So to put it simply, I don't normally give a manga series that looks like scrapped Tim Burton characters and more action than substance a rating this high. To put it specifically; Soul Eater is balls out entertaining as balls with balls on top. It's a prototypical school-fantasy series that tries to be Harry Potter and the Nightmare Before Christmas, tries cocaine, develops a split personality and decides that it's both. And I'm not trying to fanboy but Soul Eater was the perfect show to start out with as it got me into the medium of anime and manga in the first place. The characters, action, and costumes try to be as over the top and flashy as possible just for the hell of it and that's really what dragged me into it. The show has three main teams of characters; two pairs and one threesome, a bunch of villains, and a ton of supporting characters, that each have their own abilities and personalities. The author takes characters from anywhere and everywhere in regards to halloween stereotypes; Death, witches, Mary Shelley wannabes and after skepticism, I found that making this halloween world actually works. The first three episodes introduce the main teams and setting, and then treats the building blocks of the show like clay and does whatever it wants, adding new characters, villains, settings, trials, tribulations, plot elements and powers, and the plot still manages to chug along at a strangely consistent pace. The dialogue throughout is pretty heartfelt but many times painfully corny in addition to the fact that there's a lot of fun humor in the series(or rather any time Excalibur is around, even if the wonderful stories about him were in the manga not much is told about him). Despite there being a huge cast of characters, some of the main characters and antagonists don'teven interact with each other and could care less about them because they were just there to fight each other, leaving some of the pivotal parts of the series as action fodder that only looks cool but isn't relevant. Plus if you're looking for a deep manga don't read Soul Eater, it's able to play with the emotions but it's fairly shallow and not thought provoking whatsoever. I wanted to see it as a series that comments on being free from death makes one mad with power but even that shows how far I'm stretching for at least some substance to the comic. The characters are good if not very deep, but the plot is a little wonky. The setting is most of all what confused me. There's a world that features London but also has bizarre areas like the DWMA, and I wanted to know more about why they have the students do all this in the first place. Why are they learning? I'll never know. I also have seen the show twice, and what I noticed most about the manga was they toned down the so called offensive content in the show. The manga boasts way more panty shots, blood flying from orifices and aerial expletives, which I don'tunderstand why the cut it out of the show. However when I want to sit down and read, I want to think critically whereas on TV I can just be spoonfed, so overall given the carefree artistic aspect of Soul Eater, it works better as an anime.
eBook Soul Eater, Vol. 18 (Soul Eater, #18)