Tag Archives: Soul Eater

Book Review: Soul Eater, Vol 9 by Atshushi Ohkubo

Soul Eater, Vol 9   

Author: Atsushi Ohkubo

Publisher: Yen Press

American release date: April 8, 2014

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/204 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer:  Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Death the Kid has gone to the DWMA library, determined to learn all he can about the mysterious Eibon, who is supposedly the same as the Shinigami. Wth? He tells the librarian he needs to go through the books in the level 4 stacks, but she tells him he isn’t allowed access, as he’s just a one-star meister. But when he shows her his badge, and she realizes he’s the Shinigami’s son, suddenly she’s all kinds of cooperative and offers to fetch the books he wants herself. Unfortunately, the one book on Eibon the library owns was checked out two months previously and never returned. The only signature is a single M. Kid has a bad feeling he knows who that is.

Crona is in a touch position. He is beginning to make friends for the first time and has been accepted by Maka and her friends, only to be approached by his crazy mother, Medusa, who has an errand for him. How can he please her without betraying his friends? Does he even have the strength to stand up to her, even after the way she has treated him? Ragnarok is no help, constantly reminding Crona that if he doesn’t do as Medusa says, she will get very angry with him. Crona just can’t handle anger…

While searching DWMA for the secret vault, Crona runs into Marie, and is fearful she will be suspicious of his being where he should not be. Luckily, she is clueless and thinks he is lost, just like her, and offers to help him find his way. The blind leading the blind! Will her assistance be worse than her thinking he’s up to something?

Crona receives his next assignment, when he fails to find the vault. He has to bug Dr. Stein’s lab!

The worst meister ever at DWMA is Hero, a guy the other students pick on and use for menial tasks. But Hero has a goal—to claim the Holy Sword as his weapon. Then no one will treat him like that. So what if it comes with some strange requirements he has to meet. The fight is on! How long will DWMA remain under Hero’s control?

Shinigami informs Stein that Arachnophobia knows the whereabouts of another Demon Tool known as Brew. Stein must begin more intensive duel instructions with his students immediately! Teams who are unable to synchronize their wavelengths will be cut from Stein’s class by the end of the day! Maka, Black Star, and Kid are failing spectacularly, and things aren’t looking good for them. Maka wants Black Star off the team, but Stein refuses. Can they get their act together in time or will they end up being cut?

Brew is located on an island just north of Alaska, Lost Island. But there’s a catch. Once the witches had a demon tool development facility on the island, but it was accidentally destroyed. Because of that a magnetic field has arisen, keeping people from approaching the island. Anyone who lingers inside the magnetic field risk permanent damage to their body. Twenty minutes is the limit. The timer has begun, the race is on!

This volume of Soul Eater introduces us to a couple of students we haven’t met before, including Hero, Pot Meister Kilik Rung, Lamp Meister Kim Diehl, and Spear Meister Ox Ford. Before this, we seldom saw other students, so it’s good to have that chance now.

Death the Kid is one of my favorite characters. Despite his quirks, he’s a really good Shinigami, and has a strong sense of justice. I know he will research Eibon until he finds an answer, no matter where the information leads him.  Stein has come a long way since we first met him. I can see what a good instructor he is. He won’t let the students get hurt if he can help it. Interesting that he and Marie are living together now. I hadn’t seen him as the domestic type. You have to feel sorry for Crona, caught between a rock and a hard place—the mother he loves, for some unknown reason, and the new friends he’s made at DWMA. I suspect that when the time comes, he will do the right thing.

Justin is on top of his game in this volume, and shows he is more than just that annoying weapon. Watching Maka, Black Star and Kid attempt to resonate together, and failing at it, is just a reminder that despite what kind of students they are, they are still teenagers who have a lot to learn. But they will, I’m sure.

Another appearance by Mifune, whom I truly believe will end up on the right side in the end, and DWMA will learn a lesson in tolerance as well.

A special mysterious guest appearance at the end of the book sets us up for the next one! Not sure when I’ll be able to read that, since the libraries are closed right now because of COVID-19, but will get to it as soon as I can. Looking forward to it!

 

Book Review: Soul Eater, Vol 8 by Atsushi Ohkubo

Soul Eater, Vol 8       

Author: Atsushi Ohkubo

Publisher: Yen Press

American release date: April 8, 2014

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/188 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

It’s Black Star against the bodyguard Mifune! Mifune doesn’t have much choice in the matter, as the little witch Angela is being held hostage. Black Star has come to help Sid, who is to destroy the demon tool Mifune admires Black Star’s Uncanny sword, but is Tsubaki any match for Mifune’s Infinite One-sword style? When Tsibaki tries to persuade Mifune to become a teacher at DWMA, where he can work with children, he tells her the story of how he and Angela met.

Back at DWMA, Maka is still recovering in the infirmary, and gets annoyed when Soul and Black Star begin whispering together in front of her and won’t explain what’s going on.

Something evil is on the loose in Death City, as evidenced by the snake which has wriggled its way into a little girl, out for a walk with her mommy. When Sid returns with the blueprints for the demon tool, he’s surprised that Shinigami-sama tells him to seal it inside the Secret Vault for now, rather than destroy it. What can Shinigami-sama want with such a thing? Isn’t it dangerous to keep it intact? What if someone managed to get their hands on it?

Back at DWMA, Maka has returned to class. Tsubaki is concerned about Black Star. He keeps challenging other people and getting into fights. But why? Dr. Stein is trying to teach the students about cooperation and teamwork, but that isn’t working out so well. Meanwhile, at Arachnophobia headquarters, an unexpected player shows up in the form of Arachne’s younger sister, Medusa!

Death the Kid is throwing a party, and Tsubaki has made all the food, although Liz keeps taking credit for having done it, in order to impress a guy. But Patty and Soul put the kibosh on that plan pretty effectively! Kid unexpectedly tells Patty and Liz to come with him to the Sahara, by orders of the Shinigami. Their mission is to stop the Runaway Express. Shinigami suspects that it’s being powered by a Demon Tool, so they must overtake it and capture the tool! However, that means going toe to toe with with the Fisher King!

Crona is thrilled to be making friends at DWMA, even if Ragnarok can be rather surly to them at the best of times. But things are looking up for him… until a certain someone from his past shows up, someone he has always had trouble saying no to. Will Medusa use the child she was so quick to toss out? And for what purpose?

Two of my favorite things about this action-packed volume of Soul Eater are seeing Mifune again and seeing Death the Kid in action again. I like Mifune, and I hope that ultimately they’ll be able to persuade him to become a teacher at DWMA. With his love of children, I think he would be a natural. But for that to happen, there has to be a place there for Angela too. Which means some attitude readjustment regarding witches. As for Death, he’s one of my favorite characters, quirks and all. Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how very powerful he is, and watching him in action only serves to reinforce that.

My only lament is there is not much of Maka and Soul, but now that Maka is feeling better, I hope to see more of them in future volumes. Also, not much of Spirit, Maka’s father. I can’t help but feel he is actually growing and maturing. He does love his daughter very much (plus I think he’s cute lol).

The big mystery here concerns Shinigami and his growing collection of demon tools. Does he have ulterior motives for not destroying them? I don’t believe he’s doing it for bad reasons, maybe misguided ones? Hard to say at this point, too little information.

Another great volume, looking forward to more of the same!

Book Review: Soul Eater, Vol 7 by Atshushi Ohkubo

Soul Eater, Vol 7   

Author: Atsushi Ohkubo

Publisher: Yen Press

American release date: November 11, 2014

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/208 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

Now that the crazy Kishin is on the loose, Shinigami-sama is summoning the strongest weapons he can from around the world to locate and contain him. Justin Law, from Western Europe, is a very pious fellow who prays a lot. Azusa is in charge of East Asia and Marie Mjolnir is in charge of Oceania. Marie has visions of being married but never seems to find the right guy. Interestingly, her first love was Dr. Stein! Meanwhile Stein approaches a very dispirited Death Scythe, who is busy polishing candlesticks, and learns he is fearful that he is about to be replaced and sent away and will never be able to see Maka again.  They go to a meeting with Shinigami-sama, along with Azusa and Marie, only to find an oblivious Justin already there. Stein informs the others about the madness wavelength that the Kishin emits, which “prods and incites the madness lying deep within the human soul.” And is quite contagious. Besides this, there are other dangers possible with this wavelength, such as the awakening of dormant witches or the rise of the lost continent of Atlantis, and much more. Shinigami-same reassigns Marie to work with Stein and puts Azusa in charge of Oceania, while holding Justin in reserve for now.

A few of the DWMA students decide to play a little basketball—Kid, Patty and Black Star vs Soul, a reluctant Maka, and Tsubaki—while Stein shows Marie around and she whines about finding a husband. Shinigami-sama wants to talk to Spirit about Stein and asks him to look out for Stein, concerned that the madness wavelength might be affecting him. Afterward, he is pleasantly surprised by Maka’s request to spend time with him, unaware that is the price she has to pay for losing the basketball game.

Shinigami-same decides to admit Crona on a trial enrollment at DWMA. A concerned Sid asks Maka if maybe she can get through to Crona, since Sid hasn’t been able to. Maka reaches out to Crona and introduces him to Marie. Crona still has Ragnarok and he’s still obnoxious but he’s much less powerful and smaller than he was before. Now he’s more annoying than dangerous. A report is received from the Czech Republic about a golem wreaking havoc, so Sid sends Maka and Crona to check it out. Shinigami-sama is concerned as golems are meant to protect, not attack, so he wants Stein’s opinion on what is going on. Stein is alarmed at what he discovers but Shinigami-sama assures him that he has sent a strong ally to aid Maka and Crona.

Things are definitely picking up with Soul Eater, with the arrival of the Death Weapons and dealing with the effects of the Kishin’s escape. Of the three new arrivals, Azusa is the least annoying. Marie whines far too much about wanting to get married, and Justin is in his own little world, with his earbuds and his holier-than-thou attitude. I haven’t made up my mind about Crona, but maybe my feelings toward him are really directed toward Ragnarok, who is an utter creep. We meet another villain in this volume, who seems as though she will be a formidable foe, and we also see the return of an interesting character we’ve met before. Maka’s day with dad was great, and also not entirely unexpected in what she has to deal with. I like Spirit, despite his shortcomings. I know he means well and he loves his daughter, but he can be such a horn dog at times and so immature! The story of Maka and Crona’s trip to the Czech Republic is very interesting, as is the golem itself. All in all, a good volume, looking forward to the next one!

 

 

Book Review: Soul Eater, Vol 6 by Atsushi Ohkubo

Soul Eater, Vol 6      Soul Eater, Vol 6 cover

Author: Atsushi Ohkubo

Publisher: Yen Press

American release date: January 16, 2018

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

The race is on! Can the students of DWMA prevent the First Kishin from being resurrected? If not, what will the consequences be?

As Death the Kid hurries to join forces with Black Star and Tsubaki, he finds himself unable to proceed due to the asymmetry of the hallway he must pass through. Can Patty and Liz put him back on the right track and get him to move forward? Meanwhile, fearful of being caught up with, Free commandeers Tadpole Jackson from Eruka. Maka is facing down Crona. In order to defeat her, Maka allows herself to slip into madness. Will this work? And will she be able to come back from it?

Dr. Stein is battling Medusa, while still monitoring what is happening ahead of them. As Eruka and Free draw close to the First Kishin, they begin to fall under the spell of his madness, which manifests itself in various illusions.

This is one of the most action-packed, exciting volumes of Soul Eater so far, and I loved it. Everyone is racing toward the First Kishin. Some want to resurrect him, while the others wish to prevent that. Lives will be changed, sacrifices made, but who will come out on top? I consider Maka, if anyone, to be the star of this volume, but everybody plays their parts well, even Death Scythe.

As usual, there is a certain amount of humor to be found, even in the face of what might turn into tragedy. Look for Blair the Witch, who has a small part to play herself. Looking forward to the next volume!

 

 

Book Review: Soul Eater, Vol 5 by Atsushi Ohkubo

Soul Eater, Vol 5

Author: Atsushi Ohkubo

Publisher: Yen Press

American release date: November 4, 2014

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

DWMA is having a celebration! It’s their much-anticipated anniversary and should be a blast! Unless a certain someone gets her way, aka Medusa the Witch, who has plans of her own.

Maka is concerned about Soul. He’s hanging out by himself, but denies there’s anything wrong. She tries to get him to dance with her, thinking it will help with their Soul Resonance, but ends up with her father as a partner instead, to her dismay. Meanwhile, Crona and Ragnarok have entered Death City and are waiting for Medusa to give them the signal.

A rather drunken Dr. Stein drags Medusa out onto the dance floor, to her embarrassment, but it seems he has his own agenda, and confronts Medusa with the knowledge that she’s a witch. He connects her presence at the school with the presence of a kishin beneath the Academy, and she admits that he is right. Sid returns, having survived the explosion at Medusa’s lab, and warns everyone to get out. But it’s too late, the trap is sprung, the school sealed. No one can get out! Free warns Eruka the seal will only  hold for about an hour, as she sends in the Mizune.

Stein tells them the only way to stop the intruders is by going underground and asks if anyone wishes to go with him. Maka, Soul, Black Star, Tsubaki, Kid and the sisters all volunteer. Meanwhile, Shinigami-same tells those who remain the story of the Kishin beneath DWMA.

Blair the Witch, in cat form, is strolling through Death City, wishing she could be at the DWMA celebration, which apparently is only for students, when she runs across the guy from the fish store who gives her free fish and he isn’t looking very good. Just then the mizune attack!

Stein instructs all the weapons to remain in weapon form and not take human form. He realizes the enemy has split up, lying in wait for them. Taking charge, he tells them he will take on Medusa as Make, Black Star, and Kid break through Medusa’s wall. Kid, being fastest, is to go after the ones who are after the Kishin. Maka is to pass Medusa and the Demon Sword and catch up to Kid. Black Star will hold back the Demon Sword so Maka and Kid get past, driving his soul wavelength into the enemy.

However, Maka has her own ideas of how things will go down. She is determined to get back at the Demon Sword for what he did to Soul!

This is one of the more action-packed volumes of this series, as Stein and his students work together to prevent Medusa and her minions from getting to and reviving the Kishin beneath the Academy. As always, the story is interspersed with the author’s humor. I love the scene with Stein and Medusa as they dance, and the one with Maka and Soul is very sweet. We learn about Crona and his background (his mother is a real witch!) and one has to feel sorry for him. (I keep forgetting that Crona is male, since he looks female to me). I guess we’ll find out if this treatment has destroyed his humanity or if there is a good person lurking underneath.

I liked the scenes with Stein and Death Scythe. Even though Death Scythe tends to be on the sleazy side, I can tell he really loves his daughter. Be aware that there are scenes involving Blair Witch that some might describe as ecchi. But I’ve seen worse in Food Wars lol

There is also another consideration here, that of Soul having the Black Blood in him. How will that work out, and will it become a problem? More to come, can’t wait to read it!

 

 

 

Book Review: Soul Eater, Vol 4 by Atsushi Ohkubo

Soul Eater, Vol 4       

Author: Atsushi Ohkubo

Publisher: Yen Press

American release date: April 15, 2014

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/208 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Medusa uses Eruka to free a prisoner from the witch jail. Surrounded by prison guards, the prisoner shows why he is no ordinary man. Back at DWMA, Maka tells Soul, to his dismay, that she has requested special tutoring from Dr. Stein. Stein warns them that if they fail, they may never be able to match soul wavelengths again. But Maka decides to take the risk, wanting to get stronger so she will never put Soul into danger again. When Stein tells them what they need to do, it sounds simple in theory, but doesn’t exactly work out that way.

Make, Soul, Black Star, and Tsubaki are in London! While attempting to cross a bridge, they encounter the escaped prisoner, who’s now working for Medusa. They realize he is on Shinigami’s list, so think their assignment is off to a good start. But this man isn’t what he seems, and he is stronger than they think! Medusa watches from the sideline, waiting to see how Soul’s black blood will react to the situation.

Stein warns his students that it is almost time for his “ultimate written exam”, which is required for meisters and weapons alike. Some students are more excited than others, and Maka is determined to rise to the top of her class. Unknown to her, her father is sending her “good luck” vibes. Maka finds getting Soul to study is difficult at best, while Black Star’s methods leave something to be desired. As far as Death the Kid is concerned, he has no need to study because he’s a Shinigami.

Death the Kid and his father are in a rowboat being rowed by the Thompson Sisters investigating the sighting of a mysterious black dragon that has apparently bitten off part of the Baltic coast!  They come upon an old ratty ship, the ghost ship Nidhogg, and the pursuit is on! Presuming this is the terrifying Black Dragon, Kid and the girls board the ship ready to do battle. In the process, they learn disturbing news concerning the DWMA.

Maka confides in Dr. Medusa her concerns regarding the black blood she coughed up, but Medusa assures her all is well and offers her some medicine. Stein may be on to her. Suspicious, he sends Sid to investigate her, which doesn’t end well. Kid tries to speak to his father of his concerns, but that doesn’t go well either.

I love the humor in Soul Eater, and I love the characters Atsushi Ohkubo has created. I even think Maka’s dad is cute, although very flaky and unreliable. Soul and Black Star are goofy and immature, but they are both good boys underneath it all. Maka and Tsubaki provide the stability in their lives. I like Death the Kid too, even if he has issues of his own. I liked the adventure with Kid and the Thompson sisters on the ship. I think it’s the first time, I haven’t seen him leave the scene to check on a supposed asymmetry.

The arc with Medusa continues, Now that they seem to be on to her, hopefully they can take measures to counter everything she’s done or plans to do. We see Crona and Ragnarok again. Hopefully we’ll see the end of all of them soon, including this new guy, Free. I’m sure there will be other villains, of course.

Another good volume of Soul Eater, looking forward to the next one!

Book Review: Soul Eater, Volume 3 by Atsushi Ohkubo

Soul Eater, Vol 3     

Author: Atsushi Ohkubo

Publisher: Yen Press

American release date: March 3, 2015

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Soul is hospitalized, following the fight with Ragnarok, unaware that some of the creature’s black blood has mixed in with his. What they are all unaware of is that the witch Medusa has become a doctor at the hospital! That can’t be good! A depressed Maka blames herself for Soul being hurt, but as she leaves his hospital room, she finds her father waiting for her. She goes up to the roof with him to watch the sunset.

Black Star balks at the remedial lesson he’s been assigned by Sid—he’s charged with cleaning and straightening up the library. Not sure where to begin, he runs across the library’s collection of manga, to his delight. When he expresses his joy a little too loudly, he draws the ire of Death the Kid, who is also there. Not accidentally, as Black Star assumes, but very much on purpose. Death tells him he’s looking for a book about a legendary blade, call the “holy sword” known as Excalibur. Dr. Stein weighs in and tells them even he could not draw Excalibur. So naturally Black Star and Death the Kid want to twith hiry their hand at it! Although, perhaps this isn’t quite the adventure they were looking for.

Tsubaki accepts an assignment to deal with the Uncanny Sword Masamune, even though Shinigami-sama warns her it will be a hard fight. But she feels compelled to do it, mostly because Masamune is her older brother! She and Black Star head to the village she came from. Black Star is his usual loud self. But when a villager notices his tattoo and recognizes it for what it is, Black Star’s story begins to come out. When they find Masamune, Black Star battles him, using Tsubaki. But the fight is ultimately Tsubaki’s, and she’ll do what she must, even if that includes getting into her brother’s head.  Black Star sets up a vigil beside Tsubaki’s body and vows to wait for her as long as it takes.

In the hospital, Soul confides to Medusa about his strange dream, which has a disturbingly Twin peaks vibe and ends in the same disturbing way—with him coming out of Maka’s stomach! Medusa tells him not to worry about it. On his release, Maka throws a party for him at their apartment, and Blair gives Make and Death the Kid quite a shock. Suddenly, Maka is startled at the realization that there is a presence in Death City that should not be there.

I especially enjoyed seeing more of Tsubaki in this volume of Soul Eater. She doesn’t usually get as much attention as Black Star, probably because he’s a hog for the spotlight and she is much quieter. Her interaction with her brother is touching. I also liked watching Black Star and Death the Kid in their quest to draw Excalibur from the stone. The cover, featuring Death the Kid and the Thompson sisters, is great. As usual, I love the artwork. I liked seeing a more tender, Dad side of Maka’s father. Too bad I don’t think it’ll last. He always manages to do something wrong sooner or later.

Another great volume, looking forward to more of the same!