The End is Now
“Soul Eater” is a series that has really grown on me, until now I am sorry to see it end. In the beginning, I thought the whole concept was just weird. Two people, usually a male and a female, are paired as a Weapon and a Meister. The Weapon is just that, a human who can transform into a living weapon and be wielded by a Meister. The Meister’s main job was to take the souls of 99 humans and 1 witch, in that order, so that their Weapon could be transformed into Death Scythe able to be wielded by the God of Death himself, the Shinigami.
Even the character designs were odd, with the snub-nosed imitating a skull-face for the students of the DWMA (Death Weapon Meister Academy). And I thought the pseudo hip-hop characters of Black Star and Soul Eater were just annoying. Good stories and great animation can turn all of that around though, and “Soul Eater” turned into a real favorite.
This box set has the final episodes of the anime (although the manga is still coming). Split onto two disks, Disk 1 has episodes 40-45 and Disk 2 has 46-51. Episode 44 has a commentary track and the “Soul Eater Late Show” is included as a bonus.
Things start out with a bang as the captured Medusa offers information in exchange for her freedom. The DWMA has no choice but to accept her bargain, and things are set in motion that will have far-reaching consequences. The decision to release Medusa angers Maka, dividing loyalties that will be necessary when preparing for the big battle against Asura. All of the Weapon/Meister teams split up on separate missions, none of which they feel they are strong enough to complete by themselves. Medusa reemerges as a threat, holding Dr. Stein’s mind captive and yet the DWMA has promised not to move against her. Finally, they must come together again to fight their final battle against Asura and the kishin madness that threatens to envelope the world.
I love all of the disparate elements brought together in “Soul Eater.” H.P. Lovecraft’s The Book of Eibon. Baba Yaga from Russian folklore. The demon Asura from Japanese folklore. If you are a folklore/weird fiction enthusiast (which I am) there are all sorts of little gems hiding here to let you know that the writer’s did their homework. On top of that you get a pretty wild action series that has depth beyond the cool character designs and outlandish concepts. I was shocked when I found out that I actually cared when some of the characters here died, characters that I had previously found annoying.
The animation of “Soul Eater” is beautiful as well, and some of my favorite scenes were the glimpses into Dr. Stein’s madness. I also really enjoyed the use of classical music as a background. To many anime series just use techno or J-Pop to power a scene forward, but a lot of poignancy can be added by some violins playing together.
I am sad that I won’t get to watch any more “Soul Eater,” but other than that nothing about this last box set was a disappointment.