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|As Sid and Mira contend with controversial orders from Lord Death, a girl named Rachel Boyd finds herself possessed through the bodily invasion of a snake. Meanwhile, Stein determines to improve his students' fighting skills--if they could only learn to cooperate.|
Snake is the twenty-ninth serialized chapter of the manga Soul Eater. It was reprinted in tankōbon form in Volume 8. It was adapted as part of Episode 29, "Medusa's Revival! A Spider and Snake's Fateful Reunion?" in the Soul Eater anime.
In an alley, a dog buries its nose among garbage bags until it encounters an arrow-decorated snake. Later, a mother and a daughter walk by the alleys discussing their dislike for snakes and spiders. The daughter, Rachel Boyd, notices the dog poking around. Rachel dashes for the dog, her mother trying to catch up to tell her not to touch dirty dogs. As Rachel reaches her hand to the dog, she spies a snake emerging from the animal's mouth, which enters the girl's mouth. Rachel's mother arrives, too busy admonishing her daughter to notice the snake entering Rachel. Although drooling a bit, Rachel happily agrees to her mother's order to go home.
Lord Death compliments Sid Barrett and Mira Naigus for gathering intelligence on the Morality Manipulation Machine. Sid reveals the machine derives from blueprints in the Book of Eibon, which does not surprise Lord Death. Naigus asks whether they should destroy their copies of the blueprints, but Lord Death suggests storing that information in the Secret Vault. Despite Naigus's disagreement, Sid follows Lord Death's instructions. But as they leave, Lord Death looks more stern, warning not to inform anyone about the blueprints.
Rachel's mother is concerned about her silent television viewing. Thinking her daughter is not even watching, the mother orders Rachel to turn off the television, which Rachel does. However, she returns to her seat, curled onto the couch and staring silent.
That evening, as they try to sleep in their bedroom, Rachel's mother asks her husband whether he has noticed odd behavior in their daughter, perhaps as a result of touching that odd dog. Rachel's father tries to calm his wife by suggesting they bring Rachel to a doctor.
Later that night, Rachel's mother awakens to see the creepy eyes of a child, an arrow tendril emerging from the girl's mouth. Rachel's mother screams, causing her husband to awaken and see Rachel clutching their bed, complaining of a nightmare about a snake and the desire to sleep in their bed. Initially nervous, Rachel's mother agrees.
Another morning, Rachel eagerly waits for her meal. While Rachel's mother assumes she was imagining something last night, she is scared of a recently arrived spider appearing in the kitchen. Unable to find a newspaper with which to smash the arachnid, Rachel's mother uses one of her husband's pornographic magazines. But Rachel is undeterred: not looking behind her, she smashes the spider, barehanded, the innards of the creature splashed across her hand. At this moment, Medusa's voice emerges: she realizes her sister, Arachne, has discovered her.
Rachel pulls her hoodie to cover her head, saying she is departing to go play. Before her mother can stop her, Rachel has already disappeared from the front lawn.
A missing notice for Rachel Boyd appears on a hallway bulletin board.
In a classroom, Liz Thompson welcomes Maka Albarn back to classes since her recovery of Arachne's infection. Patty Thompson invites Maka to their house for an after school party, with Crona invited as well. Liz asks Soul Eater to bring some good music before asking Tsubaki Nakatsukasa why Black☆Star is not present.
Frustrated with his students' conversing, Franken Stein tosses a scalpel that pierces in the seats right beside Tsubaki's head. Maka and Liz apologize to Tsubaki.
Black☆Star then enters the classroom, as he entered a duel with another student as refereed by Marie Mjolnir. Frustrated that Marie allowed Black☆Star to get into a fight and be late for class, Stein punishes the ninja by making him stand outside. Undeterred, Black☆Star uses the opportunity to stand upside-down, balanced on just two fingers on his right hand.
Maka reflects on how Black☆Star has been in ten duels against some of the Academy's best students but without using Tsubaki. While Tsubaki excuses his behavior, Maka herself recognizes the weapon's sadness and cannot understand how Black☆Star could act as such.
Stein begins a new lesson for today called Duel Arts, or Retaliation Class, so to face the stronger threat of Arachne, the witch awakened by the Kishin's madness. Looking at the Thompsons and Kid, Stein decides such "idiots" would benefit from learning by example rather than lecture. He calls forward Ox Ford and his weapon, Harvar D. Éclair, Maka and Soul, and Black☆Star (without Tsubaki), welcoming the ninja back to class. Stein decides the lesson will help Maka recover since her medical absence, and warns Black☆Star not to destroy their classroom in today's practice battle.
Stein explains that the students will practice Teamwise Soul Resonance. He instructs all three meisters to attack however they want, so they may learn the introductory aspects to such resonance. Stein begins with a threat to dissect the students. Before Maka can figure out how to resonate with as a team, "with all these people in the classroom," Black☆Star has already attacked. But Stein dodges, asking Ox and Maka why they stand over-thinking rather than acting? Ox uses his power of the Lightning King—but accidentally pokes Black☆Star in the backside, electrocuting him. Then when Maka swings at Stein, the back of her staff kicks Black☆Star in the face. While Maka chuckles as Black☆Star clutches her in frustration, both are electrocuted as Ox, again, pokes Black☆Star in the backside.
As the class laughs aloud and Kid is embarrassed to be associated with these people, Black☆Star challenges Ox to a duel, with Stein as referee. As Ox and Harvar look forward to beating this "sorry ass" ninja, Black☆Star criticizes Ox's nickname as Brilliant General Lightning King: how can you be both general and a king? While Ox lunges with Harvar, the fight ends almost immediately: Black☆Star makes one punch and Ox crashes through the classroom. While telling Maka not to add Ox's pathetic fight to his now eleven-win duel streak, Stein is disappointed at the in-fighting among teammates.
DWMA Underground, The Secret Vault
Despite following orders, Sid is concerned with Lord Death's plan to store the Book of Eibon.
Baba Yaga Castle, Arachnophobia Headquarters
Mosquito reports to Arachne the loss of the Morality Manipulation Machine and the blueprints from the Book of Eibon. Arachne also learns that Mifune and Angela Leon are recovering in one of the castle's rooms. After Giriko mocks Mosquito's failures, the two duel, but Giriko blocks Mosquito's Police Stinger with his saw foot. Mosquito counters with Three-Piece Police Stinger. Their fight is interrupted, however, by the arrival of an Arachnophobia agent, reporting the arrival of a young girl claiming to be Arachne's younger sister. Amused, Arachne invites in Medusa.
Manga and Anime Differences
- In the anime, Rachel's television viewing differs: rather than cartoonish violence, Rachel watches a screen repeating the word "Apple," biblical symbolism of Medusa's serpentine symbolism as related to the snake's present at the Tree of Knowledge.
- The anime censors the possession, not showing Rachael's face as Medusa enters her mouth in snake form.
- The reference to the "Apple" is used again in Episode 41.
- On the splash page, Maka and Soul's shirts reflect details about themselves: hers reads "Book," his reads "Soul."
- The splash page also includes a spider with the number 800 on it, indicative of Arachne's work 800 years ago.
- Although there may be debate about whether Rachel was living in Death City, later evidence in Chapter 113 suggests that the girl and her family were residing in that city.
- The character on Rachel's television says "Hasta la vista, baby!" a line popularized by Arnold Schwarzenegger's eponymous character from The Terminator films. Later dialogue in the film also assumes an accent exaggerated to parody Schwarzenegger's own. Schwarzenegger's likeness would appear later in Soul Eater NOT! as the action star lead from the film Battle Gorilla, who happened to graduate from the DWMA.
- Rachel's father keeps his pornographic magazines near enough for his wife in the kitchen to find and use to smash a spider.
- Maka's concern for Tsubaki and confusion about Black☆Star's behavior foreshadows her argument with the ninja in a later chapter over his seemingly arrogant bellicose demeanor.
- Black☆Star refers to Marie as "neechan" ("big sis") rather than the more respectful "sensei."
- This chapter identifies Medusa as Arachne's younger sister.
- ↑ Soul Eater Volume 8, Yen Press translation, page 184.