Archive for May 30th, 2008

Soul Eater: Blood Is An Excellent Plot Thickener

Tears work, too, kind of, but they dry too fast, and leave a salty residue. Not that crying is a bad thing, mind you.

I’ve been cryptically silent on Soul Eater for a while, and it’s not because I wasn’t enjoying it–because I was–but I just didn’t quite feel like there was much to write about in the previous episodes other than “Hey, Death the Kid is pretty funny and awesome!” and “Black Star is an idiot!” and “Stein is wicked cool!”, which are all true statements, but not quite what I had in mind. I watched 8 with the intent of actually writing something on it, and it seems to have rewarded that effort.

First, there’s now (finally) some kind of aim to the series, other than “collect a bunch of souls and power up”. The series seemed to lack direction before (which isn’t really something many shounen series don’t do; I’ve always had problems getting into these kinds of series, even though once I do get into them I enjoy them immensely), but now we have a clear antagonist in the form of Medusa (bonus points for placing her at Shibusen as a nurse and having her console Maka before giving Mandatory Evil Grin, I didn’t quite expect that) and what will probably be an important twist in the plot: the contamination/poisoning of Soul with the blood of the demon sword. I’m not entirely sure where this will take us from here on out, and I’m extremely hesitant to try and create a fictional rest-of-the-series that won’t actually jibe well with what the rest of the series actually is. I’m farily confident that BONES has a clever plan for Soul Eater, given that they’re giving it 10th Anniversary series status; it seems fairly unlikely that they’d pick a series for a 10th Anniversary and then spend 51 episodes going nowhere, so I know they’ve got something up their sleeve. I’m not expecting a clone of Fullmetal Alchemist (their other 51 episode series), especially considering that Soul Eater isn’t directed by Mizushima Seiji, but I see tantalizing hints in this episode (especially the latter half) that could turn Soul Eater into a quite impressive series in its own right. I have no idea what the manga is like, and I’m intentionally not reading it, as I don’t think that reading it would be a good indicator for where the series is going from here on out, as I’m fairly certain that the anime will diverge from the manga at some point or another.

Urg.

Also interesting is that I’m pretty sure Maka’s VA has improved since the first episode, or else I’ve just grown accustomed to her voice. I never really disliked it, as I found it rather refreshing to have Maka look like she does and then not be voiced fairly typically (i.e. slightly cute). There was, of course, general outcry over this on 2ch(an) with hordes of people calling for her to be fired (she wasn’t), presumably because she wasn’t cutesy enough for them. Or something. And I figured she’d improve, as anyone who’s seen Full Moon o Sagashite would know. It has a similar problem, in that they hired Myco, a singer, to do regular voice work for Mitsuki, and I distinctly remember that, for the first 3-8 episodes, Mitsuki sounded fairly scratchy and amaturish (which kind of worked with her character, since she did have throat cancer after all), but that soon went away as she got better at the job, although it was pretty clear they hired her to voice simply because she was doing the songs as well.

Tangent aside, here’s something else that’s struck me: some of the characters, such as Maka, lack pupils. I’m not entirely sure why this is, but it just strikes me as weird. Some characters clearly have pupils, and some clearly don’t. It’s certainly not as visually unappealing as the other great pupilless character in anime, Hyuguu Hinata, but I am wondering whether it’s just a strange stylistic concern, or whether there’s a plot element to go along with it. Time will tell!

I think there were some more things to talk about here, such as Maka having delicious angst (or something) over her own inability to do anything (note: I like angst, since it’s ridiculously unrealistic to expect that a person/character should never have some kind of emotional issue, as if everyone doesn’t have their own self-doubts and private agonies), which seems to spell out some delicious character development for her. I can only hope the same is in store for the rest of our Intrepid Heroes, but they haven’t dropped those hints. Yet.

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NOTICE SHAMELESSLY STOLEN FROM G.K. CHESTERTON

I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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