Soul Eater Not! is a twelve episode slice-of-life anime adapted from Atsushi Ohkubo’s manga of the same name. It is a spin-off of Soul Eater. The anime itself was adapted by Bones.
Soul Eater Not! focuses on a new student at the Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA), Tsugumi Harudori. She is able to transform into a weapon, hence her enrolment at the academy. The events of Soul Eater Not! take place before those seen in Soul Eater, so no prior knowledge is required to know what’s going on in the anime.
This brings up the first point: anyone who watches this expecting to see Soul Eater will be disappointed. The clue is in the title. There are two classes in the DWMA: EAT and NOT. The protagonists of Soul Eater are in the EAT (Especially Advantaged Talent) class, whereas Tsugumi and her companions are in the more laid-back NOT (Normally Overcome Target) class. As a result of this, Soul Eater Not! takes a more slice-of-life approach then Soul Eater, as the students learn what it means to be weapons and meisters. This provides some background information about the DWMA, thus expanding the world of Soul Eater.
Unlike most slice-of-life anime, there is actually a plot to be found within Soul Eater Not!, concerning a witch by the name of Shaula Gorgon. With the witch serving as an antagonist, this part does feel more like Soul Eater. However, Shaula Gorgon could be considered a secondary plot until the last few episodes.
The relationship between the characters is good as well. Tsugumi Harudori forms a close bond between two meisters: Meme Tatane and Anya Hepburn. Meme is a cloud cluckoolander, whereas Anya is very much an upper class girl. The three share great chemistry together. One thing that is never fully explored is Meme’s forgetfulness; it is hinted that there may be some kind of outside influence responsible for it. However, it is never actually revealed whether that is true or not.
The aforementioned plot involving Shaula Gorgon results in some action scenes arising during the last part of the anime. They are nice enough to watch, and the music used for the climax felt appropriate. It is during this part that the bond between the partners is really demonstrated.
There plenty of cameos from the original Soul Eater. Maka, Black☆Star and Death the Kid all make appearances. Other characters get more involved with the plot; Sid, Stein, Kim, Jacqueline, Liz and Patty all have roles within Soul Eater Not!.
This is another anime that fans of yuri will find enjoyment in. As mentioned before, the chemistry between Tsugumi, Meme and Anya is good. In addition, Soul Eater Not! also explores how Kim and Jacqueline came to be partners, involving a hefty does of yuri.
When it comes down to it, is Soul Eater Not! as good as Soul Eater? Arguably, no. However, it is certainly a worthy spin-off, and I strongly recommend watching it.
A spin-off that expands upon the world created within Soul Eater. It has something for yuri fans, the last few episodes cater to Soul Eater fans and it is a very enjoyable slice-of-life anime.