SOUL EATER – 51 (END)
Maka and Soul enter into a resonance of souls, but their power isn’t enough to hurt Ashura. It’s not until they power up to their version of Kishin Gari that they’re even able to cut into him, however Ashura is easily able to shatter this and heal his body. He then fires a blast at Maka, but Soul ends up protecting her. After getting beat up a bit more, Maka uses her own body to protect Soul, and despite getting knocked down, she gets back up. What’s different about Maka this time is that she has blades coming out of her own body, and Ashura realizes that it’s because she’s got weapon blood in her even though she became a meister. Ashura knocks her out of it by causing her great pain, and he tries to convince her that she’s got nothing left that can defeat him. Maka freaks Ashura out by saying that she’s relieved, and Black*Star and the others explain that Maka has courage to fight fear.
Remembering شجاعت (shaja’at – courage), the phrase that was written on the postcard from her mother, Maka refuses to back down and puts all the courage into her fist. Ashura doesn’t understand, and he finds himself unable to stop Maka from charging at him and punching him in the face. As Ashura’s face cracks, she explains that this wasn’t special and that everyone has courage. Right before he explodes, Ashura realizes that it’s the exact same as madness. In the aftermath, the sky clears up and everything seems fine again, but Kid warns that as long as there are people in this world, the negative feelings won’t disappear. He thinks that a new Kishin will show up in the future, but Maka feels that it’s fine because they’ll be there and because everyone has courage in their heart.
This turned out to be fairly good for an anime original ending. The action wasn’t just a rehash of previous battles and abilities, and the blades coming out of Maka were certainly an eye-opener even if they ended up being fairly useless. I had always wondered about how her father had been a weapon and she had ended up being a meister, and this shed some light on that (though I question the timing). And while the whole courage thing wasn’t the most exciting way to defeat Ashura – I’d even call it a little cheesy and cliche – I did like how they set up the theme of courage to counter madness. It was also good to see Shinigami-sama and Crona get some lines in, however the ending probably could have used a little more closure and epilogue. I was hoping they’d show Mifune teaching at Shibusen or something about Maka’s mother. Still, I enjoyed hearing the first ending song again, so I didn’t mind too much.
It’s hard to believe it’s been an entire year since I started watching this show – time sure flies. In any case, I think BONES ended up doing a pretty good job with this considering that they had to make up their own ending. They managed to follow the manga pretty faithfully up to a certain point and then went their own way. And while the story didn’t end up always being the strongest point, the action sequences and music certainly were, so the animation team and composer Iwasaki Taku deserve some recognition. All in all, I’d say that SOUL EATER is far from perfect, but it probably ends up being a solid recommendation for anyone interested in seeing a well-produced action series.