Soul Eater NOT!

December 6, 2014

Funny how words can sometimes give a whole different meaning when you misinterpret it. Partly it is my part to blame for jumping to conclusions but this is the case for Soul Eater NOT! I would never have thought there would be some sort of sequel since the ‘epic’ TV series ended many years ago with a ‘normal and plain’ ending. Therefore I surmised that this would be a parody or a spoof to the Soul Eater series. You know. Soul Eater… Not! Something like Soul Eater but it isn’t. Well, you could say that I was partially right in a way. This isn’t exactly the main Soul Eater series but rather a spin-off. Despite cameo appearances from familiar characters of the series, this spin-off will be more focused on a handful of new characters.

And of course as I later found out, NOT is an abbreviation to Normally Overcome Target. As opposed to EAT (Especially Advantaged Talent) which is a group that specializes honing their skills to become warriors (think of it as a class that is training to become heroes to save the world), NOT are those that seek to control their power so as not to bring harm or danger to others around them and themselves (in other words, trying to control their power so it doesn’t interrupt their normal daily lives). Thus this spin-off sequel focuses on the daily lives and interactions of the new characters under the NOT group instead of fighting witches or other evil super villains bent on destroying the world. But of course when you consider the nature and genre of this series, what are the chances of that ever happening and they get involved in a conspiracy to shake up the peace in Death City.

Episode 1
When Tsugumi Harudori accidentally tripped over her dog, her leg turned into a weapon. Because of that, she will be a new transfer student at Shibusen Academy. Though, she isn’t quite happy about it (plus, her friends keep bugging her to transform). If climbing up the tortuous stairs is tough enough, then she had to drop her luggage. Long way down… Luckily Maka was there to help pick it up and give her the strength to carry on. If only her knees weren’t killing her. But a can drink treat by Maka awaits her and a beautiful scene of Death City. She dreams of a love triangle life in this academy but looks like reality is fast to bring her back down when she got freaked out by Black Star’s wrangle that almost hit her. Want to go home? Sorry, no turning back. In the class for new student intakes, Tsugumi meets and befriends Meme Tatane who has a memory problem. There is also princess-like Anya Hepburn who is interested in Tsugumi because she looks like your common commoner. But she maintains her snobbish pride each time Tsugumi sees her. Sid is their teacher as he explains that need for them to select a partner. It is essential to pick the right one as they’ll be working together as Weapon and Meister partnership. Maka and Soul are called in to demonstrate and they impress the newbies. Later, a couple of boys are harassing Meme into becoming their partner. Tsugumi turns a blind eye as she fears the repercussion. But the thought of unable to become her friend weighs more so she turns back to bring Meme away. The guys won’t allow it and mocks the flat chest. Anya can’t stand her commoner being mocked so she tells them off. Want to fight? I guess that’s the only way to settle it. While the guys easily transform, Tsugumi feels hesitant since she is not confident she can do it. Anya feels disappointed and scolds her. She will fight bare handed. Sid tells Tsugumi to image it in her heart. Doing so, Tsugumi transforms into a halberd. It doesn’t take long for Anya to whip those guys’ ass. Meme thanks Tsugumi and in turn they both thank Anya. Meme asks Tsugumi to be her partner. She would if not for her courtesy to ask Anya. But since Anya is being a tsundere, Tsugumi is going for Meme. Then she feels Anya tugging her shirt and with hat puffed face… That stare… Could it be she wants to? But Meme is holding on to her arm… Didn’t imagine this kind of love triangle, eh?

Episode 2
While Anya naps, she dreams of being read her royal schedule of the day… It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that she hates every freaking moment of it. The trio are taken by Eternal Feather to their dorm. She warns them of the witch. They meet Kana Altair the fortune teller. She takes their fortune but it seems to piss off Anya. I mean, there is a pig in Tarot cards? After showing them around, they meet the dorm mistress, Misery (with a name like that…). She notes how Tsugumi looks like Mary. That night, Tsugumi gets a rude awakening. She is tied up by Misery and since she is a splitting image of a book character she imagined, she is going to do a little ‘remodelling’ to her face! Oh sh*t! Is this the witch?! No matter how loud she screams, the other duo are asleep. But Meme is sleepwalking. Not only that, sleepwalking kung fu! Imagine drunken fist but while sleeping. Tsugumi is saved when Kim Diehl knocks Misery out since they were noisy and warns them that if they’re going to live in this dorm, learn to live with this psycho! Early next morning, Anya wakes up to go to town to buy all the ‘normal’ stuffs she wants. Total freedom! Tsugumi thanks Kim but is forced to pay money. A week’s allowance for that saving? Eternal Feather sees this but hides in a corner because she doesn’t want to get involve with Kim who is no other than the witch! Since Tsugumi has no money, she has to rely on her pals. Erm… Anya bought everything with her allowance. Yeah. Meet her racoon statue friend, Josephine! Meme? She can’t remember where she put her wallet. They’re screwed. So they order one big bowl of noodles to share. They go take up a part time job at a coffee cafe called, wait for it, Deathbucks! Also working with them are fellow freshmen Clay Sizemore and Akane Hoshi (whose real mission is to protect Anya). Anya is quite embarrassed with the outfit but gets used to it. I wonder if Meme can remember orders. Tsugumi is really being carefully slow bringing the drinks. They get paid at the end of the week and Anya buys them taiyaki. Tsugumi also bought a brooch for them to commemorate their first job. She has everyone call her by her first name. Anya feels uneasy and mispronounces it as ‘gumin’ (ignorant masses).

Episode 3
Anya and Meme splurging on their meals? Eternal Feather is here to apologize because she didn’t do anything about that ‘extortion’. She explains Kim is in the same class with her but due to her bad personality, people stay away from her. She did lots of ‘bad’ stuffs and one of them giving Eternal Feather this stage name. You can’t change it after you submit and it has been stuck on her ever since (her real name is Hoang Thi Mai). This is the best part: Kim charged her for the name fee afterwards! They notice a senior, Ox Ford, an elite and top student trying to be friends with her but Kim isn’t impressed. Tsugumi thinks he likes her. In class, Sid explains the difference between NOT and EAT class. Akane and Clay enter late since they were given an assignment to drive off several guys from Traitor who has been messing around lately. In practical class, Weapons and Meister need to pair up. Anya thought she could ‘cheat’ by claiming Meme paired with Tsugumi the last time but Sid thought they are still dragging their feet and pairs Anya with a nerd. She gets jealous seeing Tsugumi and Meme having fun together. So she sulks and goes off by herself. In the alley she is attacked by a weird guy from Traitor. She is no match but luckily Tsugumi and Meme come to her aid. Because Tsugumi panics and messes up her transformation, Akane and Clay did the real saving. They nicely tell the guy to leave in which he did because they are not Shibusen agents. When Tsugumi and Meme return to the dorm, they see Ox waiting for them. He gives them a week’s worth of his pay to cover what Tsugumi had paid Kim (that is why he was working at Deathbucks). In return, he hopes they don’t hold a grudge against her and can call it even. Tsugumi doesn’t mind as she thinks Kim is a nice person too despite her b*tchy outlook. Want to bet Kim is hearing all this? The girls realize there is a nasty bruise on Anya’s arm. Was the attacker’s weapon laced with poison? She’s feeling weird too although she won’t admit. Then here comes Kim to put a band aid and heal her wound. There, good as new. She won’t charge a cent. Unless you want to pay… Anya is still sulking about being left out so the duo write on their hand as reminder it will be her turn the next time. Feel better now? However next morning absent minded Meme wonders what this reminder is for. Next time is Anya’s turn for what? It just makes her blood boil…

Episode 4
Tsugumi dreams Anya and Meme got killed just because of her inability to transform. She asks the reason the duo come to Shibusen. Meme can’t remember… Anya’s pride won’t let her know… So she speaks to Akane who explains some come here to make it as a career since Shibusen has links to every country in the world so its reputation is tremendous. He also warns that the way the students spend their allowance is also evaluated. Akane reveals about himself. He joined due to family reasons. His family runs a dojo and has a division called Star Clan that specializes in assassination. He wears spectacles to hide a star emblem in his left eye. Tsugumi is not sure about her future so he calls her cute and invites her to advance to EAT class with him. He will protect her. At this point Tsugumi is flustering like mad but he brushes it all as a joke. Since she has been here only for 2 weeks, she won’t know her plan but after a year if she still is unsure, come to see him. Tsugumi then goes to talk to Clay to confirm if Akane likes Anya. He panics thinking their cover is blown and lies that Akane likes Meme! Seriously?! Plus, Clay likes Tsugumi. WTF?! He even draws a love chart for her to see! I think he just made it worse. Tsugumi talks to Eternal Feather but I guess she won’t be much of a help since she starts feeling down after hearing boys say she isn’t like a girl as she is easy to approach. Also, Kim hints to her money makes the world go round. She passes by Maka and though they become acquainted, she didn’t get any answer since she was in a hurry. So now she’s seeking Kana’s fortune telling on her love and future? Is there a flat in Tarot? Her flat chest… Is she for real? During fitness exam, notices Clay runs fastest, Anya jumps highest and Meme throws the furthest (the boys think it’s her boobs). She feels down but eventually decides to try hard so as not to be left behind. Akane shows her the chart Clay draws (thankfully she doesn’t understand a single thing) and says she should be less worried about what others think and more about her own feelings. She feels better and rejoins her friends in a race to see who can reach the changing room the fastest. They zoomed past her…

Episode 5
Jacqueline O Lantern Dupre is in a fight with Kim. Then they make up and start kissing! OMG! Is this series turning yuri?! Thankfully it was just a dream. Good thing, right? But not for Jacqueline… Kim has the trio help her take up part time job in cleaning the pool. Jacqueline is also here to help and it seems she is trying to get her attention but Kim ignores her. Meanwhile Sid sees an informer telling him a Traitor member Akane and Clay apprehended the other day. He has no criminal record, no martial arts background and hasn’t slept since. Sid thinks there is a possibility witches might be involved since they are Shibusen’s natural enemies. When Kim gets her pay, she gives the trio only a small cut. They have to share it. And they don’t suspect why they’re getting so much less than the cafe after doing all the donkey work?! Jacqueline is hinting to go eat ice cream with Kim but the latter rejects her. Tsugumi and co could tell what is happening and they confront her. From her reaction, they know she wants to partner with Kim and will do all they can to help. They even rope in Eternal Feather and Kana to help. So Kana’s reading shows she is compatible. They go make omelettes and although it attracts Kim, however it is too salty. Maybe Jacqueline should flaunt her hair. In the bath, she is telling the best way of this and that for her hair care as the other acts impressed. However Kim takes this as an insult since she has short hair. She leaves since they’re too noisy for her to enjoy the bath. Backfired. They sneak around for details to celebrate some anniversary but it all seems contradicting. I mean, she was born on 31st April?! Talking to other students give more contradicting answers. Yeah, some think she’s an alien. But many never talked to her. The end. Jacqueline decides to stop sneaking around and confront her head on. While Kim is hanging out alone, we her monologue. She is born a witch! She didn’t care about the stray dog next to her till it got into an accident. She heals it and Jacqueline sees this. What’s so bad? Well, witches only use magic. Kim reveals she didn’t ask to be born as a witch and thought if she ran to Shibusen, she could cut ties being a witch and tried hard to keep her distance from everyone. Jacqueline promises to keep this a secret. To keep her mouth shut, just treat her to ice cream. The best part for Jacqueline is that Kim agrees to become her partner.

Episode 6
Anya and Meme are talking like delinquents thanks to last night’s delinquent TV drama. But here comes a pair of real delinquents. Remember the Thompson sisters, Liz and Patty? They’re working here at Deathbucks too but their personality is really f*cked up. Rude. Moody. Bad service. Don’t give a damn. Enough to freak our innocent girls out. They talk to Master and it seems they were abandoned kids from Brooklyn before Kid took them in. Their tough behaviour because they had to survive in the New York streets and resorted to crime. They are on probation at Shibusen and have bracelets with GPS trackers that track their movement. After they leave, they come into contact into them again. Since it’s like they want to pick a fight, they go to the back alley. Tsugumi doesn’t want to fight but Anya will not tolerate their slander. I guess they’re going to fight. They are surprised when Patty turns into a gun! Holy cow! How is this a fair fight? Was it supposed to be a fair fight? Liz teases she won’t even use the gun. Anya charges and thought she cut her. Actually Liz and Patty swap places. They fire a warning shot that scares the sh*t out of them. They don’t want to stir up further trouble since they’re on probation. Despite that, Tsugumi feels for them since they are Weapons just like her. She goes to the cafe alone and tolerates the same bad service every day. It makes the sisters think she really wants to pick a fight with her.

One day when a customer scorns Patty for her terrible service, the sisters are about to punch him but Tsugumi gets in the way. She slips and causes her head to bleed. This even freaks out the sisters. Master tells them to get the first aid kit and gives a death stare to the customer who still wants to complain. Good news he won’t be back. On another day before Tsugumi enters the cafe, she sees Kid leaving after checking on the sisters. When Kid sees Tsugumi, he fixes her up properly so she would be symmetrical. Oh, this guy… Tsugumi hears the sister complain that nobody understands them and don’t like putting up with this crap. With Tsugumi in, thinking she is here to make fun of them or isn’t afraid of them, on the contrary she admires their strength and keeps coming back in hopes she would become strong like them. She thought they were scary at first but realizes they are cool and pretty. That pull your heart strings? Damning proof why customers keep coming back: They love the pretty waitresses with bad attitudes. Freaking masochists… Tsugumi’s friends and seniors also patron the cafe as Master tells the sisters that things here are very different from where they come from and shouldn’t be defiant or ingratiate themselves to anyone. Liz and Patty give Tsugumi a slightly better service. Still bad overall but considering everything, it’s a big improvement. Sid brings Akane and Clay to the police station where the Traitor member is held to accompany his transfer to Shibusen. Suddenly the alarm is sound and to their shock, they see a police injuring a colleague before fleeing. The suspect in the cell is dead but not before writing on the wall with blood, “While you were sleeping, we are still awake and keep moving”.

Episode 7
Clay and Akane present their analysis to Sid. Seems somebody is trying to brainwash and recruit people and turn them into ideal soldiers. They guess it could be the work of Shaula Gorgon. Nearby, Tsugumi and co are lost after trying to take a shortcut. She remains indecisive even if Meme and Anya force her to choose to come their way. Noticing a room nearby, she thinks of asking for help and stumbles upon the guys. Tsugumi’s indecisiveness of choosing a Weapon Meister seems to be the main focus so Akane hints she could choose him. Before any new love triangle can develop, they are ushered back out. Deathbucks is experiencing slow business. Liz jokes it’s because of Master’s scary face. He should tell jokes. Okay. His family was killed and he stopped laughing. Just joking. Actually only his daughter died. Just kidding too. He is single. Yeah, effective? Not funny. Tsugumi and co stop by the place and Liz has got a table reserved for them to do their group study. Jacqueline and a very reluctant Kim join them. When a group of customers get noisy, Tsugumi’s group can’t raise a hand against them. Liz and Patty get tough with them although they are not scared. But they’re soon shaking in their pants because they saw Master’s scary face. No joke. Get out. As Deathbucks suddenly has lots of customers, Tsugumi and co go change to help out. I guess they took too long and it quiets down. Next day, Anya is hinting greatly to Tsugumi to go to Death Bazaar. Initially Tsugumi didn’t want to go to the flea market but seeing how disappointed Anya is, she agrees. Eternal Feather is also there selling clothes Kim tricked her into buying. Good luck. Maka and Soul are also there selling books. Tsugumi sees a book and Maka gives it to her to read. Shaula is also at the bazaar, opening a stall opposite Tsugumi selling scorpion motif charms. Eternal Feather is interested and tries a ring. She felt a sting and before she knows it, she is under Shaula’s control. She then goes on a rampage destroying the bazaar. Anya tries to stop her but if not for Maka and Soul coming to her aid, she would have been sliced into half like her bag. This makes Tsugumi feel guilty she should have come to protect Anya just like how Soul did for Maka. As they fight, Shaula watches this experiment and notes its limitations. She wants to see how far this experiment can go and orders Eternal Feather to kill herself. Sh*t gets real when she slits her own neck right in front of their eyes. Tsugumi is so shocked in seeing all this that she faints.

Episode 8
Tsugumi wakes up on Anya’s lap. They are in the hospital. Eternal Feather is being operated on right now. They heard Dr Stein is the best doctor around although there are rumours he may add certain parts and turn her into some zombie. Don’t worry about that now. Pray for her… Once the operation is over, Stein lets them in. Shock to see a screw on his head? Now there is a screw on Eternal Feather’s head too! Just kidding, it’s fake. Not only that, her braid moves by its own before her head falls off and starts running around! Freaky! And all that was just a joke because the real one is in the next bed still in coma. Her life is saved although it will take some time for her to recuperate. As time passes, indeed she does recuperate though she doesn’t have memories on what happened that day. Sid calls Stein to thank him and asks if he has discovered anything peculiar. He found a tiny wound as if she was stung by a needle. Because there was no toxin in her body, the way she was mind controlled suggests there is some undetectable toxin which could only be made possible by magic. Soon she is discharged and return to her dorm where Tsugumi and co welcome her. She might have picked up the bad joke as she has a fake key on her back. Please don’t joke around like this anymore. Even more devastating news: Jacqueline is sad that Kim has broken up with her! So sad that her head is on fire! The girls suggest for her to cool down (literally) and maybe then Kim will reach out to her. Speaking of cooling down, in this hot summer, Tsugumi and Meme thought hearing the sounds of wind chimes would do the trick. Anya and the rest are not convinced and head in for a cool drink. This is the best method since Tsugumi and Meme want some of that too. Can’t take the heat? In the evening, Tsugumi is practising but is clumsy. Her friends simultaneously call to her. Who to choose? And it is exactly this indecisiveness that Anya reminds her this is what happens if she takes forever to choose a partner. In the end only she can make the decision. Still not convinced? Tsugumi transforms into a halberd and the duo take turns using her. Tsugumi views they are strong and gets lectured that even if she wants to grow stronger, the fastest way is to choose a partner and grow stronger with them. Does she have the resolve? Because it’s she is running away making excuses for wishing to be strong. In that sense she has no resolve and doesn’t have a blade. They will give her until Halloween to decide. But for now, it’s Tsugumi’s turn to cook dinner.

Episode 9
It was hot one night so Meme while sleepwalking tries to strip naked. Tsugumi tries to stop this indecency but is in risk of losing her chastity. Anya can’t take anymore of this and attacks. Sleepwalking kung fu kicks in. Hard to believe Meme is sleeping, right? How the heck does she avoid it all so smoothly? It is decided that Tsugumi will transform her hand into weapons to let them sleep on it since it is cooler. But their body heat makes it unbearable for her… One day, Meme finds she is dressed in a weird getup in the kitchen. A bag loads with money and the ceiling filled with bats. What happened? Can’t remember. She is missing an eyebrow and as she leaves, mad Eternal Feather entrusts back the sloth to her. Yes, sloth. Wondering if she did something strange, Kim says she might have got involved with some boy. Things get weirder as a couple of guys confront her. One of them couldn’t believe she pulled off that crazy still while the other wants her to return something. And then at the casino, the front desk guy tells her to give them a break. Meme is at a lost and her head hurts till the sloth starts moving. She follows it and this leads her to a boy. The sloth is his pet. Then she remembers. She was running as part of her training. A couple of guys think of using her by helping her help pull their souvenir cart but she was too fast and crashed. Thus, ending up in that strange getup. Thinking of paying for repairs, she won big at the casino which left the proprietor in tears.

Prior to all this, she met the boy first and since he was admiring her boobs, to hide his embarrassment, he told her she was ‘fat’. This made her run away while the sloth was clinging on to her. When she got back to the dorm, it clung onto Eternal Feather who was passing by. Meme tried weighing herself and found she was indeed that heavy and shaved off an eyebrow not realizing she should have just taken off the getup. She uses the money to pay the guys. As for the bats, Tsugumi found a bat whistle and blew… On another day, because Anya is interested to play this commoner’s baseball, enthusiastic Tsugumi teaches her. Will she get it? Not impressed, baseball lover Tsugumi will show it to her and ends up challenging her. After all that whatever analysis, Tsugumi throws the ball but Anya uses the bat like a kendo sword and thrusts it. Meme catches it perfectly. Tsugumi felt she has lost but since Anya says it was so much fun, I guess everything is okay. Till Kim spoils it. The baseball stuffs belong to her and she is going to charge them hourly rental. Tsugumi writes letters to her mom but that night she sees Meme using her bats to send messages. All while she is asleep! Sid, Akane and Clay are in another discussion. Ever since Eternal Feather’s incident, Shaula has been laying low. Since she is using mind control, they believe she is still nearby. They also report another matter of rash robberies at Shibusen. Seems the items that were stolen include very classified information, especially a list of names of Meisters and Weapons. The pumpkin the girls were growing bears fruit. Everyone makes preparations for Halloween. But that also means the deadline for Tsugumi to choose is also nearing.

Episode 10
When Tsugumi receives a letter from her mom that her dog gets into an accident and has not long to live, she becomes distraught and wants to go home. She becomes depressed but also frustrated especially when Meme’s short term memory has her act like it is nothing. Tsugumi lashes out at her convenient forgetfulness and this brings a little strain in their friendship. One night Meme sleepwalks again so the duo tail her as she walks, crawls, rolls and slips into a research room in Shibusen (security fail!). Can you believe this? Reading while sleeping?! Akane and Clay who are working overtime caught them in the act. Meme wakes up with no recollection whatsoever. Akane needs to report this and has Meme follow him while Clay escorts the rest back. He hints that Meme may not return back for a while. Of course Meme is investigated as she may be the lead to Shaula. When Tsugumi and Anya see Sid, he speculates that Meme might be controlled by a witch who is the same culprit behind the Traitor and Eternal Feather cases. Her forgetfulness may be because of some hypnosis. For their safety, Sid cannot reveal her location but only says she is under Shibusen’s custody. Tsugumi feels guilty for lashing out at Meme but there is nothing she can do for now. That night, Meme’s bat comes into their room with a letter from her saying she is scared and wants to see them.

Sid and his team are stationed around the area and are using Meme as bait to draw out Shaula. Agents report Anya and Tsugumi sneaking in to the building. The friends are relieved to hear Meme’s voice. After Tsugumi breaks open the door, Meme suddenly attacks them. Safe to say she is under hypnosis. Meme escapes with all the agents hot on their trail. Shaula has been going around disposing some of the agents too. Akane and Clay face off with Meme but have to deal with the hypnotized agents. Sid confronts Shaula but gets distracted by Meme’s stab. He gets stung by Shaula. She tells him what she needs are not outstanding subordinates but obedient soldiers. By the time Tsugumi and Anya arrive, they see Sid being done in by Meme before she flees. In the aftermath, Akane and Clay relay the bad news on Sid to the girls. Clay suddenly gets down on his knees to address Anya as Princess Anastasia Yngling. He wants her to return home now. Based on Sid’s arrangements, if she is ever in danger, she must return to her homeland immediately. They reveal they are not from NOT (oh, the pun) and are EAT students working for Central Intelligence. They are in NOT to serve as her bodyguards in secret. Anya won’t go home. She isn’t going to leave her partner behind even if it isn’t official. Clay blows his top that Sid is dead and has no time to protect her. With that, Anya quietly obeys and goes with them, leaving Tsugumi very much confused. Her harem is breaking up… Oops!

Episode 11
Nygus takes over Sid’s duties as Clay and Akane escort Anya to the airport as the Halloween festival rages on. Suddenly there are other students attacking and stinging others with their poison, rendering them into similar mind controlled zombies. Anya’s entourage is under attack but Ox defends and buys time for them to escape. Tsugumi wants to go get Anya because she remembers her promise of picking one of them, though she still hasn’t decided. When Anya left that night, she could tell she won’t leave for him the way things are now. She was probably mad how people decided for her behind her back and also herself for not realizing sooner. That’s why she is sure she won’t go back with the way she feels things now. Jacqueline could sense her Soul Resonance and has Kim heal her wounds. Although the dorm is in curfew, Misery allows her to go since she is… Mary! Tsugumi goes to see Liz and Patty for help so they borrow Master’s scooter and a gun in hand to get anyone out of their way. Anya ticks off Clay about abandoning his friends and doesn’t want to be treated like a helpless child. To stop the car, she covers the driver’s eyes! Why do they always crash into a tree? Anya still wants to go back and is serious if Akane wants to fight her. Although that oldest trick in the book “Look over there! A witch!” got them, it isn’t long before Akane apprehends her. He tries to dissuade her that Tsugumi has given up but oh look, here she comes. Anya apologizes and need to get down to finding Meme but Clay mentions about Shaula using Soul Protect to hide herself and since she can’t use magic, she might be using Meme as her pawn and distanced herself to maximize her power’s potential. Well, you won’t know if you won’t try, right? Better than doing nothing.

But the scooter can’t fit all of them. Anya suggests she turn into a halberd. I don’t know why she doesn’t have the confidence to do it. Hasn’t she been transforming fine a few times before? So what Anya did was to believe in her, blah, blah, blah and thanks to their Soul Resonance, Tsugumi transforms. A halberd with wings?! Akane gives them motivation but revealing classified information that Stein is working on an antidote based on Meme’s blood sample. He should be finished by now. I don’t think Anya is heavy but Tsugumi can’t lift off and needs a push start. And since she can’t control her flight path yet, it’s going to be a hell ride. The guys make their way back to Death City. It’s going to be a long run. The girls crash into Stein’s place and want the antidote. However he can’t give it to them for 2 reasons. One, it only breaks down the toxin and the effects on mind control are still unclear. She might die. Just kidding. WTF?! Two, Nygus is here to pick up the samples to test its effectiveness and mass produce them. That will take3 days. Oh look, she’s here. She is not impressed they are still around and says not to do anything foolish. Believe in them because they’re fighting the same enemy. Tsugumi notes even so, what they are protecting are different. Stein likes that and gives the antidote to them while obstructing Nygus. This guy is a big tease because he has got loads of the sample hidden and gives it to her. The girls contemplate on how to find Meme. Assuming she is with Shaula, but how do they find her? The messenger bat. True enough, it leads them to the witch and their best friend. Shaula doesn’t look so happy that they crash in on her since she has got the party started with everyone killing each other.

Episode 12
Shaula teases them that they haven’t even choose a partner yet and threatens she can order Meme to kill herself if they interfere. She releases Soul Protect and this means all those who got infected now turn into her obedient soldiers to infect more. Double, tripe, quadruple the chaos! Our heroes try hard to stand their ground and not kill them but Shaula brings more despair by having some kill themselves before their eyes! Since she wants to have some fun in town, she has Meme get rid of the duo. No choice, they have to fight Meme. The plan is for Anya to hold her down while Tsugumi delivers the antidote to her. This is how. Tsugumi holds the antidote into her mouth and when Anya holds her down, Tsugumi kisses her to transfer it. I guess it’s faster and fail proof rather than pouring it down her throat. But did it work? For a while. Before Meme is back to killing mode. But Tsugumi notices her tears and is going to try talking to her this time. Despite getting stab in the shoulder, Tsugumi continues to remind her about their times together. Yup. Even the pumpkin growing episode where they sing and grow their way. Nothing like a little humming for their soul to resonate and break Meme free of her chains. Yeah. How could she forget those great times. Although Meme is free, she is still connected to Shaula and can sense her infecting others. Tsugumi has an important announcement. She has decided who to be her partner. Both. As expected… Have not heard of a Weapon being used by 2 Meisters? Why not make it the first? So they Soul Resonate and head to town.

On a little side distraction, Kim and Jacqueline are doing their best holding the fort at the dorm. Misery is an awfully different person after being affected as she’s violently hammering away while Kana is just ‘bullying’ Eternal Feather with her cards. Liz and Patty arrive to help. Meme could sense Shaula attacking another victim. This allows Shaula to trace their presence and she is not happy that Meme has broken her spell. She tries to play mind games with her that if she returns to her side, she will save her friends. Plus, she must really remember how they killed Sid. Tsugumi doesn’t want her to listen. They need to stand strong and Soul Resonate. Anya and Meme take turns using Tsugumi as a weapon and the blade changes depending on who is using her. Shaula might be a handful but eventually Anya and Meme use Tsugumi together and defeat her with their oddly named attack, Spring Bird Attack. With Shaula turning into a form of a little soul, it means they have won and all those affected under her spell are free. Now it looks like a big siesta slumber party in Death City. The trio return to Akane and Clay who are surprised that they have defeated Shaula. Yeah, they hand over her gift wrap. Like as though she’s a balloon… Even more surprising for them is when the trio reveal they are partners. Soon, Anya went back to her country to report the incident while Meme remains in hospital for checkups to be sure all traces of magic are gone just to be safe. Tsugumi feels lonely without her partners but vows to fight on. Of course in due time, they return to her and fun times are here to stay once more.

Soul Control… NOT!
That means… Nothing Over the Top! Haha! Half of the show feels like fillers since it is basically the daily lives of the trio. Because it is nothing more than their silly antics and showcasing their friendship power (warning: You’ll be hearing lots of this subsequently. Get ready for friendship power spam). Then it is like as though they have this fear that fans may not like how this Soul Eater series didn’t have enough Soul Eater-like action and elements (despite being a spin-off) and thus they slowly put in the build-up of Shaula as the antagonist to stir things up so that fans wouldn’t be bored with the ‘normalcy’ and avoid calling it some random yuri romance-cum-melodrama under the guise of Soul Eater setting. And then you have one big happy ending whereby our main trio continue to live their lives peacefully and happily. The end. Great epic series… NOT! Nothing Over the Top, that is.

Let’s start with the characters first. I suppose being new characters in the spin-off, they’re just pretty okay especially with Tsugumi as the main heroine having a few issues of her own. Mainly, her yuri harem. Who to choose? That’s the biggest question. It’s like being forced to choose between your father and mother. So ultimately, under the theme of friendship, she’ll have both. Yeah. Why must follow the norm of 1 or more Weapons to a Meister? Then there is this low self-confidence of controlling her power. I don’t know what she is so afraid of. I just thought she wanted to control them instead of being great and cool like she thinks other friends are. Just try to be herself and everything is fine. And what is with her “Gagantous!” catchphrase every time she is surprised? It makes her feel like a joker. Okay, even without that sometimes she feels like one. But “Gagantous!”? Thank goodness they don’t spam it so often because it can sometimes sound out of place.

Meme’s most standout trait (other than her big boobs, you perverts) is her selective forgetfulness. It makes her funny. One second later she can forget something the things she does. It’s like you are in a conversation about food and when you end the sentence, you can’t remember the topic you are talking about. “Watermelon this, watermelon that, watermelon here and there… Uhm, what were we talking about again?”. I wish I also have her type of forgetfulness. Because although I am a forgetful person, all those that mattered I forget but those that don’t I remember. So if I have this, I can get away with a lot of sneaky things because, hey, I don’t remember, right? So for Meme as one of the main supporting characters, I feel that she is somewhat lazily written and that her unstable memories are an excuse so that you don’t have to come up with a back story or something for her. I mean, how well do we know about Meme? Compared to Tsugumi who at least we know comes from a normal family and Anya who is a princess of some kingdom, what is it that we know about Meme? Nothing. Why? Because she doesn’t remember. See how convenient this is?

Anya is amusing. She shows a myriad of characters from being infatuated with normal things or stuffs that commoners do and her obvious tsundere attitude towards her friends. I guess it is understandable that being a royalty has lots of restrictions and limitations so she wants to get a taste of freedom and normal things. But it is hard to shake off her princess-like attitude thanks to her pride sometimes especially when it comes to doing things that would normally be embarrassed for her to do. Many would see her as not being honest to her feelings in that sense. Therefore it is no surprise to always catch her pouting or sulking after she denies or declines something and then regretting it and trying to ‘salvage’ things if possible since she has trouble expressing herself openly. Overall, despite the quirkiness of the 3 friends, the bottom line is that they care for each other. That is the power of friendship to you once more.

Thankfully (or not), this series didn’t turn into some yuri romance despite a very hinting one between the main trio (it’s basically a very close friendship if I should put it). Anya’s tsundere personality always leaves her ruing her decisions because it always seem that Meme has the upper hand in getting close to Tsugumi. I mean, because of her pride not to engage in whatever antics, compared to Meme who is more easy-going and accepting, she seemingly loses out. So to her it would seem like Meme is the one with underhanded tactics. All is fair, no? And if you look it from a different perspective, this feels like a yuri version of a harem because Tsugumi has got both girls on her side and unable to choose. And like that dreaded typical harem choice, she chooses both of them. Because it feels like they don’t want to upset the Tsugumi x Anya and Tsugumi x Meme camps. Like if those teams ever existed. I personally don’t care. Because it would be sad if one of them is left out and this wouldn’t amount anything close to the power of friendship, the theme that has been subtly hinted for the girls. Oh yeah. The power of friendship. The greatest power. So great that it could break a witch’s spell. Now, if you only throw Clay and Akane into the mix… Getting complicated, no?

The other supporting characters are just okay and sufficient for this season though it would have been great to know in detail more about them like Clay and Akane. I was hoping to see them play more than just a supporting role but I guess with their mission nature for Sid and Anya, they have to be covert and subtle at times. Nyges came into the scene so late that she hardly made an impact on anything. Not to say she had any significant ones in the original TV series either. At least, I don’t remember so. Oddly enough, some of the minor characters are more memorable than the main ones like Misery who is just a crazy psycho especially when it comes to a certain character of her favourite book. Just wished she had more screen time. Then there is Kana whose Tarot Card readings always seem to piss off Anya. I’m not sure if the loli is trying to purposely piss her off but the readings are sarcastically true in a way. I don’t even know if such Tarot Cards exist. It’s like she made them up. Master is the best ‘joker’ in town. So good that you don’t even want to laugh. That one to Liz was really classic. Didn’t see that coming. I guess there is a reason why he remains taciturn and have that monotonous look on his face. Because when the time calls for it, it turns scary and it really scares the sh*t out of you.

Stein’s strange humour and prankish side makes him a likeable character because as we know he is already a mad doctor and his insanity is already a problem. Imagine this, a doctor doing operation and jokes about stuffs on life and death. It just scares the sh*t out of you, right? Do you want this kind of doctor? Enough heart attacks to last you a life time. Ironically Kim and Jacqueline who were just side characters in the original TV series make more screen time appearance compared to Maka and Soul (Black Star, Tsubaki and Kid’s appearance are just paltry – too bad Black Star. You can’t be number one here). It is as though their cameo appearance is just to remind us that they are around and to confirm with viewers that they are not watching the wrong show. By the way, is it just me or does Soul look tired every time he appears?

Shaula’s part also feels poorly written because it is as though she is here just for the sake of having an antagonist and that this series can ‘go somewhere’ and end on a feel good note. There isn’t anything to explain why she is here or how she got here and maybe it’s my part for not paying attention as she slowly creeps in and infects the citizens. Despite she is a witch and it is natural for her type to cause havoc, but I am sure she must have some sort of goal, doesn’t she? Or she just loves seeing chaos. I suppose we can’t really care that much, do we?

From the storyline and as far as I can remember, I could guess that what happened in this spin-off sequel occurs before the incidents in the TV series. In short, the timeline for this season takes place before the original. Most evident is that Sid is still alive and human unlike in the TV series whereby he is a zombie. So this at least explains how he became the undead. Others include Stein who has not joined the ranks of the Shibusen Academy, Liz and Patty have not become Kid’s weapons, the villainess named Arachne is presumed to be dead or in slumber that others would safely assume she won’t be getting back up soon. And the ‘best’ annoying character that every Soul Eater fan would know is that Excalibur is missing. You remember that annoying creature? Yeah. Love and hate that chatty guy. What is Soul Eater without Excalibur? Too great for this spin-off to handle, huh? Heck, even Mr Death, Shinigami himself didn’t make an appearance. I suppose he is always ‘stuck’ in his Death Room, huh?

The art and drawing are pretty decent and look like your contemporary anime. However it is noticeably different than the original TV series because the latter has this little cartoonish feel to it, which isn’t entirely that bad. Not to say that this season is bad either. The change in art style for the characters that appear in the original TV series isn’t obvious but you can see slight differences if you take a closer look. That is, they don’t look that cartoonish anymore. I suppose if you combine different art styles together, it would be very jarring and annoying. So might as well go for the cute and kawaii design after all. Besides, the mid-intermission has the characters in chibi versions. The background and sceneries also look okay but nothing to shout about.

There are some fanservice scenes here but not many and you can count them with your fingers. Especially when the girls are Soul Resonating, they become naked and what prevents it from being full frontal nudity is because they don’t really ‘draw’ all the details. Desperate cases may want to squint their eyes and touch their face on the monitor just to make sure that it’s so. Then there’s the case of Meme who sometimes strip in her sleep. Her big boobs are obviously for fanservice purposes while those who are more inclined to the flat prairie plains, that is why Tsugumi is around. Yeah, she even quips herself that she is ‘slender’ everywhere. And finally that yuri kiss I thought it was some sort of ‘added bonus’ masked in the form of saving a friend. I suppose this is their first kiss and strangely enough, Anya didn’t freak out because she always does when Meme and Tsugumi start doing something that seems flirting. Even though she knows this is to save a friend, but I don’t think she would have expected the act of kissing and should have at least reacted like her usual.

The action part is rather okay but to some I believe it is mediocre. I mean, this series is about NOT students and not EAT students. The former don’t really have the capacity to fight like their latter counterparts. So the bump all the big action bits into the final arc and the last episode but even so I don’t think it would greatly save the series. You definitely won’t remember this series for the action. Because it really feels odd for 2 Meisters to handle a weapon. It might be a new concept but still, taking turns borrowing a weapon looks cool if only you have 1 enemy to deal with. Imagine if they had dozens. The one without the weapon has to resort to fist fight or gets owned. Even so, seeing Anya and Meme handling Tsugumi in her halberd form such as spinning and twirling her like as though she is some sort of oversized cheerleading baton, feels like a distraction since you know, the girls don’t have any unique moves themselves. So to show us how great they are, we see the flashy twirling and in the end came up with some lame sh*t name that looks evenly as lame. Two girls charging with a halberd? Theoretically if you swing a sword with both hands, the impact would be more powerful. So how about swinging with 4 hands? You get the picture?

Lastly, the final battle with Shaula feels forced. I mean, it is for our heroines to shine and nothing else. If Maka and Soul or even Akane and Clay do the honours, it would render this series redundant. Because for the trio who seriously haven’t been in actual combat and even have trouble fighting off thugs, suddenly after Soul Resonating they become good enough to save the world. Not even the witch who can control others and wreak havoc so easily upon others could stand a chance. Oh yeah. It’s like saying since you’re the bad guy, it’s time and cue for you to lose. Uh huh. Thank the power of friendship again. Make that the power of (mild) yuri friendship. Oh, and if you’re wondering that lame Spring Bird Attack move they named, I suppose it is a pun on Tsugumi’s name and in a way paying their tributes to her. Hmm… Better than naming it as Friendship Trust anyway.

Saori Hayami seems to have becoming a little active lately since most of the recent animes I have watched feature her such as Aoyama in Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka and Yui in Kamigmi No Asobi). In this series, she is identifiable as Anya and does quite a nice job in portraying her various moods from prideful to tsundere. Initially I couldn’t recognize Aoi Yuuki as the voice behind Meme until much later in the series as she didn’t sound like the Aoi Yuuki I would recognize. The kind like Hibiki in Senki Zesshou Symphogear and Yumeiro Patissiere. Maybe she’s in the process of growing up so her voice has slightly changed? The casts from the original Soul Eater series continue to reprise their role such as Chiaki Omigawa as Maka, Kouki Uchiyama as Soul, Akeno Watanabe as Liz, Narumi Takahira as Patty, Masafumi Kimura as Sid, Yuuya Uchida as Stein and Chiwa Saito as Kim. New casts for this spin-off include Haruka Chisuga as Tsugumi (Yuko Tanahara in Strike The Blood), Takahiro Sakurai as Akane (Suzaku in Code Geass). Seiichirou Yamashita as Clay (Takahiro in Walkure Romanze), Ami Koshimizu as Shaula (Ryuuko in Kill La Kill), Mikako Komatsu as Eternal Feather (Marika in Mouretsu Space Pirates), Kotori Koiwai as Kana (Renge in Non Non Biyori) and Ai Orikasa as Misery (Ryoko in Tenchi Muyo series).

The anime pop-like opening theme is sung by Dancing Dolls entitled Monochrome. The ending theme which plays to a slower beat, Yuugure Happy Go is sung by the trio of Haruka Chisuga, Saori Hayami and Aoi Yuuki. Both are rather decent although personally I don’t think they are that memorable. Not the kind that would stick in my head after I finish the series. Although I would personally prefer the ending song compared to the opener. The same trio also sang the insert song while planting their pumpkins in episode 9, Kimi Ga Ireba. I don’t know if it is sung on purpose they sound off key a little. Make that very obvious. Well, they’re having fun planting their pumpkins and they’re so happy and having fun that they can’t sing straight. I’m not sure if there is a proper version of this since I’m not that crazy for this song.

Soul Eater fans may not approve of this spin-off and would perhaps give the anime version a miss and stick to the original manga instead since this spin-off lacks the shonen-esque of the original Soul Eater series. This one feels more like moe and mild yuri. Or if you are really a hardcore fan of the series, this could be something extra for you to enjoy although it doesn’t necessarily give you more insights on the workings and backgrounds of the Soul Eater world. You can get by the main series without missing anything much if you skip this one. Casual viewers like me would find it a decent watch if you don’t up your expectations too high then it would be decent enough to be entertaining with its fair share of comedy, action and drama. Oh yes, the power of friendship too. Like we need more of this in high school themed shows. I’m not sure if it is a good or bad thing because after watching this series, I didn’t feel like rewatching the original TV one. Unless I forgot entirely what I saw 5 years ago. My memories can’t be that bad, can it? Can it?!

Ichigo VS Maka

February 12, 2010

Do I sense some similarities here? Or is it just coincidence. Let me see, both animes has its focus on Soul Reapers known as Shinigamis and their job is to take out the menacing threat against humans, the spirit of mankind which has been turned into a mindless evil force known as Hollows or Kishins. Yeah, so in today’s versus blog, it will be Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach and Maka Albarn from Soul Eater. Same but totally somewhat different. Here is a brief look at how the duo stack up against each other.

Meaning of name
Derivation of the character’s name.
Ichigo: Though it may seem to mean strawberry at first, a closer look at his kanji reveals to mean number one.
Maka: A reverse of the word ‘kama’ which means scythe.

Soul Reaper title/affiliation
Ichigo: More of a substitute Shinigami.
Maka: A weapon meister/technician.

Personality
What is a hero/heroine without their version and value of justice and friendship. Don’t forget the angst too.
Ichigo: Though stubborn, short tempered and confrontational, he has very strong determination especially when it comes to the welfare of his friends and family. Does not show his emotions unless when necessary (must be that tough guy thingy).
Maka: Hard working, level-headed and tries to think before leaping though at times she can be naive and stubborn. Also cares deeply for those around her. Does not show facial expressions unless the situation calls for it.
Hmm… I noticed that if they’re not talking, they’re screaming whether it’s powering up or getting hit or pain during fights.

Hairstyle
Ichigo: Orange colour and spiky.
Maka: Light brown with 2 pig-tails.

The black long flowing overcoat
Ichigo: Appears when he uses his Zanpakutou in Bankai form.
Maka: That is her typical uniform whether she goes to school or fight battles.

Inside the physical body
Ichigo: A Hollow self awakens after intensive training from Urahara.
Maka: Black Blood infected her after her first battle with Crona and Soul’s injury.

Partner
The weapon they are wielding.
Ichigo: A Zanpakutou named Zangetsu, whose other form is an elderly man.
Maka: A scythe named Soul Eater Evans, whose other form is a kid obsessed of being cool.

Special technique
The move which is unique to him/her and gives him the extra fighting edge.
Ichigo: Getsuga Tenshou.
Maka: Witch Hunt and later Demon Hunt.

Vision
What he/she can see that other ordinary people can’t.
Ichigo: The ability to see Hollows.
Maka: Her Soul Perception allows her to see the soul of others and hence obtain valuable data on that person’s soul and strength.

School
The school that they attend classes in.
Ichigo: Karakura High School of Karakura Town.
Maka: Shibusen Academy of Death City.

Student status and reputation
Ichigo: A delinquent student.
Maka: A top star student.

Allies
Can’t be an island, eh?
Ichigo: Uryuu Ishida, Orihime Inoue, Sado “Chad” Yasutora, Rukia Kuchiki.
Maka: Black Star, Tsubaki, Death The Kid, Patty and Liz Thompson.

Enemy turned ally
Once fought him/her was beaten by our hero/heroine and become friends. Something like that.
Ichigo: Renji Abarai.
Maka: Crona.

Cat ally
The feline staying close by…
Ichigo: Yoruichi. Serious, intelligent and witty. Provides information of important details and lessons to power up.
Maka: Blair. Airhead, carefree and seductive. Provides fanservice and seducing Soul to drive Maka up the wall.

Father
Notice how both don’t like their dads and in a way they sometimes act like clowns.
Ichigo: Isshin. Runs a private clinic but secretly seems to be a captain class Shinigami.
Maka: Spirit. Currently the Death Scythe for Shinigami.

Mother
Both are not prominently featured if not briefly mentioned in the series.
Ichigo: Killed by a Grand Fisher Hollow when Ichigo was young.
Maka: Currently on a travelling trip to parts unknown on Earth.

Siblings
Ichigo: Little twin sisters Karin and Yuzu.
Maka: Nil.

Rescue mission
Ichigo: Embarked on missions to rescue Rukia from execution at Soul Society and retrieve Orihime from Hueco Mundo.
Maka: Embarked on a mission to save Crona when the latter goes to face her villainous mother Medusa and later Soul’s mind to save and free him from his black blood.

Boss fights
Battling against powerful bosses and ending up victorious. Simply because they’re the hero lah…
Ichigo: 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki, 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki, Bounts leader Jin Kariya and Espada number 6 Grimmjow.
Maka: Medusa and the Demon God Ashura.

Transformation
Ichigo: Learns to transform into and control his other wild half, which is a Hollow via Hollowfication.
Maka: Later in the anime, seems to have the ability to transform part of her body into weapon blades.

Seiyuu
The voice behind the character.
Ichigo: Masakazu Morita.
Maka: Chiaki Omigawa.

Conclusion
I guess it is not my place to say who is better. They both have their strengths and weaknesses while being admirable at the same time. Ichigo may seem to have more info about him because of the long running series which allows room for the character to develop and grow. Whereas it is lesser in the case of Maka since the Soul Eater series is short and already ended as compared to the still ongoing Bleach. Nevertheless, you can count on both of them when it comes to saving the town from evil spirits. Better think twice in engaging in mortal combat with them.

Ichigo Kurosaki Maka Albarn

Soul Eater

December 11, 2009


Hmm… Is this a rip-off of Bleach? I mean, a school set up for Soul Reapers to counter the threat of evil spirits known as Kishin, which are somewhat equivalent to Bleach’s Hollow? But that is just where the similarity ends in Soul Eater. Basically the plot in this 51 episode series focuses on students of Shibusen Academy, a school located in the fictionous Death City whereby weapon meisters hone their skills along with their weapons (that can take on human form as well) so that their weapon could become the ultimate Death Scythe for the head of the school, Shinigami. In order to achieve that, they have to collect 99 Kishin souls and 1 soul of a witch. Sounds tough, eh?
 
Well the entire series is going to be just based on that. But rest assured that there will be plenty of action, comedy, drama and adventure for the whole year (provided you watch this on a weekly basis, that is). At first looks, viewers may find the art a little cartoonish, though they still blend it with today’s usual Japanese anime art. What do you expect if you have a sun with a face laughing throughout the whole day in the sky or the ever smiling moon with blood dripping out from its mouth. What about those dark alleys of the old London-like streets or the graveyard? Yeah, sounds like a horror series, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, the cartoonish feel somehow offset it all.
 
And cartoonish indeed it feels in a way because our Shinigami guy here is such a joker and full of antics as contrast to many Death Gods there who are scary and well, herald death. You got to love his sporting ways and his erm… hippie accent? Always seen ‘stuck’ in his Death Room at Shibusen Academy (not to be mistaken for a hikikomori, mind you), another very bright and cartoonish place and communicates with the ‘outside world’ via mirrors. To contact him, just call 42-42-564 (pronounced as shini-shini-koroshi which literally means die, die, kill – Haha! Really!). I guess anybody would love to be this guy’s best pal. Just don’t annoy him or you’ll get the receiving end of his trademark but painful Shinigami Chop. I suppose that’s why both his white hands are that big and cartoonish. Just like his skull mask. Oh dear. How many times have I said that ‘C’ word already?
 
Of the 3 main protagonists, our star student of Shibusen is of course Maka Albarn, whose mom was once a power weapon meister. Besides being a skilled scythe user, she also has a Soul Perception which allows her to sense souls whether it is to track them or gauge their combat ability. Her weapon, Soul Eater Evans, seems to be infatuated of being ‘cool’ thus using direct approaches to solve his problems. The duo are on the verge on completing their mission after successfully collecting 99 Kishin souls and just needed a witch soul. So they paid a visit to one named Blair and since she is quite seductive, you can bet that Soul is having a hard time focusing. In the end, Blair is revealed to be just a magical cat and taking a form of a witch. Well, Soul did mention that the appearance doesn’t matter, right? So what is the penalty for failing this mission? They have to start from scratch again. Bummer. Just when they have gotten 99 Kishin souls and they flopped the all important one. I don’t know why but ever since then, Blair lives with Maka and Soul, much to the former’s chagrin whenever she tries to seduce him.
 
Our next main protagonist is Black Star and his multi-ninja weapon Tsubaki. Unlike Tsubaki who is patient, kind and understanding, Black Star is somewhat infatuated of being the number 1 and the goal of surpassing God himself. In other words, he is another loudmouth type who thinks it is his time to ‘appear on stage’. Because of that, the pair has not got a single Kishin soul to their name and when their mission to stop a baddie Al-Capone and his henchmen who has collected 99 Kishin souls and are after a loli witch named Angela, Black Star comes face to face with a super samurai Mifune. The thing I like about this cool children loving samurai is the way he throws his 100 swords around the battle field and when the fight starts, it’s like he just need to reach out and pick out any sword he wants any time anywhere. Though Black Star emerges victorious, he doesn’t kill Mifune or Angela and instead gives back all the Kishin Souls from Al-Capone (in which Mifune easily wiped out) back to Shinigami because they aren’t his. Nice guy. But still too idiotic.
 
Finally to complete the trio, Death The Kid is the son of Shinigami and he too has a quirky personality. He is somewhat infatuated with symmetry. Yup. If thinks aren’t symmetrical, he goes crazy and ‘paralyzed’ and won’t hesitate to correct it. Notice his white strip on his hair? Not symmetry lah! Anyway, the cool thing about him (or maybe weird, if you look at it) is how he holds his gun weapons, Liz and Patty Thompson. Yeah, he holds them upside-down and uses his pinky finger to pull the trigger! Though Liz and Patty may be sisters but their behaviours are contrasting. While Patty is like the care-free and ‘dumb’ one, Liz is the more rational one but is afraid of monsters and ghosts. Their mission is to intercept some witch trying to revive a mummy but Kid is so worried about the symmetry of the stuff in his home that he leaves his weapons to finish the job! After doing so, he faces the mummy but can’t defeat him because of his beautiful symmetry. Until of course he turns unsymmetrical that Kid got pissed off and blasts him away. However the whole pyramid is destroyed. So he loses all his Kishin souls. Being the son of Shinigami initially exempts him from attending Shibusen so I guess Kid eventually decide to enrol in class but on his first day, he got into a fight with Soul-Black Star team but the latter duo’s incompatible wavelength causes them to lose. Until Soul accidentally cut a little wee bit of Kid’s hair and ruining his symmetry.
 
What is with the guys having some lame kind of personality? One trying to be cool, the other trying to be number 1 and another about symmetry. The girls seem to have far better responsibility than them. But I guess that’s why the series is fun in the first place. So in most episodes you will see how the trio interact, go on missions, power up and face more powerful and threatening enemies. Initially we see the weapon meisters and their weapons doing Soul Resonance, a process which matches their wavelength so that they could unleash more powerful attacks. Then they get to power up and learn to control their abilities like Maka’s Witch Hunt slash and later Demon Hunt slash and Black Star’s ability to use the Fey Blade mode of Tsubaki after they defeated the soul of the Demon Blade, Masamune, who happens to be Tsubaki’s brother. And yes. You gotta love Kid’s ultimate Soul Resonance move with Liz and Patty called Death Cannon because it really packs a power punch.
 
Of course there are many other colourful characters in the series as well. They include Spirit (Shinigami’s current Death Scythe and Maka’s dad whom she hate most because of his flirting ways) the Shibusen’s teacher Sid Barett (already dead but revived as a zombie), Mira Kniges (Sid’s weapon), Dr Franken Stein (has a bolt right through his head. Probably the source of his headaches? Besides, he is Shibusen’s most powerful Meister and Spirit’s ex-partner and loves dissecting… Spirit found out the hard way about his unknown injuries…), Ox Ford (another top student and Maka’s rival in class) and yeah, the very annoying Excalibur. Is he an anteater by the way? He claims to be some legendary super weapon but in reality nobody can put up with his long-guest attitude, telling pointless contradictory life stories, must-adhere-to rules and his trademark "Baka" line while pointing his stick in your face. Even Black Star and Kid’s attempt to retrieve it ended up putting back where he is. Same case with Ox. Yeah, make that disgusting annoying face whenever his name is mentioned. But some unpopular student named Hiro became his servant, I mean, meister. Everyone is surprised how he could put up with it all but he too gave up because… Excalibur sneezed. WTF?! He can tolerate everything except that?! Then there are fun filler episodes whereby the students have to take a test with Maka and Ox vying for top spot while the not so smart ones like Black Star and Soul try to cheat but failed miserably (never try this anyhow!) and as for Kid… He spend too much time trying to write his name perfectly…
 
The start of the potential threat to the world begins when Maka and Soul are sent to dispose of a Kishin in Italy. After doing so, they sense a strong energy from a nearby church. They will have to soon battle this weapon meister Crona (by the way, is this kid a boy or a girl? I’ll just refer to her as a she) and her weapon Ragnarok are tough to handle. To make things worse, Ragnarok is created from Crona’s black blood so any slashing won’t do any good because the blood will harden. Furthermore, she can turn her blood into solid weapon any time. Oddly, crazy-looking Crona may be the master but it is sarcastic Ragnarok which is bullying Crona all the time. Soul gets injured while trying to protect Maka. Before Crona could deal the final blow, Stein and Spirit arrive in time to save the day. The witch behind it all rescues Crona and flees. Back at Shibusen, Soul is treated and it seems there are traces of black blood in his body. Maka feels guilty about this as Medusa nurses Soul. Thing is, Medusa is the witch in disguise that was observing Crona’s duel and rescuing her. Hmm… With a name like that, the academy should’ve suspected something but I guess she managed to fool everyone with some identity barrier of hers. However Stein faintly hints that he knows of her presence as a witch and this has Medusa on her toes, not sure whether he is just fooling around or not.
 
Medusa’s infiltration at Shibusen seems to be doing some sort of experiment with the black blood. Of course she herself isn’t that popular among some of the witches and during some witch congregation, Elka and Mizune confront her but Medusa shows her power by killing mouse-like Mizune and putting snakes into frog-like Elka. Now Elka has to be her subordinate and do her bidding or else Medusa will send her exploding like her little friend. The snakes in Elka body also works as Medusa’s third eye as she uses them to spy or see things via Elka. So Elka’s first job is to infiltrate a prison and release a very dangerous werewolf prisoner. Why isn’t he killed in the first place? He’s an immortal. Ah, I see. This guy, whom he has renamed himself as Free (perhaps after living for so long he has forgotten his own name), escapes and I guess as gratitude he aligns himself with Medusa. She wants Free to dispose of Maka and Soul who are both on a training stint despite the risk it poses to Soul. So in London, Maka, Soul, Black Star and Tsubaki duel Free but in the end it is Free’s magic slip-up (probably got rusty over the years of his imprisonment) which allows the kids to win. But soon after, Maka starts coughing up black blood. Elsewhere, Kid and his weapons are investigating a mysterious Black Dragon terrorizing the Baltic Sea only to find a deserted ship controlled by an evil poltergeist. Kid learns that the poltergeist is collecting souls for the Demon God at Shibusen. Kid is surprised but to hear of this their battle is interrupted when the true Black Dragon appears: Crona with wings? Oh yeah, it’s her black blood. Crona easily destroys the poltergeist and escapes but because of Kid’s fascination with the sunset and cloud’s symmetry, he ended up chasing after nature over the horizon. Damn. Then Stein of course sends Sid and Kniges to investigate about Medusa’s identity but Medusa set traps and blows her own place up, not leaving a trace behind. Don’t worry, Sid isn’t dead yet. He is already dead to begin with.
 
Soon a party to celebrate the founding of Shibusen. This event is significant because it will be the only time Shinigami will come out from his room into the public. This means, all Shibusen staff and student will gather at the same time, prompting Medusa to unleash her plan. True enough, she has Free sealed them all in an enclosed space even if it is for a limited time, but it is enough for them to execute their plan. What plan, you ask? You see, Medusa is bent on reviving the Demon God Ashura that is kept imprisoned in his own skin by Shinigami underneath Shibusen (the reason why Shinigami cannot leave the place at all). To do so, they needed black blood. It seems Ashura once fought alongside Shinigami and was one of the strongest in his time. But because he was too powerful and afraid of just about anything, he began taking innocent souls and his madness soon transformed him into a Kishin before Shinigami took steps to seal him. Sid manages to come back and inform the threat and sends Maka, Black Star, Kid, their weapons along with Stein and Spirit away before Free’s magic enclosure takes place. Their goal now is to stop Medusa and co from reviving Kishin as they dash towards underground.
 
The gang encounters Medusa playing guard so Stein and Spirit take on her so the kids could catch up with the rest. Of course Medusa has a backup plan and the second guard is Crona. Stein initially wanted Black Star to face-off with Crona but Maka requested that this duel be hers so that she could finish her grudge match. Because of the black blood in Soul, he is seeing visions of some imp trying to tempt him to getting more powerful but Soul is reluctant. Furthermore, doing Soul Resonance may be risky but Soul accepts. This turned Maka into a crazy girl enough to match Crona. So inside Crona’s mind, she learns how Crona is Medusa’s daughter and was thought to kill mercilessly. Because of that, she was always alone. Maka is determined to save Crona but before Maka’s black blood could drive her crazy, Soul saves her. In the end, Maka extends her friendship hand to Crona and it’s the start of a beautiful friendship. Amazingly, the black blood in her has vanished. Ragnarok turns into a chibi character though he is still the bully he is, picking on Crona. She holds Ragnarok back to let Maka and Soul pass. Outside Shibusen, it is amusing to see Blair take on Mizune (actually 5 little relatives on Mizune combined together after being misinformed that Shibusen was the one who killed their sister). It is like a hot sexy babe cat fight! Even the person who got pinned by the rubble ‘revived’ to watch them fight. Too hot to handle!
 
Kid is having a tough time eluding Elka’s tadpole bombs. Furthermore, he realized that it is all just a trick to buy time when Free’s body is just a hologram. By that time, Free and Elka have reached the room where Ashura is sealed in. They can feel his madness wavelength and start to have scary crazy illusions of being killed. Wow. This Ashura guy must be one hell of a dude to have this kind of presence. Elka hurries to inject the black blood when Kid and Black Star arrive. I guess Black Star is too dense not to be affected by the madness as he slashes away the injection. Victory? Not quite. It seems that was just an illusion too. Elka has already injected the blood as Ashura slowly revives and takes form. Yeah, they scare the wits out of each other, he and Elka. Meanwhile Stein and Medusa are in a deadlock battle. The revival of Ashura has Medusa let her guard down a little which allows Stein to slice her into half. Ashura blasts out to the surface but encounters Shinigami. Looks like Free’s magic wore off sooner than expected. Hey, nobody’s perfect. As the other Shibusen staff has citizens of Death City evacuate to safety, the old timers clash. Death God vs Demon God. Hmm… For the first time, Shinigami sounds very serious and his well, low voice sounds quite intimidating. Shinigami fails to stop Ashura and since the latter had enough fun, he flees. With that, Shinigami orders the return of all the world’s Death Scythe. Elsewhere a snake is seen slithering out from a drain. Yup. Medusa isn’t dead yet. And Elka thought she would be free. Not.
 
Since there are 8 Death Scythes in the world including Spirit, only 3 of them return. They are Justin Law (always having a headphone in his ears. Is it so that he purposely can’t hear what others say? Hey, but he read lips…), Yumi Azusa (quite analytical and her clairvoyance would prove useful in future episodes) and Marie Mjolnir (wears an eye-patch and has bad sense of direction. Makes me wonder how she got to Shibusen in the first place). Well, half isn’t so bad, right? Azusa is to scout for Ashura’s whereabouts, Justin on standby while Marie to be with Stein because it seems he is turning mad gradually after the fight with Medusa so Marie’s soul wavelength should have a calming effect on him. While the protagonist kids are playing basketball to cheer things up, especially Maka, Crona is seen confined in a room at Shibusen. Maka and Marie try to get Crona enrol into Shibusen and be friendly with her but you can’t blame her for being distrustful.
 
Soon Crona, Maka and Soul are sent to an Eastern European country to investigate a rampaging golem. They encounter an enemy named Giriko who could turn parts of his body into chainsaw. Crude and rude Giriko with his golem attack Maka but thankfully Crona fights back. It is a good thing she is on their side now. However it isn’t long before Giriko beats up Crona and this time their saviour comes in the form of Justin. He shows them why he is worthy of being a Death Scythe by easily disposing the golem while Giriko escapes. Ashura’s insanity seems to have woken up another antagonist from her long slumber, the spider-like Arachne and is supposedly Medusa’s sister. Giriko serves under her as Arachne returns to her base along with her massive Arachnophobia organization. Oh, did I mention she has a loyal servant named Mosquito? He looks like an evil version of that Monopoly mascot. They vow to take down Shinigami. With Arachne’s awakening, things get complicated because she is aiming to gather all of the Demon Tools. Whatever it is, judging by that name, it is another one of those contraptions which will bring an end to the world. After learning one of Arachne’s labs is making them, Sid, Kniges, Azusa, Black Star and Tsubaki are sent to intercept. Black Star and Tsubaki are surprised to learn Mifune is on Arachne’s side (well, Angela is in their custody). Another cool battle ensue. Mifune is so sharp that he can even sense where Sid is sniping from! The battle ends with Black Star losing. Has he lost his touch? Though they successfully ambushed and destroyed the base, this allows a slight opportunity for Black Star to escape. Kid on the hand is doing his own investigation on the Demon Tool and to his surprise, has more questions than answers. Is there something between Shinigami and Eibon, the creator of Demon Tools? Did Medusa borrowed a book about Eibon the day Ashura was revived? Shibusen isn’t what it seems…
 
Elsewhere, Medusa takes over a little girl’s body, Rachel. Now she’s a chibi girl. But her trademark grin is still as evil and crazy as ever. So next time listen to your mother’s words of not to touch anything suspicious. But heartbreak for mommy because her ‘child’ told her goodbye and left. Where is Medusa going? She went to see Arachne, who isn’t quite happy. Though Medusa leaves, she has Elka and Free disguised as one of Arachne’s many underlings. Back at Death City, the kids are trying to make Crona feels at home. Just when Crona feels that she is settling in, then comes across Medusa. Enough to bring all those shivering memories back. Medusa smooth talks Crona into being her spy for Shibusen. Torn between her loyalty to her mom and new friends, Crona reluctantly agrees to do so. One of them being dropping some sort of liquid into Marie’s drink which allows her to hear and see her conversations with Stein. With that and combining Medusa’s destabilizing magic, Stein increasingly is on the brink of insanity. He sometimes sees the madness of Ashura in his illusions. However he isn’t totally crazy yet as he still manages to conduct class and a lesson whereby Maka, Black Star and Kid have to combine their Soul Resonance together for greater offence. Initially Maka is upset due to Black Star’s attitude but Stein points out that it is her who may be dragging the team down. Eventually they manage to successfully resonate their souls together.
 
The next clash has the Shibusen against Arachnophobia to obtain a Demon Tool named Brew on some dangerous island. This island has a very strong magnetic field due to a great explosion of the tool on this island so much so they can see visions of the past being played back. It’s like having a rerun in 3D. Stein and Marie are to enter and retrieve it but their bodies are at their limit so they have no choice but to come back out while Maka, Black Star, Kid and their weapons head in. On the other hand, Giriko continues his match with Justin while Sid plays a cat-and-mouse game with Mifune. Ox and his team mates, Kim Diehl and Kilik Lungu take on the rest of the Arachnophobia army on their side. Maka and co enter the magnetic field only to encounter Mosquito as their obstacle. He has Brew in his hands. Mosquito powers up into some over-bloated younger self as the trio combine their powers via Soul’s suggestion of Chain Resonance (that’s some weird piano melody he is playing) to beat and gravely wound him but not enough to kill him as he escapes in the nick of time before the ultimate death blow. In the end, Shibusen escapes from the island and this mission is considered a failure. However when Mosquito reports back to Arachne, he tells her that Brew has been destroyed and the tool he obtained is nothing but a junk. But Arachne isn’t fazed because she knows Shibusen doesn’t know of this and could use this info to their advantage. Then again, the real Brew isn’t destroyed. It is in the hands of Medusa. While Shibusen and Arachne were duking out, Elka and Mifune sneak in amidst all that chaos to steal it.
 
Kid continues his investigation on Eibon and his father but got nowhere close while Maka and Soul try practicing Demon Hunter in hopes that it wasn’t a fluke shot. Soon, a man from the technological branch, the coffee lover Joe Buttataki, arrives at Shibusen at Shinigami’s request to subtly handle the Demon Tools and Eibon’s book. Kid tries to question him but his lips are tightly sealed. Elsewhere, Arachne has located Ashura’s presence and tries to persuade him to join her side against Shibusen. Arachne has a taste of his madness but is unfazed. You could say he accepts. Oh great. Two of the world’s most dangerous villains joining forces. It’s the end of the world! Also, Elka tells Crona to go back to Medusa and as usual that dilemma kid is indecisive. However when Maka and Kid get to know Crona is missing, Maka goes all out to find her. Well, she isn’t far from Shibusen. Just sitting in some hole she dug in the desert. I think without Ashura’s madness, this kid can go crazy by herself. Guilt-ridden Crona tells Maka of the things she has done but Maka doesn’t care about all that. Friends again? Even so, news of Crona’s betrayal reaches Shinigami and the rule is that she may be expelled. To complicate matters, Medusa shows herself up at Shibusen and voluntarily surrenders. To win their trust, she gives them the real Brew. However they remain suspicious since it is Medusa we’re talking about. She must have something up her sleeves. Medusa cuts a deal with Shibusen. She will reveal the location of Ashura in exchange for her release and promise that no harm will come to her. Any collateral? They will just have to trust her. They have to. That’s because Ashura’s madness is spreading throughout the world. So of course when Maka finds out that Medusa is walking free, she gets pissed. All is going perfectly to Medusa’s plan on seeing both sides wipe each other out. On a side note, it was funny seeing Shinigami and Spirit teasing chibi Medusa. Aside from that, Marie to her horror finds Stein has gone missing. He is going to Medusa.
 
Apart from preparing the final showdown with Arachnophobia (whose location is at Baba Yaga castle), Crona requests to go settle things with Medusa once and for all. Marie decides to accompany her. But aren’t they breaking the deal? Well, Crona is expelled while Marie has resigned so technically they aren’t from Shibusen. Yeah, I can’t believe Shibusen is that sneaky too. Shibusen are getting ready to launch an offensive outside Baba Yaga. But Maka’s heart isn’t at ease because of Crona’s case. After Soul makes her realize what she wants to do, she and Soul set foot to Medusa’s hideout. While the epic battle between Shibusen and Arachnophobia begins, Kid and his weapons are on a mission to obtain the last Demon Tool to operate Brew in a deserted town as Joe has discovered from a secret page in Eibon’s book. After he defeats those clown-like monsters, he hears a voice from it questioning the right of those who would use the tool. During the battle between Shibusen and Arachnophobia, Justin once again faces Giriko. It’s like fate for them, huh? Arachne isn’t happy to see that Shibusen knows her whereabouts and later realizes that this could be Medusa’s doing. I guess Arachne has a more important task of soothing and taking good care Ashura who is lying on her lap like a little scared boy.
 
Crona and Marie have arrived at Medusa’s hideout. Some dramatic talking but well at least Crona isn’t fearful of her mom like she used to. Unfortunately, Stein is on Medusa’s side as he is being controlled by his inner madness. He is one tough nut to crack seeing that he is a skilled weapon meister. Crona is still no match for Medusa and just before she is about to be killed, Maka arrive just in time to clash with her. She is very pissed. So Maka and Crona combine their attacks against Stein. When Medusa unleashes an attack towards Maka, Crona uses her body to protect her. Deja vu? But this time, due to Medusa’s magic, Crona’s blood cannot harden so her injuries are grave. I can’t believe that Ragnarok is still sarcastic and blaming Crona right till the very end, slowly dying in his own pool of blood. What is worse than a pissed Maka? An even pissed Maka, that is. Maka is going crazy as she vents her fury on Medusa, attack after attack. With Stein coming to Medusa’s aid, this gives Marie enough time to use her Redemption Wavelength and cure Stein of all his madness. Thank goodness he is back. Now all that is left is Medusa. Stein advices Maka to use her Demon Hunt on her but can she cut Medusa without hurting Rachel’s body. That is the power of Demon Hunt. The ability to cut through evil only. Maka successfully uses the slash to cut a surprised Medusa and releasing her from the body. Thankfully this time Medusa is gone for good. Maka and Soul head back to Baba Yaga while Marie and Stein take Crona back to Shibusen for treatment.
 
Meanwhile Black Star is making headway progress into Baba Yaga and comes upon Mifune once more. Round 3 anyone? Sure. With a win and a loss each for both sides, this tie breaker will settle everything. As they fight, Mifune remembers how he once fought Black Star’s dad, White Star and noted how he chose the path of the demon instead of the path of the warrior. He asks Black Star this question and his conclusion is that he too would follow the fate of his dad. Then Black Star got defeated but he hasn’t totally lost yet. While facing with his inner demons, Black Star soon revives and tells Mifune that he will neither walk any of those paths except the path of his own. In a final move, Black Star emerges victorious but chose not to kill Mifune. So he helps him up and try to find Angela who is somewhere in the castle. Arachne is getting desperate and tells Mosquito to use a devastating cannon to destroy its surroundings, not caring much for her own subordinates out there.
 
Back at Shibusen, when Kid returns with the last demon tool and passes it to Shinigami and Joe, Eibon emerges from it and we learn that he also once fought along Shinigami and Ashura. Amazingly, Excalibur is here too but he mentions he is merely here to observe. Eibon created many of those tools in hopes of searching for a cure and immortality for his loved one. He even aligned with Arachne to achieve this but it ended in failure. This last Demon Tool is a key created from Eibon’s soul to unlock Brew, a tool that allows the wish of anyone to be granted. So I guess why a Demon Tool is called so it’s because of its powerful effects and if fallen into the wrong hands it could mean bye-bye. As atonement for his sins, Eibon activates Brew for Shinigami. So what is Shinigami’s wish? He transforms the entire Death City into a big robot! WTF?! I know his soul is tied down to the city but the whole city moving with arms and legs with Shinigami piloting it? Too much! Well, it’s not supposed to make sense to begin with. So the robot city treks all the way to Baba Yaga. Mosquito also activates and moves the spider-like castle. If you look at the battle between 2 giant beings, it’s like trying to swat a pest! the castle trying to evade every slam of the robot city’s hand. Eventually the robot city manages to hold the spider castle in its grasp and with Azusa’s clairvoyance to pinpoint Ashura’s exact location, Shinigami unleashes several ‘arms’ to grab Ashura away from Arachne. Now this part doesn’t make sense too. The robot city swallows Ashura like as though it is a living thing. I know. Hard to believe. Just like everyone else who is watching.
 
This means another power battle between Shinigami and Ashura in Death Room. So apart from all the trading of blows, Ashura also tells the reason of spreading his madness is so that to stop people from imagining which he claims is the source of all the fear in the world. Yeah, next time be careful when you unleash your creativity. They both seem to be equally match until Ashura shoots his weapon from his throat towards Kid and Azusa who are observing from afar. Shinigami goes to protect them but the price he pays is dear. Kid can’t believe his father is defeated and his body badly damaged. So when Ashura is seen flying out from Death City, everyone else can’t believe that Shinigami lost. Ashura flies back into the arms of Arachne. She is happy and had always believed that he will return to her. However, Ashura says that he is afraid of her so he kills and devours her soul! So much for the alliance. Now this is true madness indeed. Would 2 less antagonist make a difference? Not if you are as mad as Ashura, it doesn’t matter how many baddies or good guys there are.
 
Ashura is planning to go into hibernation and heal his wounds from the fight with Shinigami and creates a barrier. Is that a bad thing? Well, the world will still go insane even without Ashura meddling. Bummer. Before it closes, Maka, Black Star, Kid and their weapons manage to get in. Together with Chain Resonance, they take on Ashura who looks more menacing and bigger. However he doesn’t seem to get a little scratch. But Kid notes that they have to keep doing it because it is weakening the barrier. At least there’s some progress. Just as Maka is to unleash her Demon Hunt slash, the imp swallows Soul and in reality he collapses unconscious. Ashura explains how Soul pushed himself to the limit in order to obtain maximum power and thus the burden on him increases. And with the black blood in him, his body is bound to fail. Maka doesn’t know what to do so Black Star tells her to go get him while he and Kid take care of Ashura. Maka goes into Soul’s mind and after trekking down the gloomy steps, finds a monochrome Soul expecting her. Outside, Kid is preparing to unleash a devastating move that will decide the outcome but Ashura pierces him. Then like in a trance, Kid revives and his white strips of hair connect as his Death Cannon materializes into a bigger gun! Woah! Black Star buys him time by pounding Ashura with his clone technique so when Kid is ready, he fires away and dissolves Ashura. Though he collapses soon after, Black Star still sees a normal size Ashura standing and thinks that he is the one fated to surpass God. He prepares to take him on.
 
Meanwhile monochrome Soul gives Maka a box telling her to open it as it contains his courage and the only way out. However this Soul is fake and the real one is inside the box. If Maka opens the box, the black blood will completely take over his body. The real Soul is trying to tell Maka not to do so but she can’t hear him. Maka is suspicious of the fake Soul and knows he isn’t the real deal because of his actions so she refuses to open the box, upsetting the fakey. The fake turns into the imp and he tells her how Soul and him are one. But Maka decides to open the box and save Soul as she vows not to let the madness control Soul. She goes in and successfully saves him. The imp can’t believe this is happening and is worried Soul is going to erase him. But he devours him instead since he is part of him. When they both return back to the real world, they are horrified to see Kid and Black Star out cold while Ashura is the only one standing. It’s the final showdown.
 
Maka and Soul did a Soul Resonance and even Demon Hunt but their attack has little effect on Ashura. Even if it did, Ashura healed himself back. Soul once again uses his body to shield Maka from Ashura’s attack. While he mocks the weakling and is going to finish her off, Maka takes another blast from him. However Maka suddenly has blades coming out of her body and starts attacking back furiously. Ashura is alerted and noticed that she is unconscious, thus she has no fear. He wakes her up by giving her pain. Then when he says how she has nothing more to defeat him, Maka replies how relieved she is, surprising him. Then everyone else agrees how Maka has the 1 thing in her heart: Courage. Ashura starts to panic and going crazy, trying not to believe what he has heard. He gets agitated and unsettled to see Maka very calm. Maka races up to him as he is in a frenzy to keep her away but successfully lands a punch in his face. When Maka says how everyone has courage in their heart, Ashura thinks how that is the same as madness. He then starts to crack as he explodes and the barrier destroyed, revealing a clear blue sky. Though Kid notes even if Ashura is gone, other Demon Gods may arise due to human’s negative feelings but Maka is positive that negative feelings aren’t only in people as they have courage too.
 
Erm… Okay, so I was expecting something grand to end it all. It would be a lie if I didn’t say I wasn’t disappointed because I expected it to end with a bang. Sure, Maka uses a special ability which isn’t something overly powerful to defeat evil but the final episode felt like a mix between action and drama talk of Ashura’s point of view of madness and weakness at first and then later he switched to fear and incomprehension. At least it goes to show that you don’t need big guns, powerful magic spells or strong super strength to beat an insane villain. It’s all in your mind and comes down to how strong your heart and mind is.
 
Because of that, I felt that many of the other supporting side characters have been sidelined in the final few episodes. I know that there is nothing much they could do but to pray and wait. Thus I’m wondering what those leaderless villains such as Elka, Free, Mosquito and Giriko would do now considering both their female heads are dead. Are they free to walk their own path or wait and choose another leader to follow or turn over a new leaf? I’m sure Shibusen has lots to do in cleaning up Death City and patching things back. What would be Crona’s fate then? Will she be accepted back to Shibusen and will Marie too come back? Or will the other Death Scythes return to their previous positions prior to Ashura’s awakening? And is Mifune going to take up Black Star and Tsubaki’s suggestion of being a teacher? What about Maka’s ability to transform part of herself into a weapon? Ah, so much questions but I guess it’s better to leave it there.
 
The varied and colourful characters in the series are likeable. For instance, Maka may not be a perfect girl but she keeps trying and do her best with her partner Soul. No matter how noisy and persistent Black Star is about his stage, it’s hard to put him down. Even in the end if that stage wasn’t his or he is still blabbing about his superiority, that’s Black Star for you. It’s better to appear on stage for a brief period rather than none at all. And Kid isn’t so particular about his symmetry at the end, eh? Maybe he’s too busy to note all that. I hate to admit it but Excalibur’s presence in the end was less annoying even if he is giving advice in his trademark sneering form.
 
I also seem to notice something about Maka’s voice. If she’s not talking, she’s like screaming whether it is out of anguish or unleashing a power move. It’s not totally that shrieky high pitched voice but with a little husky feel to it. Maka is voiced by a new seiyuu, Chiaki Omigawa, whose other role at this point is Jun in Natsu No Arashi. Yumiko Kobayashi does a nice job for Black Star and that voice of hers does fit the character well. You may recognize her as Azuma in Yakitate! Japan. I also like Shinigami’s voice done by Rikiya Koyama. It is certainly different from the other anime roles like Kogarashi of Kamen No Maid Guy. Other casts include Mamoru Miyama as Kid (Light in Death Note, Sho in Skip Beat), Maaya Sakamoto as Crona (Haruhi of Ouran High School Host Club), Kaori Nazuka as Tsubaki (Hiromi of True Tears), Akeno Watanabe as Liz (Rito in To Love-Ru), Yuya Uchida as Stein (Emile in Kaibutsu Oujo), Toshio Furukawa as Ashura (Piccolo of Dragonball series), Houko Kuwashima as Medusa (Tomoyo in Clannad), Michiko Neya as Arachne (Agnes of Zero No Tsukaima series), Takehito Kuyasu as Excalibur (Kururu in Keroro Gunsou) and new seiyuus Kouki Uchiyama as Soul and Narumi Takahira as Patty.
 
The 1st opening theme, Resonance by T.M. Revolution is a rock piece and those familiar with the band’s style of music should recognize this one. The 2nd opening theme by Tommy Heavenly6 is PAPERMOON and though it has a rock beat, I find this one very much less appealing. I Wanna Be by Stance Punks is the 1st ending theme and though the song starts off like a soft lullaby, gradually it turns into a loud hard punk rock music. Yeah, all those screaming and shouting. Kana Nishino sings the 2nd ending theme entitled Style and sounds more pop-like. Ending theme number 3 by Diggy-MO called Bakusou Yumeuta has a little hip-hop flavour in it while the 4th ending theme, Strength by Abingdon Boys School is another rock piece. Hmm… the animation for the 4th ending theme seems to have almost everyone drawn or pinned down in madness. Ashura’s influence is that great, huh?
 
On a trivial note, each of the episode titles are in the form of a question. It’s like either one can’t believe the outcome is like that or whether it would happen this way or not. During the first half of the series, the sponsor screen will show a couple of lines which serves as teasers (like the ones in Gintama and School Rumble). I don’t know why they do away with it later. Same case for random sketches and illustrations shown at the end of the episode. I did a little reading up and it seems the anime deviates a little from the manga. For instance some of the character roles like Medusa and Arachne towards the end vary a lot. What happened in the anime didn’t exactly turned out how it was supposed to be in the manga. And in the manga, Joe was murdered? Justin aligned to Ashura? Well, if they are going to make a sequel, it’s going to be tough to rejoin the original manga story unless they start anew and do a remake.
 
By now, Maka’s opening narrative line has been drilled into my head: "Kenzen naru tamashi wa, kenzen naru seishin to kenzen nikutai ni aru". That basically means a healthy soul resides in a healthy mind and body. Just another way of saying a healthy mind is a healthy body. Maybe I should once in a while get out and do some stretching before my mind becomes the Devil’s workshop. Worse still, I might go insane after watching too many animes. Yeah, it feels like it is fuelling my anime addiction. Anime, the soul of my life. Now to go watch another anime. Now, who do you think would win if Maka is pitted against Bleach’s Ichigo? To quote another line from Maka said after the end of each episode preview: "Omae no tamashi, itadakimasu" (I will have your soul).
 

Soul Eater