Soul Eater, Volume 1, written and illustrated by Atsushi Okubo, is definitely a 16+ title. Though it can be playful and silly and appeal to a younger crowd, there is a lot of sexuality—no full-fledged nip-slips, but there are panty shots and strategically placed articles of very skimpy clothing on some of the characters. Of course, what is anime and/or manga with some gratuitous “fan service”?
Volume 1 introduces the main characters, Maka Albam and her scythe partner, Soul Eater. They go to the Death Weapon Meister Academy, a training facility for humans that can turn into weapons (Scythes, like Soul Eater) and the humans who wield the weapons (Meisters, like Maka). These students are trying to make the scythe a “Death Scythe” to be wielded by Shinigami (the Headmaster, also known as Death), by collecting 99 souls of evil humans and one witch. It’s an amusing concept that lends itself well to a lot of scary, weird monsters and occult mythology. I love the relationship between Soul and Maka– best friends who act like siblings, and who might be romantically involved if they would only notice each other. The characters have great dynamics with one another, which is always a good sign in a series.
Soul Eater was a fun, amusing read. Not too deep or philosophical, but definitely interesting and engaging for a supernatural/fantasy lover. Young adults who like fantasy series like Harry Potter and the X-Men may like the fact that there is a school that the characters attend to learn magic and fighting skills. The art is cute and charming, especially the little details here and there of bats and pumpkins which add to the creepy, kooky world of Soul Eater.
Soul Eater, Volume 1
by Atsushi Okubo
Yen Press, 2009
Publisher Age Rating: OT/Older Teen