Soul Eater 62: It Sucks to be Arachne

Oh, nostalgia.  Let’s remember the very first chapter of Soul Eater, when Soul and Maka were stunned to find that they had just killed a magical cat.

memories

memories

The reason why this mistake happened is because Soul greedily gulped Blair’s soul down without taking it to the appropriate authorities at Shibusen for inspection.  I’m sure Shinigami-sama would have spotted the difference in a sec.

yummy Blair, though not a witch

yummy Blair, though not a witch

6o chapters later, Maka and Soul are on the brink of success yet again.  This time around, the pair obtained the last necessary human soul after getting the witch’s soul.  In practical terms, this means that they had to keep the witch’s soul around so as not to break the death scythes’ set menu (evidently the witch’s soul is dessert).  In Ohkubo terms, though, this means that he has plenty of chances to mess it all up again in some crazy messed up fashion.

odds this is going to work out: 5%

odds this is going to work out: 5%

Ohkubo is so unpredictable that it’s stupid to try to figure out what’s going to happen here, but I’m stupid enough to try.  Remember that Arachne’s body hasn’t been destroyed, Medusa is wearing it.  If Soul Eater swallows Arachne’s soul then this might establish some sort of deep link between Soul and Medusa.  There, that’s my guess.  I like Medusa so my speculation tends to revolve around here but you gotta admit it’d be a pretty neat twist.  Then again, it’d be nice just to see the smile on Maka is it all turned out OK and Soul became a proper Death Scythe.

***

Patty’s ass-kicking was cool and hopefully we’ll see it against real enemies real soon.  My apologies to Liz but she’s probably the most worthless student in all of Shibusen (don’t you agree?).  Anyway, Patty’s fight with Black☆Star was a wonderful example of the dilemma that Black☆Star has been confronting all along: winning vs winning with honor.  I wrote a post last year on how he seemed to be betraying his own declared goal of “becoming god” by mixing it with all sorts of niceties [post here].

Mifune on his Mind

Mifune on his Mind

Now at last there is an actual philosophy behind the wimpiness nuances: the warrior’s path he inherited from Mifune.  Of course, Mifune could have probably taken Black☆Star very early on if he had played dirty but he didn’t.  It might be that the Way works like this: warriors are strong enough to beat anyone without having to break their honorable code, except for a very few enemies, and these enemies are precisely the ideal candidates to become warriors and adopt the Way in the future.  Then these new warriors will beat all cleanly except the next potential (but still dirty fighting) warrior and so on…

The drawback to this nobility is that Black☆Star gets pwned by Patty!

pwned

pwned

Speaking of which, my prediction that Justin would beat the crap out of Stein and Mari didn’t materialize, as I should have expected…

Finally, the Spartoi.  Here’s a great page that collects many of the classical sources on the dragon around which this legend is based.  Either Stein’s rendering of the story is wildly inaccurate or the parallel Greek mythology of Soul Eater is strangely different from ours.  The tale goes like this:

Cadmus slays a dragon.  Gods instruct Cadmus to sow the dragon’s teeth.  He does.  Warriors spring out of the Earth and begin to kill each other.  Only five remain.  These 5 are the ancestors of the city of Thebes.

Storytelling Time with Dr. Stein!

Storytelling Time with Dr. Stein!

There’s nothing about Cadmus trying to stop insanity.  In fact, the mad ones here are the warriors Cadmus brings to life.  And as for the city of Thebes, well, one of the kings of Thebes is murdered by his own son who then inadvertently marries his mother the queen (talking abut Oedipus), and then his two sons fight for control of the city and kill each other beneath the city wall etc..  It aint’ pretty or successful.

Let’s hope Ohkubo is just having fun with his references and that nothing more ominious will come out of this.  Then again, it’d be kind of fun to see the elite Shibusen students go crazy battle royale mode!

~ by Haloed Bane on June 15, 2009.

9 Responses to “Soul Eater 62: It Sucks to be Arachne”

  1. I like your spiel on the warrior code as a kind of legacy/cycle, it works niftily as a continuation of Black Star’s personal development.

    Although cool-ish, niceties such as handicapping seem rather ungodly to me. Then, the author’s idea of gods is clearly a bit more screwy local deity than my own tendency toward imagining lofty transcendent spirits (more Japanese than Christian?). I suppose Black Star needed something to be a god of, rather than aiming to become some kind of all purpose ninja Jesus.

  2. yup, the idea of kami in japan is not at all like the gods of the West, it’s actually not even that bad to aim to become a god, inasmuch as any brave soldier may become one after death…

    on the warrior cycle, it’s like the new warrior defeats the old one by using a bit of dirty tricks, but then “pays” for this advantage by submitting himself to the system, carrying it on, and then potentially being defeated by the next up and comer. Kinda cool.

  3. nah, when black star says he is god, he is just saying “I rule”.
    I know because I always say that I am god D:

  4. eh…Black Star handicapping himself didn’t seem so much a matter of ‘honour’ so much as him trying to show off. Although not using his wavelength would have made sense; ‘real’ warriors fight on even ground, they don’t give handouts to show their superiority.

    Anyway, on the Spartoi thing. This is purely speculation on my part (I haven’t even clicked through to the page you linked) but maybe Stein’s ‘stopping insanity’ refers to those 5 putting an end to all those killing each other? Like, the fact that there were 5 survivors instead of just one suggests that those 5 called a truce and maybe even helped each other–distinguishing them from the insanity of the free for all.

  5. @Anon

    Good for you this isn’t the Middle Ages, or you’d have been burned at the stake a long time ago🙂

    @Sol

    I like what you’re saying, but Stein made it seem as if the insanity was something completely separate from the Spartoi, which the Spartoi came in to stop, whereas in fact it was the Spartoi (most of them, anyway) who were insane to begin with.

    I’d have rather they called them the Shibusen Five. Sounds honest and clean!

  6. I love your analysis of this manga and have bookmarked you so I can read what you next have to say on the subject. Thank you!

  7. Thanx, aksarah. Looking forward to the next chapter..

  8. I see Black Star’s code as: What’s the point of being god if god is a bitch ass? The path to godliness is paved with manliness, and manliness is pathed with honor. The god-kings are the ones with the rippling muscles and epic beards, not the back-stabbing cunts. I think it won’t matter of others fight dirty if you become SO strong that you can handle any fight, dirty, clean, or otherwise.

    I don’t even want to know the fate of Soul Eater’s Soul Eating.

    And yes, Liz is largely useless.

    • I could think of a few uses for Liz come to think of it…

      Seriously though, Mifune seeemed like one of these gods and he was defeated. Will Star actually surpass Mifune and keep to the code? We’ll see…

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