Filed under: Manga, Soul Eater | Tags: chapter 66, kilik, Manga, masami ookubo, Soul Eater, thompson sisters
Is Anime Kritik the only one blogging the Soul Eater manga? That just won’t do. Seeing as his Soul Eater posts get so few comments, and that I’ve been interested in the series, I spent the past few days marathon-reading the current 66 chapters. Now caught up, I’ll be taking up blogging this manga alongside AK, likely with a small gap in-between since he reads raws. I’ve got a bit more of a cumulative post on the series in the works, but for now, Chapter 66.
Chapter 66 was a breath of fresh air after two of the worst chapters of Soul Eater to date, made that way by Gopher – the least interesting character in the manga’s history – and his boss, Noah, who has felt content not to show us any of his hand and lead his badass minions to laze around and get high on the couch.
Well, 66 blew that out the window with a return to action and fun as one of the odder groupings (Kilik, Thompson Sisters, Azusa, Kim) searches for clues in a town in Africa where Medusa was doing research. Hopefully these Medusa hints mean she’ll be back soon. Maybe she can kill Noah and get his badass team to combine with her badass team. Imagine the most powerful witch and one of the most powerful death scythes launching a full-on Shibusen raid! Would be epic.
Anywho, the only obvious way to tie Kilik and the Thompson Sisters together is that throughout the manga, these are the characters who have had the least show-time. The sisters have largely been in Death the Kid’s shadow, and Kilik + Pots haven’t had any real development, with the real meat having all gone to Kilik’s teammates, Ox Ford and Kim. It’s nice to get more airtime from these characters and see how they will fare in action. Especially getting to see the Thompson Sisters with someone besides Kid.
And don’t forget Azu-nyan! She doesn’t get a whole lot of action, being the information gatherer and occasional sniper-rifle. We get to see a cool new move from her, which is her ability to hack into other peoples own vision, either allowing her to see what they see (and then transcribe it with amazing talent) or show them what she is seeing. This power would be really great if she ever finds herself with a map of an enemy hideout, and she could instantly project the paths to teammates, not unlike Medusa was able to do with her vector arrows.
The most fun part of this chapter for me was the action, which was sporting a very different flavor from the usual Soul Eater action (which, admittedly, sports a lot of different flavors in itself.) Soul Eater has always had a very urban, edgy, and modern style, drawn upon with fantasy styling and epic action scenes. This chapter dances with that fundamental urban flavor, and resembles the kind of action scene you get from a modern fighting film – especially the kind coming out of Thailand and France, and even highly resembling 007: Casino Royale. I.e., parkour is involved.
Parkour (or ‘freerunning’) is the most badass thing on the planet. I can safely say that nothing looks cooler than combat-parkour, wherein you utilize your terrain by hopping across buildings, climbing random rails and windows, and dodging through doorways while mid-fight. It’s been catching on a lot lately (especially after the game ‘Mirror’s Edge‘) and Ookubo has put together just the right team for it.
What we get is a badass gunfight with lots of taking cover, ducking, rolling, two-hand firing, and parkour mixed in for good measure. Moments like Kilik escaping to the rooftop, only to immediately have to roll out of the way of a machine gun, then double over behind cover, take some shots, and then jump off a rooftop and through a window are the epitome of badass modern urban combat styling.
Also, I lol’d at the ‘blackness’ of this chapter. Urban combat often comes coupled with blackness, and Kilik’s being a badass black guy comes naturally to this kind of action. As you will see in the image below, the Africans are doing the classic black-guy shooting move by holding their guns sideways and making angry faces while they shoot. Ookubo can dodge racism accusations by saying that the movements and expressions come from the people being possessed, but I think this is some unmistakable black combat.
Anywho, very fun chapter, and the ending has me delighted with the emergence of the black clown. I’m hoping that, as with Maka, it will drag Kilik and the Thompson sisters into their own minds, and then we can get some real new development from them.
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