|“||It feels good to come in first.||”|
—Tsugumi Harudori, Chapter 25 (Soul Eater NOT!)
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|Tsugumi Harudori copes with many lessons and celebrates a victory upon her return to classes at the DWMA.|
“First Day!” is the twenty-fifth chapter of the manga Soul Eater NOT! It was published as Chapter 21 in the fourth volume of the Yen Press English United States translation. Although images from the story are adapted for the final episode, none of the narrative content was adapted into the anime.
Upon their arrival, Tsugumi is still intimidated by the long staircase. Sure enough, the long climb tires her before classes begin.
Classroom Number 013
Sid Barrett attempts to energize his first period class, which will focus today on how weapons were first produced. Before he may begin, however, Clay Sizemore interrupts to notify that Aaron has half-turned into a weapon yet again. Sid orders a student to escort Aaron to see Dr. Medusa at the nurse’s office. The scene shocks Tsugumi, who fears whether such a half-change could happen to her.
Sid uses Aaron’s example to emphasize how important it is for weapons to control their abilities so not to hurt others or themselves. He lectures that humans first became weapons out of research conducted by witches; in fact, it was the combination of a witch soul’s transformational abilities with a weapon and a human being that produced weaponized genes, which are then passed on through parents’ DNA to their children.
Sid also mentions that many people do not know that they are weapons until they go through airport security scanners, which is what happened to Tsugumi as well. Tsugumi also considers whether it is her weapon abilities that cause her dog, Pochi, to dislike her. Although, this motivates her to work harder as a weapon.
Cafeteria, Death Weapon Meister Academy
At lunchtime, Meme orders numerous meals. When Anya criticizes her as having been on a diet earlier, Meme says, “Let’s pretend I forgot.” They are then approached by Kim Diehl and Jacqueline O’Lantern Dupre, who ask whether the trio are interested in filling in for the Thompsons at Master’s cafe. Jacqueline notices that Tsugumi has ordered a small meal due to her intense physical education class right after lunch.
Track and Field, Death Weapon Meister Academy
In their physical education class, Meme’s appearance attracts attention from two boys in their class. Mira Naigus shouts encouragement to Tsugumi and other students running a marathon to complete their lap more quickly, which Akane Hoshi sees galvanizes Tsugumi to dash all the harder to come in first among the weapons in their marathon.
The trio are back in their waitress outfits, and despite Anya’s embarrassment, she again fulfills the role of a pleasant host. Unfortunately, Tsugumi is exhausted, claiming she has not “eaten anything since morning,” and requests food before she begins her shift. Impressed that Tsugumi finished first in the marathon today, Master serves her pilaf, complete with a first-place flag in the meal. Anya compliments Master’s “novel” and “impressive” meal design. As Kim mocks Anya for being so enamored over a childish flag, Jackie says that Anya “ought to be flagged down for that kind of behavior.” Kim gives an icey stare, not because she failed to realize that Jackie was making a joke, but because the joke was too corny.
The story ends with Tsugumi pleased with her meal, and proud to have come in first.
Manga and Anime Differences
- Tsugumi claims that her dog, Pochi, never really liked her, a dislike not mentioned and not obviously shown in the anime. Whereas Tsugumi's desire to get closer to Pochi serves a dramatic purpose in the manga to establish her sadness in a later chapter, this tension is lacking in the anime.
- Tsugumi’s winning of the marathon appears in the final episode’s credits. Whereas in the manga this victory occurs before the defeat of Shaula Gorgon, in the anime, her victory happens after Shaula’s defeat, hence without Meme and Tatane present.
- Tsugumi and her meisters must take the bus to go from the girls’ dormitory to the DWMA. Based on the bus’s appearance as a double-decker and the number of English phone booths, it is possible that the girls’ dormitory is in the English part of Death City. A later chapter suggests, however, that such buses and booths are common throughout Death City.
- The bus that takes Tsugumi and her meisters to the DWMA is Route Number 42, in keeping with the pun on that number.
- Tsugumi’s classroom for NOT courses is Number 013, perhaps a reference to her supposed bad luck.
- Based on Sid’s dialogue, “We’re gonna kill it today!” is the Death Child equivalent of saying “We’re gonna kick ass today!”
- Sid’s lecture clarifies how weapons are produced. While it was Eibon’s plans that explained how to combine a human with a weapon, it was the addition of a witch’s soul that modified a human’s DNA irrevocably. Therefore, many weapons that appear in the present day are the result of inheriting such abilities from ancestors, indicated already by families such as the Thompsons and the Nakatsukasa who possess weapon abilities.
- Tsugumi’s goal of becoming a better weapon so to get along better with her dog, Pochi, will continue into another chapter, and sets up her devastation upon receiving news about her dog in Chapter 36.