A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 2)
|←Chapter 16: A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 1)||Chapter 18: A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 3) →|
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|As Stein and Spirit struggle to take down Medusa, Maka begins her fight against Crona. Will Stein fall under Medusa's sway, and will Soul fall into the madness of the Black Blood?|
A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 2) is the seventeenth chapter of the manga Soul Eater. It was collected as part of Volume 5. Part of Franken Stein's duel with Medusa was adapted as part of Episode 19, "The Underground Battle Commences – Break Through Medusa's Vector Arrow?" and Maka's duel with Crona was adapted as part of Episode 20, "The Black Blood Resonance Battle! – A Small Soul's Grand Struggle against Fear?" in the Soul Eateranime.
Death City Underground
Continuing from their initial encounter, Black☆Star instructs Maka Albarn to be careful in her fight against Crona, promising to come running back to help "little people" like her if this fight proves to be too much. Annoyed, Maka tells Black☆Star to hurry on, as Soul Eater encourages his meister.
Black☆Star performs Speed☆Star to leap over Crona, but the demon sword meister is not deterred, performing Screech Alpha with Ragnarok to upset the ninja. Before Crona can finish the move, Maka begins her attack, but rather than cut Crona down with Soul's blade, as Crona's Black Blood merely will harden any cuts, Maka delivers punches at Crona's abdomen then face. Unfortunately for Maka, Crona's Black Blood is so hard that her opponent's body takes the beating more easily, as if Maka is "punching lead." Ragnarok instructs Crona to stop thinking about catching up with Black☆Star and instead to attack Maka. Surrounded by Soul's blade and Maka's punches, Crona is uncertain how to proceed, and in that distraction, Maka is able to leap and kick Crona directly in the face, sending the demon sword meister sailing and landing supine on the floor.
While Soul is impressed by Maka's performance, he urges his meister to tell him whether they have "a chance of winning." Maka, smiling, says they do—then says, "Not really." Momentarily nonplussed, Soul breaks out laughing. "You may be smart, but you're a real idiot!!" he shouts. "I love it! ♪ You're the best! You really are a cool partner." As Maka joins in laughing, Soul is confident Maka will think of a plan.
Annoyed by their joviality, Ragnarok shouts at the two that just as he and Crona cut Soul in their previous battle, they will be injured again. Although starving to eat more souls, Ragnarok concludes that at least Black☆Star's soul would be tasty, but these "unsexy, useless frickin' brats" are tasteless and deserve only to be beaten. Maka replies with satisfaction: "You finally acknowledged me." Whereas Ragnarok was interested only in eating Maka's soul in their previous battle, now at least he sees her as a worthy opponent.Maka then points to Crona, demanding the meister face her. Crona desires for Maka to stop pestering: why would someone as weak as Maka challenge Crona, let alone bother to take this fight so seriously? Maka persists, staring down Crona: she admits she is weaker than Crona, yet because her soul is strong enough, she knows that she will win. When Crona pouts, Maka introduces herself: "I am the scythe-meister Maka. What's your name?" Crona finally makes eye contact to offer a name, earning a perhaps sardonic compliment from Maka about the "good look in [Crona's] eyes."
As both meisters face each other, Maka's winged soul, almost angelic, is so much smaller than Crona's own winged soul, which is more reminiscent of a winged dragon. After Soul chastises his meister for riling up Crona, Crona cuts a wrist with Ragnarok to attack with Bloody Slicer, a curved blade of black blood, attached with what looks like Ragnarok's eye, that sails at Maka, who barely dodges. Crona then moves with an awkward gait towards Crona, more Black Blood pouring from the wound to wrap around Soul's staff so to flip Maka over. More of Crona's blood dots the floor, causing Bloody Needles to explode upward to stab at Maka. When Ragnarok then performs Scream Resonance, Maka shouts at Crona, demanding to know why the two desire to consume "innocent souls [to] become a Kishin." Crona answers, "Because I'm scared" of being abandoned by a mother like Medusa. Crona unleashes Screech Alpha. Having heard Crona's remarks, Maka admits she is scared, too, but she will face anything Crona sends at her. As Screech Alpha repels Maka, she makes sure to show she has recognized who her opponent is by crying out their name: "Crona!"
Elsewhere, as they still face Medusa, Spirit Albarn can hear that exact sound from his daughter. Franken Stein explains Maka disregarded his orders and is fighting Crona, shocking the father but amusing Medusa. When Medusa claims Crona will kill Maka, Spirit responds that his daughter is not weak. Spirit then proceeds to remind Medusa that, as the only Death Scythe currently in Death City, he must not fail to stop Asura's resurrection, or he would never be able to face his fellow Death Scythes. Spirit then behaves perversely as usual by wishing he had been the one to strip Medusa of her lab coat—and expressing his annoyance that Stein got to dance with her instead of him. Medusa interrupts, annoyed at how foolish Stein and Spirit are for joking around. Stein decides to fulfill Medusa's wish, charging up his soul ready to fight her. Now Medusa jokes that she is so impressed with her opponent that she would not mind another dance with Stein. Stein responds that she should not bother, "not with feet like that."
Medusa then realizes that Stein has used Soul Thread Sutures from his previous Soul Menace attack, using his soul wavelength to stitch her feet to the floor. Surprised at Stein's precision, Spirit brags that it is through a weapon's ability to increase a meister's control over their wavelength that the duo were able to plant Medusa in one spot long enough for additional attacks. Stein performs Soul Menace again, the sutures ripping from Medusa's feet and slamming her against the wall, where new sutures form from the wall along the edges of her entire body, keeping her immobile so Stein may perform Consecutive Soul Menace, Three-Fold. Medusa coughs up blood. Stein prepares to conclude the battle with a Two-Palm Soul Menace. Medusa sneers, informing Stein that he is about to move in the wrong direction.
Stein looks down to see an arrow as large as him on the floor. With this Vector Plate, Medusa's magic causes the arrow, and Stein with it, to move rapidly in the direction the arrow is pointing, away from her, knocking Stein back but still on his feet. After one of her snakes emerges to cut the sutures off of her body, Medusa creates another Vector Plate, which allows her to travel along it to perform three more Vector Plates that increase her speed and point at Stein so she may kick him in the head to the floor. Stein lands supine atop another Vector Plate, pointed at Medusa, at which point the speed of the plate coupled with her punch will knock down Stein again. Stein sutures his own body, hence the Vector Plate as well, to the ground, preventing both the scientist and the Plate from moving. Therefore, Medusa uses a long-distance attack, sending Light Serpent, one of her snakes, forward to attack Stein. Stein then makes his move: he removes his sutures, causing the Vector Plate to move forward so he may dodge the Light Serpent, regain his upright position, and strike Medusa down with his Death Scythe. But as soon as Stein is within striking distance, Medusa unleashes Vector Storm, numerous arrows erupting from the floor cutting into Stein and knocking him back again.
The snakes continue slithering away from Medusa's body, as she claims to have one thousand snakes in her body, all of which will keep Stein away from her. Stein, annoyed, asks how Medusa can claim to be afraid of close combat when so many of her moves are short-range. Stein assumes such remarks are indicative of her fallacious nature, suitable for a witch who infiltrates the DWMA as a physician. Medusa smiles innocently, claiming that she was honest when she offered Stein an opportunity to work with her, as a fellow scientist, to unleash the Kishin. As Spirit looks worried, Medusa explains that the DWMA is hardly a place for someone like Stein, who is at heart not a teacher but a researcher. As she speaks, Medusa produces a circle of Vector Plates around herself and Stein. The arrows all point towards her, so that anyone will launch Stein forward so she may use her short-range attacks to seize her prey. "I always get what I want," Medusa says. "I never let it get away."
Stein then asks Medusa to explain how she "abducted" Crona to make into a Kishin. If Crona is to be a Kishin, why bother releasing Asura? Stein reasons that Medusa knows Crona has no potential to become a Kishin, so instead Medusa would risk breaking into the DWMA to use Black Blood to resurrect the Kishin. Therefore, Medusa must think Crona is an "experiment [that] failed," which a sneering Stein refers to as the "best news this year." Medusa chuckles in response, claiming her primary research has always been the Black Blood, so anything that aids her in that research—whether putting Black Blood into Crona, or using Black Blood to resurrect the Kishin—all benefits her anyway to learn more about the properties of Black Blood. She also corrects Stein, as she did not abduct Crona: "Crona is my real child."
Meanwhile, Crona is surprised that Maka continues to fight. Despite knocked again into the wall, Maka slams the staff of Soul onto the floor to stand up again. Maka dashes forward, swinging Soul at Crona only for the demon sword meister to block Soul's blade, barehanded. Blood leaks from where Soul cut into Crona's palm, the Black Blood from the wounds at the palm and the wrist erupting forward as blades at Maka's head.
As Maka dodges these attacks, Soul reminds her that their own blade attacks will not work, so the duo begin Soul Resonance. Crona and Ragnarok respond in kind with Scream Resonance. Maka increases her resonance rate. But as that resonance increases, Soul and Ragnarok begin to lose themselves to the madness of the Black Blood, as the Little Ogre grins. Maka forms Witch-Hunt Slash, and Crona forms Screech Gamma.
Stein and Medusa can sense Maka and Crona's actions. Spirit asks what is happening. Stein hesitates before answering: "The Black Blood has begun to stir."
Manga and Anime Differences
- In this chapter, when Soul asks whether they have any chance of defeating Crona, Maka initially says yes, but then immediately corrects herself that no, they have no chance. In Episode 20, however, Maka immediately says no.
- Crona's confusion why Maka would take this fight so seriously emphasizes how this character lacks confidence: despite Crona's own claim that Maka is too weak to win against someone as strong as Crona, at the same time this character cannot see why Maka or anyone would else would take Crona seriously.
- Crona and Maka are shown to both determine to become stronger meisters out of their fear. But whereas Crona focuses on fear out of a desire to grow stronger to escape that very fear, Maka recognizes she cannot escape fear and hence will use it as motivation to become stronger, a statement she has made since her fight at Hook Cemetery against Sid Barrett and which will persist throughout the manga. The difference between Maka and Crona's reactions to fear set up their paths throughout the manga, as Maka confronts her fears to grow stronger, whereas Crona's desire to escape fear guides that character to becoming a potential Kishin.
- Stein's Three-Fold Soul Menace attack uses the phrase "Gi, Go, Shoku," Japanese for the Three Kingdoms of ancient China: Wei, Wu, and Shu. As well, "Three-Fold" in Japanese is "sangoku," which is a homonym for the Japanese word for "three kingdoms."
- Whereas Maka admits to Crona that she is weak, this scene is juxtaposed with Spirit informing Medusa that his daughter indeed is not weak, emphasizing how Maka and her father see her differently, and how much trust this father has in his daughter.
- The Yen Press translation has Stein refer to Crona's status as a failed experiment to be "the best news this year." Stein's remark may be one reason why many readers assumed initially that this issue took place around Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve: as the titles to this and surrounding chapters were confusing in initial translations, Stein's joy that the New Year would begin with such news supports an initial interpretation that the issue took place around January. However, Chapter 32 would clarify that this Anniversary Party and the Kishin's resurrection both take place on April 1.
- ↑ Soul Eater Volume 9: Yen Press English translation, Page 186