The first volume of Soul Eater pretty much served as an introduction for the main characters, with a prologue chapter dedicated to each meister and weapon duo (or trio in Death the Kid’s case). This volume continues showing us the remedial lesson that Maka, Soul, Black☆Star and Tsubaki embark on, properly introducing us to Doctor Franken Stein. Let’s take a look.
The remedial assignment continues as Soul and Maka confront Dr. Franken Stein, the man behind Sid-sensei’s unfortunate transformation and the strongest meister ever to graduate from the Death Weapon Meister Academy. Even without a weapon, his massive soul dwarfs them all – even big shot Black☆Star! Can Maka rally her strength to face Stein in battle, or will despair be her downfall?
There are four chapters in this volume, starting with chapter 2 and ending with the 5th chapter of the series.
Chapter 2 is ‘Remedial Lesson (Part 2)’ which properly introduces us to Doctor Franken Stein. Shinigami and Kid observe as Maka, Soul, Black☆Star and Tsubaki participate in an incredibly one-sided battle against Stein.
During the battle, we are shown the bond between meister and weapon – the meister can amplify their soul wavelength through the weapon, so the relationship is similar to that between and electric guitar and an amp. We are also shown Maka’s soul perception ability, though being able to perceive Stein’s soul only makes things worse – though Soul is able to snap her out of it.
Despite not being able to harm Stein, the students actually pass the remedial lesson – Shinigami had organised everything with Stein and Sid beforehand.
At the end of the chapter, Stein takes on a role as a teacher at the DWMA.
Chapter 3 is all about ‘The “New Student” and “Soul Observation”‘. The new student happens to Death the Kid, who enrols at the DWMA together with Liz and Patty. The first students he meets are Soul and Black☆Star, who quickly challenge him to a fight.
The “Soul Observation” part comes from Stein, Maka and Tsubaki watching the battle, with Maka using her soul perception ability to see that Kid’s soul wavelength matches his weapons, whilst Soul and Black☆Star are completely mismatched. The battle goes entirely in Kid’s favour, right until he gets an impromptu haircut… basically, there are no winners here. Whilst it’s mostly played for laughs, this fight is important for Black☆Star’s growth – though that’s something that comes up much later.
Chapter 4 is called ‘Demon Sword (Part 1)’ and it introduces the witch Medusa and the incredibly androgynous Crona, the master of the demon sword Ragnarok. The main focus of this chapter is the encounter between Maka and Crona, which naturally results in a fight. During the fight, we also learn of the black blood which makes Maka’s attempts to harm Crona entirely fruitless. The chapter closes with Soul taking a vicious blow from Crona – one that leaves him with a nasty scar.
Volume 2 closes with chapter 5, which you have probably guessed is called ‘Demon Sword (Part 2)’. Maka is without a weapon and at the mercy of Crona at the beginning. However, the timely arrival of Stein prevents her from suffering a fate similar to Soul.
Stein also happens to be wielding Spirit, so we get to see what DWMA’s strongest meister is truly capable of – and it’s incredibly impressive. Still, Crona puts up an impressive fight as well.
Over the course of the chapter, it’s revealed that witches can prevent their souls from being detected with magic, so it comes as a surprise when Medusa seemingly appears out of nowhere to retrieve Crona and retreat.
Back at the DWMA, it is revealed that some of Crona’s black blood entered Soul’s body – other than that, Stein says he will make a full recovery. At the end of the chapter it is also revealed that Medusa works at the DWMA, with everyone completely unaware that she is actually a witch.
So after the prologue that was volume 1, the second volume really kicks things off with a couple of things that mark the start of characters’ growth – the fight between Black☆Star and Death the Kid and the first encounter with Crona being key examples.
Though the focus is on the kids of the DWMA, it also shows that the adults are incredibly competent – it’s not uncommon for adults to be useless in this genre of manga, but that’s averted here.
Of course, there’s also the introduction of key characters – Stein, Medusa and Crona as well as the action scenes that combine to make volume 2 a very enjoyable read.