Shingeki no Bahamut Virgin Soul – thus far (spoilers)


This show infuriates me, but I can’t quit it. This my ranting, ramblings on the show up to episode 17.

I fell completely in love with the new character-driven story line of Virgin Soul, set in one main locale for the first 7-8 episodes. It was very different from it’s predecessor, Genesis, and showed so much potential to be vastly greater by giving the characters more depth and purpose. This in turn gave even greater meaning to the events and people from Genesis in hindsight.

And then it all fell down like a house of cards. The character development stopped and has been painstakingly dragging on ever since. I’m starting to wonder now if maybe a two-cour show was a little too ambitious because so far everything since the dungeon arc has been quite mediocre and even the animation quality has dropped off.

From the beginning, Nina, the main protagonist, has been the center for the show and she was quirky and fun and sassy – for a short while. The show did a decent job of showing us her personality and even giving her a few hardships to get over, but in general I honestly don’t feel like she’s progressed as a character at all. I don’t even see her as the main protagonist. She’s just that annoying loud, naive high school girl who is boy-crazy and jumps on any wagon that passes her by to take her to the next plot point. I honestly feel she’s side character B, and the show focuses on her to get more laughs and to rile up other characters. Otherwise, she’s done pretty much zilch as a proper protagonist. She helps other characters and motivates them to do better for themselves due to her insanely boundless levels of optimism and peppiness, which is all well and good – for side B characters who give main characters the moral boost they need to get their butts moving again. When have we seen Nina actually try and move the plot along of her own volition and make her own decisions to do well by those she cares about? It’s obvious that she is more or less the underdog of the show compared to the other more established characters from Genesis, but to my mind she’s yet to make her debut as Protagonist. She always says she will help out, but even then she just ends up going along for the ride and rarely ever takes true initiative. [Seriously, Amira, from Genesis was ten times more proactive and she was still technically a child cognitive-wise compared to Nina.]  I keep waiting for the a-ha moment to strike her, but I still don’t think I’ve seen it. She’s just wandering around doing what the other characters ask her to do in order to help them out. She also keeps running into her genocidal maniac of a boyfriend, which now just makes me roll my eyes every time.

Ok, so the elephant in the room with the show is the Charioce x Nina romance that the show has officially stamped as CANON with this past week’s kiss on episode 17. (Part of me wonders if MAPPA caved due to all the Nina x Charioce shipping going on and decided to give the fans what they want.) Nina goes off dressed as a “demon” and runs into Charioce at his mom’s grave and we get his sad mommy story again. It’s never explicit that dead mommy dearest is the reason why he’s a genocidal/slave driving maniac now or not, but it clearly weighs heavily on him. The chip on his shoulder is about as big as Utah. But after spending the day hanging out with Nina in the demon slums (that he created by dragging all the demons to the capital to enslave), playing with the demon children (that have their controlling collars on he mandated for his demon slaves), and running away from his all-knowing Onxy Knights (who were watching him the whole time and he was aware of – just in case the demon slaves he was playing with revolted) the long awaited confession – of sorts – happened. If only he hadn’t met Nina who he’s really not known that much! He’s the always-unhappy-genocidal-king, but Nina came into his life and he’s all…. pretty much the fucking same as ever other than just saying “if only…”. She tries to get some answers out of him, but he can’t because….. reasons… and she’s not important enough to confide in. He has CONVICTIONS and that’s all she/the viewers gets right now and that’ll have to do based on the pained expression with which he says it. She cries because he said “if only….” and they kiss. I really wanted to see Rita show up with Rocky to bitch-slap both of them. The animation quality was up to par for this – of course- but I have to say that blue tone wasn’t doing Charioce any favors.

I get that people can ship whoever they want and there’s an enormous Charioce x Nina fandom out there (some of the fanart really is cute), but I’m not buying it. Episode 17 aired and we still don’t have shit on what’s making Charioce tick. There have been zero clues other than CONVICTIONS (with a pained expression) and him constantly visiting mom’s grave. His personality is still as one-note as ever and the only time it changes are the few scenes with Nina, but the interaction between them is so childishly simple I don’t care for it at all. It’s more like they are both 12 year olds with big crushes on each other, but then he plays that he hates her in front of his school friends, the Onxy Knights. He knows Nina considers Kaisar a friend and she doesn’t want Azazel to die, but just the day before Charioce was in his bored-king-is-bored pose watching those two fight to the death in the arena because he doesn’t give two shits for the people Nina cares about. Nina also has rather sub-par standards if she’s still ok with accepting CONVICTIONS (with pained expression) and a total non-reason for all his actions thus far. I honestly don’t see any way possible Charioce can be redeemed at this point. I get there’s a reason to the romance, which is Nina gets over her dead daddy issues and can now turn into a dragon at-will. The transformation issues were a nice touch to understanding the trauma caused by Bahamut in Genesis, but the resolution to that trauma was completely lackluster and undermines just how dangerous Bahamut was if she can get over it with just one kiss with a man whose ultimate goals and intentions she’s still not sure about. That was seriously the most anti-climactic side plot resolution of the show thus far. They kiss! She can transform! They go on a Disney-style I’m-King-of-the-world ride! What the actual fuck, MAPPA. I had a teensy tiny bit of hope that Charioce might be playing Nina with the back-to-angry-genocidal-king expression on his face after she leaves him, but then that was dashed when the lead Onxy Knight scene showed up. Is the Onxy Knight really the dastardly villain pulling the strings? Even if he is, I still don’t think Charioce is worth redemption. I’d almost prefer the show deus-ex-machina a split personality of Chris/Charioce to explain his actions. Granted, that would be one of the worst cop-outs, but it’s been done plenty of times before in anime. If that’s the case, then sure give the asshole to Nina to care for and they live happily ever after going on dragon rides together.

Meanwhile… there’s an actual plot! Somewhere! Really there is, but it’s been sorta side-swiped by the Charioce x Nina shoujo that butted itself into the middle of it and has turned an action-packed, character-driven show into something that’s dragging it’s feet, lost all momentum and made the new characters of the show the most boring parts of it.

There was some respite with Mugaro reuniting with his mom, Jeanne. That along with Jeanne’s backstory episode have been the most powerful moments of the whole show thus far. I honestly felt Nina’s sobbing comedic moment ruined it, but that’s because I’m really sick of her at this point and any other plots would do best to leave her out. I’m glad Mugaro is back on board and has somewhat gotten over his Charioce syndrome of being The One To Handle All The Things because that really was a low point for him.

When Nina was part of the action in the first quarter of the show, it was still fun and exciting. Now I feel like she’s preventing it from moving because she has yet to become the Protagonist. The old school crew (Kaisar, Favaro, Rita, Hamsa, Bacchus, and Azazel) have been in a holding pattern while the show caters to it’s completely ridiculous romance that has yet to provide any decent momentum to the plot. I want them to come back into focus because they are the more redeeming parts of the show. If the romance moved the plot along – sure, but so far it’s done nothing. Whenever scenes with Nina x Chris are over it’s game-on with the other characters who are actually trying to bring about peace and save EVERYONE from King Dumbass’s hand puppet death star. Although the romance may have been an integral part of Nina’s growth as a character, it’s not been handled well and has yet to provide any assurance that she’s changed for the better to be an active protagonist with some sense of agency. She seriously needs this to happen – five episodes ago – to make her worth caring about. She’s great as the upbeat, comedic, light-hearted star but I need more out of her right now. She’s far too childish considering what she’s been through and seen. Girl needs to get moving and take a cue from Favaro, who has the comedic goofball/protagonist roll down like a champ. He knows how to bring his game on, she’s…. not even close yet.

I’m waiting for Lucifer to make his debut this season as well. The new OP showed him starting at episode 13 and we’ve past 17 with not even a word about him. See how much the stupid romance has slowed down the plot! I was glad Azazel was brought back into the fray, albeit briefly, and I’m ready for his black leather clad tight ass to start kicking some ass again. I no longer ship him with Nina. She’s just too annoying and I prefer Azazel as the tsundere he’s turning out to be with helping out Kaisar. The moment where Kaisar confronts him to help them out with hand-puppet-death-star was reminiscent of the scene in Genesis where Kaisar makes the same plea in helping to defeat Bahamut. It re-affirmed Azazel’s role as tsundere and the still-bad-but-less-so villain I love in the show. I think I ship them together now. Hopefully we’ll get some Azazel/ Kaisar/ Favaro/ Rita/ Lucifer action this week.


Routine colors


I seem to have a thing for wearing black and blue together. The bright shoes really throw this off, but I’m ok with that.

Shirt: Everlane – drop shoulder tee. Pants: Grana. Shoes: Lems Primal 2. Necklace: Swarovski – gift.

So looking through my pinterest over the past week makes me laugh a bit. I’ve gone from Eileen Fisher lagenlook chic to Rick Owens, Comme de Garcons, and lots of Yohji Yamamoto. Affordable (to a degree) lagenlook to…. high end fashion avant-guard that’s waaaaay out of my range. Yet I’m still coveting a lot of it and have even found some of it for prices that I could afford if I only buy one item – and then save another 6 months for the next one. I’ve always liked Comme de Garcons just because the designs were always so wildly amusing and the silhouettes are totally different from most other designers. If I had to choose one designer though whose clothes could be the only ones I’d ever wear for the rest of my life (assuming money isn’t an issue – more a mandate: wear only 1 designer’s clothes) then it’d definitely have to be Yohji Yamamoto. I’ll even pare that down further since he’s got two lines: Y’s and Y-3 collaboration with Adidas. Out of the two, I’d take the high-end Y’s range, but if allowed then sure, give me both.

I love his tailoring and the “unstructured” structured look of his clothes. The asymmetrical lines of skirts and billowing sleeves are completely beautiful to me. Also, he tends to dress women in a much more masculine manner and I’ve always been a fan of that look on women.

To the very few people who may (or may not) read this blog: if you could only wear the clothing of one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be?

Back to the grind, slowly


Boring outfit is boring. I’m in the middle of my busy time at work so I didn’t really put much effort in to my outfit today.

Tank: Grana. Jeans: Grana – no longer available. Hoodie: Target – old. Shoes: Lems – Primal 2. Necklace: gift.

I’ve been doing workouts on and off while recuperating from tendinitis. I’m now at the stage where I can take walks in the neighborhood and slowly build up strength in my ankle again. It’s nice being able to go outside – or even to walk in general. I may go see a chiropractor though. I’ve been feeling a little off body-wise and part of it may be from walking around on the boot, which made me hobble about unevenly.

Mahou Tsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus Bride)


Last night I saw a one-night showing of the first three episodes of Mahou Tsukai no Yome. After watching the first OVA on Crunchyroll a while back I fell in love with it and anxiously awaited the other OVAs (there’s 3 – 2 are released so far). I also realized this was based on a manga and so looked that up and started reading it. I’ll go over what I saw last night.

Hatori Chise is a Slay Vega (“Sleigh Beggy” in the movie, which could be an odd translation of Sleih Beggey, which is from the original Manx – Isle of Man – for “little people”), a rare being who has magical powers and those in the faerie realm are attracted to that power. Not all Slay Vegas can see (meaning visibly discern faeries and similar folk) but Chise can, which makes her even more rare. This ability makes her life even more miserable than it already was and she sells herself off to find some meaning in her life. An oddball powerful magus named Elias Ainsworth buys her at a magician’s auction and makes her his apprentice (and future bride). Chise learns about the magic world around her and how she may be the last generation to survive using magic now that contemporary society has pretty much ignored it ever existed.

Aside from the audio being terrible for the movie (too tinny and loud) I really enjoyed these first few episodes. They follow the manga really well so for those hoping for a good adaptation won’t be disappointed. The humor is dry at times so some moments not explicitly injected with chibis might be missed. That being said, chibi versions of Elias showing his blunders and embarrassments as he learns how to teach his new apprentice and understand her as a person are some of the best moments so far. Even though he’s chosen her for his bride, it’s clear he’s not even sure what it means to be married, which makes for much needed humor in a rather melancholic production.

The weight of Chise’s sad little life up to date is always present in her expressions so when any kindness is shown to her, it’s heart breaking because of her honest reactions. She’s cautious and always ready to be thrown out with the bathwater, but at the same time she loyally holds on to the tiny hope that she’ll be useful to someone and cared for like a regular person.  She does loosen up a little and even calls out Elias on his awkwardness, realizing she’s getting used to him just as much as he is to her.

Their dynamic is strange and even though the two are betrothed (sort of?) it feels more like a fatherly affection Elias has for her than romantic so far. He watches over her and even laughs as she stumbles along learning in the magical world, calling her a child. He is apparently older than time itself whereas she is around high school age (15? 16?), which might be awkward for some, but I’m interested in how their relationship may eventually turn romantic.

The rest of the cast are pretty one-note so far. There’s the hard-nosed sorcerer, Angelica, who is an old friend of Elias’s and uses her craft to produce magic. Angelica reminds me immensely of Izumi Curtis from FMA, who is harsh when necessary, a stern teacher, but very compassionate. There’s also Lindel, the caretakers of the dragons in Iceland. He is also ridiculously old but keeps a young appearance. He is more mischievous than Elias, but he seems to do so more for his entertainment than from any meanness. He is whimsical, but seems to take his job very seriously. Lastly, there’s Simon, a priest in the nearby village from where Elias lives. His job is to sort of “supervise” Elias’s actions and Elias taking on an apprentice apparently stirred a hornet’s nest with the church. Simon doesn’t seem too bothered by it, but he does diligently do his job.

No real antagonists show up, but Chise does does realize that not all the faeries are “good” either. In a way, this very much reminds me of shows like Natsume Yuujinchou and Mushishi where the yokai or magical beings aren’t inherently bad or good, they merely adhere to their own nature, which may or may not be good for humans.

Chise’s alienation to the world and people around her is also very much like Natsume Takashi, who was always trying to solve his own problems and not realizing he can ask for help. Chise doesn’t entirely try to solve her own problems yet because she’s not found the stable atmosphere to feel confident enough to even do that alone. She’s not found her Fugiwara’s yet or is uncertain if Elias and his magical household will accept her, but she does hold on to the tiny hope that maybe she can find a place to call home.

For those who like magical shows, especially those with a slightly dark, melancholic note running through them – this will be right up that alley. The show makes a distinct differentiation between magic, sorcery and witchcraft, with all three using different methods and means. In a way, it reminded me a lot of Fullmetal Alchemist in how alchemy has it’s own rules and laws, with the exception of the sorcerer’s stone. I personally love this show and the source material. It’s got just enough humor to keep the darkness vignetting around the edges of it and letting the serene moments of reflection about mortality and laws of nature grip the viewer. The full anime series for this will air in October.

Black and navy


I need to work on my posing. This photo looks ridiculous. I did have the sleeves rolled up before, but the AC was cranking in the office, so I put the sleeves down. The shirt is very lightweight so even though I was wearing long sleeves I was perfectly comfortable inside and outside. Like Monday, I felt perfectly comfortable in this outfit. I like dark colors and I like roomy clothes. I didn’t want a polished look so no tuck-in for the shirt.

Definitely needed nicer looking shoes for this outfit, but I was waiting on them to be delivered today while I was at work. I have a movie to attend tonight so maybe I’ll wear the new ones out to help break them in. I got a pair of Nisolo Oliver oxfords and so far I do very much like them. There will be a little pain in the breaking-in period, but hopefully not for long.

Shirt: Banana Republic – old. Pants: Uniqlo. Shoes – TOMS.