Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul is my total Must. Watch. The. Moment. Episode. Airs. show of the season. It’s almost painful waiting for each new one. I loved Genesis and it wasn’t without it’s problems, but it did a wonderful job of creating a fun cast of characters that are all back in good form this season. Virgin Soul has actually improved Genesis by giving it much more context. There’s been a vast improvement in character development as there damn well should be. It’s been ten years since Bahamut went bonkers and tried to destroy all the things. To have that much insane shit happen how could the characters NOT be slightly different now?
The adorable, bratty Azazel has been through his own small hell and back with having the demon base raided by the self-righteous prick, Charioce. Demons are now enslaved and tortured by humans and Azazel has become a hell-bent freedom fighter. He’s still not a good person per se (in order to save demons he’s gone on a human killing spree), but he’s definitely grown a fair bit. Instead of using humans for entertainment, he now has outright hatred of them for enslaving the demons and shooting down gods. And yet, he’s not killed Kaisar even when given the chance and confronted with the fact that violence begetting violence is wrong. We all know Kaisar may have been given a pass because the two worked together at the end of Genesis to control Bahamut, but I think the real reason lies elsewhere. Azazel knows what he’s doing isn’t the best way to go about changing human minds towards their new slave class and I think it’s been made clear he’s not out to kill all of humanity. He simply wants to save his people. He’s focused all his hatred on Charioce.
Kaisar has also grown into a total freaking hot-mess BAMF. He still overthinks things at times, but some habits are hard to break. In general, he’s this season’s Voice of Reason. He knows what Charioce, his king, is doing is downright wrong, and he’s also trying to stop Azazel from becoming too obsessed with revenge. The fight scene with all three of these hunks was fucking phenomenal. Two fierce opposites pitted against each other with Kaisar trying to find a middle ground for both, swinging his sword around to counter each of them. The end moment of the battle with Charioce and Kaisar was so freaking good. Even the look on Charioce’s face said: Dayumn dude… respect! And the season is only half over!
One thing this season has over Genesis is it’s playing with feels in a much more open and raw manner. Jeanne D’arc is a major player and the backstory to what’s happened on her end was one of the most emotionally raw episodes I’ve seen in anime in a long time. From Azazel giving the new protagonist, Nina, a lesson in slavery, to Kaisar confronting Azazel and Charioce on social justice, to Jeanne’s heart-wrenching decision to save her child in the most brutal way possible – Virgin Soul is not pulling back its sucker punches to the feels.
The main protag, Nina the half dragon, so far has be a rather two-bit character merely connecting the other characters together. When she’s horny, she sprouts into her dragon form and wreaks havoc until her libido runs out. There are lots of parallels to Disney princesses and I get it, but this princess needs some character development stat. So far, she feels sidelined to me in comparison to the greater battle of Azazel/Charioce. A lot of time has been spent on her, but her role has yet to really shine this season. At most, she’s been a foil to plot developments and is clearly being set up as a love interest between Azazel and Charioce. There’s a distinct Pride & Prejudice vibe to both situations where neither “Darcy” is what he seems to be and the fandom is split between who will win with Charioce x Nina being the stronger voice. They are all waiting for “Chris” to turn an about-face character-wise. I can totally see it because HELLO the dancing scene. Mmmmm, that was some delicious sakuga there. (But I’m still team Azazel.)
Rita, the amazing zombie is still doing what she does best – rescuing everyone’s lame ass. And Mugaro/El is the show’s wild card. I’m guessing Mug will manage to do what Kaisar can’t in helping Azazel and Charioce realize the wrong doings of their ways. Or… maybe it’ll be FAVAROOOOOOO!!! Since he was one of the biggest heroes of Genesis there’s no way he won’t play a major role – now that he’s finally appeared – this season. Motivation behind Charioce’s genocidal war on demons/gods remains TBD so as a character, he’s not very easy to relate to and I have a hard time shipping the egotistical prick with Nina’s obtuse naivete. He needs some character building stat as well. I’m sure both will be given more meat, but it really needs to happen sooner than later.
Thoughts on what’ll happen from here on out….
- Nina now knows her Prince Charming is actually King Genocidal Maniac. Hopefully this reality check will give us a whole lotta character dev and a reason to ultimately want Charioce kicked in the balls or given a hug. I’m hoping for Nina to come into her own as character, actively contributing to the plot instead of being a generic plot device. I’m also curious as to whether or not her dragon transformation will now still be reliant on her getting a female boner. I think now she’s seeing the men around her for who they really are she’ll either not be able to transform at all or her meter for dragon form will change to a different emotional context.
- Kaisar and Favaro are back together, therefore hijinxs. I’m kinda wondering whether or not they will resolve their fight with Azazel since he directly and indirectly killed both their fathers (related in Genesis). Kaisar has had a few chances already to off Azazel so I’m guessing either the dad killer grudge is over or he’s willing to forgive the demon based on the current state of affairs. Favaro might be a different story though…TBD.
- I’m guessing Bacchus and Hamsa will help Sophiel in busting Mugaro out of the angel realm so they can all go save Nina/Azazel/Jeanne. Mugaro has been a bit hard to read, but it’s clear he’s not planning on being the gods’ pawn for long. The kid’s got a good poker face.
- My biggest worry is for Azazel. I’m all for character redemption and this poor guy is definitely due. Although he’s done all he can to take down Charioce the guy just can’t get a break. For as much as I enjoyed his whipping dungeon scenes, I’m ready for my husbando to be back in action. He’s not without his scruples, obviously, but I’m so afraid the show will ultimately turn him into a victim character who goes off the deep end, ignoring all reason in the face of blinding rage and become a pure villain as a result of his prideful stubbornness. I can’t say for sure whether or not that’ll happen, but I’ve seen that trend in shows with questionable antagonists before. It would be understandable in his case, but it could also feel like a cop-out considering his almost Robin Hood-esque role at the beginning of the series.
- How all of this relates to Bahamut or if Bahamut will even be an issue this time around is TBD. There was a hint though when Azazel said Nina’s dragon reminded him of a little Bahamut. She can’t control her dragon form at all and goes batshit insane when she does transform. Hmmm….Does this mean she’ll end up emotionally damaged in a way that causes her to turn Bahamut-like, resulting in humans/demons/gods working together again to stop her?
I really wasn’t expecting to like this show nearly as much as I do. I wasn’t keen on it at first because I’d heard it revolved around a horny, virgin dragon girl who was possibly thrown into harem situs with the new cast. However, after watching the first episode, I was hooked.
This season is set up completely opposite of Genesis. Instead of a roaming adventure tale, the story is all contained in the royal capital. It’s also more concerned with moral dilemmas than straight up action: Kaisar going against his king and trying to stop demon/god retribution and Jeanne, giving up her child (twice) in order to stop Charioce from having too much control and power to take down the gods. I’m sure there’ll be more coming up in the second cour.
I succumbed to a fucking Amazon Strike subscription for this show. Fucking double charging Assholes. I have also watched other shows on there I wanted to see before, but couldn’t (Scum’s Wish) and they may get more good ones in the future. I may drop my Funimation sub though because I’ve not touched it in ages and just watch Crunchyroll for mostly everything. So I guess that evens out since they cost the same.