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.
If you are new to Soul Eater, the story follows a weapon Meister named Maka, whose main desire and goal is to make her weapon Soul a death scythe. In this world, there are humans that can take on the forms of various weapons, and their meisters, who they are compatible with, wield them.
The meisters are tasked with reaping tainted souls, but there’s of course much more to this story than that. I just want to keep it kind of vague so I don’t spoil anything, but the characters in this story are incredible. I love the dynamics between the meisters and their weapons, but the dynamic of the group as a whole is great as well.
Atsushi Ohkubo has a unique art style and you really see him develop as an artist in Soul Eater. I also want to mention that he is the creator behind another recent favorite of mine, Fire Force, so if you enjoyed Soul Eater, this is one to look into as well. His past assistant is coming out with a new series Gachiakuta that I highly recommend if you love Atsushi Ohkubo’s works too.
All in all, I enjoy Atsushi Ohkubo’s works, but I especially love Soul Eater. It’s fun to read, but it has serious moments too. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, though, and I really appreciate this about the series. And then there’s its gothic setting, which I absolutely love. I highly recommend reading it, but what’s the best way to collect the series? In this post, I review the Soul Eater Perfect Editions, find out what makes them different from the paperbacks, and give you an all-around as well as an inside look at the first Soul Eater Perfect Edition.
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 the paperbacks and hardcovers
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.
They also differ in terms of design and I honestly love the look of both. The Perfect Editions are hardcover, though, so they are sturdy and hold up better over time. That being said, both are aesthetically pleasing to me, but the hardcovers are of higher quality than the paperbacks.
The Perfect Editions have more of a graphic design look to them with bold lettering and more minimalistic and new artwork by Atsushi Ohkubo that shines the spotlight on individual characters. I also love the bright yellow text on the covers and the fact that they are raised. I like the spines of these for the same reasons. They are bold, they really make a statement and jump out at you on the shelf, and there is raised lettering on the spine too.
The Perfect Editions are a large format release
One of the biggest differences between the two is their size. The Soul Eater Perfect Editions are larger than the individual paperbacks. Their dimensions are 6.00 x 8.30 x 0.90in versus 4.90 x 7.40 x 0.70in. They are larger all-around. Since they contain 1.5 volumes instead of 1, they save you space on the shelf in comparison to the individuals too. In terms of what they compare to in size, they are about the same size as the Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Editions.
The Perfect Editions feature an updated translation and new lettering
The Soul Eater Perfect Editions also have a new translation. For instance, Soul says he will be able to become “Death’s weapon” in the individual paperbacks, but he says he will get to be a “death scythe” instead in the Perfect Editions. Most of what they changed is grammatical, like a quote from Tsubaki in the paperbacks, which was changed from “We can’t even get one regular soul. What are we going to do: Fight with just his big mouth?” to “We can’t even get one normal soul. Stop running your big mouth all the time” in the Perfect Editions.
In addition to an updated translation, the Perfect Editions have new lettering, which while isn’t all that noticeable in the dialogue when compared to the paperbacks, still looks nice. The way they lettered the sound effects is different too. The paperbacks have both the Romanji and the English translation near the sound effects in very small text but the Soul Eater Perfect Editions just have the English translation and they have larger lettering, so the sound effects are easier to read in these editions.
The Perfect Editions have full-color pages
One of my favorite things they included in the Perfect Editions is the full-color pages, which aren’t in the individual paperbacks. I think they may have been included in the Japanese volumes, but they weren’t included in an English-translated release until now with the Perfect Editions. These are absolutely beautiful and the colors are bold thanks to the high-quality paper they are printed on. They are sprinkled throughout the volumes and they are included in every volume of the Perfect Editions.
The Soul Eater individual paperbacks are done releasing with 25 volumes, so if you want to read the series as soon as possible, the paperbacks are the way to go. The Soul Eater Perfect Editions, however, are currently being released, so it is going to be a while before the series is fully released in this new format. That being said, there are many positives to these that make them worth the wait.
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, these are great hardcover manga editions for the price.
Value vs. Price
Most places have the Soul Eater Perfect Editions up for $19.99 USD. 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.
You can find out where to shop and get an inside as well as an all-around look at the Soul Eater Perfect Editions and how they compare to the singles in my review on YouTube below!
Where to Shop the Soul Eater Perfect Editions
Soul Eater Perfect Editions Review Video
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