The Trial Enrollment (Part 1)
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|While Stein struggles to retain his sanity while investigating the global spread of madness, Sid Barrett recruits Maka Albarn to introduce Crona to life at the DWMA, which takes the two meisters on an extracurricular mission to investigate attacks by the usually protective Oldest Golem against Loew Village.|
The Trial Enrollment (Part 1) is the twenty-fourth chapter of the manga Soul Eater and was reprinted in tankōbon form in Volume 7. It was adapted as Episode 26 and part of the beginning of Episode 26 in the Soul Eater anime.
Sid Barrett tells Death about his concerns enrolling Crona in the Death Weapon Meister Academy before the Demon Sword Meister is ready. Death suggests putting Crona into a trial enrollment starting tomorrow.
Death Weapon Meister Academy, Overnight Rooms
The next day, Sid Barrett calls Maka Albarn to meet with Crona. While Maka is really happy to see her new friend, Sid complains to her that, like most children, Crona does not like interacting with a zombie, which saddens Sid. Even worse, Sid says, Crona has been closed off to any other person, as no one else at the Academy has been able to approach the withdrawn Crona. As Maka was able to access Crona's Soul Wavelength, she may have better luck approaching them. Sid asks Maka to make Crona feel at home at the Academy by teaching Crona about life and rules at the school.
As Sid suggests Maka give Crona a tour of the DWMA, they are interrupted by the newly arrived Death Scythe, Marie Mjolnir, who, despite being an alumnus of the Academy, always gets lost when she returns. Sid explains the DWMA was made into such a labyrinth in order to strengthen the bodies, minds, and souls of students to confront such challenges.
Sid introduces Marie to Maka, but the student already met the Death Scythe at the Death City basketball court, where Maka lost a bet and had to join her father on a playdate. When Marie asks how the playdate went, Maka explains that Spirit bought her a first edition to a book she had long desired from one of the city's used bookstores, then went to lunch. However, Maka found the overall experience frustrating, as Spirit flirts with so many women that almost every shop he and Maka visited had some woman he knew, the awkwardness preventing father and daughter from spending much time, if any, at these shops—and now Maka herself does not feel comfortable going back to those stores. Marie says that she fails to see why this experience was so bad, as she wonders why Spirit never flirted with her. Seeing Maka glare at her for making such comments, Marie claims she was only kidding, learning not to joke about Spirit's flirtations when around Maka.
As Marie is lost anyway, she joins Maka to greet Crona.
Franken Stein reviews a file on Crona, learning that Ragnarok was originally an ordinary demon weapon until he was melted down in a vat of Black Blood to replace all blood in Crona's own body. Hence Crona and Ragnarok have an "engineered" meister-weapon bond. Stein worries how Medusa's experimentation on Crona is part of a longer history of madness, started by "the mothers of demon weapons," witches whose souls allow weapons to reach their full potential as Death Scythes. Stein worries that perhaps it is not meisters who help weapons evolve, but the dangerous witches the DWMA confronts.
"You can't keep me inside much longer," a voice says to Stein. It is "the Medusa inside of me," a madness that has been troubling him. This image of Medusa, dressed in her DWMA physician attire, urges Stein to dissect all persons around him, as she grasps his body, flirting with him. Stein strikes the image, momentarily shattering the illusion. But now Medusa stands again, in her witch attire, as she desires to see Stein "be the kind of man I like."
Curled in the corner of the room, Crona cringes upon hearing a knock on the door. A polite Maka apologizes for her intrusion—but sees no one in the room. Maka is then shocked to find Crona crouched in the corner. Happy to see Maka, Crona explains that the corner, which Crona treats like a person rather than a location, is comforting. Maka gently lectures Crona against naming parts of the room. Maka then takes Crona by the hands to stand up. While Crona is nervous to hold hands, Maka offers a fist-bump to Crona, promising to be great friends. Crona taps Maka's hand and agrees.
Maka then introduces Crona to Marie, who says that as it is her first day as a teacher like it is Crona's first day at the DWMA, the two should both work hard. Crona eventually agrees. Sid pokes his head into the room to congratulate Marie's strategy to coax Crona, but upon seeing the "blue-skinned person," Crona feels frightened and crouches again in the corner. Marie orders the saddened Sid out of the room, while Maka assures Crona that despite appearances Sid is actually a good person who will not hurt them.
While Marie tries to convince the students to begin their tour of the Academy, Ragnarok yells at these "rotten sows", exploding from Crona's back—only much smaller because, after the resurrection of the Kishin, Death confiscated his consumed souls. Maka observes how "cute and small" Ragnarok is "now that we're friends," but Ragnarok refuses to befriend Maka, seizing Crona by the face to kill, but his bullying is ineffective due to his small size. Maka is surprised Crona allows Ragnarok to bully even at such small stature, patting Ragnarok on the head as she realizes the small weapon is not a threat.
But Ragnarok intends to prove otherwise, seizing Maka's skirt to reveal her underwear, only to be disappointed how unattractive the underwear is on an "ugly cow" like Maka. In response, Maka attacks with her Maka Chop book attack—only for Ragnarok to seize Crona's face as a shield, the book slamming into Crona's face. Crona scurries back into the corner, apologizing on the assumption of blame for what Ragnarok did, as Maka apologizes repeatedly for hurting her new friend.
Later, Maka finally takes Crona and Marie out of the Overnight Room to the balcony of the Academy. Looking around, Crona smiles.
Soul Eater waits for Maka to bring Crona to Class Crescent Moom, where he asks whether Crona, now seeing the entire campus, is ready to attend. Crona looks down, overwhelmed and wishing to die. Marie promises that Crona will be fine, while Soul threatens to kick Crona's ass. Maka, frustrated, tries to calm everyone by suggesting Crona write a poem. Soul is amused at Maka's suggestion, causing his meister to blush—then smack him in the head. Maka continues her explanation: she tells Crona she writes poems to work through her feelings. Despite the previous Maka Chop, Soul is still amused at Maka's hobby, asking whether she is a "dark chick" and telling her she can talk with him about her issues, too. The subsequent Maka Chop leaves Soul collapsed, seemingly lifeless, on the floor, while Maka and Crona begin writing their own poems.
A half hour later, Maka receives Crona's poem. She and Marie read intently, while Soul finds the exercise "stupid." Crona asks Maka and Marie what they think of the poem, but the two return the poem and sit in the corner of the classroom, sad about how dreary is Crona's poem. This moment is interrupted by the boisterous Black☆Star, telling these "gloomy pale bastards" to join him outside to enjoy the sunshine and his radiant nature. Soul stops Black☆Star's bragging, handing him Crona's poem to read. Upon reading Crona's poem, even Black☆Star joins Maka and Marie in the corner, falling into sadness! Soul risks reading the "destructive" poem himself, and he too crouches in the corner with his classmates. Watching these classmates fall into depression in the corner of the room, Crona joins them—until Soul is surprised to find Sid, out of nowhere, has seated with them as well, still sad over Crona's reaction to his cadaverous appearance.
Death notices how poorly Sid looks after his depressing experiences, but Sid changes the subject to update on Crona, confirming that while the meister is facing difficulties, Sid thinks Crona will be comfortable at the Academy.
Sid adds that Maka and Soul have taken Crona with them to the Czech Republic, after receiving an extracurricular assignment from Azusa Yumi regarding an incident in the village ofLoew, where its professional golem-makers, known as Enchanters, report that the Oldest Golem in the World has attacked the village. While the damage was minimal, Death is surprised, remembering that golems only guard what they were created to protect, working as defense, never as attackers. Therefore, Death assumes this madness is literally the result of Asura's release, hence Death wants to speak with Stein immediately.
Riding Soul's motorcycle, Crona is surprised at the ride while Maka is impatient to start investigating the Oldest Golem's attacks. Soul is just thankful that, as DWMA students, they are not ticketed for riding three to his motorcycle, and without helmets. Getting off his cycle, Maka is surprised that Loew's buildings consist of only chimneys. Soul responds that the architectural design owes to the village's practice of making golems in almost every building. Ragnarok, however, is more interested in consuming all souls in this village, Crona reminding him that he is not big enough to accomplish such a feat.
While Maka struggles to get information from the taciturn villagers, as many claim not to know anything about the Oldest Golem attacking the village, Soul realizes that these villagers are hiding something and are not welcoming these DWMA students. But he is interrupted by the enchanter Saw, who offers to show these DWMA students where the Oldest Golem is located.
Sitting in his computer lab, Stein is not responding well to the madness that circulates the globe, as he can feel such energy reaching for him, like hands stretching from the very walls of his home. Sitting in the dark, Stein is surprised when someone turns on the lights: it is Mjolnir, who has returned with a message from Death: the Oldest Golem is attacking Loew Village.
As Marie notices how addled Stein seems, she offers to make tea. Stein points to a "cup" near her to make the drink, but Marie is surprised that this "cup" is actually a beaker. While preparing their drinks, Marie asks why Death is concerned about a golem. Stein explains that golems are used by Enchanters to repel evil, not to destroy. But if something has changed that has increased the powers of Enchanters, then these Enchanters may be able to program new golems to destroy.
However, Stein says, these attacks are by the Oldest Golem, not a new one. Marie argues that the Oldest Golem's change in programming therefore could be the result of the Kishin's release of madness. But Stein is not convinced: madness should affect people with souls first, not soulless being such as golems. While the Enchanters could have modified newer models of golems, he does not think it is likely to reprogram the Oldest Golem. Stein also remarks, with some self-deprecation, that "it doesn't fit that a guy like me is still sitting around cackling to himself like normal." Stein tells Marie to notify Death that he is going to investigate at the DWMA library and will file a report soon. Marie agrees to contact Death, although she disappointed that Stein has left when she just made tea, as she takes a sip from the beaker.
Outskirts of Loew VillageIn the forest outside of Loew, machines are merged with vegetation, chimneys and pipes wrapping around trees. Golems dot along a brick path winding through this forest, as Saw guides the DWMA students to the Oldest Golem. Soul is concerned how long it has taken to walk to the location of the Oldest Golem, suspicious of Saw and this entire village. Maka chastises Soul for insulting their guide. Saw replies that Soul is simply scared of what he does not understand, like most people: Loew depends on making golems to sell to other towns, even other nations, to keep demons away. Soul assumes Saw is being xenophobic, referring to outsiders like DWMA students as such "demons" to keep away. Maka again criticizes Soul's misinterpretation, but Soul tells her to "shut it."
Saw continues to explain that people in Loew desire to live peacefully and quietly, and the villagers have never been a problem for anyone else in the world. But then he grows more serious, noticing that "it's always the ones who seem the nicest, the ones who never raise a fuss" who have got the "blackest hearts."
Sounds shake the trees in this forest far from the village, before some of the furnaces and chimneys falling down as something large breaks through the forest, approaching the DWMA students. Saw complains how "that woman has no patience." Towering above Maka and her peers is the Oldest Golem. Saw realizes that "we can't keep this hidden any longer."
As Stein pushes the doors open with a loud slam, he remembers that the Oldest Golem was created 800 years ago, the same time when the first Demon Weapons were made. Stein also thinks the madness wavelength is what unites these events.
Manga and Anime Differences
- Crona's overnight room in this chapter includes posters on the walls and a smiley face on the bed's pillow, as well as what look like birds with masks resembling Death's, sitting on the windowsill. None of these elements appear in Crona's room in Episode 26.
- In this chapter, Ragnarok explains that his size and power have decreased because Death removed the souls he had consumed. However, in Episode 26 and even earlier in Episode 22, Ragnarok's size decreased due to the influence of Maka Albarn's Anti-Demon Wavelength.
- In this chapter, Maka's underwear are shown, whereas in Episode 26 the shot is framed so that, while Ragnarok lifts Maka's skirt, her underwear is not seen by viewers.
- This chapter shows Maka and Marie taking Crona to the balcony and a classroom. In Episode 26, this sequence is extended, with Crona appearing far more nervous moving through the hallway and earning gentle mocking from Maka and Medusa for such nervousness seeing the landscape of Death City.
- When Maka hits Soul in the head for mocking her poetry writing, Episode 26 includes background gags written on the chalkboard, either amplifying Soul's mockery or offering an apology to Maka.
- In this chapter, Class Crescent Moon features additional bulletin boards above Maka and her peers as they sit morose after reading Crona's poetry. These bulletin boards are not present in Episode 26.
- In Episode 26, Marie offers to make Stein tea—as she holds up a can of instant coffee. Marie does not make this mistake in this chapter.
- In this chapter, when Giriko introduces himself to Maka, Soul, and Crona, he uses the false name Saw. However, in Episode 26, he introduces himself with his real name.
- This chapter includes colorized pages featuring Sid, Death, and Crona.
- In the original Japanese, Crona refers to the corner of the Overnight Room as "Heya no Sumisu," which combines "heya no sumi" ("room corner") and the Japanese pronunciation of "Smith." In the Yen Press English translation, Crona refers to the corners as "Roomsy Kornerkov" to maintain the essence of the pun.
- ↑ Soul Eater Volume 7 Yen Press English translation: Page 194