Soul Eater vs. Soul Eater NOT

I know I promised to post this review months ago, but the procrastination monster caught ahold of me. Besides, isn’t it better to post a Soul Eater review right before Halloween? I think so.

On a good day, I can comfortably say that Soul Eater is one of my favorite anime of all time.  So I was uber-excited to rewatch the show so that I could compare it with Soul Eater Not!

Years ago, when I finished watching Soul Eater for the first time, I was obsessed with anything related to the anime. Then I stumbled upon Soul Eater Not. As soon as I saw the cover for the anime, I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like it. So when I saw the first episode, I HATED it. It was nothing like Soul Eater, and I despised that. And since then, I’ve always sworn to never watch Soul Eater Not. Until now, that is.

In order to get you folks in the Halloween spirit, I’m going to compare these two anime. Now, on with the review!

Soul Eater

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Synopsis

Death City is home to the famous Shibusen, a technical academy headed by the Shinigami–Lord Death himself. Its mission: to raise “Death Scythes” for the Shinigami to wield against the many evils of their fantastical world. These Death Scythes, however, are not made from physical weapons; rather, they are born from human hybrids who have the ability to transform their bodies into Demon Weapons, and only after they have consumed the souls of 99 evil beings and one witch’s soul.

Soul Eater Evans, a Demon Scythe who only seems to care about what’s cool, aims to become a Death Scythe with the help of his straight-laced wielder, or meister, Maka Albarn. The contrasting duo work and study alongside the hot headed Black☆Star and his caring weapon Tsubaki, as well as the Shinigami’s own son, Death the Kid, an obsessive-compulsive dual wielder of twin pistols Patty and Liz.

Soul Eater follows these students of Shibusen as they take on missions to collect souls and protect the city from the world’s threats while working together under the snickering sun to become sounder in mind, body, and soul.

Soul Eater Not

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Synopsis

Soul Eater NOT! is a spin-off and side story that takes place one year prior to the events of the original Soul Eater. At the Death Weapon Meister Academy, humans born with the power to transform into weapons and those with the power to wield these weapons (Meisters) train to hone their natural talent. The characters of the main series are enrolled in the Especially Advantaged Talent class, where they train to become warriors of justice capable of defeating what threats prey on innocent lives—or even the entire world.

Other students at the DWMA are less talented. Members of the Normally Overcome Target class focus less on being warriors of justice and more on controlling their powers so they don’t hurt themselves or anyone around them. Tsugumi Harudori, a new halberd-transforming student, meets Meisters Meme Tatane and Anya Hepburn and quickly grows indecisive about which of the two new friends should be her partner. As they learn to use these powers and settle in, their lives as everyday students will be far from normal.

My Ratings

Plot

Soul Eater – Although I could tell that the creators censored out some parts from the manga, I was very impressed with the plot. This anime took a sharp turn from the manga towards the end, though. Unfortunately, I have to say that I was very disappointed with the ending. I felt like they could’ve given us more than some life-lesson about bravery.

Soul Eater Not – At first glance, I thought that this anime was going to be all moe, and no action. Well, I was wrong. However, I was kind of upset to see that 80% of the show was made up of filler episodes. There was no conflict until the second to last episode.

 

Characters

Soul Eater – The characters were hilarious and most certainly admirable. Both Maka, and Black Star annoyed me at some points. Stein was my hands down favorite character.

Soul Eater Not – Because this show takes place before Soul Eater, I expected to see many old and new faces. I was very excited to see cameos from the main characters of Soul Eater in this show as well. In Soul Eater Not, we were also given a clearer view of Liz and Patty when they first met Death the Kid. Boy, was I surprised about that one. Overall, I just really liked how they portrayed the perspective of the NOT division of the DWMA.

Writing

Soul Eater – I was disappointed to see that they had censored out most of the bad language from the manga.

Soul Eater Not – Not much to say on this one.

Graphics/Art Style 

Soul Eater – The art was dark, creepy, and imperfect, which I liked a lot. I felt like it really reflected the whole madness theme of the show and amplified it.

Soul Eater Not – Although the art was beautiful, some part of me was highly disappointed. While I can appreciate the ironic contrast to the original Soul Eater’s art style, I feel that Soul Eater Not! moe-fied their characters a bit too much.

Moe

Soul Eater – Not too much in the moe department. Maka was adorable, though.

Soul Eater Not – WAY too much in the moe department. The Soul Eater universe is supposed to be dark, isn’t it?

Originality

Soul Eater – Definitely original. I admired how this anime was able to become mainstream without exploiting all of those recycled anime tropes.

Soul Eater Not – It’s not a direct copy of Soul Eater, which I can appreciate. It’s like the creators took the world of Soul Eater and used it to show the perspective of the kids who didn’t do all the fighting.

Fanservice

Soul Eater – The only reason I can’t watch this with my mom is because of the fanservice. This anime was full of boobs, boobs, naked catgirls, nosebleeds, and boobs.

Soul Eater Not – If you like girl-on-girl action, this show is definitely for you. There was so much interaction between the female characters, I could almost call this anime yuri.

OST

Soul Eater – The first opening, Resonance, definitely fits right in with the theme and art style of the show. To this day, the second opening, Papermoon, is still my favorite anime song ever.

Soul Eater Not – I expected the songs to be cutesy, and they were. But for some reason, I loved them. The opening theme, Monochrome, is definitely pleasing to the ears.

 

Bishies

Soul Eater – I have a Soul body pillow and a Stein one. That’s all I need to say.

Soul Eater Not – The two secondary character guys were cool.

Humor

Soul Eater – Freaking hilarious.

Soul Eater Not – The main character says the made-up word “gagantous” so many times and it never stopped amusing me.

 

Feels

Soul Eater – I shipped so many people together, it got painful.

Soul Eater Not – I felt pretty bad for Meme.

 

Pure Badassery

Soul Eater – A scythe-wielding heroine and humans that turn into weapons: What’s not to love?

Soul Eater Not – Although the show was full of moe, I was definitely surprised at how badass the characters where. Especially Kim.

Final Thoughts

Soul Eater will always be number one in my heart. But I do have to admit that Soul Eater Not was an incredible anime to watch. So if you’ve been struggling to watch this anime, here’s some advice: Once you get past the moe and cutesy stuff, it get much better. I swear this anime will definitely surprise you.

 

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