2010 TV Series (episodes 1-13). Director: Takuya Igarashi. 315 minutes. DVD, bilingual, $59.98. Distributor: FUNimation.
At the Grim Reaper’s Death Weapon Meister Academy, students learn the fine art of combating the supernatural forces of evil. And much like the Jedi, these otherworldly warriors travel in pairs: one meister, one weapon. That’s right, one member of this team actually transforms into a deadly tool, and together they’re an unstoppable force. Maka is one of the Academy’s best. Along with Soul, who turns into a slashing scythe, they have one goal in mind: extract the evil souls of ninety-nine humans and one witch in order to turn Soul into a Death Scythe, the ultimate weapon. And with witches, werewolves, and zombies a foot, battles are waiting! Oh, and let’s not forget, this is a school. Hijinks are also lurking behind every book.
Pure weapon-wielding fun! Soul Eater does what a lot of recent anime should do: it doesn’t take itself too seriously. In the universe of Soul Eater, where chaos-desiring witches are the archenemies of meisters and their weapons, this supernatural epic is wonderfully fraught with amicable characters that are out for a joke as much as a kill.
Hmm, let’s see. Maka is the type A personality schoolgirl (complete with skirt) intent on perfecting her skill. Black Star is the erroneously self-proclaimed master assassin, who without Tsubaki, his weapon, would always bite off more than can he chew. Death the Kid, Death’s offspring, is a prima donna accompanied by two hot sisters, his weapons. And Soul is just that cool dude, the wingman you’ve always wanted. And it doesn’t hurt that a sexy kitten, whose human form is usually somewhat naked, is after him for a joint bath.
Under those conditions, it’s good to be a soul eater!
Seriously, these kids are either having comically awkward teenage moments or engaging in artful heroic combat. And since these shape-shifting weapons are scythes, guns, swords, and even modified kusarigama, the action is spot on!
Soul Eater is about two things: cutting down evil souls and teenage hormone-induced shenanigans. Like I said, this anime knows exactly what it is: fun! The result: a series that takes the guilt out of your guilty pleasure.