Soul Eater, Part Four – DVD Review

Review by: Kiki Van De Kamp

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $59.98 US
Running Time: 320 minutes
Genre: Action/Supernatural
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: July 27, 2010

Never mess with Lord Death.

It’s safe to say that it was love at first sight for us in this cozy little office when Part One of Soul Eater was released. It’s not every day that a freshly original and ultra cool anime series you can’t help but love thanks to a delightfully diverse cast of characters and a story that fun to watch as the unique animation. Part Four of Soul Eater brings the story to its final confrontation between two forces ready to lock horns with the Grim Reaper himself and all the students and faculty of the Death Weapon Meister Academy.

In Part Three, Death has begun to gather his most trusted associates (like Excalibur) and alumni who have come to lend Death a hand in preparing to recapture an old foe who finds himself in the hands of the dangerous Arachne. Oh, and Medusa – who finds herself inhabiting the body of a little girl – surrenders to the DWMA. In the first episode of Part Four, Medusa gets an audience with Death and makes a most unexpected deal that seems to benefit the DWMA and all she wants is to be set free.

As Medusa walks out of Death City, Death the Kid isn’t the only one questioning Death’s decisions because Maka can no longer of contain her disgust. While Medusa was imprisoned, Maka let her know how evil this woman is for having made her son, Chrona, suffer. Meanwhile, Chrona confesses to having taken part in poisoning Doctor Franken Stein with Madness. In his defense, the thought that he was the cause of Stein’s descent into Madness-induced insanity. The good Doctor finds himself seeing things that aren’t there as Medusa’s influence makes the Doctor leave Death City even after Sword tried to stop him.

Fortunately, Marie – who is now a new teacher and Dr. Stein’s close friend – convinces Death to allow her to take Chrona to find Doctor Stein. Chrona is determined to right his wrong even if it means facing his mother in order to save the man that had shown him kindness. In the meantime, Death has his own son pick up the final key to unlocking Brew – an ancient artifact created by his old friend called Eibon. Kid finds himself on a mission that places his life in danger when he leaves Patty and Liz behind.

As Kid continues his mission, Death sends students and faculty out on a mission to overtake Baba Yaga Castle where Arachne is holding the Kishin prisoner. Joining Black Star and Tsubaki, Maka and Soul decide to leave the action to Black Star in an effort to find and help Chrona and Marie. It’s a good thing they do because Marie and Chrona do manage to find Medusa and face off against her on one of the best scenes that has son going up against his own mother in battle. I won’t spoil what happens but know that the outcome is a jarring experience that makes it yet another epic confrontation for this series. You really do have to see it for yourself.

As the battle to find the Kishin continues outside the school, Black Star confronts his old adversary, the samurai Mifune, in their final battle. It’s clear that Black Star has improved greatly since he lost his battle with him and as the boy pushes him to his limits it reminds Mifune of an opponent related to Black Star. Unfortunately, Arachne releases the full power of her fortress but Kid arrives on time to help his father unlock Brew and the weapon that transforms Death City itself.

With the new weapon, Death manages to recapture the Kishin as his old foe that he knew as Asura clashes with Death in a battle between two Gods. We’ve seen Death at his most cute and hilarious but we see a side of him that is actually quite dark as the two fight. While that battle is unforgettable, the real epic battle occurs in the final episodes of the series as Kid, Maka, Black Star and his their Weapons fight Asura.

Oh yeah, the battle is simply too awesome to describe and doing so will ruin the ending of this anime series. I’ll just say that the finale is a fitting one for this series and it does not disappoint in the very least. Consider this the best ending to a great series as Maka makes a stand and Soul faces his inner demon. You can’t ask for a better finale.

Part Four of Soul Eater is exactly what you might expect from a series that has been refreshingly different and compulsively watch worthy from the very beginning. These final episodes really do push the action and characters in a final confrontation that just makes this an unforgettable finish to an original anime series that we will remember fondly.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: A+
Medusa’s surrender to the Academy has Death and his closest associates striking a deal with her and setting up a plan that has Death the Kid suspicious of his own father. Meanwhile, students and faculty are sent on a mission to infiltrate Arachne’s castle. In a massive battle, Death unlocks the power of an ancient weapon as the forces of good fight a final battle with the Kishin.

VIDEO QUALITY: A+
Soul Eater will best be remembers for its wonderfully original animation and artwork true to the manga series. Even the minor characters stand out and the action sequences are epic so this series definitely gave us plenty of eye candy.

AUDIO QUALITY: A
The voice acting is still very much in top form for both the original Japanese and the English dub voices but it’s the original score that stands out in a very cinematic way. The opening and closing songs are just personal favorites here at the office because who doesn’t love the Abingdon Boys School?

EXTRAS: B+
Once again we get the Soul Eater Late Show and this time it features Excalibur and there’s audio commentary for Episode 44 with Colleen Clinkenbeard (Marie), Monica Rial (Tsubaki) and Maxey Whitehead (Chrona). Their commentary is actually all over the place but in the best possible way. On top of that there are trailers and clean opening and closing animation.

OVERALL: A+
A fitting end to a satisfyingly unique series that oozed cool out of every episode, Part Four of Soul Eater is nothing short of impressive. As the final confrontation between the Death’s supporters and the evil demi-God, the last episodes will keep you glued to your screen from beginning to end. It doesn’t get any better than this finale.

Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment

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