[anime - review] Soul Eater volume 4

[anime - review] Soul Eater volume 4

Feb 4, 2011

Soul eater volume 4, covers episodes 39 – 51

Why are their noses all so wrong!

It’s the first thing that strikes me every time I start to watch an episode of soul eater, Its endlessly distracting that their noses are all way high up in the middle of their faces.

I know it makes me sound like I’m being picky, this is a show that is all about odd looking characters and surreal designs. But its too glaring, too hard to ignore and that’s a problem. Every episode is spent adjusting to what feels like bad design for humanoid characters. This just adds to my problems with the show, Or this edition of the show. We are up to volume 4 of the dvd boxed sets and on the home straight. Story arcs are in full swing and characters are being killed off left and right.

But instead of being the shows strength it’s the weakness it has in its plotting and storytelling that shine through. Too much is happening at once, 3 or 4 different storys all taking place in the same episodes. Its not the number of story arcs that are the problem but the way they are being told. Becoming multi episode affairs that just drag on. By the time we come to the final confrontation of the show, the final battle actually drags on for 4 and a half episodes. 4 and a half!

I actually felt myself willing the show too end, worse still feeling upset there was yet another episode.

A well written tv show, anime or not, should drive the opposite in you. Your ment to crave more from a show, want to see the next episode. But that’s not what happens. Its not really the fault of the production team. Animation is of a good quality and the cast of characters are all well developed with what could be interesting story arcs. It’s a very flashy looking show, but devoid of little bits of spark and heart.

It’s the very quality of the production which makes you feel uncomfortable about those character designs. Yes I understand that its not un known for a manga artist to have his or her own style of art and design. Yes I know the team were tied to the original designs. But, normally if an artist is to stray from the average style they really stray. This just feels like looking at the human characters in the back of a spoon. Its just wrong.

It’s a shame though because the Non-humanoid looks characters are all thrilling to look at and highly characterised also. The true stand out is Excalibur, eccentric and totally entertaining every time he’s on screen.

I don’t want to sound totally negative. There are a couple of stand out episodes in this last boxed set. Episode 46 “Bravery? Bloodshed? Decisive Battle, Mifune vs. Black Star?”. Is a real stand out, containing within its events a well worked fight, some good and interesting exposition & a real fulfilling ending. The show though suffers from its confused pace, it doesn’t know if it should run or walk and there are just too many people on the field for the whole thing to really deserve the attention a show of this size should.

[ 6 out of 10 ] – Robin

Soul eater volume 4 is available now on dvd for £24.99 from manga entertainment.