As usual, there will be spoilers.
So where do I begin? Episode summary or just dive head first into Nina haterade?
I’ll try and go through the episode as shit hit the fan and kept coming at it the whole time.
First: Alessand officially killed Mugaro. Afterwards, we see Alessand go back to the Onyx Knight leader and he shows his bloodied knife, saying he’s killed the holy child. He now wants to be an Onyx Knight as his reward. He finds out it’s gruesome and unglamorous and Alessand says thanks, but no thanks. Disillusioned and dealing with the death of a child on his hands, he breaks down. Alessand is a character to be pitied, but he’s been such a doorstop the whole time it’s hard to really care about him at all. His bit parts the entire series have felt more or less like throw-away scenes with little value. Now all of a sudden we’re supposed to take him seriously as a secondary villain in the making after 20 episodes of him just being a whiney little bitch?
Second, Azazel confronts Lucifer (FINALLY LUCI IS ON SCREEN!) and says now is the time to act and declare war. While this scene was good because two hot and hot-headed demons were bickering like a married couple, it did feel a little wasted. It’s known that Azazel stormed off from the demon hideout way back when to go save the demons Charioce enslaved. His sense of duty towards his people has always been fierce and making Charioce/ humans who abuse demons pay for it was always his objective. Unfortunately, like many other instances in this series, this is another missed opportunity case. Had the struggle to show Azazel’s determination to free the demon slaves been a relatively constant subplot of the show, this meeting with Lucifer would’ve held a lot more weight. Lucifer wanted nothing to do with human battles after Charioce nearly decimated their race and would rather hide under a rock to ensure his survival than fight. With Azazel finally showing up to say this is go time, why couldn’t we have had a little more backstory on Lucifer’s reluctance and need to see Azazel prove himself capable of leading a successful battle before now? For as much as I loved the interaction between these two bishonen, I have to admit that it felt tacked on.
Third, Jeanne gets pissed off enough to go to Gabriel and say: bitch, my son is dead and I’m in charge and WAR!!! NOW!!! And then Gabriel gives her cryptic smile and Sophiel fuses herself with Jeanne to make her super human powerful and god-like aka SnB: Genesis. WHUT? She’s allowed to have her powers back? Doesn’t that make Mugaro kinda…. pointless if his mom was always capable of being the BAMF She-Ra she was in Genesis? I felt gutted when I saw that scene because it really just made me feel like Mugaro, who was by far one of the absolute best characters of the whole second series with an intriguing story arc, completely superfluous. If the angels can just Power Ranger up any old human why the fuck was Mugaro even necessary to their cause in the first cour?! This scene too felt tacked on and completely undermined the importance of Mugaro’s character.
Fourth, Kaisar and Dias are the only ones who realize Alessand killed Mugaro for his own personal gain and not any real direct order from Charioce. Therefore, Azazel and Jeanne’s upcoming war is based on misplaced anger. That’s not stated, but implied by the meeting. It could also be a red herring because there seem to be a lot of those in this series. Considering Charioce did order Mugaro’s death earlier, he’s still no more or less culpable of the kid’s death. Alessand simply did him an indirect favor. Also, Kaisar finds out Charioce is in Abos/Eibos (it was Abos in Genesis, but it seems to have been turned into Eibos in Virgin Soul). So all the heroes except the two war lords (Azazel and Jeanne) know where Charioce is hanging out. This seems to be setting up the cast for a two-field battle ground: one in Anatae with the demon and angel armies against the humans and one in Eibos with Nina against Charioce.
Lastly, Nina finally acts a little like she could be an actual protagonist in this series. Favaro, ever the acutely aware teacher/dad, checks on a grieving Nina and finally sees some resolve on her face as she declares that no matter what she will stop Charioce. It’s implied that she’ll kill him if she has to, but never explicitly stated. None fucks were given about her resolution because… say it with me… too little too late to give a shit.
While watching Virgin Soul I re-watched Genesis and apparently Eibos was the last place where Bahamut was held until it broke free, nearly destroyed the world, and was fought back into submission/sorta death. Charioce visiting Eibos has been mentioned in passing a couple times, so I’m guessing this will eventually have something to do with Bahamut? Maybe? Red herring? Could he have been making Dromos deliberately to ensure that Bahamut is without-a-doubt destroyed? If so, then that is one super shitty plot line. Conjecture: That would make him a misunderstood anti-hero who ultimately would have the preservation of the human species as his end game and purpose. The motivation behind that purpose was most likely the death of his mother. Had humans exerted more power earlier on, then she wouldn’t have had to die, therefore his genocide against the demons and angels to gain their powers to create Dromos would make him justified. I have a very strange feeling this is where the show is head, but I could be wrong. If I am correct, then Charioce will be propped up to bad, but not-so-bad villain. It would also explain a lot about his character. I have a very bad feeling that his backstory in all this will be told via some flashback that’ll take up the majority of the finale and end with him and Nina working together. Shall I place bets with myself now?
Killing off a major character for the sake of a good narrative and move the remaining characters into action has been done plenty of times before. Mugaro’s death was the catalyst for the cast to actually get back to the plot. It was also the catalyst in turning Nina into a valuable player – I think. That’s still… TBD. Unfortunately, since the characters weren’t moving towards much of a plot to begin with, the little tyke’s death just seems plain sad and not really thought out at all by the producers.
This episode upped it’s game visually. Many characters were given gorgeous moments with beautiful lighting and details. The slow-motion scenes of Rita trying to save Mugaro while all characters were shown in states of shock, anger and grief, accompanied by a choral hymn were beautiful. It was meant to have a powerful, dream-like emotional punch and it succeeded there. The detailed emphasis on all the major players afterwards visually was quite a delicious spectacle. But I can’t help but feel half of it was wasted due to the plot going to shit in such a way.
No one still has any fucking clue what Charioce is up to or why. What I wrote above is, as stated, conjecture. Three episodes left and I kinda feel like the plot rolls with whatever magic 8-ball MAPPA is using right now.