|The Bodyguard Arc|
← Trial Enrollment Arc
Reunion Express Arc →
The Bodyguard Arc is the ninth major story arc in Soul Eater. While Maka Albarn recovers from paralysis inflicted by Arachne, Black☆Star overhears of a lead where the witch's organization is located. Desiring to avenge Maka, Black☆Star arrives at the location, where he faces Arachnophobia's newest member: Black☆Star's rival, the samurai Mifune.
- Arachnophobia Scientist and Guards
- Marlon De Niro
- De Niro child
- De Niro family nanny
- De Niro guards
- Rival gang members
- DWMA Dispensary's Medicine Storage Room (manga only)
- Stein's desert training area outside of Death City
- Island Nation to the East
- Arachnophobia Demon Tool Development Lab
- Thousand-Mile Eyes
- Infinite One-Sword Style forms: Addition Mode: Swords Number One through Twenty-Four and Multiplication Mode
- Three-Shot Path
- Morality Manipulation Machine (prototype destroyed)
Maka Albarn, who remains paralyzed after her confrontation with the witch Arachne, is visited by Black☆Star, who offers his autograph to expedite her recovery—by taking advantage of her paralysis to autograph her forehead, and draw a mustache on her lip.
Black☆Star then overhears Sid Barrett and Mira Naigus discussing a mission received from Azusa Yumi that has located part of Arachne's organization, which has established a research laboratory to construct a demon tool. Desiring to avenge Maka, Black☆Star and Tsubaki Nakatsukasa follow Sid and Mira to the location to take out Arachnophobia.
At its new demon tool facility, Mosquito leads efforts towards the completion of the Morality Manipulation Machine, based on blueprints from the sorcerer Eibon. To protect Mosquito, Arachnophobia has coerce Mifune to serve as his bodyguard, under threat of violence against Angela Leon.
Sid and Mira infiltrate the research facility with Azusa's guidance, successfully locating, documenting, and destroying the Morality Manipulation Machine, as well as retrieving Eibon's blueprints for the demon tool. But their success owes in part to Black☆Star and Tsubaki following Sid and Mira without their knowledge—and staging a frontal assault on the laboratory.
Black☆Star and Tsubaki are surprised to find Mifune working for Arachnophobia. While Mifune is initially resistant to hurting a child like Black☆Star, when Mosquito threatens Angela's life, Mifune reluctantly battles Black☆Star. Mifune defeats Black☆Star, bruising the ninja's confidence.
Despite Mosquito's orders, Mifune refuses to kill Black☆Star, prompting Mosquito to do so himself. Before Mosquito can attack, he is shot: Azusa, with Sid as her meister, fires at the members of Arachnophobia to allow Black☆Star and Tsubaki to escape. While Mosquito survives, Mifune is able to dodge. Tsubaki urges Mifune to join the DWMA where he can be a teacher to the children he desires to protect, but he cannot afford to do so when both the DWMA and Arachnophobia are threats to a witch like Angela. Upon learning from Black☆Star that he had come to avenge the injuries Arachnophobia committed against Maka, Mifune apologizes and offers him candy to take to Maka.
Black☆Star returns to the DWMA to meet with Maka, who is still angered at his trick against her. While Black☆Star dwells on how inadequate he was in his battle against Mifune, he presents the candy to Maka, who is surprised to discover that the candy is seaweed flavor.
- Maka is recovering from paralysis brought on by her battle against Arachne. Her recovery will be celebrated at a party at Kid's residence in the Reunion Express Arc.
- Black☆Star's defeat will bother him in subsequent arcs, culminating with a duel against Kid after the "BREW" - The Tempest Arc. Based on Mifune's advice in this arc, to sense the Will of the Nakatsukasa within Tsubaki, speaking with that Will. In the anime, Black☆Star will regain his composure after dueling Kid, then defeat Mifune in a nearly fatal battle. In the manga, Black☆Star regains his composure only after meeting with Tsubaki's family in Japan, then killing Mifune in combat.
- This arc introduces Demon Tools, which Arachnophobia has become developing. Later arcs will reveal that the Morality Manipulation Machine and other Demon Tools come from plans written by the sorcerer Eibon, who is first named in this arc. Later arcs will reveal that Eibon wrote these plans in his Book of Eibon, which will be instrumental in numerous arcs up to the final arc of the manga.
- The Morality Manipulation Machine will be re-created following Sid's destruction of the prototype. In the anime, it will be used to augment Asura's Madness; in the manga, it will be used in Baba Yaga Castle to brainwash Kim Diehl and Jacqueline O'Lantern Dupre.
- Since facing Black☆Star in combat, Mifune has been coerced into Arachnophobia, under threat that the organization will harm Angela.
- This arc reveals Mifune's previous role as a bodyguard for the De Niro family, which led him to be ordered to assassinate a rival gang's witch. Upon discovering this witch to be the child Angela, Mifune turns against the De Niros and becomes Angela's bodyguard.
- This arc reveals Azusa Yumi's weapon form, additional abilities such as the Thousand-Mile Eyes, and the extent of her abilities' range.
- Giriko's remark that Mosquito has shrunk in the past 800 years foreshadows how much taller he was in his previous forms, such as forms from 100, 200, and 400 years ago.
- Mosquito reveals that Tsubaki's clan, the Nakatsukasa, was one of the first set of weapons produced by Arachne herself.
- This arc's title may have multiple meanings. First, Mifune is coerced by Arachnophobia to serve as a bodyguard for Mosquito, while he himself already has dedicated himself as a bodyguard to Angela Leon. Second, Black☆Star takes it upon himself to protect Maka Albarn from future injuries by Arachnophobia, as he intends to fight the organization himself.
- Marlon De Niro's name comes from two actors who have played the Mafia crime leader Vito Corleone in The Godfather films, Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro. Marlon De Niro also resembles Brando's appearance in the film Apocalypse Now!
- Mifune's shirt reads "Osamurai," which translates into "Great Samurai."
- In the manga, at the DWMA infirmary, Black☆Star's shirt has a star on it, and Soul's shirt has a fish on it. Reading right to left, the shirts spell "starfish." The shirts may also be applicable to the characters' personalities: Black☆Star emblazons his insignia across all of his outfits, and Soul's shirt, showing a fish eating at hooked bait, is an eater.
- Black☆Star refers to Mifune as "amai," which is a pun: the word means "sweet," as associated with the candy Mifune has, but also "indulgent," referring to his patronizing of Black☆Star like he is only a child.
- Black☆Star also refers to feeling "shoppai" upon his return to Death City. The term means "salty," apt for the kind of candy Mifune hands out, but also wrestling and sumo slang meaning "weak" or "pathetic." Salt is what wrestlers toss around the ring before bouts, which means the loser (in this case, Black☆Star) ends the bout thrown into the salt.