Saturday, November 26, 2011

Manga Shorts: Soul Eater and Soul Eater Not!

I haven't actually been following either of these series for a few months now, I'll probably continue with Not! though when the volumes start being released in the US, but I still wanted to talk about these series anyway. I really did like Soul Eater for a while so I do want to talk about why I liked it and why I ended up dropping it.

Soul Eater by Atsushi Ohkubo
At the DWMA (Death Weapon Meister Academy, Shibusen in Japanese) students from all over the world gather to study fighting as they split off into pairs of Weapons (people who can literally transform into a weapon, such as a scythe or guns) and Meisters (the people who wield them and are able to sycronize their soul wavelengths to become even more effective fighters). Soul and Maka are the main weapon-meister pair whose goal is to collect 99 human souls (all from Death's list of bad people) and one witch soul (who are supposed to be always chaotic evil) to turn Soul into a deathscythe, a weapon used by Lord Death himself, although they've been having some trouble with that. Also in the background there are growing concerns about what some of the most powerful witches are doing which the adult characters are investigating which brings me to why I enjoyed this series so much, there were adult characters who did things and were very competent at doing them. Soul Eater actually has a large cast and in the early bits of the story (lasting the first 15 or 16 volumes) you had no trouble remembering this, they were all amazing! But, as the story went on, it feel into one of the classic shonen tropes of "because you're the main character(s) you are now the most powerful ones in the story, which doesn't make much sense and we're going to make everyone else suddenly much dumber/less powerful to highlight this even more." I just had to give up after Ohkubo built up several side characters, gave them extra panel time, and then they were useless in the end, it was just too frustrating to continue. For the moment I've stopped collecting the series but I think now I'll pick it back up and continue to about the end of the Rescue Kidd arc since thinking about this series reminds me that I really did like the early parts and maybe it will be that great again later on, I can hope so anyway.
 
 


Soul Eater Not! by Atsushi Ohkubo
 A lighthearted spin-off from the main Soul Eater story, Soul Eater Not! is set sometime before Soul Eater starts and follows weapon Tsugumi, a new student to the school, and her fellow classmates (primarily the meisters Anya and Meme) as they adjust to school life and explores the backstories of some of the characters from the main series such as Kim and Jaquelin (who are my favorites so yay). I honestly wasn't expecting to like this story much at all but it's so fun and fills in a lot of the setting. I haven't been keeping up with this since Yen Press licensed it and I probably won't buy a subscription to their magazine to read it every month* but I do plan on buying the volumes as they come out.


Got one more series to talk about next Wednesday and then November is over and Manga Shorts are done! Seems like November went by really fast this year and I enjoyed doing these posts so I'll probably do this again next year, who knows what I'll have found by then.


*for that I would rather have the JManga approach and just buy a cheaper subscription to read just that, although funny enough the reason I haven't tried out JManga is because I want a all-you-can-eat subscription like I have for Crunchyroll, boy am I picky.

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