No question about it, this has been one hell of an impressive three-episode entry for Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul. It takes everything that was good about the first series (less Favaro of course – for now) and highlights it at the expense of the stuff that didn’t work so well. That’s a great formula for sequel success but rarely followed, and of course we don’t know if “Virgin Soul” will be able to keep it up for an entire season. But so far at least, it’s definitely on pace to outstrip the first season by a good margin.
It’s an interesting mix of characters here, inside an intriguing and emotionally engaging premise. Nina has hooked up with Bacchus and Hamsa, as we know, with the latter (clearly this duck is a Hunter X Hunter fan) turning her into a money-making machine by challenging the local macho dudes to arm wrestle. Considering Nina eats her way through a battalion’s share of food and the bounty hunting business has all but dried up under Chaorice’s rule, you can’t blame him, and Nina doesn’t seem to mind. That is, until an attractive dude in glasses shows up and forces her to wrestle him (to a draw) blindfolded.
The big reveal this week, of course, was that Favaro was Nina’a teacher – though once she started talking about him it became pretty obvious that was the case. He’ll turn up soon enough, surely, but for now the focus is more on the death struggle between Chaorice and Azazel. And that included the focus of Heaven, where the angels have turned their attention on Mugaro (his flashes of power having caught their attention). Whoever he is, Mugaro seems to be at the center of the plot for “Virgin Soul”, to the point where he might be this season’s MacGuffin just as Bahamut was the first’s.
There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of grey with Chaorice – the evidence is he’s flat-out evil. It seems to have reached a boiling point with Kaisar, whose open protest of the king’s latest ploy to draw out the Rag Demon probably signals he’s out for good as a knight. If there’s a common theme between the first season and this one, it’s Kaisar’s struggle with personal versus professional honor, and knowing him it seems a sure bet that in the end he’ll make the right choice no matter how personally painful it is.
One way or another I think things are coming to a head, our first real transitional point of the season. That may not involve Favaro but it would certainly impact Kaisar and Azazel, and probably Nina too. Azazel has taken Chaorice’s bait knowing full well it was a trap, and ordered Mugaro not to intervene. There’s also the fact that Bacchus has been offered a hefty bribe (re-admittance to Heaven) to turn Mugaro over to the angels. It certainly would have seemed far-fetched to say Azazel would be the protagonist fot a sequel when the first season ended, but so far at least he’s really the closest fit in “Virgin Soul”. And as a character, he seems to be dramatically up to the challenge.