>DVD Review – The Gothic battle marathon

>“Soul Eater” hits its stride in the second box set with a series of epic shonen fights in its big homage to a classic anime show.

For episodes 14-26, “Soul Eater” begins with plenty of excellent jokes, including one of the epic comedy episodes involving the animal character known as Excalibur. However, the true spotlight of this second set is one of the best story arcs of the series.

Our heroes race down a tunnel to keep a group of witches from awakening an evil kishin, also known as a demon god. This will no doubt remind anime fans of the Shishio Makoto battles in the show “Rurouni Kenshin.” This was the famous story arc where Kenshin had to race down long corridors, fighting countless numbers of samurai until he fought the final battle against Shishio.

The set-up for the “Soul Eater” battle marathon is simple enough. Medusa and her evil cronies unleash a full-scale attack against the students and instructors in Death City. One of Medusa’s assistants, Free, traps Lord Death and most of the students in a magical prison known as an independent cube. Fortunately, all the main heroes in the series escape.

Instructor Stein informs Maka, Soul, Black Star, Tsubaki, Death the Kid, Patti and Liz about Medusa’s plot. Although there’s plenty of backstory, all you need to know is that Medusa’s assistants want to wake up a demon god by injecting his mummified body with black blood.

The anime doesn’t really explain much about the difference between black blood and red blood, but that’s not important. What is important is that a demon god is really, really powerful and destructive. And the students have to stop him from awakening.

This section of the show contains a very prominent fight between Maka and her deadliest rival, Crona. As people may remember in the previous box set, Crona almost killed Maka’s weapon, Soul. Fortunately, Maka’s learned a few things about her soul resonance power. I promise not to give away the ending, but I will say that it doesn’t end with Maka killing Crona.

Instead, Maka reaches Crona’s inner consciousness in an unusual series of scenes that take place in the soul resonance world inside Maka’s weapon. Although a devil-looking character is trying to convince Soul to use the madness of the black blood to defeat Crona, Soul doesn’t want Maka to lose her mind in the process. In a touching scene, Maka dances with Soul and asks him to use the black blood.

The fight is a brave and daring display of animation, where Maka reaches Crona’s tormented soul at the end. Certainly “Soul Eater” isn’t a series based on real-world situations. However, the show takes a breathtaking look at how the inner psyche can negotiate with itself to change a person’s way of thinking. Although “Neon Genesis Evangelion” executed this with more visual flair, “Soul Eater” shows off its own unique blend of breathtaking backdrops and bright, vibrant colors.

Although “Soul Eater” is still plodding onward with its conventional, convoluted storyline, this is the box set that is worth at least a rental. The episodes in the next box set then slips into a series of boring shonen battles. There’s still plenty of action in a big battle sequence in the arctic. However, you might want to think twice before you buy the third box set, because all these battles wore me out after two hours.

Image courtesy of photobucket.com

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Filed under homage, Rurouni Kenshin, Shishio Makoto, shonen, Soul Eater

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