A sound soul, resides in a sound mind and a sound body was narrated by one of the main characters of the popular Anime series, Soul Eater. The show took Japan by storm as BONES and Square Enix, companies that brought you the popular Full Metal Alchemist and Final Fantasy Saga, bring a unique style of animation, story and characters, different approach to anime. Soul Eater was soon license by FUNimation, who has given America and other English Speaking countries Full Metal Alchemist.
The story revolves around a young female meister, Maka Albarn, and her Human Scythe Weapon, Soul Eater, as they try to recover ninety-nine Kishin souls (evil souls) and a witch soul, to create the Ultimate weapon, Death Scythe. The Grim Reaper (Shinigami-sama) is in charge and founder of the elite school just for meisters and weapons, Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA) (Shibusen). Also, the story revolves around other main leads as well, along with Maka. The arrogant Assassin, Black Star, and his Demon Tool Weapon Partner, Nakatsukasa Tsubaki, as they also complete the their mission of creating a Death Scythe. Last but not least, the Symmetrical-obsessed son of the Grim Reaper himself, Death the Kid. With his two demon twin pistol partners, Elizabeth (Liz) and Patricia (Patti) Thompson, also known as the Thompson Sisters.
The First Box Set includes Two Discs containing episodes one through thirteen. The first three episodes are prologue episodes, introducing the three main meisters and their partners. After episode three, they encounter the notorious scientist, Franken Stein, who was said to be the strongest meister to ever graduate DWMA (stated by Lord Death himself). Black Star, Maka and their partners try to stop Sid and Stein as they battle it out against the three-star meister.
Following the Stein arc, Death the Kid asks (forces) his father to enroll him and the Thompson Sisters at his father’s school. At his first day of school, he encounters and engages in a duel with Black Star and Soul, who decided to become partners with them to defeat Kid.
In later episodes, we encounter new antagonists that will be the stepping stone for the next DVD box set presented by FUNimation. The gang meets Witch Medusa (who is an undercover nurse at the academy), her Black Blood Experiment Crona and Ragnorak, the immortal werewolf, Free and a few more witches. Along with them, but not on the same team, Tsubaki confronts her brother and her past as she and Black Star battle it out to stop him from becoming a full-fledge Kishin.
The voice talent, both in English and Japanese, has some powerhouse actors, bringing the characters to life. Kobayashi Yumiko had reprises her role as Black Star from the Drama CD and was the only voice actor from the early Drama CD cast to be casted into the anime adaptation of Soul Eater. The award-winning voice actor Miyano Mamoru voices Death the Kid and Uchiyama Koki voice Soul Eater. Both Miyano and Uchiyama worked on Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts video game series. Maaya Sakumoto also voices the Black Blood Antagonist, Crona.
In the English side of things, Laura Bailey was casted as the lead character, Maka Albarn. The popular and lovable Todd Haberkorn voices Death the Kid and Brittney Karbowski voice her first male role as Black Star. Other powerhouse senior Voice Actors are Vic Mignogna as Maka’s perverted, womanizing father and current strongest Death Scythe, Death Scythe (Spirit). Chuck Hurber as the sadistic Stein, Luci Christian as Witch Medusa and Travis Willingham as the invincible Free.
Both the Japanese and English Cast also has some rookie and first time voice actors make their debut in Soul Eater. Omigawa Chiaki made her debut as the heroic heroine Maka Albarn. Narumi Takahira also made her voice acting debut as the hilarious, over excited Patti Thompson and Uchida Yuuya as Franken Stein.
Micah Solusod is new to the Voice Acting gig, but in Soul Eater he has a major role as he voices Maka Albarn’s cool partner, Soul Eater. Along with Micah, Maxey Whitehead voices Crona, who is also voicing Alphonse Elric in the newly restored anime, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood.
The DVD box set part one has special features and bonus material that any anime fan would enjoy. The special features an episode seven commentary in Disc one, with Laura Bailey, Micah Solusod and the ADR director of Soul Eater, Zach Bolton. In Disc two, textless opening and endings and the Late Night Soul Eater Specials (still in original Japanese context). Lastly, every box set includes a bonus collectible sticker.
Soul Eater Part 2 DVD box set is set to release March 30, 2010, including episodes fourteen through twenty-six.
As a fan of the Japanese version of Soul Eater, I just adore having this box set. Having the original Late Night Specials when I wasn’t able to view all thirteen of the specials back in 2008, I was fortunate and happy that I bought the box set and that FUNimation decided to included them in the DVD.
For the English Dub cast, I was doubtful when I heard some of the cast announcements. Some of the voice actors I was familiar with, others I had never heard of until I looked up their roles on Wikipedia. I was somewhat relax when FUNimation gave us a preview of the first three episodes with the respected actor voicing their character. Some did a fantastic job, other actors didn’t do so well.
When I received my copy of the box set, I watched episodes one through thirteen in English, laughing and screaming at the horrific voices. For the last year, I was so used to my favorite Japanese Seiyuu that I didn’t keep my mind open at all when I watched it. However, I didn’t give up on the series. I continue to watch the series and sooner of later I got use to the voices and started to like the English roles.
Actors I would like to acknowledge their acting in this beloved series are Todd Haberkorn as Death the Kid. As much as I love Miyano Mamoru as Kid, I thought his voice was too low for the part, but both Todd and Mamoru did a magnificent acting job at this dynamic character. Todd’s voice range for the spoiled rich son of the Grim Reaper was simply perfect. Todd’s performance was way beyond from what I expected and he definitely out did himself in this role.
Micah Solusod is another I would like to acknowledge, having only a few roles so far in his career has made a new stepping stone for himself as Soul Eater. Playing the cool guy, Micah really nailed the part and has definitely brought cool factor in Soul. However, Micah does sound similar to Johnny Yong Boush (Kurosaki Ichigo from Bleach), confusing many viewers out there.
Vic Mignogna was one of the actors I had my doubts on. He is famous for his role as Edward Elric in Full Metal Alchemist. He is a very good actor, but having the image of Edward Elric screaming for Maka was very odd to see. However, when the dub release the first episode, my worries about Vic voicing one of my favorite characters dissipated.
It took me awhile to accept it, but Brittney Karbowski as Black Star was one of the actresses I thought FUNimation made a mistake on. Not myself, but other fans didn’t like her voice. Acting wise, she’s perfect, but the tone of her voice was way too feminine that Black Star’s partner, Tsubaki, had a deeper voice (voiced by Monica Riel). However, after watching the dub a few times, I started to like Brittney as Black Star. It was hard to adjust from Yumiko as Black Star, since Black Star is my favorite character in the series, but I learned to like Brittney and I could not think of another actress who could voice my overzealous character.
Overall, I had mix feelings about the English release. I was skeptical about some of the voice talent, but I overcome that sooner or later. The special features were a bit lacking, for as I am a fan of English Cast Outtakes (Ouran High School Host Club outtakes are great!), which I was hoping for, but unfortunately it wasn’t available for this box set and the next box set coming out on March 30th.
Scanned by MasterChick. All images and rights belong to FUNimation and BONES.