「魂の共鳴!」 (Tamashi no Kyoumei!)
Let’s just jump straight into the Final Impressions.
As a prequel to the story we’ve all come to love, I think SOUL EATER NOT! did a great job at doing what it did best by not falling into the trap of trying to become a second SOUL EATER!. Sure some fans of the original were probably super disappointed to find out that NOT was more about being a slice-of-life focused on self-discovery and growth instead of a manly action-packed package of goodness but if you continued to watch this spinoff hoping for the latter to occur I’m sure you ended up being sorely disappointed. But if that’s the case you really have no one to blame but yourself.
With that little tidbit out of the way, let’s jump straight into shall we? As hard as it was for me to accept that this show was going to be completely different from the original, I started to really appreciate what it was trying to do once I became a little more open-minded. Because when you take a second to think about it, doesn’t Death City or more specifically Shibusen sound like a fantastic place for a slice-of-life to take place? It resembles the real world somewhat closely but opens up the possibilities for things that just aren’t possible in the real world. Throw in how the ridiculous becomes a lot more believable and it starts to feel like the possibilities are endless.
Besides the amazing setting that leaves almost everything up to just how creative your imagination is, I loved the message SOUL EATER NOT! tried to get across. Focusing on Tsugumi and the trials she faced as she walked along the path of maturity, I thought BONES did a great job at giving us a decent story. Starting with a Tsugumi who wouldn’t survive for five minutes by herself and thrusting her into an environment where it becomes all too clear just how undisciplined and inexperienced she really was, I loved how the trials she faced ramped up just quick enough where she would be challenged but not taking on the impossible. From learning to live on her own to defeating a full blown witch, you can really feel that sense of growing up and becoming self-sufficient. But she didn’t do it by herself! All of that growth would have been impossible without the likes of Anya, Meme, and the entire supporting cast who helped her along the way.
If I were to complain about something though, it would have to be all the half-assed action scenes that occurred throughout the show. Awkward looking and badly animated, I can’t help but feel they were included just to appeal to the fans who came just because of the SOUL EATER name. Yes I appreciated all the cameos of all our favorite characters (Shinigami himself was absent though!) but half the time they looked so different I just couldn’t enjoy it! Honestly I would have preferred just one awesomely animated fight at the end instead of all the funky ones we got in-between.
After putting all the pieces together though, I think we had a decent spinoff that probably won’t get as many watches because of how different it is from the original. But with its loveable characters and darn good themes I think this show is more than worth a watch if you have the time. Plus maybe with enough success maybe SOUL EATER will get the FMA: Brotherhood treatment? 😀