Soul Eater Volume 1 is a manga with the story and art by Atsushi Ohkubo. Yen Press holds the North American rights to distribute the manga in the United States, and this manga volume was published in 2009. This English adaptation, which is presented as an “unflipped” release, was translated by Amy Forsyth. Soul Eater is rated “OT” for Older Teen.
Soul Eater Volume 1
Written by: Atsushi Ohkubo
Publisher: Square Enix
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: October 27, 2009
In the world of Soul Eater, there are weapon meisters who have at least one human weapon; as the name implies, a human weapon is a weapon that takes on human form. The goal of a meister is to turn their weapon into a “Death Scythe,” a weapon that’s fit to be used by the headmaster of the Death Weapon Meister Academy. In order to accomplish this, the weapon meister and their human weapon must collect the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch; the souls must be collected in this order, or the team has to restart from the very beginning.
The first three stories in this volume focus on three individual weapon meisters. The first story focuses on Maka and her weapon partner, Soul Eater. They get their 99th evil soul, and must try to get the needed witch soul. Their story focuses on trying to defeat the buxom witch Blair. The second story focuses on Black Star and his weapon partner, Tsubaki. Black Star is supposed to be an assassin, but he has ego problems, and so he ends up announcing his presence to his target instead of stealthily approaching them and getting his assignment accomplished. The third story focuses on Death the Kid (who is the son of Shinigami-Sama, the headmaster of the academy) and his two human weapons, Liz and Patty. Death the Kid has issues with perfection and symmetry, which can affect his concentration when he’s in the middle of a fight.
The final story in this volume brings Maka, Soul, Black Star, and Tsubaki together. Shinigami-Sama has decided these two teams need to take a remedial class. He sends them out on a mission to get the soul of their former teacher, who died and was turned into a zombie. Unfortunately, only the first part of this story is included in this volume; to find out how the story continues, you have to read the next volume of Soul Eater.
Looking at the art style, you can definitely see that this manga is of Japanese origin; however, there are some elements of the design that feel like they may have had some Western influence on them. There is also some humor included in this volume that Western audiences would get (such as “Maka’s Blair Witch Project”). It should be mentioned that this manga includes several panels with nudity or fanservice (such as panty shots); this content helps to explain the “OT” rating that Yen Press gave to the series. It’s not a bad manga for the style that it is and the audience that it’s trying to target; however, I have to admit that Soul Eater is not the style of manga that I usually read. If you enjoy humor that features demons, witches, and fanservice, then Soul Eater would be right up your alley.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of this manga that I checked out through the King County Library System.