weapon" will evolve into an incredibly power tool. Despite the cast of powerful characters, it seems that very few actually accomplish this feat. When the story opens Maka and Soul have collected all 100, and are attempting to finish the deed with the much more dangerous witch fight.

Tone and Soundtrack:

Hilarious! The one vibe that none of this has illustrated yet, is that the show is an action/comedy, with the scales constantly tipping back and forth. With a really, really great soundtrack pushing dramatic moments, I almost get caught off guard with how cool the characters can become. If I had to make a comparison, the use of a fairly frontal ambient soundtrack closely resembles the light rock feeling of certain Gurren Lagann's moments.
Though, I'll not that my initial spree with the English Dub was not entirely pleasant. I think newcomer Micah Solusod does a relatively brilliant job with the cool-obsessed Soul Eater Evans, but I am just having such a hard time getting behind Laura Bailey's Maka Albarn. The design and plot seem to convey a youth I just don't hear yet in Laura Bailey. Not too fond of the Black Star VA either, though that has more to do with just how much I enjoy the Japanese voice actors.

Screen Shots From Episodes 1-3

Pros and Cons:


Great Animation
Great Soundtack (loved the ED)
HIlarious, yet still full of some wonderful fight sequences.


Being a comedy/action series, I feel like most of the VA's hadn't figured out yet how to be both funny and cool.
The soundtrack does that weird thing where the background music is like, 2 notches quieter on the English dub. Cannot speculate as to why.


Final Verdict:

I couldn't stop if I wanted to. 3 episodes isn't a great deal to judge, since it is the "prologue" to a 51 episode series, but I found myself in absolutely in love with what I've seen. Even having read the manga, this is a series that is just better seen than read.
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,653 posts) See mini bio Level 25
What I'm curious about is if the anime when brought to the US will pull back on some of the more fan service scenes. Even the Japaneseanime pulled back on some of the scenes that were in the manga.
I followed the anime when it was first airing in Japan. It struck me as kind of odd how it pretty much follows the anime to near the letter for most of the entire run, but near the end took a different path.
The vibe of the series always gave me a more Tim Burton Nightmare Before Christmas kind of feel.  I think it's probably the sun and the moon of this world.
Post by crusader8463 (739 posts) See mini bio Level 9
Awesome work, this is the kind of thing i was looking for in your written reviews. With many anime series being so long, it can take a awhile to sit down and watch the entire thing to write a review for it. As a guide line for future reviews like this, may i suggest setting it up as something like this. If it's a smaller series (ie 20-50 episodes) then watch the first five to ten episodes, or 10% of the planned episodes. I find that  if by the end of watching the first tenth of a shows episodes the series hasn't gotten good, it probably wont. 
As for longer series, i cant say. I was thinking you could watch the first few episodes of every new season, but that can get confusing and hard to base a review of a show on for obvious reasons. I think for these longer ongoing series you cant really do much other then biting the bullet and watching it all. Perhaps assign one ongoing series to each review writer on staff, and designate them individually for being responsible for keeping up to date with the show. Then they can do a quarterly review on how the series is progressing, and give there thoughts on how they think it is progressing; compared to their previous review. Perhaps a review at the start of a new season, in the middle, and when it finishes would be good. Or if you find that is a bit too much work; one at the start, going into detail on how you feel the series is heading, and then a look back once the season is over about whether or not your predictions where correct, and if the show lived up to where it looked like it was heading. 
Post by metalsnakezero (695 posts) See mini bio Level 16
Nice review but I wouldn't do a review if you only watched 3 episodes. Best make a part 2 once your done with the other 10 episodes.
Post by haseo_yashimora (5,507 posts) See mini bio Level 14

Post by John_Martone (2,992 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@metalsnakezero said:
" Nice review but I wouldn't do a review if you only watched 3 episodes. Best make a part 2 once your done with the other 10 episodes. "
Yeah, I probably should have prefaced that I would have a "full" full review up of the entire 13 episodes by the end of next week. 3 episodes isn't a huge amount, so its more a first impression/probing/allusion to a more full review later. A consider amount of the DVD releases get (at the very least) an initial viewing, but being forced to analytically absorb 6+ hours of shows we may or may not have any significant interest in is pretty hard.
Obviously we're just experimenting, but I kinda dug getting to just watch an hour of the show and chug out my initial feelings, which'll also set the foundations for a further review (instead of just one, deluge'esc review trying to encompass way to many things, that shows up randomly and disappears.)
I mean, in the last two months I can state that I didn't make it to the end of the several collections
Thanks for the feedback and ideas, we were definitely putting some thought in based around what you guys had to say, though I don't know if we're going to be changing our focus away from product reviews to "complete series runs."
I dig all the first date reviews Gia does for the simulcast shows she follows, and I do think we will definitely be trying to pan those out a bit more. Hmm, though I do love and want to do more features on currently running shows. But, doing dvds and manga ensures that "anyone" can pick it up at a store, or "internet spelunk," if that's how they deal with things. You know what I mean? Its a rock and a hard place on these kinds of issues.
Post by GrandMarshal (152 posts) See mini bio Level 10
So let me get this strait your doing a multi part review of soul eater? AND you didnt mention the grim reaper or death the kid! =P
Post by Konanda (796 posts) See mini bio Level 17

I'm trying to remember is Death the Kid introduced in Episode 4 or 3? If it's episode 4 it's understandable you didn't say something like "OMGZ Death the Kid is SO AWESOMEZORS!!!!!1!!!!11111!!!!" but if he is introduced in 3 than all I can say is Massive Fail, John. Massive Fail. Also based on the first 4 episodes Funimation put up around Halloween I'm going to say I don't really care for Black Star's voice actor either and Shinigami was kind of average. I really enjoyed Patty, Liz, Soul, Death the Kid and of course Death Scythe and both Maka and Tsubaki were great as well.

Post by Lydian_Sel (178 posts) See mini bio Level 4
Looks fantastic, will certainly have to check it out!!!
Post by GrandMarshal (152 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@Konanda: He's introduced in episode 3, John fails
Post by Lan (621 posts) See mini bio Level 13
I really love this series though I haven't finished it yet, I think I left off with like 3 more episodes to go...Baku and I were watching together, then I got sidetracked and he finished watching the series without me. 
I like the partial interview as segueway into the series. If you're not feeling it after the first three episodes why should you keep watching? Though, it might not be fair to write negative review. Then again, I only got through ep. 8 of Vampire Knight and stopped because I couldn't stand it any longer. It just seems like a waste of time, not to mention torture, to keep watching a series you don't like or doesn't hold your attention long enough to want to continue past three episodes. I like the idea of checking in with the series partway through (like at a quarter, third, and end). 
I was not a huge fan of the english voice cast, especially Black Star. I know female vas can pull off young male characters well (the Japanese va is female) but I don't feel Brittney really captured his voice or spirit.
Post by John_Martone (2,992 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@GrandMarshal said:
" So let me get this strait your doing a multi part review of soul eater? AND you didnt mention the grim reaper or death the kid! =P "
I hate both you of you entirely and utterly. Now I will go to write some sort of post entirely constructed around describing the characters in depth, just so I can post pictures of Death the Kid with heart around him.
True enough, I don't want to be super critical of the dub, but it hasn't redeemed itself yet. Though I'll be giving it another go on Volume 2.
Post by GrandMarshal (152 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@John_Martone: at least 50 pictures of  Death the Kid with hearts around him should make up for this failure
Post by Konanda (796 posts) See mini bio Level 17
Really, that's unfortunate since I still think you're great John even if you totally failed when it comes to Death the Kid love. Oh and to help you on your quest. 

Heart away John. Heart away.
Heart away John. Heart away.
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