Crazy shounen action comedy with dazzling animation in Soul Eater (ソウルイーター), TV Tokyo’s new Monday show at 18:00 JST.

Starting with three short arcs in 2003 to preface the main storyline that went into weekly publication in 2004, Ookubo Atsushi’s shounen manga is currently at 11 volumes. Bones‘ animated production will be led by Igarashi Takuya, who’s already directed their popular Ouran High School Host Club. Slightly more worrisome is the inclusion of Yamatoya Akatsuki on screenplay duty, because we all loathe his abysmal To Love-ru, but he’s also fiddled with Konjiki no Gash Bell, so maybe it’ll be alright.

In order to battle evil Kishin (fierce gods), Shinigami-sama (aka Grim Reaper) has founded the Shinigami Buki Shokunin Senmon Gakkou (Grim Reaper Weapon and Artisan Vocational School) – Shibusen for short – in the middle of his hometown Death City in Nevada, USA. Er. Its purpose is to produce mighty Death Scythe weapons for Shinigama’s use, which is done through a process of feeding the weapon 99 evil souls plus one witch soul, which transforms it into something much more powerful. These Weapons, however, are a somewhat modified race of humanoids, who can morph into lethal shapes at will. To help them fight, they (mostly) need the help of an Artisan to wield them, and the show’s plot follows three such pairs. The first episode introduces us to the first couple, the Weapon Soul (Eater) and his Artisan ladyfriend Maka (Albahn), and they’re having a bit of trouble getting that final witch soul. Subsequent episodes seem to deal with the Nakatsukasa Tsubaki (Weapon) / Black Star (Artisan) pair, while the third and final couple isn’t so much a couple as a threesome, with sisters Liz and Patty Thompson (Weapons) and Death The Kid (Artisan).

I’m always wrong, but this really looks like HD to me, and the animation is so good I nearly swooned. Especially the OP, which is just awe-inspiring. The design is also so distinct that it will paint your entire room with its blazing style, simply bursting out of the TV. The music is similarly impressive, composed by master craftsman Iwasaki Taku, whom you already know from Gurren-Lagann. So far, so good! And this is where it all comes crumbling down: voice talent. For some baffling reason, they picked a complete debutant to play the main character Maka, someone named Omigawa Chiaki. I hate to say it, but her acting is just so poor that it makes me want to mute the TV; quite possibly the worst voicework I’ve ever heard. I’d link her profile, but both her blog and agency seem to have gone up in flames, so maybe I’m not the only one disappointed. Luckily, her co-star Uchiyama Kouki as Soul sounds decent, having dubbed several movies and played Roxas in Kingdom Hearts before moving on to make this his proper debut in anime. The rest of the cast is top-notch, with Koyama Rikiya (Takamura in Hajime no Ippo) making a very unusual performance as Shinigami-sama, and other characters are voiced by Nazuka Kaori (Hiromi in True Tears), Miyano Mamoru (Setsuna in Gundam 00), and Ookawa Tooru (Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist), to name a few.

I’m left with a split impression after watching this first episode of Soul Eater. Partly, I’m stunned by the fantastic visuals and music, but at the same time, I’m not entirely overwhelmed by the plot and setting. It could certainly turn out to be an entertaining ride, but I’ll need some more time with the characters to make my final decision. Then there’s that atrocious voice actress for Maka – if she figures extensively in later episodes, without showing noticeable improvement, I’d rather wait for an English dub, despite despising them so much.

In a strange move by the companies involved, Soul Eater will be broadcast twice every week, first this regular version on Monday evenings, and then a late show version on Thursday nights at 26:15 JST. There’s not too much information on what the difference will be, but I remember seeing something about additional content, which I presume means more blood/gore, and possibly less censorship in the form of floating soap dispensers covering breasts and buttocks.

Edit: For those of you who asked about the OP/ED, here’s the OP and here’s the ED, MediaFire links.

Edit 2: It turns out the late show is exactly the same, with nothing interesting added at all. It just has a few repeated scenes (exactly the same as the Monday evening version), and a longer next episode preview after the ED sequence. Don’t bother.


  1. I thought she sounded ok but Soul and black star sounded a little weird though 😛

    also its Airing again at 2am, anyone know if there is gonna be any differance between the 6pm one and the 2am one?

  2. @SmackyCat
    The official Soul Eater anime website has previously announced that there will be extra/special footage in the later airing. I don’t know anything about the extent and content of the extra material though.

  3. I think Maka’s voice is just one of those voices you’ll get used to after awhile. Her acting will progress and get better throughout the rest of the series. Personally, I think it’s kind of cute. As for the actual show, I’m impressed with the animation. The fighting scenes are awesome.

  4. or she could just stay bad.

    that having been said, i don’t see whats so ear bleeding about her. she can’t convey emotion worth crap and generally wasn’t good, but she wasn’t ear bleeding.
    frankly her perf was just dull, if i had to find a descriptor.

  5. Wait, what? Now you’re grumpy because I’m posting a perfectly valid complaint about poor acting? It’s obvious to anyone with ears.

    Anyway, I’m not “the new guy”. I’ve been posting these snapshots for nearly a year. Most people seem to have misunderstood the concept of “snapshots”, however, as they’re just here to cover the very first episode of any new anime show that Omni is too busy to handle on his own. I never blog more episodes, and all I’m looking to do is raise awareness of what’s on TV in Japan at the moment.

    Since this is a blog, and I have no intention of being a faceless robot, I also include my impressions, which means the posts will be biased in whichever direction I find fitting for the series in question. Enjoy!

  6. “#
    random Dude at 4:13 pm on April 7th, 2008

    Honestly, Omni should fire this Patrik guy. I’m starting to dislike RandomC cause of this dumbass of a so called blogger.”

    Dumbass? more like you are sir, with comments like that we won’t miss you, it would be great if you leaved i don’t really think RandomC want ppl like you visitng this site.

    And what Patrik is saying is so true, i watched some of the raw just to see how horrible it was and wow… it sure was like Patrik said, it was annoyin and really over done. And also this is a shounen anime ofc. based on the first ep one can’t really tell much about either plot or how fun it will be. So you guys whining about that point, can leave right away imo. i can totally agree with Patrik on this one.

    Patrik is a good blogger and usually say’s stuff that is spot on and if you guys don’t like it, bugger off.

    Good as always Snapshot Patrik!

  7. Will definitely catch this one.

    The art style reminds me of works by Studio 4C. Manga is still ongoing, so I wonder if there’ll be a decent ending.

    If you’ve read the manga, you’re probably wondering the same things as I am.

  8. I didn’t have any problems with Maka’s VA. It actually sounded natural to me. And as for not conveying any emotions on her voice, I was assuming that that’s her character.

  9. I don’t find her that annoying. I thought it fit her tsuntsun personality. As long as Soul Eater is getting animated this well, I dont care how bad Maka’s VA sounds as long its not screeching horrible that it makes me want to pause every few minutes to pull myself together.

  10. I got the impression that Maka being emotionless is just her character.

    I say give the poor girl a break, lots of VAs are terrible when they start. I remember Kawasumi Ayako’s debut role (Melfina in Outlaw Star), wasn’t very polished and came off flat for a number of episodes before she got good.

  11. aww so your not going to blog this anime? man.. i hope you will blog it
    since this is olny my source in comes to my fav. anime episode reviews…
    but i guess it depends to the people’s taste and maybe in next episode
    it can change your hey! this anime gots some amazing animation + bgm!
    they’re really cool! also the fighting scenes! i should say they got a cool action scenes and i dont think Maka’s VA does really hurt becoz she’s still a newbie and hey its her debut afterall.. i’m sure you guys can get over with.

  12. It looks like a cross between Bleach and D.Gray-man so I’m pretty interested in watching this. Hopefully the subbed version comes out soon. The Animation looks a lot like Gurren Lagann as well xD! Here’s hoping it lives up to expectations.

  13. i thought that kicked ass. the first fight scene in particular was awe-inspiring. i personally didn’t see anything wrong with the acting, but maybe it’s cause i don’t know much about Japanese voices.

  14. This looks like the most interesting new anime of the season.
    Finally, a shonen show with great animation and a unique style. It kinda reminds me of shows like bleach, d. gray man, and even shaman king but the plot isnt very important to the shonen genre anyway.

    As for Maka’s VA, i thinks it suits the character just fine. I really like her unusual voice but maybe that’s just me.

  15. Being a big fan of the manga I thought this was awesome, but do agree that the voice acting choices are a bit odd. Maaka’s voice was fine for normal dialogue, but rather lacking for the more strained moments during battle, hopefully this will improve since there’s gonna be a fair old bit of it to come. Soul sounds waaaaay older than he looks, so was a bit surprising, but it didn’t take long to get used to, and actually does suit him pretty well I think. Blackstar’s voice (what little we heard) seemed surprisingly feminine… not sure what to make of that lol, will reserve judgement on that til after ep2!

  16. @melchior
    “I got the impression that Maka being emotionless is just her character.”

    i don’t know, she seemed rather animated to me. far too animated to be an emotionless character.

  17. Thanks for the OP/ED. I’m kinda disappointed that Omni isn’t blogging this series, unless Patrik is willing to continue blogging this series, I have no problem with that.

  18. The animation is top notched… Haven’t seen animation this great and funky in a long time. It’s like… Mahou Shoujo Alice’s graphics… with tons more animation and action!!

    Unfortunately, Maka’s voice was a HUGE turn off. First, she needs to emote MORE. Second, she needs to have more variations in her tone. And third, she needs another voice. She may be a new seiyuu, but this is like… hiring a 6th grader to write Microsoft Windows. no wait… I mean, like hiring a RTS gamer to run the national security and defense. So far, the rest of the cast is amazing. But I just wish Maka had a better voice.

    Now to finish watching the 2nd half of the episode.

  19. Just saw the first episode, the characters are approaching dullness, without much help from their voice talent, however the plot setting and mood are positively unique, especially the funky urban-dreamworld atmosphere that reminds me of “Subarashiki Kono Sekai”.

  20. ………. Most character tend to be dull at the beginning usually @@. Btw, I’m taking to account that Patrik is blogging from a non-manga reader point of view. It makes a difference sometimes when it comes to deciding whether you continue watching a show or not.

    Either way, go easy on the the new VA. It’s not top notch, but she’s relatively new I think and I’m sure that, well I presume that the Manga Artist decides on the voice. Also, dont’ expect the plot to rock right away. The manga certainly didn’t until like Chapter 14ish. Then the arcs begin. If your’e going to be disapointed over the uneasyness where the story will go, just stop watching it for a few weeks. I’m guessing around Episode 5-7ish is where the plot will come in hopefully. Then I could be long and it’ll be at like episode 11 -_-.

    Sora no Kaze
  21. Quoted from Patrik : “I never blog more episodes, and all I’m looking to do is raise awareness of what’s on TV in Japan at the moment.

    Since this is a blog, and I have no intention of being a faceless robot, I also include my impressions, which means the posts will be biased in whichever direction I find fitting for the series in question.”

    Not trying to start anything, but if you’re just trying to raise awareness about the new series, shouldn’t you refrain from being so biased? All that’s needed to raise awareness is a simple summary and maybe a few comments about what’s good or bad about the series. Most of your posts are valid, but in some of them (TLR for example) you go as far as attacking every aspect of the anime relentlessly by saying everything was bad…you could’ve at least said the voice acting was decent. In that one example, it was more like you forced your values onto others.

  22. o_o – Yeah, I suppose that’s true, but I also try to vary my writing a bit so as to make it less predictable and boring to read. In 4/5 cases I’ll do a fairly objective summary, but in extreme cases I’ve decided to let my fingers go, and just type the irritation off. TLR was simply too poor a production to bother viewers with. The exact same thing has been done so many times before (just look at Girls Bravo).

    I can enjoy fanservice shows, make no mistake, and I’m very fond of Tenchi Muyou, not to mention that I actually watched and enjoyed (most of) Rosario + Vampire. But to satisfy my fanservice show needs, two demands must be met: erection and laughter. TLR provided neither, so it failed completely, and thus seemed a fitting target for my ire.

    If you have constructive criticism and suggestions for how I should alter my writing, especially if you really do find the writing to be poor (rather than the opinion it expresses), I’d be happy to read it.

  23. Pat: how come you didn’t blog ROSARIO if you enjoyed it as well? Unfortunately, Rosario was my “guilty pleasure” of the last season, being a manga reader of the series.

    On Soul Eater’, I’ll be DLing’ it if someone manages to sub it alongside keepers like Macross F, Kurenai, Vampire Knight, Druaga. It actually looks glossy and it would be shame to keep it in avi.

  24. oookay after actually watching it I found nothing wrong with Maka’s voice.What were you expecting?Some cutesy high voice?It could be that Maka’s voice was intended to be that way.Nobody knows.As if we can hear voices from manga we read(T.T)…As for me I was too blinded by everything other than Maka’s voice to care.

  25. those few peeps are bugging, the voice is fine. and the show ROCKED!! love the style. NO ONE WANTS TO BLOG THIS!!?!?!? i know how to encode, sure wish i could translate though, ohh well at least some one put the first ep out, FEENING for the next ep

    ps= smashing pumkin’s??. . .pumkin scissor song?? hahahah dat was cute

    BROOKLYN otaku
  26. Loved the animation of the fight scenes, they seemed smooth. But yes i hate Maka’s seiyu. Hopefully she can improve as the course of the anime continues. She is new, everyone starts out somewhere.

  27. wow, i can’t believe people are complaining about the voice acting. After watching that episode, i love it, the style, the op and the ed, everything. not once did i think twice about voices, but then again, i recite the name of top voice actresses every night before i go to bed…. seriously, who cares…

  28. Well iono people, I found the voice okay until the scenes where she gets “mock-angry” or when she’s fighting. In those scenes, her voice definitely lacks emotion and really makes the show less funny. Just my opinion though.

  29. @gintama
    yea same here XD and btw its gonna be a 51 episode series…1 episode less than hayate…and anyone noticed the camera angle rotation thingy in the middle of the fight???

  30. At first Maka’s voice surprised and scared me. I thought “OMG, all the girl voice acting are those with squeamish high voices. BLASMEPHER!”

    And then I got over it. It’s okay. I prefer Maka’s voice over some of the voices in other names (I’m not going to point fingers). It’s just a bit different, hearing it after a while makes it normal.


  32. Maka’s voice may grow on me, but i find it really monotone. It is a little annoying. Soul’s voice doesn’t fit, but it didn’t really bother me much. Otherwise the show was nice. I loved Blair – she was great fan service. I was pissed because I thought she would end up dying. I don’t know about the story. It seems to be just a fun anime.

  33. I can’t hear your problem with Maka’s voice at all, she’s a little flat for the expressions drawn, but that’s about it. not the best, but far from the worst I’ve ever heard.

    Sarreq Teryx
  34. Umm, to be honest, I found nothing particularly uncomfortable on the regard of Maka’s voice acting. Sure, her voice acting isn’t quite one of excellencies. However, it is my personal opinion that flat voice of hers suits Maka’s character almost perfectly.

    I suppose that in the end, it is a matter of individual tastes.

  35. Hmm, I don’t know Patrik; I think I’ll have to disagree with you.. Excellent review, by the way; spot on, except for the voice actress business.. Maybe it’s different if you understand japanese.. maybe she’s speaking horrible gaijin-like japanese and my ear just can’t hear it.. But if it’s a matter of personal preference, then to tell the truth, I actually ‘love’ her voice..
    It reminds of that girl ‘Itsuki’ (-I think.?) from I”s Pure.. Which just had this natural feel to it and sounds kind of cute.. Maybe you don’t like that slightly raspy tinge in her voice, and if you don’t then that kinda sucks, cause I have a feeling that’s how the voice actress is trying to add character and you’ll probably find it really annoying.. but this is an amazing anime, as you’ve doubtlessly noted and I’m totally lovin’ her voice (but not ‘lovin’ like a McDonalds hamburger, lol) so, no qualms here!

  36. I hate people who claim to be experts on Anime like it’s a fucking trade or something.
    Get a clue and realize that the only things you can critique is the voice acting, the story, and the art.
    Just because it looks like something you’ve watched before, doesn’t mean the show is bad. This show is pretty fun to watch with it’s comedy and action scenes.

    Also, cocks.

  37. Oh and the OP sucks. The music is terrible…do you people have any taste at all?
    …and you complain about generic shit? Give me a break. I really hope many of you die in real life.

  38. i think its a pretty kick ass show and hilarious too, the voices are ok, shit everyone has a differnt tone of voice you know? i’m sure some have heard worst. im gonna keep watching fo sho!

    all the way from across the sea,
    northern ireland!
    there ill be!

  39. Why the hate on English dubs? There are some good dubs out there; there’s Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex series (first and 2nd Gig season), Bleach, and…. and…. Oh now I see… most english dubs DO suck…:P

  40. Je sais que c’est pas bien la pub mais on a tous commencé par la . allez sur mon blog il y a tous les épisodes de soul eater les fans y trouveront tous ce qu’ils veulent images , musique , news , vidéo , avatar ….c’est http.// allez y vraiment ça en vaut la peine !

  41. i’ve started to watch soul eater..but i was just wondering abt the manga..even though the anime is complete with 51 episodes, the manga is still ongoing..may i know, is the manga storyline different from the anime adaptation?? or is it like D.Gray-Man, whereby the anime leaves the story hanging and it is continued in the manga [stating the fact that the manga is also showing the same storyline as the anime]?? can anyone tell me?? cuz i dont wanna be watching the entire anime series and then have to start all over again in the manga if the story plot is different.. =S


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