Internal Investigation (Part 1)
|←Chapter 37, " 'BREW'--The Tempest (Part 4)||Chapter 39, "Internal Investigation (Part 2) →|
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|Joe Buttataki's arrival to the Death Weapon Meister Academy puts numerous members of the staff under suspicion of being a mole for Arachne. A reunion with his ex-girlfriend, Marie Mjolnir, confirms that indeed a traitor in within their midst. Meanwhile, as Black☆Star confronts his mortality that results in a duel against Death the Kid, Maka Albarn makes a shocking discovery about Crona.|
Internal Investigation (Part 1) is the thirty-eighth serialized chapter of the manga Soul Eater. It was reprinted in tankōbon form in Volume 10. Although the argument between Black☆Star and Death the Kid, as well as Joe Buttataki’s arrival to Death City, were adapted as part of Episode 38, "Asura's Temptation – The Big Man's Uncontainable Irritation?" much of the chapter differs considerably from other content in the Soul Eater anime.
Upon receiving a daytime progress report that the location of the demon tools remains unknown, Medusa instructs Crona to continue the search. Medusa also explains that she is returning with Eruka to Death City, as she senses a madness swirling through the area, “the kind only others with madness can feel.”
Joe Buttataki has arrived to draw out the mole within the Academy. He also is nervous at the potential of encountering his ex-girlfriend, Marie Mjolnir, assuming she has moved onto someone else, whereas he tends to isolate himself.
Death Weapon Meister Academy Women’s Bathroom
Speaking with Azusa Yumi, Marie informs her that Franken Stein’s condition has improved, yet Marie expects he will have another madness attack soon. Azusa mentions she expects a traitor within the DWMA has caused Stein’s madness, hence the arrival of Joe from Internal Investigations. Shocked at this news, Marie turns on the sink faucet too strongly, dousing Azusa.
Excited at the news of Joe’s arrival, Marie begins applying makeup. Embarrassed, Azusa tries to remind Marie that it was Joe who broke up with her, only for Marie to respond that, if she makes herself look prettier, she will make Joe regret ever breaking up with her. When Azusa brings up Stein as a potential romantic partner, Marie says, “It will never work out with him. He’s just not that type.” When asked whether Marie’s cleavage is sufficient, Azusa gives up discussion.
Death Weapon Meister Academy
Spirit Albarn pours a cup of coffee, welcoming Joe and his investigation into the souls of staff to sense whether they are lying. While appreciating Spirit’s frustration with this investigation, Joe reminds Spirit he has worked with many of the staff at the Academy, having served as a meister here earlier. As Spirit apologizes for the quality of the Academy's coffee, he assures Joe that the traitor is likely from Arachnophobia and not an outside party. Joe persists that, as it was Medusa’s cadre that resurrected the Kishin, any traitor could be affiliated with her.
Before Spirit can debate that point, Joe balls his hand into a fist to place against Spirit’s chest. After Joe orders him to continue his discussion, Spirit explains that he and Stein had killed Medusa and, without her, anticipate that her cadre fell apart without leadership. Therefore, it is not likely that any spy within the DWMA would be affiliated with this group. Joe removes his fist and Spirit sighs. Joe determines to remain open to alternative hypotheses in his investigation, yet he will proceed under Spirit’s assumption that the traitor is affiliated with Arachne.
Joe concludes their discussion disliking the Academy's coffee. Even as he feigns enjoyment, Spirit chides his failure to hide his lies more effectively.
Spirit and Joe enter the interrogation room, beginning their discussion with Sid Barrett. In their initial discussion, Sid is adamant that he is not a spy, despite his profession as assassin and undercover agent. Joe asks whether, if he had someone close to him taken hostage in exchange for his cooperation, Sid would be willing to spy. Sid says, “I’d probably agree to do it on the spot,” but he would actively work to undermine the goals of those enemies. Joe responds that Sid’s answer is “textbook.”
Joe moves on to discuss Sid’s report on the Brew battle at Lost Island, asking why Sid allowed Mifune to escape battle. Sid denies any accusation that this decision proves he is an Arachnophobia spy: his mission was to acquire Brew, not to kill needlessly at the risk of prolonging the battle and hence losing more lives. Joe concludes the discussion with a lie detection test by reading Sid’s soul wavelength, but Sid is adamant that he is not a spy.
Next, Joe and Spirit interview Mira Naigus to determine whether Sid is a spy. She denies that accusation, reminding them that the order to retreat had been given before Sid allowed Mifune to escape. What Sid received was an order, Naigus argues, and to refuse that order would set a poor example for their soldiers.
Then, Joe and Spirit interview Azusa. When Joe notices that Justin Law is on the same mission yet not present, Azusa answers that after the battle on Lost Island Justin returned to his active search for the Kishin. Azusa explains that she was informed on May 22 that Justin would join that mission with her, one day after the mission to retrieve the Eternal Spring from the Sahara Desert.
Joe asks whether Azusa has noticed odd behavior by Stein, but aside from his disturbing laugh, she is confident he is recovering from madness thanks to Marie’s anti-madness wavelength. Marie’s name bothers Joe, to the point that rather than focusing on his questions, he asks whether Marie ever talks about him. Spirit sympathizes.
Spirit brings in Marie for questioning—and while her dress leaves Joe awestruck, it leaves Spirit giggling at how she has “overdo[ne] it.” Spirit only laughs harder when Joe asks whether she dresses like this daily in class, as such attire would attract many boys to her classes.
Joe begins the interrogation, asking for only Marie's name—and she answers with her profession, the name of her meister, and her “perfect content[ment]” teaching students. Spirit struggles to silently notify Marie that she is sounding desperate.
Joe moves discussion onto Marie’s activities on Lost Island. Marie explains that, upon turning into her weapon form, it was upon achieving soul resonance that Stein collapsed into madness. Joe then detects a sensation from Marie’s soul—but as he stares at her chest, Marie assumes Joe is leering at her cleavage. Joe takes her hand and puts his fist against her chest to sense her soul wavelength.
Joe realizes that something alive is within Marie’s chest. He instructs her to use internal electricity to burn out the being. While partially successful, Marie struggles to catch her breath. Spirit encourages her to “push,” and as she spits out the being, he praises her delivery of “our little baby.” But Spirit realizes that this being is what caused Marie to accidentally drive Stein mad. Joe cannot identify the burnt being, and Marie claims she has not eaten any food not from Death City. Joe accepts this evidence that there is a spy within the DWMA.
Naigus instructs Black☆Star he may not use the Uncanny Sword, as his x-ray shows his soul is on the verge of collapse. Weaker persons should have died from this strain, but despite Black☆Star’s claim that he will transcend gods leads to Naigus’s strong condemnation: “You’re a human being, not a god.” Naigus informs Black☆Star that Tsubaki Nakatsukasa has already refused to perform the Uncanny Sword. Black☆Star says, “If I stopped, then I’d really be dead.” Naigus, concerned, worries about Black☆Star becoming a demon.
Outside the Dispensary with his own weapons, Death the Kid is concerned, asking whether Black☆Star suffered any after-effects from the magnetic field. Happy to hear Black☆Star is fine, Kid comments off-hand that his “body of a god” had few problems. Upset, Black☆Star tells Kid to watch as he leaps out the window and smashes a spire on the Academy. As Kid is upset that the ninja ruined again the symmetry of the academy, Black☆Star challenges the reaper to a duel.
Soul Eater and Maka Albarn, accompanied by Blair in cat form, say goodbye to Crona for the day. While Maka wonders whether their peers suffered from their trip to Lost Island, Soul assures her that, as their colleagues are tougher than the two of them, they likely have no health problems. But Maka is worried for Stein. Speaking of their teacher, Maka remembers she left her notebook in the classroom. Needing the book to review notes to be prepared for class tomorrow, she hands Blair to Soul and runs back to school.
As Maka runs, she is passing numerous alleys. In one, Eruka, disguised as a frog, is speaking to Crona about all the treachery performed within the DWMA, and how they must place the blame onto Stein. As the snake inside Marie has been discovered, Eruka reminds Crona, the chances Crona can remain in the academy are limited unless Crona follows Medusa’s instructions.
At that moment, Maka passes that specific alley to hear the last point of the discussion: “Crona, Medusa’s counting on you.”
Manga and Anime Differences
- Whereas this chapter refers to Marie and Joe as having dated, no mention of such a relationship exists in the anime.
- However, the anime did give Joe a love interest: coffee. This chapter does hint at Joe’s appreciation for a good cup of joe (perhaps related to his own name), yet the anime exaggerated his love for coffee whereas in the manga Joe simply dislikes the taste of what the the Academy serves.
- The anime does not make it obvious whether Naigus or other DWMA staff performed medical examinations upon the teachers and students who entered the magnetic field.
- Whereas in this chapter Black☆Star met with Naigus to receive the discouraging news about his health when using the Uncanny Sword, in Episode 38, this news was passed along to Tsubaki Nakatsukasa first, who then informed a truant Black☆Star.
- As well, whereas in this chapter Black☆Star challenges Kid to fight as soon as he exits the Dispensary, where Kid happened to be standing, in Episode 38 Black☆Star met with the main cast in the Class Crescent Moon, and it is at this point that he challenges Kid to fight.
- Though the killer of Joe is eventually revealed to be Justin Law, this chapter complicates when exactly Justin fell under the sway of Asura’s madness. Medusa first sensed this kind of madness in Chapter 31, “Reunion Express (Part 2),” upon her departure from Death City, which suggests Justin was mad comparatively early in the manga, before his attack on Lost Island but perhaps even before his rescue of Maka or his first appearance in the manga.
- Although Joe refers to himself as a former meister at the Academy and Marie's ex-boyfriend, whether or not he was Marie's meister is not made absolutely clear, although such evidence suggests he may have been her meister.
- As well, Joe's observation that Justin is not available to meet for interrogation hints strongly at his identity as Joe's murderer in the next chapter: Atsushi Ohkubo may have kept the character out of the chapter to throw off suspicion, and Justin may have feigned being elsewhere hunting for Asura so no one would know he was back in Death City to kill Joe.
- Azusa's dialogue confirms that Kid's party for Crona at Gallows Mansion and his mission to retrieve the Eternal Spring take place on May 21, and that on the next day, May 22, Lord Death assigned Justin to hunt for the Kishin.
- Spirit’s remarks about Marie giving birth to the snake may foreshadow her pregnancy in the very last chapter of the manga.
- Souls are revealed to appear on x-rays.
- Although this chapter is the first appearance of Deathbucks Coffee, better known in later content as Deathbucks Café, the location would not gain its more familiar form until Chapter 3 of Soul Eater NOT! where it would serve not only as a job but another major set for the series, introducing Tsugumi Harudori to the Thompsons and clarifying the process by which DWMA students earn allowances.