Tag Archives: Guts

Soul Eater: The Nightmare Before Anime

Ever since my girlfriend and her sister cosplayed the Thompson twins from Soul Eater, I had developed a growing

Liz and Patty. Yes.

interest in watching Soul Eater. I didn’t realize at the time what this show would hold in store for me. (Added bonus if Christopher Sabat does any voice in an anime.) As I began watching this 51 episode anime, I found myself falling in love with the characters and caring for what would happen to them (although I had the ending ruined for me by complete accident.) It didn’t detract from the pulse-pounding episodes of battle after battle that ensued, and I found a new love in this Halloween-type anime that sent chills down my spine and laughs throughout my body as I spent a week watching this amazing anime. I was enraptured.

This anime follows the story of three “Meisters” and their “Weapons.” These duos of weapon and wielder take on what are known as Kishins, the tainted souls of creatures that have become monsters and feed on other people’s souls. Once 99 Kishin souls are collected, and one witch’s soul, then the weapon is deemed worthy of being used by Lord Death. This grim reaper is the essential Headmaster of the DWMA, also known as the Death Weapon Meister Academy. He installed this school to battle Kishins, and it has done a good job up to this point.

The doom and gloom of Death City.

It is at this point that things begin to go downhill. The evil witch Medusa (Luci Christian) and others have made plans to bring down the DWMA, and it is up to three brave Meisters, Maka Albarn (Laura Bailey), Black Star (Brittney Karbowski), and Death the Kid (Todd Haberkorn) to defeat the evil plot of the witches and Kishins. Teamed up with their weapons, Soul Eater (Micah Solusod), Tsubaki (Monica Rial), and the Thompson twins Liz (Jamie Marchi) and Patty (Cherami Leigh).

So it may seem weird that Meisters, who are people, are fighting using weapons who are also people. But these people are born with the ability to change into weapons at will. These weapons are special as well. A Meister and its Weapon have a special bond known as Soul Resonance. This bond allows Meister and Weapon to combine into one soul and creates a higher power in which to defeat enemies. But these three are not on the level of the Professors or Lord Death himself at the DWMA. And it is the school’s purpose to train these Meisters and Weapons in order to make them formidable opponents against Kishins.

The one thing that stands out about this anime, to me, is the style in which the plot is set. The doom and gloom of death and souls is combined with the comedic

Soul Eater. With some pizazz.

drawings of the artists. This gives it an anime meets Nightmare Before Christmas feel to it. The grinning Sun and Moon with blood dripping from their teeth give it that comedic element, mixed with the morbid. The grim reapers and monster encountered, drawn in what appears to be Jack the Ripper Whitechapel area sets up one of the best environments I’ve ever encountered in an anime.

Black Star. Badass.

And there are some great english voice actors that are in this anime. It would take too long to give a whole list, so I’ll just highlight a few. I thought Micah Solusod gave a great performance as Soul Eater, Maka’s weapon scythe. His grave voice and determined attitude comes across great through Micah, although I’ve never heard of him before. Brittney Karbowski was amazing as the cocky Black Star, my all time favorite ninja child and all around badass. John Swasey was great as Lord Death. His goofy voice gave the anime a Jack Skellington element with his personality and outlook. Vic Mignogna was hilarious as Maka’s father and Death Scythe Spirit. His obsession with seeking his daughter’s approval was always worth a laugh. Chuck Huber was fantastic as the madness induced Professor Doctor Franken Stein. His tormented character fought back and forth, and this was amazingly done by Huber. Maxey Whitehead was great as the insecure, gender-bender Crona. The duo of Crona and Ragnarok against the world and the lack of acceptance was heart wrenching to say the least. And yes, Troy Baker was amazing as Excalibur, the useless, fool dueling weapon of legend and lore.

And that’s about it. To get too much into the story might ruin the anime with spoilers, so I’ll leave you with this. If you’re looking for a light-hearted shonen with gore, guts (courage/bravery), and glorious fighting, this anime is for you. I give Soul Eater a 9 out of 10.

And here’s a taste of the show with a tribute to Death the Kid and the sexy Thompson Twins. Hooray.

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Berserk: The Most Insane Anime You Will Ever Watch

So… This show has been weighing on my conscious for some time. It’s the inevitable story that gives you nightmares at night, despite how good of a show it was. Let me just say right off the bat that despite being made way back in 1997, this show can still stand among many good anime of the 2000’s. It’s got fighting, strategy, intrigue, rape… Now I say rape in a way that it will haunt your dreams for years to come. I never understood the phrase “tentacle-rape” until I watched this anime. And now it will never leave me. But all of this is beside the point. Let me explain the show in a bit more detail so you can get the gist of it.

Berserk is about a character named Guts. I know, it already starts out badass, and on some levels gross. The character Guts gained his name more through the way he was born than his mother slapped him across his tiny face and screamed, “Guts.” That would also be a cool intro to the show, but not the exact way they were going for. Guts is named Guts because he was born, despite all odds, from the ravished and destroyed body of his mother, plopped right down on the ground from the tree she was hanged on. This beginning already gives way to “violent beginnings bring violent ends.” And that is Guts’ entire purpose.

Guts, main character and badass hero from "Berserk"

And this is where the story picks up. Guts is a badass emblem of light during the Dark Ages. He goes around, arm-mounted crossbow and gigantic sword in hand, and slays what appears to be demonic cross-breeding monsters. This is only the first episode, mind you. After this, we are Gun Graved (Sucks) towards the story’s beginnings. Guts meets Griffith, the rag-tag leader of the Band of the Hawk, and they run train on absolutely every enemy they cross. Guts becomes a major key player in Griffith’s plans, and this pisses off the only female in the show who is worth anything, Casca. I can’t believe how many times she was naked in the course of this anime. Quite shocking for a woman in men’s clothing.

The episodes are quite gradual in their progression and usually deal with one battle at a time. Besides this one episode with an undead super-vampire type deal. That was straight out of left field. And I know I shouldn’t ruin the ending, but prepare to have your mind blown. I’ve tried to explain it to people, but its something better seen than heard. And suffice it to say, there are several other arcs in the story, and this 25 episode anime is only the beginning. Keep that in mind.

Not a lot to comment on as far as voice acting goes. Some characters suffered at the hands of the dub while others prospered. I watched the first episode in both Japanese and English, and based on that I usually choose how I’m going to watch the entire anime. (By the by, I chose Japanese subbed for Samurai Deeper Kyo, those of you who read that review. Far superior.) Two notes to make about the voice acting are that Marc Diraison (Guts) is quite good and brutal, although a bit on the heroic side. Kevin T. Collins (Griffith) was quite good and really brings a true acting quality to the anime. One thing that made the anime for me though was Sean Schemmel’s (Better known as Goku from Dragonball Z) played a minor character, Conrad (although I remember Guts calling him Gaston…). It was fantastic. The animation was typical of the 90’s, but did not detract from the great story and pace of the anime. I would definitely give this anime, and hopefully there will be more of this anime soon, an 8 out of 10.