It’s been a while, but now I’ve finally arrived at the final volume of Soul Eater on which I will be sharing my thoughts. All the prior events in the manga have led up to this volume, in which the final showdown comes to an end. It’s order against madness as Soul Eater comes to a conclusion.
Volume twenty-five contains six chapters, opening with chapter one hundred and eight and concluding the whole series with the final chapter, or number one hundred and thirteen for those who prefer their chapters to be numbered.
Oh, and as this is the final volume, there’ll probably be spoilers.
Kid’s sense of order stands in sharp contrast to the unpredictable madness of the Kishin. But order and madness are two sides of the same coin. When Asura challenges the “tyrannical” Shinigami and his laws that serve to control humans’ lives, Kid can feel the tendrils of madness within himself seeking purchase. The bonds of his friendships and his faith in order are tested to their limits as Asura makes his final stand against the forces of DWMA. When the moondust settles, who will emerge as lord of this world – Shinigami or Kishin?
With the blurb out of the way, let’s focus on chapter 108, ‘The Dark Side of the Moon V’. It opens with Excalibur and Shinigami discussing Kid’s growth, but the main focus is the battle against Asura.
Asura reveals that he and Kid share a connection, though Kid has doubts about this. Black☆Star couldn’t care less about this and leaps into combat, fighting in a style that his truly his own…
The chapter ends with Soul preparing something in order to counter the Kishin’s Black Blood.
In chapter 109, ‘The Dark Side of the Moon VI’, Soul prepares his technique whilst Maka, Black☆Star and Kid go on the offensive. Asura pretty much has the upper handm at least until Soul puts his plan into motion. This turns the tide of battle, and this chapter ends with Kid’s true power fully awakening.
‘The Dark Side of the Moon VII’ is the title of chapter 110. Kid’s power awakens fully, but not without consequence. I won’t spoil what that is here, and just simply move on.
With Kid powered up, the three meisters go on the offensive once more. As Soul continues to carry out his plan, Asura targets Maka – Asura keeps calling her ‘human scum’ throughout the battle, which gives a good idea of his thoughts on humanity.
Chapter 111, ‘The Dark Side of the Moon VIII’ actually has a few colour pages which shows Asura’s attack on Maka. There’s a brief flashback to Soul and Maka’s first meeting and then back in the present Maka gets a new outfit whilst Soul’s scythe form changes in appearance as well.
With everyone exerting their full power, Maka, Black☆Star and Kid assault Asura together. The three of them prove to be incredibly determined to win, but Asura doesn’t make things easy and even backs them into a corner.
We then get a big damn heroes moment from several other characters, allowing Maka, Black☆Star and Kid to get back into the fight. At the end of the chapter, Maka unleashes her most powerful technique yet.
‘The Dark Side of the Moon IX’ is the title of chapter 112. Maka and Soul go to retrieve Crona, leaving Black☆Star and Kid to face Asura without them.
Things get rather interesting as a result of Maka and Soul’s actions, and circumstances call for all the meisters and their weapons to use soul resonance. The battle comes to a conclusion, and it has a huge effect on the moon.
The final chapter of Soul Eater, the 113th in total, is called ‘A Sound Soul Dwells in a Sound Mind and a Sound Body’.
As you might expect, this chapter serves to wrap up everything that happened after the final battle. We pretty much get a ‘where are they now’ situation. There’s reunions, characters carrying on legacies left to them, and fanservice calling back to the first volumes of the series.
In addition to that, a new type of madness spreads over the world…
It all comes to a close with a festival, in which several important changes take place within the DWMA.
So there we have it; that’s all 25 volumes of Atsushi Ohkubo’s Soul Eater. If you’ve been reading my previous posts on it, then you’ll be fully aware that I think it is a great series of manga. If you ever want to read something filled with loads of action, Soul Eater is a pretty good choice.
One key aspect I like about it is that the students don’t outshine the adult characters at the beginning – in fact, the adults manage to stay fairly relevant throughout the series, even as the students grow by leaps and bounds.
Another thing I enjoy is how some characters go from background characters seen during classes to playing fairly major roles, with Kim probably being the best example of this.
The antagonists always feel like a major threat throughout as well – though the role of main villain shifts about a bit, the good guys always have to work hard to secure victory.
Of course, the fight scenes are incredible throughout, and I would love to see some of the later ones animated – if any manga series is worthy of a Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood style anime adaptation it is Soul Eater – and by that, I mean an adaptation that is very faithful to the original manga, in case you didn’t know.
The fight scenes tend to provide pretty great moments of character development too – whether its new techniques or characters realising that they can’t just rely on their own strength, battles always have something interesting going on.
The characters are great in general. Whilst Maka is my favourite character, I would probably say that Black☆Star receives the best development – he is pretty much the definition of an obnoxious brat during his introduction, but by the time the ending rolls around he become so much more tolerable whilst still making huge boasts that one suspects he might actually live up to…
That isn’t to say that Maka and Kid’s development are lacking. Kid takes important steps as Shinigami’s son, even when presented with doubts about his father.
Then there’s Maka, who is just a human. Whilst this could lead some to view her as the weakest of the three main meisters, the fact she is able to fight alongside Black☆Star and Kid against the embodiment of madness itself proves that she too possesses a strength unique to her. Sure, she had moments of self-doubt, but her friends were always there to get her through the tough times.
I feel that the weapon characters don’t quite receive as much development as their meisters, with Soul being an exception. Whilst Tsubaki, Liz and Patty get their moments, Soul does share main character status with Maka – heck, his name is the title of the series. Of course, a lot of Maka’s development wouldn’t have happened with Soul, making it clear just how important he is.
Another element I really enjoy is the madness. This allows Atsushi Ohkubo to draw stuff that looks totally insane, and definitely makes for some incredibly memorable imagery.
The conclusion of the manga is much better than the conclusion of the anime, without a doubt. I won’t be saying much else about that, so I don’t spoil things for those who haven’t experienced it. I will say, however, that the manga’s ending definitely has an element of humour to it when you take into account that new kind of madness.
So, is Soul Eater worth your time? Without a doubt, it is. Great characters and development, brilliant action scenes and some nice humour make the manga well worth a read. I strongly recommend giving it a go if you haven’t done so already.