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Soul Eater Vol. #22 Manga Review

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Soul Eater Vol. #22
Soul Eater Vol. #22

The madness on the moon starts taking it’s toll.

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

What They Say
The remaining Death Weapons, along with Kid, gather to stage their assault on the moon. As they approach the Kishin’s hideout, Stein and Justin clash in a violent, madness-fueled battle. Stein struggles to maintain his grip on sanity while Justin draws power from the Kishin’s inexhaustible aura of madness. Everyone knows there will be casualties on the road to restoring “order”-but will Stein become the first?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
If you haven’t noticed by now, the increasing madness has leaked over to the covers of the last few volumes of Soul Eater.  We’ve finally reached a point where the covers have turned black, and this one features a barely restrained Stein tearing it up.

The battle on the moon isn’t going particularly well.  The Death Weapons and Meisters can put up a good fight, but there’s no end to the enemies they’re facing.  Every one stuck done seems to pop up two or three more in their place.  Soldiers start to fall.  Kid faces off against one nude madness clown who seems to enjoy pointing out her nakedness and who is harder to kill than a cockroach.  (I like the creative use of black to disguise the nipples.)  He hasn’t connected his last sanzu line yet, and even he is starting to get worn down.

Meanwhile Stein is blissfully attacking every clown in sight.  Paired up with Marie he looks like he’s out of control, ranting mentally to himself about the battle.  However he somehow still manages to stay in control.  The pair manage to strike a decisive blow and have a nice moment before Marie has to leave the battlefield.  I really like these two.

The rest of the crew back on earth finally track down Crona, and Maka heads in alone to try to talk down her friend.  The Crona she knew is almost totally gone though, replaced by a broken beast of a killer who has given in to madness.  Crona says it’s too late for him, tells Maka that he killed his mother, and walks away.  He could have attacked the whole lot of them, but he doesn’t want to kill anymore and instead flies off for the moon to try to claim the kishin’s power for himself.  Like a moth to a flame.

At this point there are four powers seeking the kishin.  Justin’s team loyal to the kishin, DWMA, Crona, and Eibon.  However, Death calls his son back from the battle on the moon when he realizes they’re stuck in a stalemate.  Kid is reluctant to leave the battle but returns to discover the plan that his father has.  He needs Kid to go negotiate the help of DWMA’s long time enemy, the witches, in order to break through the kishin’s defense.

The author’s gag comic is a bit more subdued than usual, focusing on the savior of light personified as a waffle.  If this volume seems thicker than usual it’s because there’s a twenty page Soul Eater Not preview chapter inserted at the back on the book.  Great for those that might not know it exists, but it’s been out for awhile so I find this a bit odd.

In Summary
The battles on the moon are a crazy and creative affair as we get to watch weapons of many types launch strange attacks against even stranger enemies.   The splashy attacks and angry dialog provide a backdrop of action as the other players try to get the upper hand by working behind the scenes. This final battle needed to happen, but it’s a bunch of noise with only one truly strong victory for this volume.  The rest of the time is spent moving more people into place for the next set of battles, both on the field and off.  Crona still remains the most interesting wild card in this fight.

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

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: September 23rd, 2014
MSRP: $13.00