|“||You "NOT" students need to understand your own strength. It's the only way you can learn to control it. At the moment, you're like a dud bomb, Tsugumi. You're dangerous--there's no telling when you might explode.||”|
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|As Tsugumi Harudori doubts herself after a disappointing summer lesson on weapon transformations, Anya Hepburn and Meme Tatane issue an ultimatum to the weapon.|
“Blade!” is the thirtieth chapter of the manga Soul Eater NOT! It is included as Chapter 23 in the fourth volume of the English language United States release by Yen Press. Portions of the chapter's ending were adapted as part of Episode 8 of the anime.
DWMA Teachers and EAT Students
- Soul Resonance (mentioned)
Death Weapon Meister Academy, Dance Studio
NOT students are required to attend a summer school session. Sid Barrett introduces to the students Maka Albarn and Soul Eater, who will demonstrate how weapons can control their abilities. After Maka says hi to Tsugumi Harudori, the NOT student feels nervous about performing in front of her mentor.
Sid calls Raid and Hao as the first students to demonstrate. Despite Anya Hepburn chiding the duo, doubting their skills, the meister and weapon are much friendlier than they were earlier (and have received more formal haircuts), promising to show how much they have improved. However, Raid still cannot completely transform above his jaw.
Maka and Soul interrupt the demonstration to explain “Soul Resonance,” the practice in which souls connect so that meister and weapon share all, including feelings. But Sid tells Raid that he really needs to imagine himself being the weapon to completely transform. He does remind all students, however, to have patience, as they are in no rush to perfect their weapon abilities.
More weapons proceed to practice their transformations to earn grades for the day. Sid sends Aaron to the doctor’s office (yet again) when he partially transforms, reminding Aaron that he really needs to find a meister if he, as Soul and Maka instructed, is going to resonate to perfect his transformation. This failure to find a meister hits Tsugumi hard.
With Tsugumi now up for evaluation, Maka calls out good luck to her. Tsugumi imagines herself as a halberd, transforming into Anya’s hand. While Tsugumi is able to form the spear and scythe of a halberd, Sid notes that she still lacks the axe blade.
Sid orders Tsugumi to revert to her human form. Sid compares the blade to the power within a person: to lack a blade is to be unable to known one’s own strength, and the DWMA is designed to teach students to control that strength. Sid then is harsher in his criticism: “You’re like a dud bomb, Tsugumi. You’re dangerous--there’s no telling when you might explode.” Tsugumi remembers the night disrupting the fight between Anya and the sleep-fighting Meme, when her hands transformed into an axe and a spear, but still no blade. Sid gives Tsugumi a low grade and urges her to determine how to form a bladed edge.
Later that day, Tsugumi is in the backyard, practicing chopping wood with her hand, transformed into a spear, and foot, transformed into an axe. Tsugumi remembers how Soul transformed his leg into his blade to protect Maka from the possessed Eternal Feather, while Tsugumi herself fears that, if she transforms, she may hurt her partners.
Meme and Anya discover that Tsugumi was unable to chop the wood. Tsugumi feels unworthy as a weapon to either meister, as she is not as strong as the two. Meme asks Tsugumi to turn into a halberd, and with the weapon’s axe, she slices the block of wood. Meme then tosses Tsugumi to Anya, who uses the spear to slice the leaves falling from a nearby tree.
Anya explains that she, and likely Meme (assuming she could remember), have undergone long, difficult training to be so skilled at their ages. Anya chastises Tsugumi for thinking she must be stronger to protect such capable meisters. Anya and Meme both hold Tsugumi in weapon form: Meme explains that the best way for Tsugumi to protect either of them is to pick a meister as soon as possible, in order to foster the kind of partnership that will allow Tsugumi to grow stronger. Anya adds that it is Tsugumi’s indecisiveness to pick a partner that prevents her from forming a blade. Rather than focusing on having fun, Anya argues, Tsugumi must realize that the DWMA exists to teach her to “live a proper life” as a weapon.
Anya gives Tsugumi an ultimatum: change, or neither meister will be her partner. (Meme, forgetting that the two are trying the tough love approach on Tsugumi,a accidentally offers to be Tsugumi’s partner.) Anya sets a deadline for Tsugumi to choose a meister by October 31, Halloween, in time for the Death Festival.
Manga and Anime Differences
- The corresponding episode ends with Tsugumi lying on the lawn, enjoying the company of Meme and Anya as they enjoy the sunset sky. In this manga, the chapter ends on a drearier note, with Tsugumi sad over the ultimatum given to her by Anya.
- At this point in the manga, Raid and Hao are sporting new hairstyles, which will be revealed as a suggestion by Anya. In the anime, the duo retain their appearance since Episode 1.
- As the class takes place during summer, Tsugumi, Sid, and other students are dressed in looser fighting clothing, while some characters such as Anya and Maka maintain their usual attire—perhaps because Anya still holds to her formal appearance, and because a Death Child such as Maka is accustomed to Death City heat.
- Tsugumi’s fear of hurting her meisters foreshadows the fight she will have against the possessed Meme—as well as hurting Meme's feelings about her memory loss.