The Underground Battle Commences – Break Through Medusa's Vector Arrow?
Kaishi, Chika Kōbōsen 〜Toppaseyo, Medyūsa no Bekutoru Arō?
Japan: August 11, 2008
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|As her ghouls rush to unseal Asura, Medusa stands in the way of Dr. Stein and his students. Elsewhere, Maka decides to settle it once and for all with Crona.|
The Underground Battle Commences – Break Through Medusa's Vector Arrow? is the nineteenth episode of the anime Soul Eater. It is adapted from Chapter 16, "A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 1)" and Chapter 17, "A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 2)."
DWMA Anti-Kishin Force
- Maka Albarn
- Soul Eater
- Tsubaki Nakatsukasa
- Death the Kid
- Liz Thompson
- Patty Thompson
- Franken Stein
- Spirit Albarn
- Spatial Magic: Independent Cube
- Beam Whiskers
- Soul Perception
- Vector Arrow
- Death Slide (first appearance)
- Uncanny Sword Mode
- Soul Force
- Soul Thread Sutures (first appearance)
The school is in flames. The Independent Cube remains locked around the dance hall. Sid Barrett blames himself that he did not make his Forced Burial attack have a wider radius to allow Death to escape as well, but the shinigami commends Sid for doing the best that he could. After all, Death says, he is surprised to learn that Medusa is a witch.
While Sid explains that Soul Protect allowed Medusa to be undetected, Kilik Rung interrupts to ask whether they can undermine the Soul Protect to locate witches. Death explains that in the war between witches and Shibusen, both sides have devised new abilities to counter each other. In order to detect witches, meisters were born with Soul Perception. Kilik asks what is the next technique to oppose Soul Protect, prompting Sid to say bitterly that such an option constitutes someone to "Kishinize" themselves.
Kilik is confused, prompting Death to realize he has no point keeping his secret any longer. Death calls to all attendees in the dance hall for their attention: "There's a Kishin beneath DWMA," he says bluntly. Sid and the students are dumbfounded at how blunt Death is.
Death explains that, before he founded the Death Weapon Meister Academy, there was a man named Asura, a member of Death's Eight Guardians. In fact, he was the strongest of the Guardians, yet also the most fearful. He wrapped himself with scarves and multiple layers of clothes to separate himself from others. Death claims Asura confided in no one else, and as such he was brutal. As an example, 800 years ago, Death had asked the Guardians what happened to the witches of the East, learning that Asura had already slaughtered them before anyone else arrived.
Kilik interrupts, confused how someone who is not a weapon could eat souls. Death reiterates that Asura was fearful of everyone, even his weapon partner, Vajra—so Death ate Vajra. Ox Ford is confused how it is possible for Asura to consume a weapon, leading Death to muse that perhaps Asura was not human, that perhaps he was actually even the embodiment of Fear itself.
Death City Underground
Franken Stein leads his students down a stairway into the underground of Death City. Soul Eater, Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, Liz Thompson, and Patty Thompson are already in weapon form, wielded by their meisters. Maka Albarn is curious how Death sealed Asura, so Death the Kid explains that Death flayed the Kishin to make a sealed bag from his own skin, which could keep Asura's soul trapped. To further ensure that Asura could not escape, Death rooted his soul and body around the Kishin's location to form a magical seal—and around that location, Death founded Death City. Black☆Star confirms that these facts mean that Death may never leave the city. Maka asks whether, if Asura did escape, hence breaking Death's seal, whether the shinigami could leave Death City. Stein says no: by rooting his soul to this land, Death has effectively become Death City itself. Stein suggests that attaching legs to the city could allow Death mobility, but Stein considers that idea ludicrous.
Stein then warns his students how disastrous the Kishin's revival would be, as his madness is like a plague.
Hearing Stein's remarks while in his own weapon form, Soul frowns, and the Little Ogre chuckles. The Ogre explains that madness cannot be controlled, adding that Hell is carried around in the flimsy minds of people. The Ogre directs Soul's attention to the skipping jazz record in this room, saying that the needle follows the grooves of the record, inextricably stuck on this path, as humans are on the inevitable path towards madness. Soul disputes this metaphor, pointing out that the needle—humanity—does not stick to that path so long as the record can keep skipping. The Ogre ignores Soul's point, asking what the weapon has decided to do.
Above ground, citizens of Death City flee from an approaching threat, but they are sliced and collapse onto the street. Having attacked these bystanders with Beam Whiskers, the Mizune sisters fly upward again, as the city burns. Death City residents are among the rubble on the street below, injured, unconscious, or dead.
Despite such destruction, injuries, and potential casualties around her, a cat, Blair, strolls along the city's rooftops, unimpressed by such a catastrophe because she assumes the explosions are just the "lively" Eve Anniversary celebration at the Academy. Blair feels disappointed that this party was limited to only students, hence she could not attend. Blair then realizes that, without a part-time job, she lacks the money for food, so she will get a hand-out from the Fish Shop.
But when Blair arrives at the Fish Shop, she finds its building destroyed, its proprietor buried in the rubble. Yet out of his lustful desire for Blair, this shop's owner manages to hand the cat a fish he had been saving for her. Seeing how injured the Fish Shop Guy is, Blair realizes the perpetrators are the Mizune Sisters flying above. Blair follows and knocks one Sister into a building, as she complains that it took her forever to find a free source of food such as the Fish Shop Guy. The fifth Mizune returns, as all five sister prepare Beam Whiskers to attack Blair. The cat grins, tugs on her hat, and prepares to fight.
Death City Underground
Based on how far behind they are in reaching Medusa's location, Black☆Star asks Maka whether she can sense the witches ahead. When Maka says she likely cannot locate those witches due to their Soul Protect, Black☆Star complains that Maka's Soul Perception is "the only thing you're half-decent at." Annoyed, Maka then senses a soul in the shadows ahead. She and her peers hear the footsteps approaching, revealing that this "nasty, despicable" person, as Maka refers to him, is her father, Spirit Albarn, who is depressed to hear his daughter's insult. While Black☆Star laughs at Maka's annoyance (then is punched in the face by Maka), Stein asks how Spirit escaped the Independent Cube. Spirit answers: "No one's faster than me when it comes to chasing a woman's behind." While Maka is still disgusted by her father's presence (and while Black☆Star's face is punched in), Stein is satisfied to have his weapon partner with him for this upcoming battle against Medusa.
Spirit informs Stein that Medusa's army is ahead in the shadows, as he transforms into a weapon. Stein advises the other weapons to stay transformed as well, as just one blow by any of Medusa's peers could be fatal. Black☆Star asks why Medusa's group is not all going to the Kishin's location, and Stein answers that the witch would have left some of her members behind to prevent anyone from following. Thanks to his enhanced hearing, Black☆Star identifies footsteps approaching. The meisters assume their battle stances, as Stein realizes that this opponent will be someone who can fight multiple opponents simultaneously. Such an opponent, Medusa, arrives, her soul enlarging.
Stein explains how Medusa likely placed her soldiers: she herself stands before them as the first barrier, and should she fail to block Stein's team, she placed Crona as an additional barrier. Free is protecting the Black Blood himself as he is immortal. Therefore, Stein will distract Medusa to allow his students to move past her. Black☆Star will use his Soul Menace attacks to overcome Crona's Black Blood, which will distract Crona long enough for Kid, as the most mobile meister, and Maka to run ahead to follow Free and destroy the Black Blood. Stein then demands that his students promise him that they will not die. While the students promise, Medusa mocks Stein for revealing his strategy right in front of an enemy like her. Stein removes his glasses, remarking that she is a school nurse after all.
Medusa begins her incantation. Stein tells the students to wait for an opening, no matter how long they must wait. Medusa unleashes Vector Arrow Times Three, which Stein recognizes as more powerful than her previous attack in Italy. As Maka and Black☆Star run towards Medusa, Kid skates ahead on Beelzebub, telling his weapons that, if scared, to fall asleep (to which Liz agrees). Medusa fires a Vector Arrow at Kid, but he uses Death Slide, riding Beelzebub along the arrow then over and past Medusa. Black☆Star transforms Tsubaki Nakatsukasa into Uncanny Sword Mode, her shadows slicing through the Vector Arrows as he follows behind Kid and reverts Tsubaki to her depowered sword form.
With Maka the only meister not past Medusa, Soul urges her to hurry. The witch aims all Vector Arrows at the last meister. Maka remembers this spell from Stein's fight in Italy. As she and Stein realize, if all arrows emanate from Medusa, then the safest route is a direct line towards Medusa, down the center gap. But to run through the center is to be in the path of all errors, and if she is not fast enough, she will be stabbed to death. Maka closes her eyes to encourage herself to run faster and ignore what she may see. But as Maka runs, she can feel the arrows cut along her legs—and then stab her through her abdomen. But this feeling was only illusionary, her imagination running away from her as she imagines the worst possible situation. Rather than let her fear slow her down, she uses that fear to run more quickly. As Maka rushes at Medusa, she yells that she will not be defeated, successfully passing Medusa's arrows and that witch.
As Maka stumbles past but keeps running, Medusa turns, about to release more of her arrows. But as Medusa turned, she did not see Stein approaching behind her, as he knocks down the witch with his Soul Force attack, the force of his wavelength knocking her back. Medusa regains her footing, yet the momentum of Stein's attack causes her bare feet to rip up the floor below her. While Stein demands Medusa face just him, the witch resituates herself and smirks.
Maka pauses to catch her breath before continuing her run.
While Medusa is disappointed that she herself allowed the three students to bypass her, she realizes the opponent she should face is Stein, as well that the three students are hardly a threat when they can be disabled very easily by her own army. Stein corrects Medusa, telling her that her time as nurse at the Academy should have shown her how formidable mere students can be.
Meanwhile, Crona and Ragnarok block the path leading to Free and Eruka Frog's approach to the Kishin shrine—except Kid easily skates past the two before they can react, or can pretend to care.
Spirit has transformed partially out of his weapon form to compliment Medusa's attractiveness in her school physician's attire—and his desire to strip her of that outfit. When Stein says he danced with her, Spirit becomes upset. Medusa tells the "boys" to stop arguing with each other, as she promises to dance with Stein again during this fight. But as she and Stein augment their soul wavelengths, she does not realize that Stein has used his resonance with Spirit to pin her feet to the floor with Soul-thread Sutures, as a portion of Stein's wavelength remains within Medusa's body from his earlier Soul Menace blast into her. He then sewed his own wavelength through her, an intricate maneuver that would not work as well if Stein had not resonated with the Death Scythe Spirit.
Spirit then tells Medusa that as he is the only Death Scythe currently in Death City, he must not fail or will not be able to face his peers—except Stein interrupts his statement, rushes towards Medusa, and attacks her again with Soul Force. When Medusa's body slams against the wall, Stein creates more Soul Sutures to pin her. Stein rushes towards her to deal the fatal blow, but Medusa creates Vector Plate: one of her arrows appears on the floor, pointing away from her body and hence pushing Stein away from her. Medusa then produces a snake to cut loose the Soul Sutures and lands atop the Vector Plate, which has the benefit of propelling her as well in the direction of the arrow. Medusa is thrown towards Stein, where she produces three more Vector Plates in a circle around the teacher, allowing her to increase speed and hence the force of her kick, directed at Stein's face and knocking him along the floor.
Medusa realizes she does not want to fight up close, but so long as she can decide when and where to keep Stein, she can produce one more Vector Plate to draw him towards him and ambush him with a fatal pierce. But Stein uses Soul Sutures to tie the Vector Plate, and himself, to the floor. Therefore, Medusa releases Light Serpent to attack Stein. Stein waits until the Serpent is just about to crush him in its jaws to release his Soul Sutures, giving him the momentum to ambush Medusa. But she responds with Vector Storm, as multiple arrows swirl around her in a vortex, knocking Stein again along the floor.
Medusa informs Stein that the 1,000 in her body snakes will keep back the teacher, but he claims he recognizes the kind of witch Medusa is: as someone who stayed undercover at the Academy, she likes to fight up-close so she may enjoy the pain she inflicts at a more intimate closeness. Stein calls Medusa a liar, but she responds she has told one truth: she wants Stein, to join her as a fellow practitioner of science, to turn his back on the Academy and join her in making this world evolve. An image appears from the dance earlier, when one of Medusa's snakes emerged from her mouth as she was about to kiss Stein. While this memory lingers, Spirit calls to Stein to snap out of it. Medusa forms numerous Vector Plates around her and Stein, each pointing him towards Medusa so that she will acquire whatever she wants.
Elsewhere, Crona worries of the trouble they are in for failing to stop Kid bypassing them. They are surprised by Black☆Star's arrival, as the ninja complains that defeating someone as weak-looking at Crona will do nothing for his credibility as a fighter. Crona assumes a sickly, mad stare, prompting Black☆Star to ask whether the meister is feeling okay. Crona silently transforms Ragnarok into his weapon form, ready to slice the ninja.
Tsubaki warns Black☆Star to be careful, but their duel with Crona is interrupted by Maka's arrival. After Black☆Star complains how slow Maka is, she blocks the ninja, intending to fight Crona herself. Tsubaki warns that Maka is breaking Stein's orders, and Soul cautions that their attacks will not affect Crona's Black Blood. Black☆Star as well refuses to let Maka steal his spotlight. But Maka blocks Black☆Star's path with Soul, ready to slice the ninja with her weapon's blade. Undeterred, Black☆Star tells Maka to stop acting cocky before he kills her. But seeing Maka not move, Black☆Star is surprised to see an obedient student like her break orders. Maka simply smiles. Impressed, Black☆Star stands down, telling Maka the spotlight is hers: she may face Crona.
Manga and Anime Differences
- Death claims that Asura broke the rule of consuming souls. While this episode may not be as specific as other episodes, Death likely means that Asura consumed non-Kishin egg souls, as technically weapons do consume souls (Kishin eggs), and many characters such as Jack the Ripper, Al Capone, Crona, Masamune Nakatsukasa, and other potential Kishins have consumed human souls.
- Death muses that Asura may not have been human and actually the embodiment of Fear itself. While the anime does not make this point clear, in the manga, Asura is confirmed to be a fragment of Death himself—Death's fear, removed from his body and given carnal form—hence Death's son, Kid's brother, and therefore a shinigami.
- In this episode, Death refers to Asura as the source of all Madness. The manga would go on to show that there are many forms of Madness, with Asura being an embodiment not of all madness but of only the Madness of Fear, whereas Death is source of the Madness of Order, the Great Old One of Power the source of the Madness of Power, Eibon the Madness of Knowledge, and Excalibur the Madness of Wrath.
- In this episode, Stein's discusses with his students that, if Death desired to leave the area, he would require feet attached to Death City itself, foreshadows the development of the Death City Mech built by Joe Buttataki and powered by Eibon (Brew itself). In the manga, Death City remains in the same location throughout, and Death never leaves the desert.
- In the anime, after Spirit prides himself on his ability to escape women, Maka is chided by an annoying Black☆Star, eventually punching him. Black☆Star's face is then concave in the next scene. In the manga, this background gag does not appear.
- Asura's slaughter of the Witches of the East alludes to the Witch of the East from The Wizard of Oz, as well as that book's many adaptations in popular culture.
- The Little Ogre repeats Crona's earlier remark that Hell is inside one's head.
- Maka imagines Medusa stabbing her Vector Arrows through her abdomen, which may foreshadow similar attacks Maka receives to that part of her body, such as Episode 21 when Crona's Black Blood stabs through Maka's body, or in Chapter 110, when Asura pierces her chest with his own hands.
- Blair claims she has no part-time job, despite previous episodes showing her working at Chupa Cabra's. Blair may mean that she is not currently scheduled for that workweek, hence lacks money, or she may have been fired since Episode 14, only to return to Chupa Cabra's as an employee in later episodes, as indicated by her ability to bring Risa and Arisa to Joe Buttataki's team.
- Medusa's offer to Stein to join her as a fellow practitioner of science foreshadows his desertion of Shibusen in the anime (but not the manga) under the effects of her madness.
- In the preview for the next episode, Maka encourages Soul to prepare for their fight to avenge him for Crona's earlier attack—but she seems not to recognize that she is speaking not to her partner but to Kid. Kid has to repeat so frequently that he is not Soul that he slips and says, "I'm not Kid!"
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