The series starts settling into a storyline in vol 2 which has barely no fan service except two things that are pretty much totally unnecessary both surrounding Tsubaki (her on the cover dressed to show she’s either panty-less or wearing a thong and her in a group shower scene) Those aside, the mangaka is obviously moving from the 3 one-shots beginning in vol 1 to a coherent plot.
Team Tsubaki/Black Star & Team Maka/Soul are doing remedial lessons (something plot wise that bugs me. Now Black Star has never managed to get a soul for Tsubaki but Maka/Soul had previously gained 99 souls before losing them all for screwing up. They obviously know what they’re doing and it’s suggested in these lessons they don’t know how to work at a team. See a problem?) In their last remediation, they captured the former professor now Zombie Sid and he’s led them to his creator, Dr. Franken Stein.
The storyline becomes two-pronged, one with the kids fighting Stein and the other with Spirit, Maka’s father and Lord Death’s current weapon, who used to be Stein’s partner and unwitting research subject. Stein lives to dissect and as a meister he is unrivaled. However, is he the enemy they think he is and if so, can they possibly take someone so above their skill set.
The next chapters detail Death the Kid’s first day at school wherein Black Star and Soul skip class (which I suppose is a bit spoilery for the above story arc). Black Star wants to prove himself by beating Kid up. Unfortunately for him, Kid isn’t just any meister. He’s Lord Death’s son and therefore a death god by default.
The last chapters begin what will be the first long story arc for the series. Soul and Maka are in Italy hunting down someone on Shinigami’s list when she senses danger. She drags Soul off to investigate but end up facing someone she has no idea how dangerous s/he is. Crona, the demon sword meister. Crona is the daughter/son of Medusa, a witch (his or her gender is unknown and a running gag in the series. The anime and so far the manga is referring to Crona as male). Crona’s mother is manipulating the young man into becoming a kishin, a supremely evil soul. She has embedded his weapon, the demon sword, inside his body. Crona is a bundle of neurosis and self doubt, incapable of telling Mommy no.
Unfortunately for Maka and Soul, Crona is a very good fighter and he has black blood. This blood can not only make Crona’s body impossibly hard and cut-resistant, he can use it as a weapon. Soul can’t do anything against him. Crona, on the other hand, badly hurts Soul. Luckily for Maka and Soul, her dad and his handler come to help them but there will be lasting effects for Soul.
In vol 3, we see Soul struggling with the fact that Crona’s black blood is now intermixed with his own and the nightmares he’s been having ever since. In the meantime, Kid and Black Star go in search of the ultimate weapon, Excalibur. This is very much a gag storyline and Excalibur is so very annoying (and I’m praying the manga won’t overuse him like the anime did). It does nothing for me. I don’t find it funny.
However, the bulk of this volume is all centered on Black Star and Tsubaki (admittedly my least favorite character, Black Star that is). Tsubaki is out to stop the Uncanny Sword before it becomes a Kishin. This weapon is her older brother. Unfortunately for them, they find him in a town who was all but destroyed by the Star clan that Black Star is from. While they try to punish him, Tsubaki tries to stop her brother.
The last chapter continues the long story arc where we see some of Medusa’s plans and how the other witches don’t want her to succeed because it’s a danger to them. Medusa has plans for this turn of events too. I don’t think there was a moment of unnecessary nudity in this one.