Soul Eater is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Atsushi Okubo. Set at the "Death Weapon Meister Academy," the series revolves around three teams consisting of a weapon meister and (at least one) human weapon. Trying to make the latter a "Death Scythe" and thus fit for use by the academy's headmaster, Shinigami (better known as Death), they must collect the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch, in that order; otherwise, they will have to start all over again. The manga is published by Square Enix and was first released as three separate one-shots serialized in two Gangan Powered special editions and one Gangan Wing issue between June 24 and November 26, 2003. The manga started regular serialization in Square Enix's Monthly Shonen Gangan manga magazine on May 12, 2004. The first bound volume was released by Square Enix under their Gangan Comics imprint on June 22, 2004 in Japan, and as of September 2011, 20 volumes have been released. The manga has been licensed for distribution in North America by Yen Press. The English translated version of Soul Eater is serialized in Yen Press' Yen Plus manga anthology magazine starting on July 29, 2008, and the first manga volume was released on October 27, 2009.
A single drama CD was produced on August 31, 2005 which came bundled with an art book. An anime adaptation produced by Bones first aired on TV Tokyo in Japan on April 7, 2008, and contained 51 episodes; Funimation licensed the anime series for North American distribution. An action-adventure video game by Square Enix for the Wii was released in September 2008, and an action video game for the Nintendo DS was released in October 2008. Another action game was released in January 2009 on the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. Another manga series which will run alongside the main series, titled Soul Eater Not!, began serialization in Monthly Shonen Gangan on January 12, 2011.
In Soul Eater, meister (shokunin?) Maka Albarn and her weapon partner Soul Eater are students at Death Weapon Meister Academy (Shinigami Buki Shokunin Senmon Gakko?) "DWMA" (Shibusen?) for short located in the fictional Death City in Nevada, United States. The school has many other students including Black Star with his weapon partner Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, and Death the Kid with his weapon partners Liz and Patty Thompson. The school is run by Shinigami, Death himself, as a training facility for weapons and the human wielders of those weapons, the meisters. Maka's goal, along with the other meisters, is to have their weapons defeat and absorb the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch, which will dramatically increase the power of the given weapon and turn them into death scythes, weapons capable of being used by shinigami. In the universe of Soul Eater, witches are powerful beings and the natural enemies of DWMA, as almost all of them have a destructive nature and desire anarchy.
Shortly after the start of Soul Eater, Maka and Soul Eater face off against the forces of the witch Medusa Gorgon, who forces her child, the meister Crona and wielder of the demon sword Ragnarok, to collect non-evil human souls to transform Crona into a kishin, an evil demon god. Medusa and her cohorts attack DWMA with the intention of reviving Asura, the first kishin who nearly plunged the entire world into madness before being sealed beneath DWMA by Shinigami. Despite the combined efforts of Maka, Black Star, and Death the Kid, Medusa's group successfully revives Asura, who leaves to spread chaos around the world after a brief battle with Shinigami. However, Medusa is seemingly killed by the meister and DWMA teacher Franken Stein in the process, while Crona surrenders to DWMA and goes on to enroll there and befriend Maka.
As a result of Asura's spreading madness, Medusa's older sister Arachne comes out of hiding after 800 years. Arachne reforms her organization Arachnophobia, which poses itself as a serious threat to DWMA. Shinigami calls in death scythes from around the world to aid in the fight against Arachnophobia. During this time, Medusa resurfaces with her soul in the body of a young girl, and forms a truce with DWMA so they can annihilate the threat of Arachnophobia together. The DWMA students and Medusa's entourage infiltrate Arachnophobia's headquarters where Maka defeats Arachne, only for Medusa to betray them, possessing Arachne's body and brainwashing Crona into rejoining her. Meanwhile, Death the Kid is captured by Noah, an enemy posing as the former meister Eibon. Following this, Maka finally succeeds in turning Soul Eater into a death scythe, and the duo become part of the newly formed meister unit Spartoi along their friends, which successfully manages to rescue Death the Kid and take down Noah.
While the members of DWMA try to find about Asura's whereabouts, Maka and Soul follow Medusa's trail in hopes to rescue Crona, unaware that Crona was brainwashed and is once again her servant. Meanwhile, Crona resurfaces in Moscow and kills the death scythe that is stationed there and imprisons the entire city in a dome of black blood, which causes Soul to go temporarily insane when he comes in contact with it. Afterwards, Crona kills Medusa. Later on, Shinigami orders Maka to kill Chrona due to her destroying a city and killing a death scythe. When Maka uses her soul perception to try and find Chrona, she accidentally finds Asura on the moon instead.