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"Now, now. There's nothing wrong with being addicted to peace. In fact, lets get more and more addicted. After all, that would mean the world is all the more peaceful. Which is why we can't afford to ruin this peace. We'll just have to entrust to the rest of them..."

— Lord Death to Kilik[1]

Anime  Manga
Lord Death (1)

Death as he appears throughout Soul Eater.

Name Death
Alias/Nicknames Grim Reaper
Former God Of Order
God of Order
Honorable Father (父上, Chichiue by Death the Kid)
Personal Data
Gender Male
Age Over 800 years old
Eye Color Red[2]
Hair Color Unknown(Possibly with whites stripes)[3]
Race Shinigami Shadow Skull Shinigami
Classification Great Old Ones, Soul Eater Wiki Icon - Meister2 Meister
Professional Data
Affiliation(s) Shibusen
Occupation(s) Headmaster of Shibusen
Leader of Shibusen's Military Branch
Residence Death Cty
Teams/Group The Eight Warlords(Formerly)
Weapon Partner(s) Spirit Albarn
Azusa Yumi(Anime-Only)[4]
Family Back of Kid's Student ID Card Death's Family
Relation(s) Asura (Son)
Death the Kid (Son)
Real World Data
Voice Actor(s)/Seiyu John Swansey (English)
Riyika Koyama (Japanese, Monotone Princess)
Manga Debut "Soul Eater"
Anime Debut Soul Resonance: Soul Eater, Becoming a Death Scythe
Series Soul Eater
(Image Gallery) (List of Appearances)

"Death"[5] (デス, Desu), also known as Shinigami (死神; Literally meaning "death god") referred to with the suffix -sama as a term of respect, Lord Death in English Dub, is the Shinigami (the Grim Reaper in Western legends) and headmaster of Shibusen, a organization he founded on over eight hundred years ago after the betrayal of his first apprentice, Asura, in becoming a Kishin.


Known as the legendary Grim Reaper (Death God), Death's duty as a shinigami is to preserve the world order by maintaining balance. Eight hundred years prior to the start of Soul Eater, Death once led the group, The Eight Warlords, which seemingly consisted of 5 Warriors and (later) 3 Demon Weapons after the creation of the race. However, he was betrayed by his first apprentice and son, Asura. Unable to kill him due to his immortality, he sealed him away and started the organization, Shibusen.


As the headmaster of Shibusen, he is highly respected by teachers as well as students, not only because of his great power, but for his desire for peace in the world. It is for this reason, that Shibusen was created. Despite his background and powerful position within the school, he tends behave childishly and act excitable as to not scare the children. In most cases, Shinigami comes off as a bit of a joker with a cheerful demeanor. He also prefers to be optimistic and treats every situation as such. He also has a great sense of humor.

Shinigami also appears to be an understanding and lenient individual, contrary to the general opinion held by the people who think of him as strict and bound by rules. Many people are surprised at his reactions to serious matters as they anticipate him to be more severe. During the discussion on how to deal with Angela, he was unexpectedly accepting of proposals on how to manage her potential Sway of Magic and seems to have no problem helping her out, to the surprise of Kim, Tsubaki, and Jackie. In another instance, he only demanded an apology after Stein and Marie confessed to "breaking regulation", with Spirit being an accomplice, before letting the incident go. However, he does have a limit to his tolerance of transgressions as he wasn't above punishing Maka for unregulated use of a Level 4 book. After Crona killed the Death Scythe and his meister stationed in Russia, he put him on his list of those to be executed, despite Maka's pleas.

He has a special move called a "Direct Noggin Shinigami Chop" (which is normally shown when Shinigami shows his large flat four-fingered hand appearing from his robe; often called Shinigami Chop for short). This move is normally administered on Spirit whenever Shinigami refuses to put up with the Death Scythe's antics when it comes to Maka or her progress. He has a habit of giving warnings to people about to be punished with it after the punishment was carried out. He also seems to take on a more playful attitude when talking with his son (he says the stripes in his son's hair are cute[6]), but at the same time thinks he can be quite the handful and is glad that Patti and Liz look after him.

However, Shinigami is shown to possess numerous flaws which he acknowledges on several occasions. Asura has revealed that Death created him to become a more perfect Shinigami. This somewhat resembles Death the Kid's initial, humorous quest for correcting anything that is asymmetrical, although on a much more serious level. And because of this, he inadvertently created, what will be later known as, a Kishin. Shinigami also explained that he thought he would be able to rule alongside Asura so that Fear and Order can coexist without problems. And compared him doing so to Medusa experimenting, saying that his actions are not far off from what Medusa did to Crona. He's also shown to regret these actions, as he realizes that despite his immense power, he is unable to move outside Death City. This forces him to entrust the dealing of the problems he set into motion on the shoulders of others. It's because of this he worked hard to teach Kid to not make the same mistakes he did.

Azusa once mention that Death was also stubborn; a trait which is also seen in his son. In the anime during the Battle between Death City's mech and Baby Yaga's Spider Mech , Kid's comments suggest that he is also somewhat reckless.



Shinigami's anime concept design.

Shinigami appearance manga

Shinigami's full-body appearance in the manga.

Shinigami sports probably the most eccentric appearance among the Soul Eater characters. He appears as a tattered piece of pitch black cloth with many jagged edges, decorated with a cartoonish skull mask, which seems to serve the sole purpose of imitating an otherwise absent face—a means of rendering Shinigami more humanoid and thus making it more comfortable for humans to communicate with him.  Also, Shinigami is arguably among the tallest characters.

Shinigami's soul is vast enough to surround the entirety of Death City, and is of pale yellow color. Its orb features three prominent spikes set off-center, resembling the shape of his current mask.

In the past, Shinigami sported a much more intimidating look. He wore a grim-looking skull mask, which he had to abandon after the establishment of Shibusen in favor of children, who were scared of it and would flee on sight. He also had black claws instead of hands with his signature “Death” written on the right forearm, and a deep, menacing voice. He has been shown to have skeleton hands during the scene of flaying of Asura.

It has not been shown what he looks like without the mask on, but since his son appears as a human, Shinigami may also have a human appearance. This possibility is supported by Mosquito′s comments in chapter 53 regarding the Lines of Sanzu. However, the very shape of the black cloth and the spectacular properties of his arms and hands suggest a non-human nature of his physical host. Shinigami′s mask has broken on several occasions during his battles with Asura, however, rather than revealing his actual face, it merely appears that what is behind the mask is the same black cloth. The shape of the mask changes to convey his current mood, e.g. round eye sockets become triangular at moments of anger or seriousness.


  • Kid doesn't seem to be bothered by his father's appearance, despite his obsession with symmetry. This is likely due to his great respect for him.
  • Shinigami's prominent symbol of his mask was based upon the symbol involved with the character "Shotaro" and his "Kyoukotsu" in Atsushi's earlier series B. Ichi.
  • Although Kid calls Shinigami "honorable father" in the original Japanese version, in the English dub he calls him either "dad" or "father".
  • In describing the five remaining warlords of the Great Eight, the black mass says, "Order, Knowledge, Power, Rage, Terror". It can be assumed that "Order" describes Shinigami, which goes in hand with the Madness of Law, of which Shinigami and Death the Kid are associated with.This was later clarified when Excalibur referred to him as "former God of Order".
  • In episode 47 "The Miracle of Overturning a Table in Anger: Our Death City's Robot?", Shinigami physically leaves both his room, and the academy to snipe a large cannon being used by Arachnophobia, this is the second time in the anime.
  • Shinigami is considered to be one of the most iconic Soul Eater characters, considering his mask is referenced everywhere. And actually, he seens to be a very famous figure himself in the world of Soul Eater, as his mask can be seen in several common acessories, varying from earplugs, rings, bracelets and even stamps in clothing. naturally, many buildings, signs and objects in Death City follow this trend.
  • During the Kishin Revival Arc, Kid and Stein confirm that Lord Death anchored not only his soul but his body to the spot of land that would become Death City in order to prevent Asura from escaping, hence making Lord Death and Death City one and the same. This oneness between Death and his city may clarify the name and imagery of death and skulls found in Death City: the city itself may be an extension of Lord Death's own body.[7]
  • The reason why Shinigami looks and sounds very comical in comparison to his old mask 800 years ago is that since making the Academy, he had feared students would be afraid of his scary appearance.[8]
  • When he fights Asura, he adopts a more murderous persona. This is notable through his voice, which becomes much deeper and scarier, and through his personality towards Asura. He often shouts incredibly violent comments like "Let's end this traitor; he's lived long ENOUGH!!!" and "If that's the case, allow me to kill you quickly!" This is probably because of his deep hatred for Asura, since Asura was his son who betrayed his very cause.
  • After a conversation with Excalibur about how "It wasn't very smart to put all your fear in just one of your fragments", it maybe that more(Not all) of the 'great old ones' are fragments of Shinigami.
  • Despite creating Asura out of Shinigami's fear, a widespread version of scanlation stated that Death "Feared death" himself in a conversation with Excalibur. However, this is a blatant mistranslation on the scanlators' part: in the original Japanese, Death clearly says that he does not fear death. The page in Japanese. Excalibur: "Hmm... even though you're a god, do you still fear death?" Death: "No..." "Because I gave away all my fears..."
  • The one of the times in the anime that references Shinigami's father/son relationship is when Asura tells Shinigami that "Why don't you say goodbye to your son," Shinagami then freezes. This maybe just because he doesn't want Kid to be sad but it is more likely that he is Asura's father. Also, In the credits at the end of the anime, Shinigami is seen putting Asura's soul under one of the crosses in the Death Room. He is then seen with his hands together, as if he's praying. This may be because his son is dead.
  • Though Death's face has yet to be seen, Death has mentioned that he has "regular" behind his face and Kid in the Anime has also has commented that he never takes off his mask. In the yen press translation of the Soul Eater manga, he stated that he has a normal face. Mosquito has also commented on Death the Kid on his Sanzu Lines, meaning he's seen a Shinigami that's has a full set of Sanzu Lines. Also, both sons of his have human forms. It's very well possible Death does have a human appearance under his cloak. In the chapter of his Death, dust came out of his Cloak, meaning there was something under the cloak and mask. However, much like Crona's gender, the author has commented that he himself doesn't know and has left the true appearance of Death in ambiguity.


  1. Soul Eater Anime: Episode 18; Funimation Sub
  2. In Episode 47 when angered, Death's eyes glowed red
  3. In Chapter 110, Death possess Sanzu Lines. Assuming Kid and Asura have gotten their looks from Death like a parent and child has, Death may possess hair with White Stripes like them.
  4. Soul Eater Anime: Episode 47;Only in Episode 47 did he use her as a partner. Though it wasn't official, she did stick by his side in the anime.
  5. Soul Eater manga volume 8, page 164; Shinigami signs his name directly as "Death" in English.
  6. [[File:|300px]]
    Episode Name
    Episode Guide
    {{{previous episode}}} {{{next episode}}}
    List of Episodes |Image Gallery
  7. Chapter 16, "A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 1)," Volume 5, Yen Press English translation, page 60
  8. Soul Eater Manga, Chapter 22

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