The Dark Side of the Moon IX
US: March 23, 2015
|←Chapter 111: "The Dark Side of the Moon VIII"||Chapter 113: "A Sound Soul Dwells in a Sound Mind and a Sound Body" →|
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|The DWMA's war against the Kishin ends in this, the penultimate chapter to Soul Eater! Maka Albarn slices into Asura until she and Soul are within him, locating Crona. As a plan is proposed to defeat the Kishin, teachers, classmates, friends, and family will be sacrificed to stop Asura's madness.|
Maka Albarn, shielded by her revised Black Blood dress, stabs the keyblade of her Death Scythe Soul Eater through the chest of Asura, as the Kishin is held by the injured Black☆Star and the full shinigami Death the Kid. Soul's blade cuts into Asura, existing in a sea of blackness. As she grits her teeth, he simply grins madly and asks whether she has the courage to enter him alone. Maka replies that she is not alone, as Asura's fear has united humans, shinigami, even witches and "weird things I can't even describe." It is the adage, that "Enough dust makes a mountain," that is about to be proven in this battle, Maka claims.
Having shoved all of Soul's blade into Asura, Maka is able to shove all of her arm, then her entire body through Asura's wound.
Maka is no longer in the Black Blood dress, now back in her usual school attire but lacking her vest and tie. She holds onto Soul's hand as the two plunge through the blackness, like splashing into water. For a moment, Soul can sense only blackness, until he tenses and sweats, seeing a piano and an audience applauding. He reminds himself that he ran away from such people and from such musical performances, but then Soul remembers that it was his piano playing that connects him to others—not only his playing in itself, but through Chain Resonance. He calms down, remembering it was his piano that allowed him to present himself to others. He considers this musical quality as he and Maka swim through the blackness.
Holding hands with her Death Scythe, Maka interrupts Soul's thoughts to confirm that they are inside the Kishin, swimming in a sea of Black Blood. Maka tries to locate Crona's Soul Wavelength. But Maka is interrupted by a feeling of horror, finding her alone, no longer holding Soul's hand, as she stands before Asura's three eyes. Asura's Madness floods across Soul and Maka, until she is alone in the blackness.
But Maka can sense the glow of three souls. Then multiple souls, until she is again holding hands with Soul. She recognizes two of the larger souls as those of Black☆Star and Kid, hence she and Soul are swimming through a field of all the souls in the world. Now Maka can guide Soul to where Crona's soul is located.
Outside of Asura's body, Black☆Star and Kid continue to hold onto the Kishin, as both laugh at how "shitty" and nauseating Maka's keyblade playing was. Asura manages to knock loose the two meisters, terrified how they laugh in the face of such an important battle.
Crona floats in blackness, realizing their soul was devoured by such darkness, making Crona a "soul eaten." For so long, Crona struggled to escape such a gnawing, then tried to claim the fear as their own, yet Crona still feels unable to master such fear. Crona remembers betraying their friends and their mother Medusa, becoming worse with time yet hoping to prove not being the worst. At this end of Crona's existence, they realize how meaningless were these actions because Crona will never escape this neverending blackness. Crona feels like they should die, giving up this body and ending their existence.
Yet Crona also feels something to cling to, including this human carnal form, which indicates to Crona that they have no intention to sacrifice their life. Hence Crona realizes that they have something in common with Medusa: a persistence to not stop. And this tenaciousness disgusts Crona. Crona then realizes what it is that motivates such persistence: it is the desire to see Maka, just once more.
From the blackness, Crona imagines seeing Maka and Soul, holding hands, approaching. Maka calls to Crona, who assumes that this image is a hallucination—until receiving a Maka Chop to the head from a particular book.
Surprised, Crona touches Maka's face, asking whether she is real. And if Maka is real, then Crona realizes she too is obsessed to reunite. Maka is confused by the word choice "obsessed," thinking it is more accurate to say that they both believe in someone. And if the two of them could reach that understanding before, then they can do so again. Maka takes Crona's hands, gently mocking her friend as her beliefs making Crona like a stalker.
Soul adds that if everyone can believe Maka, then they will believe Crona through her trust in them as well, because it is important that he listen to someone cared for such as Maka to understand and respect someone like Crona that he may not understand initially. Soul also points out that Kid's belief in the witches is a model for how they should understand and respect any person. Therefore, Crona may try to understand Maka to better understand through her other people. Maka agrees with Soul, claiming this is "strength of humanity" that the Kishin lacks.
Crona is stunned as Maka takes Crona's hand to return to their friends outside of Asura's soul. Crona releases Maka's hand, annoying Maka as she put so much effort to reunite. But Crona explains that they may not leave Asura because of the fact that Maka came to reunite. Crona says that their crime is unforgivable, so their heart should be "sufficiently heavy" before Crona may depart to face punishment.
Crona assures Maka that they are happy, and Maka's courage is an example for something only Crona can accomplishes that may stop the Kishin. By fusing with Asura, Crona realized that, as the embodiment of fear, which cannot be purged from this world, Asura hence cannot be killed—but he can be contained.
Crona asks to see the book she acquired while swimming through Asura's soul. It is indeed the Book of Eibon, which means contained in its pages is the demon tool Brew. With Brew, Crona's Mad Blood can seal the Kishin on the Moon, as well as the dangerous contents of the Book of Eibon such as Brew and the Great Old One of Power. Meanwhile, Maka and Soul will escape Asura, slicing the Kishin to remove all the Black Blood from him to combine with the Mad Blood to form this seal.
Maka grabs Crona's shoulders, reminding her friend that to seal Asura means also trapping Crona. Crona assura Maka not to worry, desiring to repay her for the courage she has given to Crona—which, Crona adds, is what Maka has done for Soul, causing the Death Scythe to blush.
Crona hugs Maka, reminding her that she was the first person to treat Crona like a person. Crona candidly states that they do not care about the world, do not understand how anything they did was a crime, but Crona will fight for what Maka wants, because her example allows Crona to suppress this fear, this madness, and hence the Kishin itself.
Unfortunately, as they are within Asura's soul, he has heard Crona's plan, bathing Maka in blackness to separate her from her friends. But Soul smirks, as he anticipated Asura's plan. A musical staff appears, with notes appearing formed out of the world's souls, which Soul constructed as a path to return him and Maka to Asura's wound and hence their escape back to the world. But to complete this song, Soul says, he left one note blank—and he needs Crona's soul to anchor and hence begin this song. Crona is hesitant, thinking their soul does not belong with those of all other people around the world. Soul smiles, encouraging Crona: "It's not like I'm asking you to 'go with the flow' and be 'one of the pack.' Just jump in there and worry about the details later. It's the same for me."
Crona looks determined, holding onto their own soul to place into Soul's song, which he calls "the greatest song ever written." Soul takes Maka's hand to guide them out of Asura's soul. But Maka turns back to her friend, calling to Crona: "I"ll come back for you! Just wait here!!" Crona responds, "I believe you."
Soul passes his hand over the soul notes on his musical staff, as Maka determines to face the world, bleed all the Black Blood out of Asura, and thereby release Crona's own Mad Blood out of Asura's body to form the seal around the Moon.
While Black Star and Kid continue to attack Asura, they are struggling to have any effect on this Old One. Asura mocks Maka's words to him about that dust to overwhelm the world, as in intends to scatter such dust, these pesky weaklings. A blast of Asura's energy knock only knocks away Black Star and Kid but, on the Moon's surface, Sid Barrett, Akane Hoshi, and Spirit Albarn.
Even as Asura is winning against his opponents, he sees a light form where Maka stabbed into him.
As Soul guides Maka out of Asura, she recognizes this song as the same which he had played upon introducing himself to her, what he calls "the start of my courage." Yet from above, Asura mocks the two, claiming his madness will swallow all persons' souls.
As the sea of Black Blood forms waves to suck in Soul's song, Kid can see the wound on Asura's chest is shrinking, which upon closing will trap Maka and Soul forever. Black☆Star shouts that they must keep that wound open. As he sails towards Asura, the Kishin releases his scarfs, slicing Black☆Star across his chest and face. The Kishin cannot understand why this ninja looks so determined, so Black☆Star shouts that he has no need to explain to some "dumbass" what he will never understand. Asura's fist connects with Black☆Star's face, mocking Black☆Star as having only strength, nothing more.
But Black☆Star is still smiling, as Kid emerges behind him to slam his hand into Asura's chest. Even as the power from Asura cuts across Kid's chest, something else breaks through the wound: Black Blood.
As Crona closes their eyes to complete the work on Brew to expel all Mad Blood from their body, Maka and Soul see light ahead, allowing their exit. Soul announces, "This is the finale!" as he transforms into his keyblade Death Scythe form, transforming Maka's outfit into its previous Black Blood dress armor. Maka calls to their teammates—Black☆Star, Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, Kid, Liz Thompson, and Patty Thompson—to commence the Soul Resonance necessary to end this Kishin Hunt. With that Chain Resonance, Maka can show how her courage and that of her teammates can surpass even fear itself.
Asura's three eyes still follow Maka and Soul's exit, claiming fear is inescapable. Black Blood wraps its tendrils along Soul's staff and Maka's arms and shoulders. But Maka and Soul refuse to give up, tearing the Blood away. In the Black Room, the floor around the Little Ogre breaks apart, and all the creature can say is, "It's gonna be lonely."
Maka, wielding her Death Scythe, emerges from Asura's wound—but her dress armor is now white, flakes of the remaining Black Blood pulled along with all the Black Blood and Mad Blood out of Asura's body. As the force of Maka's exit pushes back Black☆Star and Kid, Asura is smiling widely, terrified and repulsed at feeling a horror he has never felt before. A geyser of Black Blood erupts from Asura's body, as he feels more fear than ever before, determining this fear must be because of this defeat by mere humans.
On the Moon's surface, Spirit Albarn looks up to see Black Blood circle around the Moon—and hence where he stands with Marie Mjolnir, Sid, Akane, Clay Sizemore, and Mira Naigus. Maka is terrified seeing the Black Blood about to descend onto her father, but Spirit calls to her to stay back lest she be trapped too. Maka tries to approach but is held back by Kid and a saddened Black☆Star.
On the surface, Spirit huddles with his fellow soldiers, their hands on each other's shoulders. But Spirit looks up, smiles, and gives a thumbs up to his daughter. The Black Blood envelopes Maka's teachers, classmates, and father, as all she can do is stare, tears welling in her eyes, and scream.
As the Black Blood encircles the Moon, a third eye opens on Crona's forehead, as they say, "Let's meet again, Maka." Asura then realizes who is really to blame for his defeat: Crona, who sabotaged him from inside his own body. But Asura still taunts Crona: "So you cast off your flesh and overcame terror. [...] You believed in others to construct a pillar of strength that would tower over horror!! But it is a frail pillar, indeed! Easily toppled!! And once it does, you are done! Madness will take over again!" Asura concludes with a promise to return, when he will make Crona "hole up with me and cower!"
From the Earth's surface can be seen a translucent shield of Black Blood now completely covering the Moon.
Manga and Anime Differences
- The Little Ogre's fate in the manga differs from the anime. Whereas in the anime Maka Albarn saves Soul Eater from the Ogre's possession, in the manga, the Ogre demonstrates far fewer instances of attempting to possess Soul, let alone corrupt or hurt him. As well, in the anime, once Maka rescues Soul from the Little Ogre with her Anti-Demon Wavelength, Soul swallows the Little Ogre, seeming to gain full control over the Ogre and the elimination of his influence over Soul. In this chapter and the overall Dark Side of the Moon Arc however, the Ogre seems to remain in cooperation, with the Ogre acknowledging he will be lonely without Soul.
- Crona's fate in the anime differs greatly from this chapter. According to the manga, Crona returns to Medusa, forced to lose memories of the DWMA friends in order to continue the quest to become a Kishin. After that point, Crona is never successfully apprehended by the DWMA for rejoining Medusa, or for committing other crimes such as the Moscow attack against Feodor and Tsar Pushka, instead is trapped on The Moon in an attempt to prevent Asura from harming the Earth. However, in Episode 39, Crona does not return to Medusa, hence does not follow the path of the Kishin that would trap Crona on the Moon. Instead, Crona returns to the DWMA where, despite Maka's protest, Death expels Crona for betrayal and has Crona imprisoned in the dungeon. At Crona's request, Death allows Crona and Marie Mjolnir (who had quit her job at the DWMA) to go after Medusa and rescue Franken Stein and Rachel Boyd. By now Marie had lost her trust in Crona, and that she can only regain her trust in Crona if he/she helps save Stein. Once they find Medusa's lair, Crona announces he/she is there to stop he/her mother and a battle against Medusa and a maddened Stein takes place. Medusa gets the upper hand by using her soul wavelength into Crona, disconnecting the link between Crona and Ragnarok which renders Crona's black blood useless until the soul waves wear off. Right before Medusa deals a final blow to her child; Maka comes and blocks the Vector Blade from slicing him/her. With Maka now in the fight, the three continue to try to defeat Medusa and Stein. However, Stein appears to be too strong, and easily blocks off all attacks. In the anime storyline (Episode 45) Crona's sacrifice is pushing Maka out of the way of his/her mother's Vector Arrow and getting impaled by the arrow and seemingly dying from his/her injuries. Later on after Professor Stein is saved from the madness, he tells Maka that Crona is still alive and that he can save him/her. After recovering from the surgery, Crona is in the Death Room watching the final battle between Asura and Maka and her friends where he/she explains to everyone in the room that that the Kishin-Hunt Slash isn't what Maka needs to defeat Asura and that her true strength in destroying Asura comes from her heart and not a technique (which is bravery). The anime final credits shows that Crona (after being allowed back into the DWMA as a full time DWMA student) now lives with Maka, Soul, and Blair.
- Ragnarok is also sealed away with Crona in this chapter, but he too died with Crona in Episode 45 but was also brought back from the death after Crona's successful surgery.
- As for Asura defeat in the anime's storyline, the final battle never takes place on the moon it took place in the ruins of Baba Yaga's Castle. Soul, Death the Kid, Black☆Star, Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, Elizabeth Thompson, and Patricia Thompson takes part in helping Maka defeat Asura in the manga. While in the anime, Asura had already defeated them, thus only leaving Maka to fight and defeat him. The Kishin-Hunt Slash in the anime has no effect on him, because Asura had become too powerful to be defeated by the Kishin-Hunt Slash. As Crona correctly points out, it's Maka's resistance to defeat and her bravery that causes Asura to relapses back into fearful paranoia and is defeated when Maka punches him in the face. Instead of being buried alive within the black blood on the moon (because of Crona's manga sacrifice), Asura explodes because Maka had channeled all of her courage into her fist which ends up killing him. His soul is later buried in the Death Room by Death.
- Even though he is destroyed in the anime, Asura warns because there is still madness within all humans; another Kishin will arise and take his place.
- At more than 50 pages, this chapter is significantly longer than most previous chapters of Soul Eater.
- As the penultimate issue, Chapter 112 has a cover featuring numerous characters from Spartoi and the DWMA, including the recently departed Death. The cover also features Excalibur with very large eyes, similar to the ones he has in the anime-only Arachnophobia vs DWMA Arc when admiring the Death City Robot's transformation.
- In Chapter 110 and Chapter 111, Asura stabbed into Maka's chest. At the end of Chapter 111 and the beginning of this chapter, Maka has now used Soul to stab into Asura. This event is also reminiscent of the scene that allowed Maka and Soul to gain access to the Black Blood that ultimately defeats Asura: by Soul being sliced in his chest by Crona wielding Ragnarok.
- Like the last time Maka entered Crona's soul, as she enters Asura's soul, she wears her usual school attire, without her vest and tie.
- Crona says, "My soul was devoured by this darkness...I am soul eaten," giving a new dimension to the series' name "Soul Eater."
- Whereas Maka claimed she lacked understanding of music, she still can recognize the first song that Soul played.
- As Black Star says in the previous chapter, Maka also says that she has "to face forward."
- This chapter suggests that the Black Blood has been removed from Soul Eater.
- First, the Little Ogre sees the floor of the Black Room fall apart, as if the Black Blood that is represented by this room is leaving Soul's body.
- Second, the Little Ogre complains that he will be lonely, implying he is being expelled from Soul's body.
- Third, upon exiting Asura, the blackness in Maka's dress is pulled away, leaving her in a white dress while that Black Blood is combined with the rest to form the seal around the Moon.
- ↑ Soul Eater Volume 25 Yen Press English translation: Chapter 112, Page 140
- ↑ Soul Eater Volume 25 Yen Press English translation: Chapter 112, Page 171