|“||When did we turn into such a...soap opera?||”|
—Tsugumi Harudori to Clay Sizemore, Chapter 21 (Soul Eater NOT!)
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|In a series of tales about life for students in Death City, Clay's struggle to hide a secret from Tsugumi only makes her more confused about boys, forcing Akane to intervene. Meanwhile, Anya collects too many souvenirs.|
Soul Eater JOT is the twenty-first chapter of the Soul Eater NOT! manga. Like Chapter 20, this chapter is comprised of a series of vignettes. In Volume 3 of the Yen Press English language United States release, it is published as separate entries in a mix of entries titled “Soul Eater JOT, Part 3” and “Soul Eater JOT, Part 5.” Much of Chapter 21 was adapted as Episode 4, "Waver, Run!" of the Soul Eater NOT!anime.
- Tsugumi Harudori
- Clay Sizemore
- Anya Hepburn
- Akane Hoshi
- Meme Tatane
- Eternal Feather
- Jacqueline O. Lantern DuPre
Tsugumi Harudori is enjoying a book.
Realizing she rarely is by herself with Clay, Tsugumi is curious: why has Akane Hoshi focused so closely on Anya Hepburn. Clay fears that Tsugumi has realized his and Akane’s “mission” regarding Anya, but realizing that Tsugumi is wondering whether Akane has a crush on Anya, decides to distract her.
Clay claims that Akane is actually attracted to Meme Tatane, not Anya. His remark only makes matters worse, as Tsugumi is even more shocked.
Clay decides to “take back” that previous remark and instead claim that he himself is attracted to Tsugumi, causing her to blush—but feel more confused at this entire conversation. To get them back on track, Clay removes a sheet of paper to draw a flowchart, identifying how they relate to their peers:
- Meme and Anya are lovers.
- Anya and Clay are “secret siblings” with a “forbidden love.”
- Clay and Akane are each other's "ex-BF."
- Clay and Meme are “secretly trying to kill each other.”
- Clay likes Tsugumi.
- Tsugumi and Akane are in a “critical situation” with each other.
- Tsugumi and Anya are like “cyanide” to each other.”
- And Tsugumi and Meme are friends.
More confused than before, Tsugumi asks how their lives turned into a “soap opera,” but Clay is just happy with himself at having “distracted her.”
Help Me, Akane-san
This story continues from “Quagmire.”
Having explained to Akane the flowchart he created to distract Tsugumi, Clay says he cannot remember how he screwed up so badly, feeling all the worse when Akane says Tsugumi must feel “completely baffled” right now and that Clay may not be skilled enough to work in intelligence.
Ready for Business
Meme and Tsugumi are concerned with how much “junk” their roommate Anya has been collecting in their bedroom. Anya explains that she is gathering these objects so she may open her own shop at the next Death Bazaar. Tsugumi struggles to explain that this plan makes no sense.
Tell Me, Feather-San
This story continues from “Quagmire.”
Still confused by Clay’s chart, Tsugumi meets with Eternal Feather in the DWMA cafeteria about how to understand boys. Eternal Feather explains: “It’s a natural biological reaction for men to think women who are in love are attractive.” She cautions, however, that men are not attracted to women who analyze love so logically.
Eternal Feather is interrupted by two male classmates asking to borrow her notes. Upon receiving her notes, they thank her, thinking that they are complimenting her by claiming that she is “so easy to get along with” because “it’s like you’re not a girl at all.” Eternal Feather turns away from the boys and begins crying, explaining to Tsugumi that whether Eternal Feather herself is popular is another matter. The two girls are then interrupted by Jacqueline O’Lantern Dupre, who has problems working with Kim Diehl.
This story concludes Akane and Clay’s tale from “Quagmire” and “Help Me, Akane-san.”
As Clay watches, Akane solves the problem from earlier: he approaches Tsugumi to tell her that, “No matter what those around you think, always treasure your own feelings.”
A blushing Tsugumi is impressed; Clay, not so much.
Manga and Anime Differences
- Much of this chapter was adapted as Episode 4 of Soul Eater NOT!, yet that episode also included content from Chapter 6 and Chapter 7.
- Clay and Tsugumi's class was taught by Mira Naigus in the anime. No teacher is identified in the manga.
- Clay and Tsugumi’s conversation, as well as the aftermath in which Tsugumi speaks with Eternal Feather and Clay speaks with Akane, occurred in Episode 4 of the anime. Therefore, in the anime adaptation, these events occur before Eternal Feather is possessed at the Death Bazaar, whereas in the manga, these events occur after her possession.
- Whereas in the manga Tsugumi asked in reaction to why Akane was so keen on protecting Anya, in the anime, the conversation was motivated by Tsugumi’s confusion about Akane wanting to be her meister, which happened moments earlier in the anime but far earlier in the manga, and her own about about her ability as a weapon.
- In the anime, Clay also claimed that boys like Akane prefer girls with bigger breasts, whereas he never makes such a statement in the manga.
- Eternal Feather’s conversation with Tsugumi is interrupted by Jacqueline’s concern about Kim in the manga, whereas in the anime her conversation is interrupted by Kim’s advice to focus on money rather than love, as at this point in the anime Kim and Jacqueline were not yet partners.
- In the manga, Anya claims her growing collection is out of the desire to start a shop at the Death Bazaar, which does not occur in the anime. However, Anya’s large collection of souvenirs is frequently seen in the girls’ bedroom, especially her tanuki statue.
- Akane’s advice to Tsugumi occurs in a vague location in the manga, whereas in Episode 4 of the anime, this conversation occurs after Tsugumi completes her physical exercise exam.
- Clay’s flowchart draws upon cliches found in soap operas but also in many manga and fan fiction.
- Yen Press split portions of Chapter 21 to print as separate entries in Volume 3 of the English United States, titled as “Soul Eater JOT.” “Soul Eater JOT, Part 3,” features the cover image of Tsugumi reading and the following, in this order: “Quagmired,” “Help Me, Akane-san,” “Death Child,” “Tell Me, Feather-San,” and “One Punch.” “Soul Eater JOT, Part 5” features “Ready for Business.”