Soul Eater Not! – First Impression

soul-eater-not!Maybe, maybe not…

Soul Eater Not! – First Impression

“Oh wow…”

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.

soul-eater-not!2

The Synopsis

“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).”

-source: ANN

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

soul-eater-not!3

My Impression

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.

soul-eater-not!4Mmmm… not really.

Substance… Not!

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.

soul-eater-not!5

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.

The Animation

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.

soul-eater-not!6

In Conclusion

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!

-ra out!

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About Saranaufogus

An Anime fan who can't seem to keep her thoughts to herself. Find me on: Instagram | Twitter

Posted on April 21, 2014, in Anime, Reviews, Soul Eater Not! and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. ❤☾❀xSnowy❀Moonx❀☽❤

    I loved the ORIGINAL Soul Eater but THIS?! No. I’m a girl and all but why? WHY? This is really lame, kind of like a slice of life anime just with some action.. The characters aren’t developed well enough.. Compared to the first season this is kinda lame. I only watched the first episode because of the first season and nothing else.. Season 2 is most of the time, lamer than Season 1… I could give you a whole list..

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  2. I don’t know, It seems like a lot of people are genre-confused once it comes to this anime. Many expect it to be exactly like Soul Eater where there are high quality fighting scenes, with cool, likable characters; where in fact this anime is simply just a “slice of life” anime. This does not try to be anything that it was not intended to be. If you don’t like these types of animes, then its true, you should not watch it. I enjoy the characters as far as the anime presents them (I have not started the manga). I am actually surprised about the amount of action that this genre of anime contains. I have finished Soul Eater and i thought that this was a cool perspective from other students at the academy (in which Soul Eater does a poor job focusing on the fact that it is a school full of students and they choose to glorify basically 6 students) I am a guy and I even enjoyed this warm-hearted perspective on the life of a meister and a weapon, fan service aside (most guys enjoy a little fan service while others might scoff at it). I would recommend giving this anime at least a test-run before judging what others might say, only if you have watched/read Soul Eater because of the familiarity.

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    • I agree with you in that it is more of a slice of life anime.. that’s all well and good but what’s the reason for even tying it in with the soul eater universe at all at that point? A slice of life anime like this could take place anywhere in any school and still retain the same elements. The soul eater elements are meaningless here and seems to be only a way of getting fans of the soul eater anime to try it. Unfortunately IMO it backfired and it seems to me a lot of Soul Eater fans are very disappointed.

      Again as a standalone anime, without tying to soul eater, it might be much more successful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Free NOFUTURE

    To say the truth I only saw one episode from the NOT series but I’m being a huge hater. Why? Because It have nothing to do with the original series except the places and some old faces. I think the Soul Eater NOT name isn’t enough good for this anime. I could give better name to the series like Moe Eater or The Typical Slice of Life Anime. Every time when I see this anime somewhere I m being very-very pissed off and getting headache. I can’t recommend these series to anyone. Fuck you BONES Studio. YOU ruined everything!

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  4. I hate it! I was so happy that a new soul eater was coming out. But one episode had scarred me for life. This is not the series I fell in love with, its pretty much awful in every way. And every time I see the old charters of the soul eater series, it makes me angry that there not the main characters of the story. And thinking of these three girls was a mistake i don’t know what they were thinking.
    So I’m very upset about the out come of this series, and theres no hope of it being like the original Soul Eater.
    Also Soul Eater Not is basically NOT soul eater. They should have put the NOT in front of the soul eater.

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  5. Soul Eater Not = K-ON! weeded with Soul Eater.

    ‘Nuff Said. Even the original author claims that “This shit is going to calm and sweet” only then he brought in a bit of bloodiness. Well he also states that he aimed to satisfy both action and non-action in his world with this manga…… but Idk how much of that had worked out well.

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  6. I’ll tell you the truth….i found out about soul eater having a new series and I was literally hoping around like a mad girl. Then I saw the not! in the end I wasn’t so sure about it…by the way I am a major otaku with a HUGE obsession for soul eater. Anyways, I’m not lying i felt like vomiting when I saw the trailer. I was so depressed and disappointed for a long period if time. I only saw one episode where soul and maka showed up then I quickly stopped after that when I realized that the original and may I say AMAZING characters would never show up again. Soul Eater Not! killed Soul killed everything fans love. Its a really bad idea to take an anime then make another series with completely different genres. It literally kills it and no one would want to watch it. I want to make a huge poll and object to Bones and if I get enough votes to make a new season of soul eater…at least a year repeat…;___;

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  7. Please make more soul eater:(

    I enjoyed them both a lot!!!!!

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  8. I really love Death the Kid,but when II just see a picture of Death the Kid holding Tsugumi’s Hair I kind of felt like “Ouch! Is this really what they call Reality?!”So I decided to watch the first episode and then… Zzzz… Oh it’s so…boring. Not to truly offense the creator… But,trully saying that I’d rather watch Soul Eater more than this. Honestly saying that I’m a manga writer to, I’m making a manga(this is just an extra 😄 ) wherein Below is the main character of the story,just catch up to it… I really put my full effort to it! Back to the series, I don’t like Tsugumi bad even her partners as well… It’s lame to look at, an airheaded girl, a forgetful girl and a rich girl is quite… Well not good. It’s meant for the title but don’t join soul eater from it. I obviously see that they based the characters on my love… I mean Death the.,Liz and even Patty. I’ll first start with Meme, with big boob’s, just like Patty, which has larger boob’s than Liz. And Anya who is a tsundere ,just like Liz who is cold and just like Liz, Anya wants orderliness too when it comes to cleanliness. And most of all Tsugumi is in black and white just like Kid… Not to truly be an offenseful person but I really see it too obvious for the series…

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  9. This are the characters of my manga(extra)
    Neko
    Wu
    Xiao
    Felicia

    And many more please catch up to it! I’m looking forward to all.

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  10. I was able to endure this anime for all of half of it, and got bored for the most part and completely disappointed in it at that point. The cameo of Maka had piqued my interest initially but that was brief, When I saw the version of Black Star, his lame new voice and acting, I knew this was not going to be a pleasing anime. I don’t mind too much that the art style is different at this point, the characters are all well drawn and cute but it really lacked any substance and I agree with all of your points even as little as I saw. Meme being as forgetful as she was when introduced was a complete wtf moment. I mean really? can’t remember her own name? Seriously might be funny if there were some kind of reason for it and it doesn’t make for a strong character in my mind at all.

    I just wish they’d do something continuing with the original, characters and story… not this lame excuse of an anime that “happens” to take place in the DWMA.

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  11. the only comparison to this show is teen titans go think about that for a while

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  12. Well to be honest given the fact this is more about the NOT class, I wasn’t actually expecting the action or at least too much of it and get annoyed most tend to compare it to the EAT class which the main characters from Soul Eater are in. I think the first episode states what the NOT class even is compared to the EAT class…that or its another episode. We tend to get some more background on some of the characters within the main series as well. Like Liz and Patty’s job before they accepted to be Death the Kid’s weapons. We also get to see Stein who keeps telling the DMWA he isn’t going to be a teacher, and also get to see him terrorize the girls, episode 8~! So for anyone who quit half way or after a few episodes, HA you missed that. We also see other characters like Mira Nalgus, and she isn’t in bandages! Beyond that we learn more about the city, were some of the students live, their salary given to them by the school, jobs they get if the money runs out or is stolen. It definitely felt like a slice of life rather then action as some might have thought it had. At certain points it felt like a light yuri at times as Tsugami calls herself ‘a girl in love with love’ and sometimes I found myself at odds with her because she is a kind girl, but for heaven’s sakes! Make up your mind about who you want as your Meister! The NOT series maybe would have been more interesting to more people if it had been Maka and Soul as NOT students rather then the three girls. However I rather like the opening song Monochrome/Dancing Dolls, is a little playful and sometimes I accidentally found myself sing along with it with the words sort of matching how the series would play out. I don’t think its a series for everyone and for those who want to see backstories not covered all too long in the anime about a few characters I think the episodes should be pointed out. Episode Three seems to cover the jobs but also the stage names and how students get them much like how Soul is called Soul Eater when his name is Soul Evans. Episode five is silly at times but its how we found the backstory on Kim and Jacqueline and how they came to be partners. Six covers Liz and Patty, who rough up the girls kinda showing their obviously not ready for any real fights anytime soon. The last three sort of cover how Sid dies before become a Zombie…well not the zombie part but with how Stein looks at him when he’s dead gives it sort of away. These are just a few examples. This series does have goodies for the Soul Eater fans who bare down and understand it isn’t going to have much action seeing as it does have info to the world of Soul Eater that is interesting to find out. You just have to find it rather then complaining about the series.

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  13. I was utterly shocked when I saw what they had done with the spin off series and can not seem to understand how they could turn something so magnificent into this garbage! It, in my opinion, was not right anyone to purposely make something that does not follow along with Soul Eater’s original genre at all.. Honestly, it was not a bad idea for them to do a spin off based off the year before Soul Eater, but they should have stuck with the original characters and went more into depth about their backgrounds- that would have made a great spin off. Or they could of done a spin off of a year later and still stuck with the original characters (in some way), but add a few new characters and slowly put the spotlight on them… Nope. That is not what happened- nothing of that sort. To me it is an insult that they even have the original Soul Eater in this little spin off of theirs… I am sorry if this comment is all over the place, but i just couldn’t help to have a little rampage… (Usually my thoughts are more organized)

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  14. I watch a lot of soul eater episodes and I wanted to see more episode other then season one cuz I really loved the siries so when I saw the new Soul eater not! I wheat ahead and skipped till three because non of the episodes thumbnail look interesting so first what happend is that they talk about stage names and there is one of the lines “And there’s even this WIERD kid that named himself, SOUL EATER.” And how is that wierd I rather be called that then Soul eater EVAN and the screen where they show you the title is all pink and purple and really bright yellow and that makes be want to barf and no I am not a boy I am a girl and that makes me barf. ” Oh no, there is only two friut ice cream and three of us!” A girl said ” But, I don’t want any of us to be left out so I guess we have to wait until tomorrow.😔”
    The title says “Soul eater not” and it’s so correct this is not our soul fighting packed adventure but they turned it into a Moe anime instead

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  15. I honestly LOVED Soul Eater Not. Yes, it is a ‘Slice of Life’ anime, and I fully acknowledge that. There’s no avoidance of the fact. Nonetheless, that doesn’t suddenly mean that it’s terrible. One of my friends said it was too ‘cutesy’. Well, I can honestly see why. There’s little action that carries true substance, other than the fact that the main characters want to prove themselves to whatever extent that they can. (For example, Anya directly challenged Liz and Patty, so she could prove herself). Nonetheless, I like it. I see other people saying that it was too ‘slice of life’, and therefore shouldn’t even be fit into the Soul Eater world. But, I think it’s important to remember that it’s the NOT class, rather than the EAT class. It has action, but it’s obviously not going to have as much action as the main series did. Also, it explains all sort of things that the main series did, such as the new names, and that there’s even a NOT class, or that a weapon has more than one meister. Or that it’s possible, at the very least. The manga was better, in my opinion, because it made more sense. I admit, it DOES feel like Tsugumi is too ‘special’ with the whole flying halberd thing on the last two episodes, but the creators were probably rushing ti too much. It is a mini series, so I guess they tried to squeeze character development into it far too much. Nonetheless, I liked it, and I could say it multiple times. As for the characters, yes, Meme’s forgetfulness or Anya’s rich snob attitude is a little extreme, but I don’ think it’s terrible.

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