Soul Eater: One Is The Loneliest Number (NUMBAAAH!)

Yes, I know that the next two lines of the song are “TWOOOOOOOOOOOOO can be as bad as one / It’s the loneliest number since the number one” which will completely go against what I liked about this episode but I didn’t want to drag a hokey old Toy Story reference out again and I couldn’t think of anything better that didn’t also involve Mortal Kombat and I really didn’t want to title it after Mortal Kombat so there.

Anyway, I watched Soul Eater 21 earlier today, and then almost immediately thereafter (I was still basking in the warm afterglow) had to rush to work early for crazed insanity (dear potential library patrons: if the library is closed for any reason, please do not put your books in the book drop, as you will most likely not be assessed a fine for a book due on a day a library is closed, expectedly or unexpectedly. Your librarians will thank you immensely. Also bring them homemade chocolate cake) for the next four hours, and, well, here I am, later on in the day, writing this post. Good thing I wanted to let 21 sink in me a bit before I wrote something about it, though!

I wasn’t actually going to write anything on Soul Eater until this under-Shibusen arc had concluded, but it’s gone on longer than I expected it to, so I decided to wait for the next major moment to come around before spilling my thoughts on it again. 21 was, uh, that moment.

I don’t think I’m being overly hyperbolic (for once! How dare I?) in stating that, thus far, 21 (and, for solidarity’s sake, 20 as an essential compaion piece) has probably been Soul Eater’s best episode to date. I was, of cousre, highly skeptical/cautious about the series at its onset. That initial skepticism has fallen away over the course of the series, which I’ve doggedly stuck to for reasons which shifted and morphed over time. I am glad I did, because, for one thing, I’ve discovered that the biggest hurdle for me to clear with these kinds of series (there isn’t a word I can use to describe them, really) seems to be the “set-up” phase, especially a series where everyone praises the series right out of the gate. Whatever the hook is that catches other people instantly takes a good deal more time to grab me in the same way, and sometimes it never really does. This, I think, leaves me with an alienated feeling for the early phases, where I feel less enthuastic about a series than other people around me (a feeling it seems I rarely feel), making me somewhat unwilling to go with the series until it catches me, which is when I see its appeal. It has happened a good number of times (Fullmetal Alchemist and Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann did it), so it’s not an insurmountable hurdle, but it can be a daunting and yet richly rewarding hurdle if cleared successfully.


20/21 seem to have been a sort of mid-series “culmination” of the resonance problems plaguing Maka and Soul. In 20, for instance, we see them resonating their soul’s wavelengths and actually using the Witchhunter effectively, even if it doesn’t actually accomplish anything. The end result is, of course, Maka discovering Soul’s special relationship with the devious jazz-loving imp in his head, and, essentially, asking him to give in to the temptation so that Maka can resonate with Krona’s soul and figure out what’s going on there. This, of course, results in Crazy As Hell Maka, which amused me greatly (I loved how even Krona looked terrified of her new-found insanity, especially when she tries to devour his head). Of course, even though Maka was quite insane on the inside, she was perfectly sane in the internal, soul-based world while questing for, and finding, Krona’s soul, and entering it.

Krona’s world is a giant desert where he stays alone and refuses to answer his own questions. Maka, of course, on a mission to free Krona of his own internal despair, comes in, breaks the circle he imprisons himself in to avoid the horrors of a world where no one cares about him, and then pops back out into the real world (courtesy of Soul, dragging her out of the abyss of insanity) where she completely ignores his rampaging berserker madness to simply hug him and point out that she cares. Cue tearful scene, cue altered ED sequence that drives me even closer to tears than it did before. I mean, seriously–that ED sequence was brilliant, and I almost cried, which I haven’t properly done to anime in a while. Even if the rest of this post is total bullshit, this isn’t.

I don’t know that the Krona thing needs much more highlighting–that part of 21 is effectively self-explanatory, or at least that summary above is self-explanatory, I think, and if it’s not, surely someone else has pointed it out better than I did! What does merit pointing out, though, is the odd nature of Soul and Maka’s relationship. Maka and Soul may, on the exterior, not really get along well, but 20/21 proved that, when the time is right, the two of them can cooperate (however grudgingly) and resonate just as clearly as everyone else can. Maka clearly trusts Soul with her own sanity, if she’s willing to command him to give in to temptation and send the two of them on the fast track to insanity. Soul doesn’t seem to believe her faith in him, but concedes and does an amazing job of not only holding back the waves of insanity , but also in breaking free of its bonds and pulling Maka back out of insanity. The two may have trouble getting along in daily life, to the point of yelling and book chopping, but there is a bond, and it’s there when the situation is dire enough. Amusingly, Soul, after a perfect moment of synchonization and mutual trust, starts to question Maka barely seconds later when she sets him aside to befriend Krona (and not in the Nanoha sense, which would have required Soul Eater anyway), but quickly realizes what she wanted to accomplish and relaxes. Whether or not they return to business as usual from here on out is a mystery, but I doubt their more casual relationship problems are solved, but, for the moment at least, they (and we) know that, in the thick of a terrible situation, they can count on each other, and that might make their everyday relationship a bit better.

And, if not, well, Maka can just elope with Krona and suck on his head some more. Soul can get with Blair and everyone will be happily ever after

5 Responses to “Soul Eater: One Is The Loneliest Number (NUMBAAAH!)”

  1. 1 EvilDevil 1 September 2008 at 2:37 am

    loved the ED, I am watching it again!!!

  2. 2 tirmcdohl 1 September 2008 at 6:30 am

    Gotta love watching Patty’s breasts bounce during one of the weapon conversation scenes.

  3. 3 coburn 1 September 2008 at 11:23 am

    Superb! Tears in my eyes by the end. Everything is great when a single episode can be this stunning, then the preview gets me excited all over again.

  4. 4 amayalee 2 September 2008 at 2:42 pm

    I loved this episode. It’s where I discovered my passionate love for Chrona, yet again. Chrona is amazing, I love Chrona and Maka best out of everyone in Soul Eater. Soul comes next, of course. And Maka should end up with Soul that way I CAN ELOPE WITH CHRONA! XD

  5. 5 SpacyRicochet 8 September 2008 at 4:57 am

    The fun part about Maka eloping with Chrona is that we’re talking about a genuine yuri-fest there. Suck it up people, Chrona is female.

    That or snake-lady is even more messed up than I could possibly believe imaginable in bringing her daughter up. Also possible, but a tad less likely.

    Anyway, fun ep.

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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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August 2008

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