Thursday, October 31, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 50-51

"Sink or Swim"

Kid and Black Star fight off Asura and manage to defeat his giant monster form. But anyone who has played any RPG ever knows that the final boss always has more than one form. So they manage to get him into his more human form.

Maka sees past the black blood demon's trickery and saves Soul. The demon shrinks down in form, but Soul accepts the demon as a part of him, by swallowing him. Maka and Soul make it back to "reality" only to find that their friends knocked-out and Asura gloating.

"The Word is Bravery"

There's is no opening theme. The credits just run while Maka and Soul prepare for battle.

Soul and Maka try to fight. They even manage to use a technique called "Kishin Hunter" but that doesn't work (mostly because of some quasi philosophical jargon that Asura spouts). Soul is knocked out, leaving Maka on her own. At one point, she tries to fight unconsciously, and since she has weapon blood in her (apparently) she was able to battle with scythe blades coming from her body. This concept probably wasn't developed well in the preceding 50 episodes. But even that doesn't work. What does work? Expositing about "bravery" and punching Asura IN THE FUCKING FACE!!! Sure, that kind of thing seems like something out of Friendship is Magic, but if there's any abstract concept that I would believe being turned into some weaponized form, it would probably be "bravery". Better that than having "friendship" being used over and over and over and over.

And so Asura is dead and gone, everyone else has survived, and the epilogue is shown during the end credits while "I Wanna Be" plays one last time.

I've heard that people didn't like the ending to the anime. Maybe it's the "bravery" thing, but me, I feel somewhat satisfied. And also a little sad. I mean, yeah, there's the manga, with so much more material, but even that ended recently. And there's Soul Eater NOT!

It's strange. I've finished it, and it was a helluva journey. In a way I should be happy there's an end, but I'm also sad that I may not get more (unless they make an NOT! anime).

It just makes me wonder, "what do I do now?" I guess trying to write more. That seems like a start.

Goddamn I love this show.

Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 48-49

Holy shit...

"Lord Death Wields a Death Scythe"

The goofy ending to the last episode, in which the Death City robot swallows Asura, was actually Lord Death bringing the Kishin into his Death Room. Asura and Lord Death (wielding Spirit in his scythe form) battle in the Death Room, with Kid, Liz, Patty, Azusa, and Excalibur watching from the sidelines. Asura explains his ideology in the heat of battle. Something about imagination being the source of humanity's fear. Actually, that is a pretty interesting way of looking at things. The battle ends with Asura attacking Kid, and Death protecting his son, but he is injured. "Injured", THE FUCKER LOOKED DEAD!!! But then again, how do you kill Death?

Meanwhile, Tsubaki and Black Star help Mifune find Angela. Angela gives Black Star a good kick in the nuts. It's great.

Asura talks a little with Excalibur, and he explains that Death's defeat came from him caring for others, but then he immediately thinks of Arachne. He returns to Arachne (the relationship becomes more spelled out here), and because of his fear of feeling (I think. I started quoted The Grinch at this point.) he kills her and eats her soul.

"Asura Wakes"

Asura begins to put up a barrier to regenerate, but the Seven all make it in. The final battle begins. As it seemed like Maka was about to finish Asura off, Soul is then swallowed by the red demon as he was playing the piano in his mind. Yeah, I still have no clue how this works. Black Star, Kid, and the others hold off Asura while Maka goes into Soul's mind to help him. She goes down a long corridor of stairs, being followed by Black Blood, until she reaches a door that looks too much like the door to the TARDIS (pretty sure it's the same shade of blue) and finds a black-and-white version of Soul who closes the door.

Two episodes left. Tomorrow, it's finished.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 46-47

Last disc...I can't believe we're almost done.

"Warrior or Slaughterer?"

Black Star and Mifune begin their final fight. Mifune talks about the path of the warrior and the path of the demon, and asks Black Star which path he chooses. Mifune sees the look in Black Star's eyes, and recalls his battles with White Star, Black Star's father. White Star was an assassin so determined to win that he became a kishin. In the end of the episode, Mifune thinks that Black Star chose the demon path, and deals a lethal blow.

Meanwhile, the final magic tool turns out to be Eibon's soul, and we're given Eibon's backstory. Excalibur shows up to help explain and is simply there to observe.

I'm astounded at how much Black Star has grown on me. His bull-headed determination, while at times a flaw (what isn't), is pretty damn inspiring.

"The Miraculous Coffee Table Flip"

Black Star chooses neither the path of the warrior or demon, but his own, and defeats Mifune. Mifune asks why Black Star doesn't finish him off, and Black Star reminds him of Angela and the Tsubaki's idea of him teaching at the academy. And yes, they did do the "samurai charging at each other and finishing each other with a final slice" thing and it's awesome. And I like that Black Star helps Mifune out.

While that happens, Eibon unlocks Brew, which gives someone the ability to do basically whatever they wish. So Lord Death uses it to turn Death City into a giant, walking, fighting mecha. Yes, I just wrote that. And guess what? Mosquito reveals that Arachne's castle is also a moving robotic bug. And they fight.

Kid: "What? This is insanity!"

Liz: "This can't be happening!"

Patty: "This is SO COOL!"

Just sums everything up. And in the end, Lord Death gets Asura and eats him, as a giant robot. This is a thing that happens.

I can't believe it took me this long to realize that this show gives almost no fucks.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 40-45

I was at AkiCon and the hotel didn't have free wifi, so this is gonna be long.

"The Cards Are Cut"

After Medusa's surrender, Lord Death and Spirit think that she's up to something (well no shit). Spirit tries interrogating her, but at first she does an innocence act (considering the child's body she's inhabiting), to the point where we get to hear Luci Christian's Hunny-sempai voice. It made me pretty happy, especially when it was directed toward Spirit (Vic Mignogna). Medusa is brought up to Lord Death's office, and she tries to strike a deal for certain information (like that they now have the real Brew and Arachne has the fake one), but she keeps getting mocked because of her cute, diminutive form. Actually, that whole scene was hilarious.

Then Arachne releases Asura's madness wavelength across the world by....cuddling with him? Like, the generator is attached to a bed, and she's in bed with him and comforting him like one would their significant other. I'm not making this up.

Anyway, because of all this happening, Lord Death accepts the deal of the giving information in exchange for her freedom, so no DWMA forces are allowed to harm because if this deal. And at the end, Dr. Stein goes missing.

This is also when the final ending theme appears. "Strength" by Ablingon Boys School. Now both opening and ending themes have a "End is nigh"/"Shit's hitting the fan" sort of feel.

"Twirl 'Round and 'Round"

Stein spends the entire episode hallucinating, and it's pretty fun to see these creepy visuals and maybe try to analyze what they could mean, like why they would imagery like that, or something. But in the end, he finds his way to Medusa.

This show has a habit of cutting to black, having a character say the last line, and then rolling credits. Habit or fetish, I really can't tell.

"Charge Baba Yaga's Castle"

Stein joins Medusa, the DWMA are trying to get to Arachne's castle, Crona and Marie are out looking for Medusa, Maka and Soul decide to go after Crona, leaving Black Star and Tsubaki to deal with Aranchophobia, Giriko and Justin are fighting again, and they found a location of a new magic tool.

So yeah. Lots of plot.

"The Last Magic Tool"

Kid, Liz, and Patty go a mysterious city called Sarcophagus to find the magic tool that will be used to power Brew. The town is known for its disappearing population, so Kid tells Liz and Patty to stay outside and wait for him. Kid finds the tool and is then attacked by two Clown robots. When things look grim, Liz and Patty come in and they finish off the clowns. Kid still isn't sure about trusting his father with the tool, since what they intend to do with it is not known.

I like this team a lot, so I like this episode a lot.

"Weakling Crona's Determination"

Marie and Crona make it to Medusa's hideout. With Stein going insane, Marie tries to snap him out of it and Crona tries to finally end things with Medusa. Medusa brings up that physically hurting her would also involve hurting Rachel, the girl she's possessing. When things look grim, Maka and Soul arrive like the Big Damn Heroes they are.

Apparently, Marie's last name is Mjolnir. Norse mythology enthusiasts and Marvel Comics fans would know that "Mjölnir" is the hammer of Thor. So Marie is a badass hammer.

"Anti-Magic Wavelength"



Also, Black Star gets to the castle like a boss.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episode 39

"Crona's Escape"

Well that wasn't as painful as I thought it would be.

Crona is obviously feeling incredibly guilty about what he did to Dr. Stein, and his friends are starting to notice how much weirder he is acting around them. He and Maka have a conversation in which he asks about her mother. Maka explains that her mother is always traveling and sending postcards, but Maka doesn't know exactly where she is most of the time. When Crona asks what Maka's favorite memory of her mother is, she says "that's easy, the divorce!" Crona deadpans that Maka has a weird family dynamic. Crona, the child whose blood is literally another person and whose mother is a snake witch, is calling someone else's family weird. This is the best fucking thing.

Deciding that he doesn't belong with his friends or his 'mother', Crona runs off into the desert, but Maka and Soul catch up to him. Crona confesses about what he did and Maka immediately forgives him (considering that he was pushed into it). I'm actually kind of glad they didn't go full Lion King 2 on this. Granted, you could call it lazy writing to throw in a plot thread that seems like it would be a big deal but then gets taken care of swiftly, but really I don't care.

So they confront Lord Death with the information and he thinks that Crona should be expelled, but Maka wants them to give him a second chance. Spirit (Oh hey! Haven't seen you in a while!) tells her that they can't because of how serious the crime is, but then Maka shoots back by pointing out the amount of chances Spirit got when he cheated on her mother. "You're one to talk about loyalty!" She says. She then says that she would rather give a second chance to someone who will actually keep to it. I mean, DAMN, that was fucking pro. I mean sure I was kind of rooting for him to get back on good-ish terms with his daughter, but they dropped that little plot thread a long-ass time ago.

Also, some other shit happens with other characters, like Arachne getting Asura to join her team, and Medusa 'surrendering' at the end, but whatever.

I'm honestly wondering how Maka's family works. Was her mother traveling to get her head clear from the divorce, or was she always traveling? Was Spirit left to take care of Maka most of the time? And then when she enrolled in the academy, and after he became a Death Scythe, did he just have more time on his hands and so went back to his womanizing ways since his wife was always away? But why would a top-tier meister like her not wanna be on Death's beck-and-call?

If any of that is true, Crona does have a point in calling Maka's family weird, even if him saying so would be like his blood calling the kettle "black".

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 37-38

I'll be honest, consider the stupid day I had, coupled with thoughts of planning for AkiCon this weekend, I don't really feel like writing this. So if this comes off a bit snippy, that would be why. I'm also pretty damn tired.

"The Detective's First Case"

Everyone seems to be depressed about their supposedly failed mission. Death the Kid continues to snoop around for information about what his father is planning, and confronts and obviously unhinged Dr. Stein about it. Near the end of the episode, they begin to wax philosophical and it's pretty interesting to listen to. Meanwhile, Maka asks Lord Death about the special move that she did in battle called "Genie Hunter", and is told that one other meister has managed to pull it off (her mother a.k.a. Lady Hasn't-Yet-Appeared-In-This-Show). So she and Soul go practice for a while. Yeah. Oh, and Death calls in a technical guy at the end.

I can remember if it was in this one or the next one that Crona finally shows up again. Honestly, this plot thread is either gonna hurt or just be irritating. Not really up to the "He's Not One of Us" spiel, if that's where they're going with it.

"Asura's Temptation"

I have no idea why that's the title.

So Joe, the technical guy is called in to help Death with his magic tools or something like that. This episode mostly focused on Black Star and his decreasing confidence. It was pretty interesting, even if most of his deal is explained by Sid while a fight is going on.

That's one thing that really makes me wonder: Is the info dumping of backstory or outright explaining of things about characters make good writing? Most of what comes from Sid's mouth about Black Star seems like something a devoted fan would write on Tumblr in the alternate universe where the story in the show was more subtle. When it comes to writing, how does one choose what should be left for subtext and what should be explained in dialogue? Or maybe this was aimed at a certain young audience and they thought they might not get it, so they just explain everything? Is that why?

Whatever, time for bed.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episode 36

AND ANOTHER THING: Is Soul actually gonna learn how to fight without Maka? That was a thing he was worrying about 9 episodes ago, and it hasn't been touched upon since. Is this coming up somewhere in the remaining 14 episodes, or do I need to read the manga for this? Kind of silly to bring up something and never mention it again.

"Unleash the Seven's Resonance Link"

The Seven, huh? Personally, I prefer Team Black Blood. I guess that name would be them including Crona and Ragnarok

Anyway, Soul starts playing the piano in his soul (I guess?) and does the resonance link thing and basically everyone does their Super Saiyan move and beats the shit out of Mosquito. In the end, he skips off with Brew. OR DOES HE?! While the DWMA thinks they failed the mission, Mosquito brings "Brew" to Arachne with the news that it doesn't work. Arachne says that the information that Arachnophobia has Brew is enough to frighten their enemies. So, kind of like if North Korea said they have nuclear weapons and no one else knew that they don't work. HOWEVER, it turns out Medusa had Eruka and the Mizune sisters pull the Ol' Switcheroo, so she actually has the real Brew.

At one point, Medusa says "I still have Crona spying for me. Have you forgotten?" What a coincidence, I was thinking the same thing yesterday.

Also a thought from yesterday I should repeat: What the fuck is going on with the demon in Soul's mind? Is this piano playing nonsense metaphor or not? Or is this like Psychonauts? I guess it would be considering the nonsense Maka went through with Soul and Crona an arc-and-a-half ago. I still have no idea if the red demon is supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing or some necessary evil BS.

Medusa also explains that the magic snake in Marie that speeds up Stein madness is gonna make him bat-shit insane when he goes into battle and has to resonate with Marie. So the plot thickens. Weeeee.

Considering the pattern of episodes, I would be surprised if the next episode isn't a light-hearted comedy thing.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 34-35

Where the fuck is Crona? He hasn't shown up since Medusa made him her lackey again (still kind of pissed about that). I don't know, maybe that would be an interesting if infuriating plot thread, but for the past four episodes, he's been nowhere in sight!

And while I'm at it, where the fuck is Blair? She hasn't shown up since Asura was revived. I guess they thought "hey, since she was just sexy fan-service, she didn't really do anything, so let's not use her anymore since we have a plot now". First of all, how dare you?

So you start the show off explaining the status quo where the students hunt 99 Kishin souls and one witch soul and the weapon gets to be a Death Scythe, fine. But in the first episode, you have Maka and Soul start that crap all over again because they mistook Blair for a witch. Now, none of that shit matters since we have all these plot threads going on, so there's basically no status quo, so a recurring character who was introduced in the FIRST FUCKING EPISODE is now completely pointless and is basically no longer in the show. Fuck you.

Oh god, I'm doing that thing where I start to like a show so much I start to criticize it. Wouldn't be the first time this has happened.

"The Battle for Brew"

Brew is a powerful magic tool that was in a witches' thing that was destroyed centuries ago and now there's a magnetic field where the tool is, and it isn't safe for someone to be in the the field for more than 20 minutes (watch this, they're gonna spread this out for a bunch of episodes).

This arc showcases a B team, a team of students who aren't the main characters, basically. It's pretty fun to see some other students and their fighting styles.

Stein and Marie go in the magnetic field while Arachnophobia's forces duke it out with a bunch of DWMA people and students. After a few minutes, the main team goes in to make sure they're okay. Inside the field is a holographic (I think) projection of the past. Meanwhile, Sid and co. fight off Mifune.

"Mosquito's Storm"

Of course.

So the main team finds Stein and Marie and Stein is completely losing it. So Marie gets him and herself out of the field, and two meisters from the B team go in to help the main team while the third meister send a retreat signal and blah blah blah the main team are fighting Mosquito who bulked up because magic logic and has the Brew thing. The episode ends with Soul going into the room in his mind with that red demon who was promising him power so they can have a team resonance thing. In fact, the whole team said they were waiting for him to do it.

I'm confused. Is the demon a representation of the madness inside Soul coming from the black blood or what? How the fact do the rest of his know about the room with the piano? Or were they just talking in metaphor and don't have a clue about what he was talking about when he said "I'm gonna play a note on the piano and we'll all resonate with it"?

And of fucking course this is left for the next episode. Part of me actually kind of wants there to be a string of status quo episodes where the characters develop naturally instead of arbitrarily. And why is 50% of the dialogue exposition? Is that just something I'll get used to after watching more anime?


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 32-33

"Legend of the Holy Sword 3"

Some guy named Hero manages to become the ideal partner for Excalibur, and becomes a supreme jackass in the process. In the end, he puts him back because of some small thing (sneezing fits, I guess).

That's it.

I mean, it was kind of funny, yeah. Like the part where Excalibur starts this long speech thing and a text bubble comes on screen to say "this is gonna be obnoxious, so just half-listen to this".

But it still doesn't calm me down from tHE BULLSHIT FROM THE LAST EPISODE!!!!!

"Resonance Link"

Well, this was pretty turbulent.

First, Stein has a madness episode. Interesting how in the last episode they can have someone punch a wall and have an exaggerated geyser of blood coming out, and then this one has Stein punching a mirror and the blood from his hand is really subtle.

Second, Black Star tries to get in tune with another soul wavelength in the Enchanted Sword mode of Tsubaki. It's probably some representation of Masemune, but the exchange was pretty creepy.

"Why do you want this power?"

"I need it to surpass God."

"How do you intend to surpass God when you look like a demon?"


And then we have the team trying to do the resonating as a team thing from earlier on, and Maka having to be the one to learn something from it. Basically, it's the Friendship is Magic episode.

Yeah, that sums it up.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episode 30-31

"The Red Hot Runaway Express"


Kid, Liz, and Patty go after a "magic tool" that is powering the titular runaway train. It seems there are three parties now; Lord Death's, Arachne's, and Medusa's. One of the Mizunes shows up, flying around and dropping bombs, while Kid and the Thompsons deal with one of Arachne's cronies, Fisher. Once they defeat Fisher, they get the magic tool, but Fisher hints that the wizard Eibon, who built these magic tools of evil and destruction, may have a connection to Lord Death. After the mission, Kid goes to the school library to look for a book with information on Eibon, but finds out that the last person who checked it out and never returned was probably Medusa.

This episode was a lot of fun. Honestly, these three are my favorite team, and Todd Haberkorn is absolutely fantastic as Kid. Also,we finally get to see Patty pissed the hell off at the heat of the desert. It's great. And this episode a bit more intrigue, which is fun.

"Drying Happiness"

Things seem to be going well for Crona while he's adjusting to life at DWMA. He has friends who would do anything for him and everything is just peachy. So then Medusa shows up again in order to have him and Ragnarok as her informant in Death City. Considering that Crona has no sense of agency because of his upbringing, he reluctantly agrees ("agrees" might be a stretch). So, Medusa has Crona sneak one of her snakes into Marie's drink so that it could work as a microphone, because Marie is living with Dr. Stein. Also, the magic snake apparently will enhance the madness in Stein whenever he's around Marie. Crona then goes back to his room and cries himself to sleep.

Interesting thing to note, this is the first episode with a new opening theme: "Papermoon" by Tommy Heavenly6. I like it. "Resonance" worked well with setting the mood of the show, "Papermoon" works as an indicator of "shit is about to go down".

As for my thoughts on Crona becoming Medusa's pawn again...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 28-29

This probably would've been more fitting a few posts ago, but....



"The Sword God Rises"

So Maka is still paralyzed from the last fight with Arachne and company, and Black Star wants to get revenge on the people responsible. As it turns out, Arachne had an organization called Arachnophobia (of course she did) that's now up and running again upon her return. One of her "colleagues", Mosquito, goes to check on a thing some scientists they hired are working on. Sid, Nygus, and the Death Scythe Azusa go to scope out the place, but lucky for them, Black Star and Tsubaki show up at the front entrance, getting everyone else's attention. As it turns out, Mifune (the guy who protects the child witch Angela, and whom Black Star and Tsubaki fought in their first episode) is working for Arachnophobia now. So Black Star and Tsubaki fight Mifune again and we then get a little backstory about how Mifune met Angela. Since Mifune has an honor code thing about protecting children, Tsubaki suggests that he should become a teacher at DWMA. Obviously he can't, what with Angela being a witch and constantly getting hunted. In the end, they each go back to their respective sects, Sid and Nygus get a thing and that's about it.

It's fun to see Mifune and Angela again.

Ooh, at some point in the episode, Dr. Stein is trying to work out, but then starts hallucinating about Medusa again. I was listening with headphones on, so when Medusa's voice started coming in at one channel at a time (left ear only, then right ear only), my mind was blown. Like, that's some excellent detail right there. It also looks as if Dr. Stein has some unresolved feelings about Medusa. Very fascinating. And I thought I was joking about the sexual tension earlier on, but apparently not.

"Medusa's Revival"

Medusa takes over a child's body...

Yes, that's a thing that happens.

When the episode focused on that, it was actually quite unsettling. I mean, the poor child is now caught up in this mess she previously had nothing to with, and the poor mother must be terrified.

I mean, holy shit.

At the end, Medusa visits her sister Arachne, and they basically just explain how Medusa survived and have that sort of conversation between two villains who are sort of against each other usually do. Oh, and Eruka Frog is Medusa's informant in Arachnophobia! Yay!

At the academy, Maka gets better and Dr. Stein tries to teach the students how to "resonate" with multiple people in a team; basically what Sid, Nygus, and Azusa did in the episode previous. Some comedic fun was had there.

Also, I think I'm getting used to "Batsou Yume Uta".

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episode 27

"800 Years of Bloodlust"

The battle with Giriko (a strong independent chainsaw who don't need no meister) continues with Maka getting paralyzed, Crona being a nervous fighter (without the madness), a spider witch reviving, and Justin (the Death Scythe voiced by Eric Vale) showing up and being badass. Also, some more madness with Stein, kind of.

Apparently, the spider witch, Arachnae (because of course) was the "mother of weapons", meaning she was experimenting with things and people and honestly, I'm kind of tired, so I don't really care about the explanation of things. Once you bring in shapeshifting people and magic-using witches, my brain goes "okay, wizard did it. got it". That's all I need to know. Maybe there are people who are really interested in the mechanics of all this, but really, I'm not in the mood to give a shit about anything beyond my characters learning stuff or being funny..

Soul seeing other weapons being able to fight on their own is pretty interesting. It gives him a new thing to strive for. So basically, anything that actually involves character emotions is interesting.

Also, new ending theme, "Batsou Yume Uta". This one isn't really my taste. Actually, my initial thought was "I'm never complaining about 'Style' ever again". I liked "Style", my only problem with it wasn't really "with it", it just didn't fit the tone most of the time (except once, and it was glorious). This one probably does fit more with the tone of the show, it just isn't the kind of music I would really like. Maybe it'll grow on me, maybe not. Whatever.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 25-26

"The Death Scythes Convene"

Lord Death calls together all of the Death Scythes he has appointed all across the world, but only three others showed up. Spirit is told he needs to be near Lord Death as much as possible, so another Death Scythe, Marie, is appointed as both Stein's partner and Stein's replacement as a teacher since he'll be the new school nurse (what with Medusa being gone and all that). Meanwhile, Crona is being held in custody (a dungeon in the school, basically) and Maka and the others are playing a game of basketball.

One of the things brought up in this episode (aside from possible romantic nonsense) is that Asura's wavelength may be able to increase the madness in certain people, including Dr. Stein (his madness being the 'wanting-to-dissect-people' thing). I'm actually kind of surprised that he's become a main character in his own right. Considering his introduction, one would've assumed he would just be the cool teacher character who sometimes does stuff, but now he has his own story arc and I'm just so happy.

Oh, and one of the Death Scythes is a priestly-looking guy named Justin, voiced by ERIC VALE! :D

At the end, Lord Death decides to enroll Crona in the DWMA. Sure to make a good episode......

"The Exciting and Embarrassing Trial Enrollment"

Aaaaaaand I was right.

Maka shows Crona (and Marie) around the academy. This had a few choice scenes, like one where Maka encourages Crona to write a poem. First, you have Soul constantly mocking the idea and getting promptly chopped for it. Then, Crona writes a poem, and everyone who reads it gets super depressed. This is just so much fun.

Also of note is the continuing madness of Dr. Stein. In one scene, his desire to dissect people to found out more is represented by an hallucination of Medusa, tempting him to go and dissect people (mainly Crona). I love this. I love this a lot.

Near the end of the episode, Crona and Maka are sent to the Czech Republic to investigate a rogue golem. And of course the episode ends in the middle of a battle. Such as life.

Another disc down.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episode 24

"The Battle of the Gods"

Okay, so the Kishin, originally a student of Lord Death named Asura, is awakened and starts to wreck shit up. And then Lord Death shows up like a badass and they duke it out and it's awesome.

Basically, this is the episode that wraps up the arc, and it does a good job. I'm considering it in my favorites.

Asura's design is in that sweet spot between cool/good-looking and creepy-as-hell. And now we have a new Big Bad to deal with. Oh what fun. Especially since Stein already axed (scythed?) Medusa (OR DOES HE?!)

Something that's sort of been bugging me (even if it is just something that shows up very briefly) is the use of Blair. In the first episode, Blair was the Grim Reaper to Maka and Soul's Alucard from Symphony of the Night. In that game, Alucard starts off with weapons and power that would kill all enemies in one hit, and then Death shows up and strips him of everything. That same sort of thing happened with Maka and Soul when they thought they had accomplished their goal by taking Blair's 'witch' soul and then found out they hadn't, throwing them back to square one. You'd think a character of that much importance would then get some more development, but apparently not. All she does, and I stress, ALL SHE DOES, is provide fan-service and comedy from other male characters reacting to her looks. It bugs the shit out of me because I do like her design (not that way, mostly) and would like to see her grow as a character, but it seems like she doesn't get to do much else. It's sorta like Flash Sentry from Equestria Girls, in that he's a character who is only in the story for one purpose (in his case, shallow love interest), except Flash had even less to do and had little to no personality and/or character (he also wasn't constantly used as fan-service, hence the "sorta"). I'd just like to see other sides of Blair's personality, okay?

And since I'm on the topic of characters I like, I think I'll close tonight's entry by stating that ERUKA FROG IS SO GODDAMN ADORABLE!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episode 23

The mood whiplash from "Style" is very strong with this one.

"Dead or Alive"

A lot of the episode is dedicated to Stein and his own personal demons while fighting Medusa. Well, demons as in his desire to dissect things. We even see a quick flashback of Stein and Spirit back when they were students! I really like Stein, so this is important. We get to see him let loose and go nuts and rip the fucking snake witch to shreds and it's GLORIOUS!

Meanwhile, Kid and Black Star catch up to Free and Eruka in the shrine of the Kishin. And after a very tense battle, they lose. The Kishin is awakened. We see him emerge, trying to fit into the bag made of his own skin, and then...

Do you now see why I keep harping on the ending theme?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 21-22

"May My Soul Reach You"



"The Seal Shrine"

So after Maka helps Crona out by befriending him, she and Soul leave Crona to deal with Ragnarok and go on ahead. Meanwhile, Death the Kid tries to get passed "Free" (The Man with the Magic Eye) while dealing with his symmetry problem. At the end, Free was actually casting a projection in order to keep Kid, and later Black Star, at bay, while he and Eruka Frog head to the Kishin so they can give it the black blood. And Eruka and Free can tell they are near when they start to see fucked up illusions.

The balance between the action and comedy was pretty well done in this one. The "joke" that was supposed to be told when you go dark (the one I was talking about when quoting Joss Whedon in an earlier blog post) that would've been used in the last episode is saved for the beginning of this episode, starting off this one on a lighter note, and leaving the last one with the desired mood without ruining it (that mood being FEEEEEEEEEELS). I'm also starting to realize how much I care about Eruka Frog and Free.


All around, good character moments for practically everybody. At one point, Medusa talks about how Crona is actually her child and talks about abandoning him when he's no longer of use. As you can imagine, this strikes a chord with Spirit (Death Scythe).

I'm deciding not to give away how exactly "May My Soul Reach You" works out, but it was fantastic and tear jerking. And the ending theme actually fits this time.

Honestly, "May My Soul Reach You" has become a favorite. It's gonna be pretty hard to top that.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 19-20 (or "HOW CAN YOU PLAY 'STYLE' AFTER ALL THAT SHIT?!")

"The Underground Battle Commences"

We get a little more explanation about the sleeping Kishin underneath the school, and then we cut to the main characters planning about how to go about stopping Medusa. Also, Death Scythe joins the party, because Dr. Stein needs his weapon. So the plan of attack is to have the kids get past Medusa and then deal with the other three opponents while Stein keeps Medusa busy. At the end, Maka decides to fight Crona and Ragnarok, leaving Black Star, Kid, and the others to go ahead.

The expository dialogue is a bit annoying at times. Like, I get that they may need to explain certain things, but some of the things they do explain seem like stuff better saved for conversations with friends who are WAAAAY more into something than you are. You can enjoy the thing, and they can enjoy it to the point of being able to explain everything about the internal logic of that world. Like a person who likes Star Wars asking a dedicated fan about how a lightsaber would work.

Still absolutely loving the conversations between Medusa and Stein.

"The Black Blood Resonance Battle"

Soul has been having a reoccurring dream involving a demon telling him about gaining more power. This was the result of the black blood that is now in his body. The method for him and Maka to become stronger would be to give into the madness, since that is clearly what Crona has done. By the end, they decide to go for it.

They also explain a bit of Crona's backstory.

This is getting really fun. I love it when they have characters give into the madness, 'cause then you can have the actors ham it up to funny and creepy degrees.

I'm still perplexed that "Style" is the ending theme. Like, all this shit going down, and then, pretty pop song. Doesn't seem to fit.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episode 17-18

My apologies for this not being as good or comprehensive. I'm writing this from the dorm room of the people I happen to be visiting.

"Legend of the Holy Sword 2"

It's an Excalibur episode.

Let me repeat that.

It's an EXCALIBUR episode.

Words cannot do it justice.

"The Eve Party Nightmare"

Shit is about to go down.

Lord Death holds an anniversary party for the DWMA. It is the only time of year he isn't in his office. The perfect trap. So Medusa and her crew trap everyone so that they may get the Kishin sleeping underneath the school. Dr. Stein and the rest of the main characters are the only ones able to stop them. Great set-up.

One of my favorite parts was Dr. Stein pretending to be drunk in order to get Medusa to dance with him and then they proceed to have a creepy conversation loaded with sexual tension. It's fantastic.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episode 16

"Fierce Battle Aboard the Ghost Ship"

For an episode with that title, only about a third of the episode really relates to it.

After Death the Kid and Crona/Ragnarok duke it out for a bit and Crona/Ragnarok fly off, the episode then proceeds to show us Maka being an adorable angry partner (because the term "girlfriend" is technically inaccurate), Medusa being conniving and cool and every moment she's on screen I fall in love with her as a villain, Dr. Stein being the badass smartass he is and oh my god half of my list of favorite characters is gonna be people from this show at this rate.

It's another one of those "the plot thickens" episodes and it has some choice moments for all of the characters involved, particularly Dr. Stein.

The character of Mira Nygus is introduced. It would be interesting to see more of her, and according to the Soul Eater Wiki, she does, I think.

The new ending theme "Style" is kind of interesting to me. It's like the first three episodes had an opener that got you PUMPED and then they had a closer that got you PUMPED again. Now, they have the same opening, but then switched out the closer with a calmer, more soft pop sort of sound that makes me wonder if it really fits the show's tone. It's kinda like when I watched the first episode of Free! and the rocking, pumped up opener starts and I'm like "for an anime that I sort of had in my mind as K-ON! but with swimming and guys, I'm not sure what I expected from the intro. Certainly not that, but I like it." And that's sort of how I feel about "Style": wasn't expecting that, but it's nice.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episode 14-15

"The Super Written Exam"

Huh. So they still have "Resonance" as the opener but changed the ending theme to "Style" by Kana Nishino. More calm and fluffy than "I Wanna Be" (understatement), but still it's a nice song, and I especially needed a nice, calming song after this episode.

Basically, it's a filler episode in which we see the characters study for a big exam. I like most of this episode because we get to see more of the characters as themselves when there's no imminent threat.

I said I liked "most" of this episode, because it ends with a telegraphed bullshit joke. The set-up is that Maka was looking through an old photo album that had pictures of her younger self with her dad. She explained that he used to read to her all the time, and Soul makes the observation that maybe she loved reading because of her dad. I remind you, this heartwarming display is a SET-UP TO A JOKE. Because then, Spirit asks Blair to buy Maka a book and give a letter he wrote as a celebration present for her high score on the exam. Blair spends the money on a piece of clothing for herself, feels guilty, uses her magic to shrink it, and then gives the present to Maka saying it was from her dad, not explaining anything else. So Maka thought that her dad bought her sexy lingerie, making her think he's even more creepy.

This may be out of line of me to say, but. FUCK. THAT. NOISE! FUCK IT! If it ended with that nice moment of Maka thinking over good memories of her father, that would've been fine, or maybe ending it with someone else. The only reason they brought up Spirit was because he was doing weird rituals to send her "good vibes" anyway. I don't care if this was in the manga, FUCK IT! IT IMPEDES THE PROGRESS OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! I don't find this funny! Not even in embarrassment towards Spirit! THIS JOKE CAN GO FUCK ITSELF!

Once again, I don't know if they want me to sympathize with Spirit or not. I'm actually writing this before I watch the next episode I'm so pissed. GODDAMMIT! Such a good, enjoyable episode, and it fucking fumbles at the end!


"The Soul Eating Black Dragon"


*24 minutes*

Oh my god this episode is fucking awesome!

Death the Kid, Liz, and Patty go to investigate a ghost ship called the Nidhogg in the Baltic Sea (this show is an excellent case for tangential learning, meaning that people will learn stuff 'cause they looked up something they mentioned on this show. I did.). It's mostly centered around the comedy of errors with the trio: Kid's obsessive compulsiveness, Patty's sugar-high craziness, and Liz's scaredy cat tendencies. Among this, they manage to work in the team origin story through quick flashbacks over quick exposition. A fascinating way of doing things. And it ends with Ragnarok and Crona making a show stopping appearance, leaving the team to prepare for battle.

Interestingly, Kid spends half the episode in a cloak with a mask, which makes him look like his father, Lord Death. Since Kid is a Grim Reaper, I wonder if the cloak is the uniform of a Reaper. Which makes me wonder if Lord Death is just always in uniform.

Very interesting and well done episode, especially since it didn't FUCK UP IN THE LAST THREE MINUTES!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episode 13

"The Man With the Magic Eye"

Medusa breaks an immortal convict out of witch prison and sends him after Soul and Maka. He's played by Travis Willingham, so the scenes with him talking to Medusa is kind of like Mori talking to Honey (from Ouran High School Host Club) and it makes me happy.

In the previous episode, Maka asked Dr. Stein for special lessons. In this episode, she and Soul get them in the form of a sort of therapy involving listing off each other's flaws in a room filled with emotion heightening candles. So throughout the episode, they're sort of at each other's throats.

I think I enjoy the concept more than I enjoy the execution, which might make me enjoy the episode anyway. It falls into that problem where you have to set up a problem but also advance other parts of the plot, leaving some things a little bit to be desired. But as it is, it does get the job done pretty well. It helps that Maka and Soul are likable.

Oh yeah, and I finally laughed at a moment involving Black Star! So there's improvement.

I'm not sure if this is the last episode with "Resonance" and "I Wanna Be" as the opening and closing themes. There are some anime I've watched where they change theme every 13 or so episodes, but I don't recall, say, Ouran having any other themes. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

Two discs down.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episode 12

I need to get this out of the way so that I can finish a rough draft of an English paper.

"Courage That Beats Out Fear"

This is the first episode I have not previously watched, so from here on out it's uncharted territory. Well, uncharted for me at least. I'm well aware that I jumped on this bandwagon long after everyone else did. Makes me a little sad, actually.

Anyway, this one focused a lot on Medusa and what she's planning, as well as Maka dealing with her own personal demons.

I liked this episode, mostly because I like Maka, I like Dr. Stein, and I like conversations between Maka and Dr. Stein. And Medusa is a pretty cool villain. It's also nice to see the entire gang hang out, even if it is for just a bit.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 10-11

"The Enchanted Sword Masamune"

Black Star and Tsubaki travel to a town in search for the Enchanted Sword Masamune, a weapon able to possess souls. The villagers become hostile when they realize that Black Star is part of the infamous Star Clan. When the duo finds shelter outside the village, Black Star explains his backstory, that the Star Clan were infamous assassins who weren't satisfied with being only rewarded with money and starting hunting human souls. Because of this, all of their souls were taken by Lord Death; all except Black Star's, leaving him as the last of the Star Clan.

And as it turns out, Tsubaki has her own baggage with the Masamune.

Always good to see Black Star be more reserved and/or serious.

"Tsubaki, the Camellia Blossom"

So Masamune is Tsubaki's older brother. Tsubaki goes inside the sword Masamune in order for them to duke it out for each other's souls.

As they explain, "Tsubaki" is the Japanese word for the Camellia flower, "a flower with no fragrance that when it falls is said to be beautiful and tragic" or something like that. To be honest, the type of dialogue that results from this comes off as awkward and stilted. I'm not really sure how this would've been received in the original Japanese, mostly because I'm not familiar with Japanese societal culture, and because I'm watching the English dub, but I don't think declaring a certain flower having a fragrance in the heat of a battle really fits all that well in terms of "cinematic storytelling". I get what they're doing, but it's still pretty awkward. It clashes a bit.

But then again, I really like Tsubaki, so getting her backstory is pretty fun.

Though it did bug me that the villagers took to beating the hell out of Black Star when he was basically doing nothing, but hey perspective I guess.

One thing about this show that doesn't necessarily bug me, but it might in the future: The Mood Whiplash. Sometimes, when there's a serious moment, they immediately throw in a ridiculous display of slapstick comedy. It doesn't make me laugh, because I'm usually in the middle of tearing up, so when it happens I just go back to neutral. I know that Joss Whedon once said “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”, but that really only works when you show enough of the serious moment to get a reaction, and when the 'joke' perfectly balances with the serious moment it follows. They don't here. The serious moments are too short and the 'jokes' are too exaggerated.

Like I said, it hasn't started really bothering me yet, but I'm afraid it might. Here's hoping it doesn't.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 8-9

"Medusa the Witch"




*breaks down crying*


"Legend of the Holy Sword"

So after getting a huge gash across his chest, and after getting his ass saved by Dr. Stein and Death Scythe, Soul is hospitalized under the care of Dr. Stein and then the school medic Dr. Medusa (ARE THESE PEOPLE FUCKING IDIOTS?!?!?!). Wanting to help in some way, Death Scythe asks Maka to spend some time with him and talk and stuff. Death Scythe trying to patch things up with his daughter is played for laughs a bit here, which makes me wonder of they want me to sympathize with him or not. Yeah, I get that his constant desire for attention from attractive females is a serious problem, but I also get that he deeply cares about his daughter. All I'm asking for some grey morality here, 'kay?

Meanwhile, Black Star and Death the Kid hear about the legendary sword Excalibur and go off to find it. As it turns out, the reason Excalibur is a sword of legend and can only be wielded by a true hero is because he is a pompous tool, and only a true hero would have the patience to deal with that.

It's a nice light-hearted episode, which was very much needed after AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 6-7

"The New Student"

This was my favorite episode back in the day. Basically the only one I watched repeatedly.

So Death the Kid, Liz, and Patty arrive at Weapon-Meister Academy and Black Star and Soul immediately challenge them to a fight. Maka, Tsubaki, and Dr. Stein watch. The episode is mostly centered on comedy and exposition. Well, exposition as in Maka and Dr. Stein discuss soul wavelengths and shit.

From what I recall, I had two revelations with this episode: this episode was fucking hilarious, and Maka is FUCKING ADORABLE!!!

I've started to come up with my own ideas for stuff. Either they're headcanons or fanfics, not sure yet. I do like the idea of Dr. Stein and Maka being...what does one call it? I think I like the idea of that teacher/student sort of relationship, or rather master and apprentice. Basically, during the fight, Dr. Stein tells Maka to use her ability to read the souls of others and give observations of what she sees. I like their interactions. Their connections to Death Scythe (or "Spirit") adds in a certain emotional element.

Oh yeah, and I love the ending theme "I Wanna Be" by Stance Punks. At one point I had that song on my iPod. Might need to add that again.

"Black-blooded Terror"

Maka and Soul go to Italy for a mission and then encounter a meister named Crona who has a weapon named Ragnarok inside him (Crona's gender has been a subject for debate, considering Crona's androgynous appearance. Something about the anime saying "he" and the creator saying "she" and the manga just repeatedly saying "Crona". Fascinating topic, really.)

So this episode gives us a glimpse at the, I'm assuming, main villain for this arc, who is a witch that had made Crona and Ragnarok the way they are. Also, she is voiced by Luci Christian. Quite a few Ouran cast members on this show, and from what I've heard, the same could be said about the original Japanese casting.

The episode ends on one helluva cliffhanger. The clever bastards made this the last episode on the first disc.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episode 5

Something that annoyed me in previous episodes but I forgot to bring up: the repetition. Do they need to do the "You! You're soul has turned evil! Prepare to die!" speech EVERY SINGLE TIME they fight someone? I guess I can understand the "42-42-364" thing, if it's like how someone would make up a sentence to remember the names of planets or something. And that did only happen twice, so far.

Also, if you're curious about whether I prefer "subbed or dubbed", it depends. There are some anime shows that aren't dubbed yet that I've watched (Free!, Attack on Titan, Strawberry Panic), there are some that I have watched dubbed (Ouran Highschool Host Club, Hetalia), and there are some that have been dubbed but I still watch subbed (K-ON!). Usually my barometer, at least for the really popular anime shows, is if the dub is at least tolerable or not awful, I'll watch it. If the dub is awful, I switch to the sub.

In the case with this show, the voice acting for the most part is fine.

"Shape of a Soul"

Fucking YES!!!

So the group goes up against Dr. Stein, a mad genius of a 'meister' who's hobbies include macabre experimentations. Obviously, the experimentation thing is more implied, since it doesn't pertain to further explanation of the mechanics of this world. For example, Stein is such a master meister, that he's able to match "soul wavelengths" with anyone, and is able to see the souls of others, as well as the soul wavelengths. And is also able to attack directly from his soul without a weapon.

Yeah, a lot of the show so far has been exposition.

So I really like Dr. Stein for being a kooky, badass dude, but another character I've taken a liking to is, oddly enough, Death Scythe. On the one hand, he's a flirty ladies man who cheated on his wife all the time, and Maka has every right to be resentful towards him for it. On the other hand, he's also depressed because he still loves his daughter even though she disowned him as a father. At some point in the episode, he actually complains that he DOESN'T have to pay alimony. It's like, he's depressed at the situation, but it was basically his fault in the first place, which would make him even more depressed. I'm enthusiastically fascinated by this. Vic Mignogna's performance really helps.

Good episode, and good night.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Soul Eatober - Episodes 3-4

And hear we go. Hopefully this time I can get this up before midnight.

"The Perfect Boy"

And we meet the final set of protagonists; the Thompson Twins, Liz and Patty, and son of Lord Death, Death the Kid (always glad to hear Todd Haberkorn's voice). Something I've forgotten to bring up is that a lot of the monsters our protagonists have been fighting are based off of historical/fictional figures, such as Jack the Ripper, Al Capone, Rasputin, and Lupin.

Incidentally, I'm not sure who Lupin is referring to, because when I google search "lupin" I get Remus Lupin from Harry Potter, Lupin the Third, the plant genus, and then a character from an old series of French crime novels written around the same time as Sherlock Holmes. I'm guessing that last one is what they're talking about.

So in this episode, we are shown the team's shortcomings (in this case, Kid's obsession with symmetry) and at some point we see a male character have an encounter with (half)naked women. In the first episode, it was Soul crashing in on Blair taking a bath. In the second episode, it was Black Star sneaking up on Tsubaki bathing (and then again at the end of the episode in the women's bath). And in this one, Kid leaves Liz and Patty alone in the pyramid of Anubis to check on something, then comes back to find Liz and Patty strung up by mummy bandages, with said bandage slightly sliding of their shorts and shirts. I think I can deduce what the target demographic for this show is.

Good introduction to a group of fun characters. And now that we have the character introductions out of the way...

"Engage the Witch Hunter"

Maka, Soul, Tsubaki, and Black Star are given a mission from Lord Death to capture a dead teacher who had become a zombie. If they don't succeed, they get expelled.

This one began with Blair waking up Soul while being teasing and seductive, and Maka walking in, getting mad, and beating the crap out of Soul. I could probably listen to a long lecture that explains the constant use of soft-core porn as comedy in Japanese animated shows such as these, because I find this trend very fascinating, and that in the way that one would expect me to. Like, is there some sor of sociological reason for this? I'd like to know.

Anyway, another episode where we're sometimes shown how badass these characters can be when they serious the fuck up. Particularly Black Star. The serious badass moments with him are very satisfying, especially because of how annoyed I am with him most of the time. "Big" is still not the best word to have used here. "No one will ever be as great a guy as I am!" See? "Great" is so much better than "big".

The episode ends with the group approaching the house of one Dr. Franken Stein, who I recall being one awesome character. But that episode is for tomorrow.

Goodnight, everyone.

Soul Eatober - Episodes 1-2

Since it is the beginning of Halloween season, I random came up with an idea: Watch all of Soul Eater throughout October.

This isn't my first time watching Soul Eater. I've come across in a high school anime club years ago, and I bought a box-set with the first 13 episodes. As I recall, I watched 12 out of the 13. And there's 51 episodes to get through. Don't worry, I planned it out.

So, first episode is "Resonance of the Soul", in which we get the general feel of this world through exposition, art design, character setup, and exposition about character setup.

So there are Meisters and Weapons. If a team of the aforementioned can collect the corrupted souls of 99 evil "kieshens" and 1 witch, the weapon can become a weapon of Lord Death.

Now that I think of it, even the awkward exposition in the show explains it better.

The main characters in this episode are Maka Albarn and Soul Eater. Upon collecting the 99th "kieshen" soul, they must obtain the soul of a witch. The episode shows their plight in trying to kill someone named Blair. Long story short, she wasn't the witch they were looking for. She wasn't even a witch, "just a cat with lots of magical power". (Blair Witch joke, haha) Honestly, whenever I see her, I just think "older fan-service Nepeta from Homestuck", which is a pretty good thing, since I like Nepeta anyway.

Soul and Maka are pretty likable, even if Soul's constant talking about being cool makes me want to dislike him on principle. Though I think his always wanting to be cool might be a written flaw. Also of note is Maka's backstory involving her cheating bastard of a father, who is Lord Death's personal weapon and voiced by Vic Mignogna. From I can remember, I actually liked the story going on between Maka and her father (Maka not being trusting for a damn good reason, and Death Scythe trying to prove to her that he loves her). It helps that Death Scythe is a likable jackass.

This show seems to have a visual style that I would describe as "Naruto by way of '90s Tim Burton". I like it. I also like Maka saying "Your soul is mine."

So the second episode is another prologue, so this show will focus on more than one groups. Fun.

"I Am The Star!"

I want to punch Black Star in the throat.

I get it. I get that's the point to his character, but it just doesn't seem like I will ever like him as much as they want me to.

Also, the dub keeps having him say "big" a lot. I'm wondering if in Japanese, the word for "big" can also translate into "great", like the German word "groß". "Great" would've been the better word to use here, because then he would just sound like an arrogant twit than just a complete idiot.

I could comment that his teaming with the ever-so patient Tsubaki is a good match, but they have Maka and Soul do that for me.

Though, by the end Black Star does show some promise.