To fight madness, one must first embrace it.
Story/Art: Atsushi Ohkubo
Translation/Adaptation: Amy Forsyth
What They Say
On the night of DWMA’s anniversary celebration, every meister and weapon in Death City has gathered at the school for an evening of music and dancing. Little do they know that the witch Medusa is about the crash Shinigami-sama’s party. Trapping the meisters inside, the witch makes her way to the chamber where the First Kishin is imprisoned. Will the few meisters who’ve managed to escape be enough to prevent Medusa from rousing the madness that slumbers far below in the Kishin’s domain?
It’s a night for dancing and celebrating at the DWMA as this volume of Soul Eater begins. The students and teachers dress up and try to enjoy the party while Dr. Stein gets close to Medusa and engages in a little tête-à-tête. Just as both are about to make their moves on each other the witches spring their attack on the building. Most of the student body and teachers are trapped in the upper floors, while Stein and the core group of students manage to chase after the witches to the lower level.
Stein explains that the first kishin was sealed beneath the building by Shinigami-sama and that Medusa’s group is trying to revive it. Quickly organizing, the meisters take off to stop the witches from resurrecting the kishin. Stein remains behind to battle against Medusa, with the help of Maka’s father, who also escaped the upper floors just in time. Stein gets to show off his moves against Medusa in a battle of technique and wits.
The attack on the DWMA doesn’t just extend underground, but outside into the city as well. With the meisters all trapped inside the academy, the only hope for the city seems to lie with Blair. What follows is a epic confrontation of barely clad proportions, smack talk and the requisite boob grabbing. I guess this is to be expected from Soul Eater’s fanservice character.There are also two important flashbacks in this volume. Part of the past of the first Kishin is spoken of, showing a bit of the madness of the former meister Asura. The other flashback focuses on Chrona’s tragic childhood under the relentlessly cruel Medusa. Watching what Chrona was put through in training to become a kishin is heart wrenching.
Soul has been resisting the urge to use the powers of the black blood. It’s Maka who decides it’s the only way to fight against Chrona. Not many shounen series put their female leads on the same footing as the male, but Soul Eater, at least so far, treats Maka and Soul as equals. More than that, the emphasis on meisters and their weapons being in synch in purpose and thought is a constant theme for empowering the pairs.
Of course, accepting the black blood isn’t exactly a good idea, but watching Maka go crazy is great fun.
Soul Eater is a competent shounen manga that doesn’t stray far from the usual rhythm of the genre. The two major things which set it apart from it’s contemporaries is it’s cartoony halloween-themed art and the somewhat unique relationship of it’s two leads. The battle to protect the DWMA is just beginning with meisters and weapons already paired off with their antagonists for this confrontation. Everything is racing along at a brisk pace. It looks like Maka and Soul are already off to a shaky start and we have to wait till the next volume to see how they regain their control and stave off the madness threatening to consume them.