Anyone who hasn’t read at least the first five volumes of Soul Eater should do their very best to look away for fear of spoilers. If you really just want the final verdict I recommend closing your eyes, scrolling down to the bottom of the article and calling out “By the power of Greyskull!”, which should allow the final scores to appear on your screen.
So, where were we last time? Ah yes, Medusa and her compatriots had managed to infiltrate DWMA and were on the verge of releasing the kishin! ‘What’s a kishin?’Are you sure you’ve read the first five volumes? Well, I’ll give a quick recap just to be safe. A kishin is a soul-reaper who goes renegade, basically consuming innocent souls to achieve great power. As it happens, the kishin in question is The Kishin, with all appropriate capitalisation. This is Asura, one of Death’s early apprentices who went rogue with an insanity that is not only bizarrely disturbing but is also pretty infectious. While the majority of DWMA, Death himself included, are trapped inside a seal, our plucky band of protagonists are running free and facing down the threat.
When last we saw Maka, she was facing off against Crona, the severely mistreated child of Medusa whose weapon seems to be composed entirely of the black blood inside her. This weapon, Ragnarok, has a lousy attitude but more than enough power to get away with it and the result is that Crona is bullied wherever she goes. The fight scenes in volume 06 are excellent, with everything at stake, though things ultimately end less than triumphantly and Asura makes his escape. Well, let’s face it, there wouldn’t have been much of a series to read if the overwhelming, returning evil hadn’t in fact returned.
What’s interesting about Asura is that, upon his release from Death’s prison, he emanates his insanity across the globe. While this doesn’t send your average citizen foaming at the mouth, it does stir up insanity in those already affected by it and beings influenced by dark magic will feel a strong calling to unleash their evil on the world.
That’s right. Pandora’s warehouse has just sprung open, spilling boxes everywhere.
Without giving too much away, an old enemy, much greater than Medusa, raises its head and raises an army set on raising hell. Insanity also rears its head within the halls of DWMA and even our trusty protagonists find their stability weakening. Luckily, the series widens its scope quite a bit and we’re treated to a whole new roster of meisters and weapons. A few new students are given focus alongside Soul, Maka, Tsubaki, Black Star, Death the Kid and the Thompson twins. Death is also forced to call in some of the other Death Scythes around the world in the wake of Asura’s escape and everyone is put on high alert.
To sum up, the harbinger of doom has escaped and he’s drawing out every evil being he can around the world simply by virtue of being outside. Many of these evildoers has plots of their own almost a millennium in the making and Death has issued a red alert so that the good guys can start playing catch up. The stakes are raised higher than seemed possible in only five volumes and the series is still less than halfway through. Prepare for some betrayal, more than a few twists and whole lot of secrecy. Throw in some excellent humour amid the foreshadowing and the excellently executed villains and you’ve got a truly entertaining and well-paced series!
Soul Eater volumes 6-10 are available now from Yen Press.
Plot Development: 9
Character Development: 8.5
85% – “Picking Up Speed!”– Volumes 6-10 take the Soul Eater series in dark new directions as extra-credit classes give way to heavy duty missions. Things get a lot bumpier and much more interesting from here on out!