- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: AB (No Region C)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Discs: 3
- Studio: Funimation
- Blu-ray Release Date: May 24, 2011
- List Price: $69.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
From the Japanese manga written and illustrated by Atsushi Okubo comes this 51 episode anime series, the first 26 of which are collected here in this Soul Eater: The Meister Collection Blu-ray release from Funimation. The story is set in the fictional Death City, Nevada, where the Grim Reaper has set up the DWMA (Death Weapon Meister Academy). It’s a school to train young weapons meisters and their weapons, (humans who transfigure into weapons), to fight against evil forces that steal the souls of innocent humans.
At the center of the story is Maka Alabarn and her weapon Soul. Soul, transforms into a scythe and his bond with Maka relies on their “soul wavelength resonance” maintaining balance. Other students at the academy include Black Star and his weapon Tsubaki, and Lord Death, the Grim Reaper’s son himself, Death, the Kid and his two weapons Liz and Patty. Like Maka and Soul, each of these meisters is partnered with the weapon whose soul they best resonate with.
They must all collect the souls of 99 evil creatures plus one witch in order to turn their weapon into one of the Reaper’s personal Death Scythes in the fight to maintain balance in the world. The more innocent human souls a weapons meister consumes, they risk becoming a Kishin, the ultimate evil, and spreading madness throughout the world Therefore, consuming innocent human souls is strictly forbidden. It is for this reason that the DWMA was founded – to prevent such a thing and to keep the balance.
But, Maka, Soul and the rest of the DWMA crew are soon thrust into a battle against the forces of evil – a powerful witch named Medusa, an escaped werewolf who is immortal, and Crona, a young meister whose weapon resides within him and whose black blood is the key to the unthinkable, creating another Kishin. Will the young weapon meisters, their partners and their professors at the DWMA have the strength to save Death City and the world?
Soul Eater is an easy blend of comedy, action, thrills, and sexiness that will have you eyeballing every episode in one sitting. The animation style is inventive, even if some of the CGI work feels a little out of place against the hand drawn material.
This is an HD native transfer and as such the 1080p AVC transfer of Soul Eater is clean, shows good detail around the line art and little in the way of video noise. With that being said, there is still a disappointing amount of aliasing in the image that pops up too often not to mark this down. Coupled with the off-putting look of some of the CGI sequences juxtaposed with the hand drawn animation, Soul Eater is satisfying, but not exactly reference.
Both the Japanese 2.0 and English 5.1 tracks are provided in lossless Dolby TrueHD. Both have their own strengths, but there are subtle differences between the two. The Japanese 2.0 stereo mix has a nice wide soundstage with clean dialogue, strong panning, natural midrange, and surprisingly deep lows for a 2.0 mix. The differences in the 5.1 mix are obviously in the use of the surround channels for discrete panning of sound effects, a bigger ambient sound due to the use of atmospheric sound effects and reverberation through a wider array of channels, as well as more robust low frequencies through use of the LFE. There is also more use of reverberation in the English mix on dialogue, particularly during moments when characters’ inner thoughts are being vocalized. The Japanese mix presents this dialogue more upfront and drier, whereas the English mix uses a much more ambient and open sound. Other little differences like that are to be found throughout.
The two audio commentaries are really the strongest supplements offered up here. Everything else is really just rehash of the material already available in the series proper.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Episode 07 Commentary
- Soul Eater Late Show (1.78:1; 1080p/24) – Mini episodes, individually selectable, quickly summing up all 26 episodes.
- Episode 23 Commentary
- Textless Opening Song – “Resonance”
- Textless Closing Song – “I Wanna Be”
- Textless Closing Song – “Style (Version 1)”
- Textless Closing Song – “Style (Version 2)”
- Hero Tales
- Dragon Ball Z Kai
- Darker Than Black
- Black Butler
- El Cazador De La Bruja
- Soul Eater
The Definitive Word
After watching the first 26 episodes, I can’t wait for the next 25 – bring ’em on. Soul Eater is rollicking fun, enticingly sexy, and excellent animated eye candy with the character development to support it all. On top of all of that, this Blu-ray release is a great bit of home theatre entertainment.
Additional Screen Captures