The Reunion Express (Part 1)
Episode 29, "Medusa's Revival! A Spider and Snake's Fateful Reunion?"
|←Chapter 29: "Snake"||Chapter 31: "The Reunion Express (Part 2)" →|
|List of Chapters |Image Gallery|
|Kid's celebration party for Maka's recovery and Crona's welcome is cut short by a mission to acquire a demon tool from the Sahara Desert. Meanwhile, Medusa is keen on family reunions, starting with her sister and then her child.|
The Reunion Express (Part 1) is the thirtieth serialized chapter of the manga Soul Eater. It was reprinted in tankōbon form in Volume 8. It was adapted into parts of three episodes of the Soul Eater anime: 29 (Medusa's Revival! A Spider and Snake's Fateful Reunion?), 30 (The Red Hot Runaway Express – A Magic Tool Left Behind by the Great Wizard?) and 31 (Drying Happiness! Whose Tears Sparkle in the Moonlight?).
Medusa criticizes Arachne for spying on her with a spider; Arachne criticizes Medusa for acting so fearless entering her castle and not willing to delegate this introduction to one of her underlings. Medusa says, as with her attack on the DWMA, she likes handling a task herself so to be authentic. Arachne tells Medusa such first-hand work puts her at risk of dying, her current childish form the proof of that fact. Medusa replies she uses this childish form to her advantage: who would suspect a child? Arachne also wants to know how, as she learned, Medusa could survive having her body cut yet “scatter your soul” to survive. Medusa explains she couldn’t allow [her] soul to be eaten by Stein and Death Scythe.” It was by forcing Stein to deliver a finishing blow that she split her soul into “tiny pieces.” The release of the Kishin increased Medusa’s magic so she could have her soul regathered inside the body of a snake she had set loose earlier.
Arachne accuses Medusa of having betrayed her in their fight 800 years ago against Lord Death, and she refuses to simply let Medusa leave so easily. Medusa attempts to play off the encounter as a sisterly reunion, one they really must do more often—until her exit is blocked by Mosquito, Giriko, and Mifune. The Arachnophobia agent looks nervous. But when Medusa refuses to fight back and continues her exit, Arachne allows her to proceed. Arachne anticipates Medusa will make a mistake soon and will be caught in her “web,” while Medusa plans to “slip through the cracks in [Arachne’s] network.”
The nervous Arachnophobia agent offers to escort Medusa out of the castle, but as they walk, they discuss mentally through the snake within that agent’s body: she is Eruka, brought back into Medusa’s employ. Eruka explains “the others,” Free and the Mizune sisters, are already uncover as well as Arachnophobia agents—to varying degrees of success, a towering werewolf and tiny, squeaking mice witches not matching the average height of an Arachnophobia agent. The Chief of these agents is informed by Free that there are five new agents with him, yet the Chief sees only four undercover Mizune sisters.
Eruka asks what is Medusa’s next plan, and the snake witch says she has to retrieve “something” she left behind in Death City.
Liz Thompson compliments Tsubaki Nakatsukasa’s cooking, asking (and receiving) permission to claim she did the cooking. As Black☆Star and Patty Thompson engorge on Tsubaki’s—or Liz’s—cooking, Liz spies a “hot guy.” She offers some of her cooking, a lie that bothers Kid but allows Liz to “nail” this guy. As the hot guy compliments Liz’s cooking and beauty, Liz is glomped by both Black☆Star and Patty, claiming to be Liz’s children. Shocked that Liz is a mother—despite Liz insisting she does not “look like [she] could have two kids”—the hot guy departs. While Black☆Star and Patty have a good laugh, an irate Liz chases the two around the mansion.
Surprised at such behavior, Crona watches Liz and her friends. Kid apologizes for how “rowdy” their peers are, and how much of a mess they will make. Crona admits to not being acclimated yet to this environment, but she does feel relaxed. Kid tells Crona, “No one’s gonna run out on you. Just join in at your own pace.” Their talk is interrupted by Black☆Star who tries to motivate Crona to go against Kid’s advice and be more social—which earns him a Maka punch to the face. As Maka thinks he was harassing Crona, Black☆Star seized Crona to assure his new friend that he will not allow anyone to pick on Crona. When Crona asks why everything is being kind, Maka explains that they are all friends. Ragnarok emerges to take up that offer, being fed Tsubaki’s food by Patty, which delights the Black Blood entity and causes laughter among everyone—but grosses out Soul.
Later, as Soul replaces music on the record player, Liz thanks him for bringing his music. While he was happy to bring some funk and other music with a beat, he thinks such music clashes with the mansion’s atmosphere. Therefore Maka encourages Soul to play the nearby piano, as it has been so long since she last heard his performance. Soul refuses, excusing himself to use the restroom.
Interested in the revelation that Soul is a piano player, Liz asks Maka which kind of music he plays. Maka says Soul played only once, when they first partnered, and the tune was a “really dark, weird-sounding mood piece” that would show her “the kind of guy I am.” Hearing the music, Maka thought Soul was “arrogant” and “weird,” which is what led her to partner with him. Liz responds that she wishes she had heard that song.
Liz’s conversation is disrupted by Patty and Kid, who announce that Lord Death has assigned a mission for them. Kid explains that the last-minute mission owes to the Runaway Express, a train without tracks in the Sahara Desert. The train runs on a demon tool that provides an infinite supply of power. But as Arachnophobia has its eyes on stealing the tool, and as the train reaches a speed of more than 300 miles per hour, it is up to Kid’s fast Beelzebub to keep up with the locomotive. Kid concludes by warning his weapons to dress well against sunburns.
The Sahara Desert
While Patty complains about the heat, Liz asks why Kid wears his cloak when being a shinigami makes him immune to sunburns. Before Kid adds that his shinigami body also repels poisons including hair dye (leaving his symmetrical three stripes), he tells Liz he simply likes wearing his cloak.
The trio come upon the train station, Kid sliding down the dune excitedly because of how perfectly scheduled the train is, a marvel of efficiency. But at the station a tourist already is standing at the platform. The tourist gives no greeting to the trio, which upsets the hot-under-the-collar Patty. When the tourist finally replies—by squeaking—Patty grows more irate, prompting Liz to pull her sister away to use the surrounding desert as a sandbox to make buildings. While Liz is suspicious of the tourist, Kid waits for the train, realizing it is running late but failing to realize the ground is shaking, collapsing Patty’s sand castle.
Black smoke explodes out from the sand before the platform, the Runaway Express launching into the air. But an Arachnophobia agent, the Fisher King, has already landed onboard. To make matters worse, the tourist next to Kid releases her Soul Protect, flying after the train. But Patty notices the witch left something behind: a tadpole bomb that explodes. Kid summons Beelzebub and, with his weapons transformed, gives chase after the train.
Manga and Anime Differences
- This two-chapter arc leads to three episodes in the anime, which divide the events.
- Episode 29 adapts Medusa possession of Rachel Boyd in Chapter 29 and this chapter's meeting between Medusa and Arachne.
- Episode 30 adapts this chapter and Chapter 31 in which Kid and the Thompsons go to the Sahara Desert to retrieve the Eternal Spring.
- Episode 31 adapts this chapter and Chapter 31 in which Kid hosts a party for Crona. Episode 31 does not explicitly define the party as having a secondary purpose to celebrate Maka's recovery from paralysis inflicted by Arachne.
- Ultimately, whereas in this chapter and Chapter 31 Kid's party is at the same time as his mission to the Sahara, in the anime, Kid's party seems to occur after the Sahara mission and after Kid learns someone name "M" checked out the Book of Eibon. Therefore, Kid and the Thompsons are present throughout Crona's party, as well as to wave goodbye to Crona and Ragnarok as the characters return to lodgings at the DWMA.
- Episode 29 does not include Free and the Mizune sisters' introduction as moles within Arachnophobia, hence the fact that the fifth sister is in the Sahara Desert is foreshadowed in this chapter but not in the anime. It wasn't until Episode 40 confirmed that Free and the Mizune sisters are working as moles within Arachnophobia.
- Episode 31 never includes Liz attempting to attract the hot guy, therefore does not include Black☆Star and Patty embarrassing her by pretending to be her children.
- In this chapter, Kid's party on behalf of Maka's recovery and Crona's friendship was planned in the previous chapter. In the anime, this post-recovery party is discussed in Episode 29 and presumably took place off-screen, as in Episode 31 Kid specifically says it is time for another party, this one to welcome Crona. Therefore, the manga has one party, and the anime has two.
- Patty’s initial complaints about the Sahara heat are more extensive and animated in Episode 30.
- In Chapter 38, Azusa Yumi informs Joe Buttataki that she received notification on May 22 that Justin Law would join her in locating the Kishin. She also states that the mission to retrieve the Eternal Spring from the Sahara Desert was the day before, May 21. Therefore Kid's mission as well as his party for Crona occur on May 21.
- In the Yen Press English translation, Eruka sings, “It’s so wonderful being free” and her (perhaps false) desire for a boyfriend. That she sings of “free” and that fans have imagined her pursuing a romantic relationship with Free may be only coincidental, based on how the English translation differs from the original Japanese text.
- In the Yen Press English translation, Medusa refers to Crona as “something” left behind in Death City, rather than “someone.” This dialogue choice may indicate how little Medusa thinks of her own child.
- Liz’s surprise that someone could imagine her having two children may be motivated by the seeming insult as to her age—that she is too young to be expected to have two kids as old as Patty and Black☆Star. But her reaction may also be motivated by her own upbringing: her mother had her and Patty under seemingly difficult circumstances. On the other hand, Spirit Albarn and his wife were young when they had Maka.
- Soul is disgusted by Ragnarok’s eating habits, despite their similarities: both are weapons containing Black Blood and who have odd eating habits, especially with souls.
- A later chapter during the Moon battle will reveal part of Soul’s introductory piano performance for Maka.