Story/Art: Atsushi Ohkubo
Translation/Adaptation: Jack Wiedrick
What They Say
With Doctor Stein unable to carry on, Maka, Kid, and Black*Star enter the magnetic field to take up the mission and locate the tempestuous demon tool known as Brew. Time is quickly running out as the three face off against Mosquito, struggling to harmonize their wavelengths within the magnetized vortex. They’ll be lucky to escape with their lives, let alone the demon tool!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The battle for the demon tool that began in the last volume of Soul Eater ends far quicker than I anticipated. With the kids battling against a time limit, they throw everything they have against Mosquito, only to barely scratch him. Soul is forced to rely on the madness inside him to allow for the group to make use of their new group resonance ability to stand a chance of survival.
The whole confrontation ends in a stalemate and both sides back off to regroup. Neither side realizes that their old foe is back as a third party to muck things up. It doesn’t bode well that after all of the training the kids went through, and with superior numbers, that the DWMA forces couldn’t retrieve Brew.
The happenings in this volume are split evenly between the kids and the adults in the cast. When the action shifts back to DWMA the plot shifts over to Maka’s father and Marie’s attempts to discover what went wrong with Stein and their operation in the arctic.
Everyone on campus is on edge at the possibility of a spy inside the organization, and the arrival of a internal investigator to drive them out raises tensions of a completely different sort for Marie. (There’s a very weird, and amusing, subplot running through the background of this series involving the love lives of the adults in the cast. It seems everyone was dating everyone else at some point.) The interrogation leads to the discovery of the darkness planted inside Marie’s chest, and it’s destruction. Unfortunately, it doesn’t lead back to the one who planted it.
Things begin to go badly for the good guys very quickly. While the adults are interrogated, Black•Star picks a fight with Kid to prove to himself that he’s better than a god. These challenges between the kids aren’t unusual, but there’s a slight difference this time. Black*Star can’t seem to reconcile his ambition with his limits, and the madness gets it’s claws into him. Stein is very aware of his own fracturing psyche, and is barely holding it together. Crona is back under the control of his mother, and Maka discovers it but is afraid that they’ll loose Crona for good if she turns him in. All of these encroaching disasters set the scene for a gut-punching finale for this volume that I should have seen coming, but didn’t expect.
The extras for this volume are the usual author note comics, which make more sense this time as he takes a moment to celebrate reaching volume 10. We’re still very far behind the Japanese release, which is a bit strange considering they release Soul Eater Not day and date with it’s Japanese release. Fear not fans, Yen’s about to remedy this delay, their schedule has them accelerating the release to 6 volumes for 2013.
It seems that the DWMA just can’t catch a break. Even with all their training, the kids can barely hold their own against the forces against them. Death needs to come clean about the past with his subordinates, before the secrets he’s keeping from them result in more trouble. The shocking conclusion of this volume makes up for the disappointing stalemate of a battle. Hopefully Maka will do the right thing and tell someone about Crona before it’s too late, because it’s amazingly frustrating when smart characters do stupid things.
Content Grade: B +
Art Grade: A –
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B +
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: August 21st, 2012