Soul Eater, Vol. 25

By Atsushi Ohkubo. Released in Japan by Square Enix, serialized in the magazine Shonen Gangan. Released in North America by Yen Press.

And so here we are at the end of another long-running shonen series. And it’s a good, solid ending, wrapping most plotlines up neatly, giving readers a big battle scene with lots of awesome moves and attacks, and resolving Crona as much as Crona was ever going to get resolved. The cover, as you can see, has Crona looming over our protagonists, and that seems appropriate, as in the end the fight is not so much to defeat Asura as it is to get a chance to try to talk Crona down one last time. And, of course, it would not be long-running shonen without the death of one of the main characters, which is done in such a way that even Excalibur is briefly not annoying. (It’s only briefly though.)


It’s also interesting to see the attention paid to Soul and his growth. Soul’s struggles as a weapon have always been closely tied to Soul’s struggles as a musician, and he clearly has a life-or-death performance here. That fact that his music works most effectively when he accepts the madness that roils within himself, and the black blood within, is actually quite well done, even if it makes me wonder if Ohkubo was trying to say something about jazz artists and recreational drugs. But that’s probably just me. More to the point, he and Maka now trust each other completely, which after everything they’ve been through, is a relief. I liked his support when Maka is trying to convince Crona – he says “we believed in what Maka believed in”.

There’s a lot left open after this ending. Kid’s now the new Shinigami, and has already shown that his OCD is not going to magically go away anytime soon. Crona may be rescued someday, but today is not that day, and given all the crimes committed by Crona, it seems appropriate to end with moon sealage. (I have been endeavoring not to gender Crona through these reviews – unlike, say, Hange in Attack on Titan, where an author’s casual joking has spiraled completely out of control, I do believe Crona is quite deliberately not shown to be male or female, and that it works with their character.) As for romance, it was always on the back burner, and remains so – the only couples at the end are Kim and Ox, who get a dance, and Stein and Marie, who are creating new life. You could argue other things might happen in the future (I was rather startled by Maka’s response to Blair’s comment), but for now, things are up in the air.

This wasn’t a perfect ending – the boob jokes at the end fell totally flat with me, even if they do try to justify it in plot as Crona’s subconscious desires, and the “Noah-samas” were just as bad. But it made me happy overall. Eruka Frog was a character I always felt sorry for, so it was nice to see her pardoned and at peace. Rachel had been dropped from the manga the moment she was unpossessed, so it was fantastic to see her with her parents and showing she wasn’t completely broken by what happened to her. And it ends with a party, with everyone singing and dancing in the best One Piece tradition. Well, that and a shot of the city, with its bizarre sun and moon still hovering in the sky. Soul Eater’s world is still strange as hell, and it’s the world that is the main reason I recommend reading every volume of this series.

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