Soul Eater Not! Review


By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that we were with our favorite group of students at the Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA) in Soul Eater. We were there with Soul and Maka, Black Star and Tsubaki, and Death Jr. and the Thompson sisters, every step of the way as they saved the DWMA, and the world, from witches and all things evil. As with most movies or shows that perform well, a sequel or second season needs to be made. Enter Soul Eater Not!

Taking place prior to the events in Soul Eater, where we focused on students in the EAT (Especially Advantaged Talent) group, here we meet a couple students entering the DWMA in the NOT (Normally Overcome Target) class. Tsugumi Harudori is a weapon, meaning she can transform herself into a weapon. In particular, she’s a halberd. She meets two other girls in her class: Meme Tatane, the kind yet forgetful and ditzy meister (weapon wielder) and Anya Hepburn, a student from a noble class who is a little stuck up and not used to commoner ways. The two form an almost immediate bond. But weapons and meisters must pair off and form a bond together, which they’ll use through school as they grow to fight witches and demons. But Tsugumi can’t decide who she wants to pair with. But, in order to further develop and grow, one must pair off. Will Tsugumi be able to choose a partner before things are too far along?

Soul Eater Not! Is much different than its predecessor. Where as in Soul Eater, we were thrown right into the story, with well-developed students able to take on difficult foes alone, here we are with Tsugumi, meme and Anya from the first day of school. Think of it as their freshman year. So we follow the girls through their day to day lives, interactions with boys, finding jobs at the local Deathbucks, school spirit and holiday events. It could almost be seen as a slice of life series set in the world of DWMA. And where Soul Eater was 51 episodes in length, giving significant time to see character growth and development, as well as take the story through different arcs along a grand narrative, Soul Eater Not! comes in at 12 episodes. Not to say there won’t be a second season, but, for now, not much time was given to really flesh out the story.

In terms of the characters, the old characters are back, but mostly in cameo appearances, with other appearances from Sid as an instructor and Dr. Stein. Unfortunately, neither Death nor Maka’s father are anywhere to be found, and that’s just a shame. The real focus is on the three girls and how they fair during their first year at DWMA. It isn’t until later in the season that any real threat comes to the school, bringing the action element which was more prevalent in Soul Eater. One thing Soul Eater Not! has working for it is that is familiar. Anyone who has attended college, or remembers their freshman year in high school can relate to what these three girls are going through. Not knowing anyone on the first day, having to make friends, living in a dorm with people you don’t know and the conflicts that arise. The fact that you only have so much money and really need to manage your expenses or you may not be eating for a while. Soul Eater Not! is able to envelop the audience with these memories and pulls us into the story through this avenue.

While Soul Eater Not! isn’t nearly as good as the original, it is fun and relatable in its own right. The characters don’t show much growth and tend to act the same in episode 12 as they did in episode one. There are some changes among the main three characters, but not enough that we continue to root for them going forward. Maybe with more episodes they could have developed a better overall story and more memorable characters, and then again, maybe this Is part of the reason these students are in the NOT class.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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