Soul Eater Vol. #11 Manga Review

Soul Eater Vol. #11 Manga Review

Soul Eater Volume 11

Practice makes perfect, but for every step Maka and Soul take forward the bad guys take two.

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Atsushi Ohkubo
Translation/Adaptation: Jack Wiedrick

What They Say
Arachnophobia has taken the offensive and spreads the Kishin’s madness throughout the world, using “BREW” to threaten anyone who stands in their way. In the wake of attacks at home and abroad, DWMA sends its top students to quell the madness and gather information wherever they can. But the madness is spreading much quicker and is stronger than they had anticipated. When confronted by an incarnation of the Kishin’s madness itself—the sinister Clown—will Maka and Soul fall victim to it’s manipulations?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After the gut punch that was the ending of volume 10 of Soul Eater, volume 11 takes a step back to let the story normalize once again. The kids still need to practice their skills and abilities, and the adults need to formulate a new plan of attack to confront the quickly growing threat.

I have to admit I’m feeling more invested in the adults at the moment than the kids. Especially the situation between Stein and the others. With all the evidence pointing at Stein murdering B.J., the others are caught between bringing him in or letting him escape. They believe that, as crazy as Stein is becoming, he’s no murderer, and put their faith in him to catch the real killer. Marie puts his faith in him as well, and departs with him. Up until the last volume the adult’s love lives, or lack thereof, have been a running joke. Not anymore. These two seemed destined to be a pair, despite the pain following them around.

Stein isn’t the only character on the run from the DWMA. Black*Star and his weapon are off on a leave of absence after his breakdown last volume, and a few witches in hiding are forced to flee the school. The revelation that Crona wasn’t the only spy at DWMA, and certainly not the only witch, blurs the lines further between sides.

The meat of the volume is a extracurricular mission in Russia that Maka and Soul, with Blair tagging along, take on. Kid and the girls go along as well, but quickly become sidelined once arriving. The actual battle is typical Soul Eater fare, with all the requisite craziness and overcoming of physical and psychic attacks. It feels too much like filler, especially the flat-falling comedy bits with Blair padding out the battle. Yes, Maka and Soul gain a new attack, and yes they realize that the madness is spreading quicker than they imagined around the world. I really don’t feel the author needed to expend three chapters worth of material on what amounts to a spectacular looking but ultimately pointless fight.

The end of this volume closes out with another shocking development, as Medusa comes calling on DWMA to try to cut a deal. The shocking part is she appears to be laying all her cards on the table, giving up her secret identity and revealing she has BREW, which brings up the obvious question of what exactly is she up to and what does she have to gain from this?

In Summary
Soul Eater volume 11 asks “who can you trust?” With the madness growing and sinking it’s claws into the less stalwart among the cast, Maka and Soul head off to polish up their skills and take care of some grunt work. The mission they take on isn’t anything special, and the events going on back home prove to be the real driving force of the plot. With so many protagonists off on their own for awhile, and Medusa making her move on DWMA, the upcoming volume should be more interesting.

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

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: November 20th, 2012
MSRP: $11.99