Internal Investigation (Part 2)
Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle
|←Chapter 38: "Internal Investigation (Part 1)"||Chapter 40: "Resolve" →|
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|As Maka Albarn struggles with knowledge of Medusa Gorgon's survival and Crona's potential treachery, Death the Kid struggles as well to approach a troubled Black☆Star in combat. That evening, Joe Buttataki's investigation of Franken Stein leads to a fatal conclusion.|
Internal Investigation (Part 2) is the thirty-ninth serialized chapter of the manga Soul Eater. It was reprinted in tankōbon form in Volume 10. The fight between Black☆Star and Death the Kid was adapted as Episode 38, "Asura's Temptation – The Big Man's Uncontainable Irritation?" in the anime Soul Eater.
As Joe Buttataki repeats that a spy is within Shibusen, Maka Albarn is shocked to hear Eruka speaking with Crona, learning Medusa has survived and Crona is that very spy. Uncertain how to act, Maka runs away, knocking into a child. After confirming that the girl is okay, Maka apologizes and continues her run. The girl simply stares as Maka departs.
Spirit Albarn approaches Franken Stein, seated in the hallway, looking worse than usual. Spirit empathizes with the meister having dealt with house arrest, now interrogation. Stein admits he is not familiar with investigations but realizes that, based on Joe’s demeanor, Stein must be a suspect. Although he says aloud that Joe acts that way around everyone, Spirit thinks that, as that odd item was found inside Marie Mjolnir, it only makes sense that her roommate would be a suspect.
Spirit is surprised that Stein is not curious, given his usual inquisitiveness. Spirit offers to buy them a meal, but Stein assumes—jokingly or not—that Spirit just wants to take him to a cabaret club. Spirit, resigned, offers a cigarette. Spirit comments that the imported cigarettes, Stein’s preferred brand, were harder to come by. Stein puts one cigarette in his mouth but comments that he must quit smoking if he is to hold against the madness. He walks away, intending to return to house arrest.
Death Weapon Meister Academy Information Management Room
Joe Buttataki’s Soul Perception senses “impending doom.” He is interrupted by Marie who brings him a cup of coffee. Nervous at the drink after the poor brew he drunk earlier, Marie assures the drink comes from her own blend that she brought upon moving to Death City, as she agrees with Joe: “DWMA’s coffee is truly awful.” Marie jokes that she may be the mole and hence poisoned the drink, and although nervous, Joe still drinks the cup because it came from Marie.
Marie grows nostalgic, noticing how this long after they broke up Joe still wears shorts and sandals. She also remembers how she once wore a thin dress on a cold day, and when she joked that Joe lacked an overcoat to give her to keep warm, Joe ripped the shirt off of his chest to drape over her shoulders. Joe interrupts, claiming he was “desperate.”
He clarifies that because his Soul Perception is ever strengthening, to the point that he may break through witches’ soul protect, he worries that he is suspicious of everyone because of his job for Shibusen intelligence. He worries that his suspicions of his friends will drive those people away from him. He used to worry that his perception would become so strong that he would be able to know whenever Marie was lying, and be able to read her thoughts. “But now I regret it,” he concludes. “I’m not afraid anymore.” Happy to have run into Marie again, he asks whether she would join him for dinner tonight after work. He already made the reservation, but Marie already knows which restaurant—the French restaurant on Third Street—because she enjoys their soufflés.
Before she departs, Joe informs Marie to be careful around Stein.
Death Weapon Meister Academy Front Entrance
Sid Barrett, Mira Naigus, and the Thompsons observe Black☆Star and Death the Kid, who are about to begin their duel. Kid complains at Black☆Star’s actions breaking the symmetrical spire of the Academy. Kid assumes Death God Taijutsu: “Crime” Stance, looking forward to concluding this fight to repair the spire as soon as possible.
Kid dashes at Black☆Star. The ninja, hands in his pockets, flips onto his back to avoid Kid’s kick, returning with a kick of his own at Kid’s arm. As Black☆Star chuckles, Kid asks how long he intends to fight with his hands in his pockets, before Black☆Star approaches with a punch. Shocked at the punch, Kid does not react quickly enough to block the next blow to his chest. Kid realizes that Black☆Star will use a Soul Menace attack, but Black☆Star cannot fire his wavelength. Sid watches this misfire unfold.
Kid reminds Black☆Star that the quad was where the two of them first fought, and while Black☆Star has improved in moves and power, yet the ninja somehow has weakened. As the fight persists, Sid explains to Liz Thompson: Black☆Star has lost his confidence, which blocks his soul wavelength. As Sid has raised Black☆Star since infancy, he has seen how easy it was for Black☆Star to fight and win, whereas the losses against Mifune and Mosquito has diminished his confidence. “Someone with a weaker soul might just up and run away,” Sid argues, but Black☆Star is too much of an “idiot” to do anything but move “forward.”
Kid asks why Black☆Star is the one in a hurry to fight, whereas the ninja claims Kid is just too slow.
Sid continues (after awkwardly telling Liz he used to be quite handsome): whereas Liz thinks being an adult changes one’s approach to challenges, Sid argues that adults cling to the past and children desire to go into the future. But Black☆Star prefers being in the present, which means he lacks foresight to know where to go.
Overhearing Sid’s remarks, Black☆Star begins to rant that his teacher makes no insight. But Naigus and Sid see something else: they see stars form in Black☆Star’s eyes, just like his father, White Star, when he was on the path of becoming a Kishin.
Kid interrupts to beg Black☆Star to stop fighting, and that the broken spire is no longer important. Black☆Star shouts for Kid, if he really is a shinigami, to kill him. Kid runs forward, yet comes from behind Black☆Star, knocking him in the back of his neck. Black☆Star maintains his feet on the ground. Kid slams his fists against Black☆Star. The ninja keeps his feet on the ground. Kid lifts his foot, and the kick causes a seismic shift on the pavement. Even as Kid holds Black☆Star’s head to the floor, the ninja still buries his fist down, struggling to stand up. Kid kicks down harder onto Black☆Star’s head, smashing more of the pavement until Black☆Star’s hand collapses.
Kid stares at his friend and asks how Black☆Star came to this point, when he was “supposed to transcend the gods.”
Maka and Soul’s Apartment
With Blair (in cat form) perched on his shoulder, Soul Eater prepares a meal, surprised to see Maka come back so late. Soul asks whether Maka picked up her notebook, but his meister claims she forgot. Soul and Blair look surprised.
Maka escapes into her bedroom, debating how to proceed with the knowledge about Crona’s treachery. She wants to notify Lord Death that Medusa lives, yet realizes such news would make Crona a suspect. Maka does not know how to move forward.
Stein smokes, his smile contorted into a mad grin.
Joe is late arriving at the restaurant for his date with Marie. Yet he cannot ignore the sense of doom picked up by his soul perception. He then realizes “they” are in Death City: seven responses. He cannot understand how he would be the first to notice, when he realizes he finally has broken through witches’ soul protect. “But there’s something even worse” in Death City, he realizes, and it is a powerful madness.
Images flash before Joe of Rachel Boyd, Crona, Black☆Star, and the Little Ogre, all mad.
Stein lights another cigarette.
Joe can feel a “hidden world” of madness, but he cannot break through it. He removes his pistol, following that madness wavelength into an alley. He walks past a box of foreign cigarettes, the same brand Stein smokes. Joe can see eyes in the alley. “You…!?” he asks.
A cigarette falls to the sidewalk. Bangs breaks out in Death City.
Above this scene, Rachel Boyd watches, the snakes of Medusa circling around her as she smiles insanely.
At a French restaurant on Third Street, a waiter informs Marie that the restaurant will close soon. The waiter assures there is no charge for her wine, but Marie insists on a tip. As Marie leaves, the waiter feels bad for such a beautiful but lonely woman.
Stein answers a knock on his door to find Spirit and Sid waiting for him. Spirit announced Joe has been murdered and shows Stein a paper: “Stein, you’re under arrest.”
Manga and Anime Differences
- By this chapter the anime had diverged widely from the manga. Whereas in this chapter Joe Buttataki's investigation into treachery at Shibusen leads him to suspect Stein, and to meet his death, in the corresponding episode Joe had only just arrived at the Academy, and his task was to create weapons from demon tools in the fight against Arachnophobia, not to investigate.
- According to the manga and this chapter, Maka had discovered Medusa's survival and Crona's treachery when she sees Eruka Frog speaking with Crona about Medusa's survival. While in Episode 39, Maka and Soul Evans learn about Crona's treachery when they confess what had happened to Professor Stein in the desert pit. As well, Soul wasn't with Maka when Maka learns of Crona's treachery in this chapter.
- Episode 38 concludes with Maka and Soul visiting Black☆Star in the infirmary to confirm his recovery, and Tsubaki meeting with Kid, as he repairs the Academy spire, to apologize for Black☆Star's behavior. Neither event occurs in the manga: Maka retreats to her bedroom to ponder the news of Crona's treachery while Soul prepares a meal, and Tsubaki and Kid retreat into the background following Black☆Star's defeat.
- This chapter hides the identity of Joe Buttataki's murderer. As later chapters explain, based on the presence of madness circling around Death City as Joe pierces through Medusa's soul protect, the murderer is Justin Law.