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Soul Eater Vol. #21 Manga Review

4 min read
Soul Eater Vol. #21
Soul Eater Vol. #21

We choose to go to the moon…

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Atsushi Ohkubo
Translation/Adaptation: Stephen Paul

What They Say
Crona’s crimes have become too terrible to ignore, and the troubled youth is added to Shinigami’s list. Hoping to reach her friend first, Maka extends her soul perception ability to engulf the entire planet. But the sweep delivers even more than she had bargained for-the location of the Kishin’s hideout!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Volume 21 of Soul Eater opens on what is very likely the last bit of episodic content for the series.  It almost seems like a non sequitur when we meet up with Maka, Soul, Black*Star and Tsubaki on a sky whale hunt.  It’s just one last glimpse at the weird world at large before the story swings into final battle mode.

When they return from their mission they learn that Crona has been marked for death for his crimes.  This is understandable and yet incredibly disheartening, and Maka feels responsible for bringing Crona to justice.  She uses her soul perception to try to find the wayward, weaponized teenage and instead confirms the location of the kishin.  The shinigami had learned the same from Tezca, who died in the last volume yet makes another appearance, proving that he’s harder to get rid of than a cockroach.

The students are broken into teams, one set to assault the moon and end the kishin, and the other to take out Crona.  Maka and Soul are leading the Crona assault, while Kid is off to take his place as the successor of the position of shinigami with the moon assault.  We don’t see much else of Soul and Maka for the rest of the volume.

Since the very beginning of the series the moon has hung as a creepy grinning face in the sky, something that could be credited to the pop design sensibilities of the art style.  Well, it turns out the moon is actually that shape and it appears to have an atmosphere!  Soul Eater has always taken place is a weird version of reality, but no where else is it as obvious as it is in this volume with it’s sky whales to the airship the gang takes to the moon.  It’s an almost romanticized victorian take on the universe, evoking Jules Verne and Melies.

In route the fighters on the airship come under attack by some creepy, vaguely sexual looking clown goons sent by Justin to halt the assault.  The midair fights are full of the frantic action that we’ve come to expect from this series.  Several background characters appear to give their lives to make sure the airship can land safely, but it’s hard to drum up much sympathy for those we just don’t know very well.  We do get an appearance by a couple of characters who are featured more prominently in Soul Eater Not, Akane and Clay, who end up being front line fighters aboard the airship.

The volume ends with Stein getting ready to face off against Justin.  That combined with the prospect of a potential battle against Crona makes the wait for the next volume that much tougher.  Although, the sizable preview of the events coming up doesn’t show Crona, so we might be kept waiting for that.  To close things out is another trip to Atsushi-ya, where the author is growing melancholic and nostalgic over the length of the series.

In Summary
Now we enter endgame.  The hunt for the source of madness leads the DWMA to launching an all out attack to take out the kishin Asura.  Almost off the bat they’re facing enormous odds, and no one has a home turf advantage when your fighting on the moon.  Even more cruelly Maka and Soul are tasked with taking out Crona.  Casualties are sure to start mounting, and the odds are against them.  On the plus side, we should be up for some fantastic action.

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A –
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B +

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: July 22nd, 2014
MSRP: $13.00

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