I know that I already stated this somewhere else, but I didn’t originally like Soul Eater. In fact, I’ve secretly hated this series for years. When I originally watched it, I couldn’t find anything to like about it. This was a number of years ago, but I held this grudge until recently when I finally re-watched the show. I know the reasons why I didn’t like it in the first place. It’s a series that loves its quirkiness. I like Soul Eater’s quirkiness and other details behind it. From a surface scan, Soul Eater is not a deeply intellectual show, but there is a lot things going on under the surface.
For me, the best part of Soul Eater are the characters. There is a such a wide range of characters by the way of personalities and character designs that it’s just mind blowing. There is a lot of good side characters, but the main group of Maka, Death the Kid, Black Star, and their weapons Soul, Tsubaki, Liz, and Patty, are the heart and soul of the show. This is the hero group and they bounce off each other extremely well. I also want to make a special mention to Chrona because he/she is the best character in the entire show. The friendship between Maka and Chrona was what made the show for me. Especially in the second half when it felt like everything slowed down.
The plot of Soul Eater is nothing fancy or sophisticated. It’s a war plot with each side fighting over McGuffins or magical plot devices, but it’s execution if what makes Soul Eater what it is. The Halloween kind of setting, major plot points heavily hinted at earlier so they don’t feel like they are coming out of thin air, the relationships between each character, and the general sense of fun. These sound like basic things, but they are so important to making a solid anime. This is also where Soul Eater shines.
Soul Eater is excellent on the art and animation front as well. I mentioned how this series has the Halloween aesthetic already, but the series really lives in it. A moon with scary faces, witches, reapers, werewolves, gothic architecture, and some many more things. It’s just a feast for the eyes in a Nightmare before Christmas kind of way. Also, I think this show was when studio Bones was in its prime. I can easily compare the animation between this series and Mob Psycho 100 as almost the same level of quality. The main difference is that Soul Eater is 51 episodes and Mob Psycho is going to be twelve episodes. From a production stand point, this is huge.
I feel like I can easily describe Soul Eater as 2000’s shonen the anime in the same way that Flame of Recca is 1990’s the anime. It follows all the conventions of other series at its like three people hero groups, weapons from people, Black Star, Sid with head band, and other details that I can’t think at the moment. This may be a controversial statement, but I feel like it’s correct. In no way is this a bad thing because Soul Eater still stands by itself extremely well.
In the end, Soul Eater is a very enjoyable series. It’s not flawless or heavy duty philosophically, but it’s a lot of fun. Whether or not the watcher marathons straight through it or take your time with it like me, there is a lot of details going on that keep the watcher watching. At fifty-one episodes, it feels like a heavy task to watch this show, but it’s completely worth it. Every bit of it. Don’t be like me and miss out on the excitement for years because of one thing that holding you back. Even though the ending isn’t like the original manga, it works consistently with the tone established in the series and goes with the original manga material extremely well.