When Square Enix Manga revealed that they'd be coming out with hardcover editions of Soul Eater by Atsushi Ohkubo, I was excited to say the least. Not just as a collector, but as a long-time fan of the series as well. That being said, was my excitement for the Soul Eater Perfect Editions justified?
Soul Eater was adapted into an anime in 2008. But this isn't the only manga of Atsushi Ohkubo's that has received an anime adaptation. Fire Force was also adapted into an anime in 2019. Read up on why I think Fire Force is worth checking out as well!
Check out my review of the Soul Eater Perfect Editions, find out what makes them different from the paperbacks, and get an all-around and inside look at the Soul Eater Perfect Edition 1 below!
How many Soul Eater Perfect Editions are there?
Since there are approximately 1.5 individual volumes in each Soul Eater Perfect Edition and 25 volumes complete the series, it is expected that 17 Soul Eater Perfect Editions will be released.
Soul Eater is finished, but the Soul Eater Perfect Editions are still releasing with English translation.
Difference between paperback and hardcover
Right now, there are only two ways to collect the Soul Eater manga with English translation: The Soul Eater paperbacks and the Soul Eater Perfect Editions.
In terms of differences between the Soul Eater paperbacks and hardcovers, the Soul Eater Perfect Editions are larger in size and they feature new design, lettering, and translation. In addition, they are printed on glossy paper and have a smooth finish, whereas the paperbacks are printed on pages that have an eggshell-like feel to them.
Soul Eater Perfect Editions covers vs Soul Eater manga covers
The Soul Eater Perfect Editions feature new artwork by Atsushi Ohkubo and design. A different Soul Eater character is featured on each cover of the Soul Eater Perfect Editions. For instance, Soul Eater Perfect Edition 1 features artwork of Maka Albarn and Perfect Edition 2 features artwork of Soul Evans.
The covers of the Soul Eater Perfect Editions are hardcover, whereas the Soul Eater individual covers are paperback.
Soul Eater Perfect Editions Review
The quality of the Perfect Editions is top-notch and they are visually-appealing thanks to their modern style. When on a shelf, they look amazing thanks to the spine's bright yellow coloring and bold font. Off the shelf, they have a great front cover that features new art from Atsushi Ōkubo.
As I'll mention in the points below, the Soul Eater Perfect Editions are similar to the size of the Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Editions. This larger format adds even more to their appeal. The double-panels look amazing, but you also have these larger format single pages that really make the scenes and images pop on the page.
Of course, you have a pop of color here and there, which is nice as well. These new versions also have new lettering and translation. The lettering looks better in comparison to the original volumes, so that's something to consider as well.
The outer cover has a glossy finish with the lettering slightly raised. Everything about the outer appearance of the Perfect Editions just looks fresh. The weight of the book feels great in hand, and it looks like it will hold up over time. While I also pick up paperback volumes, I personally will always choose the hardcover versions if they are available.
All in all, the Perfect Editions are, as their name states, quite perfect when compared to the originals. If you personally like getting the individual covers, I completely get why you'd buy the single volumes; But, as I'll get into below, the value for the price of the hardcovers can't be beat.
Value vs Price
Most places have the Soul Eater Perfect Editions up for $19.99. When you compare that to the individual standard manga volumes, you pay around seven dollars more give or take to get these newly released editions.
That price difference doesn't bother me at all, especially given that there are 1 1/2 original volumes in each Perfect Edition book. This alone makes them well worth the price. But now that I've seen the first book in person, it's their large format and print quality (each is printed on high-end paper stock) that really makes them a must-have.
If I had to pick between the original volumes and the Perfect Editions, I'd go with these all the way even though they are higher in price. Not to mention, $19.99 isn't bad at all for a hardcover omnibus, particularly when it is one of this size. To compare, these books are similar to the size of the Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition volumes, and they sell at a similar price-point.
Where to Shop the Soul Eater Perfect Editions
Soul Eater Perfect Editions vs Paperbacks - How do the Soul Eater manga editions compare?
Get an inside look of Soul Eater: The Perfect Edition 01 in the gallery below!
Soul Eater: The Perfect Edition 01 Gallery
Photos taken and owned by Anime Collective Team. Product credit: Square Enix Manga.