"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..."
Death (デス, Desu), was the Death God and the Great Old One whose affiliation with Madness presides over "Order". 800 years ago, he led his personal guard known as the Eight Shinigami Legions and created his first son, Asura, as a fragment of his soul containing his fears. and made him his apprentice However, he was forced to seal Asura when he became a Kishin and bound him under what he would later found as the DWMA, also known as Death Weapon Meister Academy, and became its headmaster and leader in its military department.
Death's duty as a Death God is to preserve the world order by maintaining balance. 800 years prior to the start of Soul Eater, Death led the group, the Eight Shinigami Legions after the creation of the Demon Weapon race. However, he was betrayed by his first apprentice, Asura, when he became the first Kishin. Unable to kill him Death sealed him away and started an organization, DWMA, to prevent the rise of another Kishin.
Called a "god without arrogance" by Franken Stein, Death himself is a kind, wise, and benevolent figure, often showing care for those within the DWMA as well as optimistic. This is shown when Kilik Rung became frustrated with the situation during the anniversary eve of the DWMA with Death reassuring that there was nothing wrong with being "used" to peace and how that makes the world a peaceful place. Despite his background and powerful position within the school, he tends to speak in a silly voice and wear a different outward appearance from before so as to not scare children. He's also capable of sympathy and compassion, even for Witches, as is demonstrated when he unconditionally allows members of the DWMA to do what they can to help Angela Leon, a notion in which surprised some members of the DWMA so much they wondered If he was even taking them seriously. In addition, Death has an easygoing nature to the point that even after facing Stein, Marie, and Spirit in their plan to let Stein go despite being wanted, he let all of them off with only an apology.
Despite his benevolent and easygoing nature, even Death himself has a far more serious side. He's next to intolerant on Spirit's drunken and silly behavior at times as well as to inappropriate behavior. He's also not above punishing others, such as Maka when she borrowed the Book of Eibon's Manuscript using Spirit's I.D Card and was also openly critical of Spirit's irresponsibility in letting her do so and was nearly adamant about punishing Maka, though this attitude seemingly stemmed from the fact he was set on rescuing his son. Azusa Yumi also described him as being pushy, a trait in which has passed to his son as well. Despite having shown support in his son when he claimed the Witches will assist, it was shown that even he was doubtful of their appearance. This was shown to even cause him to be angry when he assumed they were attacked, calling them "bitches" and suspected they would attack and was surprised to see it was Excalibur who had arrived. When he disapproves of various actions from individuals, he will even issue Shinigami Chops. While normally DWMA students or staff are issued these chops, he's shown to even take the opportunity to strike and chop those whom have caused issues such as Medusa Gorgon. In the anime, He's shown to be confident in his own overwhelming power, claiming that Asura's defeat was decided when he became trapped in the Death Room prior to their battle.
However, even with his status Death possesses a few flaws on his own. Death has admitted that both humans and gods have weaknesses as well as having showcased guilt for being the one to create Asura to the point he felt he couldn't speak ill of Medusa Gorgon's own treatment of her child as an experiment and expressed further frustration in having to leave the problems he created to others such as his son and his companions. In the anime, he is also known to be reckless by both Death the Kid and Asura.
Death himself possesses some eccentricities: He gives out short greeting speech, at times puts his students in dangerous but fabricated situations for the sake of bettering them, and enjoys telling expositions. In the anime, he can get homonyms mixed up at times such as "pause" and "paws" or "Mandolin" and the last name "Manheling" and cannot "handle" coffee-enthusiasts such as Joe Buttataki.
Main article: Death/Relationships
Death appears as a being 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. Occasionally, he also appears with large, foam gloved hands from his side, in which seemingly materialize. Throughout the series, as Death the Kid connects the Lines of Sanzu, various cracks on his mask are made.
Death also sports the largest seen soul within the series, spanning to be as large as the entirety of Death City. His soul is pale yellow/golden colored with three spikes emerging from the top right, in which resembles that of his own mask.
In the past, Death sported a much more intimidating look. He wore a grim-looking skull mask. 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. He also additionally possessed more, human-like large gloves.
Death is a tremondously powerful god, being perhaps the most powerful character within the Soul Eater universe and undoubtedly the strongest member of the DWMA, far surpassing even Franken Stein. As a Great Old One according to the Great Old One of Power, his Soul Wavelength is at a god level and possess a god level Madness Wavelength, with his very existence drives men into insanity. His entire soul encompasses Death City and is the largest seen in the series and his powered is revered at a high status, evoking fear to even extremely powerful,overconfident and courageous individuals such as Shaula Gorgon,who was left paralyzed when Death casually threatened her to the point where she was unable to defend herself or genuine nervousness to other powerful individuals like Medusa Gorgon,who was casually willing to admit Death's power far surpassed that of her's.
While little capabilities of Death's raw power has been show, Kid using his own father's wavelength proved sufficient to destroying both the Horror Dragon & Noah (Greed) (decimating the other both body and soul) whereas all of Spartoi were unable to damage the Dragon. In combat, he proved to have sufficiently extradionary levels of strength and skill that he was easily able to defeat and almost kill the most powerful of the Gorgon Witches, Arachne Gorgon, and he was even the only individual to have ever defeated his own apprentice and first born (and most strongest of the Eight Shinigami Legions as well as being another Shinigami and great old one and a Kishin), Asura, skinning the latter alive. Death once claimed that he'd be able to kill Blair with either one swing of his Scythe or even a single Shinigami Chop.During his second fight with Asura,Death is able to have the upper hand throughout the fight despite holding back to not devastate Death City but couldn't kill him without Death Scythe. He is also thus more powerful than the other member of the Eight Shinigami Legions, who are all known to be extremely powerful, including the likes of Excalibur, Eibon, and Great Old One of Power.
It's been speculated by Spirit himself that had Death been able to utilize his Death Scythe form against the Kishin that he would of been able to stop and possibly kill Asura (despite the latter possessing Immortality). Additionally, it is revealed that though not only could Death himself counter the effects of the Madness of Fear with his own Madness of Order (and opted to not use it), he also possessed the equal power to spread it across the entire world like Asura.
Sid Barrett once speculated that a all-out fight between Asura and Death could destroy Death City. Even Asura, another Death God and Great Old One , was speculated by Arachne Gorgon in the anime to be afraid of him despite having the sufficient power and combat ability to compete with him in combat out of doubt of being able to defeat him. He further admitted casually to have been better off not fighting Death.
In power, with taking a portion of his power, his son Death the Kid was able to destroy Asura's giant form in the anime Futhermore, just clashing his Soul Wavelength with Asura caused strong winds to occure,which shocked Death the Kid and the Thompson Sisters. His battle with Asura caused large shockwaves and craters from his physical strength, with Death having the upperhand in his fight as well as being fully capable of killing Asura with the Kishin-Hunt (unlike Maka's own variant which carried her Wavelength).It appears that Death would have ultimately won and killed The Kishin had he not been forced to protect his younger son and his weapon partners as well as Azusa Yumi.
- Official statements
In an interview, Ohkubo once stated that if he could be any character, he'd be Lord Death due to him being a powerful character, a testament to the character's extreme power.
|Elite Meister (Level 4)||EAT Class|
- Though Death's face has yet to be seen, Death has mentioned that he has face behind his mask and Kid, in the anime, has also has commented that Death rarely takes off his mask.
- Death doesn't seem to possess any sort of internal organs or even blood, a trait unique to him and not to his sons for unknown reasons.
- Death's prominent symbol on his mask was based upon the symbol involved with the character "Shotaro" and his "Kyoukotsu" in Atsushi's earlier series B. Ichi.
- Death seems to be the Christianity figure, God, within the universe of Soul Eater, and is even referred to as the "Father" as well as worshipped.
- In both the Japanese and English-language versions of the anime, Death's voice changes to that of 800 years ago when angered. Instances include when he battles Asura in Death City in "Episode 24" and in the Death Room in "Episode 48", and even when he intimidates Spirit to speak with Justin Law in "Episode 31".
- During the A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration Arc, Kid and Dr. Stein confirm that 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 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 Death's own body.
- Death's character was inspired by the horror movie character, Jason Voorhees. Ohkubo intended to to make a frightening but "classy" and popular character that is nice and ambivalent. Furthermore, Ohkubo has also stated that if he were to choose any character to be, he'd choose Lord Death because of him being a powerful character.
|One-Star||Hero • Tom • Soul's admirer • Soul's proposer • CronaAnime|
|Two-Star||Black☆Star • Death the Kid • Kilik Rung • Maka Albarn • Ox Ford • Kim Diehl|
|Three-Star||Alexandre • Franken Stein • Sid Barett • Enrique • Zubaidah|
|One-Star||Tom's partner • RagnarokAnime|
|Two-Star||Elizabeth Thompson • Harvar D. Éclair • Patricia Thompson • Fire • Thunder • Soul "Eater" Evans • Tsubaki Nakatsukasa • Jacqueline O'Lantern Dupré|
|Three-Star||Mira Naigus • Spirit Albarn • Azusa Yumi • Tezca Tlipoca • Marie Mjolnir|
|Deceased (Three-Star)||Death • Feodor|
|Graduated||Joe Buttataki • Auntie|
|Deceased (Three-Star)||Tsar Pushka|
|Defection (Three-Star)||Justin Law|
|Active||Eibon • Asura • Great Old One of Power • Excalibur|
|Fragment||Death the Kid • Asura|