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Episode Name
English Title

The Sword God Rises - Does it Have a Sweet or Salty Taste?

Kanji Title


Rōmaji Title

Kenshi Tatsu 〜Aji wa Amai ka Shoppai ka?

Episode Data Report
Airing Date(s)

October 13, 2008

Running Time


TV Rating


Story Arc

The Bodyguard Arc

Episode Guide
Episode 27 Episode 29
List of Episodes |Image Gallery
While Maka Albarn recovers from Arachne Gorgon's attack, Black☆Star follows Sid Barrett, Mira Naigus, and Azusa Yumi to Arachnophobia's Magic Tool facility, where if the ninja intends to avenge Maka, he will have to fight Arachne's newest bodyguard.

The Sword God Rises - Does it Have a Sweet or Salty Taste? is the twenty-eighth episode of the anime. It is adapted from Chapter 27 and Chapter 28 of the Soul Eater manga.

Featured AppearancesEdit


Shibusen Students

Shibusen Staff


DeNiro Crime Family and Related Characters

  • Marlon (first appearance)
  • Marlon's son (first appearance)
  • Caretaker
  • Members
  • Rival gang members

Other Characters





Baba Yaga CastleEdit

Hidden at the bottom of a casam is the headquarters of Arachnophobia, the organization led by Arachne, the heretic witch who created the first Demon Weapons, newly re-empowered after her 800 year absence by Asura's recent escape and his spread of Madness.

The spiderweb-covered hallways lead to her Spider Queen Room, where she demands an update on the construction of the Moral Manipulation Machine, as led by her assistant Mosquito. Arachnophobia agents confirm that Mosquito has progressed through the project, and the machine should be completed soon. But Giriko, one of Arachne's drunken and violent lackeys, is less confident in the elderly Mosquito's abilities, as the old man has shrunk over years. Giriko offers to go to the Moral Manipulation Machine facility to help, but Arachne reveals she has sent a bodyguard already, the samurai sword god. Giriko is confused why a human like this samurai would work for Arachne, but she says that humans can be persuaded to act once their weaknesses are exploited.

Death Weapon Meister AcademyEdit

In the dispensary, Soul Eater is making an "Ah!" sound. Maka Albarn blushes as her weapon holds out a spoon with food for her, treating her like a baby as he attempts to feed her. Maka asks that her weapon stop, while is surrounded by the dispensary nurse Mira Naigus, who has replaced the defeated Medusa Gorgon, and her friends: Crona with Ragnarok, Black Star, Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, Liz Thompson, and Patty Thompson. Death the Kid is in the room as well, although he is distracted by a cabinet across from Maka's hospital bed.

Mira tells Maka not to be stubborn and to accept Soul's food, as the meister must eat if she is to recover from the paralysis inflicted by Arachne's spider webs that incapacitated her during the battle against the Oldest Golem. Mira says the magic paralysis will alleviate in a few days.

But Black Star has another idea how to quicken Maka's recovery: he removes the cap off a marker. Maka already anticipates what will happen and begs Black Star not to. But he leaps atop her bed and begins to autograph her forehead—and draws a mustache on her face. Patty giggles while the rest of their classmates do not interfere. Maka promises to get back at Black Star. Kid interrupts to reveal he has made the medicine bottles on the cabinet to be symmetrically organized.

Sid Barrett enters, surprised how crowded the dispensary is, to bring Mira to the hallway for a discussion. Black Star looks suspicious at their exit.

Outside Death CityEdit

The shirtless Franken Stein recites, "A sound soul dwells within a sound mind and a sound body," as he practices his combat moves. He is interrupted by multiple hallucinated iterations of Medusa Gorgon, who chide the hypocritical Stein for trying to escape fear when Death looks down on such actions. The fear of being powerless drives someone to gain knowledge and hence creates order, Medusa says. But that means that the amount of fear in the world will exceed the amount of danger.

The clouds block the sun momentarily. Stein feels Medusa's hand rubbing his bare body as she explains that Shibusen recruits powerful fighters like Stein, who seek power in knowledge, to enforce Death's order. Stein agrees that Shibusen persons like him are following the will of an almighty god. As Medusa leans her head against Stein's body, she says a god like Death asks for much without providing as much in return, leaving people to take care of themselves. Medusa therefore prefers defense rather than offense, and a fellow scientist like Stein should as well. The clouds dissipate, as does Stein's hallucination of Medusa, but her voice lingers.

Death Weapon Meister AcademyEdit

In the hallway, Sid tells Mira that the Death Scythe Azusa Yumi has located one of Arachnophobia's research facilities, to develop a Magic Tool. Sid and Mira are to raid the facility, study the Magic Tool, recover its plans, and destroy the Tool. Mira expresses some confusion, so Sid tells her about Eibon, a teacher of witches known as the world's most power inventor, so this Magic Tool is likely one of his inventions. Sid leads Mira to Azusa for further instructions.

The duo are overheard by Black Star. If Sid and Mira are following Arachnophobia, then Black Star can follow as well to avenge Maka for the injuries this organization gave to her. Black Star places the palm of his hand along a hallway wall—then sends a Soul Menace attack through it, shattering plaster as he shakes with fury.

Arachnophobia Magic Tool Facility, Far East NationEdit

Around a building are bamboo trees. But like the building itself, those trees are girded with metal around them, as if to prevent not only detection but any attacks from afar. Inside the building, Mosquito asks an Arachnophobia technician for updates regarding the completion of the Morality Manipulation Machine based on Eibon's blueprints. The technician says the prototype is still under development, but its results should satisfy Arachne.

As Mosquito observes the prototype, he reflects on how madness exists in tandem with morality: you cannot remove morality and still have madness. But this Manipulation Machine will deteriorate enough morality in the world so as to increase the spread of Asura's madness. While Mosquito cackles, he is surprised that his bodyguard, the samurai god, is silent. Mosquito turns to Mifune to remind him that Arachne promised to protect his witch so long as the samurai cooperated. Mosquito then offers a more permanent position within Arachnophobia, which the samurai refuses. As the giggling Angela Leon runs up to him, Mifune smiles and takes her in his arms. As he seats her on his shoulder, however, Mifune warns Mosquito that his services are on behalf of Angela only, nothing else.

Outside the facility are two Arachnophobia guards. Almost instantly, a knife—Mira in her weapon form—pierces through the forehead of one guard, killing him. The other guard has no time to react: Sid has fallen from above, wrapped his hands around his head, and snapped his neck. Both guards' bodies dissolve, their Kishin Egg souls collected into the hilt that is part of Mira's weapon form. As Sid replaces Mira to her hilt, he uses his Incom to communicate with Azusa.

Azusa Yumi is stationed inside a van parked among the bamboo trees. She lays out a sheet of paper and holds a pen as she initiates Clairvoyance with her Thousand-Mile Eyes, resonating with Sid through his Incom to use his vision to see a map of the facility. Azusa quickly draws what she sees through Sid's eyes and uses this newly drawn map to give Azusa directions to the Morality Manipulation Machine. While Sid and Mira praise Azusa's Death Scythe abilities, Azusa reminds the two that her Clairvoyance is limited to a 50-meter radius and that her Soul Resonance with Sid is performed through his Incom, as she is the only weapon capable of resonating through radio waves. Azusa redirects their attention to this mission, as she can vaguely sense a number of souls near the Morality Manipulation Machine: those of a witch, an old monster, and a very strong soul. Sid can sense those three souls but reminds Azusa that their mission is to destroy the machine first.

Sirens blare and light up throughout the hallway in which Sid stands. He hides in the shadows, assuming he has been detected. But the Arachnophobia guards run to the main entrance instead. Azusa shows Sid the path from his location to the main entrance, where she sees a student she does not recognized—Black Star, armed with Tsubaki in her Ninja Sword Form—effortlessly disabling Arachnophobia guards. Azusa is surprised a student has arrived, but Black Star continues to fight.

While Black Star complains how weak are the Arachnophobia guards, Mosquito arrives at the front steps, grinning wickedly. Behind him, Angela peaks out, recognized instantly by Black Star and Tsubaki. Angela complains at the students' arrival, but Black Star is more surprised to see Mifune present. Tsubaki demands to know why Mifune is present. Mifune explains that he swore to use his sword only to protect children like Angela, and as such, he wants to know why a child like Black Star opposes him. Hearing Mifune's hesitance to fight a child like Black Star, Mosquito takes Angela's hand to lead her away, his wicked smile telling Mifune that either the samurai kills the Shibusen students, or Angela will be put into danger. While Angela fails to understand this threat, Black Star is intrigued by Mifune's behavior.

The samurai unsheathes his sword and prepares to fight, beginning with Infinite Sword Attack. Mifune swings his case of swords upward, the swords flying then descending, their tips landing in the ground. While the swords are motionless, Black Star senses dangerous power coming from them. Black Star is then surprised to see Mifune's quick running has the samurai already in front of him. Black Star barely blocks Mifune's blade with Tsubaki, which impresses Mosquito.

With one of his feet, Mifune knocks up one of his swords from the ground. But before the samurai may wield it, Black Star punches towards Mifune's neck, forcing Mifune to block with his free hand and hence unable to retrieve the sword. Surprised by Black Star's improved strength and strategy since their previous battle, Mifune suggests the ninja is no longer a child and hence a worthy opponent. This remark insults Black Star, as he swings away from Mifune and promises to defeat the samurai again. Angela interrupts to say that Black Star did not win but that Mifune simply refuses to fight seriously against any child. This remark confuses Tsubaki, but Mosquito stands before Angela, reminding Mifune of his order to kill Black Star. Mifune arms himself, refusing to lose against the same opponent twice.

Meanwhile, with the guards no longer around the Morality Manipulation Machine, Sid stands before the Magic Tool, photographing it with a disposable camera. Sid turns to find a number of books, including aged paper in a glass frame that shows Eibon's blueprints for the Magic Tool, which Sid retrieves to take back to the Academy. Sid is then distracted by sound behind him, realizing it is an explosion from the front entrance. Azusa calls with an update as to the battle between Black Star and Mifune, warning that the samurai's Soul Wavelength far exceeds that of the ninja's. Sid responds that he is planting timed explosions around the Machine to destroy it, which he admits was not his original plan but that Black Star's arrival means they now need to save him as well.

Black Star has instructed Tsubaki to take on her Chain Scythe form, whose chains he uses to wrap around multiple swords buried in the ground. Black Star then tugs on the chain to dislodge one sword to fling at Mifune, intending for it to slice into the samurai. But Mifune's eyes and hands are sufficiently adept to catch the handle of the sword without injury.

Annoyed, Black Star tosses the scythes of Tsubaki at Mifune, who dodges and initiates Three Path Shot, sending three blades into the ground through individual chains in Tsubaki's weapon form, keeping Black Star from throwing her scyths again. Mifune runs atop these three swords, removing the last of them to swing at Black Star, who barely dodges.

Black Star tries to retreat, but Mifune removes the second sword still lodged into Tsubaki's chains, swinging one sword down to hold the chain right in Black Star's hand, causing the ninja to trip. Black Star's eyes widen as he sees Mifune descend with his blade ready to slice the ninja.

Before Mifune's blade can hit Black Star, Tsubaki transforms into a Smoke Bomb, then Enchanted Sword form. Fascinated by her multiple weapon forms, Mosquito recognizes Tsubaki as one of the Nakatsukasa Clan, one of the first weapons Arachne created 800 years ago, and of the rumors he heard that one of that family joined Shibusen. Mifune seems less impressed by Tsubaki's transformation, even as he feels Tsubaki's dark energy come from her blade against his own. Black Star then initiates Shadow Star, one shadow leaping to attack Mifune, then multiple shadows formed from the light that emanates from Black Star. Mifune chides Tsubaki, the Enchanted Sword, whether this is the most she can accomplish as he evades their attacks.

Mifune then begins Infinite Sword Attack, trapping Black Star in a nest of twelve swords before he brings down the thirteenth sword for Punishment, sending 24 blows through Black Star. The ninja falls to the ground as his weapon resumes her human form to pick him up. Mifune assures the wounds are minor and orders Tsubaki to return Black Star to the Academy.

As Black Star tries to stand up, wondering how Angela can call Mifune's attacks hardly a serious fight, Tsubaki demands to know why Mifune allies with Arachne. But Mifune points back at Tsubaki that she seems to be here simply because this facility is run by a witch. Tsubaki explains that regardless whether Arachne is a witch, she is the one who hurt their friend. Realizing Arachne has hurt a child, Mifune apologizes. Tsubaki says Mifune owes them no apology but that he should not defend Arachnophobia when his strength in service to children would make him an excellent teacher at the Academy.

Mifune considers being a teacher, receiving admiration from children. But when he hears Angela calling to him, he remembers that, so long as the Academy considers witches to be enemies, he can never ally with that organization.

DeNiro Crime Family Headquarters (The Past)Edit

Mifune remembers working as a bodyguard for DeNiro, a crime boss who intended to use his skills to take over this city. One of the DeNiro children approaches to ask whether he may play with one of Mifune's swords. When a caretaker tries to stop the child, Mifune stops the child himself, saying his sword is too dangerous and to instead take one of his pieces of candy. The child accepts the treat but wants to know why Mifune, if he says he does not eat candy, bothers to carry it around with him. Mifune answers it is because children like candy.

Later, as DeNiro fills his mouth with fried chicken and sits in his boxers watching a television program involving a woman moaning, he tells Mifune that a rival crime organization has captured a witch. Therefore, Mifune is to kill that witch and anyone who gets in his way.

Opposing Crime Family's Headquarters (The Past)Edit

Mifune leaves a path of injured or killed mobsters as he makes his way. The witch approaches Mifune, kept in a straightjacket and saying that, as there is always a lot of killing around her, this samurai must want to kill her. Mifune is disgusted to see that anyone would ask him to kill a child, even if she is a witch.

Docks (The Past)Edit

During one night, DeNiro crime family members are looking for the traitor Mifune, wondering why he would turn down the large payment DeNiro would offer to instead run off with the witch. Mifune hides himself and Angela in the shadows behind some storage containers. Seeing the mobsters depart, Mifune reassures Angela, now freed of her straightjacket, by offering her candy.

Magic Tool Facility (The Present)Edit

Mifune says this battle is over, but Mosquito still insists that the samurai kill Black Star and Tsubaki, referring to Shibusen members as the enemies to Arachnophobia. Mosquito then says Angela's safety is at risk, which the child seems not to notice. Black Star stands to fight again, but Tsubaki tries to stop him. As Mifune thinks Angela can never live in peace with witches, he arms him, lifts his blade above Black Star and Tsubaki, and apologizes.

Blood is sent flying through the sky as Angela gasps. But it is not from Mifune's blade, as he has not yet brought it down upon the Shibusen students. Instead, ammo has fired through Mosquito's chest, knocking off his hat as well as his arm and most of his torso. Another round flies at Mifune, who deflects it with his blade. From afar, Mira triggers the explosives inside the Facility, destroying the Morality Manipulation Machine and distracting Arachnophobia members long enough for all of the Shibusen members to retreat. To cover the retreat for Black Star and Tsubaki, Sid is armed with Azusa, firing shots at Mosquito and Mifune. Sid complains that of course a reckless student like Black Star would interfere with a mission, while Mira responds thinks it is to be expected that a boisterous fighter like the ninja would intervene.

But Mosquito is not finished: as the technician arrives to urge the old man to escape, all Mosquito says is that he needs more blood to heal, jamming his needle-shaped nose into the technician, sapping his blood like his namesake. Mosquito's body instantly regenerates, while the technician's body shrivels. Mosquito takes Angela's hand to escape.

Meanwhile, Sid prepares another shot with Azusa, who explains that she can hit a target within 10 kilometers, but Mifune is able to evade. At that moment, Mifune avoids Sid's scope by standing behind a tree, preparing to depart. Black Star demands to end this battle, but Mifune refuses. The samurai admits Black Star is growing stronger, but he will need to understand the other presence within Tsubaki to improve in combat. Tsubaki blushes as the sword expert compliments her then tosses something wrapped in plastic to Black Star to give to Maka. The object tossed distracts Black Star and Tsubaki long enough for Mifune to vanish.

Death CityEdit

That night, at the dispensary of the Academy, Soul asks Maka whether she will need anything before he departs. Maka says she will be fine, but they are interrupted by the return of Black Star, who is bandaged. As Maka managed to have someone remove the ninja's early marker autograph on her, she scolds the ninja before he tosses candy onto her paralyzed body. Black Star explains it is from a soft-hearted samurai and leaves. Maka complains that the ninja didn't even apologize.

Black Star walks down the hallway alone, complaining how he went to seek revenge and just became Mifune's errand boy.

Soul unwraps and puts the candy into Maka's mouth. But she complains that, for a sweet, this candy tastes like seaweed.

At the basketball court, Black Star sits alone on a bench, finding this situation to be salty.

Manga and Anime DifferencesEdit

  • In Chapter 27, Death the Kid has more dialogue than in this episode.
    • In the manga, Liz suggests hosting a party at Gallows Mansion, until Death the Kid offers to organize this event, to the disappointment of Maka, Liz, and Patty. This moment does not appear in the episode.
    • As well, in this chapter, Kid is later distracted by re-organizing the Medicine Storage Room. This moment does not occur.
  • The presentation of Black☆Star drawing on Maka's face differs in this episode compared to Chapter 27.
  • In Chapter 27, Black☆Star left the dispensary to find the marker to draw on Maka's face, kicking down the dispensary door to enter the room, then wrapping an arm around Soul Evans to laugh with him. In the episode, Black☆Star was already in the dispensary, did not kick down the door, and did not laugh with Soul.
    • As well, in this chapter, Tsubaki attempts to wipe away the markings on Maka's face, worried that the marker is oil-based, while Liz offers to retrieve makeup remover from her locker. This moment does not occur in the episode.
  • In Chapter 27, Sid refers to Mira Naigus's attire as "sexy nurse." In the episode, Sid makes no such comment.
  • In Chapter 27, Soul is with Black☆Star when they overhear Sid and Naigus planning to attack Arachnophobia, and when Black☆Star discourages Soul from joining this mission. Soul is then mocked by the Little Ogre. In the episode, Soul is not with Black☆Star, and the Little Ogre does not speak to Soul.
  • In Chapter 28, Tsubaki suggests Mifune would be better suited as a teacher at the DWMA. In the credits to the anime's final episode, Mifune is shown to have accepted this teaching position. In the manga, however, Black Star kills Mifune in the Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle Arc.


  • This episode is the first to include the song Papermoon, used here during Black Star and Mifune's duel and which will serve as the anime's second opening.
  • In the English dub, Mosquito says it was Arachne's sister who made the Nakatsukasa. However, this is a translation error: the manga and the original Japanese of the anime refer to Arachne as having created the Nakatsukasa.
  • Mifune uses his thirteenth sword to complete his Infinite Sword Attack upon Black Star. The number thirteen is associated with bad luck, as already alluded by Free and his previous status as Prisoner 13.
  • By the suggestive moaning on the television, this episode's audio in the English dub hints that DeNiro is watching pornography on television while he gives his orders to Mifune.
  • Mifune refers to a presence within Tsubaki, which foreshadows the Will of Nakatsukasa to appear in a later episode.
  • In the preview for the next episode, Maka complains that the next episode features the return of Medusa Gorgon. But Angela interrupts that the next episode is actually about Mifune taking her to the park. Maka tries to scolds Angela to listen to her elders and be quiet, but Angela remarks that Maka is still a kid, too. When Maka says her tagline, which sounds like she is saying it to Angela, the witch sounds as if she mocks this attempt to sound scary.


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