Soul Eater, vol. 8

9780316071123_manga-Soul-Eater-Graphic-Novel-8.jpgThis is another mellow volume of Soul Eater. There are no highs as high as volume 6, but there were some shocking revelations in these chapters.

First off, something I forgot to mention in my blurb for the last volume: apparently Mifune, one of the guys Black Star battles in the first volume, is working for Arachne. He chose to help her to guarantee the safety of Angela, the prepubescent witch he’s protecting. The last chapter of volume 7 drops this bombshell, and in this volume you get some of his backstory. Mifune was hired by a family of gangsters to kill Angela, as she was considered an enemy. Mifune’s love for children convinced him to break off the deal and protect Angela instead.

Mifune is portrayed with a sort of dimensionality compared to other villains in this series – his motives are more clear-cut. This chapter makes it seem like he’s not attached to Arachne’s ideals, which makes me wonder if he’ll switch sides later on. His battle with Black Star doesn’t amount to much – Tsubaki creates a smoke bomb and allows him to escape defeat. But the reveal of Mifune’s backstory and intent made me think, which I appreciate.

The other big revelation here: Medusa survived the battle at DWMA after all. Somehow she transplanted her soul into a snake and escaped? The method here was pretty wacky and not explained well. It reminded me a bit of a Tezuka manga. Medusa goes to Arachne’s lair and doesn’t get a warm welcome. Not only do we learn they are sisters, but Medusa abandoned Arachne during a fight with Shinigami way back when and earned Arachne’s scorn. The energy in the room felt tense. Besides that, Medusa terrorizes her old minions. Seeing the happiness drain from Eruka’s face upon learning Medusa was still around made my heart sink for her. Eruka just can’t catch a break.

The last two chapters take Kid to Africa to battle one of Arachne’s lackeys. This battle was fun; we haven’t gotten to see Kid in action without the other meisters. After that, Medusa appears before Crona and announces her return, and already Crona is getting blackmailed to turn against their new friends. Crona is my favorite character… I hate to see them anguished like this.

These chapters seemed to be a little disjointed than previous ones. It’s good to see there’s a connection between Medusa and Arachne. Since there was no mention of Asura here, I wonder what we’re going to build to next. How are they connected? It remains to be seen…

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.

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