Teamwork is absolutely inseparable from Soul Eater in its center. After all, the meister-weapon partner system makes this a must, as the strongest attacks can only be unlocked when all the souls in the group resonate in perfect harmony with each other. A large part of the curriculum at DWMA is dedicated to strengthening the bonds between meisters and their weapons, as well as encouraging groups to work together as a whole. Which is even more complicated in terms of soul resonance.
Maka and Soul are an example of a great team hitting more lows than their fair share throughout the series. They work incredibly well together and often push each other to improve, but they are still growing. Not to mention the fact that they are vulnerable teens who are prone to letting things like emotions or romance tarnish what should otherwise be a pretty perfect match. This leads to them being more satisfyingly complete, rather than just a dominated pair that can destroy everything from the start.
10 Works well – Soul’s carefree nature helps Maka put aside her doubts and fears
Maka is somewhat of a perfectionist, so the moment he is faced with a challenge that he feels he has no way to overcome, he just shuts down. This is clearly seen both in his fight against Professor Stein when he could sense the overwhelming wavelength of his soul, and when he was trying to escape a potentially deadly attack from Medusa.
With a carefree and laid-back soul around, she is able to let go of some of these insecurities more easily than she could on her own. He helps her convince her when she is in her head about Professor Stein’s strength, and even when she is dominated, he is willing to give his life to protect her if need be.
9 Doesn’t work – both are easily provoked, leading to petty arguments quite often
Although Soul is much more carefree compared to Maka, this mainly applies to external stressors, such as classes, enemies, or expectations. He still has a hot head in combat, and when they collide with Maka’s meanest side, they get into a lot of pointless arguments.
Already in the first episode, Maka accuses Soul of bumping into Blair because she believed that he somehow knew that she was taking a bath. Actually, Soul was excited to fight and couldn’t have known in everybody, but Maka lets her own past experiences cloud her judgment. Of course, Soul will be angry in response, as he maintains that he has done nothing wrong and the vicious cycle continues.
8 Works well – both are fully dedicated to their goal of making the soul a scythe of death
The requirement to turn an ordinary weapon into a scythe of death (collecting ninety-nine souls and a single witch soul) is not an easy task. Both members would have to be fully dedicated as it is possible to lose all their progress and have to start over, which Maka and Soul have to do in the first episode.
However, they don’t let this stop them from trying again with absolutely everything they have. Even Soul, who is usually more lax, is completely dedicated to this goal and understands how much it means to Maka, as she is more personally motivated by family relationships.
7 Doesn’t work – Maka’s tendency to react violently towards the soul doesn’t age well as a comic phrase
Anime series that premiered in the first two thousand face a violent comedy problem, in particular characterizing women as violent at unwanted moments. The female characters of some of the biggest names are victims of this (Sakura Haruno and Winry Rockbell come to mind) and sadly, Maka isn’t immune to that either.
When her partner irritates her, she can be seen using her ‘Maka Chop’ on him, that is, taking a heavy book and slamming it against her head as hard as she can. He is supposed to mimic Lord Death using the similar ‘Reaper Chop’ on Maka’s father, but the difference is that he normally looks lewd at women and is distracted, making it more necessary. With Soul, on the other hand, Maka generally projects problems that he later refuses to mention and instead attacks him in annoyance, hoping that he will understand.
6 Works well: Maka is (mostly) able to trust the soul, despite having witnessed unfaithful men throughout her childhood
Although Maka’s out of nowhere accusations towards Soul definitely weigh against her, the fact that she associates with a man is admirable given her past. Not only had he seen his father cheat and make empty promises all his childhood, but he is yet seen fawning over Blair and Medusa throughout the series.
Maka decides to partner with Soul after playing a piano for her, which is essentially him showing his personality through his music. Despite never having had a real positive male influence in her life before this, she still trusts him completely. Your upbringing can get in the way at times, but the two of you couldn’t resonate as strongly as partners without a solid foundation of trust.
5 Doesn’t work: ‘Blair trying to flirt with Soul’ stunt puts a strain on Maka and Soul’s partnership
Having a character that is primarily reserved for mature comic relief isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Midnight from My hero academia is a great example of a character who loves his innuendo, but never actively tries to flirt with any of the students or anything like that.
Although Blair is not that old as a teacher, she is mature enough to work in a bar and flirt with Maka’s father. Even if that creepy element of age difference weren’t present, Blair’s treatment of Soul is incredibly tacky given that Soul knows Maka has trouble with men to be faithful, and it only adds another point of contention to their relationship.
4 Works well – they support and care for each other equally when needed
Early in the series, after Soul is almost fatally injured and while Maka is talking to Nurse Medusa, she realizes that he may be keeping a big secret from her. Aside from a brief comment once or twice in his presence, as she’s upset that he thinks Soul doesn’t trust her completely, she still believes in him and doesn’t push him too hard for information.
On the other side of things, Soul takes care of Maka after a fight with Giriko that left her totally immobilized. Not only does he gather everyone to visit her, but he feeds her in the hospital since she can’t move, which is sweet, even if she does it in a playful way that irritates Maka to no end.
3 It doesn’t work: at first, Maka refuses to open up with her soul and almost puts herself in mortal danger
Despite coming off as a confident perfectionist, Maka actually struggles with many fears and insecurities throughout the series. The first great fear is actually towards his partner and the idea that he carried out his fights and that she was not strong enough to compare with him.
Not only does she refuse to discuss this with him, but she goes so far as to hunt down a very dangerous witch who had dropped her Soul Protect. It was such a pure and overwhelming force that even Maka admitted it was terrifyingly powerful, but still proceeded to chase it alone without her weapon. If Professor Stein hadn’t been there, Maka could easily have been hurt by her, or worse.
two Works well: even when one of them makes a mistake, they handle things maturely
Maka and Soul are not perfect, and that is expected of two teenagers. They can fight over small things, but when it comes to big mistakes, they actually handle things with relative maturity.
At first, Soul and Black Star have it in mind that challenging Lord Death’s son together was a feasible idea. After they are completely destroyed, Maka scolds Soul, but it is in a loving way that he references how he used to be the one who kept her from getting into child fights. He then accepts that his behavior was ‘totally unpleasant’ on his part, and the two reconcile on the spot, proving that they can overcome mistakes in a healthy way.
1 Doesn’t work: Soul’s sexual harassment of Maka wasn’t funny back then, and it’s disgusting now
One thing that series from the early to mid-2000s tend to have in common is using sexual harassment as a punchline. When Maka and the others meet Sid the zombie for the first time, Black Star turns Tsubaki’s skirt upside down to try to get information out of him. Soul then flips Maka’s skirt as well, and honestly, it’s surprising that this was ever included.
Not only is it a disgusting thought that Black Star and Soul would essentially blackmail their partners to try to get information from someone, but that the person in question was an adult. Even if it was included just for ‘sexual humor’, it doesn’t look good when looking at the overall relationship and treatment of each other as a couple.
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