Hello, welcome to my blog. I'm a university student trying to breeze his way through a computer science major while spending most of his time in lecture browsing the internet for updates of my favorite subcultural fascinations.
I have been permanently influenced by the animanga subculture for the longest time now. I liveblog anime series that I watch, posting screencaps and GIFs that I make. My dream is to have my GIF making technique noticed in lecture one day and hear someone say, “By the beard of Gol D. Roger, look at this latent young boy’s talent. Such impeccable artistry. Someone buy this genius a Strawberries n’ Crème frappucino stat!”
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Source Material: Manga series by Atsushi Ōkubo (大久保 篤)
Director(s): Masakazu Hashimoto (橋本 昌和)
Writer(s): Masakazu Hashimoto(橋本 昌和)
Soul Eater NOT! is a spin-off of the popular Soul Eater shōnen series written and illustrated by the same creator, focusing on a new set of characters with the occasional appearance of the main cast of the original series. It is set one year before the original story. The Soul Eater NOT! manga began serialization in Monthly Shōnen Gangan on January 2011 and is currently ongoing.
One day Tsugumi Harudori discovers that she has the ability to transform into a weapon and suddenly her normal school-life is completely transformed, starting with her enrollment into Death Weapon Meister Academy, a prestigious institution where she can learn to control her powers. Her first day at the academy, she has a chance encounter with upperclassmen Maka Albarn but the lasting impression isn’t enough to assuage all her doubts about her new school life. Maka appears again during a commencement briefing and again inspires Tsugumi when she demonstrates her compatibility with Soul Eater Evans as a meister and weapon respectively. Afterwards, Tatane Meme, a classmate Tsugumi had met, is being harassed by two students, and Tsugumi comes to her aid after asking herself, “What would Maka do?” Another classmate, Anya Hepburn, joins them and performs a successful pairing with Tsugumi. After the three defeat the bullies, Tsugumi finally starts to feel welcome at the academy.
Let’s give a warm re-welcome to our lovable characters Tsubaki, Black☆Star, Patty, Liz, Death, Maka and Soul Eater! Not. Instead of taking advantage of Soul Eater’s recent conclusion and pulling another beloved Brotherhood move, Studio Bones has decided to instead adapt the ongoing spin-off series, Soul Eater Not! (the last volume is currently being worked upon by Ōkubo, so in due time both series will be fresh for the picking). Now it’s definitely a strange decision on their behalf and while I can understand a lot of frustrated sentiments from fans; for the most part, we’re lucky enough just to have the animated continuation of this series in any way, shape or form.In my opinion, the Soul Eater manga had one of the most unique story-structures amongst all long-running shōnen series; and to be more honest, I felt the story had so much more to expand upon when it did conclude. If anything, as a narrative, it had the right to go on much longer much more so than a handsome amount of currently ongoing series, just beating around the bush with their stories and beating their second dead horse at this point. But a story is ultimately in the hand of its writer so I’ve learned to accept Ōkubo-sensei’s decision. Now that he wants to continue his series through this spin-off, I can only welcome it with open arms. Who knows, maybe this adaptation discreetly serves as Bones’s ultimatum, pinning the fate of Soul Eater Brotherhood on its success. A shōnen can dream at least at the very least. And it’s certainly one hell of an extension, I’ll give it that. Watching the likes of Black☆Star parading his God-like-complex around campus, the holy sword Excalibur in the form of a penguin waltzing around campus, comic-relief characters like Eruka Frog making the occasional intrusions on campus, and the more, certainly do not make for the outward appearance of a prestigious academy meant to maintain peace and save the world, as Death Weapon Meister Academy is painted in this series. But then again, even us real life, non-anime inhabitants should be no strangers to misleading academic reputations, I suppose. It seems to be a much more light-hearted series, Soul Eater NOT!; wherein the original Soul Eater series started in media res, having our characters making entrances of the bad-ass kind in the first episode, NOT! covers protagonist Tsugumi’s story before she even has the recognized potential to attend Death Weapon Meister Academy. She is just like any other normal schoolgirl, listening to music and scribbling on a notepad at the family dinner table one evening when one little stumble sees her leg transforming, and before you know, off she goes to Death City. And of course, even then, Tsugumi and friends’ story is not one of battles of justice and ensuring global peace, theirs is the story of “NOT.” As opposed to the “EAT” class that the characters we’re more familiar with attend to train themselves to become powerful wielders and transformers, the “NOT” class is for those who seek to control their powers so they aren’t a threat to those around them, essentially a means for them to go back to their normal lives. It’s a more toned-down, comedic, slice-of-life segment in Death Weapon Meister Academy’s history; (okay, maybe not more comedic than the original if its void of Excalibur and Black☆Star’s hilarity) but interestingly enough, it not only has its own rigid story to tell right off the bat but also gives us more extensive background information on elements of the original series. And if either of those aren’t the purpose of a spin-off series, then NOT! is exceeding the very limitations of the sub-genre. This spin-off is set a year before the actual events of the main series and I think this the first time we get such an extensive look inside the actual Meister Academy and the daily life of its students, seeing them during class intermissions walking to and fro, receiving publicity for sponsored Meister-dom, and the like. To a certain extent, it’s almost hard to believe, just because of the usual intensity of the original narrative that forces the image of the protagonists as purely heroes of justice and not people with normal lives. After all, sending people unable to control their powers to the academy that specializes in developing those powers makes sense and all, but imagine the legal repercussions had Medusa launched her attack on the academy one year earlier, in the timeframe of this series. Though witnessing it from Tsugmi’s perspective would be quite the treat, now that I think about it. In that case, it’s completely commendable, what Ōkubo is doing here, continually stretching the confines of the shōnen genre, whether revolutionarily or whimsically so. You can write it off as a much more cheerful experience, but as it stands, forget the stigma of spin-offs, Soul Eater NOT! actually still has the standing to be a credible shōnen series. It’s got solid character designs, a familiar lore, engaging battles, wide area for character development and interaction, and just general aptness, lest we forget the quality of work for any Bones series. Thankful, I definitely am.