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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]

Current Appearance | Former Appearance
Lord Death (1)

Death as he appears in Soul Eater.

Name Death
Alias/Nicknames Grim Reaper
Former Ruler Of Order
Honorable Fatherby Kid
Personal Data
Gender Male
Age 800+
Eye Color Red[2]
Hair Color Unknown(Possibly with whites stripes)[3]
Race Shinigami
Classification Meister
Great Old One
Professional Data
Affiliation(s) Soul Eater Wiki Icon - Shinigami2 The DWMA
Occupation(s) Headmaster of DWMA
Leader of DWMA'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 Chapter 0.1
Anime Debut Episode 1
(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, or Lord Death in English Dub, is the Shinigami, known as the Grim Reaper in Western legends. He is also the headmaster of Death Weapon Meister Academy, a organization he founded on over eight hundred years ago after the betrayal of his first apprentice, Asura, in becoming a Kishin.


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 led the group, The Eight Warlords, which seemingly consisted of five Warriors and, after the creation of the race, three Demon Weapons. However, he was betrayed by his first apprentice and son, Asura, when he became the first Kishin. Unable to kill him due to his immortality, Death sealed him away and started an organization, DWMA, to prevent there from being another case like Asura's.


As the headmaster of The DWMA, 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 Death Weapon Meister Academy 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.


Main Article: Death/Relationships


Manga | Soul

Lord Death Manga

Death's appearance in the anime

Death sports one of the most eccentric appearance in the series. He is covered in a tattered piece of pitch black cloth with many jagged edges, decorated with a cartoony skull mask, which seems to serve the sole purpose of imitating an otherwise absent face—a means of rendering Death more humanoid and thus making it more comfortable for humans (particularly children) to communicate. 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 Death Weapon Meister Academy 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.

While his human form has never been shown, he has commented that he does possess a face and lips even. Comments from Mosquito & moments before his death in the manga does show he does possess the Lines of Sanzu. He may possess the same hair color as both his sons Asura and Death the Kid. He also seems to possess red eyes, though whether he truly does or is comedic effect is not known.

Death'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.


  • 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.
  • 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]
  • Though Death's face has yet to be seen, Death has mentioned that he has face behind and Kid in the anime has also has commented that he rarely takes off his mask. 


  1. Soul Eater Anime: Episode 18; Funimation Sub
  2. In Episode 47 when angered, Death's eyes glowed red
  3. Soul Eater Manga: Chapter 10
  4. Soul Eater Anime: Episode 47
  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

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