Soul Eater Not is a manga from Atsushi Ohkubo, the same mangaka who did the original Soul Eater, and is set in the same universe. In fact its something of a prequel that takes place a year before the start of the main series, though focuses on different characters with certain characters from the original series making cameos, or even playing a significant role. It has been picked up for an english release by Yen Press, which includes both the collected volumes and a serial release in their online magazine YenPlus which is simultaneous with the Japanese release.14-year old Tsugumi Harudori is a new student entering Death Weapon Meister Academy as part of the NOT (Normally Overcome Target) class. She is a Weapon, but is unable to transform just yet which has lead her to be a little more than anxious about this opportunity. After some encouragement from a girl named Maka, however, Tsugumi attempts to face her first year in DWMA with high hopes. She soon meets and befriends two Meisters, Anya Hepburn and Meme Tatane, who are adamant in staying by Tsugumi's side and making her their weapon partner no matter what.Soul Eater Not! borders on being a Slice of Life manga, with most chapters focusing on the relationship between the main characters and their lives as DWMA students. The series also expands on certain aspects of the DWMA that were not properly explained in the main series, such as the school's uniform system or how students are ranked and assigned. It is notably much Lighter and Softer than its predecessor, but there are moments when the story will stray into rather ominous territory.An anime adaptation by BONES started airing on April 8th, 2014.
This manga contains the following tropes:
Academy of Adventure: As with the original series, the DWMA is all about this, albeit in NOT it is a lot more toned down since the main characters are part of a class that is not meant to prepare them for the difficult combat that the original Soul Eater characters do.
Adaptation Expansion: The anime keeps the important moments from the manga, but overall the pacing, and the order and length of certain events is different. This allows the inclusion of new scenes that never even happened in the manga, but nonetheless help to try and give more personality to the characters, and to even show how certain events occurred in a little more detail.
All There in the Manual: This actually is the manual for Soul Eater as we learn far more about how life goes for regular students such as dorm rules, money management, why some kids wear uniforms and others don't, and several other things that help to flesh out the world of the original Soul Eater.
Call Forward: Sid hits Maka with a book ("Sid Chop") in chapter 4, to which she returns the favor latter in the original manga.
The Cameo: Several of the main cast of Soul Eater show up this way, given that it's a spinoff / prequel type thing of the series. For instance, Kilik can be seen on a poster here. Black Star also makes a quick cameo in the first chapter, giving Tsugumi a good first impression of what life at the academy is like by punching a guy right in his face and then asking her if she wanted his autograph.
In Chapter 3, Medusa, who is still undercover as the school's nurse, is seen entering and making an order at the cafe where Tsugumi and co. work at.
Soul makes a few random appearances, usually when Maka is also there, but he also had a chance to talk to Anya when she accused him of being a "fake" when he tried acting cool.
Death the Kid makes a quick cameo in a chapter that focuses on Liz and Patty, and is quick to confuse Tsugumi when he fixes her pigtails, laments their symmetry, and then just leaves.
Justin Law and Tezca Tlipoca both briefly appear in chapter 13, seen in the basement of the DWMA. They attempt to help the girls when they're lost, but only proceed to frighten them and cause them to run away. I wonderwhy.
Cerebus Retcon: Sid's death, which was even passed off in the original series as a joke. When we're finally shown how it happened, it's not in the least funny.
Continuity Nod: In chapter 7, one of the students in the EAT class was mentioned to have completed a 100-meter dash in just under six seconds, something Black Star was mentioned to have done in Soul Eater shortly before the Baba Yaga's Castle arc.
Cool Sword: Subverted with a weapon shown in the first chapter, who turns into a head with a dinky little blade sticking out of the top.
He is shown in a later chapter to have improved on his transformation...Sort of...
Exotic Eye Designs: Akane has star pupils, since he trained with the Star Clan. Also, anyone who falls under Shuala's mind control, including Eternal Feather. Meme has a similar one, but it's noticeably different from everyone else, as Shuala's mind control on her was stronger.
Lovable Sex Maniac: Even without appearing yet, Spirit still manages to sleaze his way into the story, by being the reason behind the cafe's... flattering waitress uniforms.
Love Triangle: Tsugumi had a desired Imagine Spot of being in a sort of "threesome" with two boys vying for her as their weapon, but it didn't quite go as planned, as Meme and Anya want Tsugumi to be their partner.
Love Dodecahedron: Not really in place, but invoked when Clay tries to distract Tsugumi from a sensitive subject by coming up with a rather interesting view on the cast's relations to each other.
Tsugumi: Wow... when did we turn into such a... soap opera?
Lower Deck Episode: Try a Lower Deck Series. In the grand scheme of things, the main characters are just minor students at the school and showing life at DWMA outside of witch and kishin hunting with occasional run ins with the cast of the first series.
Mood Dissonance: Anya tends to look pleased while saying seemingly insulting things and annoyed while saying seemingly approving things due to her inability to be honest about what she likes.
Not What It Looks Like: Anya wakes up one morning to find Meme in bed with Tsugumi, who is tied up with rope, all for totally non-sexual reasons. She of course assumes something kinky was going on.
Only Known by Their Nickname: It's specified that many DWMA students may choose (or unwillingly receive) a nickname that's treated as their actual name. One particularly unlucky student had Kim submit a request in her name to call her "Eternal Feather". It's even hinted that Soul Eater himself did this.
Power Incontinence: A major reason why NOT classes are required for all weapons—without training, weapons may suddenly undergo a Partial Transformation, making them a danger to others even if they're not trying to use their power. It's even shown in the first episode of the anime that this happening at home is how Tsugumi discovered she was a weapon in the first place.
Prequel: Not immediately spelled out, but Sid isn't a zombie yet, Medusa is still a nurse, the Thompson sisters still act like gangster bullies, and Kim and Jacqueline hadn't become partners by the first time we see them. Officially, it takes place, at most, a year before the start if Soul Eater.
Sempai/Kohai: Maka, Eternal Feather and others are sempais to Tsugumi, Meme and Anya.
School Uniforms are the New Black: Discussed as The Academy has as many school uniforms - female students can even choose between sweaters and sailor-style - and casual clothes are fine too.
Shout-Out: Misery-san, looks like Annie Wilkes and is a huge fan of a novel, similar to how Annie was. Of course, it's not surprise that Ohkubo is a Stephen King fan.
Check out the bottom left of page 181 - Where's Wally? Oh, wait, there he is.
Stein pulls a prank that involve a head coming off a fake body then crawling away like the monster in The Thing (1982), except instead of growing legs it moved around with Prehensile Hair. The girls even mention the movie when they see it.
Shrouded in Myth: "The Witch of the Dorm." Is it the psychotic housemistress Misery? The enigmatic and rude fortune teller Kana? It's actually the relatively normal Kim Diehl, who saves Tsugumi from Misery and then demands her week's allowance as payment. 'Course, this is before we learn she's an actual witch...
Also Harudori saw a Tanuki statue and it immediately reminded her of Kim, who Animal Motifs is said animal.
Title Drop/Fun with Acronyms: 4 chapters in we find out "NOT" is the abbreviation for "Normally Overcome Target", the name of the class taken by the majority of the students who aren't actively fighting. The EAT, or "Especially Advantaged Talent" class are the ones actively out in the field fighting evil.