Soul Eater was a popular shonen series that ran from 2008 to 2009. All in all, the anime adaptation had 51 episodes, including 14 fillers. The manga was primitively published in the Monthly Shonen Gangan magazine by Square Enix, with Atsushi Okubo as the overall director in charge.
Soul Eater Synopsis
The soul eater synopsis is straightforward enough. The plot is set in an alternate universe and revolves around the Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA) located in Death City. Basically, it is a training facility where humans can turn their weapons into a death scythe.
The students who go there are called the Reaper Armsmasters or simply Meisters, and their main aim is to become soldiers who will go up against “Kishin” a.k.a. the Demon God.
According to the prophecy, the Demon God will come back to lay waste to humankind and make the world into its personal chaotic playground filled with death.
The Academy was then built to prevent that. It is being managed by a Shinigami or a Reaper. He has the task of turning the Demon Weapons and their Meisters into one.
The Demon Weapon also has a human form. If the Meister is worthy, the Demon Weapon he wields will become a Death Scythe.
The main character of Soul Eater is Maka Albarn, a two-star Meister who is determined to make her weapon, Soul Eater, into a Death Scythe. To do that, they need to collect 99 tainted human souls and one witch.
Is the Soul Eater Anime the Same as Manga?
Chiefly for the most part of it, the anime was faithful to the manga series.
However, at one point, the adaptation diverged paths from the soul eater shonen manga. It is not really surprising, and many popular animes do have different story arcs than the source title.
The anime series is far more expensive to produce, so the writers have to speed up the story. They also need to hasten the pace to avoid losing the audience. Among the examples where the anime eventually diverges from the manga are Fullmetal Alchemist, Elfen Lied, Tokyo Ghoul, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and even Pokemon.
Nevertheless, since the Soul Eater anime is also classified as shonen, at least you can expect a lot of action and humor, as it targets a certain demographic, which is young boys. Of course, apart from the exciting battles, the relationship between Maka and Soul, a swell as their progression as the main characters, is also very interesting.
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So, When Did the Soul Story Plot Diverge From the Source Manga?
The anime started to change pace starting with Chapter 23 or Daily Life. The changes are subtle and it still adapted most of the source material from there. The trend continues up until Episode 36 when Soul Eater anime took on a different path altogether.
If you want to read the manga on a clean slate, without being bothered by anything you have seen from the Soul Eater anime, you should start with Chapter 37.
But if you are a fan of the shonen series, you should read the Soul Eater manga series and watch the Soul Eater streaming here. It should be fun to watch for the differences and similarities.