At First Glance – Soul Eater

Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article.
You have been warned.

Welcome back folks. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the idea of these “At First Glance” things is that I watch the first episode of an anime I’ve never seen and give my thoughts on it. Simple, right? With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

Soul Eater

Odd as it may seem, I really never knew much about this anime before watching it. I’d seen clips of the anime used in AMV Hell, and I’ve seen some people cosplay as Soul Eater characters in my hometown, but that’s about it. Hell I doubt I even knew what anime the characters were from until now. Point being, I was going into this pretty blind despite this being a fairly popular anime as far as I knew.

As far as the plot goes, episode one of Soul Eater follows Soul Evans/Soul Eater (a human with the ability to turn into a weapon) and his meister Maka Albarn, both of whom are students at Death Weapon Meister Academy. The bulk of the episode, aside from the prologue/exposition dump is Maka & Soul trying to gain the soul of a witch. We’re told that Soul needs to consume the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch (in that order) so he can become a “Death Scythe”.

Unfortunately it turns out the witch they were chasing was just a talking cat called Blair who just happens to have a lot of magical power. As a result, and due to the rules of how this all works, Maka & Soul are forced to start their soul collecting all over again.

Honestly this is easily one of the best first episodes I’ve seen from all the anime I’ve covered so far. Whilst I’ve never found any so far to be bad, this one was very concise without feeling rushed. The episode sets up the premise of this world and show very effortlessly and never made me question it. It also helps that one of the first scenes in the episode proper is just Maka & Soul fighting one of the evil humans. Pretty badass thing to open on.

One thing I might’ve mentioned in a previous article that applies to Soul Eater is that I’m a fan of sexual fan-service being played for comedy. And boy, does this episode have that in spades. The entire dynamic between Soul & Blair is basically one extended nosebleed joke and it’s just hilarious to me due to how they play it. Funnier in retrospect when she turns out to have been a cat the whole time.

Moments like this must be awkward for him to think about in retrospect.

I also can’t really write this without talking about the character Lord Death (known as Shinigami in the Japanese version). I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this character I guess, but Death turning out to be goofy as hell rather than stoic and serious was a nice surprise. Death Scythe/Spirit Albarn (Death’s human weapon & Maka’s dad) was also a good source of comedy in this opening episode, and the interactions between the two were well done. Definitely hoping to see more scenes with those two.

Overall I am definitely glad I finally gave this show a chance, and I do intend on watching the entire thing. Soul Eater is made up of 51 episodes, though there is also a spin-off show called Soul Eater Not! that was released in 2014 consisting of 12 episodes. Both Soul Eater & Soul Eater Not! are available in subbed and dubbed formats for those interested. If you’ve never watched Soul Eater, I’d definitely say it’s worth a shot.

Well, that about covers it. If anyone has any suggestions for anime I should watch for this in the future, give me a shout and I’ll put it on my list. If it’s already on my list, I’ll bump it up in priority. However if I’ve already watched it then I’m obviously going to have to decline. See you next time folks.