There is a sample noticed in quite a lot of long-running shonen manga, the place early chapters are characterised by dense however speedy tales that inevitably wrap up by the tip, however these self-contained adventures drift into the ether because the sequence establishes itself and begins tackling extra long-form arcs. The primary two volumes of this Excellent Version launch weren’t devoid of bigger story particulars, nevertheless it all the time felt like each chapter – even the person segments of the two-parters – instructed an entire story with a satisfying arc by the point they completed. Not so with Quantity 3, the place it looks as if each new chapter primarily exists to introduce a brand new plot level that might be, presumably, paid off someday later.
That is not essentially a foul factor – longer narratives all however require build-up with the intention to be memorable – nevertheless it does depart this quantity feeling a bit of weightless in comparison with the primary two. There are tidbits of character arcs creating, however no actual sense of development, as Soul and Maka stay roughly on the similar place they have been at the beginning of this. Black Star and Tsubaki are barely components exterior of comedic reduction, and whereas Child will get considerably extra screentime, it is principally there to reintroduce Krona to the story and foreshadow extra vital plot factors down the road. None of that is disagreeable or incompetent, nevertheless it undoubtedly left me wanting extra within the improper means, in comparison with earlier volumes.
Fortunately, even when that is principally setup, it is fairly enjoyable and simple to learn. Ohkubo’s eye for motion solely will get sharper with every chapter, and the introduction of the immortal wolf-man, Free, provides up a ton of inventive avenues for motion. The man’s precise persona is a bit of bare-bones – he is a extremely highly effective fool, which is a job we have already stuffed – however his preventing fashion is as wild as something Soul Eater has launched to date, combining the vicious ferocity of an unkillable beast with uncanny ice magic. I particularly get pleasure from him forming a boulder of ice across the ball and chain he all the time wears, making a deadly Skip-It that is all the time a pleasure to see in motion. My largest criticism is that his battle ends with an anticlimax, however that simply means he will get to stay round and finally present up with much more ridiculous tips.
That stated, exterior of Free’s introduction there’s not a ton of preventing to talk of. After an enthralling sufficient comedy reduction chapter in regards to the college students finding out and/or dishonest for a giant examination, we observe Child and his twin weapons on a mission aboard a ghost ship that is been harvesting harmless souls for unknown functions. It is right here the place the pressure of build up bigger plot factors turns into a extra obvious fault, as Child’s new opponent is woefully nonthreatening, solely justifying his screentime by providing a touch at some darkish secret in DWMA’s previous earlier than getting munched by Krona and Ragnarok. That might work if that thriller have been teased out longer, however by the tip of this similar quantity we all know every little thing about what’s foreshadowed right here. That is doubly unlucky as a result of Child stays the least fascinating or well-rounded of our protagonists, and sending him on an errand to primarily kill time would not assist.
After that although, we do get some honest-to-goodness story development, as Stein figures out Medusa’s disguise simply in time for her to spring her personal plan into motion. It is right here we be taught that her purpose is to revive Asura, the Kishin who has been sealed under DWMA by Lord Dying’s spirit for a whole lot of years. We solely find out about Asura himself via a short flashback from Dying’s perspective, however what we see of him is definitely compelling. As a Kishin born not by need for energy, however from an uncontrollable concern, there are quite a lot of fascinating concepts the sequence might discover with him as a distinction to our heroes. There are definitely some neat parallels between his need for energy to flee concern and Soul’s willingness to embrace the Black Blood’s energy to guard Maka. And as a Meister who devoured his personal Weapon accomplice, he presumably represents the darkest taboo of all the setting.
However that should come later, if in any respect, as the ultimate chapter of this quantity as a substitute units up some basic one-on-one shonen battles. We’ll have to attend for quantity 4 to see these play out, however Maka and Soul’s rematch in opposition to Karna is all however assured to be eventful. Dying Scythe and Stein’s standoff with Medusa additionally guarantees to lastly allow us to see essentially the most highly effective duo of the present in motion, and my hopes are excessive. Ohkubo’s fights have but to disappoint, and I see no motive to count on them to begin now.
The Excellent Version‘s included coloration pages proceed to be an excellent function, particularly as Ohkubo begins to department out in his inventive fashion. The flat colours and exaggerated designs in a number of of those coloration spreads make for an exquisite distinction to the cleaner fashion of the manga correct. There’s an actual sense that whereas he is refining his fashion for the narrative correct, Ohkubo is all the time searching for new methods to catch your eye, and so they make the beginning of each chapter a welcome deal with.
On the entire, this quantity seems like an prolonged prelude. It is not altogether dangerous, and by no means stops being entertaining, however after I hit the again cowl I used to be left with the feeling that the actual great things was all ready down the road. Chalk it as much as rising pains as Soul Eater expands its focus and scope, I suppose.