Maka from the Intro

Soul Eater is a new anime of the spring 2008 season that started on April 7th and is produced by Bones, based on the manga by Atsushi Okubo.  This title was a delightful surprise for me on many levels and is definitely my #1 title for the season so far.  The story is about the two main characters Maka and Soul trying to collect 99 corrupted souls and one powerful witch soul, and the other teams trying to achieve the same goal.  Soul is actually a weapon, a person that can transform between a human form and a weapon form to reap souls and the like.  Maka is his Meister, a person that uses the weapon to reap souls so it can become the next Death Scythe, the personal weapon of Shinigami-sama who is the leader of their city as well as being the grim reaper.  Maka and Soul along with other Meister/weapon combos that join the cast attend a school where they must participate in normal school activities as well as keeping the world safe all the while trying to achieve the status as the next Death Scythe.  Episode review follows.        The psychotic moon

What first caught my eye was the fluid combat animation.  Each battle flows nicely and is exciting to watch especially when Maka is using Soul’s scythe form in either attack or defense.  The choreography is on a different level then what I’ve seen in anime lately and the only problem I can see is so far the battles have been short and sweet.  The animation itself is clean with no breaks as is expected of Bones.  The art style found here is really good.  The characters have an interesting and fresh look with some nicely stylized outfits that give them a unique flavor.  More so then the character designs is the styling of the series as a whole.  A lot of the sets and landscape is over exaggerated or anthropomorphic.  The two best examples of this is the psychotically grinning crescent moon that bleeds from the mouth that pervades over the night sky, and Blair’s house witch is really just a big pumpkin.  The voice acting in this was perfect with all the Seiyuu fitting their characters like they were made for them.  Chiaki Omigawa supplies the voice for Maka and I have to say its probably favorite role in a long time.  Her unique voice fits Maka’s tomboyish fighter personality perfectly, and I can’t really imagine anyone else doing a better job.  The personalities of the characters have just enough uniqueness to them to avoid being called tried-and-true.  Maka is your typical tomboy upset with her boyish figure, but has a strong distrust of men because she believes they pretty much live to cheat on women.  Soul has the basic lecherous personality hiding his loyalty to one girl, but bases everything he does on how ‘cool’ it is.  The comedy in the show comes from Maka’s father the Death Scythe trying to pretend he doesn’t have a lecherous personality and his over protectiveness for his daughter constantly getting him a ‘Shinigami chop’ from Shinigami-sama. Both the opening and ending themes sport a good sequence of character shots and some varied action clips with some really catchy music I’m definitely going to have to get a hold of.The episode starts out with a gangly corrupted soul with scythe fingers ripping up the local women folk for their souls in some pretty well lit alleys.  As he’s about to claim another victim he’s stopped by the sudden appearance of Soul.  What follows is the quick dispatch of the corrupted soul by Maka and the transformed Soul after a short, acrobatic fight scene.  Soul doesn’t hesitate to down the corrupted soul claiming it to be his 99th.  Maka and Soul quickly report to Shinigami-san of their progress by writing his number 42-42-564 (shini-shini-kuoshi/die-die-kill in Japanese) and talking to him through a portal.  Death Scythe needlessly threatens Soul about touching his daughter and Soul countering with “why would I want to touch this no-tits anyway?” causing Death Scythe to get worked up to the point of receiving Shinigami-san’s ‘chop’ over the head as a means of silence.  Maka and Soul declare they’re going to hunt for their witch’s soul, the last component Soul needs to become the next Death Scythe and promptly set off.  Not too far from the city they come up to the residence of a witch named Blair’s abode.  They discuss the design of the house, that of a very large pumpkin, which soul remarks as being cool.  While Maka tries in vain to suggest a strategy for attacking a witch Soul charges straight in through a window and into the bathtub occupied by a naked Blair, voluptuous and sultry, bathing herself.  Soul suffers from a series of nosebleeds Blair intentionally causes before Maka finally makes it into the room. 

psycho leacher by Armani

Blair eventually surprises the duo with her pumpkin cannon, blowing them out of her house and putting them out of commission for the day.  What follows for the next five days is a montage of failures as Maka and Soul continually fail to surprise Blair and take her soul. Eventually the fight leads into the city for a final showdown.  Blair attacks with her pumpkin based attacks and hat’s prehensile appendage while Maka counters the best she can with Soul, Blair all the while cooing at Soul to be her ‘scythe boy’.  After a valiant attempt Maka is forced into a corner, or rather, the edge of a roof.  As Blair approached the two Soul transforms back into his human for and drops Maka off the roof.  What was almost a fatal fall ends up being a safe drop into a pile of garbage bags for Maka.  She regains her composure, ready to continue the fight only to realize that Soul is standing on the side of Blair instead of next to her.  Maka doesn’t understand what’s going on until Soul explains he would rather be the partner of someone who’s more substantially stacked.  This comment causes Maka to turn on the drama, remembering all the times that she’s had to bear with her dad cheating and sleazing around.  She starts yelling at Soul that she hates men because all they can seem to want to do is cheat, and says that even though she felt this way she trusted him only for it to end like this.  After about a minute of this tirade Soul finally smiles.  Blair being unaware what’s going on Soul transforms the arm closest to her into his scythe will extending his other arm out to Maka, telling her that its time to end it.  Maka finally understands and leaps towards Soul, and in one quick motion pulls on his arm as Soul finishes his transformation cutting Blair in half in the process.  Soul quickly eats the witch’s soul finishing his requirements to become a Death Scythe.  Before the ascension process had really begun it suddenly stops much to Maka and Soul surprise.  While they’re still trying to puzzle out what happened Shinigami-sama pops in and informs them that it wasn’t a witch’s soul that he had eaten and he would have to confiscate the other 99 souls already collected since the contract was breached.  To punctuate this a cat wearing a witch’s hat strolls up claiming to be Blair.  It turns out that Blair was just a cat spirit with a high level of magic and she didn’t die when reaped simply because cat’s have nine lives to begin with.  Initially pissed Soul and Maka decide that they had better get going on re-collecting the required souls and start to head out.  Maka and Soul pull a motorcycle out of nowhere while Blair flies behind them on one of her pumpkins and the three head off to the next soul.  The last we see of them is Soul depressingly remarking that this situation wasn’t ‘cool’ at all.  The last part of the episode showcases a Meister named Black Star as he readies to assassinate some corrupt officials.  The episode closes out with promises of more information on Black Star in the next episode.

Maka reaping Blair