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Soul Eater – Part Three (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

June 19, 2010 by  



The action and drama is stepped up a notch for “Soul Eater – Part Three”.  Featuring the battle between the DWMA students and Arachnophobia, “Soul Eater” fans will definitely enjoy this action-packed volume!  Definitely recommended!

Image courtesy of © Atsushi Okubo/Square Enix. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Soul Eater – Part Three

DURATION: Episodes 27-39 (315 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, Japanese 2.0, English subtitles

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: June 1, 2010

Originally created by Atsushi Ohkubo

Directed by akuya Igarashi

Series Composition by Akatsuki Yamatoya

Music by Taku Iwasaki

Character Design by Yoshiyuki Ito

Art Director: Norifumi Nakamura

Sound Director: Kazuhiro Wakabayashi

Director of Photography: Yohei Miyahara

Anime Production: BONES

Featuring the following voice talent:

Chiaki Omigawa/Laura Bailey as Maka Albarn

Kouki Uchiyama/Micah Solusod as Soul Eater Evans

Yumiko Kobayashi/Brittney Karbowski as Black Star

Kaori Nazuka/Monica Rial as Tsubaki Nakatsukasa

Mamoru Miyano/Todd Haberkorn as Death the Kid

Akeno Watanabe/Jami Marchi as Liz Thompson

Narumi Takahira/Cherami Leigh as Patty Thompson

Toru Ohkawa/Vic Mignona as Death Scythe (Spirit)

Rikiya Koyama/John Swasey as Shinigami-sama (Lord Death)

Yuya Uchida/Chuck Huber as Dr. Franken Stein

Chieko Honda as Mari Mjolnir

Emiri Katou/Leah Clark as Blair

Houchu Ohtsuka/Barry Yandell as Little Demon

Houko Kuwashima/Luci Christian as Medusa

Junko Noda as Mira Nygus

Keiji Himeno/Sonny Strait as Ragnarok

Maaya Sakamoto/Maxey Whitehead as Chrona

Masafumi Kimura/Kent Williams as Sid Barett

Michiko Neya as Arachne

Takehito Koyasu/Troy Baker as Excalibur

Toshiko Furukawa/Chris Patton as Asura/Kishin

As students of the Grim Reaper at Death Weapon Meister Academy, Maka is a Meister and Soul is her Weapon – literally. When they take on the supernatural forces of evil, Soul transforms into a razor-sharp scythe and Maka wields him in battle. He gets deadlier with every defeated soul he consumes and each victory strengthens their bond – but Maka, Soul, and their classmates might not be ready to face the darkness headed their way.

After 800 years, the witch Arachne has returned to spin a web of wickedness, leading an army of ghoulish minions in a war against Death Weapon Meister Academy. As demons from the past rise amid betrayal and madness, Maka and Soul are definitely in for the fight of their lives. But, hey – luckily for the fate of the world, they’re a freakin’ lethal team!

In 2003, mangaka Atsushi Okubo created his Japanese manga “Soul Eater”. Published by Square Enix, the manga had several one shots and eventually serialized in Square Enix’s “Monthly Shonen Gangan”. The manga went on to receive an English translation in 2009, several video games on various consoles but in 2008, the series received its anime adaptation by Bones and shown on TV Tokyo and featured a total of 51 episodes. FUNimation Entertainment will now be releasing the third volume covering episodes 27-39.

“Soul Eater” is directed by Takuya Igarashi (“Ashita no Nadja, “Ojamamo Doremi”, and many “Sailor Moon” episodes), series composition by Akatsuki Yamatoya (“Blue Dragon”, “Fullmetal Alchemist”, “Inuyasha”, “To Love-Ru”), character designs by Yoshiyuki Ito (“Fullmetal Alchemist”) and music by Taku Iwasaki (“R.O.D.”, “Gurren Lagann”, “Getbackers”, “Persona – trinity soul-“).

“Soul Eater” is a series that focuses on a group of students who attend the Death Weapon Meister Academy in a place known as Death City in Nevada. The school is run by the Shinigami known as Death and human wielders train with their weapons which are known as meisters. The meisters and their weapons collect various souls that they are assigned to, but at times, the missions are quite difficult, challenging and can be deadly. And if they do not collect the correct soul, by the rules of academy, their soul collecting is reset to zero.

The main characters of “Soul Eater” are:

  • Maka Albarn – One of the primary characters who is dedicated as a scythe meister of the demon scythe known as Soul Eater (Soul Evans). She and her partner Soul Eater want to collect 100 souls in order to make Soul Eater into a Death Scythe and surpass her father Spirit, who she doesn’t get along with. She cares about her partner Soul.
  • Soul Eater (Soul Evans) – Maka’s partner and a cool person who loves to eat souls and crazy about sexy women with big boob. He and Maka tend to argue quite a bit but he is loyal to her.
  • Black Star – A very egotistical young ninja/meister who thinks he is the best there is. He is the sole survivor of his Black Star ninja clan and is partners with Tsubaki. He is very athletic and very persistent but at the same time, sometimes his emotions get in the way and thus prevents him and his partner from collecting souls.
  • Tsubaki – Black Star’s partner and is a “dark arm” weapon. She can turn into various ninja weapons and in human form, very calm and quiet girl.
  • Death the Kid – The son of the Shinigami and partners with Liz and Patty Thompson. He is a powerful fighter but is obsessive compulsive about things being in symmetry and that everything must be balanced in his life. This obsession also affect his focus.
  • Liz and Patty – The weapon partners of Death the Kid. They can turn into guns. The eldest Liz tends to bicker with Death the Kid but is often scared while Patty is always cheerful. These two can wield each other if needed.
  • Shinigami (Lord Death) – The founder and head of Death Weapon Meister Academy. Often secretive and playful.
  • Spirit Albarn (Death Scythe) – The weapon of the Shinigami and also the father of Maka who is divorced from her mother and is often drunk and messing around with women. All he wants is his daughter’s attention but she doesn’t give it to him and thus it makes him depressed.
  • Dr. Franken Stein – The mad scientist of the Academy. Always wants to research and dissect things. Also, a three star meister who can fight.
  • Crona – The child of Medusa who was forced by Medusa to become evil (even though she didn’t want to) who was once and enemy is now a friend and member DWMA.

“Soul Eater – Part Three” features episodes 27-39 on two DVD’s. Here is an episode listing featuring spoiler-less summaries:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 27 – 800 Years of Bloodlust – Advent of the Heretic Witch – Maka and Crona fights against Giriko and the golem.  Meanwhile, Stein finds a heretic soul inside the golem.
  • EPISODE 28 – The Sword God Rises – Does It Have a Sweet or Salty Taste – Blackstar takes on Arachne’s new bodyguard, Mifune.
  • EPISODE 29 – Medusa’s Revival! A Spider and Snake’s Fateful Reunion? – A young girl is possessed by Medusa’s snake.  Stein teaches the students about “Duel Arts”.
  • EPISODE 30 – The Red Hot Runaway Express – A Magic Tool Left Behind by the Great Wizard – Kid, Liz and Patty investigate a magic tool and confront Mifune.
  • EPISODE 31 – Drying Happiness! Whose Tears Sparkle in the Moonlight? – Crona encounters the revived Medusa.
  • EPISODE 32 – Legend of the Holy Sword 3 – The Academy Gang Leader’s Tale? – A story about Hero and his sword Excalibur.
  • EPISODE 33 – Resonance Link – Play the Melody of the Souls? – Is Stein going insane?

Disc 2:

  • EPISODE 34 – The Battle for Brew – Clash: The DWMA vs. Arachnophobia? – The DWMA and the Arachnophobia fight for the magic tool “Brew”.
  • EPISODE 35 – Mosquito’s Storm! Ten Minutes to fight in the World of the Past? – The group encounters the powerful Mosquito.
  • EPISODE 36 – Unleash the Seven’s Resonance Link! A Recital of Destruction and Creation? – The battle against Mosquito continues and the group try to pull of the resonance link.
  • EPISODE 37 – The Detective’s First Case – Kid Exposes the DWMA’s Secret? – The introduction to Joe Buttaki of DWMA Internal Affairs Division.
  • EPISODE 38 – Asura’s Temptation – The Big Man’s Uncontrollable Irritation? – Black Star challenges Kid in a duel.
  • EPISODE 39 – Crona’s Escape – Show Me Your Smile, Please? – Maka and Soul look for Crona.

VIDEO:

“Soul Eater” is an interesting anime series when it comes to animation and character design. With mangaka Atsushi Okubo inspired from Tim Burton and David Lynch films, “Soul Eater” is anime series that features many vibrant colors but also uses minimal detail. Character designs are quite simple and not detailed nor are they shaded, but the art backgrounds are detailed and colorful and thus enhance the look of the character designs.

Typically, I’m not a fan of anime series that feature minimalistic character designs but in the case of “Soul Eater”, because of its Burton-esque flavor, Okubo’s world around these characters is brought to live in animation and for the most part, the quirkiness and creative style works for this action-driven anime series.

AUDIO:

As for the series, the anime is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound and Japanese Stereo. Voice acting on both the Japanese and English dub is well-done but of course, the action scenes are much more pronounced audio wise for the English dub. Although, for those with modern home theater receivers, you can definitely enjoy the Japanese stereo track via setting stereo on all channels for a more immersive soundscape.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Soul Eater – Part Three” comes with a few special features. Included are:

Disc 1:

  • Episode 30 Commentary – Audio commentary with voice talent Cherami Leigh (Patty Thompson), Todd Haberkorn (Death) and Jami Marchi (Liz Thompson).

DISC 2:

  • Soul Eater Late Show – (19:24) Featuring late show clips for episodes 28-39. Japanese promo/teaser spots for each episode. That range from opening and closing theme, naughty-like teasers, bumper art galleries to character-based goofiness. Each promo spot lasts around a minute and a half each.
  • Textless Opening Song – Tommy Heavenly6 – “Resonance”
  • Textless Closing Song – Diggy-Mo’ – “Bakusou Yumeuta”
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers.

“Soul Eater” just gets better and better with each volume.

In “Soul Eater – Part Three”, the war between the DWMA and Arachnophobia steps up and the series is becoming much more thrilling as the fight between the two groups and Medusa’s revival is starting to make this series more action-driven but also a storyline that is getting more intense with each episode.

Where in the previous volumes, the DWMA students were often confidence but this time around, their confidence has been shattered and it’s going to be interesting to see how they pick themselves up and prepare themselves for the upcoming battle ahead.

And as mentioned in my previous two reviews about creator Atsushi Okubo’s appreciation for Tim Burton’s films and how it influenced Okubo’s character designs and designing the world of “Soul Eater”, for those who appreciate what Tim Burton was able to do for his own dark films can easily appreciate the twisted, dark world created by Atsushi Okubo. The look and feel of “Soul Eater” is quite different from any other anime series that I have seen and that’s a positive. Sure, character designs may be a bit minimal without the usual shading and detail that people expect from an anime series, especially from Bones. But I really dig the character designs because it’s fresh and different from what I’m usually seeing and for the most part, it works.

Overall, “Soul Eater – Part Three” was a much more enjoyable volume than the previous two.  Seriously, this series gets better and better with each volume that I can’t wait for part four!  Definitely recommended!






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