A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 3)
|←Chapter 17: "A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 2)"||Chapter 19: "A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 5) →|
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|While Death the Kid pursues Free and Eruka before they reach the Kishin Shrine, and while Blair discovers a unique property of the Mizune Family, Maka Albarn makes a decision to defeat Crona, one that risks both her and Soul's sanity.|
A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 3) is the eighteenth chapter of the Soul Eater manga. It is collected as part of Volume 5. It was adapted as Episode 20, "The Black Blood Resonance Battle! – A Small Soul's Grand Struggle against Fear?" in the Soul Eater anime.
An image of the Little Ogre appears with the following words: “Images flow by like a sheet of rain. Place, sound, and time pass over me in an instant. Looking forward and taking it all in, I move forward… Noise. Without even noticing the loud static getting closer…
Maka Albarn unleashes Witch-Hunt Slash against Crona’s Screech Gamma. Maka then performs the Number Six Hunt Slash and a Letter “U” Hunt Slash. Crona recovers quickly, dragon wings forming to sail at Maka and block another blade strike from Maka against Crona’s wrist. Unimpressed, Crona bats Maka with a backhand. Soul asks Maka how someone as “scrawny” as Crona could resist a Witch-Hunt Slash, but Maka corrects him that it is not strength but Crona’s Black Blood from Ragnarok that supports rather than strengthens Crona’s muscles.
Crona lunges at Maka with Screech Gamma, multiple strikes hitting Maka’s weapon—and injuring Soul Eater. When an image of the Little Ogre appears to him, Soul screams “Shut up!” at the creature, yet it is heard by Maka herself, who fears Soul will be injured is she uses him yet again to block Crona’s slashes. Soul chastises his meister to stop taking the hits for him and just allow him as the weapon to guard against Crona.
The Little Ogre then chastises Soul for such “silly things” to say when he has the opportunity to let madness make him stronger. Distracted, Soul inadvertently allows Crona to knock Maka back. But as Soul was distracted by the Little Ogre, Maka noticed that she was able to “almost [get] ahold of Crona’s wavelength.” Maka seems to be brainstorming an idea.
Death City Aboveground
Continuing from Chapter 16, Blair confronts the Mizune Family, which fly above her. Hearing the whispers of the Fish Dealer, Blair promises to get vengeance for the death of him—as he was her “meal ticket.” The squeaking Mizunes fly down at Blair, but Blair dodges, curling into a ball before crushing the witches with Smashing Pumpkin. Priding herself on her “nice and flexible” body, the Fish Dealer is impressed with her “wriggling.” Blair mocks the witches as unable ot touch er, causing one Mizune to giggle. She begins to snap her fingers, as her sisters join. The Mizunes stack atop each other, performing a merge that reveals a taller, more shapely woman. This Mizune mocks Blair, promising that this “cornered rate will bite the cat.” Blair, seeing the Fish Dealer is lusting for Mizune, transforms herself into her humanoid form. Blair, frustrated that Mizune would “provoke[d] me in my own territory,” approaches the witch. Mizune mocks Blair for her shortness before groping her “vulgar body.” Blair counters, lifting Mizune’s top to complain about revealing her breasts with such a short top. The Fish Dealer has hyperventilated in lust, Blair complaining that the man should be dead by now.
Death City Underground
Maka is collapsed on her knees, struggling to catch her breath. Crona stands over her, and seeing the pigtailed meister, is reminded of the time she confronted a “little bunny.”
Medusa’s Lair, in the Past
Medusa instructs her toddler, Crona, to use the small blade of Ragnarok to kill the bunny, but Crona hesitates. Medusa locks Crona in a dark room for a few days, despite her child’s cries that Crona will be lft alone, “the two of us.” As the door shuts, Ragnarok emerges, beating Crona for locking the two in the dark wit.
Some time later, Medusa releases Crona, who complains about Ragnarok’s beating. Medusa again instructs Crona to kill the rabbit, and again Crona refuses. Medusa does not even turn back to look at her child: she creates a Vector Plate to knock Crona back in the dark room to again be beaten by Ragnarok.
More time later, Medusa unlocks the room, asking how many more times she must lock up Crona, when such actions are “unproductive.” Crona is silent before finally saying, noticing the wounds all over their body, “My blood is black.” Satisfied, Medusa silently lets Crona escape the room to approach the trembling rabbit. With a slash, Crona kills the rabbit, which Medusa promises to serve as dinner that evening.
Death City Underground, the Present
Crona, seeing Maka is just like that little bunny, raises Ragnarok and says, “Bye-bye, little bunny.”
The Little Ogre shouts at Soul that the weapon is about to let his meister die, unless he “throw reason out the window” to let madness strengthen him. Soul is willing to have that power but refuses to give up his sanity. Shocked he still has not persuaded Soul, the Ogre says madness is the only way to defeat Crona and fear. Soul counter that it is only by “understand[ing] the rules” and obeying them, a “great power” in itself, that he is able to fight fear. And he is worried that if he resonates while he has the Black Blood within him, he will infect Maka.
The Ogre has had enough: he screams at Soul that the young man needs a more “reckless teen spirit.” Soul responds that the Ogre, a talking “piece of shit” should “be quiet and lead” Soul. Realizing they are at an impasse, the Ogre welcomes someone else into the room, revealing Maka, dressed in a black outfit.
Confused how Maka could enter the Black Room, effectively his own mind, the Ogre responds that, so long as meister and weapon resonate, then both the souls and hearts of Maka and Soul are connected. Soul still is not convinced, poking and stretching Maka’s face. After the Ogre assures a “suspicious” Soul that only the weapon himself can control who enters and leaves the Black Room—in other words, that Maka indeed is not a figment or a fabrication—the meister delivers a Maka Chop, which convinces Soul that the Ogre speaks the truth.
The Ogre decides to defuse the situation with some music, which convinces the meister and the weapon to finally dance together—Soul taking the lead as Maka is unconvinced that she can dance. Soul begins the discussion asking why and how she came here. Maka wonders whether she had heard the Ogre earlier during their fight against Free, the Ogre admitting that yes, he did come into her mind and soul during that fight, until something within Maka expelled him. Soul worries that the Ogre will not leave her so easily next time, so she must leave the Black Room now. But Maka counters that, if their soul wavelengths are matched so well to allow her to enter the Black Room, then Soul should know what she is thinking without her, nervous at what she is thinking, having to actually say the plan aloud.
Soul indeed can hear Maka’s thoughts through their wavelength: “You want to use the Black Blood to get the same madness at Crona!!?” The Ogre grins at the prospect. Maka explains that, when using Witch-Hunt Slash against Crona, she could feel the Crona’s wavelength. With the Black Blood for strengthen and madness, she may be able to connect more deeply to Crona to defeat the opponent. Soul disagrees; worried Maka will lose her sanity.
But Maka says she will move forward with this plan, as it is worth a try, even at the loss of her sanity. Soul inhales deeply before smiling: “We’ll do what you want. NO matter how far you get blown away, as your weapon, I promise I’ll bring you back!!”
Soul then grunts in pain as Maka’s high heel steps on his toe. She asks him to again take the lead, and he promises to do so.
The Ogre sneers, ready to begin.
Death City Underground
As Crona, wearing a mad grin, lowers Ragnarok to behead Maka, the pigtailed meister is able to block the blade with just her forearm. Crona’s grin is gone, now worn by Maka who, with Soul, slashes at Crona, sending the demon swords meister flying to crash into the ceiling. Maka slams Soul’s blade into the ground so she may stand atop his staff. Cackling, Maka admires how far she managed to send Crona flying.
Soul’s eye on his weapon form has a small pupil. Inside his soul, the weapon’s muscles tense, blood flowing from cuts on his body. As he feels both himself and Maka drawn into the madness, he refuses to let her go.
Elsewhere, Death the Kid continues to ride Beelzebub through the halls of the underground. Then he notices flying towards him a tadpole bomb. Patty Thompson calls out that more await them down the hall. Kid is disgusted by how haphazardly the bombs are arranged.
Further up the hallway, Free hears the explosion, as Eruka continues to ride Tadpole Jackson forward. When Free then smells something, Eruka confirms that they indeed are near the Kishin’s resting place.
Meanwhile, Maka has loosened her tie and collar, cackling in her madness. Crona’s head rattles. The Ogre refers to them all as “fools,” because it is not Soul leading Maka or Maka leading Soul: “I’m the one who’s leading.”
Manga and Anime Differences
- In this chapter, the flashback to Crona's childhood shows that they killed a rabbit. In Episode 20, the Little One is actually a dragon.
- As well, whereas this chapter showed Crona therefore imagining the pigtailed Maka as resembling the rabbit, in Episode 20, Crona at no point sees Maka with such a resemblance.
- Medusa orders Crona to kill the rabbit—which is similar to the phrase shouted in song by Elmer Fudd in the Bugs Bunny Looney Tune short “What’s Opera, Doc?”
- In Chapter 18, Maka and Crona contend with weapons who are associated with the Black Blood and are prone to poking and prodding at their meisters’ faces. Unlike Crona, however, in this chapter, Maka is willing to knock Soul away. In a later chapter in this narrative arc, however, Crona will finally punch Ragnarok away.
- The Little Ogre’s scream that Soul needs more “teen spirit” may be another one of Atsushi Ohkubo’s typical musical allusions, in this case to the 1991 song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by grunge band Nirvana.
- In the scanlation for Chapter 18, a mistranslation had Soul say that he likes Maka and would follow her no matter what. The actual translation was that Soul trust her and would follow her no matter what.