Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul – 07

Shingeki no Bahamut 2 - 07 - 01“Virgin Soul” really is amazing – almost unbelievably so, to be honest.  We’re at the point now where it makes me question whether I’m somehow selling the first season short in my memory of it, despite the fact that I remember it in an almost totally positive way.  I’m not, I don’t think – it was very good, but this season really is that much better.  In terms of pure entertainment value this season of Shingeki no Bahamut can hold its own with with pretty much anybody.

Shingeki no Bahamut 2 - 07 - 02There are a lot of things this series does superbly well, among the foremost the way it balances the serious plot elements (which are very serious indeed) with some rather tropey anime standards.  The thing is that those are executed so beautifully – and integrated so seamlessly – that what often should be annoying never is, and what’s supposed to be funny almost always is.  That’s a pretty big difference between “Virgin Soul” and the first season, I think – this one feels much more like a conventional anime, whereas that one played like a Hollywood swashbuckler from a bygone era.  Normally I wouldn’t expect that to be a positive development, but “Virgin Soul” is all about defying expectations.

Shingeki no Bahamut 2 - 07 - 03Another thing this show does well, of course, is tell a straight-ahead story with extreme confidence and skill – something it very much has in common with the first season.  The staff here is extremely experienced, and it really shows – they know what they have and never seem to be trying too hard.  As with all shows like that, the storytelling dexterity can actually make Shingeki no Bahamut a bit difficult to write about – it doesn’t leave a tremendous amount to interpretation and it doesn’t require a whole lot of explanation to plaster over clumsy bits.  But as a viewer, I sure as hell can’t complain.

Shingeki no Bahamut 2 - 07 - 04I suppose Nina’s situation does lend itself to a certain amount of theorizing, but to me it seems pretty clear what’s happened is what last week’s episode hinted at.  That is to say, falling in love (as opposed to in lust) with Charioce has at least temporarily stopped Nina from transforming into a dragon (how else could she resist those adorkable hugs from Azazel?).  As with much in “Virgin Soul” it’s hard to know just how to feel about that.  I mean sure, good on her – but she fell in love with a sadistic genocidal despot.  Also, her newfound inability (or unwillingness, if there’s a difference in this case) to transform has really screwed the pooch as far as Azazel’s attack plans are concerned.

Shingeki no Bahamut 2 - 07 - 05That too raises an interesting question about how we’re supposed to feel.  Are we supposed to be rooting for Azazel here?  Because I certainly am – and that’s understanding that he’s no angel (no pun intended).  Azazel has done terrible things, but in the moment he seems a much more sympathetic character than Charioce.  On some level everyone has to make a decision about whether they believe people can change or not – and it seems to me that Azazel seeing the things he has changed him.  But even now he still acts from rage, and has so sympathy for the humans he once tormented, and who now torment him.

Shingeki no Bahamut 2 - 07 - 06If there’s a downer about “Virgin Soul”, maybe it’s that every element of this series is so good that it leaves you wanting more of the ones we don’t get much of (this ep seemed to last about 7 minutes).  The power trio of Rita, Bacchus and Hamsa is so wonderful that I’d happily watch a show about just them – these three seiyuu are doing a fantastic job.  And Kaisar is the most compelling character in the cast for me, given the way his honor tortures him.  And that’s not even considering the absence of Favaro, who was a fantastic co-lead in the first season.  But one thing’s for sure – if the worst you can say about a show is “it leaves me wanting more”, that’s one damn fine show.

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7 comments

  1. S

    Loved how Nina pinned the chili on her clothes.

  2. Y

    Thought it was hilarious that they had a demon named Dante.

    I don’t think your comparison is wrong. There were moments in Season1 that got repetitive and where I would find my mind drifting off. So far it hasn’t happened in this season for me. Another thing that struck me with these past few episodes is the steady pacing. The first season had times where it would cram a lot into one episode. In this season, we’re 7 episodes in, and it feels like the main plot line has only just started. They’re really taking their time to build things up (which is a good thing for the anime but definitely leaves me antsy).

  3. s

    Yo virgin soul has been on fire since it started; i decided to start rewatching the anime ive been keeping up with this spring season now that my semester is over (i feel like i can now watch things more intently) and ive been so pleased with how well paced and put together virgin soul has turned out to be. I love the way the show has methodically executed the power struggle between the humans and the demons. We can clearly see how the events of this ep may incite even more hatred within azazel and demon kind, leading to all out war; The exact thing that kaisar feared was going to happen. Speaking of which, that’s the other thing about this second season’s approach to storytelling that i appreciate: the first season started us within mists of a war between angels, demons, and humans. This season puts us in a setting where there is no war and builds towards the inevitably of one. What i see happening in the future is the resurgence of war between all three factions, with the demon side feeling like perhaps there is no choice but to try and unseal bahamut so that it can destroy the world and possible reset things. With the way things are going, the world is not a good place for any of the races it seems. While the first season was a swashbuckling adventure, this second season is more of a fantasy drama; one that i think is going to own its swash-buckling adventuring roots once the narrative opens pandora’s box and the capital becomes a place lacking any sort of order; nothing but chaos

    The other nice touch i appreciate from this season is how the cast is being fleshed out as a sort of weird family of sorts: we see how rita, bacchus, and hamsa kind of treat nina like their daughter. It’s good that the show has focused on fleshing out those dynamics because when shit hits the fan, that element is going to be the beating heart of the narrative; all good stories always have heart.

  4. l

    i just couldt stand to that main char in original series(afro one), havent seen him at screenshots yet at second season, maybe ill give it a shot.

  5. A

    This show passes by way too quickly. Twenty minutes feels like 5 minutes while I’m watching the rage of bahamut: virgin soul.

  6. Great show, but I feel bad in hindsight laughing at Azazel’s hug reactions when it cost the lives of two of his fellow demons.

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