This volume concludes the BREW chapters and starts to build some tension for later volumes. I’m glad it came through here – I was starting to get a bit bored of the relative downtime since the events of volume 6.
The battle between the DWMA kids and Mosquito picked up a little. Soul decided to embrace his inner madness, which is visualized by him playing a piano. The battle is fun to read through, as, like with the “choreography” in volume 6, Ohkubo draws this sequence out thoroughly. It’s difficult to convey the feeling of music through comics, but he does a reasonably good job here.
The only problem is that Mosquito has this weird ability to transform into his past selves while in the cyclone, and with this ability he’s also able to wind back his clock – a weird mechanic of the cyclone is that you can only be in there for twenty minutes at a time – which gives him a major advantage over the kids. Ultimately, their mission ends in failure.
A big reveal of the next two chapters sets up the purpose of the BREW mechanism. Arachne’s gang determines that the BREW is unusable, but they decide to act like it isn’t to threaten DWMA. But then you find out that Medusa was able to retrieve the real BREW – setting up that her and her gang are out to try and sabotage her sister. It was a little surprising, but I should have seen this coming – you get hints during the Mosquito fight that Eruka and the Mizune gang are working against Arachne.
In the next chapter, Maka realizes that Medusa is not only still alive, but on DWMA’s campus to manipulate Crona. She has an internal dilemma about Crona’s situation – ratting them out would put a target on their head, but not telling Shinigami that Medusa lingers might lead to greater danger down the line.
DWMA staff seem to believe that there are moles within the school, so they invite an investigator to town to do some digging himself. He doesn’t really last long, though – by the end of the book, he gets assassinated by… Asura?
Volume 10 was when the plot of Soul Eater started to feel pretty windy. I’ve been enjoying the books a little bit less since volume 8 – the action has slowed down a bit and we’re subjected to characters talking about stuff at length. It’s not that bad – though there’s less action, the conversations are purposeful – but sometimes I get restless for the next intense action sequence. Volume 6 was a highlight for the series thus far, and I’m sure we’ll get back to that point eventually. I hope it comes soon. That said, volume 10 presents dilemmas for our cast, Maka in particular, and introduces some tension for the reader. It seems like we’re starting to build to something, so I can’t complain too much.
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.