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|Lost in the downstairs portion of the Death Weapon Meister Academy, Tsugumi Harudori is torn by Anya Hepburn and Meme Tatane to be more decisive, not only in finding their way out of this maze but in picking a meister. Their journey reveals to them the secrets of the DWMA, and potentially one hidden by Akane☆Hoshi and Clay Sizemore.|
Labyrinth! (ラビリンス!, Rabirinsu!) is the thirteenth chapter of the manga Soul Eater NOT!. It was compiled in July 2012 with the release of Volume 2 and was adapted as part of Episode 7, "Nice Day for a Death Bazaar!" as part of the anime Soul Eater NOT!
Meme Tatane has brought Tsugumi Harudori and Anya Hepburn to school—on their day off from classes, because she forgot to bring home her gym uniform. While Tsugumi is exhausted from the stairs, Anya notes the exercise helps them train daily, but she is more upset that Meme is so forgettable, even forgetting to complete the answer sheet on one of their recent tests. Tsugumi attempts to mollify this argument, noticing Meme did well on her test despite leaving the answer sheet incomplete, which only annoys Anya more: Tsugumi seems tries to take the middle ground on every discussion between Anya and Meme. Meme actually sympathizes with Tsugumi, as she sometimes is indecisive due to her forgetful. When Tsugumi and Meme hug and twitter in sympathy with each other, Anya attempts to stop the love fest by pushing the two aside and propose an adventure: as the school is shut down for the day, why not explore?
But thirty minutes later. Anya and Meme confront Tsugumi with a choice to decide which way to go inside of the DWMA. Now the trio are lost inside this academy's labyrinthian structure, perhaps, Anya suggests, to deter students' curiosity. Anya calls the adventure foolish, struggling to ignore that Meme actually remembers this journey was initially Anya's plan. When the meisters disagree on which direction to walk, Anya grows annoyed that Tsugumi is too indecisive to break the tie. Anya claims Tsugumi's indecisiveness is why the weapon cannot pick a meister. While Tsugumi feels guilt, Anya decides to go in the direction Meme suggested.
Death Weapon Meister Academy, Underground
Having walked downstairs, Tsugumi notices how creepy the area is. While Meme worries that she chose the wrong direction, Tsugumi wonders how they ended up downstairs. Anya suggests the hallways may slope slightly at such a gradual angle that they did not notice.
Tsugumi finds a door slightly opened, opening it to be confronted by a face, contorted into a look of pain. Tsugumi falls back to the floor in fear, while Anya opens the door to find a torture chamber—much like the one her family has, she whispers. Tsugumi remembers that Eternal Feather had said such a room was one of the DWMA's Eight Mysteries: "expelled DWMA students are tortured and killed by the executioner, who appears with an explosion of sound." Anya thinks that rumor is childish. But as the girls speak, a thumping, booming sound has been echoing. The girls sweat nervously as from behind them the Executioner appears, loud music coming from his earbuds. Justin Law says, "O ye lost sheep, allow me to bring peace to your wayward souls." The girls scream and run away, leaving Justin confused: he only to show the girls to the exit.
Out of the torture room and down the hall, the girls stop running, happy to catch their breath and to know the Executioner is not following them. Tsugumi explains the other Eight Mysteries: a clairvoyant who can find you anywhere, a woman with an eyepatch who destroys toilets at night, and a pervert who leers at women in revealing clothes. Tsugumi then mentions one other mystery, a man in an animal's head who appears in mirrors to steal your soul. Tsugumi and her meisters then see this man, Tezca Tlipoca. The trio are terrified—but not so much that Anya cannot help but notice Tsugumi and Meme are hugging each other—before Meme grabs Anya's hand to drag her away. Tezca emerges from the mirror, trying to apologize for scaring the three. While he thinks it is normal for NOT students to be afraid as Death Scythes, he's surprised that the trio calls them "the Eight Mysteries of the School," and why they are down here.
After the trio again catch their breaths, they are almost delighted to have discovered such wonders not found in a normal school. They begin laughing because such seemingly scary surprises are actually far less gruesome, Tsugumi laughing at Tezca's casual polo shirt. As they laugh, Tsugumi realizes that one day she will eventually have to choose only one of her best friends to be her meister. As the trio continue through this maze, Tsugumi thinks her own choice is like a maze: "Is there a goal to this maze? Even if I choose one--anya-san or Meme-chan's goal--I can't help but feel like it would be a dead end."
As they continue their search for an exit, Meme notices a door labeled "Anti-Witch Headquarters." Inside, they find two levels of bookshelves and a chalkboard with sketches arranged into a flowchart, the sketches labeled with the names of witches, like Skoya and Arachne. But Meme seems to notice one sketch: Shaula Gorgon.
The trio is interrupted by two persons entering from another room in the Headquarters: Akane☆Hoshi and Clay Sizemore. Anya asks why they are present. While Clay is too nervous to explain, Akane simply picks up a box of donuts from a table, claiming Sid Barrett asked them to bring food and offers a donut to the trio.
Clay still struggles to learn why the trio are here. Anya plans Tsugumi for failing to choose a direction to get them out of this maze, while Meme only says "Ahhhh." Clay crosses his arms and says that he has heard of meisters having two weapons, but not a weapon with two meisters. When he sees Tsugumi look downcast, Clay regrets his remark. But Akane puts a hand on Tsugumi's shoulder, realizing that she is "still lost, still unsure," since their last discussion. Akane recognizes that Tsugumi's indecisiveness owes to her fear she will hurt the feelings of one of her meister's--which only shows she is kindhearted. Tsugumi blushes, prompting Anya to yell that Akane is making the weapon's decision more difficult. Clay breaks up the argument by offering to escort the trio to the exit.
At the entrance to the Academy, Tsugumi worries that she has exited a physical maze but is still in an emotionally one. The adventure concludes with Akane teasing Tsugumi that she could pick him instead of Meme and Anya—which only makes Anya, Meme, and also Clay nervous.
Manga and Anime Differences
- Chapter 13 shows the trio at the entrance to the Academy on their day off, at which point Tsugumi complains about the stairs, Meme explains she forgot her uniform, Anya complains about Meme's forgetfulness and grades, and Anya is annoyed at Tsugumi's defensiveness towards Meme. This opening scene does not appear in Episode 7. Instead, that episode begins with the trio already near the Anti-Witch Headquarters.
- The torture room made its first appearance in the first Soul Eater anime, when Spirit Albarn considers torturing Medusa Gorgon despite her possession of Rachel Boyd's body. The torture room never appears in the anime Soul Eater NOT!
- In Chapter 13, as Tsugumi and her meisters journey through the Death Weapon Meister Academy, they discuss rumors about a number of Death Scythes, such as Azusa Yumi's vision, Marie Mjolnir's toilet destruction, and Spirit Albarn's perversion. The students also run into Justin Law and Tezca Tlipoca. In Episode 7, this discussion, and those cameos, do not occur. As well, none of these characters appear or are referred to at any point in the anime, except for a minor cameo by Tezca Tlipoca in Episode 9 in the form of a keychain.
- Episode 7 also begins with Sid Barrett receiving a progress report from Akane and Clay, at which point Akane mocks Clay for being slow at math. This scene is not included in Chapter 13 but instead in Chapter 14. As well, in Chapter 13, when the trio enter the Anti-Witch Headquarters and Akane lies that he and Clay are here to bring donuts, Sid is not present, but in Episode 7, he is.
- In Chapter 13, Meme is the one to look at the sketch of Shaula Gorgon. In Episode 7, this moment is not emphasized.
- In Chapter 13, Akane offers to be Tsugumi's partner once he leads the trio to the Academy's entrance. In Episode 7, he makes this offer in the Anti-Witch Headquarters, immediately after Anya is upset with him.
- In Episode 7, once Akane and Clay offer to lead the trio upstairs to the front entrance, Tsugumi realizes that they have their study session at Deathbucks Café with Kimial Diehl and Jacqueline O'Lantern Dupré. In the manga, this meeting happened earlier in Chapter 12.
- Anya whispers that Yngling Castle has a torture room.
- Tsugumi refers to Justin Law, Azusa Yumi, Marie Mjolnir, Spirit Albarn, and Tezca Tlipoca as part of the Eight Mysteries of the DWMA.
- Tsugumi claims that Marie breaks toilets at night. While chronologically this event will not occur until Chapter 23, either this is a plot hole, or Marie breaks toilets frequently.
- "Sukoya" is Japanese for "square", as in "machinist square" or "speed square". The name therefore is likely a reference to Square Enix, the publisher of the Soul Eater franchise.
- This chapter foreshadows Meme's work on behalf of Shaula Gorgon. She is the one who looks at and names the sketch of Shaula found in the Anti-Witch Headquarters. She will make return visits to the Anti-Witch Headquarters in subsequent chapters, such as reading (in her sleep) some of the books in the splash page to one issue of JOT, and returning to the Anti-Witch Headquarters in the manga's final arc to steal content. That Meme was the one to bring Anya and Tsugumi to the Academy on a weekend to retrieve her gym uniform may have been part of Shaula's strategy: an excuse for Meme to locate the Anti-Witch Headquarters and all evidence it has on her plans.