This is my very first OWLS blog post! I’ve been very excited to join this group of wonderful, kind people for a long time, and the time has finally come for me to be a true part of the group.
When given the topic of the month: “Team” in regards of the LGBT+ community, it took me a while to decide on what I would be talking about. I’m very new to the community, so my spectrum isn’t very large. I can count on one hand the number of shows/comics I’ve read or watching dealing with this community. So, I decided to talk about something that wasn’t very expected.
Soul Eater is a show I hold close to my heart. The characters I hold even closer. In My Top 5 Animes I discussed my favorite characters. Number 3 was Crona. I put this character toward the top of my list of favorite characters, and I always have. I’m that strange fan who loves Crona. I never truly knew why, but in this post, I’m hoping to explore that more.
Crona Gorgon is the child of the witch, Medusa, whose goal is to release the kishin on the world. It’s clear from the beginning that Medusa is the villain in this show, and when initially seeing Crona, you expect them to also become a villain. At first, yes, Crona listens to their mother and acts as a weapon. It’s not their choice, though, seeing as Medusa threatens to hurt Crona if they do not cooperate.
Later, after Crona and Maka are involved in an intense battle, Maka decides to befriend Crona and they become a part of the group at the DWMA. Unfortunately, Crona is used as a spy by Medusa, so this is short lived. During this time, though, we get to see a lot of Crona’s past and what they truly want. Crona was pretty much abused by Medusa, forcing them into an empty, dark room, with only their weapon, Ragnarok, for company. This was supposed to make Crona a more powerful tool for Medusa to use, but only makes Crona fearful of their mother and more unsure of themselves.
Crona is constantly at war with their mind, part wants to follow their instinct and become good, but the other is in fear of their mother and wants to give up. This internal turmoil was what drew me to this character. Honestly, these characters tend to be the most interesting. Give me deeply troubled, conflicted characters to feel bad for and I’m good to go. That sounds terrible, but it’s true. Characters that are happy all the time get old, and though arguably, all characters in Soul Eater have a dark past, Crona’s is one of the most depressing.
The DWMA group
When Crona is first introduced, Soul and Maka are in Italy on an extracurricular lesson. Maka notices there are a bunch of souls in an old church, along with a more abnormal soul. When they get close to the church, though, only one soul remains.
When they go in, they see Crona there. At first, nobody says anything to each other. Crona is communicating with their mother, Medusa and their weapon, Ragnarok. Maka and Soul only speak to each other about the weird person on the other end of the room.
They meet each other as enemies, because Crona had been raised to become the “ultimate evil” as a kishin, meister, and weapon in one body. Maka and Soul’s job is to kill all of the kishin, so naturally, they fight.
The fight between them is interesting, and Crona is shown to be clearly unstable, due to multiple reasons. One being the weapon inside of them, another being the constant voice of their evil mother in their head, and another being unsure of whether they are good or evil. Crona has never wanted to be evil, hence how they become a part of the team later on.
I love all of the episodes Crona is a part of, especially the one where it shows Crona and Maka as children. I love the friendship Crona and Maka have, even though it’s only shown through a few episodes. Maka is entirely accepting of Crona, even though they are technically on the evil side by default. Crona desperately wants friends and is happy when the team opens up to them. Though, it still takes time for Crona to become used to people acknowledging them.
Something I truly love is the fact that only once is the question of Crona’s gender brought up, if I remember correctly. I believe Liz said it, though I can’t remember what episode that was in. Nobody really knows what Crona identifies as, because it doesn’t really matter at all. The group welcomes Crona wholeheartedly, and isn’t even angry when Crona lets one of Medusa’s snakes loose. The group knows Crona doesn’t truly mean harm, because the only reason they are listening to Medusa is because their own life is at risk otherwise. The group knows this.
They accept Crona despite the insanity lurking within them, their questionable ethics, and unknown gender. They know Crona needs friends, and they provide.
Most people in the Soul Eater fanbase are not as accepting, though. When Crona is brought up, it’s generally not to say how bad they feel for Crona, or how skilled Crona is.
No, it’s always “Oh, what do you think Crona’s gender is?” Poor Crona is always seen as a question, rather than a well-rounded character like they truly are. It’s honestly annoying as a dedicated fan of the show.
I will admit, I used to be one of those people, and I had a preferred way of seeing Crona, but upon looking at it more, I’ve decided it doesn’t matter. I now use “they” as the pronoun, because Crona has never stated one or the other, and I want to respect that there is no solid answer. The creator themselves purposefully made Crona without gender, and I don’t think it was to confuse fans and start a gender war.
It’s a bit ridiculous to see that the first autofill on Google is “gender.” There’s a whole slew
of memes and “motivational posters” for it. It makes me so upset to see such an amazingly written character treated this way.
As a collective fanbase, I think we should ignore this whole question and accept that Crona has no specific gender. I know this is not an uncommon thing to have a non-specified character.
Dialogue in the Manga and Anime
It’s hard to constantly refer to a character as “they.” Just writing this, I’ve had to be aware of how my sentences looked. I had to use “the group” rather than “they” because it could get confusing about who I’m talking about if I used “they” for both Crona and the group. Which is why Crona is referred to as “he” in the manga and anime. This does not mean Crona is male. It was done for convenience, and not confusing the viewers and readers.
I watched the dubbed version by Funimation, and I own the DVD copy. On there, episode seven is commentated by the director, Maka’s voice actor, and Soul’s voice actor. This was the episode Crona was introduced, so there was a lot of talk about Crona. Including the pronouns. In there, it was explained that the writers of the English script had to go back and forth between what they would use as Crona’s pronoun, so they chose “he” since it was just the default. It was not the writers choosing a preferred gender or ignoring the way the character was written, only allowing the actors to understand their lines.
Another example of this is Hanji Zoe from Attack on Titan. From what I’ve seen, Hanji was non-gendered in the manga, but for the anime the creators changed Hanji’s gender. Again, for simplicity. Hanji is not portrayed as feminine in the anime, or masculine for that matter. I can entirely respect this decision since using “they” in a story is a bit confusing when it comes to sentence structure. But if done correctly, it can be used. I’ve seen it.
Overall, Crona is a great character that should be recognized more throughout the fandom. Not as “that character with the confusing gender,” but the character with internal turmoil and conflicting motives. Crona is probably one of the most troubled characters in all of Soul Eater. They constantly must go between trusting the DWMA group and their own mother. They feel the DWMA will make them happy, but Medusa has the ability to make their life even worse if they defy her. Not to mention, their own weapon will beat them up just to make them feel bad. Crona must have a whole slew of mental issues, which makes them a really interesting character. The pressure they feel is immense, and they’ve gotten to the point where they break down when given even a small task. “I don’t know how to deal with that” is Crona’s phrase. They have been hurt mentally and physically their entire life, so even the simplest thing makes them give up.
I feel for Crona. I want them to be happy, and it’s hard when your mother is an evil witch trying to kill your friends.
I hope you all enjoyed my OWLS post! It was a little weird, but this is probably due to my newness to the LGBT+ community, so I’m still a little unsure about things. I just don’t want to offend any of you. It’s the last thing I’d want to do.
But, I recently finished a fabulous webcomic by the name of “Always Human” which deals with a lot of LGBT+ stuff, so I highly recommend you check it out. I found it on LINE Webtoon, but the creator is also on Tumblr @walkingnorth. I wasn’t told to spread the comic I just loved it so much I want to share it. And what better time than during Pride month?
Be sure to check out the other fabulous posts done by the wonderful OWLS group. The one before me by Naja (Nice Job Breaking It, Hero) and the one after me by Lita Kino . The other tour posts are on the OWLS website at OWLS: Otaku Warriors For Liberty and Self-Respect .
I’ll be doing my next OWLS post on July 7th so look for that!