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|Trial Enrollment Arc|
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The Trial Enrollment Arc is the eighth major story arc in Soul Eater. This arc introduces a new enemy in the series, the organization Arachnophobia, led by Medusa Gorgon's sister, Arachne. This arc also introduce Crona to the DWMA as a trial student, the history of how demon weapons came into being, and the fighting skills of the youngest Death Scythe Justin Law.
- Giriko (referred to as "Enchanter Saw" or "Sou")
- Arachnophobia agents and soldiers
- Loew Village residents
- Ragnarok (first appearance depowered)
- Death Weapon Meister Academy Overnight Rooms
- Loew Village, Czech Republic
- Baba Yaga Castle, Amazon basin, South America (referred to only as Arachne's castle)
- Deathbucks Café (splash page only)
- Enchanter Gloves
- Arachne's paralyzing spider silk
- Justin Law's Dune Buggy
- Mosquito's car
- Crona's poem
As Death permits Crona to begin a trial enrollment at the Death Weapon Meister Academy, Sid Barrett asks Maka Albarn to be Crona's guide, due to difficulties coaxing Medusa's child to engage with other people. As Maka is then assigned to accompany Soul to the Czech Republic to investigate reports of attacks on Loew Village, she brings Crona with her.
Loew Village is well known for its Enchanters, who are able to create golems to defend their home against threats from outside. As such, the location is rather xenophobic, especially to members of the DWMA. Reports have arrived that the first surviving golem, constructed 800 years ago, has attacked the town. As golems cannot be made to attack, only defend, Death is curious, asking Franken Stein to investigate.
Meanwhile, Stein struggles to retain his sanity after his battle against Medusa and the Kishin's revival. Investigating Loew Village, Stein learns that in the previous 800 years residents in the surrounding villagers reported bouts of madness—as well as seeing what they believed to be spiders. Stein and Death realize that the creator of demon weapons, the heretic witch Arachne, did not die as they had hoped but instead divided her body in multiple spiders to scatter around the world, while she must have implanted her soul somewhere safe within Loew Village. Concerned, Death orders the youngest Death Scythe Justin Law to follow after Maka and Crona.
Arriving at Loew Village, Maka's team is guided by Saw, a seemingly polite Enchanter who offers to show them the location of the Oldest Golem. But once Saw has led the students away from the village, he drops the façade, revealing himself to be the crude, murderous saw weapon Giriko, an acolyte to the witch Arachne. For 800 years he has lived, enchanting the genes of 30 generations of his descendants to overwhelm their bodies with his own soul. Giriko also kept maintenance on the Oldest Golem because it houses Arachne's soul—and the spiders that form her body have returned to reconstitute the body to surround that soul.
In battle, Arachne's soul releases spider silk threads that paralyze Maka. As Maka is unable to move, Soul cannot fight back, so Crona intervenes. But upon Arachne's reconstitution, Crona is no match for the witch and Giriko. Before the violent Giriko can kill Crona, the students are saved by the meister-less Death Scythe Justin Law, who not only fights the similarly meister-less weapon Giriko but drives him and Arachne to retreat. But Justin cannot pursue them, as he is distracted by the need to destroy the Oldest Golem to rescue the students. At the end of their battle, Maka cannot move, and Soul is ashamed at his inability to protect her with the kind of power held by meister-less weapons such as Giriko and Justin.
As Death fears what the return of Arachne means for the world's safety, the witch returns to her castle, where her followers have reformed Arachnophobia, ready to remake the world as this witch desire.
- The manga's arc includes numerous colorized pages featuring the seven main students, Crona, Ragnarok, Sid, Death, Justin, and Giriko.
- In the original Japanese, Crona refers to the corner of the Overnight Room as "Heya no Sumisu," which combines "heya no sumi" ("room corner") and the Japanese pronunciation of "Smith." In the Yen Press English translation, Crona refers to the corners as "Roomsy Kornerkov" to maintain the essence of the pun.
- Whereas Chapter 24 referred to Giriko as Saw, Chapter 25 refers to him as Sou. The entire anime arc never refers to Giriko with any pseudonym.
- The cover to Chapter 26 features numerous allusions.
- Deathbucks, in name and in the appearance of its logo, resembles the popular United States coffee chain Starbucks. Starbucks is itself an allusion to a character from Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick, much like the Soul Eater character Ahab alludes to a main character in Moby-Dick.
- Soul's t-shirt is yet another one of Atsushi Ohkubo's allusions to musicians: the shirt's art resembles the cover to the 1970 album Bitches Brew by jazz musician Miles Davis. The shirt even includes the words "Bitches Brew." This album will appear later in Chapter 74 as the album Soul and Liz discuss, and which Soul shows to Maka.
- Justin prays to "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost." While this prayer is common in Catholicism, it is not clear that Justin is necessarily Catholic himself, although he resembles a priest and alludes to Catholicism in his dress and techniques' names.
- Giriko refers to Arachne as "ane-san" ("big sister"). Whereas "onee-san" has the same literal meaning, "ane-san" carries the nuance of referring to a woman as tough or formidable, much less polite than calling someone "onee-san."