Since shiro told me to, my diagnosis of Soul Eater as of ep 4.
As of episode 3 of Soul Eater, Andrew Cunningham, who convinced me to watch it in the first place, is saying that Soul Eater is nailing the manga’s style perfectly. He is also saying the manga is ‘ludicrously good’. Keep these two things in mind at all times to better understand my mental conflict. Also keep in mind that this is a Bones show, and I am a total bones fanboy. It’s even directed by the guy who did Ouran, which I loved mostly just for it’s directing.
Soul Eater is fucking with me. I swear to fucking god. This show seems to be doing for me EXACTLY what the Venus VErsus Virus manga is doing for me. That is to say, it’s waving ‘things I know you like’ in my face, but like a twinky on a stick above an exercize machine, I seem to be forced to work through some stuff I absolutely hate to get to the rest. And just like VVV, I seem to be going ‘well, I don’t like it yet, but I really like it, and I can’t wait for more.’ It’s like S&M.
Starting now with the bait. (numbered for convenience in second part)
1. Soul Eater is all about the style. Any show that is all about the style, regardless of what that style is, I will likely enjoy it (see: Texhnolyze. I actually enjoyed causing myself mental and physical pain. And it’s in my goddamn top 40!) And what’s more, it’s one of my favorite styles! The dark, gothy, Tim Burton style is always a plus in my book, and the animation being as gorgeous as it is only sweetens the pot. Character designs are great, landscape designs are great, it’s just a joy to look at. And! Not only is there the dark part, but the punk part as well! I love it when the characters have that ‘fuck you!’ look about them, and make cool facial expressions and shit, which this show more than accomplishes. Truly, the style screams ‘me’. I remember my wide smile the first time I watched the op.
2. FIGHT SCENES. I love action. I got into anime because of action, and I still love to see it. Soul Eater’s first ep had 2 wonderful fights with some awesome directing, and the second episode followed suit with some badass techniques. The important thing for me in fights is just the cool moves – animation can be good as sin, but if it doesn’t look cool, it won’t matter. Soul Eater looks cool AND has insanely good animation, so it does everything right essentially.
3. OCD Guy. Getting a little bit more specific now, I have a soft spot for OCD characters because dur-hur guess why I click between two web pages incessantly for hours with neither being changing at all! Plus he just look s cool as shit and has a cool voice. And his name is fucking Death the Kid.
4. Fun Main Characters. Soul is a fanged, ghetto-dressed badass who turns into a scythe. He’s obsessed with being cool and he can be a bit of a bastard. My kind of hero. Maka is cute, and while she isn’t especially unique, I do like her attitude when she gets serious.
5. Good music. The ending theme is by far the nest song in any show this season. Plus there’s some fun J-rock when shit and fan collide, and it just fits too well. Reminds me of playing Devil May Cry in that aspect.
All that is some real good shit. That many positives put together should make one fucking hell of a show. However, as VVV has taught me, any amount of positives, when combined ith some negatives, can take a show down from ‘excellent’ to ‘awkward’. NOT bad. I will say that. Merely containing so many positives is more than enough to save it from being bad. However the mistakes keep me in limbo to the point that I can’t figure out what to think and everything comes out simply awkward.
1. The Style. This is, more or less, my most minor complaint, because the style does SO much right. However, I do think that the show has certain shots and scenes that feel way too fucking cramped. This tends to happen when characters are in a location that is only shown in a small portion – for instance, when they went to the graveyard in episode 4, we only see just the one row of graves that the characters stand near in the whole scene, never being shown any more of the graveyard. It becomes hard to get a proper perspective of the surroundings. Many of the locations are never explained, so it feels like everything is really close to each other. The only time this was fixed was in episode 3 when Death the Kid flew tot he temple, but with the town, the school, the witch’s house, the graveyard, and the mansion from ep 2, everything seemed to be within a ten minute walk from each other or something since they just sort of got there. Maybe they really are close together, I don’t know. It just makes me uncomfortable. I know, I probably sound like the biggest asshole on earth right now.
2. Fight scenes – this is another where there is a whole lot of right and only a little wrong. In fact, the first 2 eps were perfect. The fights in both eps did everything right. It wasn’t until ep 3 that, for me at least, things got weird. Pretty much my least favorite thing in a fight scene is dialog, however it’s even worse when the characters stop to crack jokes. It just makes the fights awkward because you wonder why the hell the enemy is hesitating. Both eps 3 and 4 did this, though 4 to a bit lesser extent. However, ep 4 featured a lot of dialog from the enemy, which also tends to bother me because it means a pause in the action. The tension in a fight comes from the exchange of blows going fast and cool looking, but it looses momentum if there’s one attack, some dialog, and then another attack. The use of the special moves in ep 4 was pretty cool, but I just wish things would’ve been more instantaneous.
3. OCD Guy. His joke got pretty stale prtty fucking fast. I still love him, but they did go overboard. Which brings me to…
4. Black Star… erm I mean the main characters. In the second ep, I managed to confuse myself into liking Black Star. I confused myself into appreciating his self-appreciation, and thinking that his determination made up for his idiocy. But I was fucking wrong! He’s annoying! Seriously, I really hope he doesn’t have to talk to much. And on THAT note
5. The dialog. THIS is the clincher. This show has very bad dialog. There has almost not been any single line that was any good. There was passable, but there was a lot of fail. Every time a joke is brought in, it is made old simi-instantly. The characters’ personalities stand alone to the point that you wonder just how they could possibly do any good bouncing off of each other. If the dialog had been any good up to this point, i might have hopes that the character interactions get to be fun and hilarious, but as it stands, I’m hard-pressed to see that.
So, seriously, wha the fuck? What am I supposed to think here? Should I be getting super duper fucking excited because this show is liek OMG so totally me, or should I be keeping my expectations low? Only time will tell, and it will keep telling and keep confusing me until it either gets good or ends, because if it doesn’t get better, I probably won’t realize that it wasn’t any good until it’s over.