Soul Eater ReviewAlexandra Sloan
Soul Eater is an impressive anime – every aspect works together to make it so. It's a simple plot at first glance; each student wields a human weapon. The student works with his or her weapon to kill 99 evil human souls – and then 1 witch's soul. Once that happens they become Death Scythes – Death's personal weapons. The main character, Maka, and her scythe, Soul, are, at first glance a mismatched pair. He's arrogant, self-assured and blunt, while Maka is calculating, honest and tries very hard to do the right thing.
The entire cast of characters is fun and colorful – with their own flaws and quirks. The Grim Reaper, master of the Academy, is always cheerful. Spirit (Death's current Scythe and Maka's father) is desperate for Maka's love and approval, a playboy and rather good at his job despite it all. Blair, the witch that is one of Maka's targets, is truly there for fan service. Death the Kid, Death's son, is neurotic and obsessive compulsive and has a pair of weapons. Black Star is rash, loud, obnoxious, and has a single goal – to be the best there ever was. Each member of the cast is quirky, fun and loud – while complimenting each other perfectly. There's just the right amount of humor, seriousness and personal struggles to make them well rounded. Soul Eater makes a point to create backstory for all the main characters and some of the supporting cast. Characters really make this anime great and they keep you coming back for more, episode after episode.
The overall feel of the anime is a balance between darkness and overly goofy. You get dark scenes and then brightly colored ones. It's not so sporadic that it's weird, or off putting, but it's done so that you take the serious moments seriously, and the light hearted ones in stride. One of the most outstanding parts of this anime is that every character is different – everyone has their certain LOOK to them – from Death the Kid's strange hairstyle, Soul's trademarked grin and teeth, and Maka's simple look – no one looks like a cookie cutter character. Each scene, too, is detailed. There are no real short cuts taken in design here – in fact many scenes balance the darkness of a serious scene with enough brightness to make it well rounded. The art is consistent throughout the entire of the series, where in many animes you see stylistic changes that aren't always for the better. Every fight scene is fun, no cuts to the end – you don't just see a blast, a sword clash or a gun blast – you see the fight. All the good and all the bad is wound together to make an action packed scene. This is one anime that rarely falls short of being active and keeping the watcher engaged.
The music is well done; the opening themes are amazing and some of my favorites from any anime. A good opening theme really can set a tone for an anime, and Soul Eater's certainly does that. The voices for both the Japanese and the American version are perfect. Sometimes you'll see an anime where the voices sound off and don't fit the characters, not here. The voices really make the characters.
Overall Soul Eater is one of my personal favorites – it's consistent without a lot of filler episodes (really only one) and it keeps people interested. The plot advances every episode, and they stick with it, making it truly valuable as an anime to keep in your collection. I've gone back and watched Soul Eater a couple times now, and it hasn't lost its flair.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.