Anime Reviews

A tribute to Soul Eater 18

It’s been a long time since my last foray into Soul Eater. Too long, really. And it’s easy to forget just how fun it is, how exciting, how damn awesome.

I mean, there are certain things that will always stick out, launch it above other series, and these two episodes were no different. Consider the dark, gothic architecture of Shibusen. The landscape has a palpable character, the shade and colour emphasizing a constant, lively feeling. An emotional container for these bizarre eccentrics, this is a world I can feel a part of, along with these characters and their adventures, so colourful and thrilling.

I suppose I’m really just in awe of this show, as the bright sparks fly and the awkwardly dressed kids dance. In that moment. Memories. These episodes, in particular, just really capture that feeling for me, that transient, simple, joyful sense of being young and stupid. If just for a dozen or so minutes, it’s fun, and happy, and perfect.

Then Medusa attacks.

Sometimes it’s easy to take Soul Eater for granted because every episode is so consistently and stylishly animated. But like I said above, I’ve been away from this series for too long. When I finished these two episodes, I really had the urge to just race through the rest right there and then. But you see, I want to savour it, this feeling, this excitement. It’s wonderful, and rare.

9 replies on “A tribute to Soul Eater 18”

Funnily enough, this is how far I’ve got with this series too – with all the other stuff going on at the moment it fell by the wayside a bit (the Excalibur filler episode didn’t help). I’m actually detecting a pattern here: the two series that are stuck in Backlog Hell, namely Soul Eater and Legend of the Galactic Heroes, are the longest in my current watchlist. Maybe I’m finding the sheer length of them a bit daunting and decide to catch up on shorter series first instead…?
But yeah, #18 was a really great episode – the dynamics between the characters, arguably the driving force of the series, suddenly gives way to a serious plot thread that poses a lot of fundamental questions. Why does the Shinigami never leave his school? What is Medusa plotting? This sharp turnaround got my attention all over again so like you I’ll be tempted to get back into this one now.

The next few episodes really pick up the pace from here – seriously my perceptions of the series have completely changed! Sure, it’s still typical shonen action but it really kicks into the high gear around episode 20. This could slowly be evolving into my favourite anime of the season..

@Martin: To be honest, I’ve never even considered dropping Soul Eater. I think my backlogging of it is simply that I enjoy watching it so much that I really feel like I have to write about it after almost every single episode, and that adds an extra level of ‘pressure’ to every viewing. For me, it’s like a perfect storm of punk-esque production values and crazy, exciting action. It just doesn’t get much better.
Anyway, I’m well aware that the shonen action genre isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea, and I don’t expect anyone else to be enjoying this as much as me, but yeah, I’m glad you’re still watching it.
@Wildcard: In a way, I’d question your labelling of Soul Eater as “typical shonen action”. What with the levels of sarcasm and humor that tinge almost every frame, it’s never really been a series that strikes me as particularly typical of the genre. But still, I do kind of see what you mean, because though the ‘formula’ may be slightly different, the end result is still the same. Regardless, it’s good to read that it just keeps getting better and better.
I have to say, Soul Eater is my favourite anime of 2008. At this point, anyway. A few months left yet!

Like you, I’ve found this to be the most enjoyable (best) anime to air this year, and barring a late cock-up it’s likely to be one of my all-time choices. And I agree about savouring it – I’ve watched most episodes twice and it’s generally worth it just for the style.
And you’ve still got episode 21 to come. Which is sublime to a ridiculous degree. Really, worth rushing to. Just stunning.

yup best of 2008
too bad at some point i think it wont follow the manga
well anyway i will have something great to read after that

oh also i think you should try D.gray man again since episode 56 it has been really really great too bad it ended i am waiting for another season
i used to think of it as you at first

I’ve always thought Soul Eater to be kind of shallow in some ways, like the simple pictures never make me want to take this anime seriously so I’m sometimes reluctant to watch it (I’m only up to episode 19 lol). And yet, you make this show sound like it’s the best thing ever /watches episode 20 of Soul Eater

@coburn: Watching Soul Eater twice is a good option and I might well join you there. Also, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one going gaga over it. It’s just perfectly distilled shonen. One for the ages for sure.
@qwertypoiuy: To be honest, I’d totally forgotten that D.Gray-man even existed, so I’m surprised that it has already finished airing. How was the last episode? Anyway, I think I lost my interest because it had a lot of filler for such a new series, a shame really, because I really liked certain episodes.
@blissmo: It is the best thing ever. Well, the best thing this year, anyway! I can imagine you face the same issues with anime like One Piece, where the character design is a lot more ‘cartoony’. Personally, I prefer anime that’s weird and colorful.
@Christina: Certainly is!

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