Episode 1 Impressions: Soul Eater Not!

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Soul Eater was a big hit when its animated series hit in 2008. Based off the creative mind of the original mangaka, Soul Eater Not! aimed to be a spin-off series to cover a freshly awakened student as she joins the Death School to become a full fledge weapon.

e1souleaternot12Synopsis
Set in the world following the events of the original Soul Eater, Tsugumi Harudori has recently awakened to the ability to transform into a weapon. Sadly only her leg has taken form, but this puts into play her enrollment at the Death Academy for Weapons and Meisters.

After leaving her normal life, home, and school, she travels to Death City where her new life will begin. While traveling up the insanely long stairs to the school, she’s briefly greeted by Maka Albarn who gracefully runs up the impossible stairs. Finding strength in seeing her cool classmate, Tsugumi fights through the remaining stairs. Finding a drink and note at the top which was left behind by Maka, it reads as a welcome and for her to turn around to gaze as the death city behind her.

Upon entering the DWMA, Tsugumi runs into many of the prior Soul Eater cast, including Black Star and Tsubaki. After Black Star pummels a man, Tsugumi panics and runs into the hallways. There she begins to doubt her reasoning for coming to DWMA but realizes she has no choice. This in mind, she heads to the orientation room to meet her fellow freshmen.

Upon entering the orientation room she signs in and then falls into the chest of a classmate Meister named Meme Tatane. Meme is quite the forgetful one who struggles just to remember her name, let alone the placement of her hair band.  However this said, they seem to quickly hit it off.

Once the orientation begins, the instructor Sid Barret kicks it off by explaining Weapons and Meisters as well as informs the students that they will soon have to pick partners. However he also expresses the importance of picking one that they will form a soul sync with. To demonstrate the skills of a well-formed bond, Maka Albarn and Soul Eater are brought in to show off their skills and mastery they have formed. The students watch in awe as Soul and Maka orchestrate a dance-like performance of weapon and body.

e1souleaternot7After the demonstration ends, the orientation is ended and the students leave the room. However quickly two men begin pestering Meme and Tsugumi to be their partners. Tsugumi quickly rushes away, but then realizes that if she leaves she may break any chance to make friends (especially with Meme). She ties her hair up and marches back to Meme to take her away from an advancing Weapon. The men respond by getting aggressive with them but before they can act, another student steps in between them and calls them out for their brashness.

This student, a princess and Meister with an almost tsundere attitude, is named Anya Hepburn. While earlier she seemed to be seeking to find commoners to mingle with, she still fights off any attempt to communicate with anyone as she finds them to be unrefined. Though for Tsugumi’s sake, who she finds to be the only one that fits her desire for a commoner, she seems to want desperately to make an exception. As she stands between the men and Tsugumi, the two men pair up as Meister and Weapon. However the Weapon is still unable to transform his head, leaving him to be a blade with a head attached.

When they mock Anya for not having a suitable weapon, she responds by smacking the Meister across the face. As Tsugumi struggles to find the courage to transform fully, Sid from a distance gives her some informant words of envisioning herself as her weapon form. After some deep concentration, Tsugumi transforms into a halberd. However missing a sharp edge. Anya takes hold of Tsugumi and leaps into the offense, making quick work of their opponent.

Following this ordeal, Meme asks Tsugumi to be her Weapon. While Tsugumi wishes to jump at the idea, she remembers Anya and struggles with the idea of brushing her aside. However Anya says that she doesn’t want a commoner weapon. With this said, Tsugumi accepts Meme’s offer. Though Anya tugs at Tsugumi’s arm as if she deep down still wants to be her Meister. Thus beginning a Weapon’s struggle over two Meisters.

e1souleaternot4Thoughts
I really wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy this show. Being as it seems to scream fanservice and overly cutesy school setting useless fluff. On the contrary, I enjoyed it. The characters were okay, the cameos were awesome and not overdone, and the pacing was solid. Oddly enough I actually was quite into the idea of a two meister concept. Being as the original Soul Eater explored the idea of a meister with two weapons. I’m curious how it will pan out.

That said, I’m not too keen on the archetypes they are going for with Anya and Meme. They are tired archetypes and I’m afraid they will play off old jokes. So far, we’ve only explored the tsundere part in a borderline fashion. However taking her on her princess snobbishness, it’s not all bad.  That said, she was pretty awesome in the later fight.

I’ll definitely be keeping up on this show for now, I just hope it can live up to its original source and not become a tired trope/fanservice piece.

Episode 1: Enrolling at DWMA!

THUMBS UP! PROMISING!

THUMBS UP! PROMISING!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Great!

Goods:

  • Good characters
  • Good pacing
  • Well implemented cameos

Bads:

  • Tired archetypes
  • Still possible empty plot

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.

  • Neowned

    Yeah was nice to be thrown back into the world of soul eater, and nice to have the cameos right off the back which is a nice node to the previous series. When does this story take place in context of the completed Soul Eater sereies?

    *Funimation just need to fix the que screen, tired of it not showing on the designed page and having to hunt down the series you are following.

    • I haven’t seen a definite answer, but I know it’s not a prequel. There’s no way Maka and Soul would be able to synchronize the way they did if they hadn’t had the experiences they did during the main story.