Some mangaka are primarily known for a single franchise that fans love for years on end. Akira Toriyama, for example, is the author of Dr. Slump, but most fans associate him much more closely with his famed Dragon Ball franchise. Meanwhile, Masashi Kishimoto brought us Naruto, Eiichiro Oda penned One Piece, and Tite Kubo is the mastermind behind Bleach.
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Author Atsushi Okubo, meanwhile, may not rank among those legends, but he does have two fan-favorite anime series under his belt: Soul Eater, and more recently, Fire Force (the anime is ongoing for the latter). Both of these series have merit, but when you've got two solid works by the same author, you can't resist the temptation to compare them! Let us now consider whether Fire Force is a total improvement on Soul Eater, or whether Soul Eater is the real classic around here.
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10 Fire Force: Modern Animation
In all fairness, this is more of a reflection of different decades than anything, but it still counts. It is now 2020, and anime fans are quite used to high-def visuals, silky-smooth animation, and CGI and 3-D images to create some stunning visuals.
In this category, there is no question that Fire Force is the better watch. All the steampunk and futuristic backgrounds and props alike are gorgeous to see, and better yet, the fire special effects and combat scenes really push the animation envelope. By no means is Soul Eater ugly to look at, but it can't compare to these modern animation techniques.
9 Soul Eater: Cool Goth Vibe
Do you love goth culture? Ravens, dark poetry and vampires tickle your fancy? Many fans do! Halloween is one stylish holiday, and most just can't wait for October 31st to roll around every year. Like the beloved anime series D.Gray-Man, Soul Eater revels in the goth look.
In particular, Soul Eater has a slightly cartoony goth look, as viewers can tell from the living crescent moon and the flying mouse critters in this screenshot. Don't forget all the witches, scythes, graveyards, and mad scientists in this series, either. Goth fans, rejoice!
8 Fire Force: Tighter Plot
Some anime get right to the point and have the end goal in mind. In a way, these anime series are more like an animated novel or a very long movie, and they don't feel, well, as episodic as other series. Some franchises really stop to smell the roses and explore every square inch of their world, but some viewers might get impatient with that.
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Both Fire Force and Soul Eater have cool stories to tell, but early on, Fire Force treats us to all kinds of mysteries and developments that draw us right in and keep us there. Why are Infernals being created on purpose? What will company 8's investigations show? Who is the Evangelist, and why did Giovanni turn against his fellow firefighters? Even at the end of season 1, all kinds of juicy mysteries remain, and we love it.
7 Soul Eater: Living Weapons
Just look at all these cool characters. These are the good guys, and they must make a pretty great team on the field of battle. They certainly do, but not in the way you'd expect. Half of them are living weapons!
Soul Eater puts a fun twist on Shonen fantasy action: weapons can think for themselves, and they shift back and forth between human and weapon. See Soul Eater Evans, the guy in yellow? He's not the hero... he's the hero's weapon! Maka, the scowling girl in a black coat, wields him in battle, and they make a great team.
6 Fire Force: Family Tragedy
Now, Soul Eater certainly has its share of tragic moments. But we say that Fire Force has the more compelling drama, and it all unfolds in the Kusakabe family. Early on, flashbacks show that Shinra, the protagonist, lost his mom and brother in a house fire, and he was lucky to get out alive.
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But not so fast. Shinra's little brother Sho (pictured) did not perish. Rather, their mother became that Infernal, and Sho was abducted and taken to the Evangelist as an infant. Now, years later, both brothers face off on the field of battle, and Shinra's heart is aching the entire time. Will his family ever be whole again?
5 Soul Eater: Colorful Characters
Just who are these two oddballs? They are teachers at Death Weapon Meister Academy, and they are just as wacky as they look. The gentleman on the left is Franken Stein, a mad scientist (as you probably guessed), and the charming lady to the right is Marie Mjolnir, who uses hammers in combat.
Don't they look like fun? While Fire Force has a solid cast of characters, author Ktsuki Okuba really let loose with Soul Eater, and the sky was the limit when it came to this cast of characters. With this huge variety of characters around, we must give the edge to Soul Eater in this department.
4 Fire Force: Creative Use Of Fire
By now, you must get the impression that Fire Force's characters are pretty dull compared to the zany cast of Soul Eater, and perhaps the same is true of the action. Fortunately, that's far from the case. Fire Force explores the concept of fire in heat in totally innovative ways.
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While Soul Eater has a wider variety of magic powers amongst its characters and Fire Force is limited to fire-based material, we get the most of it. Characters don't just fling fireballs; they can control gunpowder explosion to create magic bullets (way cool), make a victim's body go slack from heat exposure, and even alter the entire universe's thermal energy to freeze time! You'll never see fire the same way again.
3 Soul Eater: More Character Arcs
True, Fire Force is still ongoing, so some character growth is still in the future for that series. But for the time being, we can safely say that the characters of Soul Eater have better arcs, and some of them are totally different people than when they started out.
Take Tsubaki, for example, who was a total wallflower at first, but she became a much more confident and powerful young woman/human weapon. Crona, at left, also has a bit of an arc, and we feel pretty bad for him as we watch him struggle to become somebody we can all admire.
2 Fire Force: Firefighters And Religion
Quick: what do fire departments and churches have in common? Oh yeah... nothing. At least, not as we know them. Fire Force is one of those anime shows that creates cool Shonen action sequences out of something totally mundane and decidedly unwarlike, such as fire fighting.
Real-life firefighters don't battle monsters, but they do in Fire Force: Infernals, the poor victims of spontaneous combustion. Once an Infernal is slain, the victim's soul is escorted to heaven, and nuns like Iris are there to help. What an idea, bringing prayer to a fire fighting scene. Only Atsushi Okubo could pull off something like that!
1 Soul Eater: Great Humor
Humor is subjective, we know. What's hysterical to one person is kind of lame or weird to another. But we feel confident when we say that Soul Eater tops Fire Force when it comes to comic relief, and this is made easier by the show's zany visuals and cast of characters.
Just how many times as Maka clobbered Soul after he annoyed her? Don't forget Franken Stein's dramatic first appearance in the classroom, either, or the quips and visual gags even in combat. Soul Eater never fails to break out the charm.