art credit: https://www.pixiv.net/en/users/2550807
With a population of currently 7.8 billion people in the world, the saying goes that every person will find love in their life.
As there are so many individuals out there, so many personalities and so many different kinds of humans there must be a fit for everyone, right?
We humans love to envision concepts and use them in current praxis, we conjure up ideas and back them up with knowledge until they become known to be true or proven wrong. We take concepts derived from other people and meld them into our thought process. Constantly changing, we strive to evolve and let the experience of life guide us, but in the end we can’t do it all alone.
Humans are inherently social, even if some might not like huge crows or constant spotlight, loneliness is an obstacle no one truly wants to face. So we think of the vast universe and believe that there is one true partner out there.
There are multiple names for it, we might call them twin flame or kindred spirits or even soul mates.
The essence that there is the possibility to feel such a strong bond to a person, that only after you’ve met them they have managed to make you feel complete. A trope that we envision in the likeness of such a close relationship that it transcends the simulated and goes back to its natural roots.
Soulmates mean to be a natural bond, something that was meant to be or come from natural inclination instead of forced relationships. People who believe in soulmates hope to find one true person to hold onto, and to feel a compatibility that can’t be matched.
If we go by definition, soulmates are supposed to be people that you feel an instantaneous natural connection to, and are there to be with you for a lifetime. Some see it in a platonic way and others search for the one perfect romantic interest to pursue.
Generally said, many media have brought up the trope of soulmates and kindred spirits in their stories, and anime is of course one of them as well.
The anime lore we will look into today is going to be none other than Soul Eater.
With an established world that handles the topics of partner- and friendships very distinctively it also challenges the very concept of a soul. In Soul Eater, we are shown that every individual has a soul. A part that shows the inner being of a person and that determines its likeness.
Every episode even starts off with the protagonist Maka Albarn saying that a sound soul resides in a sound mind and a sound body, ultimately telling us that souls exist and have to be balanced out mentally and physically to be healthy.
Why is that so important though?
Well, as mentioned in the anime, souls emit something called soul wavelength. It is shown to differ in function and has a distinct role.
A meister, the one who trains to wield a demon weapon, has a wavelength that is similar to a melody or tune. Death sensei explains it like the melody of a guitar, very distinct but too faint on its own.
A weapon, the one who is able to transform into a traditional weapon and be wielded by a meister, functions as an amplifier and boosts the already existing wavelength of the meister to make it stronger than ever.
This means that the relationship has to be between a meister and at least one weapon to succeed. The Shibusen holds their traditions very dearly and makes sure that every person is matched up properly, giving help and support to those who need it to form compatible teams.
Albeit that there are the NOT! classes, which harbour the weapons and meisters who still have a lot to learn, we are going to focus on the requirements and foundations the Shibusen academy builds for their students.
To prevent the creation of Kishins, which are rotten souls that have strayed from the path of humans, the Shibusen was created. Every student’s goal is to collect 99 Kishin eggs and a witch’s soul to obtain the rank of a death-scythe which is a very tasking experience.
In the anime we see Soul and Maka who are both very skilled and strong struggle with this task for a long time throughout the story. They are often inhibited by the fact that their wavelengths do not match properly or emotions sip through their bonds.
This is a very important part that aligns with the way we see soulmates in real life.
To form a perfect team, the meister and the weapon have to synchronize their wavelengths. Roughly explained, it means that there should be something tying these two people together. From a lore standpoint, it is mostly souls that are very different, yet have a common ground.
A perfect example for this is the relationship between Death the Kid and the Thompson sisters. It is said that it is actually very hard to maintain only one weapon as a meister, but in this case Kid can hold a steady wavelength between him, Liz and Patty. Dr.Stein explains that it is not only because he is the son of the headmaster, but also because all three of them respect each other very much.
The Thompson sisters grew up on the streets and therefore have a lot of adoration for Kid who lives a very different lifestyle than them. While he respects the sisters for enduring a hard life and accepting him for who he is. It’s also worth noting that families often already have an affinity to be able to link their wavelengths easily, so that makes the sisters an even better match with Kid.
Despite showing us that platonic wavelength relationships are possible, it also confirms that a traditional way of thinking that opposites attract each other, and that the flaws one soul exhibits can be balanced out by the strengths of another.
For example, as Black Star is extremely loud and ambitious he often gets carried away and doesn’t know how to properly launch a quiet attack. Tsubaki helps him by supporting his ridiculous antics, but has a grip on his decision making and makes sure he knows that what he is doing is a little too much.
Now while Tsubaki is extremely quiet and doesn’t complain, she also lets other people walk all over her, which makes her an easy target for insecurities and self doubt. When it comes to that, Black Star is there to support her and tell her she is amazing all by herself, giving her the confidence she needs to succeed.
This is shown by Dr.Stein who explains that two very similar souls like the one of Soul Evans and Black Star are not as compatible as they may look to be. They might be good friends and understand each other well enough, but in the end their core values are very different. Dr.Stein also explained that the reason a soul tends to have a better connection to another, is mutual respect or adoration.
To conclude, it means that souls can be naturally drawn to each other, just like we believe soulmates to be, but it actually takes a lot of hard work to get to a point where two or more souls can actually link properly together.
Maka and Soul show us from the beginning that their souls are very compatible. They both communicate very well and know each other’s mannerisms, and their personalities may be very different but they both have similar resolve and respect each other. Maka chops Soul’s head often enough and her weapon partner jokes about her small bust on the daily, but if either of them is in danger they are ready to put their own lifes on the line.
Therefore, their soul wavelength is extremely balanced and their compatibility is shown by the fact that Maka can swing Souls weapon form around as if it were weighing nothing, proving how strong their souls are connected.
This point is also very interesting to explore, as the compatibility of two souls also affects the physical and mental world.
We see a couple of examples in which a meister and a weapon just aren’t compatible, for example Black Stars attempt to lift Souls weapon form. What might be easy to handle for Maka is almost impossible for Black Star because he forcibly shoves his own wavelength to the weapon.
Tsubaki might be fine with that kind of dynamic, but as Soul and Maka are almost completely balanced in their wavelength distribution, the effect it has on Black Star is very different. What is totally fine for one person can be a hard limit for someone else, again Soul Eater is showing us that the partnership between a meister and a weapon depends on a soul but also harbours the concept of compromise. The importance of listening to the other person and adapting to them is a crucial part of building the foundation and trust that is needed for the synchronization of wavelengths.
The attempts of Soul Resonance are what show us the absolute epitome of two souls linking together. Only partners that exhibit the best form of adapting to each other can momentarily let their wavelengths flow together to become even stronger.
Soul Eater shows us that trust and respect in a bond between two people is the best way to establish a relationship that can get them to wherever they want to go. If you have a mate that is there for you in your darkest times, as we see for example in Maka’s madness, you can conquer all perils.
A show that tells us that it’s not all about sitting and letting everything roll out of your grasp, but actually the hard work that goes into maintaining and nourishing relationships. Be it platonic or romantic doesn’t matter, it is easier to believe that everything will just roll into place instead of working hard to become the best puzzle piece for your partner.
How did you like the relation between Soul Eater’s soul concept and the concept of real soul mates? Would you differ in opinion? Or do you agree?
Leave it all in the comments, let’s discuss!
Until then my meisters and weapons~