Soul Eater Not! – First Impression
Soul Eater Not! – First Impression
Before I get onto explaining my above reaction to the series, let me just say that I enjoyed the original series Soul Eater quite a bit back in the day, so if you are watching this series expecting to see more of your favorite show, then I shall advise that you give this a miss.
“Three freshman girls: Tsugumi Harudori, a “normal girl” in every way; Meme Tatane, an airheaded girl; and Anya Hepburn, a tsundere princess, encounter and start their new lives at Death Meister & Weapon Academy (DMWA).”
Some series have synopsis which are so brief that they don’t do the show justice, simply because the series itself has so much substance behind it that one can’t really capture it in 50 words.
This series is not one of them. I would have loved to say that the show had more substance than what’s been mentioned above, but thus far, I see none of that.
The only thing I have to add to the above blurb is the mention of the fact that this spinoff takes place 1 year before the series Soul Eater.
Genre (according to ANN): Action, Comedy, Supernatural
“Genre” (according to me): Moe, Fan Service, School
Let me start of by saying that I haven’t read the manga on which this series is based off upon, but the first two episodes of the show is enough for me to want to drop the series despite being a fan of the animation studio and the original series.
Soul Eater Not! is a spinoff of the 2008 series Soul Eater and is adapted from the manga Soul Eater Not! by Atsushi Ohkubo. As with spinoffs, some may follow the same vibe and feel of the original and some may decide to take the show in a whole new direction, and this series follows the latter.
The word “Not!’ behind the title should have given it away for me, but perhaps I just ain’t the brightest bulb around. But you know that something is lacking when watching a spinoff gives you the urge to watch the original once more as oppose to wanting to watch more of the current series.
Perhaps it’s the lack of substance behind the show, or perhaps it’s the stark difference in quality between Soul Eater and Soul Eater Not!, but then again, I think it is most likely the characters themselves that drive me up the wall.
Given that I am unsure of how many episodes this series has, perhaps my judgement of the show thus far is too critical. If the show is only meant to last one season then I’ll stand by my words. But if its meant to air for two or more seasons then, perhaps I would have to revisit this at a later date after having given it the chance to develop the storyline over a few more episodes.
The first two episodes focuses on introducing the characters and “developing” them, and whilst I do not have any issues with a series spending time on character development, I do have an issue with the way it is done in this series.
We are instantly thrown into the world of Soul Eater from the get go with the main character Tsugumi developing the ability to turn herself into a weapon. The first episode follows her as she tackles her confusion at her new found abilities whilst the second episode shows Tsugumi in the company of her new friends.
The series tries it’s hand at comedy and action/drama during the first episode, but I was far from laughing at any point. The jokes came across as lame, whilst any “action-like” moments were destroyed by the ridiculous personalities on the show.
The writers of the series had thrown in plenty of moe and fanservice elements throughout each episode as if they didn’t believe that their script would be good enough to sustain the viewer’s attention on it’s own, and if the first two episodes were anything to go by, then I would be worried too.
The only upside to the series for me are the moments where old familiar characters appear on screen. Each time they appear, you can feel a change in the atmosphere and it gives me hope for the show, but when it switches back to what’s currently happening, that bubble is burst and I feel like I’ve gone through a roller coaster ride.
The storyline is bland and boring so far, and as the main focus of the series thus far are the 3 girls – Tsugumi, Meme and Anya, the girls would have to be interesting in order to carry the show in any decent manner.
The 3 Girls
Note that I had said interesting above and not over-the-top ridiculous, because that is what the girls are, unrealistic.
Tsugumi – She is an airhead, no two ways about it. She is naive and easily conned by the people around her. She is one of those people who would have you blessing god that she had managed to live to the age of 14 without any harm befalling her. But being an airhead character was obviously not enough as they had to make her indecisive as well. Perhaps it may come across as being endearing for some, but it’s annoying to see a character appear so lost all the time.
Meme – She is forgetful with big boobs. The phrase “memory of a goldfish” would be too much of a compliment for her. She forgets everything and anything, from her own name to what’s been said 30 seconds earlier. This aspect of her character would be tolerable if we weren’t constantly reminded of the fact in such a blatant and obvious manner. Oh, and did I mention that she has big boobs? Because, we can’t have the viewers forgetting that fact now can we? 😉
Anya – She is the rich girl of the group. She’s great at fighting, rich, pretty, and pretty much groomed for a life of success. But that would be boring, so what can be done to make her more entertaining…? Well, her unhealthy obsession for anything related to a commoner’s lifestyle would be just the thing, and thus her interest in Tsugumi. But even perfect creatures have a character flaw, and her’s is the snobbish rich girl attitude which she utilises as a wall between her and those around her.
Whenever these three are together, its moe-goodness, which makes for an entertaining watch for some, but perhaps a not so entertaining for others like myself.
In such a series where it’s important to find an attraction to the characters in some manner, I am unable to do so and thus my unhappiness with the show.
Just from the Opening Song we are able to see the vast difference in the quality of animation between the original series Soul Eater and Soul Eater Not! I’ve added the videos before for you to take a quick look at the difference in vibe between the two OPs.
I personally think that this emcompasses the difference in quality between the shows. Where Soul Eater was about action and drama, Soul Eater Not! is about 3 girls, which is all fairness was what they had claimed to be about since the start.
The animation lacks the dynamism that the original had despite the fact that both series were animated by BONES Studio, but as I had said, since they both tell very different stories, it is no surprise that BONES had adapted their animation to suit that of a less action paced and more drama focus series.
If you are deciding on whether to watch the series because you enjoyed Soul Eater, then perhaps read what I’ve had to say and if it suits your taste then go ahead, but if you are expecting a show of the same caliber as Soul Eater then you would be left depressed.
If you have never seen Soul Eater before and were wondering if you would have to to see it before watching this show, then the answer would be no. So go head and watch the show if you are interested without the worry of needing prior knowledge of the series.
We’ve seen more mentions of big boobs than we have of the main character’s transformationg into a weapon and that should speak for itself in my mind.
The series doesn’t claim to be anything like the original nor related to the original in any way, and for that I would have to judge it as a stand alone series.
Rating: 4.5/10 – So far it just looks like a bunch of cute girls doing “cute” stuff and going about their school life at DMWA and the characters are pretty crazy in a non-charismatic way.
A Question for You
If you have seen Soul Eater (or if you have not), what are your thoughts on this spin off? Are you loving it or hating it? Let me know below. =)
I seem to have developed a cold from all those chocolates over Easter, so I am off to rest.
See you at the next review… Take care!