Soul Eater, vol. 12

9780316072939_manga-Soul-Eater-Graphic-Novel-12.jpgIt seems like we’re building to something! And I couldn’t be happier about that, because I wasn’t thrilled about the last volume.

The first chapter focuses on students distraught about Kim’s departure. We’ve met a few kids, mainly Ox and Kilik, before now, but we’ve not heard much from them. They were close with Kim, so they’re not handling it well. That’s really kind of it for now, though they do factor into events later in the book.

Maka learns that the report of witches on campus came from Medusa, who we find out is in DWMA’s custody. Medusa strikes a deal with Shinigami and DWMA faculty: Medusa will reveal the location of Arachne’s castle to Shinigami, but only if they allow her to lead an operation to invade it. As part of her plan, she also requires that DWMA students be under her direct command.

Kim and Jackie have been taken in by Arachnophobia, but despite them getting cold feet, they’ve been subjected to a moral manipulation device. We later see the effects of this in the last chapter, where Ox has to battle Kim and Jackie. It’s pretty harrowing – Kim stabs Ox, enough to draw blood.

The tension was pretty palpable in this volume. After the bulk of volume 11 diverted into some other conflict, it’s really nice to be back on track. Despite all the things happening in this volume, the pacing was very smooth. Soul Eater is fine when it’s on a downbeat, but when it ramps up the way it did here, it becomes something truly exciting. Color me pumped for the next book!

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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