Soul Eater



ThePatches's avatar By on Feb 7, 2010


Let's talk for a moment about pacing. Pacing is the rate at which a story progresses; the speed at which the plot develops can make or break any narrative effort, but appears to me to be an acute issue in anime. The deft, non-linear approach of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni keeps its viewers on the edge of their seats. Conversely, the plodding half-formed yarn of Aoi Hana withers when almost nothing happens (even by the statue-speed standards of yuri romance, that anime fails). Of all anime, shounen shows tend to embody the worst practices of uneven storytelling: Dragon Ball Z is so ponderous that the remastered Dragon Ball Kai manages with 1/3 the original's air time; Naruto, an otherwise fun and action-packed romp, stuffs its final EIGHTY episodes with filler. EIGHTY--and don't even mention Bleach. Then, comes Soul Eater. The series' tight, energetic approach stands out despite the show's heavily derivative feel. Fifty-two half-hour segments rarely yields as satisfying experience overall. Especially in this genre.

That said, Soul Eater offers little original to anime as far as its story goes. A special school devoted to training warriors? Naruto. A virtuous organization of supernatural fighters trying to prevent humans from turning into demons? D.Gray Man. And the writers stuffed the cast with tropes borrowed from well-known horror works. Mad Doctor? Check. Zombie? Check. Werewolf? Check. Witches? Double-check. In the end, the series' execution sets it apart from its copycat foundations. After a brief set of explicit introductions, the story gets on the rails to placing the its child protagonists outside their comfort zones. The powerful cast gets more in over its head with each passing episode, which helps maintain tension in the anime and adds to the believability of the villains' repeated escapes.

If the viewer stops to think about the story, things start to unravel a touch. The twists and turns of the series' second half are hardly surprising, and the simple fact that the faculty leaves the fate of the world to a group of students seems implausible at best. BUT Soul Eater's plot lacks adequate breathing room for these doubts to ruin the experience. As each entry snaps seamlessly into the one that came before, even the over-the-top climax makes perfect sense when it arrives in context. However, the breakneck pacing paints the show into a bit of a corner, and the final episode comes to an end in a manner so disappointing and abrupt that it borders on impressive. In retrospect, however, the sting of the dismal finale fades--the juddering mess only comes as a terrible shock because everything that precedes it fits so tightly together.


Soul Eater sports a stylish look ripped right out of a Tim Burton movie. The dark background palette, unnatural angles, and stark scenery set the mood perfectly for the horror themed show. But moreso than the overal art direction, the details bring the effect home. Whether it be the creepy, anthropomorphic sun and moon, the graveyard feel of Shinigami's room, or the subtly concave perspective in Soul's mind, the animators spare no opportunity to add character to every environment. Consequently, every location feels like an organic part of the anime's world. In addition, the three primary leads maintain the series' feel by embodying the three pillars of goth style: Maka in her plaid skirt, dark greatcoat and tie; Black Star decked out in zippers and steel-toed kicks; and Kid in a plain black suit. Just like in the backgrounds, little touches like the stars on Black Star's shoes, or Kid's skull bolo-tie and rings give the characters a concrete feel that seems to say "personal style choices" instead of "designed by an artist"; these considerations extend into the villains' wardrobes as well, from Free's canine facial features to Arachne's preponderance of spider symbolism to Eruka's spotted cheeks and amphibian eyes (am I strange for finding her cute?).

In the end, however, the quality of a shounen anime's visuals depends on its action sequences, and here Soul Eater delivers with mixed results. When the series wants to, it offers up kinetic action that feels fluid and engaging. However, the overly-dramatic angles cause more than a few issues with characters deforming and also results in more than a few instances of still-frame posing in each conflict. The little details again help the effort along, whether it be the lithe motion of Medusa's Vector Arrow or Black Star's Shadow Star, or the variable forms of Crona's Black Blood.


Gusto. That describes the Soul Eater audio in one word. Each episode starts with one of the two solid opening themes, and ends with one of the fantastic endings. While in this reviewer's humble opinion, Diggy Mo's "Bakusou Yume Uta" stands out as the best, the fourth song, "STRENGTH" fits the mood of the series best--its mournful strains form the ideal compliment to the darker content at the series' end. In between the OP and EDs of each episode, the hard rock soundtrack matches the gothic visuals to a "T", making use of guitars to communicate emotion in places normally reserved for pianos and strings.

Strangely enough, no one voice actor stands out above the crowd, because everyone turns in a solid performance--unusual for a shounen show. While the series' protagonists bring nothing remarkable to the table, the rouges gallery and side characters provide ample opportunities for interesting voice work. Koyasu Takehito (Excalibur), Uchida Yuuya (Franken Stein), and Koyama Rikiya (Shinigami) all bring texture and humor to the otherwise straightforward proceedings.


Since a good deal of its material appears derivative, Soul Eater goes to great lengths to set apart its characters from their source material. For every "been there, done that" entry like Mifune (samurai bodyguard--how novel!), the writers supply a quirky member like Joe Buttataki. The construction of the cast demonstrates an acute sense of self-awareness that helps to carry the whole effort. At its best, the show sinks deeply into self-parody in pursuit of originality with the horribly OCD yet undeniably cool Death the Kid, the painfully peculiar Excalibur, and the font of fan-service, Blair.

Too add some extra oomph to the series' less original characters, Soul Eater peppers its cast with interesting interactions and relationships which help add dimension to each person. From Black Star's friendly rivalry with Soul to the creepy sexual tension between Stein and Medusa, the show bristles with tiny moments of interplay that either brighten plot-related pauses in the action or ice the delicious combat cake with moments of development. Much like the stylistic enhancements in the visuals, these interpersonal moments help the actors in the anime feel like whole people and less like typical shounen protagonists.


With a good ending, Soul Eater would have jumped from "good" into "great" territory. While the show borrows heavily from other works, its execution and verve carry it off as a memorable shounen series. Unlike its brethren that tend to cut costs and pump up the episode count to maximize revenue, this anime maintains a focused agenda for two action-packed seasons, and that helps its cause. Anime like this one raise the bar for "average" by demonstrating how even a derivative effort can engage and entertain. If you're interested in seeing how fun action story with a real end and sense of urgency comes together, check this one out; You won't be disappointed.

7/10 story
8.5/10 animation
8/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
8/10 overall
Otaku108's avatar By on Dec 22, 2009

Honestly, I tried to watch this one because it was rated rather highly and people I've heard talk about it had good things to say but frankly, there was only one character that didn't get on my nerves completely and the rest of the show was completely pointless, repetitive, and idiotic.

There didn't seem to be any real story to it so I'm frankly bemused as to how it got 50+ eps. Perhaps it did pick up after a while but 6 eps into a show and it couldn't hook me, more over it annoyed me, kinda gives me the impression that the rest of the show isn't going to be worth my time. Especially at 51 eps...

The animation was interesting for it's uniqueness but it wasn't to my liking and I wasn't able to really enjoy the style.

The characters, as I stated before, annoyed the crap out of me and one was an obvious spoof on Naruto, aka a boisterous noisy ninja.

The sounds were even worse, I dunno why but they seemed to like to make highly annoying and loud noises randomly to the point that even I, someone that rarely pays much attention to this part of anime, got annoyed and turned the volume down. Bad sign.

Overall, I couldn't finish it, I couldn't even get through the 6th ep all the way before I just closed the window and went to find something else to do. I'm sure there are lots of people that would absolutely love this show, namely the same ones that probably loved One Piece, another show I wasn't able to get into for pretty much the same reasons.

*side note: I wasn't able to put a 0 for story so I left it blank instead*

due to a kind of overwhelming response to my review, mainly negatively toward the fact I didn't finish it I'm going to start disregarding posts. I repeat that this review is merely my opinion, it has no basis in public views, thoughts, or feelings. if you have a problem with this review, then take it up with admin for allowing -user- reviews that can be made on a uncompleted viewing.

I still thank everyone for the interest they've shown in this review and trying to defend a show they liked or a particular viewpoint they believe in. If you check out some of my other reviews you might see how I do reviews normally and that this one is by no point a true full review in my standards.

?/10 story
5/10 animation
2/10 sound
2/10 characters
2/10 overall
luisg1996's avatar By on Aug 23, 2015

Anime Name: Soul Eater

Studio: Bones

Year of Airing: 2008-2009

In 2008 Bones Animation Studio released the action-comedy anime known as Soul Eater based on the manga of the same name. The anime received high critical success and appraisal from both veteran fans of the source material and newcomers to the franchise due to its interesting premise, well animated action scenes, and a unique Halloween feel that made dull colors stand out in the odd designs of the world that the series took place in.

  • Characters & Synopsis:

The world of Soul Eater takes place in Death City, real world Las Vegas, in an alternate reality our own world. The city is under the protection of Lord Death, and within it he installed the Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA) to scout and train teenagers with special abilities that either allows them to transform into weapons or be the meisters or handlers of such weapons. The main purpose of the academy is to create Death Scythes out of the weapon students for Lord Death to use in the future when the world is in peril, and order for a weapon to become a Death Scythe, or a weapon of equal power, it must eat 99 kishin, or corrupted, souls along with the soul of a witch to make a total set of 100 souls. Within the academy we have our group of mix-and-match main cast along with a gigantic yet memorable supporting cast.

In the main cast we have 3 pairings of meisters and weapons. First is Maka Albarn and Soul Evans, the typical pairing of flat-chested bookworm with mister cool guy; although they would seem like an unexpected pairing they work off well one another’s pros and cons and Soul is apparently the only student of the DWMA that is able to transform into the actual weapon of the Lord of Death, a Death Scythe. Next is the rambunctious Black☆Star and the sincere but quiet Demon Blade Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, similar to Maka and Soul Black☆Star and Tsubaki work off one another, especially since Tsubaki is the only person that can stand being around Black☆Star for most of the time. And finally we have the Brooklyn raised Olsen Twins Patty and Liz that become the Double Team Demon Guns to the fan-favorite, son of Lord Death, and symmetry obsessed Death the Kid.

Other noteworthy characters include Lord Death himself, Spirit Albarn, the Lord Death’s current Death Scythe and Maka’s father, Blair the Cat, Professor Stein, as his name suggests his obsessed with anatomy and dissecting in particular, Sid the Zombie, a former teacher that got turned into a zombie after his untimely death, the genderless meister known as Crona and his weapon Ragnarok, the iconic, demented, but still likeable witch known as Medusa, and the legendary sword Excalibur, feelings and opinions towards him change from person to person.

  • Animation & Soundtrack:

As stated before, Soul Eater was highly appraised for the fluidity and high quality of its actions scenes, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the series was of any less quality. Whether it was in the complex backgrounds and building designs to the Smiling Sun and Bloody Moon, everything in Soul Eater was made with the finest detail without diverging too much from the original source design. Something noteworthy to mention is the Halloween vibe the whole series gives off, whether it comes from the colors, the character’s designs, all of which look like they are ready to go to a costume party, or the contrasts of lights and darks it makes the anime feel a lot more alive and almost as if one was walking and living inside of the anime instead of being a simple onlooker behind a screen.

As for the soundtrack, nothing much could be said except that the music fits well with the tone of the moment, nothing more nothing less. Whether you decide to go subbed or dubbed you can’t really go wrong as Funimation did a near perfect dubbing for the series, I say near perfect because the voice actress picked for Black☆Star wasn’t that great but that’s just my opinion. One final note about the soundtrack will be the extremely famous openings, which are known to almost any anime watcher, first is T.M Revolution’s Resonance a strong-voice paired with a great use of guitars and drums all of which are combined to a pumping opening that prepared you for the anime you were about to watch and easily to pull you through a trip to the gym. The second opening is softer voiced with Tommy Heavenly6 taking center stage with the song Papermoon, similar to Resonance, Papermoon had a good use of strong vocals combined with guitars and drums; which of this openings is better is up to the viewer but I feel like Papermoon is the better song while Resonance is the better fit for the show.

  • Final Scores and Opinions:

Whether or not you enjoy Soul Eater is really up to your affection towards action-comedy animes, semi-dark themed series, and whether or not you want to see a shonen anime that actually ends, 51 episodes, but word of advice after watching the anime it’s best to read the manga to receive the ending intended by the original creator.

As for final scores I give Soul Eater a:

  • Critical Score: 8.1/10
  • Personal Enjoyment: 8.7/10
  • Rewatch Value: 3.9/5

Along with the overall recommendation to "Watch it Whenever Possible", it’s a great anime and provides many a good laugh and eye candy in the action scenes but the iffy ending and the episode number might make it a bit overwhelming to pick up and watch, although I never regretted it nor do I personally know of anyone who did.

And with that I conclude this review, leave a comment, like, etc and if you feel so inclined tell me of an anime you would like me to review in the future please do. Thank you for your time and have a nice day.

8/10 story
8.3/10 animation
8/10 sound
8.1/10 characters
8.1/10 overall
ZeldaVV's avatar By on Aug 13, 2015

What else can I say about this show? It's amazing. It is one of the animes you definitely have to watch before you die. 

So, the story... really original. I have to admit that i would never come up with this. And it may somewhat be stupid or not really interesting at first, but it really goes flawlessly with the atmosphere of the series. its dark but not depressing. 

And i must say, it has SO MANY funny scenes, and they made me laugh way too hard.

The animation is also flawless, the fighting scenes are completley understandable. And i really enjoyed it. and i usually dont like shonen anime that much. But this is a completely other level. And to have a girl for protagonist is one of the things that i ove about soul eater. Maka is the perfect female protagonist. Strong, brave and not with that ridiculous ecchi that are made to every strong female character.

I dont really pay too much atention to the sound, but I can say that it can be way better.

The characters are just lovely. Everyone had a great personality and develoment, i loved every single one of them. and I have to admit that sometimes some characters could get somewhat irritating, but they were awesome anyways. Black star is the best thing ever just as kidd.

A stunning anime. I watched all the 51 episodes in 2 days. I could not stop watching, I stayed up until 4 in the morning watching it. And although the final could be better, I didnt like it too much. It really is worth watching. And its definetely one of my top 3 anime.

9/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
crazyworld's avatar By on Jul 6, 2015

Soul Eater is like one of those frusterating things that you want to succeed, but I watched it and found it rather middling. At first it was pretty solid and you got nothing but good vibes in the early episodes, but then Medusa came along, and well things went rather downhill from there. The pacing became rather awkward. There were a few pointless fillers added in about some lame sword named excalibur and all he did was berate others and go into long philosophy speeches that took up an entire episode. The animation on the other hand was pretty consistent, easily rivaling that of Eureka Seven and Fullmetal Alchemist (other BONES work). The ending was the worst of it. It ended on pretty much a cliffhanger with little satisfaction. The characters are pretty mixed to poor. First you've got Maka (who's pretty much a female Ichigo Kurosaki), then you have Black Star (who's pretty much another Naruto) and finally Death the Kid who is obsessed with symmetry. His constant bickering about symmetry gets old really fast. 

Honestly, if you think glossy animation makes up for a poorly paced anime with little payoff then feel free to try, but I'd recommend you avoid if you have high standards.

4/10 story
6.5/10 animation
8/10 sound
4/10 characters
5.6/10 overall