Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul – 22

That was predictable.

In talking about last week’s Made in Abyss, I began by noting that “Sometimes even when you know something is coming, that does nothing to lessen the impact.”  Well, this week’s Shingeki no Bahamut was sort of that notion’s ugly, troglodytic cousin.  Did I know – or at least strongly suspect – that the depressingly banal turn of events we saw this week was likely?  Yes.  Did that make it any less depressingly banal when it actually came to pass?  Not a damn whit.

The thing is, this asspull of a redemption for the vile Charioce doesn’t come close to explaining away the events of the past 22 episodes – not without considerable further explanation.  But the thing is that even if that explanation was forthcoming, it wouldn’t really matter as far as I’m concerned.  Maybe we’ll get an answer as to why Charioce engaged on a campaign of genocide and grotesque mockery of all that’s decent and remotely human, because “we needed a king with an iron will” sure doesn’t explain it.  But even if we get that explanation, so effing what?  I’m tired of people making excuses for fascists in real life, and I’m tired of it in anime.

Predictable too was that Bahamut would be coming back – though that’s not something I have an issue with, given the title of the franchise.  Does that mean Amira will be back as well?  That we don’t yet know, though this development has certainly brought Favaro front and center of the narrative once again.  Of more interest to me was the faceoff between Kaisar and Jeanne, now at the head of a great army comprising humans, demons and angels (there’s considerable irony in that).  Kaisar trying to stop Jeanne from marching against Charioice is sort of in character for him, with his relentless romanticism – but it hardly holds water against the practicalities of the moment, even given what Kaisar knew that Jeanne did not (which I don’t think really changed anything).

In fact there was really only one sequence in the episode which really had the ring of truth, and that was Jeanne’s reaction to Kaisar’s efforts to stop her.  It should be obvious to anyone who’s been involved with the plot, but what the hell difference does it make whether it was Charioce who specifically ordered El killed by Alessand?  As Jeanne points out the king has been targeting her son for death since the beginning of the series – so how can an intelligent man like Kaisar possibly argue Charioce was “not involved” in the murder?  It’s preposterous, and it’s like Jeanne was the only one of the main cast thinking clearly this episode.  And for that, I gather we’re supposed to judge her to be in the wrong – which place me as wholly out of step with “Virgin Soul” in pretty much every way that matters.

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11 comments

  1. L

    When charioce signed up to follow this path, he knew that it will cost no return, not even damn redemption so I don’t think this is a redemption for his character. It’s just the plot of ‘rage of bahamut’. Parallel machiavellian character like him, lelouch also knew that his option would not be supported even by the reason he went for it: nunnally. Maybe the the difference of our opinion is I enjoy this kind of chara who went on his own conviction and ready to receive the hatred. Of course it’s not somehing that people will like on real life, but that’s the point of fantasy, you can even sympathize to the most vile character.
    The proress from first to second season by now is pretty good. I don’t expect this series to be something that will make any unnecessary twist, or something that’s unpredictable as it’s been cleared since the beginning. So what’s the point of predictable in your review? Is it because you want some unexpected twist?

  2. r

    I agree this episode is so Bizarre. Like Favoro said ” If you wanted to kill Bahamut, the last thing you want is to pick a fight with heaven”

    and he is right. Why pick a fight with heaven and start a genocide?

    I actually went back to the first episode to look, and Charoice is clearly the one besieging their fortress first and killing the angels before he grabs a piece of a large black green slab which might be part of the weapon. The angels are actually unsure of who it was, so this was clearly a preemptive strike. Maybe Charoice thought he needed to kill them for the pieces of it?

    But that just makes this plot hole worse.

    If heaven had pieces of the weapon, why didn’t Charoice just ask for it first? Didn’t their archangel literally say their failure with Jeanne was not working closer with the humans? Shouldn’t he think cooperation is possible given their archangel sacrificed its life for Jeanne?

    Especially if Heaven had the weapon and still had to resort to sacrificing their God to seal Bahamut then proceed to put majority of their forces at the seal rather than use the weapon to kill it? Shouldn’t that flag a few warning bells?

    Even more, shouldn’t Gabriel have been prepared for this weapon if Charoice has been specifically raiding their forts designed to contain it and is using oddly similar power? She clearly knows it exists and can recognize it on sight.

    Why didn’t she pull over El and her commanders and say “Charoice is taking pieces of a world ender beam. He probably plans to complete it, and we need to completely retreat if he starts charging the death ray”

    This isn’t even covering why he needed to start a genocide of ALL DEMONS in the first place if his goal was Bahamut. I don’t think there is any explanation that could cover crippling children and putting slave colors on them even if they are demons.

  3. L

    “If heaven had pieces of the weapon, why didn’t Charoice just ask for it first? Didn’t their archangel literally say their failure with Jeanne was not working closer with the humans? Shouldn’t he think cooperation is possible given their archangel sacrificed its life for Jeanne?”

    It seems for in previous episodes he told jeanne that he had asked it from heaven but like usual, heaven with their arrogancy refused it. That’s why he asked jeanne why he needed her to work with him. The fault of Charioce since the beginning is he didn’t make his intention clear. Maybe jeanne would understand and could ask heaven for the stone

    ” Even more, shouldn’t Gabriel have been prepared for this weapon if Charoice has been specifically raiding their forts designed to contain it and is using oddly similar power? She clearly knows it exists and can recognize it on sight.
    Why didn’t she pull over El and her commanders and say “Charoice is taking pieces of a world ender beam. He probably plans to complete it, and we need to completely retreat if he starts charging the death ray” ”
    Didn’t she do it in episode 13? Before dromos was shown, she seemed confident of defeating human so maybe she was that clueless after all. She did save her ass first when dromos turned up, while el was still trying to defeat it.

    “This isn’t even covering why he needed to start a genocide of ALL DEMONS in the first place if his goal was Bahamut. I don’t think there is any explanation that could cover crippling children and putting slave colors on them even if they are demons.”
    He conquered cocytus, enslaved demons and used them to lure rag demon and some rebels. I guess he didn’t want to lose the workforce by doing genocide so I don’t agree genocide is his point. If it’s slavery then yes he did it on purpose. The demon he wanted dead was rag demon and rebels who had grudge of being defeated and subjugated by human

  4. I loved this series since this episode but now I don’t understand a thing. Why the hell didn’t Charioce tell the angels and the demons what he found? That Bahamut is not actually sealed for good but will come back and that he, Charioce, has found a method to kill him. Angels, demons and humans fought together once and succeeded, why not try it again? This just doesn’t make sense … Why did he make mortal enemies out of possible allies??

  5. “The plot wants what it wants”

  6. Yeeaaahhhh … I have been scratching my head after this one too.

    I have been greatly enjoying the series as well … up to this episode. And yes – I also was dreading the possibility of Chaioce being “redeemed” … like this. In other words, via sloppy and messy writing. -_-

  7. M

    Someone from the current White House definitely funded this (possibly to launder some of that orange babboon’s illegally gotten wealth). That’s the only explanation I can come up with.

  8. M

    I’d still like to hold my breath until the show ends before being sure this is an attempt to redeem Chaorice. The guy wants to save humanity from Bahamut, but he was always all-about humanity. Just because he wants to take down a threat to every being in existence doesn’t mean he’s not a racist asshole anymore that cares about saving the angels & demons as well, guy’s just doing it for humanity’s sake. At the very least, I’d hope the show goes that down route ~ would feel pretty natural too.

  9. J

    I’m inclined to agree. It’s been such a good run so far (with scant few missteps, let alone any as large as this) that I’m also willing to wait until the last episode to see if the series puts Charioce in his proper place, a villain whose vile and cruelly unnecessary methods obliterated any goodwill his intentions may have had.

    But even then, it doesn’t look good. That’s a lot to ask for the remaining episodes given how quickly the narrative has swung in Charioce’s favour.

  10. Y

    I had put off watching this ep. because this series had been doing so well up till now that I really didn’t want to feel the experience ruined. And man was it painful to watch. If I was Favaro, I’d be outraged in seeing Charioce tampering with Bahamut. And how does this redeem Charioce? It just added “messiah-complex” as the cherry on top of everything that was wrong with him.

  11. This is one time that I wish the title of the series didn’t have ‘Bahamut’ in it.

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