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Soul Eater back to reviews
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If Tim Burton and Terry Pratchett ever collaberated and made a shonen manga/anime...
The following review is intended to cover both the anime and the manga (as published so far). It also contains some spoilers for the early episodes/chapters.

...the result would probably resemble this.

My first experience of Soul Eater was with the anime. Having grown bored of Bleach's endless filler arcs I asked a friend of mine if she had any suggestions and immediately got the title of this show as a (rather enthusiastic) response. Curious to see what begot such an impressive level of devotion and impressed by the artwork (which would make Tim Burton proud), I sat down to watch the first episode (of about 20 which were out at the time). I wasn't disappointed.

The series follows three teams of students who attend "Shibusen", an Extranormal Institute for weapons (essentially humans who can shapeshift into a weapon form) and their technicians (a partner who wields them), founded by the Grim Reaper to protect humans from witches and corrupted humans. The first team is a hard working, bookish tsundere named Maka Alburn and her more laid back partner; the titular Soul Eater (who transforms into a scythe). Next there's Black Star, an egomaniacal ninja and his put upon partner Tsubaki (who can transform into several "ninja" weapons). Finally there's Death's powerful but Super OCD afflicted son Death The Kid and his more down to Earth partners Liz and Patti Thompson (who become a pair of handguns). Even though having such a large main cast could lead to them being dull and two dimensional, the characters are all well written and likable.

The series as a whole has a very strong Dark Is Not Evil vibe with even the witches being shown in a sympathetic light and some of the heroic characters having a great deal of moral ambiguity (Doctor Stein, for example is a Mad Scientist who's constantly at risk of going too far into the "mad" part of the archetype). There's plenty of standard shonen fare but it's rarely played straight, with villains and heroes of every morality present and some subtle deconstructions of the genre's tropes.

Overall Scores

Manga: A well written shonen series with likable protagonists and an eyecatching gothic art style. 9/10

Anime: A decent animated adaptation, but the Gecko Ending may disappoint. 8/10
I was actually thinking about writing my own review for this series when I noticed that the other two reviews were kind of negative. It's good to know that someone finely decided to point out the good things about the series.
comment #6835 LLawliet 15th Mar 11
The other two reviews are by a single person, actually.
comment #6836 silver2195 15th Mar 11 (edited by: silver2195)
silver2195- Yes I know that, but there's still technically two of them.
comment #6877 LLawliet 17th Mar 11
^ Well to be fair both reviews were decidedly non-constructive. Or reasonable, for that matter.
comment #6895 fillerdude 18th Mar 11
For what it's worth, one of the others seems to have been removed.
comment #6917 Bisected8 19th Mar 11
Thank you for a nice, reasonable review for a great series rather than a troll-fest like the others for it.
comment #8383 Xacebans 1st Jul 11
The art style definitely got me into the series, if I remember correctly. The opening sequence pretty much blew my mind with awesome and the well choreographed fight scenes shown soon after made it all the better to watch. The characters all seemed like typical stereotypes but then fleshed out into well-made characters. The universe is fun and original with its own take on popular culture and even psychology at times.

It's got a lot going for it. Good review. I liked how you gave the manga and anime separate ratings.
comment #9087 ChaoticTrilby 4th Aug 11
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