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|Spirit Albarn and Sid Barrett place Franken Stein under arrest for the murder of Joe Buttataki--and offer him a way to prove his innocence. While Black☆Star and Tsubaki Nakatsukasa depart from the Death Weapon Meister Academy for Japan, Maka Albarn wrestles with her knowledge of Crona's betrayal, and realizing how, with her world changing, she must change as well.|
Resolve is the fortieth serialized chapter of the manga Soul Eater. It was reprinted in tankōbon form in Volume 11. Although Crona's departure from Shibusen was shown in Episode 39 in the the animeSoul Eater, much of the content to this chapter is original to the manga.
Eruka, in frog form, brags to Medusa, possessing the body of Rachel Boyd, how well they have driven Franken Stein into madness. With them are two of the Mizune Family in mice form and Crona. Eruka then asks why Medusa is so quiet and appearing so sad. Medusa explains that she was thinking about the now deceased Joe Buttataki: before his death, he was aware of her and the other witches' presence, despite Soul Protect, which suggests meisters are evolving in their skill at Soul Perception. Eruka is less concerned, as Joe is dead, but Medusa warns that another living meister could develop this enhanced Soul Perception, which may require killing that person. Crona looks away, nervous.
Medusa also realizes that, even with she, Eruka, and two of the Mizune sisters, that number does not match the number of other witches she could sense in Death City.
Sid Barrett and Spirit Albarn place Stein under arrest for the murder of Joe Buttataki. Sid urges Stein, as a friend, to accompany them without resistance so that they do not have to put him in handcuffs. Stein does as ordered, following the two through Death City and towards Hook Cemetery, explaining along the way that he could not have killed Joe: after Joe's interrogation, Stein went to Patchwork Laboratory immediately and has not left since. Sid explains that a pack of Stein's particular brand of imported cigarettes was found at the scene of Joe's murder, and Spirit, despite Stein's previous claim that he was too nervous to smoke, smells of cigarettes now.
Stein begins giggling, trying to assure himself that Sid and Spirit are joking with him, pranking him with a fake arrest. Sid seizes Stein, the scientist panicking more and reiterating that he never left his lab all night. Stein tries to make a deal with Sid, asking that he be allowed to find the real killer. Although sensing how incoherent and emotional Stein is, Spirit cannot help but believe his friend's claim of innocence. Stein covers his face, realizing he cannot trust himself when he is suffering from the madness: he may have killed Joe and forgotten his actions. But as Sid directs Stein to walk forward, Stein's smile returns, as he again asks whether this is all some kind of a joke.
Stein is confused: why have Sid and Spirit not taken him to Death? The trio are then approached by two persons who have been waiting for them: Mira Naigus and, with her eyes saddened and puffy, Marie Mjolnir. Stein reclaims some lucidity, as Spirit confirms again that Joe is indeed dead: "His chest was split wide open with some kind of sharp blade, and his heart was ripped through. They say he died instantly. Not even his soul remained." Spirit then regrets that, while they stand here in a graveyard, they cannot hold a service for their departed colleague.
Spirit confirms that no one here thinks Stein killed Joe, but as they lack evidence of his innocence, taking Stein to Death is an assured death sentence. Because Joe found such madness, it is up to someone like Stein to find Joe's killer and avenge their friend's death.
Away from the men, Naigus asks whether Marie intends to join Stein on this mission. While Marie as well wants to avenge Joe's death, Naigus warns that Stein will not bring Marie happiness because that scientist lacks love: "He's alone...and always will be." Marie responds, "That's why I have to go," otherwise Stein really will be destroyed by madness, permanently. Marie also intends to uphold her promise to Joe to keep an eye on Stein. The Death Scythe and the scientist depart. As they watch their peers leave, Spirit confirms the story that they will present to Lord Death: they had failed to apprehend Stein, who took Marie with him.
As they depart Death City, Marie leans against, shuddering. Stein approaches Marie, drawing her to his chest to allow her to cry.
Black☆Star and Tsubaki's Apartment
Black☆Star dons a jacket while Tsubaki Nakatsukasa drags down the stairs a large duffle bag. She apologizes to her meister for going behind his back, but Black☆Star says that he needed a break from school anyway. He takes the duffle bag over his shoulder and leads their trek out of Death City. Before they depart, however, Tsubaki suggests a destination: her parents' residence. As he and Maka are both Japanese, Black☆Star thinks a trip to Japan would be fun.
DWMA Overnight Rooms
Crona refuses to leave the DWMA with Eruka, even if the Academy has found the snake used to infect Stein, because here at this school Crona has friends. Eruka plays her last card: she claims Maka saw Crona speaking with the frog, hence already knows of Crona's deception. Still Crona refuses to leave.
Dressed in pajamas and slippers, Maka reclines on a small couch in the living room, a cup of beverage sitting at her table. Soul Eater wishes her good night, but noticing how pensive she is, he asks Maka why she has acted so oddly since she returned home tonight. Maka is thinking how Medusa, still alive, is contacting Crona for what are likely nefarious scheme, but if Maka reports Crona to Death, she risks expulsion, if not worst, for Crona.
Soul asks whether something has happened, and Maka confirms it has. "Is it better if I don't know?" Soul asks. Maka confirms, at least until she can tell him tomorrow because she knows she can depend on Soul's help. Soul tells her not to worry and to tell her whenever she's ready. He advises her to go to sleep, and she says good night.
Maka concludes that she cannot continue to brood, so she will approach Crona tomorrow morning before class.
Death Weapon Meister Academy, Crona's Overnight Room
Maka hesitates before Crona's door. She sighs and opens the door with a friendly greeting. Maka does not see Crona in bed. As she stares, Maka narrates from the future: "Afterward, I would find out that quite a number of people left the night before. This was also the moment when I began to realize that the world was changing little by little...And the people around me were changing with it. And that I was being asked to change, too."
Maka looks to the empty corner of the room, and sees Crona has left the DWMA. Maka lowers her head, grits her teeth, and says, "Medusa."
Manga and Anime Differences
- By this chapter the anime had diverged significantly from the manga. Whereas later chapters imply Medusa successfully took Crona away from the DWMA, whether by persuasion or force, in the anime, Crona initially runs away in shame for taking part in Stein's madness and defection from the DWMA, then upon expulsion from the DWMA joins the defected Marie Mjolnir to retrieve Stein from Medusa.
- In this chapter, Maka discovers Crona has left Shibusen, but in Episode 39, it was Spirit Albarn who discovered Crona's disappearance.
- Joe Buttataki is announced as dead in this and Chapter 39, whereas in the anime Joe Buttataki not only survived but was not investigating a Shibusen mole, instead using Shibusen demon tools to construct the Death City Robot.
- Black☆Star's t-shirt has the number 1 on it.
- Spirit claims Joe died from having his chest sliced open by a large blade. This detail is one of many that identify the guillotine Death Scythe Justin Law as Joe's killer. The next chapter has the Flying Dutchman and The Clown discuss how they "turn[ed ...] the other one," and the previous chapter had Joe seem to recognize his killer, which is appropriate for a DWMA agent to recognize a Death Scythe. As well, in Chapter 38, Azusa Yumi had notified Joe that Justin was away from Death City on an assignment, which would allow Justin a temporary alibi.
- Black☆Star reveals in this chapter that both him and Maka come from Japanese families.