Title: Soul Eater
Genre:Action, Supernatural, Comedy
Publishers: Gangan Comics, Square-Enix
Soul Eater (ソウルイーター, Sōru Ītā?) is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Atsushi Okubo. The manga is published by Square Enix and was first released as three separate one-shots serialized in two Gangan Powered special editions and one Gangan Wing issue between June 24 and November 26, 2003. The manga started regular serialization in Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan manga magazine on May 12, 2004. The first bound volume was released by Square Enix under their Gangan Comics imprint on June 22, 2004 in Japan, and as of June 2008, twelve volumes have been released. The manga has been licensed for distribution in North America by Yen Press. The English translated version of Soul Eater will originally be serialized in the first issue Yen Press' Yen Plus manga anthology magazine on July 29, 2008, and the first volume will be released in early 2009.
Soul Eater primarily revolves around students classified as meisters (職人, shokunin?) at the Shinigami Weapon Meister Vocational School (死神武器職人専門学校, Shinigami Buki Shokunin Senmon Gakkō?), or Shibusen (死武専, Shibusen?) for short, located in the fictional Death City, in Nevada, United States. The school is run by Shinigami, the God of Death himself, as a training facility for weapons and the human wielders of those weapons, the meisters. Each meister has at least one demon weapon companion which has both a weapon and human form. Shinigami created the school as an organization that enforces peace in order to prevent the rebirth of the "kishin", evil demon gods that nearly destroyed everything by plunging the world into chaos. Human souls that have become evil by straying from the path of humans have a high risk of becoming kishin, so evil humans are constantly being hunted down and killed by the students trained at Shibusen. The ultimate goal of the students with their weapons is to have their weapons defeat and absorb the souls of ninety-nine evil humans and one witch, which will dramatically increase the power of the given weapon and thus be capable of being used by shinigami. In order to ensure this is done in a timely manner, all students and weapons attend classes regularly and are given homework or supplementary lessons to further their training. The meisters have a rating system that goes from one to three stars which usually measures soul energy. It is important that the meister and weapon can tune their "soul wavelength" to perform high level attacks and bring out the weapon's full power.
A fifty-one episode anime adaptation is directed by Takuya Igarashi, and produced by Bones, Aniplex, Dentsu, Media Factory, and TV Tokyo; Bones and Aniplex are responsible for the animation and music production respectively. The anime's scenario writer is Akatsuki Yamatoya who bases the anime's story on Atsushi Okubo original concept. Character design is headed by Yoshiyuki Ito, with overall art direction by Norifumi Nakamura. The anime's conceptual design is done by Shinji Aramaki. The episodes started airing on April 7, 2008 on TV Tokyo, and two animated specials aired on May 29 and June 1, 2008. The episodes also aired at later dates on TV Aichi, TV Hokkaido, TV Osaka, TV Setouchi, and TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Co. The first DVD compilation volume will be released on August 22, 2008 with the first three episodes. Each DVD volume will be released in monthly intervals.
The anime is regularly broadcast Mondays at 6:00 pm on TV Tokyo. The official Japanese website of the Soul Eater anime series has announced that each episode will air in two different versions: the regular Monday 6:00 p.m. version and a late-night "Soul Eater Late Show" version. Special footage is added at the start and end of the commercial break; the next episode preview is also different from the regular version. The dual broadcast of this supernatural action series is being billed as the "world's first evening and late-night resonance broadcast". The "resonance" term refers to a story concept in which the characters, such as the heroine Maka and her living weapon partner Soul Eater, achieve maximum power by synchronizing their souls.
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