Death Weapon Meister Academy, a.k.a DWMA or "Shibusen"...you could call it a school for heroes — an academy funded by taxes from around the world, dedicated to training meisters and their weapons in order to maintain world order. I guess you can say the people working for the DWMA are international government workers!
DWMA (死武専, Shibusen), standing for Death Weapon Meister Academy (死神武器職人専門学校, Shinigami Buki Shokunin Senmon Gakkō), is both a school and powerful organization founded by Death on April 2 over eight centuries ago dedicated to preventing the rise of another Kishin.
Eight hundred years ago, the Kishin, Asura defected from the legendary Eight Shinigami Legions cause and started consuming innocent human souls and even three of his comrades, including his demon weapon partner Vajra. After succeeding in becoming a Kishin, he and Death fought to a gruesome end. Pushed to the brink, Death skinned Asura alive and used it as a seal to kept his madness locked away from the world. The process however, also anchored Death to what would later be known as "Death City," now unable to leave the area in which Asura is sealed. In order to train meisters and weapons to avoid Asura and Vajra's fates, and to have soldiers to continue with his work now that he was immobile, Death founded the Death Weapon Meister Academy.
Eventually over the course of the eight hundred years, the DWMA would enter into a "war" of sorts against the witches with the school being on the defense against their malice. Witches were said to create various spells to counter the organization, with the weapons and meisters learning new methods to counter them.
Later, the DWMA were involved in World War, In the aftermath of the war, it's been mandated that the Prime Minister of Japan's requirement is to be a DWMA graduate.
Thirteen years ago before , the assassin clan known as the Star Clan was destroyed by the DWMA due to its avarice and exorbitant violence. However, the DWMA and one of its members, 12-year-old Sid Barrett, allowed one survivor, who was then taken to the DWMA as a new student: the infant Black☆Star. Although the Star Clan originated from the Hoshi Family, the families of its members such as Akane☆Hoshi and possibly Ao Hoshino were not targeted.
Death Weapon Meister Academy serves a multitude of purposes; It exists to teach individuals from when they're young, as well as supervise them, to ensure the prevention of another Kishin rising and maintain world order. In addition, it is to teach Demon Weapons to control their power in an effort to prevent their power from accidentally hurting others as well as for them to properly integrate into society.
According to Death, the DWMA's Headmaster, those who join the DWMA sign an academy agreement and If violated, they're expelled. Exceptions aren't made, as he also expressed that doing so with one individual would undermine the entire stability of the school. There's several ways to result of expulsion in the Academy:
Breaking any of the rules expressed in the Academy agreement.
Both the Headmaster of the DWMA and experienced teachers of the Academy are also capable of expelling students either on certain criteria on a special assignment such as a remedial lesson or even on the spot by automatically failing them in all classes.
Many members can attain military and/or ordinary, organizational rank such as captain, general, chief, etc. It can be assumed these rankings are attained based on experience and capability. The NOT Class follow ordinary, school-leveling. With students being from Freshmen to Senior and staff members and instructors being up in the hierarchy of the school. Instructors can even access Level 3 books within the DWMA library.
By far the most powerful ranking of the DWMA comes from all it's EAT-Level operatives as well as EAT Class. This is done via a star ranking system presented with a ID Card with information on a select member of the DWMA..
According to DWMA student Akane☆Hoshi, it is because of Death Weapon Meister Academy's profound power and absolute trust that the DWMA is very prosperous. Most of it's funding is received around the world in most countries. Specifically, this money comes from taxes the countries give to the academy.
There seems to be some sort of age requirement for joining the DWMA, though special exceptions may arise such as Black☆Star joining and possibly Fire and Thunder being included. However, it seems that the those even in middle school in grade are eligible to join the DWMA. Individuals even as young as twelve years old may join the academy. Prior to joining the academy, however, students must sign an Academy agreement that specifies that students must follow it's rules.
Upon joining the DWMA, the student starts in the NOT curriculum seemingly goes to a class in which they go and pick a meister, though it's noted that the student isn't rushed. In addition, the student, if they have difficulty picking an weapon or meister, can visit various social events are held such as a "Feeling Partner" game to further assist them in finding a partner.
While not in lessons, students live either in rented apartments or school dormitories (first year students are required to stay in dormitories as part of their joining the school). Each student receives a "weekly allowance" of $200. However, if for some reason, they spend all of it, they will not be able to get any more money until the next week. Because of the large amount of students that end up penniless, many shops in Death City cater for students wanting to work part-time to earn money.
Death City has various part-time job shifts available for students, especially those who have spent all their weekly allowances from the DWMA. Jobs offered to the DWMA students are paid by the day due to the high job demand of penniless students seeking employment. Students seeking part-time work must submit an employment form to the DWMA.
Jobs include waitress at Deathbucks Café, delivery at Death Shipping, cleaning the city's community pool, and working at other positions at Death Records, Restaurant Munehisa, and drugstores.
The DWMA is a academy in which has no set uniform. However, there are a variety of preset uniforms one can choose from, and one can match any top with any bottom. While a student within the academy can select the uniforms and switch around match to their liking, they're also allowed to wear their own clothes.
Students have additional uniforms specific to certain tasks, whether related to schooling, such as for physical education classes, dojo training, and extracurricular work at the Reception, or related to military missions, such as the Spartoi uniforms. Students working in Reception wear dark knee-length pants, light-colored high-length socks and light-colored shoes, checkerboard vests with ties held by skull brooches, and pill hats. These Reception vests also include skull-shaped belts on the back to provide a slimmer figure and curves to female employees. Dojo uniforms include a gii with dark pants, shoes if desired, and headbands if desired with skull logos. Physical education uniforms are similar for both male and female students. Students wear sleeveless shirts and gym shorts, with a zipped-up warm-up jacket featuring a skull logo on the breast and on the jacket's back. Spartoi uniforms vary across all members but are united in by color scheme and the Spartoi logo on some uniforms.
In addition, the DWMA is a rather special school in that students may actually change their names upon entering into a stage name. Once a student has changed their name, they are stuck with the same name for a minimum of two years. Some examples include Eternal Feather and Soul Eater.
The DWMA has it's own method of labeling threats that conspire around the world in which is labelled by it's elite members. There's only two, known levels of ranking although it's assumed to a letter based ranking. The letter rank of "A" is known to be a dangerous level that incurred the entry of Spartoi and a elite DWMA Meister to deal with. However, the most severe ranking capable is "S", in which was only given to the Black Globes created by the Demon Swordmaster.
At first glance, the Academy can be said to have a rather eccentric appearance, looking a bit like a large funhouse rather than a school.
Standing on a large platform which can be accessed by a long line of white steps, the school is comprised of a collection of large black towers and spires patterned with white lines and the occasional Shinigami mask. The roofs of the towers are conical and bright red in colour.
Enormous candles poke out of shafts along the circumference of the buildings. Strangely, the flames of these candles never go out, and the candles never shorten.
The Academy's most distinguishing feature however, are the three large Shinigami skulls lined up at the entrance. The middle skull is the largest, and sports three blood red spikes going through its eye and nose holes. The skulls on the side are smaller and have slanted eyes. The gaps between the 'teeth' of these giant skulls serves as the school's main entrances.
At the top of the school hover three strange black orbs, which may have something to do with the seal on Asura due to the way they reacted when he was released. However, it may also be due to the fact that the negative space of the sky, with the three orbs in the sky, looks like Shinigami's mask.
The Academy is completely symmetrical, which immediately impresses Death the Kid upon enrolling in the school.
The Academy is quite large and grand, containing many long corridors with arched ceilings, lamps, and lit candles to light paths and staircases. The corridors also have round windows looking out onto school grounds.
The Academy is infamous for its complicated, labyrinthian design, with winding corridors, many passageways, and long staircases, including the long staircase leading up to the school itself. This design is on purpose, as the goal of Academy is to improve its students' strength in body, mind, and soul, even in everyday school life.
This room is where Death dwells. This location also serves for him to meet with students and staff about their missions, whether in person or through his mirror. Death sometimes inhabits the mirror, which can be used for transportation for him between locations in Death City, to communicate with meisters, and as an observation screen.
This section contains an instance from an anime not present in the manga and/or a deviation
In the anime's storyline, it is here that Death and Asura fight each other after Asura is captured by the mecha of Death City from Baba Yaga Castle. However, Asura is victorious in the end of the battle.
Managed by the Librarian, this expansive room, at least three floors tall, has bridges connecting the opposite sides of each floor to store numerous shelves housing numerous books. The Library includes desks for study, with lit torches to read by light and lamps in the shape of Death's mask, and a mirror for contacting the Death Room.
The Library follows a rule which restricts some students to only be able to look at a limited number of books in the Library. The books are divided into four categories: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4. Meisters up to Two Stars in rank can have access to Level 1 books, but cannot have access to Level 2 books, which can be read by Three Star Meisters. Level 3 books can only be accessed by staff and the highest rank, Level 4, can only be available to Senior Meisters or Death Scythes. However, exceptions can be made, as an initially one-star meister such as Death the Kid could access Level 4 books because he is a Shinigami.
Although focusing on books related to studies of souls, courses lessons for meisters and weapons, and the history of dangerous magic and technology, the library is like almost any other one with its inclusion of a broad range of readings. Items at the library include comic books and books on music.
The Librarian works from behind a central desk, with additional books held in shelves below the desk.
One of the lively places in the Academy, the Mission Bulletin is where Meisters get their missions to hunt Evil humans and get more Kishin Eggs to make their Weapons Death Scythes. Descriptions of each mission are written on cards and placed on the bulletin. Students are free to pick which mission they want, but the missions can have special requirements written on them as well, like the ability to sense souls. Some missions can be dangerous, and mainly include killing Evil humans. However, some do not involve Evil human and are just missions to create peace and help people in distress. For example, Killik and Ox take on a mission to defeat a rampaging giant, and other missions include apprehending criminals—dead or alive—for murder and even adultery.
Near the bulletin is the Reception. Here, E.A.T. students may take mission cards taken from the Bulletin to the receptionist, who checks whether those students are viable for the mission before assigning the mission to those students.
N.O.T. students may complete Extracurricular Lesson Solicitation Committee duties at the Reception's Extracurricular Office. Employees and N.O.T. students stamp and complete and organize all confidential E.A.T. quest paperwork by rank. All employees and staff wear dark knee-length pants, light-colored high-length socks and light-colored shoes, checkerboard vests with ties held by skull brooches, and pill hats. Vests also include skull-shaped belts on the back to provide a slimmer figure and curves to female employees.
Main article: Class Crescent MoonLike the hallways and general size of the Academy as a whole, the classrooms are also spacious, resembling lecture halls with pitched floors, conjoined desks, and in the center a blackboard and the teacher's desk. Windows in the back of the rooms provide a view of the grounds.
It seems that students have free access to the classrooms, even outside lessons. Stein used one classroom for additional lessons for Black☆Star with the Kyūkon Water, and Maka and Marie Mjolnir used an empty classroom to give Crona a tour of the Academy.
The Academy also has special classrooms for tutoring. For a special Sunday class for Maka and Soul, Stein decorated the room with lit aromatic candles, whose scent is made to agitate anyone who smells it so that Meister and Weapon partners may overcome their differences to create a stronger Soul Resonance. The naming of one facility as "Room One" suggests that there are multiple Special Tutoring rooms.
The area where sick or injured Meisters and Weapons are treated. While physicians such as Mira Naigus and previously Dr. Medusa work here, Franken Stein is known to assist as well, especially with operations such as responding to Soul Eater's chest injury at the hands of Crona. In the anime's finale the dispensary sent Blair to the Death Room to serve as an attending nurse to the injured Death and Spirit Albarn.
The dispensary is a typical hospital room with several beds, an examining room, and a doctor's office. The dispensary includes a medicine storage room, although its messiness outrages Death the Kid, who has at least once struggled to organize the room. The hospital ward is decorated with health posters.
The Academy have wide balconies for students to access. When he was partnered with Hero, Excalibur took over the space of one balcony to house a restroom, covered with a giant bird sculpture.
Te grounds in front of the entrance are used as a makeshift battleground for training fights between students. During these battles, a member of staff must be present to view the fight. The area near the DWMA also seems to be a forest area, where some students like Maka and her team use it as a training ground.
The Second Campus includes lush green gardens with many trees to surround the Academy, making this location a perfect place for various students to train individually or in Chain Resonance teams. In the anime, Crona joins Maka Albarn and their friends for a picnic here, with a meal prepared by Marie Mjolnir.
The Academy has shower rooms for students to use after Physical Education classes and missions. These showers appear like almost any other one, with tiled floors and walls, pipes along the walls, and drainage holes, except that showerheads and faucets are in the shapes of skulls, with similar skull logos appearing on students' towels. The girls' shower room includes a large Venus female symbol with a skull at its top on the entrance, as well as stool benches with tubs, clothes, and soaps in front of low-to-the-floor faucets and mirrors.
The Academy also has its own dojo for sparring matches between where students, both meisters and weapons, with Mira Naigus as referee.
Not really used for dancing, this room is usually used for beginner Meisters and their Weapons to improve their combat skills. The room is wide and spacious in order for plenty of movement for more than one person, and has some side benches and a locker area and changing rooms.
For students wielding gun-type Weapon partners, there is also a shooting range to improve their marksmanship skills. The targets are made to look like Kishin with Asura's three eye markings painted on them. Posters at the facility show more information about the painted targets and where head shots can be completed.
The restrooms are quite spacious and lavish, with gold-colored faucets and cloth towels. However, at least one toilet has been destroyed by Marie Mjolnir due to complicated details about her marriage desires. Some teachers and students, such as Sid and Maka, use the mirrors in the restrooms to contact Shinigami in the Death Room.
Lockers are also seen in some parts of the corridors. In Soul's case, Meisters (all female) constantly send request letters into his locker for him to be their partner when he becomes a Death Scythe, much to his chagrin. A few lockers are decorated with stickers.
For students who do not live in rented accommodation, the Academy provides grand, luxurious dormitories. These accommodations are separated into single-sex dormitories, each run by a superintendent. The dormitories provide basic living facilities, but any other luxuries and food need to be paid for by the students.
The girls' dormitory is known for their luxurious layout, with furniture from the 1800s and Meissen crockery. Rooms include a living room with a television set, a fully stocked kitchen, and a bathhouse.
Bedrooms tend to house two to three students, although when a student is ill, she is transferred to a separate contagion room, if space is available.
Students use the backyard for gardening, weapons practice and sparring practice, and various games such as baseball. A bamboo fence is placed outside the bathhouse, and the space just outside the bathhouse hosts a bamboo garden.
Like the rest of Death City, the girls' dormitory is decorated for Halloween.
Located in the underground of the DWMA, this visitor residence is where Crona stays while attending the DWMA. Since the rooms are underground, they lack a home-like atmosphere, with stone walls, a bed and table and a basin as well as a barred window. While Crona's room initially had a smile painted onto a bed pillow, posters, and even Death-looking birds on the windowsill, this room was likely located above ground due to the view of the moonlight sky outside its window.
This section contains an instance from an anime not present in the manga and/or a deviation
In the Anime's storyline, the overnight room becomes Crona's prison cell once Crona is expelled for betrayal. However, Crona is released to go with Marie Mjolnir to rescue Franken Stein and Rachel and kill Medusa Gorgon. Following the mission, Crona moves out of the Overnight room and moves in with Maka and Soul Evans following being aloud back into DWMA as a full time student.
Information Management Room
A confidential room only allowed by staff and highly trusted members of the DWMA, this is where all confidential information is stored, such as files on past incidents regarding beings such as Witches and Kishin.
Hidden in the Academy's labyrinthian structure, this locked room is headquarters for Sid Barrett and other members of Central Intelligence to research all topics pertaining to Witches and their history. This room contains numerous pieces of information about witches, including cases suspected or confirmed to have witches involved. As this room is a secret not known to many students at the Academy, it is also known to outside parties as only the Research Room.
As this room is located away from the more popular rooms of the Academy and is locked, few persons enter the room: frequent visitors include Sid Barrett, Akane Hoshi, Clay Sizemore, and Death Scythes such as Tezca Tlipoca and Justin Law. However, students have been known to get lost and stumble upon the room, such as NOT students Tsugumi Harudori, Anya Hepburn, and Meme Tatane. Shaula Gorgon, possessing the body of Meme Tatane, was able to acquire a key to allow Meme to unlock and enter the room to collect information about DWMA students to possess and other information critical to the DWMA.
The room is identified by a door with a ceiling-to-floor-length skull symbol resembling that of Death's mask and found throughout Death City.
This section contains an instance from an anime not present in the manga and/or a deviation
In the anime, Joe Buttataki uses the Secret Vault as his workshop to develop the Death City Robot, as the demon tools he requires to construct the robot are already in this room.In the anime, the tunnels leading to the Vault contain numerous busts of Death, which Patty Thompson enjoys rearranging into asymmetrical poses, to Kid's annoyance.
The shrine located deep underground containing the sealed Kishin Asura. Long and surprisingly grand corridors lead up to the shrine, with various ominous-looking statues with an eye theme, befitting Asura's three eyes. Most of it, for some unknown reasons, are in ruins. The shrine itself is a large room with a great shintai, or statue of worship, which, due to Asura's madness, has turned into a twisted statue resembling Asura. In front of the shrine is the large bag of skin with three eyes emblazoned on it bound up by chains with exorcist charms containing Asura. Because Asura's madness is so strong, even though he is sealed away, people who are even near the shrine can sense his madness.
Death Weapon Meister academy possess faculty members that run the day-to-day operations of the school facility. There's various jobs within the academy for the staff, in which mostly either participate in teaching or are charge of some of the administrative portions of the school.
The headmaster has perhaps the most power in the entire school. A headmaster seems responsible for the student register, has the ability to decide whether or not students should take a remedial class, and supervises student progress as well as make the final decisions on the lessons that are taken. It seems that the position of headmaster is exclusive to those who are Death Gods, in which includes the new headmaster even adopting the "Shinigami-sama" title, which was addressed to Death in a form of respect. There's a special ceremony in which is known as the New Shinigami Coronation in which a new Death God is officially known as the new headmaster of Death Scythe Meister Academy.
In the academy, it seems that all individuals who teach classes, especially those who teach within the EAT Curriculum, are known as three-star meisters/weapons and are highly ranked They're responsible for teaching the class the subject in question and have a variety of responsibilities; Teachers seem to have a responsibility of taking attendances though may skip doing so. However, when taking attendance, there's also a grade in which they can input depending on how a student behaves (their "Evaluation"). The lowest grade for this is "E", in which means "Evil". They're also responsible for teaching the class and are able to do so however they see fit. However, when urged by the headmaster, they abide by his wishes. Teachers are allowed to formally discipline the students, whether it be physical or giving them a chore to do.
Dormitory superintendents are staff members who reside within the various dormitories of the DWMA, implied to have the responsbility of managing and taking care of the building, including its students. They also seem to have access to official files of the school, though may not have sensitive information on higher-up faculty members such as Sid Barrett.
The receptionist is the person in charge of managing the quests that can be undertaken by the DWMA's EAT Class students. Their main priority is organizing the tasks by rank (using a 1 to 3 star ranking). In addition to that, they also manage Committee members, teaching them how to do some of the receptionist duties. Overall, the Receptionist's main task is being the individual who allows and disallows quests to certain individuals.
Interim School Nurse/School Doctor
Within the academy, the DWMA also retains staff members in which are especially equipped in dealing with medical assistance. Those held in these position are seen as important, holding sensitive medical information and files on students within the school. The Medical positions is held in high regard, with those in DWMA and Death City alike being familar with those who hold such positions.
The librarian is the person who has to take care of the immense library within the school building. This includes regular library work, but the librarian is also to act as gatekeeper for the four levels of books. All students and personnel have access to Level 1 books, but higher levels require higher ranks. The librarian is to make sure no one leaves with books that are above their station. Occasionally, the librarian receives assistance from students.
↑ 12.012.1(Funimation Dub) Soul Eater Anime: Episode 39 — Lord Death:I understand your loyalty to a friend, but Crona did sign the academy agreement. Students who break the rules are expelled. That's the way it works. Making an exception for him would undermine the stability of the entire academy. It can't be done!
↑(Yen Press) Soul Eater NOT!Manga: Chapter 3 — Eternal Feather: "DWMA is a special school, so they allow students to select their names. Some students even choose names as ridiculous as 'Soul Eater.' [...] Once you've changed your name, the school won't allow you to change it again for two years."
↑Soul EaterVolume 7, Yen Press English translation, Chapter 24, Page 48: Marie Mjolnir: "Everywhere you look, there's another set of stairs. It's so needlessly complicated. It's seriously like some kinda maze!" Sid Barrett: "That's 'cos it was purposely designed to strengthen the kids' physical and mental fortitudes along with their souls. Every little bit helps, you know."