Volume of 19 concluded the arc in which Maka and her allies ventured into the Book of Eibon. In this volume, things start moving towards the final act of the series, though we do have some stuff to do with the Black Blood before getting there.
The 20th volume of Soul Eater contains a total of six chapters, starting with eighty-two and concluding with eighty-seven.
Normally, I’d start with the blurb, and this time is no exception:
Kid has been freed from Noah’s greedy clutches, but The Book of Eibon remains at large. Noah was a troublesome foe, but the vast knowledge contained within the book itself could be dangerous – and information is not all that lies in its pages… Meanwhile, Crona has resurfaced in Moscow, his madness and Medusa’s maternal pressure having all but consumed the friend Maka once knew. The question is how many will be devoured by Crona’s madness before he can be stopped?!
It’s worth noting that Crona’s gender is never made clear in the original Japanese – it’s probably safe to assume the translators just settled for male pronouns for convenience. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but now I’ve said it again.
Anyway, this volume kicks off with chapter 82, ‘The Whereabouts’. The first half shows Kid reporting back to his father about Noah, and we also learn a little more about what actually happened during the DWMA’s battle with Noah.
The second half switches focus to Moscow, where Crona is confronted by the Demon Cannon Tsar Pushka.
‘Mad Blood’ is the title of chapter 83, and it continues to show Crona’s battle against Tsar Pushka. Naturally, Medusa is observing the whole thing. It’s also hinted at that those who are infected with the Black Blood have some kind of connection.
After the battle in Moscow, Stein, Maka, Soul, Kim and Jackie travel there, and see that Crona has left quite a mark. Soul’s scar starts hurting him a lot, and then madness quite literally bursts forth from it.
Chapter 84 is called ‘Recovery’. Soul loses control, so Stein steps up and wields Jackie in an attempt to stop him. Whilst his physical body fights, Soul has his own battle in his own mind.
After that kerfuffle, there is a report stating that the ‘Demon Sword’ was spotted in Ukraine. What Crona did there is of much greater magnitude than in Moscow.
‘Pursuit’ is what chapter 85 is called. We get a battle between one of Asura’s loyal followers and a Death Weapon – I won’t spoil who the combatants are here, but it’s definitely a mighty fine fight. There’s definitely some rather interesting techniques on display here.
‘Justice’ is the title of chapter 86, which opens with the news that the DWMA has seized Baghdad. Kid isn’t too sure about this strategy, though he knows time is running short. In order to contribute, he decides to return to Lost Island (where the magnetic storm was) and see if he can learn anything from Eibon.
The fight from the previous chapter concludes here as well.
Chapter 87 is ‘Just A Simple Story About Killing A Person’. Crona takes centre stage here, and we get to see a little more concerning what happened in Moscow and Ukraine.
Then focus switches to Kid on Lost Island, where he meets with Eibon. Is it the real Eibon or just a memory created by the magnetic storm? I’m not going to answer that, you’ll have to read the manga yourself to find out.
This chapter closes out with Crona and Medusa eating dinner together, and some kind words… the ‘simply story’ of this chapter then comes to a close.
Soul Eater continues to be enjoyable. It’s clear that the stakes are getting higher as we draw closer to the end, and the body count is getting higher…
Highlights of this particular volume include seeing just what Crona is capable of now, and the fight featured in chapters eighty-four and eighty-five.
In the next volume, Spartoi are given a particular order that concerns a specific acquaintance of theirs…