Soul Eater might have gotten off to a slow start in Soul Eater Part One, but the action shoots forward in Soul Eater Part Two. The second installment of this popular supernatural shonen series includes episodes 14 - 26.
About Soul Eater the Anime
Soul Eater is based on the long-running manga created by Atsushi Okubo. The story centers around three meister/weapon student teams who attend the Death Weapon Meister Academy. There's hardworking Maka, a scythe-meister and her "stay cool" partner Soul. Their closest friends include Black Star the stage hog martial artist and his partner, the sweet and cooperative Tsubaki, as well as the symmetry-obsessed Death the Kid and his partners, the vain Liz Thompson and her childish sister Patty. These students and their classmates develop the skills and knowledge needed to slay monsters who are on the path to becoming a dreaded kishin. Supporting the main characters are Shinigami-sama (Lord Death), Maka's "pervert father" Spirit, stoic Sid the Zombie, the dissecting-obsessed Dr. Stein and the sexy kitty/witch Blair.
Soul Eater the animated series is directed by Takuya Igarashi (Japanese) and Zach Boulton (ADR). The original Japanese version is produced by Bones/Square Enix (Fullmetal Alchemist and Cowboy Bebop), while the ADR producers are FUNimation/Media Factory.
A Look at Soul Eater Part Two
Part 2 starts off on a light-hearted note. "The Super Written Exam" displays each main character's quirks hilariously as they study. "The Legend of the Holy Sword" introduces audiences to Excalibur's theme song (which will stay in viewer's heads for hours after hearing it), while "The Death Scythes Convene" introduces viewers to three Lord Death's eight Death Scythes.
The tone quickly sinks into the dark depths of madness as the story progresses. The witch Medusa's plan is revealed and viewers learn more about Crona, who was introduced in Soul Eater Part One. By episode 26, viewers have experienced the team's biggest fight so far and learn more about the kishin.
Soul Eater Part 2 DVD Extras
Like Soul Eater Part One, Part Two includes FUNimation trailers, textless versions of the intro and outro themes, the Late Night Show clips and audio commentary for one episode (Episode 23); provided by FUNimation voice actors Vic Mignogna (Spirit), Chuck Huber (Stein) and Luci Christian (Medusa). The audio commentary is fine to listen to in the background while doing something else. It's filled with just as much ego-stroking as the Episode 7 audio commentary in Soul Eater Part 1. Even the Late Night Show clips get stale after a while. However, the sticker of Black Star is a nice bonus.
Soul Eater Part Two DVD Information
Directors: Takuya Igarashi Writers: Akatsuki Yamatoya, Megumi Shimizu, Yoneki Tsumura Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC, Import Language: Japanese (with English subtitles), English Number of discs: 2 Studio: Funimation! Unidisc Release Date: March 30, 2010 Running Time: 320 minutes ASIN: B0030ZOYKY
The quirky animation style is on par with the discs from Soul Eater Part 1. Vivid colors jump out from the screen. The fight scenes are exciting to watch and well-drawn, especially on the second disk.
The music for Soul Eater, as the voice actors have commented on repeatedly, is downright catchy. The background music meshes harmoniously with the tone of the dialogue and fighting.
Then there are the characters. Viewers learn more about Maka and Soul as well as Black Star and Tsubaki as they try to work through their personal issues. Liz and Patty's past and early days with Death the Kid are also revealed. Their quirks, their motivations and support of each other engages viewers.
Voice dubbing? Viewers whose introduction to Soul Eater was in Japanese may still be cringing over FUNimation's English casting for Black Star, Death the Kid, Soul Eater and Stein. That is, if discussion forums, such as the one on My Anime List are any indication. It's just not the same. Soul needs more soul! Stein needs more creepiness. Black Star is too girly and Kid is just too....arrogant sounding.
The voice actors did a good job though. Those lines aren't the easiest thing to say, especially since they have to match lip flaps precisely. It isn't their fault if things got lost in translation from Japanese to English or if the director decided to take a different approach.
Dubbing aside, Soul Eater Part Two, like its predecessor, will draw viewers and buyers to it (and bring them back for a second, third or 30th viewing) for its characterization, music and animation. It's smart, it's funny and it handles the mood swings from funny to serious as fluidly as Soul transforms into a scythe.
Soul Eater Part Two gets 4/5.
Originally published on Suite101.com on May 31, 2010. Updated July 13, 2013.