8theGreat's World 8theGreat Experiences Soul Eater for the First Time in 100 Years and Talks About It

8theGreat posted on Sep 23, 2018 at 05:21AM
Hi guys I am 8theGreat and I was extremely obsessed with Soul Eater (errr, mostly Death the Kid...) from mid 2011 to early 2013. Maybe most of the way through 2013 too..... it was a bad time.

But you probably already knew that.

As fate would have it I am revisiting the series after some time away from it. As I was watching the first episode and half of the second episode I was talking about it on the Random wall thinking I would just spout off a few throw away a few nostalgic comments, but as it turns out I actually have quite a bit to say about it from a new perspective.


Obviously I held this series in pretty high regard for a long time. Let's see if it holds up to my current standards.


I don't expect anyone to see this so it's mostly for myself to take notes as I watch. I kind of want to do some sort of full essay about it in the future about why I loved it so much and what it means to me even now.

I might even try to convince some that Soul Eater had some genuinely good themes and even symbolism, because I've always felt that it has, though I seem to be in the minority here. At the very least I'm the only person I've ever met or even seen that feels this way about this series.

Either way I want to document my thoughts/feelings as I watch. Though I doubt
anyone will see this forum feel free to follow along and read through it if you'd like.

I'll watch the anime first and hopefully revisit the manga as well.

Edit 1: I'm going to add a sort of _table of contents_ so later if I just want to find my thoughts on a specific episode I can just go to the page it's on instead of searching through pages and pages of disjointed fluff. Since it's getting pretty clear that this is going to be pretty long it'll just save me some time later_

Edit 2: Okay so I know I said I'm taking notes and thats true but I also tend to be the type of person that talks to the TV during shows and movies, especially when I like whatever I'm watching. I would talk out loud while watching Soul Eater (and I did while I was watching while working when the internet was out) but since I've been doing this ~formal re-visitation~ at night while my significant other is asleep I've also been doing this as a means of talking out loud without actually talking out loud. I admit this fact. It has 2 purposes. Why am I bringing this up? Good question.

Edit 3: am also going to add a sort of, like, tally of themes I've noticed in the show? Just to keep track of different things and see how they tie up and are explored as the show goes on and so when I say "the themes" it's more clear what exactly I'm talking about.





Table of Contents
Episodes 1 & 2 link

First long-form post about Death the Kid, episode 3, thoughts on Prelude, start of episode 4 [u]link

End of episode 4, start of episode 5 [u]link

End of episode 5, limbs look oddly long, start of episode 6, staircase to nothing [u]link

End of episode 6, disjointed Lolita garbage, second long-form post about Death the Kid, start of episode 7 [u]link

End of episode 7, Redacting previous statement about a thing, "I can't believe you've done this." reference, start of episode 8 [u]link

End of episode 8, start of episode 9 [u]link

End of Episode 9, Excalibur Antics, Start of episode 10 [u]link

End of Episode 10, Start of episode 11 [u]link

End of episode 11, episode 12, start of episode 13[u]link


Theme... Counter? Table? Tally? Graph? Theme thing. The themes. (as noticed thus far)

[u]General themes

Madness obviously is one and I would say that madness is the main theme of the show.
Fear of course, but more so how this ties into the general idea of insanity. Maka and Soul's arcs goes into this theme and explores it in the most depth.
Order vs Chaos Another major theme of the show. A little bit more nuanced than the typical "good vs. evil" you see in a lot of shows of this nature.Still a bit cut and dry as to what we're supposed to side with at least in these earlier episodes. Kid's obsession with symmetry is a direct part of this theme although many other characters also play an important role with this theme.
Parenthood I hesitate to call this a specific theme so much as something the show features. Parents are a lot more present in Soul Eater than they are a lot of other anime or even other media with the same target demographic. Medusa and Spirit are directly opposite as parents and their children reflect this. Again I'm hesitant to really put this under a "theme" as Soul Eater doesn't really provide any sort of commentary or major narrative stuff about it but I still felt like the fact that some of the parent characters take active roles in the story and we see how their parenting has made an impact is worth acknowleding.
Boobs Aren't really a theme but they're there all the time. It's the show's aesthetic. Okubo is actually pretty good at drawing them I noticed while looking through the manga. just.... a side note. Side boob? Side note.
Oh and on that note
Aesthetics Again not so much a "theme" as much as a feature and something Soul Eater is exceptional at. I've talked nonstop since starting this about the show's keen aesthetics and how everything is so consistently aesthetic while everything also has a distinct aesthetic. The world really feels unique and well crafted in this regard. Although come to think of it Kid is always like "SYMMETRY IS MY AESTHETIC" and Soul is always like "THAT'S NOT COOL" so maybe there's more to this. Either way it's clear to see that Okubo has a keen eye for aesthetics and studio Bones was able to recognize this and put it into the show wonderfully.
Religion, and religion vs science? This is definitely more of a thing in the manga but Soul Eater contains some religious iconography and undertones. They're literally following the orders of a God without question. Spirit's tie is literally a cross shape. Black Star wants to transcend the Gods. Justin's entire character. I also don't think that the fact that Medusa and Stein- the two characters we see that most fall through the cracks of what this society considers moral- are both scientists is a coincidence. The religious iconography is what made me think about this show's themes all those years ago to begin with.

[u]Individual character arcs/themes[/b]

Maka and Soul- Fear, strength, madness, trust. Overcoming impossible obstacles.
Black Star- Overcoming impossible obstacles, self confidence.
Death the Kid Order and aesthetics.
Stein Madness, following one's own morality. In general being a sort of moral grey area. Slipping through the cracks of an imperfect society.
Spirit Boobs lol. Also parenthood. Little bit on the moral grey area as well.
Medusa- Madness. Chaos more than that though. Parenthood but the bad kind. Perhaps a bit of a moral grey area on this one too.
Crona- Madness, fear, fear resulting from low self esteem, low self esteem resulting from traumatic upbringing. Innocence being tainted for the sake of ideology/science? Whether or not someone can truly be faulted for their actions if they're being manipulated.

Will of course add to these.

Iconography and Motifs
Gonna fill this section up with stuff that reoccurs in Soul Eater that is core to the identity of the show. Mostly visual things that both do and don't relate directly to the themes if at all. Too tired to go on but I'm adding this now so I don't forget later.


Pic is one of many fanarts I drew of Death the Kid in high school. It's cropped though because the original was too large.
It was actually one of the last pieces of Kid I drew before I slowly started drifting away from both Soul Eater and art for many reasons. It seems rather fitting in this way.


 Hi guys I am 8theGreat and I was extremely obsessed with Soul Eater (errr, mostly Death the Kid...) f
last edited on Oct 04, 2018 at 03:50AM

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·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
The following posts were what I wrote on the Random wall before I moved over to a forum. I'll be reposting them in the way they were commented for consistency and also because I will continue to be taking notes in a similar format to this.
last edited ·2 mesi fa
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Before watching
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
My sister rewatched Soul Eater so now I have to rewatch it.
I'm sorry in advance, everyone.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Black Star is best boy.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
I promise I won't only talk about Soul Eater this time.



(Later, as reposting to the forum: Yeah this is probably a lie lmao whoops.)
last edited ·2 mesi fa
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Episode 1
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Fuck I love this show jfc
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
I'm only 5 minutes in and im like YEEEEEEEEESSSSSS MY SHIIIIIIIIIIIT
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Tfw the anime doesn't follow the story of the manga completely cause it gets sooooo good and in depth with the themes and the world and the character development but the anime is also genuinely beautifully animated and directed and voiced in both English and Japanese and some of your favourite scenes aren't even in the anime cause they were only in the manga so you know you won't even see them UGGGHHHH
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
And you don't even have the last like 6 volumes of the manga in physical form for whatever reason? But as you type out "for whatever reason" you realize that the reason you don't have them all is because you were so cringe with Death the Kid back in the day that you tried to distance yourself from it because it was so fuckkin' cringe even though you really did love it and it really was good and Death the Kid is legitimately an interesting character with great development in the manga you were just a total cringe fest.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Am I the only person that's ever had this incredibly specific tribulation? ....Nah certainly not.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
7 is still a shitty ass number but 5 and I are actually on alright terms now. You can kind of balance out 5 things in a way that still looks good in some instances and the shape of the number itself isnt nearly as fucking retarded as 7 fuck that guy.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Why are the first few episodes of Soul Eater so fanservicey? The rest of the show isn't quite as fanservice heavy as the first few and I've never understood it. I've never really minded per se cause I don't have a strong opinion on fan service one way or the other, but it just seems so disproportionate compared to the rest of the show and I don't understand why they made that design choice. Like did Okubo just kind of forget about it part way through and then every once in a while was like "Oh yeah I forgot that this was supposed to be fan service heavy haha"
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
It does kind of wind up tying in to one of the themes in the manga kind of sort of? A little?
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Sometime I ought to go through and like do some sort of long form essay on the themes of the Soul Eater manga because literally no one else ever talks about that and I think I'm the only one who's ever really taken much note of it. It does have some genuinely interesting things to say beyond just the action. It's actually very well conceived. It's by no means Evangelion but it does have so much more to it that I think goes unrecognized.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Also fuck Lord Death for just kind of taking the 99 souls that Maka and Soul had already worked so hard to get just because one of them was a cat. What the fuck even is that? What a jerk.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
End of Episode 1


Alright so I'm now writing this as I'm reposting all this to the forum but I think I'm going to add a section where I sum up my thoughts on the episode and how it compares to how I felt about it as a teen and maybe also talk about if it supports my hypothesis that Soul Eater has, like, themes and shit. Just some closing thoughts. I realized that I didn't really say a lot about how I actually felt about the first episode while watching it and instead just talked about Soul Eater on the whole and, like, how I still hate the number 7, So I'm going to give some thoughts on episode 1 and hopefully remember to do this for subsequent episodes and also maybe like overall arcs. Dunno. We'll see. I'm doing this on a whim here.


Thoughts

Overall I like the first episode of Soul Eater. I think it does a good job introducing the world and overall tone of the show as well as introducing us to the world and its concepts. I don't think it's a perfect episode though. Like I mentioned there's a lot of heavy fanservice in these first few episodes that isn't nearly as present in the rest of the series. Even though it's still there, it isn't nearly on the level of frequency or intensity that it is in the first few episodes. It kind of makes it look like this is an ecchi series even though I would struggle to classify it as such. It features a lot of sexual stuff throughout the show, sure, but it certainly isn't a main focus. So it's strange to me that the first episode starts out with it being so strongly featured. I can see someone turn off the show and not want to revisit it because of this, even if they liked the rest of the show otherwise.
Also Blair is, like, clearly drawn like an adult. I mean she's a cat but she looks like an adult. The fact that she flirts with Soul so hardcore and he's, like, a teenager is a bit creepy.
I also feel like the beginning could have put more about its themes in this first episode. It's got some of them though- it's themes of parenthood (which I remember being more of a thing in the manga anyway) are here with Maka's relationship with Spirit. It's theme of strong bonds/relationship dynamics are here too with Maka and Soul and how Soul would never betray Maka even when she thinks he might. But I would have liked to see more of the madness and chaos vs order themes more present from the beginning. It's got some minor themes on religion as well that would have been cool to see.
by the way I have no idea if Okubo meant for there to be themes and meaning in stuff in Soul Eater but I get meaning out of it which is what I'm referring to. If he didn't intend for them to be there from the start, if at all, then it makes sense why they aren't here.
Also isn't it a little odd that Maka and Soul were so close to reaching Death Scythe status at the beginning when that's so hard to do that and very few people do? This is more of a nitpick because it's a good way to introduce the whole soul collecting concept and Maka is such an overachiever and hard worker that I can realistically see her doing this so early on. But Maka and Soul still seem pretty wet behind the ears and naive later on with all the lessons they have to learn- if they'd already collected 99 souls before then wouldn't they have learned all this before? Then again a lot of the lessons they do learn are pretty well tied to the return of Asura which is undoubtedly a bigger deal than collecting 99 souls and a witch soul in canon.

There's a lot that I do like though. Like I said it really introduces the overall tone and premise really well even if characters outright say whats going on in a way thats unnatural at times. The world of Soul Eater is so striking on its own and Studio Bones does such a great job animating especially the fight scenes that I think anyone that would be interested in something like this would be hooked immediately. I know I was when I first watched it. The color palette, art style, sound design, score, direction and animation are all very impressive. It's actually a little hard to believe that this came out in 2008 because it just looks so good. If someone were just looking for a new shounen anime to binge without any expectations or prior knowledge on the themes this would really stand out. It still stands out even 10 years after production because it really doesn't look, sound, or feel like anything else. The whole show is a unique experience and I think this episode really captures that.
last edited ·2 mesi fa
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Episode 2
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH MAN BLACK STAR'S INTRODUCTION IS COMIN' UP HE'S MY BOOOOOOOOOY
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
He's like my favourite now. He's great. I love them all but Black Star is just. He's such a good boy and he gets such great development!!! Probably the best development in the whole series.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Why am I just typing all this on the random wall, who knows? I gotta. I just gotta. I gotta talk about Soul Eater. And everyone is asleep.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
This is why I said sorry in advance.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
I don't expect anyone to read all this btw I'm just typing it cause I gotta
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Black Star has the best theme song too. And that's no small feat because the music in Soul Eater is also just so freaking good. It really captures the show as well as has intrigue of its own
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
BLACK STAR YOU RETARD I LOVE YOU
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
I love that so many of the kishin souls in Soul Eater are based on like real world people.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Or references to other things.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Also one thing I've noticed about Soul Eater is Black Star and Tsubaki's dynamic seemed to be a lot different in the beginning.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
ugh crap I forgot Mifune was in this episode. For whatever reason I really don't like him. Never really understood why?
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Me: "I promise I won't only talk about Soul Eater this time" Also me: *changes icon* *types all this shit* THIS IS WHY I SAID SORRY IN ADVANCE



(Later, while reposting to the forum: This is the icon I changed to just for future reference)
last edited ·2 mesi fa
 Me: "I promise I won't only talk about Soul Eater this time" Also me: *changes icon* *types all this
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
I never got the Soul Eater art books for the same reason I didnt get the rest of the manga and I hardcore am upset at myself for that.



(Later, while reposting to the forum: Ima get them at some point cause I gotta)
TheLefteris24 commented…
^ Same here !!!! ·2 mesi fa
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
I feel like Black Star's introduction episode doesn't do him much justice. Or Tsubaki. I feel like it doesn't show how supportive they really are of one another and it focuses more on, like, I dunno seeming like they see one another in a negative way? Black Star seems somehow way more impulsive than he is in the rest of the show- which is saying a lot- and Tsubaki just seems so much less willing to put up with it. Granted Maka and Soul's introduction episode kind of had a similar formula, as did Kid, Liz, and Patty's, but their dynamics play out more similarly in the show. Kid and Liz bicker back and forth while Patty goofs off through the whole show consistently, and Maka and Soul have entire arcs about learning to trust one another and be more supportive. Black Star and Tsubaki don't really have either of those dynamics.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
It's more like Black Star does dumb stuff and Tsubaki, while always concerned, is overall supportive. And Black Star truly appreciates what Tsubaki does for him and is also willing to support her when she needs something. But in this first episode with them they're just so abrasive to one another in a way that we really never see after this.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
I feel like the random wall isn't the best place to post all this lol
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
...this is why I said sorry in advance.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
After typing "I feel like the random wall isn't the best place to post all this lol" I decided that it really wasnt and decided to make this forum. So now that I'm all caught up I'm going back to episode 2 now.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
By the way I feel like its important to mention that I'm watching this dubbed. I love the original Japanese and all but I made everyone I knew watch Soul Eater and most of them strongly prefered dubs to subs so I'm just more used to it and I've also low key grown to prefer it.
So many of the English performances are honestly just great and also Todd Haberkorn just in general. Laura Bailey is great as Maka and I absolutely LOVE Micah Solusod as Soul. I think this was his first role come to think of it. But seriously his performance as Soul is just fantastic for the character. Oh and I love Maxi Whitehead as Crona.

I generally prefer subs to subs (though I dont hate all dubs or anything) but I just really really enjoy this dub for a lot of reasons.
TheLefteris24 commented…
Interesting XD I must say that I never watched it Dubbed even though I have seen many mentioning that it was pretty good. I am curious in seeing for myself. That being said, I Amore the Japanese VA's too. Subbed is my go to choice for every Anime I am watching in general !!!! ·2 mesi fa
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Alright actually going back to ep. 2 now
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Ugh oh no back to Mifune uuuuuuuuuuugh I honestly have no idea why I dont like him. He's fine as a character. He's actually pretty great especially in the manga. I just dont like him.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Also in the manga they originally go after Mifune because his soul alone is equal to 99 souls and that means he would have less to actually do because black star is certain he could beat someone with a soul that large but couldn't. I feel like they kind of took away from both Mifune and Black Star's characters by changing that.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
The fact that Mifune brings up that he was saved by Tsubaki is great. I also guess Tsubaki shows how supportive she is in this episode anyway despite earlier
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
I didn't like Black Star when I first started this show 100 years ago and I think this episode had a lot to do with it. It doesn't really do well at showing Black Star's redeeming qualities. He's got a big heart and I feel like this episode only shows his big ego.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
I guess he does kind of beat Mifune doesn't he........ but it was mostly by chance wasnt it
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
OH MY GOD ANGELA IS AKKO
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Really what was the point of having all the souls around instead of Mifune's soul just being huge like in the manga? I really do feel like that makes this so much weaker. Having trouble putting exactly why into words though.

Also Tsubaki throwing shuriken at black star is out of character for her.
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Oh and I hate Monica Rial as Tsubaki but I deal with it cause I also like whoever is voicing black star a lot.


AH FUCK DTK INTRO NEXT RIP ME the cringe oh no his theme in the preview uuuuuugh noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo I was so cringy please
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·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
End of Episode 2
last edited ·2 mesi fa
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Thoughts

I have a lot less to say about episode 2 than I did episode 1. I don't like it nearly as well and I think it's a lot weaker. I remember thinking it was the weakest of the 3 intros as well.

Black Star is extra annoying in this episode. He's always annoying but I feel like he just doesn't show any of his redeeming qualities like I said. He acts very selfishly which while he has a big ego isn't really a major part of his character- he's more just immature and thoughtless than truly selfish. And like I said Tsubaki was a little out of character as well- she never really hits B Star outside of this episode like she did with the shuriken and she never expresses any sort of disappointment in being paired with Black Star even when he and Soul run off together a few episodes from now to beat up Kid. It's a little weird to see them bicker like that and if this was my first time watching this episode I would think that's how they both acted all the time. Tsubaki also acts really immature this episode even though she really isnt? That's a bit weird.

I feel like the overall aesthetic was a bit of a miss this time too. It just doesn't have the same striking palette that the last episode had. The fight with Mifune was cool but even it wasn't as well done as scenes from the first episode.

I like being introduced to the school this episode and I like that they've established that Maka, Soul, Tsubaki, and Black Star are all friends. Other than that though I really don't feel like this episode holds up to the first one.
It's no wonder I didn't like Black Star the first time I watched this, he really deserved a better intro and I really feel like the soul thing has a lot to do with that but I still don't know how to put that into words.

I'll edit this later if I figure it out.








Onto Episode 3.


...Wish me luck...
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Episode 3
·2 mesi fa 8theGreat said…
Former Death the Kid ultra super fangirl going in to rewatch the Death the Kid episode for the first time in 100 years this is legitimately terrifying.

My obsession was so bad that like a long time after the obsession died down I was talking to someone I met on tumblr through Lolita, and I mentioned Fanpop. She said she wasn't an active fanpop user but she did get on some roleplay spots. She told me her username and I didnt recognise it (so I thought I was safe like hey maybe she never encountered me). And then I told her I was 8theGreat and she was like YOU MEAN THE DEATH THE KID GIRL?
Like I wasn't even expecting that at all. At all. From someone I met on tumblr through a totally different and not related interest???/
It makes me wonder if my legacy is known outside Fanpop.... Maybe I left an impression on more people than I first believed.

And that is fucking terrifying.
My legacy is my numbers cult/the symmasoviets and my fucking Death the Kid stage. I was batshit crazy during that point in time- probably legally insane (not even a little bit joking about that)- and that's my fucking goddamned legacy.
WONDERFUL.
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