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Cave Canem- Beware the Dog

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Filia Caniculae Watches the Animes! Soul Eater, Episode 1

Some of you may know that I tried, once upon a time, to review Anne McCaffrey's horrendous novel, Dragonsdawn. Unfortunately, I just couldn't bring myself to read any more. It was boring me to death. I really liked the idea of doing a longer series of reviews, though. I gave it some thought, and came up with a solution. I needed to look at something that I enjoyed, but that still had things for me to criticize. I couldn't think of anything quite right, though, until a few days ago when I started watching Soul Eater. There'll be spoilers ahead. If you want to watch the episode first (and you should!), you can check it out right here.

The Episode

The episode opens with some cryptic voiceover talking about souls or some crap. I kind of just sat through it, waiting for something good to happen. Next, a deep male voice talks about some university for fighting evil. One of the things I love about subtitles is that when it gets boring, I can just stop reading and listen to the Japanese. Anyway, the visuals are kind of cool. The school is this really elaborate thing covered with skulls and points. I wish my school looked that badass. There are cryptic shadowy figures of the characters we haven't met yet, and then Death shows up being all strange. Then the theme song started. I always skip that part.

So, the episode starts with some scythe-handed monster ripping open a woman. It mutters some generic evil crap and chases after another woman who was dumb enough to scream and give herself away. Then we meet two of the main characters, Soul Eater and Maka, who waste a bunch of time babbling a bunch of exposition to each other. They both know all this, so why are they taking so much time reciting it to each other? If the monster was smart, it would have run away by now. Anyway, Soul Eater turns into a badass scythe and Maka uses him to fight off the monster. The fight is a little lame; they're usually better in this show. They kill baddie and a giant glowing red sperm-thing floats out of his chest. Soul eats it. I'm not going to comment.

They exposit to each other further- apparently Soul needs to eat a witch soul and then he turns into a death scythe. It isn't really explained what that means. Maka's father is one, but he doesn't seem all that different from the other weapons, powers-wise. Whatever. Anyway, Maka calls Death by writing a Japanese pun on the window. She and Soul see him with his scythe, Maka's father, and we learn that Maka has daddy issues. More pointless exposition, blah blah blah. Death warns them that a weapon has to eat 99 evil red sperm souls and then a witch's soul in that order. He basically tells them that if they fuck up they have to start all over again. (Spoiler: They fuck up.)

There are pumpkins everywhere, and then suddenly there's cutesy singing as someone who appears to be made entirely out of legs and boobs takes a bubble bath. Oh, hello, there, Ms. Fanservice. I didn't see you come in. Turns out, she's the witch our heroes have been looking for; Soul bursts into her window, gets a face of boob, and then gets a nosebleed. Now, I'm not saying Soul is gay, but he eats magical sperm to get powerups and gets a nosebleed when he sees naked women. Pair that with his bromance with Black Star... Well, that's getting ahead of myself.

Yeah, so, there's some shenanigans involving the witch, and a few decent fight scenes, but it starts to get a little repetitive. Finally, though, they beat the witch, Soul eats the purple sperm soul, and he fails to turn into a super-scythe. Turns out, the witch was actually a cat. What a tweest! She's totally fine, by the way, because cats have a bunch of lives. She apparently moves in with Soul and Maka later, even though she's already got a hella sweet house made from a giant pumpkin. Anyway, Soul and Maka have to start all over again and collect 99 souls from the evil monsters (called Afreet). That's pretty much the end of the episode.

The Good Bits

This series gets a lot of credit for its really cool, unique kind of look. There's a nice combination of visuals, with things reminiscent of works like Naruto and Majora's Mask, among others. Maka and Soul also have an interesting dynamic, and, well, Soul turns into a scythe and eats souls. He's kind of a badass.

The Bad Bits

As I already mentioned, there's a hell of a lot of characters telling each other things that they already know. It's a lazy way to impart information to the viewers. Really, this whole episode (much like the next two) has a feel like it's just warming up to the actual story. This is, in fact, the case, but I feel like it's not a strong start to a series. It was a little slow, and not much happened.

Final Grade: 4/10

Click here to read part 2! 


  1. "But he eats magical sperm to get powerups"

    CAN'T UNSEE. CAN'T. UN. SEE.'s been a while since I saw the first few episodes of Soul Eater, so I can't really remember any glaring faults in the story or its storytelling style. Of course, the fact that I don't remember anything distinct should be a signal in its own right.

    On the other hand, I really like the art style, and it's got one of the few black characters in anime (that I can think of). Also, Excalibur.

    1. Yeah, it's not that I dislike the episode, it's just really disappointingly weak compared to some of the later ones when the story picks up a bit.

      Oh, yeah, and Excalibur. XD