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 is a Japanesemarker manga written and illustrated by Atsushi Okubo. The manga is published by Square Enix and was first released as three separate one-shots serialized in two Gangan Powered special editions and one Gangan Wing issue between June 24 and November 26, 2003. The manga started regular serialization in Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan manga magazine on May 12, 2004. The first bound volume was released by Square Enix under their Gangan Comics imprint on June 22, 2004 in Japan, and as of September 2009, fifteen volumes have been released. The manga has been licensed for distribution in North America by Yen Press. The English translated version of Soul Eater is serialized in Yen Press' Yen Plus manga anthology magazine starting on July 29, 2008, and the first manga volume was released on October 31, 2009.


A single drama CD was produced on August 31, 2005 which came bundled with an art book. An anime adaptation produced by Bones first aired on TV Tokyomarker in Japan on April 7, 2008, and contained 51 episodes; Funimation licensed the anime series for North American distribution. An action-adventure video game by Square Enix for the Wii was released in September 2008, and an action video game for the Nintendo DS was released in October 2008. Another action game was released in January 2009 on the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.

Set at the "Death Weapon Meister Academy," the series revolves around three teams consisting of a weapon meister and (at least one) human weapon. Trying to make the latter a "Death Scythe" and thus fit for use by the academy's headmaster, Shinigami, they must collect the souls of ninety-nine evil humans and one witch, in that order or they will have to restart all over again.

Plot

Death Weapon Meister Academy.


In Soul Eater, Maka Albarn and her weapon partner Soul Eater are students at the , or for short, located in the fictional Death City, in Nevadamarker, United Statesmarker. The school has many other students including Black Star with his weapon partner Tsubaki, and Death the Kid with his twin weapon partners Liz and Patti. The school is run by Shinigami, Death himself, as a training facility for weapons and the human wielders of those weapons, the meisters. Maka's goal, along with the other meisters, is to have their weapons defeat and absorb the souls of ninety-nine evil humans and one witch, which will dramatically increase the power of the given weapon and thus be capable of being used by shinigami; these weapons are called Death Scythes. In the universe of Soul Eater, witches are powerful beings and the natural enemies of DWMA, as almost all of them have a destructive nature and almost all desire anarchy and chaos.

At the start of Soul Eater, Maka and Soul encounter the meister Crona and Crona's weapon Ragnarok; Crona is being forced to attack non-evil humans by Crona's mother and witch Medusa. Medusa eventually recruits the witches Eruka and Mizune, along with the immortal werewolf Free. Medusa and her cohorts attack DWMA on the eve of the festival to commemorate the establishment of DWMA. Medusa's goal is to revive the first , an evil demon god that nearly destroyed everything by plunging the world into madness, named Asura who was sealed beneath the DWMA by Shinigami. Medusa's group successfully revives Asura, though Medusa is seemingly killed in the process.

As Asura escapes the DWMA, the world is plunged into chaos and insanity, and because of this, 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 the DWMA; Arachne is joined closely by her demon butler Mosquito and demon weapon Giricco. The DWMA calls in the Death Scythes Justin Law, Yumi Azusa, and Marie Mjölnir to aide in the fight against Arachnophobia. During this time, Medusa is proven to be alive and possesses a young girl named Rachel. Maka and the other students are progressively getting stronger as they train and participate in various battles. Medusa makes a truce with the DWMA for a time so together they can annihilate the threat of Arachnophobia. Once Arachne is killed by Maka, Medusa betrays the DWMA and takes possession of Arachne's previously discarded body, regaining her lost strength. Following Arachne's defeat, Maka finally succeeds in making Soul into a Death Scythe.

During the infiltration of castle Baba Yaga, Death the Kid is captured by an enemy posing as the former meister Eibon named Noah. Shortly after this incident, the meister unit Spartoi is formed at the DWMA to take down Noah, consisting of the five most talented meisters in the school.

The anime series deviates from the manga considerably after episode thirty-five. After giving the DWMA information on Arachnophobia, Medusa takes advantage of Stein's increasing madness to lure him away with her. Crona and Marie decide to search for Medusa and bring back Stein. Medusa is defeated by Maka's demon hunter attack after Crona is nearly killed. Stein goes back to the DWMA having overcome the madness within himself. Shinigami and Asura resume their fight, which results in Shinigami's defeat when Asura threatens Kid's life. Asura eats Arachne's soul, and is confronted by Kid, Black Star and Maka. In the final battle, the three defeat Asura and the world returns to normal.

Development

After the end of his first manga series, B.Ichi, Atsushi Okubo created an one-shot story called "Soul Eater" published in Monthly Shōnen Gangan. Japanese readers were so fascinated by it that Okubo created two other one-shots called "Black Star" and "Death The Kid". The results were high and the editor Gangan Comics asked to Atsushi Okubo to create a series from his one-shots that will become introduction chapters to the final manga series Soul Eater.

Atsushi Okubo reveals that he creates the main characters by inspiring from his personality; like the dunce for Black Star, the order for Death The Kid or the fun for Patti. Other characters like protagonists and antagonists are created from his imagination and also from his previous favorite manga, like the sun and the moon smiling over Death City are inspired from his favorite manga Dr. Slump because it used many nonliving objects as if they were humans. Unlike many shōnen manga, Soul Eater s main character is a teenage girl, Maka Albarn, because Okubo felt that readers would be more interested than with a male character. The background and design of Death City, the main town where the characters are living, is mainly inspired from Tim Burton and David Lynch films.

Media

Manga

Soul Eater began as a manga series written and illustrated by Atsushi Okubo. The manga initially began as three separate one-shots serialized between June 24, 2003 and November 26, 2003 across two manga magazines published by Square Enix: first in the summer 2003 special edition of Gangan Powered, followed by the autumn 2003 special edition of the same magazine, and finally in Gangan Wing. The manga started regular serialization in Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan manga magazine on May 12, 2004. The first bound volume was released by Square Enix under their Gangan Comics imprint on June 22, 2004 in Japan, and as of September 18, 2009, fifteen volumes have been released. The manga has been licensed by Yen Press for distribution in English in North America. The manga was initially serialized in Yen Press' Yen Plus anthology magazine, the first issue of which went on sale on July 29, 2008. The first English volume of the manga will be sold on October 31, 2009.

Drama CD

A drama CD was released on August 31, 2005 by Square Enix entitled . The CD came bundled with an art book and a script of the CD dialogue. Of the cast used for the drama CD, only Black Star's voice actress Yumiko Kobayashi was retained for the anime voice cast.

Anime

A 51 episode anime adaptation was directed by Takuya Igarashi, and produced by Bones, Aniplex, Dentsu, Media Factory, and TV Tokyomarker; Bones and Aniplex were responsible for the animation and music production respectively. The anime's scenario writer was Akatsuki Yamatoya who based the anime's story on Atsushi Okubo original concept. Character design was headed by Yoshiyuki Ito, with overall art direction by Norifumi Nakamura. The anime's conceptual design was done by Shinji Aramaki. The episodes started airing on April 7, 2008 on TV Tokyo, and two animated specials aired on May 29 and June 1, 2008. The episodes also aired at later dates on TV Aichi, TV Hokkaido, TV Osaka, TV Setouchi, and TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Co. The final episode aired on March 30, 2009. The first DVD compilation volume was released on August 22, 2008 with the first three episodes. The second DVD compilation volume was released on September 25, 2008 with episodes four through seven. Each DVD volume will be released in monthly intervals. The anime was licensed by Funimation and will be releasing the series in four half-season DVD box sets starting with the first volume in February 2010. The first four episodes are available on Funimation's website. Soul Eater is Bones' third anime series to run with 50-51 episodes, after 2003's Fullmetal Alchemist and 2005's Eureka Seven.

The anime was regularly broadcast Mondays at 6:00 pm on TV Tokyo. The official Japanese website of the Soul Eater anime series announced that each episode will air in two different versions: the regular Monday 6:00 p.m. version and a late-night "Soul Eater Late Show" version. Special footage was added at the start and end of the commercial break; the next episode preview was also different from the regular version. The dual broadcast of this supernatural action series was being billed as the "world's first evening and late-night resonance broadcast". The "resonance" term refers to a story concept in which the characters, such as the heroine Maka and her living weapon partner Soul Eater, achieve maximum power by synchronizing their souls.

Video games

, an action-adventure video game exclusively for the Wii and developed by Square Enix with Bones was released on September 25, 2008. in Japan only.  and   are two original playable characters exclusive for the game designed by the author, Atsushi Okubo. Ponera is the Monotone Princess and Grimoire is known as Noah in the manga.  is an action game produced by Namco Bandai Games for the Nintendo DS and was released on October 23, 2008.  is a fighting game produced by Namco Bandai Games for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable and was released on January 29, 2009.


Music

Six pieces of theme music are used for the episodes; two opening themes and four closing themes. The first opening theme is "Resonance" by T.M.Revolution for the first thirty episodes, and the single was released on June 11, 2008. The second opening theme is "Papermoon" by Tommy heavenly6 from episode thirty-one onwards; the single was released on December 10, 2008 by DefStar Records. The first closing theme is "I Wanna Be" by Stance Punks for the first thirteen episodes, and the fifty-first episode; the single was released on June 4, 2008. The second closing theme is "Style" by Kana Nishino from episode fourteen to twenty-six; the single was released on August 13, 2008 by Sony Music Entertainment Japan. The third closing theme is by Soul'd Out's Diggy-Mo from episode twenty-seven to thirty-nine; the single was released on November 26, 2008 by Sony Music Entertainment Japan. The final closing theme is "Strength" by Abingdon Boys School from episode forty through episode fifty; the single was released on February 25, 2009.

The first character song maxi single sung by Chiaki Omigawa (Maka) and Kōki Uchiyama (Soul) was released on August 6, 2008 by Aniplex. The second single by Yumiko Kobayashi (Black Star) and Kaori Nazuka (Tsubaki) was released on September 3, 2008, and the third single by Mamoru Miyano (Kid), Akeno Watanabe (Liz), and Narumi Takahira (Patti) was released on October 1, 2008. Two original soundtracks for the anime were released by Aniplex on August 27, 2008 and March 18, 2009.The theme song for Soul Eater: Monotone Princess is "Soul's Crossing" sung by T.M.Revolution, and is included on the "Resonance" single. Two original soundtracks for the anime were released on August 27, 2008 and March 18, 2009 by Aniplex.

References



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