The Super Written Exam – Heart-Pounding, Reeling, and Restless. You're Kidding!?
Chō Hikkishiken 〜Dokidoki, Wakuwaku, Sowasowa, Usōn?
July 7, 2008
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|There's an important exam coming, and legend says whoever gets the highest grade is destined to reach Death Scythe. Maka won't settle for anything but the best score.|
- Maka Albarn
- Soul Eater
- Tsubaki Nakatsukasa
- Death the Kid
- Liz Thompson
- Patty Thompson
- Ox Ford
- Harvar D. Éclair
- Death City
Shibusen students applaud, as Patty Thompson hops with cheers and Black Star sheds happy tears. Maka Albarn and Soul Eater bow before Death to confirm that they have acquired 99 evil human souls and one witch's soul. Death announces Soul will now be his Death Scythe, making that weapon cry and Maka leap back and cheer.
Soul and Maka's Apartment
Maka indeed leaps back—from her chair at her bedroom's desk. She fell asleep studying for her class's upcoming test, and now she is lying, just waking up from her fall onto the floor. Soul opens her bedroom to find Maka on the floor, telling her to get up or they will be late for school.
Stein announces that his class's general test for meisters and weapons, the Super Written Exam, is in three days. After Stein attempts to wheel himself away on his chair (falling on it, per usual), Soul complains how there must be an easier way to pass a test than studying. As Maka has been studying for a month now, she reminds her weapon that she will not allow him to cheat. Then Maka hears Harvar D. Éclair ask Ox Ford whether he intends to get the class's highest grade. Maka glares at the sneering Ox, who had earned the highest grade last year. Then upon hearing Soul inform Black Star about the superstition that the person who scores the highest grade on this upcoming exam goes on to create a Death Scythe, as happened for Maka's mother when she gained the highest grade. This idea motivates both Maka and Black Star to earn the top score, although Maka is intimidated realizing that phasmology-expert and shinigami Death the Kid is her classmate. For the next three days, Maka will try her best to beat her rivals.
As Maka exits class, her father, Spirit Albarn, is down the hall, waving his arms and chanting. This ritual surprises Stein, who learns Spirit is directing his positive aura to his daughter to help her pass the exam. Bemused, Stein allows his meister to proceed.
Maka and Soul's Apartment
Blair, in her cat form, is surprised how many books Maka will read for her test. The meister explains that an exam is like a game, but this exam is more important than other ones because she has the chance of making Soul into a Death Scythe. Blair is impressed that Spirit became a Death Scythe, but Maka credits her mother, as she was the one to whip the good-for-nothing father into shape.
Blair departs for Soul's bedroom, where the weapon is studying about the originator of phasmology. Soul orders Blair to leave him alone, but she refuses, transforming into her human form and clade only in a tiny bikini. Clutching Soul and shoving his face into her breasts, his nose bleeds. The loud noises annoy Maka, who even with her door closed can hear the commotion. She snaps her pencil in annoyance.
Black Star and Tsubaki's Apartment
Black Star completes his 500th one-hand standing push-ups. He sits back down with Tsubaki Nakatsukasa and promises that, if he fails on the next practice question, he will do 1,000 sit-ups.
In the next scene, Black Star, sure enough, is beginning his sit-ups. Tsubaki immediately tell him to stop, as she promises to help him study.
Liz Thompson changes out of her usual attire to transforms into a "capable woman," with a business suit, headband, and eyeglasses. At a long table, Liz sits beside her sister Patty to begin intensive studying—which involves Patty staring at a closed book.
Kid enters, surprised his weapons are actually studying, only to discover they have started their break: Patty is fast asleep, drooling onto her closed book, and Liz, glasses removed, his evening her eyebrows. Kid is upset—not with their studying practices but Liz's desire to make herself symmetrical without him. Liz refuses his eyebrow grooming based on how long it took him—a month—to groom her. He falls onto his knees and begs, which wears Liz down to agree. Kid gets to work first with pre-planning, bringing a draftsman board to keep Liz's eyebrows symmetrical. Liz, having returned to her reading, tells Kid to leave.
Blair, in cat form, studies the students' habits before their exam. Maka pours herself an oddly colored drink made in her kitchen's mixer. Outside, Spirit has started a fire to better send his aura to his daughter, causing Blair to hiss, and someone upstairs to drop a bucket of water—onto her father, not the fire, then dropping the bucket atop his head. None of these actions stops Spirit from his chant.
Blair waves a flag outside Black Star and Tsubaki's apartment, as the weapon holds a book for her meister to read during his sit-ups.
Kid continues drafting Liz's face to determine how to groom her, while his subject has given up studying and is reading fashion magazines. Patty continues to doze.
Blair, bored, even stops by Stein's lab, upset that no one wants to play with her.
Black Star and Tsubaki's Apartment
Black Star is tied in ropes, too exhausted to study. In their bathroom, Tsubaki enjoys a bath, pleased with Black Star's hard work and planning a dinner to reward him. But upon bringing the meal into their living room, Tsubaki sees no meister sits before the textbooks, and the window is open: Black Star has escaped!
"Yahoo!" comes form the laboratory. Black Star covers his mouth, reminding himself he has to be quiet, like an assassin. He then continues talking: walking barefoot while holding his sandals, he explains how he will steal the test like a good assassin so to learn the answers. In one room, he finds the tests. He cackles as he reads the test sheet and answer sheet—until he hears a screw turn. Black Star faces Stein. The ninja's shrieks can be heard from outside.
Patty is still asleep. Kid still works on his illustration of Liz, upset to find her taking a three-day break so she can paint her nails.
Maka and Soul's Apartment
Soul laughs, wickedly, claiming he is all done with whatever he has written. Maka as well as finished, as she pets a napping Blair, seated in her lap. Maka decides to sleep but opens the window first, where her father continues chanting. With Blair by her side, she shouts that she is ready to do her best tomorrow.
Death Weapon Meister Academy
The next day, Sid Barrett announces he is proctoring the exam, but he has an announcement: a fool by the name of Black Star decided to steal the exam from Stein's lab, hence he has earned a zero and now has his bloody, barely conscious body will now be hanged from the chalkboard as an example for the other students not to engage in such duplicitous, ignorant behavior. Sid announces the students have sixty minutes and must not cheat. As Tsubaki grimaces over her meister's appearance, Liz plays with her hair and Patty sings to herself. Soul grins wickedly, Kid appears stoic, and Maka is pumped. Sid shouts for the students to begin their test.
Maka tells herself to relax. But Soul is proud of himself for realizing that, if the highest score is how to win this test, then it is better to cheat than to study. He has covered his body and clothes with extractable cheat sheets. Unfortunately, Sid realizes what Soul has done, stripping him of all cheat sheets—and most of his clothes—and requiring that the weapon complete the test clad only in his boxers. Soul's embarrassment causes the class to chuckle.
While mortified by her weapon's behavior, Maka reminds herself she must finish her test and get the highest score. Maka completes the first fill-in-the-blank question--"A sound soul dwells within"—with the correct answer: "a sound mind and a sound body." But Liz realizes she has answered incorrectly, thinking the answer is "a sound skin and sound cuticles."
Resuming his seat, now sans most clothes, Soul is upset with his failure to answer one question correctly yet. As he sits next to Kid, Soul stretches his neck to look over the shinigami's shoulder, which seems to inspire an idea for Patty who sits next to Soul. Soul sees Kid is so obsessed with symmetry that he has not finished writing his name! Soul takes his chance to see whether he can copy off Patty's test, only to find she has procured a box of crayons and is using a lot of the yellow one to color all over her test. She chants "Giraffe," as Soul, frustrated, rests his head on the desk.
Meanwhile, Maka realizes Stein has given them a trick question, while Tsubaki is too trusting to assume Stein would trick them. While Maka is confident in her ability, Ox calls out that he has completed his test, as he sneers at Maka. Liz is annoyed as well by Ox's know-it-all demeanor, but then she is distracted by one hair in the middle of Ox's otherwise shaved head.
Sid announces ten minutes remain. Soul panics, then is shocked to hear Patty claim is finished—at turning her exam papers into a papier-mâché giraffe. As Soul admits Patty is "gifted, in one way," Patty threatens to snap the giraffe's neck. Next to these weapons, Kid is sobbing over his failure to make the "K" in "Kid" appear correctly. He attempts to erase his name, but the force of his erasure tears his paper. As his entire test is now asymmetrical, Kid shrieks, coughs up blood, and falls—symmetrically—onto the floor. Sid tells Soul to let the student be.
Soul then hears Black Star whisper to him. With the blood of his own injured nose, Black Star writes onto the blackboard. Soul assumes his friend is writing answers to the test as a dying wish for Soul to pass—only to see Black Star has written his autographed. In response to Black Star's smile and thumbs up, Soul screams at the ninja. In response, Sid throws an eraser at Soul, demanding he and Black Star whisper or die.
Sid then announces that only seconds remain. Maka reviews her answers; Patty prepares to strangle the giraffe; Soul and Tsubaki persist through their tests; Liz's hand hovers over Ox's head. The timer's buzzer sounds, at which point Patty snaps the giraffe's neck, Liz rips the hair from Ox's head, and both Soul and Ox howl in agony. Liz and Patty celebrate these victories, while Soul realizes he failed the test as soon as he was strip searched.
Later, Maka reads the test scores, posted on a hallway bulletin board. She looks up to see Ox scored 99, while she scored 100. Quiet and without any extreme emotion on her face, she departs.
Maka and Soul's Apartment
That evening, Soul, clad in an apron, brings tea and pie for Maka. He sees her with another book, criticizing her for more studying. Maka corrects him that she was cleaning up her room after the test and found a family photo album. Spying a photograph of a baby Maka held up by her father, Soul is surprised how young Spirit looks. Maka says her father was 18 when she was born, and he would read to her all the time. Soul teases that maybe Spirit is why Maka loves books so much. Maka smiles and says this may be the truth.
Blair and Spirit celebrate with drinks about his daughter's highest score on the test. While Blair is happy Spirit sent positive energy, he is more focused on how Maka was at the top of her class, just like Maka's mother. As he wants to give Maka a gift, Spirit hands Blair a thank you card and some money, asking Blair to learn which book Maka would want then to buy that gift with the money. Blair thinks Spirit, as the father, should do so, but he Maka may not accept the gift directly from him. Blair chuckles, impressed how much he loves his daughter and promises to fulfill the request successfully.
Maka and Soul's Apartment
Blair failed to fulfill the request: she gave into temptation to spend the money on herself. Clutching her shopping bag and too intimidated to enter the apartment, she chastises herself—until realizing that one magic spell can shrink the item down to Maka's size for a gift. Upon performing this magic, Blair places Spirit's card into the shopping bag and enters.
Maka welcomes Blair home and offers her pumpkin pie. As Soul enters the room, he hears Blair say she brings a congratulations gift from Spirit—and begins sweating when he sees what Maka has received: sexy underwear. Nervous at Maka's disturbed reaction, Blair offers Spirit's congratulations card—which only upsets Maka more: "I'm sending you this present in the hopes that you might have a little fun with it." Maka is perplexed at what kind of fun her father could have in mind with such an awful gift to give to a daughter. As Blair and Soul slink away, Maka rips the card apart, declaring that she hates her father.
With thoughts of how great his daughter is, Spirit expects Maka is enjoying her gift. The Moon cackles.
Manga and Anime Differences
- Chapter 12 begins with Stein assigning the Ultimate Written Exam to his students. Episode 14 begins with an anime-exclusive opening in which Maka falls asleep from studying, dreaming of Death inviting her and Soul to the Death Room where, in front of their friends and classmates, Death announces Maka has gathered the 99 souls and one witch's soul to make Soul into a Death Scythe.
- At the beginning of Chapter 12, Maka has black ribbons around her pigtails, similar to the ones she had in Chapter 0.1. Maka never wears these black pigtail ribbons at any point in the anime, although she wears ribbons of a different color around her pigtails for her formal attire in Episode 18.
- In Episode 14, the student who speaks with Ox about last year's test is Harvar D. Éclair. In Chapter 12, the student does not look like Harvar and is likely an anonymous extra. Harvar would appear as Ox's weapon in a later chapter.
- In Episode 14, Liz and Patty study in a seemingly generic room of Gallows Mansion. In Chapter 12, this room looks much more like a traditional dining room, with a long table with multiple candle stands, a fireplace, paintings with ornate frames, and similarly ornate paneling.
- Episode 14 includes an additional montage of Stein, Spirit, and students preparing for the Ultimate Written Exam, a montage united by Blair's travels through Death City to observe these persons:
- In her kitchen, Maka prepares a concoction to drink, which includes raw eggs. Blair seems bemused by this behavior.
- Blair leaves Maka and Soul's apartment to find Spirit in the street, in front of a fire as he chants his daughter's name to send positive energy to her. Blair shrieks before someone (likely Maka) drops a bucket of water—and the whole bucket—atop Spirit's head, which fails to deter his chant.
- Black Star is doing sit-ups as Tsubaki holds a book over his legs so he may read while evidently still punishing himself for incorrect answers. Blair sits outside their window, waving a flag to encourage their progress.
- At Gallows Mansion, Kid completes his diagram of Liz's face, Patty is still sleeping, and Liz has moved on to painting her nails.
- Stein types the Ultimate Written Exam on his computer, then grins at the camera, his glasses reflecting light. Blair then complains that no one wants to play with her.
- In Chapter 12, words appear around the Moon, as if the satellite itself is encouraging the students to study. In Episode 14, the Moon says nothing except its usual laugh, and no words similar to those from Chapter 12 appear on screen or in narration.
- In Chapter 12, when Black Star enters Patchwork Lab, he shouts, "Hyahah!!" In Episode 14, he instead yells his more customary shout, "Yahoo!"
- In Chapter 12, as Black Star sneaks through Patchwork Lab, his stomach growls. In Episode 14, his stomach never growls.
- In Episode 14, Blair joins Maka at the windowsill to shout the night before the exam. In Chapter 12, only Maka is shouting.
- In Episode 14, Kid's collapse during the Ultimate Written Exam is more gory: not only does blood come from his mouth but in fact it explodes from his mouth and eyes, the blood forming the shape of a skull.
- Episode 14 includes additional scenes during the Ultimate Written Exam not included in Chapter 12:
- After Maka determines that the tenth question is a trick question, she is surprised to hear Ox announce to Sid that he has completed his test. After Sid tells Ox to read quietly, Ox turns to sneer at Maka, raising her ire. His attitude also annoys Liz, who sits behind him.
- Liz then notices that Ox has one strand of hair atop his shaved head. In the course of the remainder of the test, Liz slowly inches towards Ox's head, and at the same moment that Patty snaps the neck of the giraffe sculpture, Liz rips the strand out of Ox's head, his scream of pain accompanied by both Thompsons announcing victory over their respective acts of violence.
- When Soul screams at Black Star for writing his autograph, he is hit in the head by a chalkboard eraser thrown at him by Sid.
- Later, whether the same day as the test or a few days later, Maka is in the hallway before a bulletin board, her eyes closed as she prepares to look at the board's list of Ultimate Written Exam grades. She opens her eyes to see the names of all students and their test scores, seeing that she scored one point higher than Ox to take the top spot. She then calmly walks away. This scene is not included in Chapter 12; instead, the last page of this chapter has Death provide a list of all scores and announce who will take make-up exams.
- In Episode 14, when Black Star, pinned to the chalkboard, writes his autograph on the chalkboard, he first sticks his finger up his nostrils to get blood. In Chapter 12, it is not shown from which injury Black Star, pinned to the classroom wall, gathers the blood to write, and he writes onto the classroom wall, not the chalkboard.
- In Episode 14, Soul brings hot tea and pumpkin pie to Maka, then asks whether she got her love of reading from Spirit, which she suggests may be true. In Chapter 12, Maka already has a hot beverage on the living room table, Soul does not bring tea and pie, and Soul does not ask about Maka's love of reading.
- In Chapter 12, Spirit refers to Maka's mother as "my (ex) wife." In Episode 14, he refers to her as his wife before Blair corrects him.
- In Chapter 12, Blair bought a string top, thong panties, and a copy of the book Kama Sutra. In Episode 14, Blair bought only the top and the panties, not the Kama Sutra.
- The scene in which Maka (and Soul) react to her father's supposed gift is longer in Chapter 12 than Episode 14. In Episode 14, while handing the gift to Maka, Blair sweats and cringes in embarrassment alongside Soul at how poorly received "Spirit's" gift is and how perverted this gift makes him seem. Soul and Blair then sneak away while Maka is furious at her father and rips the greeting card. In Chapter 12, Blair's expressions are not seen to indicate whether she realizes how poorly her actions maka Spirit appear. And rather than sneak away with Blair, Soul stays near Maka during her trembling fury at her father, as he notices how transparent are the panties and refers to Spirit as being more perverted than he thought.
- Chapter 12 features dialogue from Death providing a list of all students' grades from the exam and announcing which students must take the make-up exam. This list appears in Episode 14 on a hallway bulletin board, yet it is not as easy to read due to Maka and students standing before it. However, some of the zero-point scores, such as Black Star's, are easy to see in the lower right-hand corner of the bulletin board.
- According to the calendar in Maka's bedroom at the episode's cold opening, it is Monday the 8th, and her test is three days later on Thursday the 11th.
- Although he appeared in a cameo with no lines in Episode 4, this episode is the first one in which Ox Ford speaks and has a more substantial role. This is also one of the first episodes to show Harvar D. Éclair and have him speak.
- Later that day, on Tuesday the 9th, Maka posts a sign next to her calendar that says, "Beat Ox!" The sign includes a pigtailed frownie face that resembles Maka's own soul. Maka shows later her abilities at doodling in the first chapter and first episode of Soul Eater NOT! Maka also shows her doubtful in her illustrative skills in the manga, when intimidated by Soul's Spartoi doodle before they go to the Moon to fight Crona.
- Soul's bedroom features a guitar.
- Soul's bedroom also has a poster of a man with a clock tower's crooked hand stabbed through his chest.
- Based on the man's Straw Boater hat as he hangs from a large clocktower, he resembles famous silent film comedic actor Harold Lloyd in his short film "Safety Last!" Soul Eater actually includes a few allusions to silent film comedies. For example, the Death Weapon Meister Academy librarian resembles Charlie Chaplin.
- As well, the crooked arrow of the clock tower, with blood dripping from it upon hitting the man's, resembles one of Medusa's Vector Arrows, perhaps alluding to the injury Medusa inadvertently caused Soul's chest through Crona. The bloody arrow also may foreshadow Medusa's use of Vector Arrows to shed blood from Stein and Crona in future episodes.
- Maka's pencils have bear-shaped toppers.
- In the original Japanese, Maka refers to Blair's behavior around Soul as "annoying." In the Funimation dub, however, Maka threatens to kill Blair.
- Soul's bone-covered boxers allude to Shotaro, the protagonist of Okubo's previous manga, B. Ichi. Shotaro's powers come from biting on the bones of animals. At one point in B. Ichi, Shotaro's boxers are decorated with bones, resembling the ones that Soul wears in this episode.
- Unlike other episodes, the main seven characters are seated apart from each other in class, even the meister and weapon groups. While Black Star is farthest away—hanged onto the blackboard for cheating—the separation may be due to Stein and Sid determining to prevent partners and friends from sharing answers, separating all students as well as they could. Their placement is as follows:
- Maka sits near Liz, and both are seated behind Ox.
- Upon returning to his test, the boxer-clad Soul is seated between Kid and Patty.
- Studio BONES included allusions to their other anime in the list of students' grades that Maka reviews in the Shibusen hallway, including one student named after Fullmetal Alchemist character Winry Rockbell. The manga Fullmetal Alchemist is published by SquareEnix, the same company as Soul Eater, and both mangas' creators have published artwork of each other's characters.
- In the preview for the next episode, Maka reminds Black Star that he must take a make-up exam, but the Big Star says the exam was in the past while he looks to the future. Maka responds that the last exam he cheated on was in the past, but this make-up exam is in the future. Black Star is frustrated at Maka reminding him he has to face his punishment but apologizes when she advises that he study.
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