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Volume 20

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Usher explains his writing strategy for Soul Eater and how he came to write Soul Eater Not!.

GAIDEN 20 is the twentieth Soul Eater GAIDEN short story. It first appeared in Volume 20 of the manga Soul Eater.

Featured Appearances


  • Usher
  • Unnamed tall bird
  • Rat (resurrected as a zombie)
  • Unnamed small bird
  • Unnamed bearlike being




Despite previous events, Atsushi-Ya remains standing, "a place where 'GYAAAAA!!!' leads to 'KABOOM!'" Inside, Usher looks much more gruff, standing along with Rat, the bearlike being, and the tall bird.

Usher asks whether readers have purchased Soul Eater Not!, which began two years ago. He explains that, when he began Soul Eater, he already had the plot and details like the DWMA fully formed and shared with his editors. He thought too many manga had characters who were developed through flashbacks, which he considered too clever. Therefore, he decided to develop his characters in the present rather than referring to their pasts.

Usher admits he could have made more money targeting adult readers, but he did not intend Soul Eater to be a "complex intellectual manga endeavor where every detail and all that other finicky nonsense ends up drowning out the big themes." Instead, he focused on "action and momentum," so he could "write freely."

But upon reaching Volume 20, Usher has realized he has been too late to thoroughly explain certain details. At this point, the illustrations are less grim, brighter, and less angular, and Usher is joined by the small bird. Usher says he hates when writers give exposition as backstory or appendices. Therefore, he started Soul Eater Not! to introduce details about the settings of Death City and the Death Weapon Meister Academy, while still telling a story "through an alternative presentation that really moves in a different direction from the main Soul Eater series."

Usher then bows and hopes readers enjoy both Soul Eater and Soul Eater Not!

The chapter concludes by referring to Atsushi-Ya as "a place where new series are shamelessly plugged in a desperate attempt to increase sales," wishing that readers return here soon—and make this "popular."


  • In the previous chapter, Katlabor blew up and Atsushi-Ya seemed to be destroyed. In this chapter, Katlabor does not appear and the illustrations are initially drearier, suggesting a darker turn to GAIDEN. However, this apparent darkness then dissolves as Usher keeps speaking about the much lighter manga series Soul Eater Not!


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