Soul Eater: How to Get Started With the Anime & Manga
Timothy Donohoo
soul eater
soul eater
Popular in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Soul Eater was once mentioned in the same breath as franchises such as Naruto and Bleach. Initially praised for its fun shonen scope, Soul Eater became somewhat criticized due to its characters and fan service. Despite that, it rode the newfound international anime popularity of its era, gaining a firm following that it maintains to this day. Due to its combination of inventive fights, gothic designs and generally lighthearted tone, it remains a staple shonen franchise in many people's minds.
Though they've both long since come to an end, the Soul Eater manga and anime still attract newcomers hungry to consume the now-classic series. The Western release of the Perfect Edition manga has only made this easier, so here's what readers and viewers should know about Soul Eater -- and where they can get hold of it.

Where to Read The Soul Eater Manga

The plot of Soul Eater involves an academy called Death Weapon Meister Academy, where humans train living weapons and others train to become their handling Meisters. The main character is a girl named Maka, whose partner Soul Eater has the power to transform into a powerful scythe. Their goal is for Soul Eater to absorb the souls of 99 evildoers, as well as a witch's soul, to become a powerful death scythe. Along with their teammates, Maka and Soul eventually do battle with the evil witch Medusa.
Soul Eater's manga is the work of Atsushi Okubo, and the supernatural shonen series was published through Monthly Shonen Gangan by Square Enix. The original manga ran from 2004-2013, amassing 25 volumes, while the prequel spinoff, Soul Eat Not!, was collected into five tankobon volumes throughout its 2011-2014 run. Both series can be purchased digitally or physically through Comixology, Books-a-Million, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. The same goes for the books' Perfect Edition, a series of omnibuses that collect multiple volumes and include additional content.

Where to Watch the Soul Eater Anime

Maka & Soul Evans Surrounded by Their Friends
Maka & Soul Evans Surrounded by Their Friends
The Soul Eater anime, produced by the illustrious studio Bones, began in 2008 and ran until the following year. The anime's take on the source material was notably different, with the nature of consuming souls and several characterizations being changed. Some characters' roles were also cut down, as was some of the manga's infamous fan service.
This adaptation runs up to Chapter 32 of the manga, then diverges for the rest of its run. As the anime ended four years before the manga, its conclusion is wildly different as well. Despite this, many fans still enjoyed the stylish show, which went on for a total of 51 episodes. Soul Eater Not! would also receive an anime, though it only lasted for 12 episodes.
The original Soul Eater can be viewed on Netflix, Hulu, Funimation or Crunchyroll. Likewise, Soul Eater Not! can be found on Hulu and Tubi. The physical DVD/Blu-Ray releases can also be purchased through Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy.