You know, the more I think about it, the more the ending makes sense to me, and I’m glad this ended where it did and how it did. It encapsulated all that Soul Eater is, its flaws and its good points. Emotional moments, pure epic storylines, well written character arcs…but then there’s also a pretty sharp focus on…’feminine aspects’, and so many unanswered questions. However, we got closure where it matters and the world is a lot better off than at the start. That’s more than many stories get and I’m glad about that. Though I’d still kill for some more answers about the Soul Eater world. NOT, you better NOT be disappointing. :P
So that’s it. Chapter 113 of Soul Eater is apparently out, with some debate about how legit it is. But, if it is legit, I can say that I’m content with this ending. Not happy, not sad, just content. There’s a lot still unsaid and undone, a lot still open to interpretation, but all in all Soul Eater is a single complete experience now. I’ve been a Soul Eater fan for what seems like forever now, and to see this amazing series finally reach an end…it’s heartbreaking, but I’m glad that it was able to come together the way it did. Though, I will say, the manga ending with some less-than-subtle foreshadowing and sequel baiting…one can only wait and hope that we haven’t seen the end of Soul Eater.
We know why gathering that elusive Witch soul is so important to a Weapon’s development, but just how much does it actually do for them? Honestly, information on this particular subject is scarce and rather, assumptions have to be made based on what little precedent we have. We’ve only seen one Weapon actually become a Death Scythe (depending on whether or not you consider Ragnarok eating Medusa’s soul), so the before/after has little to go off of. There is enough to go off of to make some just assumptions, so let’s get started, talking about…
…the extent of a Weapon’s abilities before becoming Death Scythes. They start out only being able to turn certain parts of their bodies into their respective Weapon forms. For example, Soul’s ability first manifested as turning his entire forearm into a scythe blade. They soon learn to transform fully by “picturing their weapon form in their soul”, as Sid puts it. Weapons are also nigh indestructible, being able to absorb damage and take blows that even the toughest of real world weapons would crumble under. It seems that all that can harm a Magic Weapon is another Magic Weapon. This is seen when Ragnarok manages to cut Soul, due to the power of his Scream Resonance. And of course, Magic Weapons have the capability to utilize their Meister’s (or in some cases, their own) soul wavelengths for various purposes.
Becoming a Death Scythe enhances all of a Weapon’s abilities, including the four just mentioned: partial transformations, full transformation, durability, and soul wave usage. Death Scythes can not only morph their body parts into Weapon form, but can also “sprout” them from their bodies. For example, Marie was able to grow her form’s hammer from her knuckle, without replacing any other body parts.
Speaking of Marie, examining her Weapon form reveals that Death Scythes can change their form’s shape to a great extent, and this ability is aptly nicknamed “shape change”. Typical Magic Weapons have a single Weapon form. It’s shape almost never changes at all, with the general shape remaining the same. Death Scythes are MUCH more flexible. Marie’s Hammer form could either be a small T-shaped weapon, grow and extend into a tonfa like form (which in and of itself changed shaped based on Izuna’s power), or morph into a more mallet-like form that is ideal for throwing. In short, Death Scythes can manipulate the shape of their full Weapon transformations to suit different purposes.
Death Scythes are a degree tougher than usual Weapons as well. Ragnarok’s above mentioned Scream Resonance sawed into Soul’s Weapon form, even making him bleed while transformed. However, Scream Resonance was shown to be ineffective against Spirit.
And Spirit himself exemplifies what is probably a Death Scythes greatest power: enhanced wavelength manipulation. Magic Weapons use the soul waves of their Meister to perform impossible feats and power special abilities. Consuming a Witch soul lets Magic Weapons go beyond the impossible, and this is what Spirit is especially good at. He can not only adapt to ANY Meister (as all Death Scythes can), but he can manipulate their soul waves to such an extent, that he can create huge waves and beams of energy, even when being wielded by someone for the very first time. To illustrate the difference in ability between normal Magic Weapon and a Death Scythe, let’s look at Soul. He could barely resonate with his own Meister without help from the binding Black Blood, and needed a medium to transport Maka’s Exorcism wavelength over a distance. Eating a Witch soul makes these two tasks much easier for him. He also learned to use a special property of Maka’s Grigori soul to fly
So it is clear that devouring a Witch’s soul doesn’t grant a Magic Weapon any new powers, but rather enhances that Weapons abilities to a previously impossible level.
But some of the Death Scythes are just…beyond analysis. A mirror? A lamp? I throw my hands in the air for those two. See you in Pt. 4!
As stated in the previous analysis, the original Magic Weapons were made with Witch souls as a key ingredient. Thus, the children of these Weapons born with the same power were incomplete, and couldn’t utilize their fullest potential. One hundred souls and the soul of a witch are necessary to unlock that power again.
So how does a Magic Weapon obtain those souls? Usually, with the help of a Meister. After all, what is a weapon without someone to wield it?
But for a Meister to properly wield a Weapon, they must be able to synchronize with it. Because soul and mind are linked, this usually means that Weapon and Meister must have complimentary personalities. Otherwise, something might keep the Meister from wielding the Weapon, such as the Weapon feeling very hot or becoming very heavy.
When Meister and Weapon are in-sync, though, the resulting power is immense. It’s shown that Weapons utilize the Meister’s soul waves as a sort of energy source, using and molding it to suit their purposes.
For example, it is very likely that blade Weapons use soul waves to enhance their sharpness. Magic Weapons have been shown to be capable of slices that seem impossible. However, there is a reason I believe this is directly because of soul waves: Magic Scythes. One of the issues with wielding a scythe as a weapon is the fact that its cutting edge faces the wielder, rather than the enemy when held normally. Different poses can mitigate but don’t really solve the problem. So, during soul resonance, Magic Scythes create an additional cutting edge to rectify the issue, sometimes even to the point of completely changing the shape of the Weapon’s form.
Other Weapons use soul waves to power up in others ways. Marie, for example, seems to translate the waves into impact force. She delivers far more impact than the size of her Weapon form would imply is possible. Some Weapons produce elements, such as fire and electricity. Weapons based off of firearms condense soul waves and release them to produce impacts and direct damage to the souls of others.
More analysis coming in Pt. 3!
What are Magic Weapons?
Well, they’re humans with two main special abilities. First, they can transform their bodies into weapons. Second, they can consume souls. There are other abilities they have, but we’ll get into that later.
Where did Magic Weapons come from?
Lord Death thoroughly explains why Magic Weapons exist in the manga, but the short version is that they were Eibon’s idea to use against the Witches. The rogue witch Arachne (who discovered Eibon’s ‘blueprints’ for the Weapons) mass produced Weapons…using the souls of her fellow Witches as the catalyst between the human souls and the weapon forms. Magic Weapons needed the transformative power of a witch soul to morph. The original multitude of Weapons were mostly gathered and their power utilized by Lord Death and the Great Old Ones, and their special abilities were transfered to their children, creating bloodlines of Weapons and the many Weapons we see.
Aren’t they called Demon Weapons?
Readers of the manga are likely to be more familiar with the term “Demon Weapon”, as it’s pretty widespread in translations. It makes sense, because the first kanji (I think it’s called?) translates pretty directly to “evil spirit” or “devil”. I won’t call Demon Weapon a mistranslation, but I will call it a misnomer. There’s no indication that Weapons are intrinsically evil or demonic, so the connotation the term implies is unnecessarily negative. Magic Weapons, on the other hand, is much more indicative of what they actually are. Therefore, it’s the term I’ll be using for this analysis.
That concludes part one of my analysis, stay tuned for Pt. 2!