Review by: Kiki Van De Kamp
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $59.98 US
Running Time: 320 minutes
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now
Nothing is certain but Death, taxes and Black Star being awesome.
Soul Eater quickly became one of my favorite new anime series and if you happened to have picked up Part One of this series you probably already know what I mean. With a cast of likeable characters, a fantastic world where the Grim Reaper is a nice guy who loves coffee and tea and a story with plenty of action and a good sense of humor, Soul Eater is the year’s most exciting new series. In Part Three of Soul Eater, however, things just get a lot more complicated for the good guys and a lot more interesting for us.
In the final episodes of Part Two, a secret attack from Medusa and her followers during a party has not only awakened the foe knows as the Kishin from his strange imprisonment in the heart of the DWMA but also infected Doctor Franken Stein with the “madness.” Sure, Medusa was apparently killed in the battle but with the Kishin free the situation has turned rather grim.
Part Three finds the Academy students going up against a giant golem that has helped awaken yet another threat that comes in the form of a beautiful, busty and deadly witch by the name of Arachne who happens to be the mother of magical weapons. Her return hasn’t come as to a surprise to her diminutive servant named Mosquito or Arachne’s weapon named Giriko whose limbs are wrapped in chainsaw blades. On top of that, Arachne’s army of minions has grown since her 300 year absence and her organization, Arachnophobia, is now more powerful than ever. Their mission is to build a weapon capable of killing Death himself.
Oh, that’s not all because a snake slithers its way into a curious dog and finally into a little girl who makes it loud and clear that Medusa is a hard villain to kill. Medusa’s return is, by far, one of the creepiest in anime period. Her presence is felt by Doctor Stein who is suffering the effects of the madness but also Chrona who has been living in the Academy and enjoying his friendship with Maka and the others. Medusa even has Chrona become a spy for her … a job that begins to eat away at the boy.
With Arachnophobia searching for parts to build their weapon, Doctor Stein and Death thinks it’s a good idea to take the most promising students, place them on teams and train then to link wavelengths for one powerful attack. Maka is placed on a team with Black Star and Death the Kid along with their Weapon partners.
While training is important, the mission takes priority as Black Star trails Sid the Zombie in his attempt to infiltrate the enemy stronghold. Black Star goes up against the samurai Mifune and is soundly defeated … a defeat that makes Black Star push himself to his limits. Trying to make sense of the Enchanted Sword within Tsubaki, Black Star becomes irritated with himself and becomes confrontational with his friends that include Maka and later Kid. Meanwhile, a mission to the desert in search of the fabled Runaway Express with Death the Kid and his Weapons (Patty and Liz) results in a startling revelation that involves somebody named Eibon and his own father.
Kid takes it upon himself to investigate the weapon that connects Eibon to his father as well as questions his intentions for wanting the weapon. He puts his investigation aside when he joins the other teams on a mission to Lost Island to secure a Magic Tool called the Brew. It is on the island that Sid and Ms. Marie join the students in a massive battle against the forces of Arachnophobia. One of the more action packed moments of Part Three, Sid has a bloody fight with Mifune while Maka and her team fights a tougher version of Mosquito.
The enemy certainly has the upper hand in Part Three and the result is a darker and bloodier part of the story that is just going to get more interesting seeing as a surprising alliance is made in the end. Still, there are plenty of comedic moment that involve a student that is probably the only one who can put up with Excalibur and his insane conditions. We also meet a technology advisor named Joe Buttataki who is obsessed with coffee.
Part Three of Soul Eater is one of the darkest and coolest parts of this incredible story that just keeps getting better with every episode. With new and old enemies on the move and the good guys training to meet this threat, you can bet that things will get a lot more interesting. If you haven’t checked out this series you are seriously missing out on an anime series that is officially a new instant classic.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
With the Kishin released from the heart of the Academy, an old adversary of Death makes a return to build an ancient weapon capable of taking out the Grim Reaper. Meanwhile, the return of another enemy makes things worst for the students and faculty but Maka and the others begin their training and embark on a mission to stop them.
VIDEO QUALITY: A+
The series always has a unique look from the very beginning and nothing has changed … thank God. You just have to love the interesting backgrounds and cool-looking characters like Sid and Mosquito.
AUDIO QUALITY: A-
The voice acting is still at the top of its game thanks to the amazing talent for the English dub and Japanese voices. Even the original score is good as well the new opening tune (“PAPERMOON” by Tommy heavenly6) and the new closing theme song (“Bakusou Yumeuta” by Diggy-MO).
The bonus material comes in the form of the Soul Eater Late Show featuring Mifune and the people and things he just can’t bring himself to cut with his blade plus an assortment of fake (and hilarious) commercials. There’s also audio commentary for Episode 30 with Cherami Leigh (Patty), Jamie Marchi (Liz) and Todd Abercorn (Death the Kid) that’s actually wonderfully animated and fun. Of course, there are trailers and the clean opening and closing tunes as well.
Soul Eater remains to be one of the more fantastic and utterly unique rare anime gems that come along every once and awhile to make you a die hard fan almost instantly. Part Three certainly adds more intrigue as the enemy takes center stage and a son begins to question his father’s motives. I cannot wait for Part Four and neither will you after this one.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment