Thursday, April 28, 2011

Soul Eater Review: Criticisms

Now, overall, Soul Eater is a great series. It easily switches from action to comedy to drama and back to comedy without making the series feel like it's going through an identity crisis. My only complaint is that, while the manga is still bing continued, the anime's concluded. When have a series this good, you don't end it until the fandom says "Ok, we're done here!" Also, when Asura gets resurrected, the series goes through a gritty reboot. This would be fine if the series had a 5 month hiatus, but instead, it reboots only a third of the way through the series. I couldn't help but go "Huh? What? What the fruitcake is going on----HOLY F****** SHINIGAMI ON A POGO STICK AAAAAAHHHH THIS IS GETTING SCARY!!!!!"
You may ask "Cameron, you lovable jerk, your points are perfectly valid, but what's your opinion?" My opinion of Soul Eater is this: it's not the next Fullmetal Alchemist as many people are saying, but it may be the next Bleach or D. Gray Man. I unabashedly love Soul Eater like Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw loves Portal. Now, can someone kindly have Tim Burton make a film adaptation and have him cast Johnny Depp as Dr. Stein? Please?

Soul Eater Review, Part 4: Plot Synopsis

Copy-pasted from Wikipedia, then edited by me to give it my awesome humor.
In Soul Eater, Maka and Soul Eater are students at Death Weapon Meister Academy, (aka DWMA, aka Shibusen) as well as Black * Star, Tsubaki, Kid, Liz, and Patty.  Shortly after the start of Soul Eater, Maka and Soul Eater face off against Medusa, who forces Crona and Ragnarok to fight Maka. Later on, Medusa and her cohorts attack DWMA with the intention of reviving Cthu- uhm, I mean Asura!!!! (damn, i got stop doing that). Despite the combined efforts of Maka, Black Star, and Death the Kid, Medusa's group successfully revives Asura, upon which the series, which before hand was cruising down Awesome Street, decided to stop at the nearest Nightmare Fuel Station. Medusa is seemingly killed by Stein, while Crona surrenders to DWMA and goes on to enroll there and befriend Maka.
As a result of Asura's spreading madness, Medusa's older sister  Arachne comes out of hiding after 800 years. Arachne reforms her organization Arachnophobia, which poses itself as a serious threat to DWMA. Shinigami calls in death scythes from around the world to aid in the fight against Arachnophobia. During this time, Medusa resurfaces with her soul in the body of a young girl, and forms a truce with DWMA so they can annihilate the threat of Arachnophobia together. The DWMA students and Medusa's entourage infiltrate Arachnophobia's headquarters where Maka defeats Arachne, only for Medusa to betray DWMA, possessing Arachne's body and brainwashing Crona into rejoining her. Meanwhile, Death the Kid is captured by Noah, an enemy posing as the former meister 'Eibon'. Following this, Maka finally succeeds in turning Soul Eater into a death scythe. The duo become part of the newly formed meister unit Spartoi, which successfully manages to rescue Death the Kid and take down Noah.

Soul Eater Review Pt. 3: The Villains

OK, time to look at what makes a manga: it's villains.
First, we have Crona and the Demon Sword, Ragnarok.

Crona is  memorable because he/she (Crona's gender is pretty ambiguous) because A) she/he is always saying he/she "doesn't know how to deal" with most things, and B) THE BLACK BLOOD. AUUUGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!
Let me explain what the Black Blood is: the Black Blood is like normal blood, only black....if normal blood drove people who had it TOTALLY BATSHIT INSANE. 
Ragnarok is a jerk. He has a symbiotic relationship with Crona (he is where the black blood comes from) and, when summoned.....bursts out of Crona's back. Euurrghhhhh.....squick, indeed. Even worse? Ragnarok can WEAPONIZE Crona's black blood, turning it into needles, spikes, flying razors, etc. Yikes.

Next, we have Medusa.

 Now a lot of people are scared witless of Medusa, who is a witch with a snake motif masquerading as a school nurse. I, however, find Medusa to be the 3rd best character in the series. Yes, she's scary, but she's also rather attractive (Spirit is a bit disappointed when he finds out she's a witch. Not angry. DISAPPOINTED.Of course, this is Spirit we're talking about....)

The one villain that scares me the most is Cthulhu- uhm.. I mean, Asura!!!!
He gets introduced, and the series stops being the dream of Tim Burton and becomes the nightmare of H.P. Lovecraft. Just look at the first time we see his face....

And if the picture isn't enough to make you need to change your pants, read Wikipedia's description of him:
The first kishin or demon god, and the ultimate antagonist in the series. He is known for his exceedingly paranoid disposition and quirky habits such as wrapping his entire head with countless scarfs and wearing five or six layers of clothes. He was fearful of everything, including his weapon partner Vajra, whom he devoured whole, though he can still cough up Vajra to attack. The scarfs on his body are actually made from his own overstretched skin, and can also be used as weapons. As the embodiment of madness, Asura emits a wavelength that causes people to lose their grip on reality and hallucinate. He was one of Shingami's strongest subordinates 800 years prior to the start of the series. Out of fear he began devouring innocent souls, including his own weapon partner; Lord Death ripped off his skin and used it as a bag to imprison him beneath Death City. He is eventually released thanks to Medusa and her minions, and goes off into hiding to spread his madness across the world. He is rarely seen in the manga though he does become the center of focus for the anime, particularly Arachne's plans to spread his madness across the world.

is Medusa's older sister, a witch with a spider motif who loves to mess with your mind....
Wikipedia says: She was defeated by Shinigami 800 years prior, which causes her to seal her soul into a golem until she could revive herself. She does not get along with her sister, and prefers to manipulate the enemy from afar rather than face them in direct combat. She is able to immobilize enemies with spider silk imprison someone within their own mind and force them to face their own fears, and use a number of spiders for reconnaissance...yikes.....

But no character can match Asura in his sheer nightmare-fuel potential.........

Soul Eater Review Part 2: Minor Characters

First we have the Grim Reaper himself, Shinigami, aka Lord Death who looks like, well, erm....
....there's actually a canonical reason why he looks like's so he doesn't scare the living shit outta the younger students...

Next, we have  Dr. Franken Stein. Yeah, you can groan now, but Stein is actually my second favorite character, because of how badass he is. He's a bit crazy....actually, that would be an understatement. He is the MOST PSYCHOTIC good guy in the series. He just looooooves to dissect things....including himself. Just look at him!

You see that thing sticking outta his head? That's a SCREW. He's LITERALLY GOT A SCREW LOOSE.

Next we have Spirit Albarn
 Maka's dad and a Death Scythe. Currently divorced, because he's a, well, a bit of a player.... Maka despises him, but Spirit really wants to be a good father to MAka, which kinda makes up for him being a flirt.

Finally, we have Excalibur,

the legendary holy sword who has a bigger ego than Black * Star (FOR THE THIRD TIME, NOT THAT KIND OF EGO!!!!!!), and is so irritating and self-centered that just saying his name in front of someone who's met him will elicit a very special grimace from the unlucky character....

That face just says: DO NOT WANT!!!!! That's it for the minor characters, onto the (cue lightning flash and dramatic organ music) THE VILLAINS.

Soul Eater Review Part 1: The Main Characters & Synopsis

OK, so I intended to do this review muc later, but because I'm impatient, I just said "Oh, screw patience, let's do this thing!".  First, let's examine the setting: Soul Eater is set in the town of Death City, which looks like a city designed by Tim Burton. (To be honest, you'll be hearing me mention Mr. Burton A LOT in this review.)  The whole town looks like a Xerox of Halloweentown from Nightmare Before Christmas, and has
bizarre architecture: the school has giant candles sticking out of the walls!!!
I  feel like copy-pasting the basic synopsis from Wikipedia now, so.... INCOMING COPYPASTE!!!!!!!
The series revolves around three teams consisting of a weapon meister and (at least one) human weapon. Trying to make the weapon a "Death Scythe" and thus fit for use by the academy's headmaster, Shinigami (better known as Death), they must collect the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch, in that order; otherwise, they will have to restart all over again. Now, you may think "Oh, it's a monster of the week/collection manga", but it's not

Now, we get to the fun stuff! It's time to meet the main characters!
First we have Team 1: Maka Albarn and Soul Eater

 Quite honestly, Maka can tell Sakura to suck it. Maka is partnered up with the cool slacker Demon Scythe, Soul Eater Evans. Maka is a hard worker and very intelligent, with a bit of a temper.

(The Maka Chop  looks painful) Soul on the other hand, is, as I said before, is a slacker badass who is also an excellent pianist.

Now, we have team 2: Black * Star and Tsubaki.

 Black * Star (Yes, that's how his name is written) is a supposedly incredible assassin, but we never see that- this guy has NO INSIDE VOICE AND IS ALWAYS TALKING REALLY REALLY REALLY LOUD EVEN WHEN HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE STEALTHY. Plus, he has an ego even bigger than mine (No, not like that, you sick perv). Now you may be saying "Hey, wait a second this Black * Star kid sounds really similar to Narut-...." Let me just cut you off right there and tell you NO HE IS NOTHING LIKE THAT DUMBASS LOSER. Black * Star's fail moments are genuinely funny, and he can be a real badass when he needs to be. Partnered up with Black * Star is the Shadow Weapon, Tsubaki, capable of becoming a knife, a pair of chain scythes, a smoke bomb, a giant shuriken, and later on, a katana. Now, I really feel bad for Tsubaki, she puts up with Black * Star's ego (again, not that kind of ego, now get your mind out of the gutters, dammit!) with a smile. I'm pretty sure that deep down, she just wants to beat the ever-lovin' crap outta Black * Star.
Finally, we have the third and final team of Death The Kid, and the Thompson sisters, Liz and Patty.

Now, let me tell you, Kid is one of my favorite Soul Eater characters, because he's the most OCD character since Adrian Monk. He's the son of Shinigami, and he is completely obsessed with symmetry. He'll have a panic attack if he thinks the painting in his living room is leaning even the slightest bit to the right, he will destroy any bad guy who isn't symmetrical, but will refuse to fight anyone who is symmetrical. Even funnier is the fact that his hair has three white stripes on one side and no stripes on the other. Point this out to him, and he will get extremely depressed and self-loathing, upon which, Liz and Patty, Kid's twin pistols, will have to snap him out of his asymmetrical depression. Now, Kid is one of THE most AWESOME characters. Why? He's got some genuinely funny moments, he's the son of the GRIM REAPER, and when he fights, he dual wields pistols. Holding them barrel-side down. And pulling the triggers with his PINKY FINGERS. Do you know how DIFFFICULT THAT IS??? Even more impressive is the fact is that he isn't shooting bulltes- he's shooting COMPRESSED ENERGY FROM HIS SOUL.
Now, on to the minor characters....


Welcome To The Greatest Critical Blog This Side of the Internet!
My name is Cameron, but you may call me "Your Greatness". If you have came here because your friend suggested it, then your friends have good taste. If you came here because you think this blog is gonna suck, go sit in that corner over there and think about where your life went wrong. Anyway, you may be thinking "Cameron, you suave psychopath, what could you possibly be reviewing? My answer is ANYTHING. Manga, anime, video games, books, TV, movies, real life, etc., etc., etc. I will tell you about the biggest fails, the greatest triumphs, and the diamonds in the rough. And YOU have to deal with my sharp wit and sarcasm (Muahahahahahahahaaaa.....) This week, I will be reviewing the manga/anime juggenaut of awesome badass hilarity and action known as Soul Eater.