Oh my goodness, the plot. It rained down all over me. And it was fantastic.
This volume continues the battle that started in the last volume. It’s clear that we’ve reached the climax of the battle when the last chapter of this book concludes, but I’m not sure if Ohkubo is completely done with this particular setting. I personally wouldn’t mind if it went on for a few more chapters.
Basically, this was my feeling while reading this volume on my commute, from cover to cover:
I mean this in the best way possible.
The best part was early in the volume, where, while in madness mode, Maka enters her own mind and attempts to resonate with Crona’s soul. There’s a really touching moment in there where Maka undoes Crona’s regular way of thinking (“It’s not that you don’t know how to deal with it – it’s that no one ever tried dealing with you,” or something to that effect) and extends a hand in friendship. Everything was perfect here, especially the art. Ohkubo really gets how to draw these cerebral sequences. He portrays it as if Maka is swimming through an ocean of darkness, and the way the panels flowed gave me a strong impression of water. It was breathtaking in a way that Soul Eater hadn’t yet been.
Other than that, battles galore in this volume. Maka fought Crona, Kid and Black Star fought Free, Stein fought Medusa… even Blair fought a group of Mizune witches. There was so much going on in each chapter that I was constantly on the edge of my seat. Beyond Maka’s fight with Crona, the fight between Kid, Black Star and Free was probably my favorite.
Free and Eruka are able to make it to Asura’s (the kishin) den and awaken him, which sets a much larger plot in motion. These sections were chilling – Asura has the ability to make people see illusions by heightening their sixth sense. Free and Eruka’s illusions see them nearly die, and it was pretty convincing. Shinigami emerges and attempts to keep Asura at bay, but to no avail. Stein is able to kill Medusa… or is he? Some panels at the end of the volume make it more ambiguous.
I figured this would be the case after the last volume, but this book gave me everything I’ve been waiting for Soul Eater to do since the beginning. Each battle was a sight to behold. I loved Maka’s compassion for Crona. I loved Black Star and Kid’s collaborative spirit when tackling Free. I was legitimately disappointed to see that they failed to keep Asura locked away, but I’m excited for what comes next!
Soul Eater is written and drawn by Ohkubo Atsushi and was serialized in Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan from 2004-2013. It was later collected in 25 volumes. It has been licensed in North America by Yen Press, who released all 25 volumes between 2009 and 2015. Check out Yen Press’ page on the manga here.