I want to talk about “Soul Eater.”
First airing in 2008 until 2009, the “Soul Eater” anime was based on the Soul Eater manga, originally published by Square Enix from 2004-2013. We’re introduced to Maka, a Meister (or those who would combat evil spirits), and her weapon, a deathscythe named Soul, which is a long way of saying he transforms into a scythe. (Hence the name of the show. Get it? His name is Soul. And he eats…souls…of bad guys….Whatever, it sounds cools.)
Anyway, the show lets us see the actual Grim Reaper’s academy where he trains all variety of Meisters to fight evil spirits, called kishin, of the world. When I did my research I found the show takes place in Nevade, USA. That was a shock and a half.
I started the show before the new year began, and was slowly taking in episodes of the first season on Netflix. I liked the style, and the fighting choreography was top notch. (Seriously, just watch the fight scene from episode 1 between Maka, Soul, and the kishin spirit of Jack the Ripper. Yes. That’s a thing.) The premise was interesting enough to catch my interest, but therein I found an issue.
I wasn’t compelled to watch.
See, that’s a problem with an overabundance of television shows. Something has to keep your interest, catch you, snag, hook, hold your attention otherwise 15 other streaming services will take your money and time. It’s the world we live in, I guess. The terrible, blessed world of ours.
This show was made in 2008-9, and probably started coming to the states around the same time, maybe into 2010. I’m watching it in 2018-2019, so that’s an entirely other bag of stuff to talk about. Compressed pop culture, events happening in one decade being carried over into the next.
The first season was made in a time before the streaming world around us took shape. They had time, patience, and a willingness to set up world-building mechanics before executing. Episodes 1-6 are roughly that, set-up.
Here’s this character. Here’s how their powers work. Here’s how they’ll interact with the world we’ve created.
Copy. Paste. Copy. Paste.
And there was a rhythm, to the first season, that felt off to me. See, in today’s streaming sensibilities we need exposition alongside action, character growth, and plot advancement. “My Hero Academia” is a great example of introducing concepts, characters, and what I like to call “anime pseudo-science” while still advancing the plot. They don’t stop the advancement of the entire story to just focus on one new skill or ability, the rest of the story gets structured and built around it. That way, you always feel like you’re moving forward.
Basically, once the big bad of Season 1 was introduced in episode 7, I was hooked to the Soul Eater train and asked it to take me away. I’m going to keep watching, because now I know where they were headed. However, this is a lovely little capsule showing what life was like before we all had self-diagnosed ADHD. When we had time to sit and let a show walk with us.
Here’s the opening video, because it’s so darn cool:
Thanks for reading,
Check out mine and Arnie Bermudez’s webcomic, The Juan!
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