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|14-year-old Tsugumi Harudori joins the DWMA in order to control her weapon powers. On her first day of school, she meets Meme Tatane and Anya Hepburn, two Meisters who soon are her best friends. After Anya uses Tsugumi's weapon form, the Demon Halberd, on two bullies harassing Meme, the three form an intimate bond.|
Starting School! is the first chapter of the manga Soul Eater Not!. It was released in 2011 and compiled in July 2012 with the release of SEN! Volume 1. It was adapted as Episode 1, "Enrolling at DWMA!" in the anime Soul Eater Not!
After arriving from Japan to America, Tsugumi Harudori, a shy and somewhat timid girl is walking up the legendary long staircase of the DWMA. As she struggles to climb the gigantic staircase, Tsugumi remembers that the official DWMA brochure says students require strong legs, yet she is tired and out of breath, contemplating giving up. However, a rogue girl effortlessly runs up the steps without hesitation or folly, and that girl is none other but Maka Albarn.
Encouraging Tsugumi by saying, "Only a bit left so, do your best!" Maka continues onward. As a result of Maka's words, Tsugumi puts her hair in pigtails like Maka's hair, showing her new admiration for the meister. Tsugumi acquires a new zeal and eventually arrives at the top of the stairs. There, she finds a note from the mysterious meister with her face on it and a can of Daeth Pepper on it as a paperweight. The note reads "Welcome to the DWMA" and "Turn around." Upon following the direction, Tsugumi discovers a beautiful view of not only Death City but, as a representative of the nation at large, America as a whole.
Tsugumi experiences much during her first day of school. While she tries to find her way around the DWMA, looking for a specific classroom for first-year students, she ponders on the fact she cannot willingly transform into a weapon. She daydreams about what it would be like to have two male meisters fight over her as a partner. A dream is cut short by the arrival of Black*Star, punching an opposing student into a wall. Shocked, Tsugumi apologizes to the ninja for daydreaming, thinking it was her fault, escaping as Black*Star attempts to give her his autograph.
Tsugumi finally finds her classroom, where other students--Meme Tatane, Anya Hepburn, Clay Sizemore, and Akane Hoshi—are already present. where she is greeted by Sid Barrett. As Tsugumi receives a "Weapon" tag, she is knocked by two students, Raid and Hao, causing her to fall atop another student. Tsugumi apologizes and the student quickly forgives her. As Tsugumi notices the other student's ribbon has fallen, Tsugumi returns it to her classmate, who replaces the ribbon (although she originally had the ribbon tied on the left side of her head, now it is on the right side of her head). Upon introducing herself to her new friend, Tsugumi learns that the student is named Meme—although Meme initially struggles to remember her own name.
Across the classroom, Anya observes Tsugumi and Meme. Anya ponders who she escaped her "strict castle" to learn what it was like to be a commoner. However, she regrets going to the DWMA due to the eccentric personalities of its students. But as Anya takes a closer look at Tsugumi, she notices how much more average this weapon appears than anyone else at the DWMA. Realizing she is being watched, Tsugumi observes Anya as well, commenting on her almost regal appearance. Irritated by this attention, Anya turns away from Tsugumi.
At the front of the classroom, Sid introduces himself. For the first day of class, Sid instructs students to do their best finding partners. When Sid passes out papers, Tsugumi offers a sheet to Anya, only for her to rudely snatch it out of Tsugumi's hand, still irritated over Tsugumi's previous interaction. As class is dismissed, Sid warns today's tardy students to arrive on time for all future class.
Outside the ClassroomEdit
Class dismissed, Tsugumi overhears the students who knocked her down earlier, Raid and Hao. She hears how Raid is set to find partners who are female to avoid living in the "crappy" boys' dormitory. Tsugumi notices what a "pig" Raid is and decides to avoid him or similar potential partners. However, Raid, a weapon, asks Meme to be his meister. At first, confronted by Hao, Tsugumi is distraught, thinking Meme will be Raid's partner when she wanted Meme to be her meister.
Tsugumi runs off, berating herself for thinking attending the DWMA automatically makes her a hero. But when she wonders how Maka would have handled this situation, Tsugumi adjusts her hair to even more closely resemble Maka's pigtails, regains her confidence, and returns to take Meme away from Raid. Hao, however, intervenes, insulting Tsugumi's breast size as making her an undesirable partner. Overhearing this discussion, Anya approaches to call them "vulgar slobs." Interpreting this insult as a challenge to duel, Raid confronts Anya. Anya asks for Tsugumi to transform, but the weapon is afraid she is unable to do so at will.
Clay, Akane, and Sid exit the class, witnessing Raid and Hao harassing the girls. While Clay wants to intervene, Akane and Sid both tell him to give the girls a chance to fix the problems themselves. Raid transforms—partially, his head remaining with blade extending out of his hair and his handle out of his chin—for Hao to wield. Despite Clay's concern, Sid calls out to Tsugumi, instructing her to imagine what her weapon form looks like in order to aid her transformation.
Upon transformation, Tsugumi is revealed to be, appropriate for her last name, a halberd. Clutching Tsugumi, Anya quickly defeats the bullies, their injuries severe enough for Sid to instruct Clay to retrieve Dr. Medusa.
After Meme thanks Tsugumi, both thank Anya, who struggles to hide her blush as she turns away from the duo. Meme asks Tsugumi to be her partner, who accepts. While Anya appears to not want her as a partner (despite their wavelength easily compatible and Anya being a competent fighter), she grabs onto Tsugumi. Tsugumi now finds herself in that tug-of-war between two meisters as she had daydreamed earlier, but instead of a "threesome" with boys, she is surprised to see it is a pair of female meisters who fight to be her partner.
Manga and Anime DifferencesEdit
- The anime begins by showing Tsugumi's initial discovery of her weapon abilities while at her home in Japan. This moment also introduces Tsugumi's mother and Pochi, her pet dog. The next scenes show Tsugumi, Anya, and Meme's arrivals at the Death City Airport and Tsugumi's arrival by bus to the DWMA. At the airport, Akane and Clay can be seen watching Anya. The manga does not include these scenes, beginning instead with Tsugumi's ascent up the DWMA stairs.
- Furthermore, whereas the anime introduces the Death City Airport and bus system in this first episode, it would not be until much later in the manga for these locations and forms of transportation to premiere. As well, Tsugumi's mother and Pochi would not appear until later in the manga.
- Whereas in the anime Tsugumi brings her luggage directly from the airport to the DWMA, in the manga she does not bring any luggage with her to the DWMA. Hence the manga does not show one of Tsugumi's first purchases in Death City, a souvenir attached to her luggage and later found on her dorm room desk in the anime.
- In the manga, Maka leaves Tsugumi a can of 'Death Pepper', this universe's equivalent to Dr Pepper. However, in the anime, Maka leaves Tsugumi a can of "Pepper Energy Drink" instead.
- Whereas Tsugumi says aloud her catchphrase "Gagantous" in this episode of the anime, in the manga only the sound effect "Gagantosu (Gagong)" appears when Anya snatched Sid's paperwork distributed by Tsugumi.
- In the manga, Anya does not slap Hao.
- Whereas in the final scene of Chapter 1 Anya grabs Tsugumi's right shoulder, in the anime, Anya grabs Tsugumi's left arm.
- In this chapter, after encountering Maka on the DWMA stairway entrance, Tsugumi decides to puts her hair in pigtails just like the meister's. She also adjusts her hair again before confronting Raid and Hao. But in Episode 1, Tsugumi does not put her hair in pigtails until she decides to help Meme against Raid and Hao.
- In the manga, Kim Diehl and Jacqueline O'Lantern Dupre are watching Raid and Hao injured by Anya and Tsugumi. In the anime, Kim would not appear until Episode 2, and Jacqueline in Episode 3.
- In the United States, Yen Press included an excerpt of this chapter in Volume 22 of the manga Soul Eater. This excerpt begins with Tsugumi Harudori's arrival at Shibusen and concludes before she transforms to join Anya Hepburn in the fight against Raid and Hao.
- This chapter reveals that Death City is located in Nevada, United States.
- What a meister and weapon are is explicitly explained in this chapter. Weapons are people who can transform into traditional weapons while meisters are warriors who use those weapons.
- The chapter also reveals that the DWMA itself is run by global taxes.
- It is also revealed that in the DWMA, popular meisters and weapons can sign up with corporate sponsors to get rich.
- Tsugumi's weapon transformation is a pun. Her family name, Harudori, literally means "spring bird". But the pronunciation for halberd (harubaddo) also contains the japanese transliteration for the English word, bird (baado).
- ↑ Soul Eater Not! Volume 1 (Yen Press) Translation Notes