"A sound soul dwells within a sound mind and a sound body."
Soul Eater is a shonen manga by Atsushi Ohkubo which has been regularly serialized in Monthly Shonen Gangan since 2004. It received a 51 episode anime by Studio Bones in 2008. As of January 2011, Monthly Shonen Gangan has ran a Prequel / Spinoff named Soul Eater Not! by the same mangaka, running alongside the original series while covering and expanding on events prior to the original story. The manga came to end in 2013 after a ten year run with a total of 113 chapters.In the world of Soul Eater, a human soul that falls to corruption has a chance of transforming into a "Demon Egg", which in turn has a chance of hatching into the ultimate avatar of madness.To stop this from happening, Death himself has set up the Death Weapon Meister Academy in Death City, Nevada. The DWMA trains warriors ("Meisters") and Weapons (humans who can shapeshift into weapons) to fight and retrieve the evil souls before they become Demon Eggs. A Meister and Weapon who manage to collect 99 corrupt souls and one Witch soul receive the highest honour: the Weapon becomes one of the Death Scythes, servitors of Death himself.The main characters include:
Maka Albarn and her scythe, Soul Eater (just call him Soul). She's a raging workaholic, he's a slacker, but they make a great team. They almost made Soul into a Death Scythe at the beginning of the series, but failed on a technicality and have to start over.
Death the Kid and his twin-pistols the Thompson Sisters: Son of Death himself, whose incredible natural power is offset by his extreme Super OCD, being absolutely obsessed with symmetry. The Thompson Sisters serve as his weapons: Liz is the older and more cynical sister, while Patty is younger and more goofy.
The series is basically what happens when the plots of Shaman King and Harry Potter are pulsed together in a blender, Studio BONES is put in charge of the animation, and what appears to be the world's craziest graffiti artist and world's biggest Tim Burton fan is hired as animation director. It should be noted that the anime deviates from the source manga midway through the series.The anime was acquired by FUNimation, with tantalizing previews on their website. All of the episodes are viewable on their Video Portal (which is only viewable... In America...and Canada) and their YouTube channel. The series used to air on US television on Toonami on Saturday nights at 1:30 AM Eastern.See also Elemental Gelade, a similar concept with a more futuristic sci-fi bent. Shaman King also shares lots of similarities with this series. (A partner as a weapon, characters design, etc.)It's worth noting that the "Book of Eibon" is a reference to H.P. Lovecraft. The author being a fan would give a new perspective on the series' focus on madness, power, and godhood, especially portraying madness as something akin to an infectious disease.Not to be confused with anotherSoulEater, nor the literal kind.
Warning: The following tropes are from the anime and manga. Be VERY careful with spoiler text.
open/close all folders
Absurdly Sharp Blade: Soul has been shown to be able to cut through stone pillars and a really large Mosquito when in his Demon Hunter form.
Mifune's swords sink several inches into the ground, or the walls whenever he throws them. And (at least in the anime) they don't even seem to be particularly magical.
Adult Fear: The method used by Medusa to get her body back is not recommended viewing for parents of young children. Really, Medusa is just made of this trope. Just her treatment of her own child is sickening enough. Parental abuse doesn't begin to describe it.
Medusa's treatment of Crona is an in-universe example as well, as Spirit points out that it's more disturbing to him than to the others because he is a parent.
Spirit gets this again towards the end of the manga when Asura impales Maka. From Spirit's point of view, his child has been killed in front of him and there's nothing he can do to save her.
Also inverted since Tsubaki and Liz were the most perverted in Spartoi.
All Witches Have Cats: Inverted. Blair, who Maka and Soul thought was a witch, turned out to actually be a cat that had a human form and magic and merely dressed like a witch.
Almighty Janitor: All the main characters are considerably more powerful than their status in DWMA would imply: Maka was one soul away from making a Death Scythe when she was forced to start over, Black☆Star never bothers to advance in ranks when he could be training instead, and Death the Kid is a Grim Reaper.
As Soul Eater Not! has addressed Maka, Soul, and Jacqueline as EAT (Especially Advantaged Talent) students, the 10% of students who considered as combat specialists, it could be assumed that this trope may not apply. Even if they have the same number of stars as an average student despite being very capable, they are ranked in an entirely different class and given different missions.
As of the formation of Spartoi, this trope is out the window, as the 6 weapon-meister pairs included in the group have been promoted to two-star status. YMMV on whether Soul and Maka are still underranked. Soul may be a Death Scythe now, but he and Maka are still very inexperienced using the new abilities that come with being one.
Ambiguous Gender: Crona. Recognized as ambiguous numerous times by characters within canon itself. Any person that seems to know hir gender is probably basing their hypothesis off of fan translations and unsubstantiated claims by other fans. The official English translations of the manga and anime use "he" simply because it's the closest English has to a widely used gender ambiguous pronoun note Although using "they" would have been a much better alternative. While "they" is traditionally used to refer to multiple individuals at once, it's also a very common pronoun in real life to be used for people that you don't know the gender of, doesn't come with any of the unfortunate implications that the other widely used gender neutral pronoun has, and would have been easier for the audience to pick up than other gender neutral pronouns thanks to being a widely used word no matter what definition it has. Indeed, many real life non-binary people prefer to be referred to with "they" pronouns., not because they think Crona is male. There is no solid canon support for Crona being either gender, partially thanks to third-person pronouns ("he" & "she") being almost completely unused in Japanese.
Amusing Injuries: Somewhat averted. In the first fight between Black☆Star and Kid, Black☆Star still has the head wound Soul accidentally gave him, even after the battle. Somewhat, because they don't die of comedic injuries, but averted because the injuries do last for the normal amount of time.
People nailed by Maka's 'Maka Chop' (Hit in the head with the spine of a book) in the anime, at least, have a book-shaped dent in their heads for a bit, and occasionally tiny decorative fountains of blood, but next scene are back to normal.
Death's Reaper Chop does the same thing, except he uses his large, square-edged hands instead of a book. Usually on Death Scythe.
And the Adventure Continues: They don't fully beat the Kishin, just subdue him enough that he becomes a seal around the Moon. The witches save the heroes, Kid is informed of his dad's passing and eventually takes up his position. Black☆Star goes on to train as usual while Maka just reflects on what happened. At Kid's initiation ceremony, he abolishes the persecution of witches, citing Soul as the Last Death Scythe. Marie is revealed to be pregnant with Stein's child and a celebration is thrown with Soul providing the music. As he does, Maka vows to show Kishin what true courage is.
Medusa and Arachne both have the motifs of predatory animals (snake and spider), whereas their henchmen have the motif of their prey. Frogs (Eruka) and mice (the Mizune sisters), whose names are the Japanese words for "frog" and "mouse" with their syllables reversed (kaeru and nezumi) for Medusa. Mosquito for Arachne.
Anime Hair: While both Soul and Black☆Star have spiky hair (though the former lampshades it in Soul Eater Not! when he's shown to have lost his hair gel), their hairstyles pale in comparison to Ox Ford's sheer pillars.
During the invasion of Arachne's castle, Ox pretty much outright says that his pillars are the source of all of his powers. When he breaks them off (not rip; break, like they're made of ceramic), his soul actually starts weakening. Then Kim uses her regenerative magic to glue them back on and tells him not to wash his hair for a couple of days, which might account for the reason as to why he stopped shaving his head.
The fact that he was stabbed in the gut and bleeding heavily in a steaming room might have had something to do with it, though.
Lord Death and Kid are Grim Reapers, but they are not actually personifications of death—they are little more than powerful meisters, with no specific control or influence over death.
As of now, it been explicitly stated that Lord Death is an Eldritch Abomination / Anthropomorphic Personification of death, and his actual name is Death. Kid is actually a fragment of him, given a unique personality and independence, and Lord Death ceases to exist once Kid comes into his full powers.
Anti-Advice: In the anime's ending, while Marie and Crona are searching for Medusa, there's a montage of them searching a swamp. After a while Crona decides to simply go in the opposite direction to the one Marie picked.
Anti-Villain: Mifune, the noble Samurai who fights only to defend the child witch Angela. Note the irony in his rival being Black☆Star, an assassin working for the good guys. Most assassins are not good people in this series.
Then again, he's not a very good assassin. Really, Black☆Star wants to be a straight-up warrior too, but he's not adverse to putting assassin arts and stealth to good use.
Eruka may or may not be an Anti-Villain. Yes, she's a witch. Yes, she wants to revive Asura. But that's only because if she doesn't follow Medusa's orders, her snakes will eat Eruka from the inside out. Also has a giant tadpole named Otama Jackson for a pet, who she treats with a lot of love.
Free may or may not also be an anti-villain, for the same reasons as Eruka. He began following Medusa as gratitude for her rescuing him from Witch's Prison, and by the time they're reviving Asura he seems to be afraid of some sort of punishment for failure and/or disobedience (being immortal, he doesn't have to worry about being killed, but she could presumably still make his life pretty awful in other ways). Much like Eruka, we never really see him on his own. We know that he hates DWMA, but mostly out of a fear of Lord Death trying to take his soul. Aside from simply helping Medusa the only really evil thing we ever see him do is slaughtering the Witch's Prison's guards when they try to prevent his escape, and in his defense they tried to kill him first.
Also worth mentioning is the color of his soul in the anime. Innocent humans and good people have blue souls, while evil people all have red souls (or purple, if they're witches). Free's soul, however, is green, implying that he's not really good or evil.
Crona is a Type II Anti-Villain. S/he doesn't really want to be an antagonist, but hir messed-up childhood, as well as Medusa's god-awful parenting skills, make hir out to be one. Later in the manga, s/he's using madness without Medusa telling hir to, sure, but it's all because s/he thinks getting rid of order will make everyone free.
Arc Number: 42, which when spoken aloud in Japanese is "shini", the Japanese word for "death."
Archaeological Arms Race: Eibon's Demon Tools and the process of "keep away from Kishin" involving them. Specifically B.R.E.W and the Book of Eibon, and with good reason, as B.R.E.W is whatever you desire it to be, and the Book of Eibon is a collection of magical and dangerous creatures that can be summoned at any time by the user and actually IS Eibon himself at one point.
Arm Cannon: Death the Kid's soul resonance attack, Death Cannon.
Artistic License - Physics: The battle with Free ends with him frozen and sinking to the bottom of a river. Ice floats, in case everyone forgot.
It's possible that his density overcomes that of the ice.
Art Shift: Whenever someone is going insane or experiencing some intense emotion. Happening more often as the series goes on.
Ascended Meme: In chapter 74, Excalibur sings his little song which up until that point was only heard in the anime. All together now! "Excalibuuur~! Excalibuuur~!"
As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The library contains a number of books with foreign titles, for example, "Dzień dobry, Nie ma za co," which is Polish for "Hello, you're welcome."
As Long as There Is Evil: In manga finale, Crona tells Maka that Asura, the embodiment of fear, cannot be killed as long as there is fear in the world. This is why they proceed to seal him on the Moon instead, and it is likely that Lord Death sealed Asura under Death City in the first place for the same reason.
The anime pretty much has the same stance. Sure they beat Asura and destroy him. But he claims as long as there's madness and fear he'll never truly be gone. Maka counters however that as long as people have courage, there will always be a way to drive him back.
Awesome, but Impractical: Excalibur, who is something of an Infinity+1 Sword, has an insane amount of unreasonable demands that he makes to the point that people decide that his power is totally not worth it.
Though, he was willing to cut down his list of 1,000 unreasonable demands to a still-unreasonable 800 demands just so that someone would use him. Presumably, a very persuasive meister could negotiate him down to something manageable.
Awesome but ANNOYING really. And so awesome, in fact, that in a failure student claims him and becomes THE BEST MEISTER in the school. The weapon form itself is exceedingly practical and easy to use, and extremely awesome. It's just the PERSONALITY that makes it unmanageable.
It's heavily implied that Excalibur is actually an Eldritch Abomination that is the personification of rage. He's just that annoying.
Soul. Anyone whose ever done any kind of weapons training knows that having your only cutting edge on the side of your weapon that faces YOU is not good. Scythes are extremely impractical weapons in real life and hard as hell to use in a fight against any other weapon. Traditionally, even spearmen would carry a short sword on them in case the enemy got past the pointy end of the spear (the only part that they were concerned about).The fact Maka can wield Soul and beat up magic and sword users is a testament to her awesomeness.
This is mitigated at higher-level transformations as "Witch Hunter" is shown to be effective with both inner and outer edges. The next form, the "Demon Hunter" ("Genie Hunter" in the Funimation dub of the anime) transforms Soul's weapon form into an oversized Pick-Axe, and the final form, "Kishin Hunter" covers it in huge spikes.
Note also that, at least in the anime, Death's weapon of choice is a Scythe. He's even mentioned as being "at his finest", somewhat justified as Spirit also has both inner and outer cutting edges.
Awesomeness by Analysis: Parodied; at one point, Kilik gets into a fight with a mook with a magitek headset that lets him accurately predict exactly what moves Kilik will use to fight him. Unfortunately for the mook, he has absolutely none of the skills required to actually make use of this data, and promptly surrenders.
They do it again during the battle on the moon against Crona.
Badass Bookworm: It's easy to forget under the maniacally grinning, scythe waving badassery, but Maka is a nerd that spends most of her free time reading and has really no idea how to play basketball or to dance without crushing her partner's feet.
Don't forget about Ox, he pretty much describes himself as such.
Stein probably counts as well. He's the only character other than Maka who's shown actually reading a book on-screen, and also the most powerful meister to ever attend the Academy.
Badass Longcoat: Maka. With a sweet new white one to parade around in school, as of joining Spartoi.
Special mention to Death the Kid in the manga; during the beginning of the Baba Yaga's Castle arc he temporarily sported a trenchcoat with the same closures and shoulder-decals as his blazer and a collar like the cloak he sometimes wears on outings. It was invisibly ditched before he could fight in it, but he still looked even more badass than usual in it. No sign of it in the anime, though.
Badass Normal: Mifune in the anime. No magical weapons or overt supernatural powers — all he's got is a backpack full of swords, and he still fights both DWMA teachers, Almighty Janitor students and a Kishin on equal footing. The Manga, however, explicitly reveals he has a supernatural connection with his swords.
Badass Teacher - The DWMA staff in general, though Stein is the one with most examples.
Ballroom Blitz: One of the episodes, where the Kishin is eventually released. Soul and Maka's scene in the Black Room might count as well, seeing as they are dressed up during that scene and in imminent danger of succumbing to insanity.
Bandage Babe: Sid's partner Nygus is always covered in bandages. What adds to the irony is that she is also a school nurse.
The fact she is not always bandaged begs the question why she has them in the first place.
Her meister is a ninja zombie. It's likely she's supposed to be a mummy ninja to keep with the whole 'Undead' theme. Why she stopped is a question for the ages.
He eventually gets around this problem in the anime...
Baseball Episode: Not an episode per se, but the gang do take time out of their schedule to play Basketball whenever they get downtime.
Battle Couple: Soul and Maka, Black☆Star and Tsubaki and a few others.
Except they're not technically couples.
Beam-O-War: Lord Death and Asura perform a variation of these, involving a beam versus an energy shield, or an energy shield versus another.
Beat: In an episode where Kid investigates a ghost ship, Liz gets separated from him and Patty. When the spirit of a little girl manifests before her, she looks at her in fright as the scene freezes for exactly ten seconds, before she scurries away in fear.
This is the origin story for how Liz, Patty and Kid met. Liz and Patty were once petty thieves who would threaten people in alleyways and mug them for money. Then they tried to mug the reaper Death the Kid. This got Kid's attention since he just happened to really want a pair to work with him, and saves them from a group of thugs, and befriends them. They've since put that life of crime behind them, and their friendship helps keep Kid's debilitating eccentricities in check.
Maka befriends Crona, who was acting antagonistically toward them under order of the witch Medusa, after realizing that Crona was raised in an environment where nobody ever cared or acted friendly. Maka had to synchronize souls to calm Crona down first because magic blood was making Crona insane, but Crona breaks down crying after being offered friendship and silently accepts Maka's friendship with a hug and a handshake afterward.
Berserk Button: Soul has absolute faith in Maka's abilities, knows she can take care of herself, and he'll call her on it if she acts up or they're out of sync. But he does NOT act well when someone seriously threatens Maka. Apart from willing to literally act as a Human Shield for her (on more than one occasion), he does not take well to this. Which results in this followed by this.
Step 1: Show Kid something that's too assymmetrical and/or threaten/insult his father. Step 2: Run.
Whatever you do, don't mention Pumpkin Panties to Medusa when she is in Rachael's body. She almost killed Spirit over this. Also, never pick her up by the hood. She will throw a fit.
Witch Hunter isn't technically a scythe. Scythes have one blade on the inside curve. It's a giant Monk's Spade in a large crescent shape because it can cut on the outside edge.
By the time you hit Demon and Kishin Hunter, you're not swinging a scythe blade anymore, those are giant glowing AXES. Demon and Kishin Hunter cut on the outside edges. Many, MANY edges for Kishin Hunter.
Big Bad: Medusa is the first one, followed by Arachne, and then Noah(The Greed incarnation) Later it was revealed to be the Table of Contents by controlling Noah. Then finally Asura as the big bad for the entire series and possibly as the end boss. In Soul Eater Not! it's Shaula Gorgon the younger sister of Arachne and Medusa.
Stein and Spirit show up to save Maka in her first fight with Crona.
Maka when just after Medusa diabillitates Crona's black blood and is about to deliver the final blow
Bigger Bad: Asura. He has no direct impact on the story other than spreading madness wavelengths and being the final villain for three episodes of the anime but he has a made a few recurring appearances, like Medusa is still the most active villain and possibly features in the Battle of the Moon as a fully Major Villain.
Bilingual Bonus: In chapter 12, we are shown one panel of Soul's cheatsheets, with their text written in a readable size around him. The said text is in English and are extracts from Alice in Wonderland.
Bittersweet Ending: Lord Death dies after Kid connects all 3 of his Sanzo bands and awakens as a true Death/Shinigami and the power of God transfers to him. Crona sacrifices himself to defeat the Kishin by using his Black Blood to seal himself and Asura on the moon in a barrier of his blood, for the rest of his life, and that Kishin could return in many years to come. But, there's an upside, everyone else survives the battle of the moon. A ceremony is held to celebrate Kid becoming the new Shinigami, and he officially ends persecution of the witches to become allies, making Soul the last death scythe ever. Black Star continues to train and become stronger, learning even to fly, and pretty much becomes another Goku. Maka and Soul meanwhile reflect on what's happened and Maka resolves to show Asura what true courage is.
Bishonen Line: Mosquito and most of the pre-kishins as they devour more and more souls, it seems.
In the anime, Asura arguably gets this after Kid and Black☆Star wear him down. Although that may have been his stronger form (hence not a proper BL).
And many other examples, since this is a shounen series after all.
Bloody Hilarious: In one episode where the students of DWMA must take an important exam, neither Soul nor Black☆Star study, intending to cheat instead. However, Soul gets his "crib notes" taken away, and Black☆Star gets beaten senseless for looking at the answer sheet and is left lying in front of the class to serve as an example. However, just when all seems lost, Black☆Star signals Soul, and begins to write on the wall beside him using his own blood. Soul, thinking that Black☆Star is trying to show him the answers before time runs out, eagerly awaits his friend to finish writing... only to realize that Black☆Star is writing an autograph for him. May also count as Can't Get Away with Nuthin' .
Out of universe this happened with a few of the scenes adapted from manga to anime: Free's introduction cuts out the part where he kills the guards coming after him by crushing with a huge ball of ice and the flashback to Crona's childhood changes Medusa forcing Crona to kill his/her pet rabbit to "defeating" a small dragon.
Breather Episode: Episode 25 has the main cast playing basketball after a grueling 7-episode story arc.
Basically any episode where they're NOT fighting is considered a breather episode (ex., the evening ball episode before the end, and the Ultra-Test).
Breath Weapon: Asura's signature attack involves him somehow pulling his weapon up from his stomach to stick out of his mouth and fire a laser. Insert relevantmeme here.
Remember all those grave markers in the Death Room? The anime ending strongly implies those are all the graves of kishin.
Remember when Soul mentioned, right back in the very beginning, Lord Death's Seven Lights? Neither did Noah.
Anime only: Maka, Soul, Black☆Star, and Tsubaki see who can make a basket for rights to defeat Asura. Maka makes it.
In episode 9 of the anime, in Excalibur's first appearance, he asks Black☆Star and Death the Kid if they know what his hat is. 23 episodes later, he finally answers the question: It's an english seaweed roll.
A brick joke from within the same episode of the anime: episode 28 is named "The Sword God Rises - Does It Have A Sweet Or Salty Taste?", which seems like a meaningless, gibberish question. At the end of the episode it turns out it was talking about a candy that Mifune gave to Maka. The answer? Salty.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A very large amount of the cast, particularly the teachers at the Academy. For instance, Spirit is the most powerful Death Scythe in the world, but is a Loveable Sex Maniac and Bumbling Dad. Stein is the most talented Meister to have ever graduated from the Academy and is a brilliant, amoral scientist, but has a certain tendency to travel around on a swivel chair whenever possible and is a bonafide maniac. Marie has lightning powers and is another powerful Death Scythe, but is so obsessed with getting married that she once tried to start a relationship with a toilet. And Tesca Tlipoca...another Death Scythe who wears a giant bear head mask and can apparently understand a monkey's language. The list goes on and on.
But Not Too Foreign: If Black☆Star's words when he visits Tsubaki's home are to be believed, Maka has at least a little Japanese in her. Since "Spirit Albarn" isn't a particularly Japanese name, it's possible that it comes from her never-seen mother.
Which would mean her mother is a rare blonde Asian, or Spirit's hair is dyed, like Cat Valentine
Though one has to remember this isanime we're talking about...
Black☆Star is basically a combination of Naruto and Sasuke. Think about it, a hyperactive, knucklehead, kid ninja who's the last of his clan, uses a sword, has crazy markings appear on his face when he in his dangerous, yet powered up form, and even has a special kind of star symbol in his eyes.
Cast of Snowflakes: Body types in particular vary a lot, especially among the women in the cast, from the tall but curvy Tsubaki to the flat-chest Maka to the Thompson sisters, who have different heights and proportions (and to Kid's annoyance, breast size).
Maka says "I'll take your soul!" or something similar (she even says it at the end of each episode preview after the closing credits).
Soul does it in her place too, sometimes.
Black☆Star has his "YAH-HOO!" when he's showing off.
"Not a single being in heaven or on earth is as holy as I." (This is a line from the Buddhist canon, believe it or not, alleged to have been spoken by Buddha himself. In Japanese, the first few words are... get this .. "Tenjho Tenge.")
Sid likes the phrase, "That was the kind of man I used to be."
Of course, before he became a zombie, it was "That's the kind of man I am".
Crona has two; "My blood is black", and "I don't know how to deal with [X]."
Excalibur's "my legend began in the 12th century", and "FOOLS!."
Death the Kid's "Kichiri Kachiri", which could be translated as "Precise and Perfect".
Stein's "I want to dissect [X]."
Free is a bit rusty at the whole magic thing, so his mishaps are usually accompanied with an emphatic "GODDAMMITSHIT!"
As he's using his magic, he often repeats "Wolf! Wolves! Wolf! Wolves!"
Character Development: Crona, particularly in the anime. BIG time Crona. He/she starts out as a near blood thirsty monster who loves to kill and eat souls. But as the story goes on, It becomes clear that he/she is being used by Hir mother. This is not a Heel-Face Turn because, he/she remains afraid of everyone inside DWMA, only listening and following Maka. He/she slowly learns to appreciate Marie, then the whole cast, delivering one of the most adorable moments in the series history. It takes a grand total of 30 episodes for Crona to truly become good.
Characterization Marches On: Over the course of the anime, Soul becomes less hotheaded and more of the laid back 'cool' guy he always strives to be. It's not Character Development because this was never something addressed or called out on, it just happens and nobody notices. He makes Maka the hotheaded on in comparison.
Character Title: Subverted. This interview with Atsushi Ohkubo says the "Soul Eater" in the title refers not to the partner of the true main protagonist Maka, but to an enemy faced towards the end of the story that can devour souls; surely enough, Crona refers to Asura as the "Soul Eater" in the penultimate chapter, making this an...
Chekhov's Gunman: Enrique and Tezcatlipoca were quickly introduced (as mysterious bear and monkey) during chapter 47, when the DWMA students were going to Arachnophobia's base. They weren't mentioned or saw again until chapter 60, when Arachne died and Medusa was about to kill Maka.
Christmas Cake: Poor Marie, and she is very anxious about her unmarried status; see Cargo Ship entry to see just 'how desperate she wants to be married. (Nervous Laugh)
Church Militant: Justin Law is a very devout Christian, but also the Death Scythe in charge of Europe. Interestingly he views Lord Death as God. Nobody corrects him.
To make it stranger yet, Justin Law turns out to really worship the Kishin instead in the manga...
Cigarette of Anxiety: Doctor Stein tends to do this when he needs to calm down. It's subverted once after his second fight with Medusa, where rather than calming down he's has a bout of Laughing Madness because of the Kisin being released. This is later exploited to frame him for the murder of BJ, by leaving a packet of his favorite cigarettes (which the local shopkeeper orders in for him specially) at the scene.
Clear My Name: Stein gets to do this, right while/after going completely insane. Thank Death for Nakama.
Cloud Cuckoolander: Excalibur. Explains why no one tries to wield him, ever, despite being the most powerful of all the weapons.
Free got himself sent to witch prison for the sole purpose of digging out with a spoon. He then found out that witch prison serves meals with chopsticks.
Though at least Free has the excuse of being immortal. A few years of digging out of prison with a spoon wouldn't have really amounted to much in the long run. He probably hatched the idea out of sheer boredom.
Color Failure: Several examples. Most recently in episode 46 when Excalibur turns up in the Death Room. Lord Death, Yumi and Spirit go white for several seconds before promptly resuming their conversation and ignoring the newcomer.
Combat Parkour: Death The Kid is an expert at an Improbable Age, though being the Grim Reaper's son probably didn't hurt. He uses backflips to dodge attacks and create distance between him and his opponent.
Combat Tentacles: Medusa's vectors, Asura's wrappings after he escapes Death City, Pharaon's Wrath's bandages, and to a lesser extent, Black☆Star and Tsubaki's shadow attacks.
Most recently, Crona's thorn... vine... whip-like... shadow... things??
Comedic Underwear Exposure: All of the Panty Shots were removed from the Anime, but Lord Death picking up Rachel!Medusa by the back of her dress and exposing her pumpkin panties (multiple times) was left in.
Compliment Backfire (or possibly Compliment Just-As-Planned): After Crona devastates a whole city using the black blood, Medusa makes dinner(!) and tells Crona how proud she is(!!). Crona freaks out, first attacking Medusa for her hellish experiments and forcing him/her to abandon Maka, the only person who made Crona happy, then for acting so strangely ("Who are you?! What have you done with my mother?!"). The Clown is pleased: Crona is now completely independent and able to receive the Kishin and Medusa's vectors indicate she's not quite dead.
Cool and Unusual Punishment: After Death the Kidd is captured by Noah, Gopher attempts to tourture Kidd for fun and profit by beating the shit out of him, to no avail. Once Gopher finds out about Kidd's OCD, he tortures Kidd by drawing on only one side of his face, and by using a back scratcher to scratch one of the boy's nipples, but not the other.
Creature Hunter Organization: the DWMA was founded to train Meisters and Weapons (who power up by eating souls) to hunt "Demon Eggs" (humans who have become corrupted by consuming the souls of the innocent), Kishin (Eldritch Abominations that form from said humans when they get too powerful) and their strongest, Kishin Asura, as well as Witches (from whom the weapons originally got their abilities).
Creepy Cool Crosses: Spirit's tie and attire during the flashbacks. The Death Room is full of (mostly wonky, as it happens) crosses, though with Okhubo's use of numerous religious references, this could actually be plot-relevant.
One epilogue scene (during the final episode credits) shows Lord Death burying a red/evil soul in the field of crosses, using one cross as a piledriver/seal of some sort.
Creepy Good: Dr. Stein who, despite being one of the main characters' most powerful allies, is unbelievably sadistic. Everyone short of Lord Death himself is terrified of the guy.
Cross Over: Happens when the in-universe manga works Soul Eater and Soul Eater Not! decide to use similar characters. In the Soul Eater manga, Akane Star and Clay Sizemore show up as members of the Central Information Office, complete with aged appearances and new hairstyles.
Arguably Lord Death, Kid and the GOO (if not all their fellow anthropomorphic... things). At best, they're eccentric (the GOO's manner being very reminiscent of the Grim Reaper), at worst downright scary. Even Kid when he gets suitably provoked, and definitely Lord Death.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Death trying to pick out a weapon for Kid looks a lot like arranging a marriage, and Kid wants none of it because there's no symmetry in any of them.
The Dog Bites Back: Subverted, when Crona loses the power from his black blood and, by extention, Ragnarok is weakened, Crona hits him. He gets angry and more than ever he teases Crona, who still can't defend him/herself.
And then later on when Crona apparently kills Medusa. You really can't say that the bloodbath that followed wasn't very much deserved.
Eldritch Abomination : The Kishin. The strongest of them, even Lord Death isn't sure was ever human to begin with. In addition, Eibon is a direct reference to H.P. Lovecraft.
Not to mention whatever the hell Noah's got stashed away in the Book of Eibon looks like Cthulhu made of ink.
It's now referred to itself as a Great Old One.
GOO says there were originally eight "Warlords", 3 of them eaten by Kishin. These beings all have powers over terror, rage, power, knowledge, and order which drives mortals mad. Oh, and it also calls Death the Kid as "fragment of Law" which sort of explains his obsession with symmetry.
Also, Maba-Sama. As tall as, if not slightly taller than, Angelica, has bat-like wings, which are generally useless, since she prefers to hover; and one of the very few close-ups of her face makes her look like she was built by someone from a Tim Burton visual effects studio.
Mostly, he is very similar to Kakashi. Let's see... they're both badass genius prodigies with silver hair, both have a stupid thing happen to them on their first appearance (the eraser trick gag with Kakashi, Stein falling over in his swivel chair), both give their students a dangerous, high stakes test early in the series (Kakashi's bell test, Stein's remedial lesson), both have lightning powers (Kakashi's signature move, Stein's Soul Force attack), and both were loners as children (Stein because he was Axe Crazy, Kakashi because he was an arrogant I Work Alone type).
Marie Mjolnir bears a great resemblance to 1930's bomb fetishist Nice Holystone, to the extent that they're both voiced by Colleen Clinkenbeard in the English dub
Female weapons generally appear naked when shown within their virtual world while transformed. The male Soul started clothed, but became naked when he had a giant scar to show off. Mercifully, the way-too-young-looking Fire and Thunder appear clothed.
The fanservice tends to be much more tasteful in the anime, generally speaking. Liz and Patti's...moment with the Pharoah is toned down compared to the manga.
Fashionable Asymmetry: Mostly subverted by Kidd, but played straight by his hair (to his chagrin, though he'll completely subvert this when the lines of sanzu on his hair DO all connect). Also, Tsubaki has only one visible stocking.
Foreshadowing: In the Pride chapter of the Book of Eibon, Excalibur's humility in letting the heroes use him without his provisions, utterly defying the Book's power over sins, is the first hint that he is actually a Great Old One.
Asura's soul is said to spread Madness throughout the world. This is an ability of all his kind, and something Shinigami and Kid were/are capable of in their own way but refuse to do.
Medusa survives being killed by Stein by using the Madness of Asura's escape. She pulls off the same trick when Arachne turns herself into a disembodied Kishin-like being of madness (and had previously told her sister how she survived her first 'death'). Her death by Crona's hand is also under suspiciously similar circumstances...
One of Kim and Jackie's abilities changes Jackie into a 'broom' that Kim can ride on. Kim is revealed to be a witch.
Before she fights Stein and Spirit, Medusa notes the exceptional soul wavelength control of a Death Scythe. This is both a trait of the Death Scythes in general, and Spirit's specialty. This turns up when Soul becomes a Death Scythe himself, and later when Spirit joins the battle on the moon.
An early villain tells Kid that he needs to be wary of the Kishin 'closest' to him. Shinigami brushes this off as a metaphor about fear and courage being two sides of the same coin. The hint towards Asura's actual closeness to the school quickly appears to clear this up, and we see Shinigami's figure of speech in how the cast deals with fear. But in hindsight the reference was more literal than Kid realised or his father would admit to. Asura is Kid's brother and they are both in opposition yet very similar to one another.
Four Is Death: The phone number used to call Lord Death is a play on words using this trope.
When Crona has a dialogue with his/her alter ego inside his/her head, he/she refuses to answers 42 questions before the alter ego leaves. Of course, 42 in Japanese is a homonym of "to die".
Freudian Excuse: An unusual example, since s/he's not evil, but Crona unquestionably obeys Medusa's orders, even understanding they're evil, due to the way she was raised.
Furo Scene: Blair is introduced in a furo scene. Also, Tsubaki takes a bath after studying for the big exam.
After many chapters with little to no fan service, we get a scene with nearly all the female leads in the shower - which was immediately followed by nearly all the male leads in the shower. Apparently Okhubo has been taking a few lessons in gender equality when it comes to fanservice. Seen here
Gainaxing: The girl-weapons in their "in weapon persona", especially Tsubaki.
Gangsta Style: The Kid takes this to its ridiculous extreme by inverting his guns and firing with his pinkies.
Gecko Ending: The anime splits off from the manga after the BREW recovery battle, setting up the remaining time for a premature ending.
This was unavoidable though as the manga is produced monthly and the anime weekly. Making it impossible to to follow the canon storyline without the manga catching up.
Gender Bender: As of chapter 72 in the manga...it's somehow canon. And surprisingly enough, Kid (who gets the most genderbending fanart) is the only one who doesn't go through this. To make up for that, there's Kilik.
Giriko has a slightly more permanent gender bending experience because his soul is now in an Opposite-Sex Clone. He's annoyed that he's a woman, but it's better than nothing.
Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Awesomely handled by Patty on Kid as he brokedown at the sight of the Otama Bombs asymmetrically strewn all over the place by Eruka, while on his way to stop her and Free from awakening Ashura.
Also Tsubaki is a psycho weapon; at the very least after she absorbs her brother's soul/power.
Kim with Jackie when they're brainwashed by Arachne; Jackie (the flamethrowing lantern, naturally) on her own when trying to protect her meister during the same arc.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: One of Gopher's attacks involves him opening his stomach-ish area and shooting out a huge sphere of energy while screaming "NOAH-SAMA!" Not to mention he has an insane infatuation with Noah...
In the anime (episode 10) they encounter an old man. They call him that and he objects, saying that he's active all day and all night. While doing hip thrusts
Also, when he speaks of the part of his past when he was a street hoodlum (in the same episode), many Gratuitous English words pop up onscreen, including even an aversion of Precision F-Strike (at a point, the word "PUCKIN'" appears).
The Grim Reaper: Lord Death. We see a flashback to his more traditional persona and he comments that his current "goofy" appearance is as not to frighten the children at his school.
Half-Human Hybrid: Maka's father is a weapon while her mother was not, but slightly averted in that she doesn't seem to be any different to other humans.
It's quite possible that in the Soul Eater universe, being a weapon or meister is a part of your genes like your hair color and whatnot. And Maka got the meister gene from her mother.
A flashback in the manga has Soul's brother commenting on how their family had just enough of the "Weapon Bloodline" for it to manifest in Soul.
In the anime, Maka activated her "Weapon Bloodline" to fight Asura.
In the manga, the 'weapon bloodline' mentioned above was the result of Arachne using Eibon's work to create the original Demon Weapons (the Nakatsukasas are direct descendants). So, being a Weapon is genetic but the result of tampering, not 'natural' evolution, as it were. Maka has unusual traits - demonslayer wavelength, Grigori soul - but these are put down to being very rare in humans rather than a result of her dad being a Weapon.
Helping Would Be Kill Stealing: Discussed in the first episode. Lord Death and Spirit watch Maka and Soul struggle with and Spirit suggests helping them. Death responds that while they could defeat that enemy "with a single REAPER CHOP" that would not help the kids create a death sycthe.
Hot Scientist: Stein, somehow. Probably because he's surprisingly ripped. Also, Medusa.
Hot Witch: Medusa, Arachne, and the Mizune sisters when they fuse together. Blair should count, but doesn't because she's not actually a witch. Eruka is more Cute Witch than hot, and Angela is most definitely a Cute Witch.
Idiot Ball: At the end of the anime after the main characters get trapped inside Asura's barrier, everyone else stands around moaning about how they wish they could do something. Hello, how about attacking the barrier? There may only be a tiny chance you'll make a breach to send reinforcments, but even if you don't you might distract the Kishin or force him to use more of his power to keep the shield in place. Baka, indeed.
It's even dumber when you consider that Excalibur is right there with them. Yeah, he makes people go though 1000 tasks(or something like that.) before you can use him, but he's the most powerful weapon in existance and I think he would make an exception for the end of the world.
Inconsistent Translation: A bit of a minor one, but the English dub alternates between referring to some of Tsubaki's various forms by their English names (chain-scythe, ninja star) and their Japanese ones (kasari-gama, shuriken).
Lord Death: We... Well, it's not like we have serious meetings anyways... Something like this is good sometimes. Marie: IDIOT!! We're never serious, so we're allowed to be crazy sometimes? That's ridiculous!!
Jerk Ass: MEDUSA, MEDUSA, MEDUSA. Probably moreso than any other character in the series.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Black☆Star. Despite being an arrogant jerk that often sets back his and Tsubaki's goal and rubs people (Read: Maka) the wrong way, he is very loyal to his friends: when Tsubaki is fighting her brother, he sits very patiently watching and yells at anyone who disturbs her "show"; he tells Crona that if he/she is having problems with anyone to let him know, and Black☆Star will take care of them; and when Maka is paralyzed, he and Tsubaki go to track down who did it to her.
Juggling Loaded Guns: Death the Kid, when he shot Soul and Black☆Star during their bromance hug by accident.
Kangaroo Court: Kid and company face this when they enter Witch realm to ask for witch's help in Moon battle. They're tied up and brought to the court when they expected a talk, and are given no chance to defend themselves. By the way, the court doesn't give anything other than death sentences. The session culminates in sentencing Kid million times to death for being a shinigami.
Leaning Onthe Fourth Wall: In the English dub, during a mission that takes place in a magnetic field that turns you into a memory after 20 minutes (science!): "Come on, we've got to prioritize, this show's only got 10 minutes left!" There happened to be 10 minutes left in the episode, too.
In episode 37, Soul says something along the lines of "Special training isn't cool. Leave that to characters in shonen manga."
Left Hanging: Without spoiling too much, the anime ended with quite a lot of plot threads left dangling.
Although not quite as bad about it, the manga also left quite a few things unaddressed.
Legendary Weapon: Excalibur is considered the strongest of weapons (which, in this setting, is a race) and his power is considered the stuff of legend. Any Meister who wields him is pretty much unstoppable, and many have tried, as his location and exploits are well documented. What isn't, is the fact that he is completely insufferable and no one can stand him long enough to use him for long.
Let's Get Dangerous: When the eyes on Lord Death's mask go from round-and-dopey to triangular-and-angry, everyone in the next 3 mile radius should kindly RUN AWAY if they don't have a will written.
Also, Kid with one of the Sanzu lines completed = bad. Kid with one of the Sanzu lines completed, and NOT having an OCD breakdown = Kiss Your Ass Goodbye.
Don't forget, Black*Star when he's not being a Large Ham. You're screwed very screwed.
Loads and Loads of Characters: Seven main characters, seven more secondary protagonists, the staff at Shinbunsen, the Death Scythes, Arachnophobia, Noah's group, Medusa and her allies, Blair...
Lolicon: Maka's dad is a non-exclusive one. The way he acts toward his own fairly young and relatively flat daughter is... well, pretty creepy
Spirit: Pumpkin panties... Medusa: Say another word and I will kill you!
The Lonely Piano: Appears in the final battle after Maka and Soul wake up to find that the rest of their True Companions have all been defeated. Of course, they were asking for it, given how Soul both plays the piano and uses this for a literal Theme Music Power-Up.
Longer-Than-Life Sentence: Taken to its logical conclusion when the witches' Kangaroo Court sentences Free (who's functionally immortal, Nigh Invulnerable and was already serving an indefinite sentence when he was introduced and broken out of their jail) to multiple death sentences. Of course, he gets off lightly compared to Death the Kid (the son of the Grim Reaper himself) who they sentence to a million death penalties.
Lost in Translation: In the original recording, Joe Buttakaki argues with Lord Death about his coffee requirements, requesting Mandheling coffee beans. Mandheling sounds like "mandolin", so Death, confused, holds a mandolin. In the English dub, they change it so both characters just say "coffee beans", meaning it's no longer a miscommunication, and Lord Death holds a mandolin for absolutely no reason!
In a similar instance, Lord Death and the Death Scythe Spirit are having a philosophical argument about telling jokes and women’s underwear. In the original recording, they compare the importance of repetition in jokes to the repetition in layers of lasagna, which props a helpful popup on the screen to explain the comparison. In the dub, the comparison is taken out of the dialogue, but the popup remains, referring to a lasagna which none of the characters are talking about.
Lovable Sex Maniac: For all his flaws, Maka's Dad is a well meaning, caring and lovable fella.
Love Bubbles: Spoofed with the "break-up" between Soul and Black☆Star.
Lovecraftian Superpower: A few examples, the series being what it is, but the most obvious is Crona who can use his/her blood as a weapon. Not only does it become a sword, but if it is cut out of his/her body, it can be controlled to make blades and needles out of the spilled drops and it makes his/her body very durable against cutting attacks.
Lucky Charms Title: An odd example. Rather than the title of the show, Black☆Star's name is always spelled with a ☆.
Mad Scientist: Dr. Franken Stein; with special emphasis on "Mad".
Magic Skirt: With the frequency that she is thrown rolling backwards and all the tumbling she is doing, it's quite surprising that Maka hasn't become the queen of Panty Shot with that short little skirt of hers.
The manga averted this for a bit, but later chapters have played it straight.
Moment Killer: During the scene in the infirmary shortly after their first battle with Crona, Maka is shown standing beside Soul's bed and starts to tear up while looking at an unconcious Soul. She just about gets to finish making a heroic promise before Black☆Star literally crashes into the room and starts strangling Soul on his bed. Many shippers probably agreed that the Maka Chop which came afterward was well-deserved.
Also, when Maka meets Crona in the desert in episode 39, she decides to forgive Crona and they share a hug when Soul is suddenly annoyed and just wants to get the heck out of there.
Moral Dissonance: "Hey! Black☆Star! Wanna kill that witch? Never mind that she's, like, ten years old and has never harmed a fly. She's a witch so it's perfectly legal to murder her!" :D
To be fair, he doesn't go through with it.
Mayhave been the point if it was Lord Death's intention to see if Black☆Star would go through with it once he found out who his targets actually were (possibly re-enforced by the fact that he later allows Angela to stay). The manga also reminds us on occasion that the teams are limited in who they can kill, and with Lord Death being as mysterious as he is it's not at all clear what the rules are and how far he has his human followers go (he has no problem using witches when he gets the chance, for e.g).
While visiting Italy, Soul is confronted by a street gang and beats them effortlessly. Unfortunately for them, they pull this again later against Crona and Ragnarok, and get eaten for their trouble.
Multi-Take Cut: Any time Death the Kid fires the Death Cannon, there are four takes of the show from different angles (counting the first one); the one exception in the anime is the final fight against the Kishin, where he fires it multiple times without the cuts.
My Name Is Inigo Montoya: It's a shonen anime; of course this one gets a workout. All the protagonists use it repeatedly.
Nakama: The kids develop into this, with both their partners and The Team. Their sensei are already this, most clearly when Stein is both insane and framed for murder, and his colleagues don't just believe in him but get him out of dodge with Marie to clear his name.
Nepharious Pharaoh: Witch necromancer Samantha tries to summon Wrath of the Pharaoh, a malevolent spirit residing in the Pyramid of Anubis. The sarcophagus of the Pharaoh is perfectly symmetrical, making it impossible for the Super OCD Kid to destroy it. Then the Pharaoh steps out of the sarcophagus to give the final strike, and he is revealed to be horribly asymmetrical. Cue Kid's Berserk Buttonhitting the floor.
Never Say "Die": Oddly enough, this trope is present in the English dub when Crona's training as a child with the baby dragon "little one" comes up. Flashbacks show Medusa ordering him/her to "defeat" rather than kill it. This is strange, given that other parts of the dub seem to have no problem mentioning death.
Medusa probably figured that telling Crona to kill the "little one" would have freaked him/her out even more.
New Old Flame: Marie and Buttataki Joe in the manga. Temporary; Justin Law kills him shortly after.
Because Buttataki has a different role in the anime, the role is given to Stein there instead.
Though, that can also be seen in the manga. He's referred to as her "first love" and she's obviously pretty close to him, so it can be construed as at least a subtexty New Old Flame.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When "The man with the Magic Eye" escapes from prison, one of the guards trying to recapture him freaks out when he survives 5 spears being thrust through his head, turning a flamethrower on him... this winds up charring the stocks around his wrist to char, allowing him more freedom.
Maka has a tiny one when she's genderbent and has a look at an entering Succubus. Hilariously enough, Soul is not pleased.
No Sense of Direction: Marie constantly gets lost at DWMA, even though she's supposed to be an Alumna. Crona and Ragnarok kind of use this to their advantage once to get out of trouble, saying they were also lost when they go into a restricted area. It took them two hours to find Crona's dorm room while being led by Marie.
Shown again by Marie when her and Crona are on their way to Medusa's hideout. Marie points the two in the direction of a series of confusing signs, the first of which lead to snakes, the second which led to quicksand and the third which led to this creepy (possibly Nightmare Fuel) crayon monster. At the fourth sign, which is pointing in three different dirrections, is when Crona breaks the chain (before it went downhill) and leads the duo that time.
Free also. After infiltrating Baba Yaga's castle the team split up to destroy the Magic Tool Locks that protected Arachne's room. Free was assigned to destroy Lock number 1 of 8. Because of his lack of direction, however, he went instead towards tower 2. However he ended up in tower 8 on the other side of the entire castle. Luckily this let him meet up with Kid and pull off a personality change and stick it to Mosquito rather easily....Mostly
Not Quite Dead: Repeatedly. Especially for the witches, mostly Medusa.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Lord Death developed his child-like persona for the sake of his students, as he would often scare them in his old form. However, some of his original hardcore personality shows up in his fight with Asura.
Odd Couple: Nearly all Meisters and Weapons are opposites of each other, and as they find a medium their power increases.
Makes one wonder about Lord Death, looking at his current collection of Death Scythes. Even accounting for Spirit being 'the' Death Scythe, that's an awful lot of contrasting personalities going on amongst the introduced area heads. Azusa's uptight, Marie's a ditz...
On that note, who imagines a Grim Reaper carrying a sniper rifle/crossbow, a hammer or a mirror? Puts a slightly different spin on the term "odd couple".
One of the reasons that Spirit doesn't go searching for Kishin was along the lines of him being "the only one who can truly be called a Death Scythe".
When Soul appears in front of Maka to take a slash from Crona. Maka's expression is this.
In the manga, during the Baba Yaga invasion arc, Kid and Free fight Mosquito, and at first it looks like they have the upper hand. But then mosquito turns into his vampire form from 400 years ago, and nearly kills them both in less than a second.
And then Mosquito gets one of his own when he realises that Kid has the real Brew. Kid then forces him to retreat.
The first time we see an Oh Crap moment in the anime is when Maka uses her Soul Perception ability against Stein to see the strength of his soul. The shock sent her into a short Heroic BSOD.
Kid has an Oh Crap moment when Noah, who had just thoroughly mopped the floor with Mosquito, suddenly appears right next to him.
Oh, No... Not Again!: Black☆Star takes the cake when after seeing Excalibur in the Wrath chapter of Eibion, which naturally pissed him off, the group leaves the chapter with Black☆Star (and pretty much everyone else) glad to be ridden of the annoyance, only to find Excaliburagain in the next chapter. Black☆Star's reaction? Well...
Black☆Star: [upon seeing Excalibur] OH HELL NO!
Ominous Latin Chanting: Shows up during the fights between Lord Death and the Kishin, and during most of the Kishin battles.
One Head Taller: In the main cast, the female weapons are significantly taller than their male meisters. Soul and Maka are at pretty much the same height.
Not anymore, they aren't. Soul had a growth spurt, it seems. As did Black☆Star.
Although technically he is from the Star Clan and his father was named White☆Star, so you could argue that Star is the family name.
Only the Chosen May Wield: Due to their personality overlap and personal relationships, each weapon can generally only be wielded by whatever meister it is assigned to at the moment. Particularly advanced meisters (including all of the adults on the show) and deathscythes appear to be exceptions to this, as is Excalibur.
Justified in that it is explained at a meister and weapon must tune their souls in order to fight together. The adult meisters and weapons have simply learned how to tune their souls to different partners.
OOC Is Serious Business: Lord Death is a sillygoofball most of the time, except when he's dealing with Asura. In fact, during his last fight with Asura, the longer the fight goes on, the more serious and less goofy he gets. At the end he barely even sounds like the same entity, as lampshaded by Spirit.
Spirit: I know he's the god of death, but I've never heard him sound so murderous before!
Open the Iris: Inverted with Maka. Her normally invisible pupils widen when she is emotionally shocked, or using her 'soul vision' to see other people's souls. Crona too, in addition to his/her eyes completely changing color when s/he's freaking out.
One of the major themes of this story, with Order being Good. And a possibility that absolutism in either direction what's Bad. Chaos never has been especially good at moderation, though...
And for the other side, see Kid's new theory in chapter 73. 'Order' achieved through killing everything. Seems increasingly likely that it's the extremes which are the danger here, not simply Chaos = Evil.
Orifice Invasion: Medusa does this to a little girl in the suburbs to possess her, and later again to get Arachne's body.
Our Zombies Are Different: Once Sid becomes a zombie, he retains his personality and abilities but his skin turns a dull blue and his face gets frozen in a permanent grimace. He also gains the ability to quickly tunnel through the ground and he picks up the habit of saying "that's the kind of man I was!" instead of "that's the kind of man I am!"
Out-of-Clothes Experience: When the weapons speak in their weapons forms, other than the title character. In other words, only the girls are naked. However, a few chapters in Soul gets a big scar across his chest and starts showing up shirtless in weapon form to show it off. After that, everyone is always naked in weapon form regardless of gender.
Pet the Dog: Upon hearing that Maka was injured in a battle and is now bedridden, Mifune gives Black☆Star a 'get well' candy to give to her. Medusa too can have some kindhearted moments, prompting Soul to ask, "Why would someone who could say something so kind decide to mess up the world? Are you really that cold-hearted?" Medusa doesn't respond.
Unlikely to be a true example, as it's just Medusa being a very cruel Manipulative Bitch using a supposed parent-child bond with Crona against the kids, Maka in particular, to gain their favour.
Power Born of Madness: In Chapter 42, Maka and Soul evidently agree that "insanity is the source of strength." The strongest example of this appears to be the black blood, although other characters seem to receive some form of power boost from insanity as well.
Power Echoes: A rather humurous example with Black Star in episode 13. When he breaks out his demon blade form for the first time against Free, everything slows down and an echoe of "shadow star...star...star...star" can be heard. Turns out it was Black Star repeating the last word over and over again as he passed out mid-attack.
Power Gives You Wings: Manga only Maka possesess the rare angel-winged Grigori type soul, which she uses to create wings for Death Scythe Soul to fly.
Power Perversion Potential: Masamune can provide both bondage and single-handed gangrape. Soul can and has been used for things he oughtn't be used for in doujin and H-rated pictures. Let us not speak of Medusa's extras in literally every Medusa-centric doujin ever. Time will only tell if Noah has it.
Lord Death to Asura after the latter escapes from DWMA.
Product Placement: The book Maka is always reading is Gangan, the magazine the manga is serialized in.
Pronoun Trouble: With Crona's gender left ambiguous, fan scanlators, subbers, and dubbing companies were sometimes forced to make a best guess. This has led some fans to claim to know Crona's true gender, even though there's no canonical support.
Punny Name: Dr. Franken Stein and Eruka (spelled with the same syllables as "kaeru", Japanese for frog), just to name a few...
Also, Maka is an anagram of "kama", which is Japanese for scythe.
Puppeteer Parasite: Another lovely trick of Medusa's; After her main body is cut in half, she goes to a modern day suburbia in snake form, and slithers into a random child's mouth; taking over her body and running off. It Only Works Once, so she can't do it again.
Later, it turns out she can do it again.
Medusa explains to Arachne that it was splitting up her soul (to avoid it being eaten by Death Scythe), not the possession, that she could only to the once, due to the Kishin's soul wavelength at that point.
Recruited From The Gutter: It's revealed that the Thompson sisters were originally criminals before Death the Kid recruited them as his weapons. Liz originally planned to take Kid for a ride, but relented when she realised how happy Patty was now they finally had a home.
Subverted. While he can be a certifiable loony, and God help you if he's legitimately going after you, at worst (while sane) he's a Stern Teacher. He genuinely cares for his students, and they (especially some of the girls) like him right back.
Both Black*Star and Tsubaki get one after joining Spartoi
Scars Are Forever: Soul gets a large scar during the first fight with Crona; it remains visible on his body for the rest of the series.
Also, in the manga Black☆Star ends up with a clean scar that bissects the star tattoo on his shoulder after his last fight with Mifune. Even the healer can't remove it, and Black☆Star essentially claims that's because it represents his Character Development.
Scary Shiny Glasses: Dr. Franken Stein is pretty much obligated to do this. Azusa regularly uses this to intimidate people. Ox Ford also fulfils this trope in a less scary fashion.
Sealed Evil In A Six Pack: The Kisin Asura probably counts; he was sealed in a bag made of his own skin and his blood was drained and taken elsewhere to weaken him. Injecting the bag with black blood unseals him.
Series Goal: The meisters and weapons are supposed to be gathering 99 human souls and 1 witch soul, but this goal becomes mostly irrelevant once the Knight of Cerebus is introduced.
Not exactly irrelevent, just not the be-all and end-all for the series. Once Maka and Soul actually get the Death Scythe rank (well, Soul technically) the reality of the position is quickly impressed upon them; Death Scythes exist for a reason, and their abilities are necessary. Which is rather different from the original impression, where it appeared that the position was sought for the sake of it; none of the kids seemed to know what being a Death Scythe involved.
At the end of the series the original goal of making Deathscythes is visited again, though with a twist. In the final chapter of manga, they conclude their entire practice of making Deathscythes.
Seriously Scruffy: In the anime, after the Kisin is released, Soul drags Maka away from her studies to play basketball in order to avert this trope. Stein inverts it; when his appearance is going downhill, it's usually a sign he's in no fit state to work.
Seven Deadly Sins: The Book of Eibon is organized into seven chapters based on the seven sins. It starts with Lust, then progresses through Gluttony, Envy, Wrath, Pride, Sloth, and finally Greed, supposedly organized by the corrupting influences of each vice. As well as creating artificial constructs named Noah
Shinigami: Interestingly, only Lord Death and his son are directly refered to as this. Meisters and Weapons have varying origins; some are born in Death City, and some Weapons were "found" as humans. It's a blurry line, as Maka is the daughter of a Meister and her Weapon Partner.
The Funimation dub refers to Lord Death and Kid as Reapers, instead.
Thanks to the manga explaning some things, it seems now to be more clear.
Grim Reapers have distinctive souls, and there are only two in the cast - Lord Death and Kid - and it seems to be a race rather than a designation.
The Weapons are descended from experiments by Arachne to fuse the souls of humans with the transformative souls of witches - their ability to switch between human and Weapon forms is genetic.
The anime uses Maka's parentage to give her special abilities, whereas the manga has not; she is apparently a normal human, albeit one with a few rare traits and a very handy infection.
That being said, the manga hadn't yet specifically ruled out the possibility of Maka having latent weapon powers yet and it is a shonen series so really it's still up in the air.
Ship Tease: Soul Eater has so much potential for canon and crack pairings that this is practically inevitable. It doesn't help either when your average weapon/meister relationship includes huge helpings of fierce protectiveness on both sides. Added to this the fact that the core teams of weapon/meister (as well as a few others) have members of opposite genders... Well, you get the idea.
Significant Anagram: Maka is an anagram of "kama", the Japanese word for scythe. Eruka is an anagram of "kaeru", the Japanese word for frog, and Mizune is an anagram of "nezumi", the Japanese word for mouse.
Sinister Scythe: Interestingly, only Soul himself and the most recent Death Scythe (Maka's father) are true examples of this; despite their name, the Death Scythes consist of various types of weapons.
Skunk Stripe: Death the Kid has three white stripes in his black hair. Since they're all on one side they are the bane of his symmetry-obsessed existance.
In fact, when he gets his super power boost, one dramatically grows to form a full loop, though it goes back to normal when he does. The conversation about this states that once he grows/inherits his full Reaper powers, all of them will do this, all the time.
Slasher Smile: So, so many examples. Medusa's is particularly demonic; Maka's is surprising when you realize just how much control she has over it.
The Sun and the Moon BOTH have one!
Soul also shows his off a lot, too.
In chapter 69, Medusa and Justin Law seem to engage in some kind of Slasher Smile arms race.
Don't forget madness incarnate Asura.
And Stein whenever he gets a screw loose...
Patty sports one when she kicks Black*Star in the nuts after he unwisely decides to ask for a time-out at the very beginning of their sparring match to get his hands tied up to supposedly make it even.
Slipknot Ponytail: When Tsubaki morphs into Enchanted Sword mode, her hair is let down.
Sliding Scaleof Comedyand Horror: Jack the Ripper is shown travelling the street and finds a girl. It immediately comes up, slashes the girl in half and eats her soul (This is all shown through a Shadow Discretion Shot). Right after Maka and Soul take her down, this is immediately followed with some comedy. How is this not an example of this trope? There are also a few more examples such as:
Chrona's weapon coming out of her body
Tsubaki's brother. Enough said
When the witch gets eaten by King Tut in one of the early episodes starring Death the Kid. To describe it accurately, it pulls the witch inside, all you hear are some cruching sounds and as if that wasn't enough there is BLOOD coming out of its tomb.
Spoiler Opening: Subverted. In the second opening, we see Soul holding an unconscious Maka. In the series, it's actually Soul who falls unconscious at a pivotal moment, and Maka is the one who must save him.
The fourth ending is actually a Spoiler Ending.
For those watching the anime for the first time through the recently released Repeat Show, which so far is just the original episodes with brand new opening and closing sequences, the new opening features characters who don't even appear until the second half of the anime. It also gives away Crona's Heel-Face Turn by showing him/her alongside the heroes at all times and even helping them take down a giant golem.
Special Edition Title: In the episode where the aforementioned Heel-Face Turn occurs, the end credits change from the usual "Maka walking in place alone" to "Maka and Crona walking together" to demonstrate it.
Standard Female Grab Area: Sort of played straight during the introduction of and subsequent first fight with Stein. Stein grabs Maka by one of her ponytails at one point, almost completely immobilizing her. While this is certainly more effective (and more painful) than the arm, one would usually expect that a strong Action Girl like Maka would be perfectly capable of throwing a few elbows into Stein's stomach or something. Had the size of Stein's soul not made her sink to her knees in fear and had she not exhausted her strength in using (what was at the time) a technique that was her most powerful and which she was still inexperienced in, then Maka might have attempted an escape.
In Episode 3, when Death the Kid is seeking souls for Patty and Liz, Lord Death tells him about a witch who's ressurecting mummies in the Tomb of Anubis. She uses her mummies to collect human souls, which she uses to make more mummies. There's even a bit of a graphic showing how five mummies create two mummies each, who create two each, who create two each... she's running something of a Pyramid Scheme.
The witches' ultimate weapon is called B.R.E.W.
Given all the other music references in this show it should be a surprise to no one that the Werewolf is fought in London
Stock Ninja Weaponry: Tsubaki isn't just proficent with "ninja" weapons; she transforms into them (more specifically she has smoke bomb, kusarigama, tanto, giant shuriken and katana forms). Black*Star wields her. Interestingly, Black☆Star's mentor Sid (despite being ninja themed) averts this trope by specialising in knives (his partner takes the form of a modern, Western survival knife).
Stress Vomit: A comedic example in the anime. Maka's team loses a game of basketball, so as a forfeit she has to offer to spend the weekend with her Bumbling Dad. He's so happy at the prospect of unexpectedly spending time with his sort-of-estranged daughter he vomits.
Supermode: There's the basic Resonance of Souls, the more advanced Chain Resonance, using the power of the Black Blood, Maka's Witch Hunter and Demon Hunter attacks, Black☆Star's Fey Blade mode and his blade modes after unlocking Masamune's true power, Kidd's Lines of Sanzu, Free's werewolf form, Mosquito's younger forms, and many others.
From Mosquito's comments about the Grim Reaper, Kid's Sanzu Lines seem not to be a supermode so much as an example of a future 'normal' mode.
Super OCD: With Death The Kid, it's implied to have something to do with the lines going through half of his hair. In the manga, he acheives a Power-Up when one of those lines grows to all the way.
And achieves a Crowning Moment Of Awesome when he says that any other time he would be obsessing over it, implying that right now he's NOT obsessing over it.
This is justified in that he, and his father, are more or less the personification of order. He just cannot help himself about his obsession yet, like his father can.
Take a Third Option: During the last Mifune vs. Black☆Star fight in the anime. Mifune asks Black☆Star if he will choose the "Path of the Demon" or the "Path of the Warrior". Black☆Star (somewhat predictably) decides that neither path is good enough for him, and choose to forge his own path forward. He never really elaborates on what the path is, but it clearly comes with powerups (the Enchanted Sword grows about a foot longer and glows red.)
Tear Off Your Face: One of the hallucinations Free and Eruka Frog suffer as they get close to the Kisin's prison is that he's chewing their faces off.
Tempting Apple: Medusa, the snake witch, is associated with apples several times. One such moment is when Rachel, the child whose body she snatches by disguising herself as a cute dog, is watching an educational television program: A little girl reaching for a certain red fruit, which is then repeated several times: "An apple! An apple! An apple!"
Thanatos Gambit: Medusa seems to have pulled one of these as of Chapter 87. Crona, in a shocking plot twist, kills her after she showed him/her motherly affection for the first time; and it turns out that this was her plan from the start so that Crona's Black Blood could be completed. Truly the greatest mother in the world.
The witches seem to be named after animals; especially women in Greek Mythology associated with animals.
Kishin Eggs are a mishmash of historical/fictional/mythological antagonists.
The weapon people, who are usually named after mythological and/or video game weapons: Marie Mjolnir, Masamune, Ragnarok, Excalibur, Soul Eater, etc.
Though Excalibur is stated (at least in the anime) to be the Excalibur in Arthurian legends.
Two of the students are named after Western Universities (Ox Ford and Harvar D. Eclair, Oxford and Harvard respectively).
Mosquito's Police Stinger (both the band The Police and their singer Sting)
He is also, appropriately, a vampire. Though one of his transformations has him taking on a more 'traditional' look rather than the insect thing. Unwisely, Liz and Patty point out this look is 'boring' and he "looked stronger before".
Justin Law (Cantonese pop singer Justin Lo) The reference is more obvious when you see the names in katakana).
Black Star is the name of a Hip Hop group formed by Talib Kweli and Mos Def. Coincidence? It's possible, but given the massive number of music references made with every other character in the series, it seems likely that the band is Black☆Star's namesake. Even more telling, this would round out the three main teams by giving each a musical reference (Damon Albarn for Maka and the Thompson Twins for Kid).
In a theme that isn't part of a Shout-Out, all three named members of the Star Clan are named a color and then "Star." Black Star, his father White Star, and his cousin Red Star (though he generally goes by the less obvious Akane Hoshi).
Eibon is named after a character who happens to be a sorcerer in Clark Ashton Smith's story The Door to Saturn. Eibon also wrote "The Book of Eibon" which chronicled his life and was filled with magical spells and rites.
The little girl Rachel may have been a reference to Jacob's wife Rachel in the Bible. (Especially considering the obvious reference to Eve, the serpant, and the apple shortly after Rachel's body was taken over by Medusa.)
Noah, the collector. Another well-known Noah also spent time collecting things—animals for his Ark.
Kishin Asura may be a reference to a group of power-seeking dieties in Hinduism called Asura or Ahura.
Nidhogg: Are you saying you would take away freedom?! Kid: I am a Reaper. I grant no freedom to kill.
Thriller on the Express: Episode 30 of the anime, "The Red Hot Runaway Express". Kid, Patty and Liz have to board the speeding train and fight an enemy on board for possession of a magical artifact, while a third party outside is fighting both sides.
Too Dumb to Live: In the anime, Lord Death has trapped Asura in his inescapable death chamber, and the Grim Reaper seems to be pretty much guaranteed to win. Asura fires a powerful beam attack at Death the Kid and some other people who are watching the battle, which they aren't really able to join. Lord Death shields the onlookers with his body, which would be all well and good, except that he has been shown to be able to deflect all of Asura's beam attacks with Death Scythe, whom the Lord Death is currently HOLDING IN HIS HAND! Following this tremendous act of stupidity, about half of Lord Death's body is obliterated, and he both unconscious and in very critical condition (he eventually recovers, after the main antagonist has been defeated by the show's main characters); Asura leaves from the chamber like it's going out of style.
Totem Pole Trench: In chapter 46 Kilik have once his two (very tiny) partners be the head for their disguise as a cloaked Arachnophobia soldier.
in Episode 21 of the Soul Eater anime: Blair is fighting the (remaining) 5 Mizune sisters. She smashes four of the sisters with one spell...but the fifth sister behind her starts giggling madly. Activating the hivemind within the sisters (accompanied by speaking in sync and rhythmic finger-snapping), Create a they then proceed to stack themselves in a tower formation. When the last member completes the desired tower, all the Mizune undergo a merger, the five combine to form... a Hot Witch. It Makes Sense in Context... I guess.
Underboobs: One of the Fanservicey traits of Mizune's combined form.
Unnamed Parent: Maka's mother has only been referred to in both the anime and manga as "Maka's Mother" or "Spirit's (ex)wife". A scanlater accidentally turned the word for wife into a name (Hence the fact that everyone's been calling her "Kami", but officially, she's nameless.
Unwinnable Training Simulation: Maka, Soul, Black☆Star, and Tsubaki, once they have apprehended Sid, are sent to kill the person who made him a zombie in the first place. That would be Stein, who is one of the most powerful Meisters in the world. They aren't told this is a test ahead of time.
Utopia Justifies the Means: Kid seems to have been hit with this recently. A black mass tells him that he's the God of Order (or something) and that he needs to create the ultimate symmetry by making everything unexist.
Maka and Black☆Star; although somewhat more jagged than their mutual relationship with Soul, mostly due to a clash of personality (they were at each other's throats during chapter 33 in particular), it's no less real.
Wager Slave: The breather episode with the basketball game. If Kid's team loses then they'll move all the pictures in his house slightly off. If Maka's team loses, she has to spend the weekend with her father.
Weapon Twirling: Every single Meister in this series seems to love doing this. It may or may not aid with Soul Resonance or not, but it sure looks cool and eats up a few seconds of screen time.
Weapon Wields You: Crona in Soul Eater has a sword named Ragnarok that is physically part of his/her (it's hard to tell) body (via his essence being blended with hir blood). S/he always follows its directions, and during fight scenes is seen to be being dragged around by it.
It's pretty much shown that the "Black Blood" in general does this (and can cause a weapon to overwhelm their meister). For example, when Maka's using it and acts Ax-Crazy, her consciousness is basically observing her and finds it embarrassing and Soul has nightmares about absorbing her.
Weird Moon: In addition to a Weird Sun. Both have faces, the sun laughs ominously and the moon occasionally drools blood.
Additionally, the Moon is situated only a little bit above the clouds, close enough to fly to. Its face isn't just for show, either. A cave system can be entered via the nostrils. Its mouth can open. Thanks to Chrona, it loses a tooth. Naturally, people are only surprised by the last part.
Later it becomes the Can for Asura made of a black blood sphere, the moon appears perpetually eclipsed—except for the eye staring out from the gloom, which can cause further Paranoia Fuel, or inappropriate hilarity over its new semblance to a giant, floating boob.
Word Salad: We either hear the lyrics to, or hear Justin Law thinking the words to his music.
" Hey God... Today I killed another pig that was full of antibiotics... HEY GOD!!"
The Worf Effect: Black☆Star suffers from this (he beats Mifune in his first appearance and takes down Sid, but is utterly overpowered by Stein, bested by Death the Kid, needs help to take down Free, fails to stop Medusa and is one-shotted by Asura during his awakening, following being utterly humiliated by Mifune during their rematch and failing to complete his objective during the battle with Mosquito.) and indeed suffers a minor Heroic BSOD from it. Later in the anime after recovering from his Heroic BSOD, he fights Asura and the Worf Effect started when Asura recovered from Death the Kid's Death Cannon with all three Sanzu Lines.
Seems to be reversing in the manga as well, unless Black☆Star loses to Crona...
Chapter 79, Tezca Tlipoca is bitten nearly in half by one of Noah's worms. Since we know virtually nothing about him, it's unknown if it'll stick. Stein, Sid, Marie, and Nygus are all also defeated very easily by Noah and Justin Law in the same chapter.
Turns out the Tezca we saw get bitten in half was an illusion; Justin knows that Tezca is the only person capable of tracking him, so Tezca faked his death put Justin off his guard.
Also, this applies to Tsar Pushka and Feodor. They were killed (or maybe had a Fate Worse Than Death) by Crona in his/her return to the plotline. It was probably just to show that the new-and-improved Crona can, and will, kill a death scythe and its meister for Medusa.
Worthy Opponent: Despite his love of children, Mifune fights Black☆Star as an equal because of this trope.
Eventually. They're not fighting on truly equal terms until their last encounter, as Mifune held back due to his opinion of Black☆Star's youth and attitude. The trope applies once Black☆Star figures out the latter.
World of Symbolism: The big showdown between Death and Asura could be strongly reminiscent of a debate between Christians and Atheists. Death could easily be substituted for God, while the Kishin could be substituted for the devil, or a nonbeliever. It's actually really interesting when looking at it under those pretenses.
Xanatos Gambit: Medusa manages to dupe the Sibusen into raiding Arachne's castle and going up against her forces with the whole intention of taking Arachne's body for herself. When two of your enemies are fighting each other, it doesn't matter who wins. Though, as per the trope, she did have a prefered outcome. Which leads to Maka being used as the Unwitting Pawn.
An earlier example is during the battle for BREW when Medusa has the Mizune sisters and Eruka retrieve the real BREW before the DWMA and Arachnophobia can get to it and switch it with a fake BREW while the two opposing sides cut each other down fighting for the fake artifact. She later informs the DWMA of the real BREW's location so as to gain their trust as a part of the previously mentioned gambit to get DWMA to trust her.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Let's see. So far, we have three pink-haired people (to be fair, Kim and Mizune are witches, and Crona is... Crona), a neon blue-haired Japanese ninja, a red-head (not a ginger; Spirit actually has red hair), and two teenagers with white hair (justified, as Soul could be an albino, and Eruka's a witch).
You Killed My Father: In the anime, Mifune killed White☆Star, Black☆Star's father, and Black☆Star eventually defeats him. Though in something of a departure from trope, Black☆Star isn't interested in revenge — rather, Mifune tries to kill Black☆Star because Black☆Star is following in his father's footsteps — his father nearly became a Kishin.
It's averted in the manga, however, in which Sid was the one who killed Black☆Star's entire family after they turned to evil, and is now the closest thing Black☆Star's got to a surrogate father. In the anime Sid did still kill the rest of Black☆Star's family, but after Mifune killed White☆Star.